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Known for its stunning wildlife and picturesque views, Tanzania is best at serving its tourists. The famous northern circuit Tanzania offers the tourists with Africa’s one of the best safaris. Located at the highest peak in Mount Meru, Arusha National Park is a paradise for bird lovers. If you want to spot a variety of the majestic chimpanzees, The Gombe Stream National Park is the smallest but the best national park to spot chimpanzees. Known for zebra, wildebeest, cape buffalo, giraffe, and big cats, the Tarangire National Park is one of the famous wildlife tourist spots for you to visit.
A hiking experience at Kilimanjaro (not the full trek to summit) describes the beautiful African landscapes, rainforest, and highlands, and it will introduce you to an entirely new culture. A tour to Chagga village will allow you to witness the ethnic village group and the Chagga culture. Home to the largest wildlife spectacle, The Serengeti National Park is full of amazing wildlife like the lion, cheetah, elephant, and different birds. It is because of the stunning wildlife, that Tanzania is known as one of the best wildlife visiting destinations.
Arrival at Kilimanjaro
After your arrival at Kilimanjaro airport, your next destination would be Moshi. Moshi is famous for being one of the best destinations for Safari and seeing the variety of diverse wildlife. After your hotel check-in is complete, you can head towards viewing the beautiful wildlife in Moshi.
After having an early breakfast, you will drive for an hour and reach the gate of Kilimanjaro National Park. After finishing your registration, you can begin your trek by hiking the dense rainforests of Kilimanjaro National Park. Please note this is a short day hike, and not the full 7-9 day trek till summit of Kilimanjaro.
You will get to experience the beautiful vegetation, different species of monkeys like blue monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, and you will also see the different bird species. Your guide will inform you about the flora and fauna, and you can also interact with the other travelers to share your stories.
After hiking for about three to four hours, you can rest and have lunch at Mandara Hut. Post lunch, you will go on a short hike to see the beautiful views of Kenya, Mount Kilimanjaro, and Northern Tanzania from the Mandara Crater. After enjoying the views, you will trek back to the Marangu Gate from where you will go back to your hotel while enjoying the stunning sunset.
Hike to Mount Kilimanjaro
After having breakfast, you will drive to Materuni Village with your guide.
After reaching the village, you will first walk for 40 minutes to see the magical Materuni waterfalls. Your guide will brief you about the village life, culture of Chagas, and the surrounding flora and fauna. Upon your arrival at the 80 meters high waterfall, you can have a refreshing swim inside the pool located at the bottom of the waterfall.
After enjoying the beauty of the Materuni village, you will enjoy a traditional Chagga lunch and taste the delicious banana beer. Next, you will experience the art of cultivating, drying, roasting, and processing coffee. The coffee experience also includes teaching you how to grind the coffee, along with some Chagga songs and dances. After savoring the coffee, you can return to Moshi in the afternoon.
Trek to Materuni Waterfall Trek and visit the Materuni Village
After having an early breakfast, you will enjoy your game drive to Lake Manyara.
Lake Manyara has groundwater forests, bushy plains, and algae-shaped springs that give it an incredible ecological diversity. Famous for Serengeti wildlife like the tree-climbing lions, elephants also call it their home during the rainy season.
After a smooth check-in at your hotel, you will pack your lunch and leave for your game drive. After completing your game drive, you will come back to your hotel after seeing the spectacular sunset and have your dinner. After having an early dinner, you will proceed for your night game drive.
Starting from the Lake Manyara National Park gate at 7:30 pm, your guides will brief you about the game drive. You will enter the thick ground-water forest of Lake Manyara at 8 pm and see the Porcupines, genets and civet cats. You will then head down towards the lake, and then visit the Simba river and the Hippo pools. You may get an opportunity to spot hippos at the hippo pools. After exploring all the areas, you will come back to the park gate at 10:30 pm.
Drive to Lake Manyara
After having a delicious breakfast, you will check-out from your hotel and drive towards the Tarangire National Park. After reaching, you will check-in at your camp and leave for a game drive.
Famous for its variety of elephants, birds, and authentic safari experience, the Tarangire National Park in Tanzania offers exceptional game concentration from July to October with a seasonal safari option. You may spot the wild dog, kudu, and gerenuk along with various birds park.
After your game drive is over, you will come back and have lunch. Post lunch, you will leave for another game drive and come back for dinner and conclude your fifth day of the northern circuit Tanzania tour.
