A million wildebeest each one driven by the same ancient rhythm, fulfilling its instinctive role in the inescapable cycle of life: a frenzied three-week bout of territorial conquests and mating; survival of the fittest as 40 km long columns plunge through crocodile-infested waters on the annual exodus north. This trek replenishes the species in a brief population explosion that produces more than 8,000 calves daily before the 1,000 km pilgrimage begins again.
The Ngorongoro Crater
The Ngorongoro Crater is often called ‘Africa’s Eden’ and the ‘8th National Wonder of the World’, a visit to the crater is a main drawcard for tourists coming to Tanzania and a definite world-class attraction. Within the crater rim, large herds of zebra and wildebeest graze nearby while sleeping lions laze in the sun.
Size: 8,300 sq km.
Location:Within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area at the eastern edge of the Serengeti.
Getting there:Drive from Arusha, Lake Manyara, Tarangire.
What to do:Besides vehicle safaris to Ngorongoro Crater, Olduvai Gorge, and surrounding attractions, hiking treks through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
When to go:All year round. To follow the wildebeest migration, December-July.To see predators, June-October.
Tarangire National Park
Tarangire national park situated only120km from and south east of Lake Manyara national park famous for its dense wildlife population which is most spectacular between June and December. During the time of the year thousands Tarangire river looking for water Among other species to be seen at Tarangire are Rhino, Buffalo, Elephant, Lion, Warthog, Eland, and the Fringe-eared number of Impala. The National park is also famous for tree climbing pythons and abundant bird life. Day trips can be organized from Arusha to this park.
Stretching for 50 km along the base of the rusty-gold 600meter high Rift Valley escarpment, Lake Manyara is a scenic gem. Size: 330 sq km, of which up to 200 sq km is the lake when water levels are high.
Manyara provides the perfect introduction to Tanzania’s birdlife. More than 400 species have been recorded, and even a first-time visitor to Africa might reasonably expect to observe 100 of these in one day. Highlights include thousands of pink-hued flamingos on their perpetual migration, as well as other large waterbirds such as pelicans, cormorants and storks.
About Lake Manyara National Park
Location:in northern Tanzania. The entrance gate lies 1.5 hours (126km) west of Arusha along or newly surfaced road.
Getting there:By road, charter or scheduled fight from Arusha, en route to Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater.
What to do:Game drivers, canoeing when then water level is sufficiently high. Cultural tours, mountain bike tours, abseiling and forest walks on the escarpment outside the park.
When to go:Dry season (July-October) to see large mammals; wet season (November-June) for bird watching, the waterfalls and canoeing.
Accommodation:public bandas and campsites inside the park. One luxury tented camp and lodges perched on the Rift Wall overlooking the lake. Several guesthouses and campsites in nearby Mto wa Mbu.
Arusha national parkThe closest to Arusha town.
Size: 137sq km. Location: Northern Tanzania, northeast of Arusha town.
Passing first through wooded savannah where buffalos and giraffes are frequently encountered, the ascent of Meru leads into forests aflame with red-hot pokers and dripping with Spanish moss, before reaching high open heath spiked with giant lobelias. Everlasting flowers cling to the alpine desert, as delicately-hoofed klipspringers mark the hike’s progress. Astride the craggy summit, Kilimanjaro stands unveiled, blushing in the sunrise.