Tanzania is a country blessed with a vast number of game reserves and national parks. This East African country is home to some of the most diverse and spectacular wildlife habitats on the continent, ranging from the iconic Serengeti National Park to the remote and rugged Selous Game Reserve. In this article, we’ll be exploring the top 10 parks and game reserves in Tanzania, as well as providing some recommendations for where to stay.
Tanzania is home to an incredible variety of wildlife and natural wonders, making it one of the best destinations in Africa for a safari adventure. With so many game reserves and national parks to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start. In this article, we’ll be exploring the top 10 parks and game reserves in Tanzania, as well as some recommendations for where to stay.
2. Serengeti National Park
The Serengeti National Park is arguably Tanzania’s most famous wildlife reserve, and for good reason. This vast wilderness area is home to an incredible variety of wildlife, including the famous Big Five (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, and rhino). The Serengeti is perhaps best known for the annual wildebeest migration, when millions of wildebeest, zebras, and other herbivores travel across the park in search of fresh grazing.
If you’re planning a visit to the Serengeti, there are a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets, from luxury lodges to basic camping sites. Some of the top lodges include Singita Sasakwa Lodge, Four Seasons Safari Lodge, and Serengeti Bushtops.
3. Ngorongoro Conservation Area
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is another must-visit destination for wildlife enthusiasts. This unique protected area is home to the Ngorongoro Crater, a massive volcanic caldera that is teeming with wildlife. Visitors can expect to see large herds of wildebeest, zebras, and gazelles, as well as predators like lions, hyenas, and cheetahs.
Accommodation options in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area include lodges and tented camps, with some of the top options including Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, Lemala Ngorongoro, and The Manor at Ngorongoro.
4. Tarangire National Park
Tarangire National Park is often overlooked in favor of the more famous Serengeti and Ngorongoro, but it’s a fantastic destination in its own right. This park is famous for its large herds of elephants, as well as a range of other wildlife like lions, leopards, and giraffes.
Some of the top accommodation options in Tarangire National Park include Oliver’s Camp, Tarangire Treetops, and Swala Camp.
5. Selous Game Reserve
The Selous Game Reserve is one of Tanzania’s largest protected areas, covering more than 50,000 square kilometers. This vast wilderness is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including elephants, lions, leopards, and hippos. Visitors to the Selous can cruise down the Rufiji River and explore the park by foot, making it a unique and adventurous safari experience.
There are a range of accommodation options in the Selous Game Reserve, from luxury lodges to budget-friendly campsites. Some of the top lodges include Sand Rivers Selous, Siwandu, and Selous Safari Camp.
6. Ruaha National Park
Ruaha National Park is another hidden gem in Tanzania’s wildlife scene. This park is known for its rugged landscapes and diverse wildlife, including large populations of elephants, lions, and leopards. Visitors can explore the park on game drives or by foot, and can also visit nearby villages to learn about the local cultures.
Accommodation options in Ruaha National Park range from budget-friendly campsites to luxury lodges. Some of the top lodges include Jabali Ridge, Ruaha River Lodge, and Kwihala Camp.
7. Katavi National Park
Katavi National Park is one of Tanzania’s most remote and untouched wilderness areas, making it a fantastic destination for adventurous travelers. This park is home to a variety of wildlife, including elephants, lions, hippos, and crocodiles. Visitors can explore the park on game drives, walks, or by boat on the Katuma River.
Accommodation options in Katavi National Park are limited, but there are a few options available. Some of the top choices include Chada Katavi, Katuma Bush Lodge, and Mbali Mbali Katavi.
8. Mahale Mountains National Park
Mahale Mountains National Park is a unique destination in Tanzania, as it’s home to one of the world’s largest populations of wild chimpanzees. Visitors can trek into the mountains to observe these fascinating primates, as well as enjoy the park’s beautiful scenery and other wildlife like forest elephants and baboons.
Accommodation options in Mahale Mountains National Park are limited, but there are a few lodges and campsites available. Some of the top options include Greystoke Mahale, Kungwe Beach Lodge, and Ndovu Camp.
9. Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park is a smaller park compared to some of Tanzania’s other wildlife reserves, but it’s still a fantastic destination for wildlife enthusiasts. The park is known for its large population of baboons, as well as other wildlife like elephants, giraffes, and lions. Visitors can also enjoy birdwatching, as the park is home to over 400 species of birds.
Accommodation options in Lake Manyara National Park range from budget-friendly campsites to luxury lodges. Some of the top choices include Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge, Lake Manyara Kilimamoja Lodge, and Migunga Forest Camp.
10. Arusha National Park
Arusha National Park is a small but beautiful park located close to Tanzania’s northern city of Arusha. The park is known for its diverse landscapes, which range from forested slopes to open savannah. Visitors can expect to see a range of wildlife, including buffaloes, zebras, and giraffes.
Accommodation options in Arusha National Park are limited, but there are a few lodges and campsites available. Some of the top choices include The African Tulip, Kigongoni Lodge, and Mount Meru Game Lodge.
Where to Stay
When visiting Tanzania’s national parks and game reserves, there are a range of accommodation options available to suit all budgets and preferences. From luxury lodges to budget-friendly campsites, there’s something for everyone. Some of the top accommodation options in Tanzania’s national parks and game reserves include:
- Singita Sasakwa Lodge (Serengeti National Park
- Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti (Serengeti National Park)
- Lemala Kuria Hills Lodge (Serengeti National Park)
- The Highlands Ngorongoro (Ngorongoro Conservation Area)
- Asanja Africa Luxury Tented Camps (Ngorongoro Conservation Area)
- Sayari Camp (Serengeti National Park)
- Sand Rivers Selous (Selous Game Reserve)
- Jabali Ridge (Ruaha National Park)
- Chada Katavi (Katavi National Park)
- Greystoke Mahale (Mahale Mountains National Park)
- Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge (Lake Manyara National Park)
- The African Tulip (Arusha National Park)
Tanzania is home to some of the world’s most spectacular national parks and game reserves, offering visitors the chance to experience incredible wildlife and breathtaking landscapes. From the famous Serengeti National Park to lesser-known destinations like Katavi National Park and Mahale Mountains National Park, there’s something for every type of traveler.