Wild life and Game Reserves in Africa
- NATIONAL PARKS IN UGANDA
- Bwindi Impenetrable Forest -
Lying in the south west of the country, 414 kms from Kampala, on the border with The Congo, the park covers an area of over 330 sq kms. As the name dictates – this park real African jungle area, with dense undergrowth, vines and a wide variety of flowers and aphrodisiac plants.Most visitors come to the park to catch a glimpse of the Mountain Gorillas, but the park is home to over 120 species of mammals, including chimpanzees, black & white colobus, blue monkey, bushpig, duiker, leopard, jackal and elephants in the south east of the park. There are also over 350 species of bird , 202 species of butterflies and over 200 species of trees found within the parkA 4 wheel drive vehicle is recommended to get around the park. Gorilla tracking is limited to small groups and it’s advisable to book well in advance of your intended visit. Bookings can be made through most tour operators or directly with the Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Camping facilities and a deluxe tended camp is available a Buhoma. If you have camping equipment, camping is permitted in designated areas in the park. There is also accommodation available in Kabale at the Victoria Inn and Visitor’s Rest House.
Located in western Uganda, covering an area of over 760 sq kms, Kibale Forest National Park lies 35 kms south of Fort Portal and adjoins with Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Kibale is the perfect place to experience the the true diversity of wildlife and flora found in a tropical rainforest. The park contains the largest population of forest elephants found in Uganda but they are rarely sighted. Rich in wildlife and particularly noted for is primate population, of 11 different species, including the red-tailed money, blue monkey, olive baboon, chimpanzee, black, white and red colobus and white cheeked mangabey. Other mammals found are bushbuck, red and blue duiker, Uganda kob, Scaly-tailed flying squirrel, tree pangloin, buffalo, waterbuck and hippo as well as a large number of birds.
A 4 wheel drive vehicles is highly recommended particularly during the rainy season.
There are a number of hotels in Fort Portal, 35kms north of the park. Bigodi and Nkingo villages have basic lodges. Inside the park camping facilities are available, there are two private campsites with with a tent sleeping two. There are also four additional campsites for those with their own tends and bedding. You need to bring provisions with you.
Kipedo Valley N P
Located in the extreme North of the country bordering with Sudan and Kenya, Kipedo Valley National Park covers an area of 1,344 sq.km. Due to it’s remote location this park is less visited, but it has the most spectacular scenery of mountains and vast savannah landscapes.
The park is home to the Karimojong pastoralists. Animal species found in the region include; giraffe, ostrich, elephant, cheetah, leopard, kudu, zebra, buffalo, amongst others.
It is 840km from Kampala and although the journey can be tough, taking up to two days, the diverse landscape past makes the journey worthwhile. There is also a light aircraft airstrip at Akopa
At times of unrest in Sudan, the north section of the park is closed.
Apoka Rest Camp offering accommodation in chalets. Food and drink stocks are basic and often very limited so it’s advisable to bring your own.
There are also several campsite located near Apoka.
Lake Mburo National Park covers an area of 260 sq km and is located 420kms south west of Kampala. It is one of the more popular parks, due to its relatively close location to Kampala, being particularly busy with city weekend visitors.
The landscape consists mainly of savannah and the area contains four lakes. The open valleys on the western side of the game offer the best game viewing opportunities, with large herds of elephants and buffalo roaming the land. Other wildlife encountered include; leopard, hyena hippo and a large variety of antelope including the rare Impala. It is the perfect destination for ornithologists, a huge variety of birds are found within the park particularly round the lakes, including Bronze-tailed starling, Marabour stork, Crowned Crane and bee-eaters.
Boats are available for hire on the Lake Mburo Swamp from the Park Office in Rwonyo
Chalet are available at the park headquarters, where meals are available.
Lake View Hotel in Mbarara offering rooms with private facilities, swimming pool and sports centre, situated on land with own private lake where Marabou storks flock.
Uganda’s smallest park, covering an area of just 34 sq kms, located on the south western tip of the country on the border with Congo (Zaire) and Rwanda, 510km from Kampala.
