WHICH AFRICAN SAFARI WILDLIFE PARK?

zebra, 4x4, grass, photography

In Tanzania you will be spoilt for choice of what to see and where to go, so before booking your African safari, do a little research. Knowing the right ones for you to visit means you can maximise your safari experience. For example, having a great time with the family or finally get those wildlife shots you have been dreaming about. Avoid the mistakes others make and take a closer look at what all of your potential Safari Wildlife Park destinations have to offer.

And remember, Africa is not all about seeing animals. There are a lot of vibrant cities, amazing beaches and a weath of different cultural experiences waiting for you too. So to get the ball rolling and help you have the time of your life, we have but together the following list of our best national parks for you to consider before your visit.

1. Serengeti National Park

One of the world’s best known wildlife sanctuaries, this iconic park is located in northern Tanzania. Serengeti National Park covers  5,700 square miles (14,763 square kilometers) and it can be visited almost all year round. The green season is always the best for seeing the highest concentration of animals.

It is best known for the great migration, which is the largest movement of wildlife on earth. In pursuit of food and water, more than one and a half million wildebeest and half a million zebra and antelope migrate north from the Serengeti to the adjoining Masai Mara reserve in Kenya every year. It is also a home of the highest concentration of Africa’s ‘big’ animals, which makes this park top of the list.

2. The Ngorongoro Crater

Added on our list of the best African safari wildlife parks because of its uniqueness. Ngorongoro crater is a deep, largest unflooded and unbroken caldera in the world. The crater covers 20 kilometers across, 300 square kilometers and 600 meters deep. This area is said to have the highest density of wildlife in Africa. Experience stunning natural landscapes while birds sound accompanies your trip. Ngorongoro crater sometime is referred to as an eighth wonder of the world.

3. The Great Migration

Although it is not a park in of itself, the Great Migration is the term for the movement of millions of animals across Africa each year. The spectacle is a can’t-miss sight for many tourists. The best place to see the Great Migration is in Kenya between July and October. More than one million wildebeest travel together across the plains in the largest migration herd in the world. These animals are members of the antelope family and can weigh as much as 600lbs. The route the animals travel is filled with predators and the wildebeest travel through many rivers, many with hungry crocodiles. Seeing nature at play will be a spectacle you won’t soon forget.

4. Tarangire National Park

Thia park is best known for it’s a large number of elephants heards. Tarangire is located on the northern Tanzania, just a few hours drive to Serengeti, and Ngorongoro Crater. Your trip to Tarangire will not be just about seeing elephants, this park is rich in various animals, birds, and stunning landscapes. Baobab trees are the most iconic distinct from the other park. You can also enjoy viewing other animals like Lions, Zebra, Leopards, Buffaloes and more as you might expect on other parks.

5. Lake Manyara National Park

If you don’t want to leave Africa without seeing a troop of baboons, then head to Lake Manyara National Park. It has eleven different ecosystems enabling hundreds of different species to exist. You will be able to see everything from evergreen forests, to swamps and cliffs like the one in Disney’s, The Lion King. When you enter the park, you will come into a forest of ancient mahogany trees that make you feel like you’ve traveled back in time to the beginning of the planet. These trees are a favorite spot for lions and elephants, so have the cameras ready!

6. Arusha National Park

As one of the smaller wildlife parks in Africa, Arusha doesn’t get as many tourists as other locations, but perhaps that is what you are looking for. This park features a very rich variety of wildlife including swampy and dense jungle. If you are big into monkies, Arusha is the destination for you. It’s the only park in northern Tanzania where the acrobatic black-and-white colobus monkey can be seen swinging from tree to tree. The park features seven tranquil alkaline lakes of various shades of green and blue dies to the different minerals and algae present in them. On the shores of these lakes, you will often find giraffes, pink flamingos, hippos, and many different varieties of water birds.

This park is also home to Mount Meru, which is the second highest mountain in Tanzania and is a dormant volcano. Give it a climb and enjoy the view of the Rift Valley and Mount Kilimanjaro in the distance.