Drive to Tarangire National Park
After having an early breakfast, you will drive to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. You will do bird-watching at the lake inside the Ngorongoro crater and then do a Maasai village social tour to feel the life of the locals. You will also explore the Olduvai Gorge, also known as the oldest evidence of mankind’s evolution.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area is at the southern part of Serengeti, which stretches over part of the eastern Rift Valley and includes a range of ecosystems and environmental habitats including grassland plains, savanna lakes, other lakes, and mountains. One of the most prominent features of this park is Ngorongoro Crater, the largest calderas.
After exploring, you will check-in at your hotel in the evening and rest for the day.
Explore the Ngorongoro Conservation Area
After taking your packed breakfast and lunch before sunrise, you will proceed towards the Ngorongoro Conservation Area to see the Ngorongoro crater. Created by a volcano millions of years ago, the Ngorongoro crater offers the tourist a picturesque view and a large variety of flora and fauna. The forest also accompanies a small lake on the northern side of the forest called Lake Magadi. It is one of the best places to see the big five.
You will leave the crater by evening so that you can relax at your hotel in the evening.
See the spectacular Ngorongoro crater
After having a delicious breakfast, you will check out of the hotel and drive to the Ndutu region while enjoying the game drive in the Ngorongoro park.
Forming the northern part of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, the Ndutu Region stretches to the southern expanses of the Serengeti National Park and forms the meeting point between the two incredible parks. The Ndutu region consists of rolling grasslands, alkaline lakes, and acacia woodlands.
After reaching, you will check-in at your lodge and have a relaxed lunch. Later, you will go out for your afternoon game drive and return by evening.
Drive to Serengeti (Ndutu Region)
You will spend the ninth day by exploring the southern Serengeti and Western Ngorongoro area. This is the best time to explore Serengeti wildlife as millions of wildebeests and zebras dot the plains of the Ndutu region. The wildebeests give birth to 8,000 babies every day during the peak calving season from early January to late February. Since there are a lot of animals, the predators come in search of their prey. A large number of Lions, hyenas, and cheetahs show up to make a kill. Female wildebeest form a barricade around birthing mothers to protect them and the young ones from the predators.
After completing your full day game drive, you will return to your lodge in the evening.
Explore the beauty of Serengeti (Ndutu Region)
After having a healthy breakfast, you will check-out from your hotel and drive towards Seronera. The Central Serengeti or Seronera region lies at the heart of this Serengeti national park as is the most famous region for its big cats, quintessential landscapes of savanna, and abundant wildlife.
After reaching Seronera, you will check-in and have lunch at your hotel. After having lunch, you will leave for your game drive and come back in the evening.
Visit the Serengeti (Seronera region)
After having an early breakfast, you will explore the Seronera region. Being the heart of Serengeti, it is famous for its Serengeti wildlife like the tree-climbing lions. You will then come back during lunchtime and relax after lunch.
Later in the afternoon, you will leave for your afternoon game drive and come back by evening.
Discover Serengeti (Seronera region)
On your last day, you can wake up late and then be transferred to the Seronera airstrip to catch your flight for Kilimanjaro.
Upon reaching Kilimanjaro, you will take back all the memories of the northern circuit Tanzania tour to your home.
African safaris are one of the most exciting holidays you can plan. If you are looking to enjoy adventures and spot diverse wildlife species, then East Africa’s Tanzania is the destination to go to. The northern Tanzania safari circuit is especially ideal for authentic safaris. This East African country never fails to impress travelers coming from all over the world. The Tanzania game reserve, especially in the northern circuit, displays the best of the country and African wildlife.
Tanzania is a popular safari destination mainly because it offers world-class game viewing opportunities. It is home to the great African wilderness where you can experience untamed nature at its finest. This magnificent country has an abundance of wildlife, birdlife, varied vegetation, bustling cities, picturesque beaches, geological wonders, luxurious accommodations, and more. It also houses the most exclusive game parks which have stunning vistas and a plethora of African animal species, both resident and endangered.
A must-see group of animals is the African Big Five. This group, which consists of lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and Cape buffalo, can be seen across various parks and reserves of Tanzania. This country also hosts the most incredible wildlife phenomenon called the Great Migration. Also known as the Wildebeest Migration, millions of wildebeest herds along with a smaller number of zebras, impalas, and other plains animals embark on an annual migration. They face various obstacles during this difficult journey, such as predator-prey action and crossing the deadly rivers on the way.
Almost 30 percent of Tanzania is home to wildlife game reserves and parks. They are divided into various routes or circuits. If you would like to explore amazing Tanzanian wildlife, the northern safari circuit of the country is deemed ideal. It is also the best and most famous route where you can enjoy northern Tanzania safari tours. It comprises absolute must-see destinations, especially if you are a first-time visitor or new to safaris. Being among the most celebrated regions of the entire African continent, it not only offers excellent game viewing but also breathtaking landscapes and unique experiences.
