Lions, Serengeti, TZSerengeti National Park - The name 'Serengeti' is derived from the Maasai term for "Endless Plaines". As one of the ten natural travel wonders of the world Serengeti National Park is 14,763 square kilometres in size. Tanzania's most popular and oldest National Park is known for the great migration, which includes over 200,000 Zebra, 1.2 million Wildebeest, 300,000 Thomsons Gazelles and the many other hooved mammals that move in herds up to hundreds of thousands each year.

Located 355 km (208 miles) from Arusha, stretching north to Kenya and bordering Lake Victoria to the West, this 7th wonder of the world part of the Serengeti Ecosystem.

The best time to visit this World Heritage site varies depending on your desires. To follow the wildebeest migrations book your vacation between December- July. To see the many predators it is recommended you visit within the months of June-October.

Over 3000 lions call this park home. The Leopards are commonly found in the region of Seronera however are found in other regions, the current population is said to be around 1000. The poachers have caused a significant reduction in numbers of both the African Elephant and the Black Rhinoceros. The African Buffalo roams in large numbers, over the years numbers have declined due to disease. Enjoy a Hot Air Balloon Safari over the Great Serenget.

Various accommodations are available year round, inside and outside of the park. For the rugged outdoor experience pick your tent in one of the many camp sites scattered through the park. Luxury tented camps offer warm amenities with five star services while still enjoying the beauty of the great outdoors. Your choices of lodges vary in size and location.

Experience the thrill of a Hot Air Balloon Safari over the unique land and animals in East Africa. This is a great opportunity to view the landscape and game from above while peacefully drifting over Mother Nature's finest.

Elephants, TarangireTarangire National Park in Tanzania is known as the largest concentration of wildlife outside of the Serengeti ecosystem and is home to the largest number of elephant herds per square km than anywhere in the world. Tarangire bird life is also known as one of the best in the world, with over 550 species calling this park home for periods of the year. Hot Air Balloon Adventures are offered over this rustic landscape with masses of Baobob and Acacia trees. This diverse park is a for sure visit when coming to Tanzania.

The best time for game viewing in Tarangire National Park is between the months of June to October. The animals have returned from their travels and make their way to the large swamps and rivers throughout Tarangire National Park.

During dry season herds of up to 300 elephants scratch the dry river bed for underground streams, while migratory wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, gazelle, hartebeest and eland crowd the shrinking lagoons. It's the greatest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti ecosystem - a smorgasbord for predators and the one place in Tanzania where dry-country antelope such as the stately fringe-eared Oryx and peculiar long-necked gerenuk are regularly observed.

Tarangire Tree LionsDuring the rainy season, the seasonal visitors scatter over a 20,000 sq km (12,500 sq miles) range until they exhaust the green plains and the river calls once more. But Tarangire's mobs of elephant are easily encountered, wet or dry.

Disused termite mounds are often frequented by colonies of the endearing dwarf mongoose, and pairs of red-and-yellow barbet, which draw attention to themselves by their loud, clockwork-like duetting. Tarangire's pythons climb trees, as do its lions and leopards, lounging in the branches where the fruit of the sausage tree disguises the twitch of a tail.

Tarangire National Park is an enjoyable 118 kms (75miles) from Arusha by road, or you may take a short flight from Arusha Airport. The parks close proximity to Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater and the make for the most breathtaking Tanzanian Safari. Your trip is not complete without a sunrise Hot Air Balloon ride over the rolling hills of Acacia and Baobab trees.

Bird Lovers

The swamps, tinged green year round, are the focus for 550 bird varieties, the most breeding species in one habitat anywhere in the world! On drier ground you find the Kori bustard, the heaviest flying bird; the stocking-thighed ostrich, the world's largest bird; and small parties of ground hornbills blustering like turkeys.More ardent bird-lovers might keep an eye open for screeching flocks of the dazzlingly colourful yellow-collared lovebird, and the somewhat drabber rufous-tailed weaver and ashy starling; all endemic to the dry savannah of north-central Tanzania.

