5 Best Tanzania Safari Parks | Tanzania National Parks – Hail Tours

When it comes to unique African safari destinations, no better place is worth visiting than Tanzania Safari Parks for unusual wilderness experiences. Located in East Africa, Tanzania is an exceptional destination with several beautiful National Parks each with plenty of opportunities to explore and experience on your Tanzania safari holiday.

Over 40% of Tanzania’s land is dedicated to wildlife conservation and amazingly, it is a complete big five game safari destination. Tanzania safari Parks offer lifetime opportunity to nature lovers to explore the big 5 game plus thousands of other unique wildlife, birds in the wild. Here are the best Tanzania safari parks any enthusiastic nature lover shouldn’t miss visiting;

The Top 5 Tanzania Safari Parks

Serengeti National Park

Serengeti National Park is with no doubt one of the best Tanzania safari parks known to offer outstanding wildlife encounters. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Serengeti National Park is absolutely a magical place to see the big five game and amazingly to witness the Great Migration.

Animals in Serengeti
Animals in Serengeti

Serengeti National Park lies in the Northern Tanzania safari circuit and it is credited for its unique mixture of breathtaking landscape and ecosystems. The park’s ecosystem is characterized by open grassland, woodland, swamps, rocky terrains to lakes, each offering refuge to Serengeti’s diverse wildlife and bird species.

If there is one destination with a huge profusion of mammals in the world, then it is Tanzania. While on Tanzania safaris in Serengeti National Park, the prime areas of interest for nature lovers include Seronera River and Serengeti Visitor Centre. These are Serengeti National Park’s iconic spots to enjoy incredible views of wildlife.

Serengeti extends up to 14763sq.kms of land area and shelters the bush elephants, lions, buffaloes, rhinos, leopards, hippos, crocodiles, wildebeests, gazelles, zebras, over 542 bird species plus range of other interesting antelope families. The 542 bird species include over 100 resident birds and 11 endemic species.

They include secretary birds, dark chanting goshawk, ostriches, kori bustards, white bellied go-away bird, rufous tailed weaver, purple grenadier, grey breasted spur fowl, black headed heron, grey headed sparrow, yellow throated sandgrouse and others.

While on Serengeti National Park safaris, there are plenty of activities to engage in including witnessing the wildebeest migration, game drives, nature walks, visiting olduvai gorge, camping, cultural visit in the adjacent local community, birding, hot air balloon tours and more.

Accommodation in Serengeti

The accommodation options to consider for overnight stay in and around Serengeti are many ranging from budget to luxury. The budget accommodation options include Ikoma Tented Camp, Serengeti Kati-Kati Tented Camp, Serengeti Simba, Lobo Wildlife Lodge, Grumeti Migration Camp.

Luxury lodges at Serengeti NP include Four Seasons Safari Lodge, Lemala Nanyukie Tented Lodge, Roving Bushtop Camp, Singita Mara Camp; Mid-range accommodation include Serengeti Serena Lodge, Melia Serengeti Lodge, Serengeti Sopa Lodge.

Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park is the 6th largest Tanzania national park and incredibly, it is the least crowded destinations. Its landscape is characterized by stunning baobab and acacia trees, with wildlife including impalas, elephants, leopards, hartebeest, cheetahs, lions, buffaloes, gazelles, giraffes, zebras, dwarf mongoose, gerenuk, oryx, 450 species of birds.

Tarangire National ParkThe birds of Tarangire National Park include lappet faced vultures, bateleur eagles, kori bustard, yellow collared lover birds, brown parrots etc.

Tarangire National Park covers 2850sq.kms of land area and lies on altitudinal range of 3222-5400ft. This park is located between the meadows of Masai steppe to the Southeast and the Great Rift Valley lakes to the North and West. The Northern Tarangire National Park has Tarangire River where it derives its name.

Established in 1970, Tarangire National Park is one of the best Tanzania safari parks worth visiting for a game drive- day and night game drives, hot air balloon tours, birding and more. It is one ideal spot to consider visiting while on en-route to Northern Tanzania safari circuit.

Accommodation in Tarangire National Park:

They include Tarangire Safari Lodge, Tarangire Treetops, Sanctuary Swala Camp, Nimali Tarangire, Maweninga Camp (Luxury). Mid-Range accommodation choices include Sangaiwe Tented Lodge, Tarangire Sopa Lodge, Maramboi Tented Camp and for budget visitors; book Whistling Thorn Tented Camp.

Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara National Park was described by Ernest Hemingway as ‘The Loveliest I had seen in Africa’ for a good reason. Located within Arusha region, the Northern safari circuit of Tanzania 126kms from Arusha town, Lake Manyara National Park is one of the main stopover points for visitors on Tanzania safaris to Serengeti National Park.