And then there are other experiences worth considering…

1. Mt. Kilimanjaro

Mt. Kilimanjaro is a snow-capped mountain in the middle of a massive savannah. This unique feature is a magnet for thousands of people every year with many coming for the challenge of climbing it. The mountain is so large and unique that it features many different climate zones. During your week-long ascent, you will find yourself moving from the bush and grasslands of the savannah, into a dense rainforest, then onto a moorland, before reaching the alpine desert zone. At the very top you will find yourself in an arctic zone, with only rocks and ice for the company, so be prepared.

2. Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria is huge, spreading almost 30,000 miles. The basin was formed from movements in the earth’s crust and is quite shallow. Half of the lake is in Tanzania and that area is a great spot to fish and go birdwatching. If you are visiting the Serengeti, then adding Lake Victoria to your itinerary is an excellent idea. The body of water is just west of the park and can make a great addition to any safari. For those who love fishing, Lake Victoria is a can’t-miss. As one of the largest inland fisheries in the world, the lake provides food for many animals and people. Keep an eye out for perch and tilapia! However, it is important to know that the lake is currently experiencing problems from overfishing, so be sure to check if permits are available before planning a fishing excursion.

3. Zanzibar

Tanzania Honeymoon SafarisTall coconut palms, exotic coral reefs, and miles of white sandy beaches make Zanzibar one of the most beautiful and relaxing destinations in Africa. The barrier reefs feature tropical fish and beautiful coral for snorkelers to enjoy. Zanzibar is home to about 25 stunning beaches. Two of the most popular being Ningwi and Kendwa. If laying on the sand isn’t exciting enough for you, then you can enjoy a wide variety of water sports, including windsurfing and scuba diving. There are amazing sea turtles, stingrays, octopi, and lionfish that lie just below the water’s surface. The historic town of Stone, is a little village in the heart of Zanzibar and is has an abundance of restaurants, markets, gardens, and kind people. Enjoy the Arab, Persian, Europian, and Indian influences that make this town unique.

We hope this article can give you a lead toward making the right decision towards planning your next trip. The important thing to note is that Africa is not just all about wildlife. There is a lot to explore on your trip. We advise to include at least one other experience, like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or going to our beautiful tropical beaches. But if you just don’t know how to get started, feel free to contact us.

MEET THE REAL LION KINGS & QUEENS!

lion, mane, big cat

If you are sensing the call of the wild, perhaps you looking for a real African Lion Safari. With more than 20 million tourists who come to explore this continent each year, half of them show an interest in seeing a lion or two during their trip. Knowing what and where to see lions in Africa is always an important fact to have an amazing experience. Tanzania is an oustanding safari destination for you to spot the African lion. Other places include Kenya, Uganda, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa.

Why take an African Lion Safari in Tanzania?

Tanzania contains the largest number of Lions than other countries in Africa which have been distributed across all the  National parks and reserves. In Tanzania National parks like Serengeti, it is much easier to see lions in just after a drive of some minutes or a few hours. Being able to see lion action in Tanzania national parks is what credit this country to be in your list when planning your visit. You can also extend your African safari lion trip with other experiences like viewing the Great Serengeti wildebeest migration, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or visiting the amazing tropic island of Zanzibar.

Best places to go for African Lion Safaris

Serengeti National Park, Northern Tanzania

One of the largest and best-known nature reserves in the world. Serengeti shares a large number of lions in Tanzania. This makes Serengeti the perfect destination for African lion safari trips. You can spot the lion all over this park, but you don’t need to prepare for the search! Lion can be seen when driving along the roads of this park. Serengeti is the most visit national park in Tanzania. This is because of its abundance in wildlife and of course, The great migration.

Selous Game Reserve, Southern Tanzania

Africa’s largest game reserve covering up to 50,000 square kilometers. Most of the areas of this reserve are undisturbed by human activities, making it the perfect destination for game viewing. By Regio In 2012, Selous game reserve had 7,644 lions in 138,035km2. This was the largest number compared to other parks in Tanzania, and of course in Africa. Having a large number of the lion in Selous is another reason for you choose Tanzania for your Africa safari lion trips.

Apart from targeting the lion on this reserve, there is a lot of gave viewing which can be added to your bucket list. This reserve has a good number of elephants, crocodiles, giraffes, cheetahs, leopards, and the endangered wild dog. Selous is so far the best place for both family safari and African honeymoons. The might Rufiji river runs through the heart of this reserve, this creates a fantastic view of the reserve and best place to do recreational activities like kayaking.