The northern Tanzania safari circuit consists of well-known and premier destinations. It is a mix of national parks, reserves, geological sites, mountains, and cities found in Tanzania.
Serengeti National Park
Serengeti is one of the most famous national parks not only in Tanzania but around the world. It is also one of the top Tanzania safari parks to observe varied wildlife and beautiful vistas. Serengeti is the oldest park in the country, popular for its classic vast open plains and savannas. In its grasslands roams various plains animals like wildebeest, impalas, zebras, gazelle, different antelopes, and more. Its savannas are home to big cat predators like lions, cheetahs, and leopards. Since the park is adjacent to Kenya’s Masai Mara, it forms the rich Mara-Serengeti ecosystem.
Serengeti is divided into four main areas where different wildlife viewing experiences occur. The Central or Seronera area has the highest densities of leopards. You can also view the maximum number of animals in this region if you are short on time. Here, reliable sightings of different animals are seen because of the Seronera river. Many of the park’s top lodges and camps are found in this area.
The Western Corridor and Grumeti are famous for showcasing dramatic migration. As the Grumeti river is found here, one can witness the thrilling river crossings. The wildebeest and other animals of the migration have to cross the deadly Nile-infested Grumeti to continue their journey. Northern Serengeti is a remote area that offers a private Tanzania experience and exclusive safari tours. You can also view the migration in this area. If you want to witness the onset of the migration, the Southern Serengeti is where the journey typically commences. In this area, the wildebeest also mark their calving season while the predators come out to hunt. You can visit Lake Ndutu and its surrounding regions for migration and other wildlife viewings.
It is also in Serengeti where you can choose the top lodges and camps. There is a range of accommodations available from lavish to luxurious, budget to even as rustic as mobile camps. A safari in the Serengeti plains is magical and brings you closer to the world of nature.
Ngorongoro is the world’s biggest inactive caldera, located in the Ngorongoro conservation area. This area is known for its concentration of globally threatened species, the annual migration of wildebeest, and the dense wildlife population residing in the crater. It is also an important site for archaeological purposes, as evidence of the first human evolution was found here.
In Northern Tanzania, the crater is a significant destination to visit during your safari circuit. It offers incredible wildlife viewing in a spectacular location. This breathtakingly beautiful caldera is also the top place to spot the Big Five. Surrounded by the highlands, it forms a scenic region of Africa. Its volcanic craters create fertile grazing grounds for a plethora of wildlife. The area is also home to the largest population of resident African elephants and lions. It has the highest density of big games as well. Black-maned lions and rare species like rhinos, golden cats, wild dogs, and spotted hyenas are found in many areas of Ngorongoro. Naturally, safaris here are adventurous, exciting, and marvelous all at the same time.
The reason why the crater houses thousands of mammal species is due to its varied habitats. Its large range of natural habitats supports a wide array of wildlife. Some of the scenic ecosystems found are forested crater walls, alkaline lakes, swamps for many mammals and water birds, hippo pools, grasslands, and more. When you go on guided walks, you can even come across waterfalls and the crater basin of Ngorongoro.
The crater is a great place to experience the culture as well. The indigenous Masai tribes live in the conservation area. Travelers can enjoy cultural visits and learn about Maasai and their traditions. For excursions involving archaeological sites, the Olduvai Gorge found in the area is an incredible site to visit.
The highest peak in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro is found in the country of Tanzania. This cone-shaped and snow-capped mountain offers the most beautiful landscapes, wildlife spotting, and hikes. Standing around 5895 meters above sea level, Kilimanjaro is the highest free-standing mountain on earth. The mountain has developed a unique ecosystem that ranges from cultivated land to alpine deserts, rainforests, and even an arctic summit. This majestic mountain can be enjoyed from the ground level as well as from up above.
The most famous activity enjoyed on Mount Kilimanjaro is hiking, climbing, or trekking. The peaks of Kilimanjaro invite avid hikers and trekkers from all over the world to reach their highest summit. But it is not only limited to professional or advanced hikers. Even hikers who are beginners or casual climbers can enjoy hikes in the mountain.
There are seven routes to follow when it comes to climbing the mountain. All the routes lead to the scenic Uhuru Peak, the highest peak and the end goal for many hikers. You can select any route depending on your skills and ability. The Marangu Route is a tourist route and the only route which offers dormitory-style huts on the way. The Machame is the most scenic out of all the routes along with Lemosho. The Rongai path is the easiest while the Umbwe is the most difficult. Hiking the mountain typically takes five to nine days to reach the summit.
