SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK
Covering an area of 14,763 sq. km, Serengeti National Park is the second largest National Park in Tanzania after Ruaha. The park is located some 320 km to the northwest of Arusha, lying in a high plateau between the Ngorongoro highlands and the Kenya/ Tanzania border, and extending almost to Lake Victoria to the west. Aptly named “endless plains” by the Maasai people, you immediately experience this vastness as you enter the southeastern plains of the park from Ngorongoro.
The craters of Ngorongoro and Empakai are reserved exclusively for wildlife, while the rest of the Conservation Area is shared by wildlife, people and livestock. The Maasai, the main residents of Ngorongoro, are pastoralists who move widely with their herds of cattle, sheep, goat and donkeys in search of pasture and water. In recent years the Maasai have been encouraged to work on the land and supplement their traditional diet of milk and meat
TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK
Tarangire National Park lies 120 km south of Arusha, along The Great North Road highway, and is very popular for day trips from the town. Tarangire offers a wide variety of wildlife in its area of 2,850 sq. km. As in all ecosystems, the vegetation and the types of animals you find are closely correlated. The principal features of the park are the flood plains and the grassland, mainly comprising of various types of acacia trees, and a few scattered baobabs, tamarind and the sausage trees.
LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK
Located 125 km west of Arusha town, nestling by the wall of the Great Rift Valley, Lake Manyara National Park is one of the oldest and most popular sanctuaries in East Africa. The park has a large variety of habitats, making it possible to support a wealth of wildlife in its small area. The main habitats include the shallow soda lake itself which occupies 77% of the National Park total area of 330 sq. km, the ground water forest, open grassland, acacia woodland and the rift wall.
ARUSHA NATIONAL PARK
With an area of 137 sq. km, Arusha National Park is one of the smaller and most beautiful National Parks in Tanzania. Situated only 37 km from Arusha town, the park is very popular for day trips. The Ngurdoto Crater, Momela Lakes, the highland montane forest, and the rugged Mount Meru (4575 m above sea level) are the four distinctive features of the park. Mt. Kilimanjaro, towering at 5895 m to the east, can be visible on clear days from many locations in the park. One of the unique attractions of the park is the opportunity to combine game drives and a nature walk in the many places where visitors can leave their safari vehicles and walk in the fresh air.
MKOMAZI NATIONAL; PARK
Bordering Kenya’s Tsavo West National Park in northeastern Tanzania, Mkomazi which was commissioned as a Game Reserve in 1951 has been gazetted a National Park from 2008.. Located to the east of Pare Mountains near Same town, about 190kms from Arusha, Mkomazi National Park lies along the edge of a semi-arid savanna arc that stretches into Kenya’s Tsavo West, falling into the Mkomazi-Tsavo Ecosystem, which is the second largest trans-boundry ecosystem in East Africa after the famous Serengeti – Maasai Mara. Before coming under TANAPA authority, Mkomazi, with an area of 3,245sq km, was managed by the government as a game reserve. As a national park, Mkomazi have the potential to develop into a glorious sanctuary where visitors will have the opportunity to explore more of the Tanzania’s hidden natural treasures.