Spotting wildlife in Tanzania
Tanzania is world famous for its wildlife conservation efforts – something that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. It’s amazing that this one place is home to 20% of Africa’s large mammal species, which are spread across the country’s 14 amazing national parks and game reserves, making up a total of 30% of the country’s land area.
We’d recommend a tour that includes landing in Tanzania’s largest city and enjoying a stay at one of the many hotels in Dar es Salaam before travelling up north to spot wildlife and perhaps climb the mountain at the Kilimanjaro National Park. Some of the country’s most beautiful wildlife can be found at this national park, including the threatened tree hyrax (an arboreal dassie of sorts), a variety of rodents as well as the common duiker and the vulnerable Abbott’s duiker. In the forests, you’ll find blue monkey, bush-babies, black and white colobus (with their unique fur coats) and even leopards.
Don’t forget to stop over at Arusha National Park – the place that’s known as northern Tanzania’s “safari capital”. It’s not surprising that so many animals are found here because it consists of an area made up of three types of wetland ecosystems, and where there are wetlands in Africa, you will find wildlife. If you’re going to be climbing Mount Meru in the park, it’s best to find a place to stay so that you’ve got a base to come home to after your climb. Expect to see many wild chimpanzees at Arusha as well as tall and slender giraffes here.
The famous, enormous Serengeti National Park is such a unique and magnificent place for its sheer volume of wildlife, and especially the migratory habits of the white bearded wildebeest and zebra that attract so many safari tourists every year. The park is almost 15 000 km2 in size and consists almost entirely of flat plans with comparatively few trees, and a very high density of prey animals as well as awe-inspiring predators.
At the Serengeti, you’ll have the pleasure of easily spotting the Big 5. The national park is home to Africa’s largest lion population with approximately 3 000 individuals feasting on the abundant prey. The African leopard is quite reclusive in the Serengeti, but the large population of more than 1 000 individuals still finds itself very much at home. The African elephant in the Serengeti was hunted for its tusks in the 1980’s, but has since made a recovery and many individuals are mostly found in the northern parts of the park. The black rhino is unfortunately at the centre of intense poaching for rhino horn, but the individuals that remain migrate between the Serengeti and Masai Mara Reserve. African buffalo can still be found in healthy population numbers, but illness has culled many individuals recently.
We recommend that you enjoy Tanzania’s amazing wildlife through the lenses of your binoculars rather than through a sight and crosshairs.