Saddle-Billed Stork, TanzaniaLake Manyara National Park stretches for 50km along the base of the rusty-gold 600-metre high Rift Valley escarpment, Lake Manyara is a scenic gem, with a setting extolled by Ernest Hemingway as "the loveliest I had seen in Africa".

The compact game-viewing circuit through Manyara offers a virtual microcosm of the Tanzanian safari experience. From the entrance gate, the road winds through an expanse of lush jungle-like groundwater forest where hundred-strong baboon troops lounge nonchalantly along the roadside, blue monkeys scamper nimbly between the ancient mahogany trees, dainty bushbuck tread warily through the shadows, and outsized forest hornbills honk cacophonously in the high canopy.

Contrasting with the intimacy of the forest is the grassy floodplain and its expansive views eastward, across the alkaline lake, to the jagged blue volcanic peaks that rise from the endless Maasai Steppes. Large buffalo, wildebeest and zebra herds congregate on these grassy plains, as do giraffes, some so dark in coloration that they appear to be black from a distance.

Inland of the floodplain, a narrow belt of acacia woodland is the favoured haunt of Manyaras legendary tree-climbing lions and impressively tusked elephants. Squadrons of banded mongoose dart between the acacias, while the diminutive Kirks dik-dik forages in their shade. Pairs of klipspringer are often seen silhouetted on the rocks above a field of searing hot springs that steams and bubbles adjacent to the lakeshore in the far south of the park.

Manyara provides the perfect introduction to Tanzanias birdlife. More than 400 species have been recorded, and even a first-time visitor to Africa might reasonably expect to observe 100 of these in one day. Highlights include thousands of pink-hued flamingos on their perpetual migration, as well as other large waterbirds such as pelicans, cormorants and storks.

excursions sanctuaries hammercopArusha National Park is the closest national park to Arusha town – northern Tanzania’s safari capital – Arusha National Park is a multi-faceted jewel, often overlooked by safarigoers, despite offering the opportunity to explore a beguiling diversity of habitats within a few hours.

The entrance gate leads into shadowy montane forest inhabited by inquisitive blue monkeys and colourful turacos and trogons – the only place on the northern safari circuit where the acrobatic black-and-white colobus monkey is easily seen. In the midst of the forest stands the spectacular Ngurdoto Crater, whose steep, rocky cliffs enclose a wide marshy floor dotted with herds of buffalo and warthog.

Further north, rolling grassy hills enclose the tranquil beauty of the Momela Lakes, each one a different hue of green or blue. Their shallows sometimes tinged pink with thousands of flamingos, the lakes support a rich selection of resident and migrant waterfowl, and shaggy waterbucks display their large lyre-shaped horns on the watery fringes. Giraffes glide across the grassy hills, between grazing zebra herds, while pairs of wide-eyed dik-dik dart into scrubby bush like overgrown hares on spindly legs.

Although elephants are uncommon in Arusha National Park, and lions absent altogether, leopards and spotted hyenas may be seen slinking around in the early morning and late afternoon. It is also at dusk and dawn that the veil of cloud on the eastern horizon is most likely to clear, revealing the majestic snow-capped peaks of Kilimanjaro, only 50km (30 miles) distant.

Kilimanjaro National Park - Mount Kilimanjaro National Park is a one hour drive from the Kilimanjaro Airport in Tanzania and 128km (80 miles) from Arusha. Situated near the town of Moshi and 200 miles south of the equator the park is located on Mount Kilimanjaro. The best climbing times are from December to February when the climate is warmer and the view is the clearest. July to September is another recommended time to climb with the climate dry and cooler.

Ruaha National Park - In Central Tanzania you will find Tanzania's second largest park. The untouched yet accessible savannah and rugged bush country of Ruaha National Park is home to many large predators. Several packs of the highly endangered African wild dog along with packs of up to 20 lions and cheetahs stalk the open grassland. The park emblem is the large populations of greater kudu, one of the largest concentrations in East Africa.