Ruaha National Park, South-Central of  Tanzania

Ruaha national park is the largest park in Tanzania since its increase in 2008. By Region in 2012, this park was estimated to contain 3,779 lions. If you planning for African safari lion trips other than that of the famous park of Serengeti, Ruaha can be your best pick. Selous also is the best known for its amazing landscapes and the rare kudu animals. If you have experienced the Northen Tanzania adventures and you still need more in Tanzania, then to Ruaha.

Other destinations to see lions in Tanzania

To keep is short, you can see lion to most of the parks and reserves in Tanzania. But the other best list to consider for African safari lion trip is Tarangire, Lake Manyara, and Ngorongoro Crater. Other parks are Mikumi, Mkomazi and Saadani National Park.

The best African Lion Safaris

lion, photo, four-wheel drive, savannaAfter knowing the best location to see lions, now it the time to give you our recommendation of the best itineraries for you to consider. These itineraries have been used by most of the visitors who visited Tanzania for on African safari lion trips.

1. Wildebeest Migration Safari

This is 11 Days wildebeest migration Safari in Tanzania. Viewing the great migration has been a dream of many visitors. The migrating animals are millions of wildebeest, Zebra, Gazelle, and other small animals. This is a lifecycle and the purpose of the migration is finding a nice grazing area for food. Wildebeest migration occurs between Serengeti National park and Maasai Mara National Reserve of both Tanzania and Kenya. Both Serengeti and Maasai Mara have a large number of lions, making this trip the best for you to consider for your next African safari lion trip. Interested in this tour? Open it now to customize for your next trip.

2. Mara River Crossing Safari

If you are considering to take nice action photos on your African safari lion trips, this trip might be for you. This trip will have the main focus of witnessing wildebeest crossing the Mara river. This trip is best for those who wish to travel in mid-July, August, September to Mid October. Again, this tour has a maximum of 11 days.

3. Tanzania Scenic Safaris

This is a one week trip. It a short but comfortable trip. We recommend this trip for those have a squeezed schedule. This Trip will take you to the popular National parks in Tanzania including Tarangire, Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. Open this tour to see more details and its inclusions.

If you need assistance on planning for your next trip, feel free to contact us, or go to this page to see the samples of African safari package.

THE ‘BIG FIVE’ OF AFRICA

Seeing the ‘Big Five’ of Africa has been a dream for most tourists wishing to explore this continent. They say the ‘Big Five’ was coined as a result of these animals being difficult to hunt on foot and are among the most dangerous animals. Today the expression of the Big Five takes on a gentler form, referring to ‘seeing’ the Big Five on a wildlife safari rather than hunting then. The Big Five is exclusively consists of the African Elephant, Black Rhinoceros, African or Cape Buffalo, Lion and Leopard. Countries where all the Big Five can be found include Angola, Botswana, Zambia, Uganda, Namibia, Ethiopia, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Malawi.

Getting to know the ‘Big Five’

African Elephant

The Big 5 Of Africa, African Elephant

The African elephant is a  large herbivore with thick, almost hairless skin, a long, flexible, prehensile trunk, upper incisors forming long curved tusks of ivory, and large, fan-shaped ears. There are two distinct species of African elephant, the African forest elephant, and the African bush elephant. Elephants are difficult to hunt because, despite their large size, they are able to hide in tall grass and are more likely to charge than the other species.

African Elephant facts:
  • Weight: 4-6 tonnes.
  • Diet: They graze and also uproot trees and shrubs. And how much do they eat? 300 kgs a day.
  • Life Span: 60-70 years.
And did you know…
  1. African Elephants communicate across distances at a low frequency that cannot be heard by humans.
  2. The elephant’s gestation period of 22 months giving birth to calves weighing 120kg! Elephant cows give birth standing up with members of the herd forming a protective circle around her as her calf is born.
  3. Elephants love to swim.

Black Rhinoceros

The Big 5 in Africa, Rhinoceros

Black rhinoceros is a large herbivore having two upright horns on the nasal bridge. Its thick protective skin, formed from layers of collagen positioned in a lattice structure, is very hard to puncture. It is now critically endangered, and hunting is extremely limited due to this.

