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Overview

Tanzania's northern safari circuit is arguably the finest in Africa. Its top attraction is Serengeti National Park, with its annual migration of two million wildebeest, zebra and gazelles, and numerous cheetah, leopard, hyena, jackal, bat-eared fox and other smaller predators. Nearby Ngorongoro Crater is the world's largest intact volcanic caldera, and combines spectacular scenery with excellent game viewing, including giant tuskers, large flocks of flamingo, the world's densest lion population, and a good chance of spotting the endangered black rhino. Several other national parks can be visited in conjunction. Scenic Lake Manyara in the ...

Tanzania's northern safari circuit is arguably the finest in Africa. Its top attraction is Serengeti National Park, with its annual migration of two million wildebeest, zebra and gazelles, and numerous cheetah, leopard, hyena, jackal, bat-eared fox and other smaller predators. Nearby Ngorongoro Crater is the world's largest intact volcanic caldera, and combines spectacular scenery with excellent game viewing, including giant tuskers, large flocks of flamingo, the world's densest lion population, and a good chance of spotting the endangered black rhino. Several other national parks can be visited in conjunction. Scenic Lake Manyara in the Rift Valley is excellent for birds and famed for its tree-climbing lions, while Tarangire harbors dense concentrations of 'upside-down' baobab trees and elephant. The lakes and forests of Arusha National Park support the lovely black-and-white colobus and blue monkeys, and offer views Africa's highest and fifth-highest mountains, Kilimanjaro and Meru. A more remote highlight is the stark and malodorous Lake Natron set below ash-strewn Ol Doinyo Lengai, an active volcano whose Maasai name translates as "Mountain of God".

Philip Briggs
About the Expert

Philip Briggs has written or contributed to 50-plus editions of Bradt, Insight, AA and Berlitz guidebooks to African destinations.

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    All year, but wildebeest are concentrated in the southern Serengeti Dec-May (calving Feb) and cross the Grumeti River June/July.