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Northern Safaris

Northern Circuit


The Northern Circuit is known for Tanzania’s most world famous parks and includes the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Kilimanjaro National Park, Lake Manyara, Tarangire National Park, Arusha National Park, Olduvai Gorge, and Mkomazi National Park.

Serengeti National Park

One of the world’s most iconic wildlife conservation areas, Serengeti National Park, a World Heritage Site, is a “must see” on your Tanzanian safari. Totaling 14,763 sq km in area, the park is appropriately named after the Maasai word for “endless plains”. Here you are certain to get up close and personal with the “Big Five” (Lions, Elephants, Rhinos, Leopards, and Cape Buffalo) and hosts of other iconic and lesser known species. Given the vast terrain, weather patterns, and migratory patterns of the innumerable species, many animals of the Serengeti are constantly on the move. This makes for an adventurous game drive!

The terrain of the park varies from long and short grasslands, open plains in the south, acacia savanna in the central area, hilly, more densely wooded landscapes in the northern section, and extensive woodland and black clay plains, dominated by the central ranges of mountains in the western corridor. The plains are dotted with rocky outcrops known as “kopjes”, and there are several rivers running through the park, notably the Seronera river in the central area, the Grumeti river in the Western corridor, and the Mara river in the north. The variety of landscapes keep you constantly in awe.

The birds of the Serengeti are just as spectacular and varied as are the larger animals—there are several types of eagles and vultures, ostrich, secretary birds, kori bustards, hornbills, guinea fowl, as well as a host of smaller birds. There have been almost 500 species of birds recorded in the park, including several that migrate from Europe and Asia in the winter months—Truly a great park for birding.

Central Serengeti (Seronera region)

This area is rich in wildlife throughout the year because of the many river valleys. You can see an abundance of lions, leopards, elephants and many more. The Wildebeest Migration head for this part of the Serengeti from April till June and comes back in October, November and December. If the wildebeest migration is the main reason you visit the Serengeti, it’s important to be in the central part during these times.

Southern Serengeti (Ndutu area)

From December till March these nutrient rich plains are home to the great wildebeest migration during the green season. In February half a millions calves are born on these southern plains. You can see hundred thousand of wildebeest and zebras. But also lots of predators, who are all waiting for the change to eat the placentas of the young calves. Because of all the placentas on the plain. The young calves are relatively safe. The calving season is an amazing spectacle that takes your breath away. We advise you to take your time and spend 2 days in the Ndutu Area at this time. Another option is to spend 1 day in South Serengeti since it’s very common to enter the Serengeti from the south. Realize that the schedule will be tide if you only stay 1 day.

Northern Serengeti (Kogatende area)

The northern part of the Serengeti is the place to be from July to October when de migration resides here. You can find the herds around the Mara River and witness the epic river crossings. The sights are impressive as well as dramatic around this time. The fast flowing water and crocodiles make this crossing extremely dangerous for the herds. This northern part of the Serengeti is beautifully remote and quiet, due to the fact that is about 4 hour drive from the central part. So if you visit this part you will also need accommodation here. We recommend to stay at least 2 days in the north to increase the chance of seeing the herds cross the river. It will also give you time to enjoy encounters with other wildlife.

It is important to plan your stay in the Serengeti well, so you don’t have to hurry to reach your lodge in time. Our travel consultants can help you get the timing and the accommodation right.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Ngorongoro Crater is a rare protected area where people (the Maasai) and wild animals co-exist in harmony. A large permanent concentration of wild animals can be found in the huge and perfect crater. Ngorongoro is technically a “caldera”, the largest sunken ancient caldera in the world. Estimated three million years old, the once-volcanic Ngorongoro is now considered one of “Africa’s eighty wonders”. We think it is truly one of the world’s greatest treasures.

Also known as the “Garden of Eden”, the Crater floor is a natural safe haven for thousands of animals such as wildebeest, more than two hundred lion prides, zebra, elephants, hippos, hyenas, Thomson gazelles, African buffalo, crocodiles, ostriches, and many species of birds, not to mention that this is one of the best places to spot an endangered Rhino. A visit to Ngorongoro is a must, and a great place to add on a cultural tour to a Maasai village.

Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara National Park is an attractive and amazingly diverse park for its size of 325 square kilometers (125 square miles). The park is well known for the drama of its terrain, quickly changing from a shallow soda lake covered in flamingos to acacia woodland housing large concentrations of baboons troops, giraffe and elephant herds, and a birding paradise for than 400 bird species to the Great Rift Valley escarpment with its famous tree-climbing lions. The park also boasts an underground water forest.

