Getting there: Scheduled and/or charter fights from Dar es Salaam, Selous, Serengeti, Arusha, Iringa and Mbeya. Year-round road access through Iringa from Dar es Salaam (about 10 hours) via Mikumi or from Arusha via Dodoma.
Mikumi National Park Swirls of opaque mist hide advancing down. The first shafts of sun colour the fluffy grass heads
Isolated, untrammeled and seldom visited, Katavi is a true wilderness, providing the few intrepid souls who make it there with a thrilling taste of Africa as it must have been a century ago. Tanzania’s third largest national park, it lies in the remote southwest of the country, within a truncated arm of the Rift Valley that terminated in the shallow, brooding expanse of Lake Rukwa.
To the human listener, walking through the ancient forests of Gombe Stream, this spin-chilling outburst is also an indicator of imminent visual contact with the man’s closest genetic relative: the chimpanzee.
Set deep in the heart of the African interior by road and 100 km south of where Stanley uttered that immortal greeting “Doctor Livingstone”, I presume”, is a scene reminiscent of an Indian Ocean island beach idyll.
The closest national park to Arusha town, Arusha National Park is a multi-faced jewel, often overlooked by safarigoers, despite offering the opportunity to explore a beguiling diversity of habitats within a few hours.
Day after day of cloudless skies. The fierce sun sucks the moisture from the landscape, baking the earth a dusty red, the withered grass as brittle as straw. The Tarangire River has shriveled to a shadow of its wet season self. But It is choked with wildlife. Thirsty nomads have wandered hundreds of parched kilometres knowing that here, always, there is water.
Camping inside the park. Bring all food and supplies. Two modest but uncomfortable lodges with en-suite rooms within 1km of the park entrance.
Lake Manyara National Park. Stretching for 50 km along the base of the rusty-gold 600meter high Rift Valley escarpment, Lake Manyara is a scenic gem, with a setting extolled by Earnest Hemingway as “the loveliest I had seen in Africa”. The compact game-viewing circuit through Manyara offers a virtual microcosm of the Tanzanian safari experience.
The Ngorongoro Crater is often called ‘Africa’s Eden’ and the ‘8th National Wonder of the World’, a visit to the crater is a main drawcard for tourists coming to Tanzania and a definite world-class attraction.