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Best National Parks in Tanzania - Top Tanzania National Parks

This is a comprehensive guide to Tanzania National Parks (wonderful national parks in Tanzania). The Top national parks of Tanzania include Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro National Park, Ruaha National Park, Lake  Manyara National Park, Arusha National Park, etc.

Tanzania is one of Africa’s most popular tourist destinations. This is because of the various tourist attraction sites the country has to offer. From beautiful parks for wildlife lovers, and lakes for bird enthusiasts to mountain ranges for climbers and historical sites for culturalists. Approximately 38 percent of Tanzania’s land area is set aside for protected areas conservation.

There are 16 national parks, 29 game reserves, 40 controlled conservation areas (including the Ngorongoro Conservation Area), and marine parks. Tanzania is also home to Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest point in Africa, and is home to a large variety of animal life. Among the large mammals include the Big Five, cheetahs, wildebeest, giraffes, hippopotamuses, and various antelopes.

Tanzania’s most well-known wildlife attractions are located in the northern part of the country and include the Serengeti National Park, Tarangire National Park, and Lake Manyara National Park. The Serengeti National Park encompasses the world-famous great migrations of animals is the most popular park in the country and saw more than 330,000 visitors in 2012.

Travel and tourism contributed 17.5 percent of Tanzania’s gross domestic product in 2016 and employed 11.0 percent of the country’s labor force (1,189,300 jobs) in 2013.

The sector is growing rapidly, rising from US 1.74 billion in 2004 to US 4.48 billion in 2013. In 2016, 1,284,279 tourists arrived at Tanzania’s borders compared to 590,000 in 2005.

The north is also home to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area includes the Ngorongoro Crater, which is an extinct volcanic caldera with lions, hippopotamus, elephants, various types of antelope, the endangered black rhinoceros, and large herds of wildebeest and zebra.

The Crater also holds the Olduvai Gorge, it is considered to be the seat of humanity after the discovery of the earliest known specimens of the human genus, Homo habilis as well as early Hominidae.

The western part of Tanzania includes the Mahale, Katavi, and Gombe national parks, the latter of which is the site of Jane Goodall’s ongoing study, begun in 1960, of chimpanzee behavior.

Top National Parks in Tanzania

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Travel infromation about Tanzanian National Parks

The country is also particularly rich in plant diversity; the Tanzania National Parks Authority has an entire national park the Kitulo National Park dedicated to flowers. There is a wide variety of biomass across the nation.

Besides the beautiful natural attractions in Tanzania, the country has rich historical and cultural sites that are worth visiting. Most of these sites house long history and traditions of the Tanzanians dating back to the 13th Century.

Some of the most significant historical sites in Tanzania worth visiting during a safari in Tanzania include Olduvai Gorge, The House of Wonders, Kilwa Ruins, Stone Town, old Arab Fort and the National Museum and House of Culture among others.

Modern people of Tanzania are known for their welcoming mood and politeness. The same can be said to the indigenous ethnic groups, but their cultures are much more colorful.

Take the Maasai people for example; they are semi-nomadic people who inhabit some of the most precious national parks in the country. They have been in co-existence with wildlife without disturbing the balance of the ecosystem. Barabaig people are also semi-nomadic, and they live near Mount Hanang.

The experience in Tanzania is not only with the wildlife and scenic views of natural wonders, but also interaction with ethnic groups featuring their dances, local meals, lifestyles, and perspectives towards their world. National language of Tanzania is Swahili, but many people can speak English quite well.

Tanzania Facts

Tanzania officially the United Republic of Tanzania is a country in Eastern Africa within the African Great Lakes region. It borders Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south and the Indian Ocean to the East.

Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain, is in north-eastern Tanzania. The country's capital city is Dodoma with a population of 47.6 million and its composed of several ethnic, linguistic people but the major languages are English and Swahili as the national language as well as religious groups and the major ones are Christianity and Islam.

Tanzania flights

Travelers visiting Tanzania destinations can either drive or fly to various destinations. Roads in most of the wilderness areas are in poor condition and intact and it's advisable not to go the self-driving aspect.

On the other hand, you can organize to fly to your destination and use a car and driver supplied by the lodgings.

If you can afford getting around Tanzania by flight is the quickest and most comfortable option. There are limited domestic airlines that link the most popular safari destinations and provide services to the coast.

Dar es Salaam's Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA), ideal for accessing the Southern Circuit or Mafia Island and is served by a number of airlines, some of which also drop down at Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA), which is the preferred airport for the Northern Circuit. Zanzibar International Airport (ZIA) has flights linking the regional airports and is a popular destination for charter flights for visitors from Europe on package holidays.

Tanzania Entry requirements

Tanzania Visas information

All travelers who are not East African residents, are required to obtain a visa for Tanzania. Fortunately, the process is a simple convention.

Visa requirements

If you opt to fly to Nairobi rather than direct to JRO you'll need to take the Riverside Shuttle bus from Nairobi to Arusha. Passing through Kenya in this way you'll require a Kenyan tourist visa which can be purchased at the airport when you land.

A tourist visa for traveling to Kenya from Tanzania if opting to fly out from Nairobi, can be purchased at the Namanga border which you are required to cross, however if you entered Tanzania from Kenya on your way to Kilimanjaro then your original Kenyan visa will probably still be valid as nowadays Kenyan tourist visas are issued on multiple-entry basis.

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Featured Park: Serengeti

Serengeti National Park is one the most popular Tanzania safari destinations. It's the country's oldest park.