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TANZANIA’S NORTHERN SAFARI CIRCUIT

The northern safari circuit is famous for its wildlife and is bookended by Lake Victoria and Rubondo Island in the west and Mount Kilimanjaro in the east. To the north lies the Kenyan border with the Masai Mara and Amboseli reserves located just across the frontier. Tarangire National Park is regarded as the most southerly tourist attraction in this diverse and breathtaking safari region. Within a relatively compact geographical area, safari-goers will have access to a multitude of other iconic parks and major tourist attractions, including the  Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Olduvai Gorge, and Lake Natron, Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano, Mount Meru, Arusha National Park and Lake Manyara.

Highlights

First and foremost amongst a profusion of highlights on the northern safari circuit is the Serengeti National Park, encompassing 14,750 square kilometres and making up 50% of the wider Serengeti-Mara ecosystem while the other Tanzanian National parks in the system make up another 40% of the ecosystem, and 90% of the ecosystem is located in Tanzania while the Masai Mara in Kenya only covers about 10% of this iconic wildlife area. Sensational scenery dominated by expansive savannah grasslands and peppered with distinctive flattop acacias and balanitis trees make this one of the most picturesque landscapes in all of Africa. Throw in 1.7 million wildebeest, 300,000 zebra and 400,000 gazelles and you have a wildlife spectacle second to none.

Adjoining the southeast of the Serengeti National Park lies the extensive Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Most visitors only ever see the Ngorongoro Crater. Still, you can explore the wider conservation area on a safari as well which is a mixed-use area for wildlife and Maasai pastoralists. Within this protected area, the vast Olduvai Gorge is an archaeological site made famous by the Leakey family for being home to some of the continent’s most important hominid fossils. The Ngorongoro scenery is sensational and you will fall in love with this attractive crater packed full of habituated wildlife and mesmerizing scenery.

Mount Kilimanjaro is a magnificent mountain located virtually on the equator, this 5,895 metres high conical, free-standing volcano seems so out of place with its snow-capped peak dwarfing the rift valley below. Whether you come to Tanzania to climb its legendary slopes to stand atop Uhuru Peak, or simply to gaze and photograph its majesty, as it presides over the plains and parks below, it would be wrong to come to Tanzania and not spend some time appreciating this grand old mountain that forms the roof of Africa.

The plentiful wildlife and the herds of giant elephant tuskers in Tarangire National Park, along with the seasonal appearance of upwards of a million flamingos that descend upon shallow Lake Manyara, round out the top five highlights for any safari to the northern circuit.

Practical Advice

Tourist infrastructure is considerably better developed across the northern region with a wide variety of accommodation options from rustic campsites and budget lodgings to boutique camps and exclusive safari lodges that are amongst the very finest in Africa. While many visitors opt to fly between camps to save time, there is an extensive and well-maintained road network that enables relatively easy movement overland, although, during the heavy rains from March to May, you should expect bridges and river crossings on the minor roads to become submerged periodically after heavy rainfall.

Safety is not a major concern in northern Tanzania.

Tours on the Northern Safari circut:
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