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The Northern Zone

Arusha National Park

 

This little park is situated on the eastern foothills of Mount Meru, Tanzania's Second highest Mountain and the fourth highest in Africa. the park is only a one hour drive away from the town of Arusha.

There are two craters within the park- The Meru crater with an ash-cone over 8000 feet   above sea level, and the smaller Ngurdoto Crater Some 4000 feet lower down the slopes. There are no large numbers of mammals in this park but there are several species found here, that are not found in many of the other parks in the country, such as black and white colobus monkeys and the red duiker. there are also many bushbuck, giraffe, Waterbuck, and a few hippos, wart hogs, dikdik and wild pigs.

Other distinct areas in the park are the Mommela lakes, which are alkaline to varying degrees and mount Meru itself, which attracts many climbers each. There are superb views of both Mount Kilimanjaro and of mount Meru, whose slopes are forested and contain many streams and waterfalls. one can hike in this forest, accompanied by a park Ranger.

Lake Manyara National Park.

 

This is also one of the smaller parks in Tanzania and about 70% of the park consist of a portion of lake Manyara lying in the eastern branch of the rift valley.

The park is well known for it's high density of Elephants, tree climbing lions and masses of waterfowl, including both lesser and greater flamingo, the pink backed and white pelicans.

There are many hippos in the channel of the Mto wa Mbu River as it enters this very shallow soda lake.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

 

Ngorongoro Conservation is locate on the North east part of Tanzania, the beauty and size Ngorongoro Crater( it is in fact a caldera) found in this Park can not be described appropriately by using words, it is only by visiting this park that one can discover why it should be the eighth wonder of the world. However the Crater Occupies only about 3% of the area of this Conservation Area, but is a very important are in the world that it has been declared a world heritage site. Another interesting fact about this park is the fact that it is the world's largest unbroken caldera.

The crater has the only accessible population of black rhino in their natural habitat in East Africa, it also has the largest carnivores concentration than any where else in the world with about a hundred lions, very many spotted hyena, many silver backed and golden jackal, a few very nocturnal side stripped jackal, serval and genet cat, leopard and cheetah.

However interestingly enough some animals such as giraffe and impala have never been seen in the crater, the only logical explanation seems to be the steepness of the slopes and lack of their suitable diet in the crater, but they can be found in abundance in areas around the crater.

Other animals found in this area include: Buffaloes( the Most common animals) , Elephants, Waterbuck, Bushbucks, Duiker, Bushpigs, wart hogs, African Hunting dogs, Giant forest hog, blue monkeys, eland, hartebeest, hyena. Also there are .

Also there about a hundred species of birds not found in the Serengeti that have been spotted her.

Ngorongoro can be visited in any time of the year though it is usually muddy in months of April and May.

Olduvai Gorge

Olduvai gorge is  located within the Ngorongoro Conservation area, it about 180 km away from the beautiful town of Arusha. Dr. Louis Leakey discovered the remains of the "handy many"  or Homo habilis regarded as the First step to mankind's evolution to modern man. This Gorge is  hence regarded as the "Cradle of mankind" There are also a number of  other fossils discovered here including pre-historic remains of Giant horned sheep, Elephants and enormous Ostriches. There are Guides  who operate lecture tours of this historical site.

Tarangire National Park

 

Tarangire National park is also locates in the north east part of Tanzania. It derives it's name from the Tarangire River which crisscrosses along the Park, supplying it with it's bloodline. It is the Fourth largest national park in Tanzania behind Serengeti, Ruaha and Mikumi in size, Animal Concentration Here a rivals the Serengeti.

The Animal Species found here include; Wildebeest, Zebra, Thompson's gazelle, Grant's Gazelle, Oryx, Hartebeest, Buffalo, Elephant, Giraffe, Eland, Impala, lesser Kudu,warthog,Gerenuk,Greater Kudu,Reedbuck,Baboons,Kongoni,kilpspringer Impala,Hyrax,Vervet monkey, Bat-eared Fox, Hyena, lion, Leopard,.

Bird Species found in this Park include; Crowned Crane, Egyptian Goose, Hamerkop, Jacana, purple gallinule, saddle-bill stork and long toed lapwing.

The Peak viewing season for this park is during the dry season.

Mount Kilimanjaro

 

Tanzania's own mount Kilimanjaro is not only the highest mountain in Africa  and the highest free standing mountain in the world but also it lies at the crossroads of many Tanzania's greatest attractions, Kilimanjaro is more or less half way between the world's famous Serengeti and the Coast.

Mount Kilimanjaro is the crown of Tanzania, the envy of some of it's neighboring countries who wish in were it their country.

It rises abruptly from the open plains with temperatures of about 26ºC to it's snow-capped peak of temperatures of below 0ºC, at about 19,344 feet above sea level. It is also renowned as the highest walkable summit in the world, incredibly the diameter of its base is about 40 miles

Kilimanjaro is a dormant but not an extinct volcano, amazingly though it is just a whisker of degrees away south of the equator, both it's two peaks namely - Kibo and Mawenzi have permanent caps of snow and ice and are mostly covered with clouds. During their climb climbers pass from a tropical to a arctic environment in just a few days.

The highest point on Kibo and indeed the whole of Africa is Uhuru peak, which provides spectacular hanging glaciers and amazing views of African Plains, 20,00 feet below. The other peak ; Mawenzi a rugged mountain and is for specialized mountaineers only!

Kilimanjaro can be climbed in any time of the year but the best time is from August to October and January to march.

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