Black Rhinoceros facts:
  • Weight: 1-2 tonnes (the weight of an average car).
  • Diet: Leaves, buds, and shoots of plants .
  • Life Span: 35-40 years.
And did you know…
  1. Black rhinos have poor vision and will sometimes attack trees and rocks by accident. However, their hearing and sense of smell are excellent, thus often making up for their poor eyesight.
  2. This animal is the most endangered species of the ‘Big Five’ in Africa.
  3. Black rhinos feed at night and rest during the day.
  4. They have a gestation period of 16 months.

African or Cape Buffalo

The Big 5 in Africa, Cape buffalo

African or Cape Buffalo are large horned bovid and are the only animals within the Big Five that are not endangered or threatened. The Cape buffalo is considered by many to be the most dangerous of the Big Five with wounded animals reported to ambush and attack pursuers.

African or Cape Buffalo facts:
  • Weight: 900 kg.
  • Diet: Grass, grass and still more grass! (And some leaves at times.)
  • Life Span: 16 Years.
And did you know…
  1. The primary predator to the buffalo is the Lion.
  2. The African buffalo is not closely related to the water buffalo even though they superficially resemble each other.
  3. Unlike the water buffalo, the dangerous African buffalo has never been domesticated.
  4. Buffalos can be very dangerous when provoked.
  5. It is said that buffalos have excellent memories and will ambush hunters they have encountered before.
  6. Buffalos drink 40 litres of water a day, so never wander too far away from a watering hole. Lions often lie in wait for them near the water and it will usually take several lions to bring a buffalo down.
  7. Female buffalos have strong bonds and if one individual is attacked the entire herd will defend it, often killing lions and other predators in the process.

Lion

The Big 5 of Africa, Lioness and Cubs

Lions are large carnivorous felines of Africa and northwest India, having a short, tawny coat.ufted tail, and in the male, a heavy mane around the neck and shoulders. Sadly lions are desirable to hunters because of the very real danger involved in hunting them.

Lion facts:
  • Weight: About 170 kg.
  • Diet: Carnivorous and opportunistic, they will eat the remains of another animal’s kill. They can eat animals ranging from a small hare to a huge African buffalo.
  • Life Span: Around 16 years in the wild.
And did you know…
  1. The roar of a male lion can be heard up to a distance of 8 km!
  2. Lionesses do most of the hunting and bring the prey home. And guess what, the lionesses wait for the lions to finish eating the food they bring and then consume only the leftovers!
  3. Though not nocturnal, lions can see at night.
  4. Lions are mostly seen just before sunrise or just after sunset.
  5. Opportunistic feeders, lions will hunt at any time.
  6. Lions are the only cats that live in groups (prides).
  7. The Lions sleep up to 20 hours a day.
  8. The darker a lion’s mane, the older he is.

Leopard

The Big 5 in Africa, Leopard

This large, carnivorous feline, has either tawny fur with dark rosette-like markings or black fur. The leopard is considered the most difficult of the ‘Big Five’ to spot because of their nocturnal and secretive nature. They are wary of humans, so will take flight in the face of danger. The leopard is most active between sunset and sunrise, although it may hunt during the day in some areas. Leopards can be found in the savanna grasslands, brushland and forested areas. They prey on a wide range of species, from insects, rodents, and reptiles, to birds and mammals, including antelopes as large as elands, and even giraffes. They are strong swimmers, so sometimes they eat fish and even crabs.

Leopard facts:
  • Weight: 23-31 kg.
  • Diet: Vary varied to include insects, rodents, fish, reptiles right up to large mammals.
  • Life Span: 12-17 years.
And did you know…
  1. Staying hidden during the day, leopards are the least seen of the ‘Big Five’.
  2. Leopards are the strongest climbers of the African big cats, with excellent night vision.
  3. As anti-social, solitary cats, leopards mostly interact with each other when mating and raising young cubs.
  4. Leopards are excellent tree climbers and often safeguard their kill in a tree. Being able to hang upside down from trees is also quite a party trick!

What awaits the Big Five of Africa?

The ‘Big Five’ are animals that have become major concerns for wildlife conservationists in recent years. The African lion, African leopard, and African bush elephant are all classified as vulnerable. The southern white rhinoceros is classified as near threatened while the black rhinoceros is classified as critically endangered, so hunting them is greatly restricted for the latter. The African buffalo is the most popular big five game animal to hunt, as its conservation status is least concern, but it is experiencing a population decline in uncontrolled areas due to poaching and urbanization.