Lake Manyara National Park - Tanzania Safari Parks Lake Manyara National Park isn’t only the best Tanzania safari parks but one of the few places to see the tree climbing lions. The park covers a compact land area of about 330sq.kms and takes its name after the soda lake- Lake Manyara. It was established as Tanzania safari park in 1960 which makes it one of the oldest parks.

Administered by the Tanzania National Parks Authority, Lake Manyara National Park is a home to diverse species of wildlife and birds. They include the tree climbing lions, elephants, baboons, giraffes, leopards, zebras, impalas, hyenas, and Lake Manyara hosts crocodiles, hippos, aquatic birds.

Over 400 bird species range in the different parts of Lake Manyara National Park and they include flamingos, emerald cuckoo, Fischer’s sparrow lark, lovebirds, rufous tailed weavers, Narina trogon, crested guinea fowl, two banded course, grey crowned crane, crowned hornbill and others.

While on Tanzania safaris in Lake Manyara National Park, the major activities to expect engaging in include birding, treetop walk, game drive, visiting the hot springs, boat rides and others.

Accommodation in Lake Manyara National Park include Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge, Lake Manyara Tree Lodge, Lake Manyara Wildlife Lodge, Migunga Tented Lodge.

Ruaha National Park – Tanzania Safari Parks

Ruaha National Park is one of the least visited Tanzania National Parks, still offering authentic African wilderness experiences. Lying in the central part of Tanzania, Ruaha N/Park is Tanzania’s remotest destinations worth exploring on the Southern circuit.

Ruaha National Park - Tanzania Safari ParksRuaha National Park is Tanzania’s biggest park, occupying up to 20,226 sq.kms of land area. originally, it was a Game Reserve and in 1964, it was officially designated as a National Park in Tanzania, protecting unique floral and faunal species.

Within Ruaha National Park, there exist variety of mammals including zebras, elephants, rhinos, hippos, giraffes, cheetahs, lions, the lesser kudus, hyenas, buffaloes etc.

The park also protects about 570 bird species- migratory, endemic species such as African fish eagles, yellow collared lovebird, emerald spotted wood dove, long crested eagles, Ashy starling, giant kingfisher, red billed hornbill, Southern ground hornbill.

Other birds of Ruaha National Park include collared palm thrush, spur winged goose, bateleur, goliath heron, crested barbets, black bellied bustards etc. To enjoy birding tour in Ruaha National Park, the best months to visit are January, February, December, November, March, April.

The main activities to do while in Ruaha National Park include photography, game drives, guided nature walks, birding. It is possible to reach the park on road or air and you indulge in a number of memorable experiences.

By road staring from Mikumi National Park it is 5 hours’ drive and from Julius Nyerere Airport, about 10 hours’ drive. By air travel, take chartered/scheduled flight to Msembe Airstrip.

Accommodation in Ruaha include Ruaha River Lodge, Tandala Tented Camp, Jongomero Camp, Ikuka Safari Camp, Jabali Private House, Kigelia Camp, Kwihala Camp and others.

Mikumi National Park

Positioned strategically between the Uluguru Mountains on the North-east and Rubeho and Udzungwa Mountains is a splendid Mikumi National Park. Mikumi is known for its diverse and huge concentration of wildlife often compared to that of the Serengeti National Park.

Mikumi National ParkEstablished in 1964, Mikumi National Park spans on the land area of 3230sq.kms and it is ranked as the 4th biggest park in Tanzania. It is one of the best parks with unique landscape characterized by beautiful baobab trees, hardwood trees, grassy plains etc.

Mikumi National Park protects a range of wildlife including elands, greater kudus, sable antelopes, giraffes, buffaloes, elephants, zebras, crocodiles, wild dogs, impalas, reedbucks, yellow baboons, hippos tec.

There are also over 400 birds to sight including bateleur eagle, yellow throated long claw, lilac-breasted rollers, hamerkop, African spoonbill, African fish eagle, African open bills fishing and more.

The top activities to engage in while at Mikumi National Park include game viewing- day and night game drives, walking safaris, camping, cultural encounters. Getting to Mikumi is easier on road, air or railway, by road set off from Dar-es-salaam/Iringa/Morogoro to or from Selous Game Reserve through Pwaga to park’s main entry gate. By air, fly from Julius Nyerere Airport to Kikoboga airstrip.

Other amazing Tanzania safari parks include Kilimanjaro National Park (best for mountaineering/mountain climbing), Arusha National Park, Gombe National Park, Katavi National Park, Saanane Island National Park, Udzungwa Mountains National Park, Mahale Mountains National Park etc.

Best time to go for a vacation or safari in Tanzania

The dry season is with no doubt the best time/season of the year to visit Tanzania for a safari holiday. The long dry season often occurs from July, August to September- the ideal period for watching wildebeest migration, game viewing or if you are interested in beach holiday in Zanzibar.