Mgahinga is the second home to one of the last remaining habitats of the mountain gorilla found on the slopes of the Virunga Mountains. Access to visit the gorillas is strictly controlled , with only small groups being allowed at any one time and always accompanied by a ranger. Booking to see the gorillas must be made well in advance. Other wildlife found in the park include bushbuck, elephant, leopard, aardvark, honey badger. jackal and a wealth of birdlife.
Three extinct volcanos rise within the park, Mt. Muhuvura, Mt. Gahinga and Mt Sabinyo. The peak of Muhavura has a small crater lake and is the highest point in the park rising to 4,127 metres. A selection of Volcano Tours is available from
There are motels in nearby Kisoro and Kabale. Mount Mghinga Rest Camp offering superb views of the Rift Valley and lies under the towering volcanos. Accommodation is available in tents or large bandas, each having its adjoining toile and bush shower. Meals are served daily. There is also a camp of climbers within the park.
Lying along the western border of Uganda and covering an area of over 995 sq kms, named “Mountains of the Moon” for its mist-shrouded, snow-capped peaks.
The mountain range has six peaks, carrying permanent snow and glaciers and offering spectacular scenery. In the centre of the range is Africa’s third highest mountain, Mt. Margherita reaching a height of 5,109 mtrs. This is an excellent destination for keen hikers and climbers, although the higher slopes are demanding and require some mountaineering skills. The best time of the year for hiking is during the dry seasons from mid December to end of March and from June to mid August.
Wildlife encountered in this park includes, elephant, genet, Vervet Monkey, Rwenzori Colobus, Chimpanzee and Duiker.
There is a range of inns, guesthouses and camping sites in the area, and hotels are available in Kasese and Fort Portal. Huts and rock shelters are available on the mountains for climbers
Kamungha Guest House is located in Kazingo Trading Centre approx 12.5 kms from Fort Portal, on the foothills of the National Park.
Lying 256 kms north east of Kampala, bordering with Kenya in eastern Uganda, Mt. Elgon covers an area of 1155 sq. kms.
If offers a diverse variety of scenery, vegetation and cultures. Mt. Elgon is an extinct volcano with a gradual slopes to the crater rim, lying at 4,321 metres above seal level. Mountaineering skills are not required. The whole region is excellent for hikers and climbers, with caves, rock painting, gorges, waterfalls providing excellent scenery. Sipi Falls, at the foothills of the mountain is a favourite destination.
The parks has a variety of small game including, duiker, hyena, leopard, chimpanzee, buffalo and elephant and numerous species of birdlife.
There are five designated campsites at Sasa River, Mude Cave, Hunters Cave, Piswa Patrol Hut and Kapkwata with basic amenities. Visitors needs to carry their own tents and food.
Kapkwata Guest House has three main rooms with a sleeping capacity for seven people.
There are several hotels in Mbale town ranging in price and quality.
The largest park in Uganda covering on area of over 3,840 sq kms, Murchinson Falls park is also one of the most famous for its scenic beauty, magnificent falls and high concentration of game. It is situated approximately 350 kms north west of Kampala.
The mighty Nile river divides the park into the north and south sections with the spectacular Murchinson Falls dropping some 40 meters through a narrow crevice. The river attract large numbers of game, and a boat ride up the river provides the perfect opportunity to see and photograph the animals. Wildlife viewed in this park include elephant, giraffe, hippo, lion, leopard, buffalo, Nile crocodile, monkeys, and over 450 species of birds. including the magnificent shoebill stork.
There are plenty of activities in the park including river trips. game drives, forest walks, fishing and bird watching.
The park has two light aircraft airstrips operating air charter services from Kampala.
There are several lodges within the park and camping is available at the top of the falls but visitors must bring their own camping equipment.
The park covers and area of almost 2,000 sq kms and lies between the Rwenzori Mountains to the east and Lake Edward to the west., approx 470kms from Kampala.
This parks wildlife once suffered from heavy poaching, but recent conservation efforts have restored much of the game and it now claims to be one of the best places on the continent to see high concentrations of hippo. Other animals found are elephant, buffalo, Uganda kob, variety of antelope, baboons and chimpanzees and the famous tree-climbing lion. There are also over 500 different specifies of bird making it a excellent destination for ornithologists.