Rubondo Island National Park - Rubondo Island National Park is nestled in the southwest corner of the worlds seconds-largest lake, Lake Victoria. Accessed by air or by sea this this water playground hosts brilliant fishing birds like the malachite kingfisher. Ninety percent of the park is humid forest and radiates sweet scents of wild jasmine and over 40 species of orchids. Several indigenous mamals have been introduce the Rubondo Island National Park, giraffe, elephant, chimpanzee and the black and white colobus. The best time to visit for wildflowers and butterflies is during dry season, between June and August. For viewing the migratory birds it is best to visit from December to February.

Mahale Mountains National Park - Tracking the chimps at Mahale Mountain National Park is a magical experience. This remote park is only accessible by bush plane, park motor boat, and weekly steamer or by hiring a local fishing boat. It is best to allow two days for chimp tracking as there is never any guarantee where the chimpanzees will be. Before returning you will want to bathe in the crystal clear waters of the world's longest, second-deepest and least polluted freshwater lake, Lake Tanganyika.

Gombe Stream National Park - Located in eastern Tanzania 16kms north of the shores of Lake Tanganyika is Tanzania�s smallest National Park. Gombe Stream National Park is world famous for its amazing chimpanzees. The ancient forests are also home to the beachcomber olive baboons which have been studied by researchers along with the chimpanzees since the 1960's. Trek or hike in search of chimpanzees or swim and snorkel off of the sandy shore of Lake Tanganyika.

Katavi National Park - Katavi National Park provides a glimpse of Africa as it once was hundreds of years ago. Tanzania's third largest and seldom visited park lies in the remote southwest of the country. Katavi National Park houses Tanzania's densest concentration of crocodile and hippos. Elephants also roam the park in large herds, up to 4,000 may converge on the area along with herds of 1,000 plus buffalo. The best time to visit is during dry season from May through October.

Kitulo Plateau National Park - Tanzania's newest National Park is known by the locals as Bustani ya Mungu The Garden of God. Kitulo Plateau National Park is nestled amount the Kipengere, Livingstone and Poroto Moutains in Southern Tanzania. The main attraction for this park is not the animals but the 350 species of vascular plants, including 45 varieties of terrestrial orchid. Kitulo Plateau National Park is one of the great floral spectacles of the world.

Mikumi National Park - Mikumi National Park is the fourth largest park in Tanzania and is part of a much larger ecosystem in the vast Selous Game Reserve. The Mkata Floodplain is perhaps the most reliable place in Tanzania for sightings of the powerful eland, the worlds largest antelope. Hippos are the star attraction of the pair of pools situated 5km north of the main entrance gate. The beautiful greater kudu and sable antelope roam the miombo-covered foothills of the mountains that rise from the parks borders. Over 400 bird species have been recorded, with such colourful common residents as the lilac-breasted roller, yellow-throated longclaw and joined by a host of European migrants during the rainy season.

Saadani National Park - Saadani National Park is the only wildlife sanctuary in East Africa to boast an Indian Ocean beachfront. Boat trips on the mangrove-lined Wami River come with a high chance of sighting hippos, crocodiles and a selection of marine and riverine birds, including the mangrove kingfisher and lesser flamingo, while the beaches form one of the last major green turtle breeding sites on mainland Tanzania.

Udzungwa Mountains National Park - Five hours from Dar es Salam is the largest and most bio diverse chain of a dozen large forest-swathed mountains in eastern Tanzania known as the Eastern Arc Mountains. This archipelago has been said to be the African Galapagos for its endemic plants, most specifically the African violet. Udzungwa Mountains National Park offers great hiking opportunities. An excellent network of forest trails includes the popular half-day ramble to Sanje Waterfall, which plunges 170 metres through a misty spray into the forested valley below. The more challenging two-night Mwanihana Trail leads to the high plateau, with its panoramic views over surrounding sugar plantations, before ascending to Mwanihana peak, the second-highest point in the range.