Elephants and baobabs abound
“It is the vast number of baobabs that first catch your eye as you enter Tarangire. The gently rolling countryside is dotted with these majestic trees, which seem to dwarf the animals that feed beneath them…”
This baobab-studded park, two hours easy drive from Arusha, is spectacular in the second half of the year, when huge herds congregate near the perennial Tarangire River. These nomadic tribes of animals drawn to it like a
magnet. Elephant, wildebeest, zebra, eland and oryx all gather here until the onset of the rains, when they move on again in search of good grazing areas. And, of course, where there are herds, there are predators – lion, leopard and more. It is also a fine birding destination.
Tarangire is second only to the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area in concentrations of wildlife. The elephant viewing here is truly fabulous - it is not unusual to see several hundred pachyderms in a single game drive.
Small but beautiful, diverse and abundant
“In the groundwater forest monkeys leap from branch to branch; on the escarpment elephants stand in the shade of a baobab; in the acacia woodland lions lounge, draped along the branches of umbrella trees; and in the lake itself there is a great swathe
of pink, as thousand of flamingos cavort…”
From whichever direction you approach Lake Manyara National Park the view is impressive. From the east the walls of the Rift Valley loom, forming an imposing backdrop to the lake. From the west, the park appears as a green strip below you, the lake glistening in the sunlight. But don’t take our word for it. Ernest Hemingway enthused about the setting, heralding it as “the loveliest I had seen in Africa”.
Despite the fact it is only 330km2 the park contains a large variety of habitats: the Rift wall, the groundwater forest, thick acacia woodland, open grassland, swamp, hot springs, the lake shore and the lake itself. Due to its diversity, it is able to support a large number of species – elephants aplenty, troops of blue monkey and olive baboon, and large numbers of ungulates and, of course, its legendary tree-climbing lions. You have the feeling that anything could lie around the corner. Manyara also provides a great introduction to birding – some 400 species have been recorded here.
Arguably the most spectacular game viewing in Africa
“Some eight million hooves pounding the open grasslands, a blur of brown and black and white stripes rushing past; bleating, snorting, dust kicking up into the air; prides of lions hunting; crocodiles launching surprise attacks… Unrivalled views of the ultimate predator versus prey encounters…”
Famed for the Great Migration – one of the eight natural wonders of the world – the Serengeti’ssheer volume of predators and grazers makes for unforgettable game viewing. The name ‘Serengeti’ is Maasai for ‘endless plains’. And it’s these open grasslands that host the greatest mass wildlife phenomenon known to man – the annual migration of more than two million wildebeest, zebra and other ungulates along an ancient circular route through the park and on into neighbouring Kenya. To encounter the rush and noise of these great herds on the move or to watch the action-packed crossings of croc-invested waters leaves you open-mouthed. It doesn’t get any better than this.
The migration is not the only show in town, however. For three weeks every February/March, the southern Serengeti witnesses the birth of some 8,000 wildebeest. Every day. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tanzania's oldest and most-popular national park is also home to buffalo, elephant, giraffe, thousands-upon-thousands of eland, topi, hartebeest, impala and gazelle. Which all makes for happy hunting grounds for predators. Chief among them is the lion, and the Serengeti is unrivalled in numbers of great prides. Not to mention the spotted hyena and a host of more elusive small predators, ranging from the aardwolf to the serval – somewhat of a Serengeti speciality.
Contact For Monjes Tours
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