Most of the Serengeti is vast open plains with rocks giving character to the landscape. In addition to its vast herds of Wildebeest and other plains game, Serengeti is renowned for its Lion population. It is not unusual to see 40 or more lions in a day, and Leopards can be found during the day resting in trees.
During June and July, the spectacular annual migration of the Wildebeest takes place, with the animals moving from their usual haunts on the central plains on a westward trek into the Maasai Mara in Kenya. Serengeti has a wealth of bird life with colorful Rollers, Bee-eaters and Sunbirds in plenty, whilst birds of prey, game birds and waterfowl are well represented.
Ruaha National Park: Ruaha greatest charm is probably the fact that it is an unspoiled African wilderness, an unexplored game and bird sanctuary covering 12,950 sq km. The park lies between two large rivers, the Njombe and Ruaha, with the latter flowing 16 km through rugged gorges and rocky broken country, then through lush plains where it is flanked by palm thickets and tall acacia woodland.
During the dry season, there is concentration of game along the river including herds of Elephants, Giraffe, Buffalo and Impala and numerous Greater Kudu. Crocodiles can be seen basking on the many sandbanks. Stretches of woodland house Roan and Sable Antelope and Liechenstein’s Hartebeest, with the Lesser Kudu found in the open bush country. Elephants can be encountered at the Mbage-Mwagusi track.
Ngorongoro Crater: Ngorongoro is one of the most spectacular game haunts in Africa, and one of the biggest craters in the world. The approach road skirts the rim of the crater floor with other game like the Cheetah, Eland, Grant’s and Thomson’s Gazelle, Spotted Hyenas, Hunting Dog and the occasional Leopard. Also to be found here are numerous species of birds including Verraux’s Eagle and Egyptian Vulture.
Selous Game Reserve: This is predominantly an Elephant reserve and an extension of the Mikumi National Park, covering some 54,490 sq km. The area is mainly woodland with grassy flood-plains and some dense forest patches much of which is inaccessible. In addition to Elephant there are Hippos, Buffalo, Wildbeest, Hartebeest, Sable Antelope, greater Kudu, Eland, Lion and Leopard. Bird life is similar to that found in the Mikumi national Park.
Mikumi National Park: A faunal reserve of some 111,600 sq km, the park is situated 294 km from Tanzania’s capital city, Dar es Salaam. Picturesque wooded hills form a border to the Mkata Plains, a section of the park and home to many Elephants and Buffaloes. Game animals are abundant and include Lion, Hippo, Warthog, Giraffe, Zebra and Wildbeest.
Also to be found are Greater Kudu, Black Rhino, Leopard, Cheetah, Waterbuck, Hartebeest, Sable Antelpe and Reedbuck. Bird life is extremely varied, with many colorful and interesting species found in the park. Mikumi can be reached from Dar es Salaam – an easy three and a half hour’s drive.
Lake Manyara National Park: The is 107 km southwest of Arusha, and is noted for its wealth of wildlife. At times the lake is visited by thousands of Lesser Flamingoes with a sprinkling of larger species. Over 30 different birds of prey have been recorded at the Park, including the pal-nut Vulture and Ayre’s and Crowned Hawk Eagles.
Although the park is relatively small, its terrain is so diverse that its mammal and birds list are most impressive. There are a number of Elephants to be found in the park. The parks main attractions are probably the tree-climbing Lions of Lake Manyara, which can be found resting in trees due to a combination of the need to avoid dense undergrowth and a search for cool shade.
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