But you can also opt for a short hike which can lead you through the lush rainforests of Kilimanjaro. Here you can marvel at diverse vegetation, unique wildlife adapted to mountains like different monkey species, colorful birds, and other beautiful landscapes.
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara is an alkaline lake set in a national park that offers a unique wilderness experience. The park boasts diverse sceneries which include the Rift valley soda lake of Manyara, dense woodlands, open grasslands, and gorgeous mountains.
It is one of the top places to see the vibrant avifauna of northern Tanzania on a bird-watching safari. An abundance of bird species, including pelicans, herons, storks, and more are found in the park’s various habitats. Many waterbird species usually reside near the lake. Lake Manyara is the top place for photographers due to its photogenic landscapes. The park is frequented by the resident as well as migratory birds arriving from certain regions of Europe and Africa. One of the most incredible sights to witness in the park is the flocks of greater and lesser pink flamingos. Around thousands of pink flocks of flamingos gather near the lake at the beginning of the year.
Among the many animals present in the park, one can spot elephants, pods of hippos, giraffes, buffalo, wildebeest, hyenas, and tree-climbing lions. Aside from game drives on land cruisers, one can even enjoy boating safaris on the lake. This will allow you to observe wildlife from a new perspective wherein you can watch various animals near the edge of the lake and enjoy gorgeous sunrises and sunsets.
Arusha National Park
Arusha is known to be the northern Tanzania safari capital. From this city, you can embark on safaris to various game reserves and parks of the country. Many of the popular sites and attractions are located close to this city. Arusha is a great place to explore local life as well.
This city fuses modern facilities, traditional markets, mixed cultures and nationalities, unique architecture, and delicious cuisine altogether. There are many landmarks and places you can visit in Arusha city. Some of them are the Cultural Heritage Centre, Ngurdoto Crater, Maasai Markets, and more.
One of the main attractions of the city is the Arusha National Park. Although small, this park houses wildlife species like different types of monkeys, elephants, leopards, various ungulates, plain animals, and more. It is an ideal destination for a short trip. The park offers scenic landscapes comprising rivers, mountains, and the Momella lakes. The highlight of the park is Mount Meru, the second-highest park in the country. You can explore the park in just one day while also enjoying a plethora of activities.
Tarangire National Park
A remote destination in the Northern Tanzania circuit, a safari in Tarangire National Park is unique and out of the ordinary. It is one of the lesser-known parks in the country, set in an isolated location. Best Tanzania wildlife and birdlife can be experienced during Tarangire safari tours.
Here, travelers can enjoy private tours and game drives as the park attracts fewer tourist crowds. Tarangire is also a wonderful birding site housing over 500 species of birds, some even endemic to the country. A huge game variety like a healthy population of lions, leopards, wild dogs, cheetahs, spotted hyenas, and other plain animals live in the park.
Since the Tarangire River is the only source of water in the park, it tends to attract a wide range of wildlife. It is also a beautiful park because of the scenic baobab trees sprawled in the area. Walking safaris are best experienced in the remote Tarangire.
Both Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro crater of the northern Tanzania route are the top safari destinations. However, there are some differences in both places which make them distinct from one another.
For starters, Ngorongoro is smaller than Serengeti. So, you can spot wildlife species easier during game drives. The Serengeti Park is divided into various areas wherein you can embark on safaris and explore each region thoroughly. From the city of Arusha, as compared to Ngorongoro, Serengeti is further away. If you are looking to stay in luxurious accommodation, Serengeti has a plethora of lodges and camps to choose from. You can combine both Serengeti and Ngorongoro if you plan a longer trip and want to enjoy excellent game viewing.
This country is a year-round destination which means you can enjoy safaris no matter when you visit. Tanzania’s season and wildlife are also majorly affected by rains, so you get to experience something new every month.
Since the Great Migration is the main highlight of Northern Tanzania, you can enjoy a migration safari between July to September. These months also showcase the Mara River crossings. January to February is the best time to see the calving season occurring in the Ndutu plains. Tanzania’s green season, occurring from November to March, tends to display colorful avifauna as migratory species arrive in thousands of numbers.
A northern Tanzania safari is one of the most luxurious holidays you can enjoy. Tanzania game reserve and other wildlife viewing regions are highly suggested for an exciting trip plan. Contact a travel company like Wild Voyager, to create your ideal African itinerary and embark on magical safaris.