Best parks in Tanzania to see the Big Five

African Elephant

  • Arusha National Park
  • Tarangire National Park – very huge herds
  • Lake Manyara National Park.
  • Ngorongoro Crater – Plenty in the rainy season.
  • Serengeti National Park – Plenty

Black Rhinoceros

African or Cape Buffalo

  • All Northern National Parks Of Tanzania

Lion

  • Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro, and Serengeti National Park.

Leopard

  • Arusha National Park but can be difficult to sight one.
  • Tarangire National Park
  • Lake Manyara National Park but also difficult to spot.
  • Ngorongoro – They can be found at the rim of the crater.
  • Serengeti National Park

‘Big Five’ Safaris in Tanzania

We have plenty of safaris to many of Tanzania’s best ‘Big Five’ game reserves and national parks, so contact us if you are searching for an incredible African ‘Big Five’ wildlife experience. Our experts are ready to tailor-make a Big Five’ African safari for you!

Mary Hulett

“Our trip with Africa Nature Photography Tours was the best photo tour ever. ANP staff couldn’t have done a better job at finding animals for us to photograph. They worked very hard day and night to make sure we had the best experience. The vehicles were outfitted with all the things we needed to make sure our day out in the bush was special. They made sure we had excellent accommodations to get us closer to the game drives. Everything was thoughtfully planned to make this a trip of a lifetime. Anglebert and Tom’s ability to spot animals was incredible, no matter how small or elusive the animals might be. I highly recommend this company and I wouldn’t go with anyone else.”

Brad S. from North Dakota

Great Photo Safari

“I have had the pleasure and good fortune to have Anglebert as a guide on four photo safaris.  Anglebert is the consummate guide.  He is there for you to take in all the wonders of Tanzania and to put you in situations where you have the opportunity to take great photos. I highly recommend Anglebert as a guide but even more so as a very special person to know.”

Tom L., from Denver Colorado.

photo safari to Tanzania

“My photo safari to Tanzania last April was fabulous, and I want thank our drivers with Africa Nature Photography & Safaris – Anglebert and Francis – for taking thoughtful care of all of the details.  If luck favors the prepared, then these two safari guides were able to not only provide for a “gameful” itinerary but comfortable lodging, great food, superb commentary on mammals, birds, and wildlife behavior and identification.  They were clearly attuned to photographers’ needs, and took advantage of lighting to position our vehicles to best capture the scene before us or even to anticipate where they needed to be to assure that we had the optimal chance of seeing and capturing whatever was unfolding.  My heartfelt thanks goes out to both of them, along with my gratitude for granting that my pre-trip wish came true – to see a Caracal – not once, but thrice!”

Steve G. from Denver CO

Photographing Wildlife

“I have been photographing wildlife in east and south Africa for more than twenty-five years, and will say unequivocally that Anglebert is the best driver-guide I have ever traveled with.  He has an uncanny ability to find stuff that other accomplished guides miss completely and,

Steve G. from California

river crossing, wildebeest,mara,migration

“Anglebert is an ultimate professional photo tour guide and driver. I have been on two photo safaris with him and I’m coming back for a third. Anglebert has extreme knowledge of animal behavior and what it takes to position his vehicle to allow us photographers to capture

Barbara H. from North Carolina

Leopard

“Anglebert’s love for Africa comes through in his guiding where his knowledge and experience with the area and the animals gives him an understanding of their behavior which is so important in knowing where to find them.  He asked me,  what do you want to see, and I replied “a leopard in a tree stretched out on a branch with his tail hanging down”.  Later, we went out for an evening drive and he pulled over and quietly said,  “there’s your leopard”.  He cares that everyone is having a good time, learning about the wildlife and getting the images they want.”

Casey M. from Colorado

Expert Guide

“Anglebert’s intimate knowledge of the landscape, the animals and their behaviors is unsurpassed. He is the Siri of the Serengeti with an uncanny ability to be at the right place at the right time.  Tanzania was the experience of a lifetime, and I’m so grateful that I was able to share it with an expert guide like Anglebert.”
Casey M. from Colorado