After climbing Kilimanjaro, many guests include a safari in one of the national parks for which northern Tanzania is famous. Experience the wilderness of the African savannah and some of the world’s best wildlife viewing.
Marangu Hotel is a specialized Kilimanjaro outfitter and we organize our climbs entirely on our own. Although we are not safari operators ourselves, we would be happy to organize a safari for you with one of our trusted partners.
Arusha, Tarangire, Lake Manyara and Mkomazi National Parks, as well as the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, are all within a day’s drive of Marangu Hotel.
Day trips to Arusha and Mkomazi, the closest parks to Marangu, are a good option for those with limited time. At least one night is recommended for a rewarding visit to Tarangire, Lake Manyara or Ngorongoro. Two nights will allow you to visit two or even three of these places.
The Serengeti, where the great wildebeest migration takes place, is a long drive from Marangu. We recommend at least 4 days for the Serengeti, with 3 overnight stays. 5 days and 4 nights would be preferable and it would then make sense to include Ngorongoro and one of the other parks mentioned.
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park offers a mosaic of vegetation habitats which can sustain a high density of wildlife. From its high concentrations of animals such as elephants, buffalo and antelopes to its dense forests, the park is diverse in both wildlife and vegetation. Lake Manyara is an alkaline lake, which is a key habitat for hundreds of bird species, including greater and lesser flamingos. Lake Manyara’s famous tree-climbing lions are another reason to visit the park, as well as being home to hundreds of baboons. The Rift Valley escarpment provides a stunning backdrop, with an opportunity to see vast elephant herds, zebras, giraffes and many other animals. Lake Manyara is one of those national parks which offers rich and diverse game viewing within a reasonably small area.
Serengeti National Park
Serengeti National Park gets its name from the Maasai word Siringet meaning endless Plain. The Serengeti is located along the rift valley and is abundant with geological formations. One of the Serengeti’s defining features are its Kopjes pronounced “copy”, a feature of continual weathering. These islands in the sea of grass are formed as the top soil comprising of rock and ash is eroded exposing the covered layer of metamorphic rock. These exposed rock forms, kopjes, are round as a result of spherical wind weathering. The national park covers an area of 14,800 square kilometres most of which is grass plains. These rich grass plains are a result of ash deposited by volcanic eruptions and are home to 3 million animals. Within these grass plains, the scattered kopjes act as a haven for animals from grass fires, predators and the heat. The game drives in this park are exceptional and the game viewing is incredible. This park offers the best opportunity of viewing cheetahs, leopards and lions.
Ngorongoro is a unique crater known as a caldera. A caldera is the after effect of a volcanic collapse, an implosion rather than an explosion. Ngorongoro was formed some two million years ago. The Ngorongoro crater is found within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority and ecologically it covers an area of 8,300 square kilometres with varied terrain and altitudes. These variations result in diverse and distinct habitats from grassy plains to montane forests. The Crater itself measures an average of 18 kilometres in diameter and approximately 700 metres of vertical drop. Apart from being home to 25,000 large animals, it forms part of what is known as the Serengeti-Ngorongoro-Maasai Mara ecosystem. This ecosystem allows for the free movement, the migration, of 1.5 million animals in their continuous search for green pastures. The crater is one of the prime areas to observe the endangered black rhino and black-maned lions.
Tarangire National Park
This magnificent area is characterized by rolling countryside, the gorge (a deeply embedded river) which seldom runs dry, small swamps, acacias and enormous baobab trees. The game park has a large population of African elephants, and there are also buffalo, cheetah, hyenas and lions to be seen. In the dry season, the animals assemble at the marshes for fresh drinking water.
Arusha National Park
Arusha National Park is about two hours away from Marangu Hotel. It is a relatively small park, and can easily be visited in a few hours or a day. Arusha National Park is home to Mount Meru and has a diverse array of wildlife and beautiful vegetation including a famous fig tree. Walking safaris are a great option here, as many of the areas are forested and you will be protected from the strong African sun!
Mkomazi National Park
Mkomazi is the least visited park in Northern Tanzania and is located next to the West Usambara Mountains. It borders Tsavo National Park, in Kenya and has some very unique species and ecosystems not commonly found in Tanzania, including wild dogs, and Beisa Oryx.