A boat trip along the Kazinga channel between Lake George and Edward is a rewarding methods of game viewing. The best time of the year to visit the park is just after the rains, between October and November and March and April when high concentrations of animals roam the whole area.
Camping is available at Mweya Lodge and along Kazinga Channel. Other lodges in the park include Ishasha Safari Lodge and Lake George Lodge.
- NATIONAL PARKS IN KENYAAberdare National Park – The Park is part of the Aberdare Mountain Range which forms the steep eastern edge of the Rift Valley. It lies approx 180kms north of Nairobi and has an altitude of 7,000 to 14,000 ft. The scenery in this region is spectacular and impressive as is the range of wildlife. Due to the dense forest vegetation, you will need to do some searching for the wildlife, but there are also many purposes built game viewing lodges. Game to be found in the park includes; elephant, lion, black rhino, waterbuck, gazelle, giant forest hog, genet cats, leopard, buffalo and the rare spiral-horned antelope known as the bongo.Accommodation:
includes two loges, Treetops and the Ark which both provide night game viewing facilities. There are also three self-catering sites (“bandas”), eight tented campsites and one public campsite.
Amboseli National Park, although small, at approx 395 sq km, is one of Kenya’s most popular parks. The views of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, coupled with the variety of game to be found, draws the visitors in. The park which lies approximately 140kms south of Nairobi on the border with Tanzania, is most famed for its’ large herds of elephants. A combination of drought, increased tourism, and over-grazing has had a hard-hitting effect on the western side of the park, the land has become dry, dusty and barren and the animals that were once there have moved into areas of shrub forest and marshland.
Lake Nakuru National Park –
The park entrance lies 6km from Nakuru town and the main attraction is Lake Nakuru, a shallow alkaline soda lake set beneath the high cliffs of the eastern Rift Valley. It is an ornithologists’ paradise offering the spectacular view of up to 2 million flamingos at one time (during the season) along with hundreds of other species including birds of prey. An area of 190 sq km around the lake is fenced in as a national park and has been made a sanctuary for Rothschild giraffes and black rhinos.
There are two campsites, both with running waters and long-drop toilets. Just inside the park gate is the Backpacker’s Camp Site and further in there is Njoro Camp Site
The Marsabit National Reserve lies in northern Kenya in a densely forested mountain park, being home two beautiful crater lakes. The park was once famous for it’s large tusker elephants but that was before the poachers slaughtered most the large ones. Elephants are still in abundance along with large herbs of kudu and many birds of prey.
The park has a lodge and camping facilities.
Masai Mara Game Reserve –
The Masai Mara is regarded as the most favorite and is definitely the most popular game reserve in Kenya, having over 140,000 visitors per year. The reserve lies approx 270km west of Nairobi and covers an area of approximately 1,510 sq km, bordering with the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. The landscaped is mostly open Savannah grasslands and acacia shrubland.
Starting any time from late July the wildebeest follow the rains and grazing to the wide and open grasslands of what has become known as “the Mara”. They may be late, but they will always make the trip, driven by dry conditions in the Serengeti and led by the lightning and thunder to the north. Come November they start the homeward leg, bound again for the Serengeti.
At this time of the year you will see a large number of lion, hippo, crocodile and vultures all of which prey on the weak and young migrating animals. Other game to be found in the Masai Mara at any time of the year include; elephants, cheetahs, baboons, gazelles, giraffes, jackals, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas, water buffalo, ostriches, and a large variety of antelope and birdlife.
The park is situated approximately 360km northeast of Nairobi and covers an area of 870 sq kms. This park was the setting for Joy Adamson’s book “Born Free” and it remains one of Kenya’s most unspoilt parks. The scenery is varied, wild and beautiful, from woodlands at 3,000 ft on the slope of Nyambeni Mountain Range to wide open plaints with many rivers running through. Game found here includes; lion, cheetah, leopard, elephant, antelopes, and buffalo. In the many rivers hippo and crocodile are found in abundance. You may be lucky to spot Kenya only colony of the rare white rhino.
