The game parks of the Northern Circuit contain some of the most spectacular concentrations of wildlife found in Tanzania. It is no wonder that these game parks are world renowned, unparalleled in concentrations of wildlife, and some of the most pristine yet easily accessible biospheres left on earth.


  • AREA : 319 Sq. Km.
  • ALTITUDE: 945 Metres

Although it is Tanzania's smallest park, Lake Manyara is one of the most diverse reserves in the country. The beautiful Lake Manyara covers two thirds of the park, while the rest consists of steep mountainside, swamps, dense woodlands, open grassy areas and hot springs.

Lake Manyara is one of the many alkaline lakes of the Great Rift Valley. It was formed abut three million years ago and is quite shallow, with an average depth of about three metres. The lake attracts hundreds of birds species. In high vegetation near the park entrance, baboons and black monkeys charter between cicada shrills.

The park is famed for its unique tree-climbing lions. The rare sight of seeing the king of the beasts sprawled in the bough of a tree is an unforgettable sight

The wall of the Great Rift Valley forms the backdrop before which lies the ground water forest, areas of open grassland near the lake foreshore, and the Soda Lake.


  • AREA : 300 Sq. Km.
  • ALTITUDE: 2286 Metres

Ngorongoro crater is located west of the great rift valley which runs from the Red Sea to Lake Nyasa in southern Tanzania. Ngorongoro was an active volcano some eight million years ago, whose cone collapsed, leaving a crater.

Birdlife includes:- Kori bustard, secretary bird, crested crane, maribou stock, goliath, heron, beautiful fish eagles, and thousands of colourful flamingoes. More than a 100 species of bird not found in the Serengeti have been found in the crater.

Vegetation: The crater rim is wooded with mountain forest vegetation. Blooming in acres of flowers e.g. pink, blue and white lupines, candle white lilies, blue hyacinth.


  • AREA : 14763 Sq. Km.
  • ALTITUDE: 1400 Metres

The Serengeti National Park is as big as Northern Ireland, and the most popular wildlife sanctuary in the world. It has been a protected area since the 1940's, and was accorded national park status in 1951. In 1981, the Serengeti was inscribed onto the list of UNESCO world heritage sites. The park is fantastic in its natural beauty and unequalled in its scientific value. This vast expanse of land is known to contain about 4 million different types of animals.

The following statistics of wildlife population is a small indication of the immensity of the Serengeti: 700,000 Thompson gazelles, 65,000 Topi, 50,000 Grant gazelles, 1,500,000 wildebeest, 200,000 zebras, 2,000 lions, 800 leopards, 4,000 hyenas, 200 wild dogs, 500 cheetahs, 500 species of birds, more than 30 species of large herbivores...the list goes on.

In May and early June you can witness the annual migration of millions of zebra and wildebeest in search of water and forage as the seasons change.

Animals live in absolute freedom on the endless plains.


  • AREA : 2600 Sq. Km.
  • ALTITUDE : 1100 Metres.

Tarangire is situated on the south of large open grass plains of southern Masailand. The name Tarangire is derived from the Tarangire River which provides permanent water for wildlife.

Over 300 species of birds are recorded in the park. Some Eurasian migrants are found, which are present from October - April. Tarangire is an ornithologists paradise rich in birds of prey and an incredible diversity of fauna

Vegetation: Principal features are the grassland and flood plains which consist of open grassland, acacia trees, rich woodland, found besides tributaries and orchard bush. This park is symbolised by the Baobab tree, dotted throughout the park growing in open acacia woodland.


  • AREA : 137 Sq. Km.
  • ALTITUDE : 1500 Metres (at Momella)

Arusha National Park is a relatively small park, covering an area of 137 square kilometers (52.9 square miles)

Lying between the peaks of Kilimanjaro and Meru, Arusha National Park is an area of outstanding beauty. The Park has a wide range of habitats, from the string of crater lakes where many water birds can be watched, through the highland montane forest and on up to the imposing summit of Mt. Meru.

The interesting geology of the area is reflected in the impressive view of the ash cone and cliff face leading to the summit of Mt. Meru. Three distinct areas are to be found within Arusha National Park: Ngurdoto Crater, the Momela Lakes and the rugged Mt. Meru. Altitudes range from 1,500 meters (4,921 feet) above sea level at Momela to over 4,500 (14,764 feet) meters at the summit of Meru.

Other animals found in the park include buffalo, hippo, reedbuck, waterbuck, elephant, giraffe, baboon, bushpig, sykes monkey, vervet monkey, mongoose and warthog. Birdlife includes grebe, african pochard, ibis, heron and egret.

Both Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru can be seen from the park when the weather is fine.


Olduvai Gorge is an archaeological site located in the eastern Serengeti Plains. The gorge is a steep sided ravine roughly 30 miles long and 295 ft. deep. Exposed deposits show rich fossil fauna, many hominid remains and items belonging to the one of the oldest stone tool technologies. The time span of the objects recovered date from 15,000 years ago to over 2 million years ago.

In 1974 fossils of hominid tooth were discovered, dating back to 2.4 million years. Engaruka Site, discovered not very far from Olduvai is believed to be an ancient settlement of a later civilisation. Between half a million and a million years ago, "Homo Erectus" , who stood upright, wondered around making use of hand axes. Many such tools were found at Olduvai.

The latest of the archaeological Beds is the Naisiusiu. It lays in the bottom of the Gorge at what is now the present depth. It only has a depth of 33 ft. It contains one site that has microlithic tools and one complete Homo Sapien skeleton, both of which date to 17,000 years ago.

More than 150 different species of extinct mammals have been identified from the fossils, as well as many birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish. An on-site museum explains the archeological significance of the discoveries. This area, it seems, is indeed the "Cradle of Mankind".


One of the most unique and remarkable scenes is the annual migration. Usually in May/June, thousands of wildebeest, giraffe, zebra, gazelle and buffalo migrate from the central plains westwards or northwards in search of water and pasture.

One column turns to the north while another column turns to the west, later turning eastwards to join the northern column. Then, together the whole herd finally returns to the central plains, completing the circle. Over 1000kms are thus covered.

As the herds move to new grazing ground, they are followed by predators such as lions, hyenas, jackels and hunting wild-dogs waiting for weak prey while vultures soar overhead waiting for their share of the kill.

Calving takes place in February/March, when 90% of female wildebeest give birth, flooding the plains with thousands of young ones.

In May, when the plains begin to dry up, the wildebeest, together with other animals begin the long track westwards or northwards, once again.

The migration involves between 500,000 - 1,000,000 animals out of the 4,000,000 found in Serengeti.