Lake Manyara is a great stop on the way to the Serengeti, or a wonderful short safari of its own for those on shorter holidays.

Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park, a stunningly photogenic park, is home to an astonishing diversity of species, and is remarkable for its concentration of Elephants. Tarangire derives its name from the Tarangire River that flows through the center of the Park from the southern side towards the northwest outlet in lake Burungi. Tarangire National Park is part of the larger Tarangire-Manyara Ecosystem covering a total area of about 35,000 km2. From the magnificent savannah landscapes (for which the park is justly famous) to the vast number of Baobabs that form the habitat for diverse species of birds and bats, this is a park offers a truly sublime experience.

Tarangire is located in an arid geographical belt that supports growth of a wooded savannah that is dominated by Acacia, Terminalia, Combretum and commiphora species. The most remarkable vegetation types in the area include: riverine woodlands, Acacia tortilis park land, wetlands and seasonal flood plains, acacia-commiphora woodlands, riverine grasslands, combretum-dalbergia woodlands, acacia drepanolobium woodlands, rocky hilltop (kopjes) vegetation, deep gully vegetation and grasslands with scattered Baobab trees.The Park serves as a dry season refuge for a majority of diverse migratory wildlife in the Tarangire-Maasai Steppe ecosystem. The park has about more than 550 Bird species. Particularly rich bird life occurs in the open Acacia woodlands, in and along the wetland (Silale Swamp), and in the flood plains of the Tarangire River.


Best Time to Go To Tarangire National Park | When To Go To Tarangire

When going on holiday to Tanzania the chances are the aim of the trip is to either go for a safari, or to the beach or both. As a general rule of thumb, the best time to be in Tanzania on safari is in the dry season from July – October when the weather is dry and sunny. As the parks dry out, the bushes become less dense and the animals are easier to spot because of this, but also because they are forced to congregate to the remaining water holes. There are short rains in November (which sometimes trickle through into December, January and March) before the long rains which come in April and May. However, this is not to say December, January and February are not still excellent times to be in Tanzania…

Tarangire’s temperatures average out at the late 20’s throughout the year and so it never really gets too cold or too hot. It is primarily a dry season park – not because the animals are impossible to spot in the rains, but because the animals actually migrate out of the park in the lower season months. The high season, dry season and best time to go is undoubtedly in between June and November – this is where you can get the elephant migration which is really amazing to see if you are lucky enough to catch it. There are fabulous amounts of other grazers and varieties of animals which flock to the river beds in these months too. Outside this time, regardless of getting rained on which happens from November and steadily increases maybe with the exception of January, all the way into the end of May, the tsetse flies can be truly unbearable in the more humid months like February… So with Tarangire, the general rule is to stick with dry season unless you want low rates, have a close sided vehicle and want to explore this huge park without other vehicles around…

Arusha National Park

Arusha National Park is among of the smallest parks in Tanzania, covering only 137 square kilometers. It is situated a short distance from the city of Arusha, making it easy to visit on a day or half day adventure. The park has several completely different micro-habitats within its confines, from a soda lake which outfit a large number of flamingo to dense forest habitat for black and white colobus monkeys, a plain (or small Serengeti), a crater, and the hikable Mount Meru.

Olduvai Gorge

Olduvai Gorge is the birthplace of human kind! It was here, in the early twentieth century, that the famous archaeologist Dr. Louis Leakey uncovered some of the earliest remains of fossil hominids. With the constant search for an answer to where we came from and what we are, culturally and biologically, this visit offers an appropriate education for the future in a shrinking, multicultural world. Olduvai gives us a better understanding of our evolutionary history and thus ensures our future success and well-being as a species.

The name Olduvai originated from a European misspelling of Oldupai, the correct Maasai word for this region of great historical importance—named after the wild sisal plants growing in abundance in the gorge. The gorge is a very steep-sided ravine roughly 30 (48 km) miles long and 295 ft (90 m) deep. According to paleoanthropologists, the deposits show rich fossil fauna that cover a time span from about 2,100,000 to 15,000 years ago. While you are on your Northern Circuit tour, you should consider making a stop at this famous archaeological site located in the eastern Serengeti Plains and within the Ngorongoro Conservation area authority.

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