There are several other parks which can be visited from here within a day, they include Bisandi National Reserve, Kora National Park, Rahole National Reserve and Mwingi National Reserve.
Meru National Park has a number of Lodges and campsites that need to be pre-booked and one public campsite.
Mount Kenya -
The National Park lies approximately 176kms northeast of Nairobi and covers an area of approximately 700 sq kms, with a landscape consisting mainly of forest and bare rock. Mount Kenya is an extinct volcano straddled across the equator, and is Africa’s second highest peak. The altitude ranges from between 11,000 to 17,058ft, with the highest peaks being Batian at 17,058ft and Nelion at 17,022ft. These are regularly climbed by experienced climbers though very few actually make it to the top. The more popular peak for climbers is the easier Lenana which reaches a height of 16,354ft. and can be climbed without the use of specialist equipment. Climbers are often accompanied by a guide, with ports being available. There are climbers huts is rest up in, but plenty of food and warm clothes should be taken with you. The best time of the year for climbing is from mid-January to late February and from late August through September
The scenery is stunning and quite breathtaking. It is also a botanist’s paradise, with a wide variation in flora as the altitude changes.
The region is home to a variety of wildlife including some unique species, such as Black and White colobus and Sykes monkeys, bushbuck, buffalo, elephant, Olive baboon, waterbuck, black rhino, leopard, hyena, bongo and at high altitudes zebra and eland can be found.
Mountain Climb…Mt. Kenya
The “Classic” Route (Up Sirimon / Down Chogoria) – A must for lovers of high altitude trekking. Designed for optimum time on the mountain to acclimatise, as well as getting away from the bulk of hikers. It is run as a camping trip – with all equipment supplied. Top quality mountain tents, thick mattresses, campstools, rain awning, good food, a cook, and qualified guides are supplied, as well as a porter for your pack
Tsavo East National Park –
This is one of Kenya’s oldest and largest parks, but huge areas, mainly to the north of the Galana River, are completely closed to the public. The southern accessible area of the park includes the Kanderi Swamp and the Aruba Dam on the Voi river and has large concentrations of game including hippo, giant crocodiles lion, leopard, waterbuck, kudu, zebra and ostrich. It is also home to the largest herds of elephant in Kenya, usually covered in red dust. The park provides for excellent photography with it’s spectacular views such as Mudanda Rock and Yatta Plateau.Accommodation
Voi Wildlife Lodge – Tsavo East
This beautiful lodge is right within the boundaries of the mighty Tsavo East National park. Accommodation: The lodges offers 20 large beautifully furnished & decorated rooms. 4 family rooms cum suites and special rooms for handicapped. Facilities: A swimming pool with Jacuzzi, Breezy romantic well ventilated open air restaurant “The Tembo” restaurant with a capacity of 200 people. Sundowner bar, “Mandari Bar” with a view of the game park.
The park is located approx 230kms from Nairobi off the main Mombasa-Nairobi road and has three rivers flowing through it; the Galana, the Athi and the Tsavo attracting large concentrations of game including buffalo, rhino, giraffe, zebra, lion, leopard, cheetah crocodile and many varieties of antelope.
In the northwestern corner of the park is Shetani Lava Flow, a massive lava bed created by an eruption in the Chyulu Hills where the raw cone at the centre can still be seen. Rain falling in these hills is purified as it soaks through the porous volcanic ash , running underground for 50km, resurfacing at the lush Mzimba Springs, which is one of the parks main attractions. This is haven to crocodiles and hippo and a waterhole for a large variety of other game.
- NATIONAL PARKS IN TANZANI
Gombe Stream National ParkThis park is located in the north-western part of the country, just 16 kms north of Kigoma. It is Tanzania’s smallest parks, covering an area of 52 sq.kms, but one of the most popular, famous for its chimpanzees, being one of the few remaining places where they can be found in their natural habitat.Due to the park being heavily forested, large game animal are not found in this area, but the park is home to a number of different species of monkey including the red colobus, red-tail and blue monkey, grey duiker, bushbuck and bushpig as well numerous species of bird including trumpter hornbills, Roos’s turaco, crowed eagle, secretary bird, narrow tailed starling to mention a few.
