Most Safaris in Tanzania are usually based around the popular northern circuit of National Parks, which will typically include Tarangire, Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti and Lake Manyara. Kilimanjaro is also in the North of Tanzania and the wonderful Western Kilimanjaro area where game viewing is on the Kenyan border with Kilimanjaro as a backdrop. Arusha, is in the north and most safaris start and end in this [in every sense of the word] provincial town.Dar es Salaam, one of the great cities of Africa, is the base for the southern circuit which includes wilder and much more exciting parks and reserves such as the Selous, Ruaha and Udzungwa Mountains.
Tanzania has Chimpanzees in the western part of the country and here scattered along the inaccessible west from Lake Tanganyika to the great Lake Victoria are National Parks every bit as game rich as the Serenegeti; but as yet not many tourists know of these gems. They are difficult to access; with some of them boasting one lodge to a million hectares of park!.Some people say Tanzania is becoming touristy and if you go to Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti in August and only safari into the Central Serengeti then yes I would agree this small section of Tanzania, at this time of year, is a little commercialized.After the safari and Kilimanjaro climb there are the beautiful beaches of Zanzibar and the fifty or so islands that make up this spiced archipelago.
There is also the Swahili Coast of the mainland beckoning the exploration of suburb beaches and small ancient towns. Tanzania is not famed for its food but here on the Swahili coast there is a magic blend where Africa and the spices of the east have met together.The political situation in Tanzania is very stable, the people gentle and peace-loving. Hospitality is an art form in Tanzania with everyone truly enjoying the arrival of guests into their homes.
Mid July to September are the busy times for tourists in Tanzania and if at all possible avoid taking a safari at this time. March to mid June are low season and this time luxury safaris can be secured at bargain basement prices. However, there is a chance of the long rains at this time; although I have known it rain more in January and February in the so called 'long rains'.You can visit Tanzania at any time of the year with each season having its own beauty.The dry season offer the best trekking condition on Mount Kilimanjaro and for traveling in parts of the country with poor roads.
Tarangire National Park in the north of Tanzania is a must in the dry season, its year round supply of water act as a magnet to many animals. Oliver's Camp or Swala Camp are recommended for the Tarangire.The wettest months are usually late April to June and at this time some camps and lodges will close as access becomes difficult. The lodges that stay open are easily accessed by tarmac roads or by air.
A note on the migratory herds of wildebeest and zebra; they are in the Southern Serengeti, where the grasslands are rich between December and March. Their young are born between Feb and March which encourages dramatic predator action. Then in May as the plains of the south and east dry out there is movement to the north and west, where there is more grass and more dependable water. In a dry year, the first wildebeest could be near the Mara River bordering Kenya in early July; in a wet year as late as mid August.
The Migration need not all pass into Kenya and many stay behind or cross and re-cross the border areas. This carries on through till October / November, when they will start to move back south through the Serengeti..For more information on Tanzania see http://www.betheladventure.co.
uk or for more comprehensive advice and comments go to http://www.tanzania-info.co.uk ? responsible tourism can change lives.
By: Ian Williamson