The park can only be accessed by boat and a daily entry permit is charged.
There is a small hostel in the park where beds and mattresses are provided and all provisions including cooking equipment should be brought with you. Booking in Kigoma is recommended.
Location: 130KM west of Arusha
Best time to visit: Dry season (July-October) for large mammals; wet season (November-June) for bird watching, the waterfalls and canoeing. Size: 325 km² (of which about 230 km² are the lake)
Sights: Lake Manyara NP is in base of the Great Rift Valley escarpment and comprises of forest, woodland, grasslands, and swamps. Wildlife to be spotted Tree climbing Lions, Baboons, Buffalo, Zebra, Hippos, giraffe; Wildebeest, and over 350 species of bird, storks and flamingoes.
Mikumi National Park is located approximately 300 km west of Dar es Salaam, and is a popular destination for weekend visitors. The park lies within a flood plain bordered by the Uluguru Mountain range to the east and the Rubeho Mountains on the west and covers an area of over 3,200 sq kms.
Wildlife is abundant with giraffe, zebra, buffalo, hartebeest, wildebeest being amongst the most commonly sighted game, but elephant, wild dog and tree climbing lions are also found here along with smaller mammals and reptiles. The park is also home to over 300 different species of birds.
Access to the park is easy, with good road conditions from Dar es Salaam, and an airstrip near the park headquarters.
There is a variety of accommodation available ranging from budget to luxury and a tented camp with designated camp sites. Advance bookings are advisable.
Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, reaching a height of 5,895 meters, a dormant volcano, with the diameter at its base being 40 miles. There are two main snow capped peaks, Kibo and Mawenzi. Although it can be climbed year round the best times of the year for climbing are between August and October and January and March, from mid March to May it is the wet season.
There are six different routes up the mountain ranging in degree of difficultly and there are many tours operators running organised trips.
The Park has been a game reserve since 1921 and was designated a National Park in 1973. The rainforest is home to many species of animals and birds including, leopard, rhino, elephant, buffalo.
Kilimanjaro climb – Machame Route
The most beautiful, but technical climbing route. Climbing skills required, is now often booked by many. The climb crossing the breath rain forest gives you an open view of the glacier when you reach the Shira Plateau situated in the middle of the moorlands. 6 Days, 5 Nights.
Kilimanjaro Climb – Marangu route
6 Days 5nights
Kilimanjaro Climb – Shira Route
This Western breach route starting from West Kilimanjaro is for more Technical and experienced climbers and proves very challenging, with very spectacular diversified view right from the start. Ascend via Londorossi gate and descend via the Marangu gate.
- 8 Days
Located in the west of the country, Muhale Mountains National Park is a remote park that can only be reach by plane or boat. There are no roads and game viewing is safely carried out on foot.
This is the other of Tanzania’s parks where chimpanzee can still be found in their natural habitat along with elephant, buffalo, antelope, giraffe, leopard and lion.
The best time of the year to visit is between May and October.
Camping is allowed in designated areas and camping equipment is available for hire.
The Conservation area is a fine blend of landscapes, people, wildlife and Africa main archaeological site, lying in the north of country and merging into the Serengeti Game Reserve. The Ngorongoro Crater is regarded as a natural wonder of the world (the 8th) and has been declared a World Heritage Site. It is the largest intact crater in the world, being 610 meters deep, 16 kms across and covering an area of 540 sq kms. and is teaming with wildlife, with virtually all the big game species found here, including, zebra, wildebeest, black rhino, antelope, elephants, giraffe, buffalo, lion, cheetah, leopard. The area is also an ornithologists’ paradise, with the thousands of flamingos wading in the shallows of Lake Magadi and hundreds of other species of birdlife.
The prime time of the year to visit is from December to May when the spectacular sight of the Serengeti migration usually takes place.
Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge
located on Lemala Hill on the uppermost, eastern rim of the Ngorongoro Crater. The only lodge in which the crater tour begins within five minutes of leaving the lodge. The lodge can accommodate 190 guests in 92 suites, each enjoying wall-to-wall carpeting, central heating, a private lounge with a mini bar, a bedroom with two queen size beds and ample room for a third, an en-suite bathroom with shaver sockets and a hair dryer, and a private solarium which offers stunning views either down into the crater floor below or of the setting sun over the western horizon. The lodge provides a direct-dial satellite telephone facilities as well as satellite television and wildlife-video-film options. A complimentary bottled mineral water is provided in the mini bars while further stocks are available for sale in the main bar. The guest shops stock a wide selection of curios, gift items, clothing, film, sweets, postcards, personal requisites and toiletries. A swimming pool is situated on the very edge of the crater itself and the water is bracing, even invigorating to say the least, at any time of year.
Ruhaha National Park –
Situated in the centre of the country, the Ruaha National Park, is Tanzania’s second largest park covering an area of over 13,000 sq kms and the worlds largest elephant sanctuary. Although set in spectacular scenery, with an abundance of wildlife, the park is one of the lesser visited in the country, keeping it an isolated, peaceful and unspoilt wilderness.
Amongst the game found here are Elephant, Buffalo, Giraffe, Cheetah, lion, leopard, a wide variety of antelope including the Greater and Lesser Kudu and the Roan and Sable antelopes. There is over 465 recorded species of birdlife in the area.
The best time for game viewing is during the dry season when the animals congregate along the Ruaha River, from between May and December. During the raining season, from January to April, many roads are impassable.
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Ruaha may be the second largest national park in Tanzania, but it is also one of the least visited. This and its abundant wildlife are amongst the reasons why it is widely regarded to be one of the wildest and best wilderness reserves in Africa.
Accommodation is available in an exclusive Tented Camp, various designated camp sites around the park including at the park headquarters at Masembe and a Lodge
Tanzania’s newest national park, located 130 km North of Dar Salaam and just 38 km from Zanzibar.
The reserve has the unique distinction of being East Africa’s only coastal wildlife sanctuary, providing the opportunity to observe Africa’s big game and bird life interacting with the sea. Saadani has a diverse population of mammals and birds, although many species are both scarce and scared compared to other parks which have received better protection in the past.
Of the big five, lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo are present, the rare Roosevelt sable is indigenous, whilst plains game such as giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, eland and hartebeest are more frequently seen in larger herds.
The southern boundary is marked by the Wami River, which attracts fabulous bird life, large pods of hippo, massive crocodiles and the spectacular black and white Colobus monkey. Bottle-nosed dolphins are common off the Southern coast of the reserve, whales pass through the Zanzibar Channel in October and November, and there is a green turtle breeding beach at Madete in the North.
The Wami river offers probably the best boat safari in Tanzania and is a favourite with visitors to Saadani. The boat often passes flocks of flamingoes at the mouth of the estuary before entering the river with its abundant wildlife and profusion of bird life. Explored by foot the reserve is extremely rewarding and highlights how much game lives in close proximity to the beach. The unique experience of tracking giraffe through prime bush then emerging onto a pristine beach in a matter of a few paces is not easily forgotten. Improved road conditions within the reserve have made the prime game viewing areas more easily accessible and the wildlife is now becoming used to 4×4 vehicles on the game drives.
Saadani is in the unique position of providing the opportunity to observe Africa’s big game and bird life interacting with the sea. Foot safaris combining the bush and the beach, birdwatching by canoe on the Mafue river and game drives are all available from the lodge and a boat safari on the Wami river can be organised as part of a full day game drive. The nearby Madete Marine Reserve offers superb snorkeling and is a green turtle nesting site. ATWV has started its own turtle hatchery at the lodge to help conserve this endangered species
Superficially at odds with the reserve, yet aligned to conservation and the thinking eco-tourist, is Saadani village, one of the oldest communities on the East African coast and as such right at the heart of Swahili culture. The fascinating history of the village is evident in the remains of the old fort and war time cemeteries, whilst silhouetted prawn fisherman dragging their nets before the coming dawn make an extremely evocative image.
(text courtesy of David Barker – A Tent with a View Safaris)
The Selous Game Reserve, located approximate 8 hours drive south of Dar-es-Salaam, is the largest reserve in Africa and one of the largest protected wildlife areas in the world. It is home to some of the biggest quantities and variety of animals and birds in Africa. It has the world’s largest number of big game, more than 120,000 elephants, 160,000 buffaloes and about 2,000 rhinoceros, In addition, the Selous contains Africa’s greatest concentration of hippopotamus, crocodile and wild dog. The Selous is a rare combination of woodlands, marshes, savannah and open grass plains, crisscrossed by many rivers, one being the mighty Rufiji River.
The best time to visit is from June to the end of October. The park can be reach by road, rail for air, having several airstrips located at the various camps, a flight from Dar-es-Salaam takes approximately 45 minutes.
Accommodation is available in lodges and luxury tented camps located in the parks extreme northern end. There are no budget facilities for camp sites.
Tanzania’s oldest park, located in the North, covering an area of over 14,760 sq, the Serengeti is the country’s most popular and famous park. “Serengeti” is a Maasai word meaning “endless plain”, very apt, as the park consists of flat, treeless plains stretching as far as the eye can see, one of the highest concentration game sites in Africa.
Virtually every game species in Africa can be found here, but it is most famous for its vast herds of wilderbeest, zebra and antelope, as well as “the Serengeti Lions”
The best viewing months are from December to March, when many animals are concentrated in the park’s southern regions.
However, one of the spectacular and unique events of the year is the Serengeti annual migration, which takes place heading north to south October November and back south to north between the months of April and June. This has been described by many as one of the greatest wonders of the world. There is no fixed migration timetable, the animals migrate according to rainfall patterns.
Grumeti River Camp
A 5* Hotel, located on the Western Corridor of the Serengeti National park. It has a total of 10 luxury twin-bedded tents with ensuite bathrooms. Facilities: Central dining room and bar, Game viewing drives into the Serengeti, excursion to Lake Victoria.
located on the North Eastern edge of Serengeti National Park, NothernTanzania. Accommodation: Provides 8 twin bedded rooms with en suite bathroom and private terraces. Facilities: Central dining rooms & bar Game viewing, Elephants, granl’s gazelle, lion, leopard, wildebeest, drives into the Serengeti, bush walks around the Camp with expert guides.
Kirawira Tented Camp
Western Serengeti. 90 Kilometers west of Seronera area of Serengeti National Park near the Grumeti River. Accommodation: 25-luxury double tents with a classic Victorian atmosphere. Facilities: Swimming pool, valet service, guided walking & driving safaris & nature walks, fishing & day sailing excursions to Lake Victoria, Sumptuous bus luncheons, observing crocodiles from slide presentation every night by a resident naturalist.
Serengeti Sopa Lodge
located in the Nyarboro Hills in the south west of Serengeti National Park. The lodge can accommodate 170 guests in 79 suites, each enjoying wall-to-wall carpeting, a private lounge with a mini bar, a bedroom with two queen size beds and ample room for a third, an en-suite bathroom with shaver sockets and a hair dryer, and a private verandah which offers stunning views over the plains.
Serengeti Serena Lodge
The famous lodge is located in Serengeti National Park with panoramic views of the Mbingwe Valley Accommodation: The lodge has a total of 53 Twin rooms, 12 Triples, and 1 Suite. Facilities: A restaurant serving local and international cuisine and a well stocked bar. Wilderness breakfasts and luncheons, sunset cocktails by the pool, balloon safaris in the evening, traditional dancing and performances by guitarist. Daily slide presentation by a resident naturalist.
Serengeti Safari Lodge
Located approximately 110 kms southwest of Arusha, covering an area of approximately 2,600 sq kms. During the dry season from June to October, this park has a particularly high concentration of wildlife, mainly congregating along the Tarangire River.
The park is also an ornithologists paradise with more than 300 species of birds, including the largest bird in the world, the ostrich and the heaviest bird that can fly, the Kori Bustard.
The best game viewing months are between September and December but for bird viewing is is best to come between the months of October and May
Tarangire Sopa Lodge
on the eastern side of the Tarangire river, opposite Tarangire Hill. The lodge is 120kms (75 miles) from Arusha by road and is one of Tanzania’s most easily accessible conservation areas. Can accommodate 160 guests in 75 suites, each enjoying wall-to-wall carpeting, a private lounge with a mini bar, a bedroom with two queen size beds and ample room for a third, an en-suite bathroom with shaver sockets and a hair dryer, and a private verandah which offers stunning views over the baobab studded lands
- NATIONAL PARKS IN RWANDA
Akagera National Park
- Set at a relatively low altitude on the border with Tanzania, Akagera National Park could scarcely be more different in mood to the breezy cultivated hills that characterise much of Rwanda. Dominated scenically by the labyrinth of swamps and lakes that follow the meandering course of the Akagera River, the most remote source of the Nile, this is archetypal African savannah landscape of tangled acacia woodland interspersed with open grassland.
- Akagera is, above all, big game country! Herds of elephant and buffalo emerge from the woodland to drink at the lakes, while lucky visitors might stumble across a leopard, a spotted hyena or even a stray lion. Giraffe and zebra haunt the savannah, and more than a dozen types of antelope inhabit the park, most commonly the handsome chestnut-coated impala, but also the diminutive oribi and secretive bushbuck, as well as the ungainly tsessebe and the world’s largest antelope, the statuesque Cape eland.Camping alongside the picturesque lakes of Akagera is a truly mystical introduction to the wonders of the African bush. Pods of 50 hippopotami grunt and splutter throughout the day, while outsized crocodiles soak up the sun with their vast jaws menacingly agape. Magically, the air is torn apart by the unforgettable high duetting of a pair of fish eagles, asserting their status as the avian monarchs of Africa’s waterways. Lining the lakes are some of the continent’s densest concentrations of waterbirds, while the connecting marshes are the haunt of the endangered and exquisite papyrus gonolek, and the bizarre shoebill stork – the latter perhaps the most eagerly sought of all African birds.
- Nyungwe National Park
- Extending for 1,000 square kilometres across the majestic hills of southeast Rwanda, Nyungwe National Park is the largest block of montane forest in East or Central Africa, and one of the most ancient, dating back to before the last Ice Age. A uniquely rich centre of floral diversity, the forest has more than 200 different types of tree, and a myriad of flowering plants including the other-worldly giant lobelia and a host of colourful orchids.Nyungwe is most alluring for its primates: 13 species in all, including humankind’s closest living relative the chimpanzee, as well as the handsome L’Hoest’s monkey and hundred-strong troops of the delightfully acrobatic Angola colobus. The most important ornithological site in Rwanda, Nyungwe harbours almost 300 bird species of which two dozen are restricted to a handful of montane forests on the Albertine Rift. The avian highlight of Nyungwe is the great blue turaco – an outlandish blue, red and green bird which streams from tree to tree like a procession of streamlined psychedelic turkeys.
An extensive network of well-maintained walking trails leads through the forest to various waterfalls and viewing points. A comfortably rustic resthouse and perfectly situated campsite lie alongside the main road, and the reserve can readily be visited as a day trip from the towns of Butare and Cyangugu. Nyungwe does, however, deserve more time: anybody who wants to track chimps and see several varieties of smaller primate will need two days there – and dedicated birdwatchers might never want to leave!
- Parc National Des Volcans“In the heart of Central Africa, so high up that you shiver more than you sweat,” wrote the eminent primatologist Dian Fossey, “are great, old volcanoes towering up almost 15,000 feet, and nearly covered with rich, green rainforest – the Virungas”. Situated in the far northwest of Rwanda, the Parc des Volcans protects the steep slopes of this magnificent mountain range – home of the rare mountain gorilla – and the rich mosaic of montane ecosystems, which embrace evergreen and bamboo forest, open grassland, swamp and heath.An exhilarating trek through the cultivated foothills of the Virungas offers stirring views in all directions. Then, abruptly, the trail enters the national park, immersing trekkers in the mysterious intimacy of the rainforest, alive with the calls of colourful birds and chattering of the rare golden monkey, and littered with fresh spoor of the mountains’ elusive populations of buffalo and elephant. Through gaps in the forest canopy, the magnificent peaks are glimpsed, easily accessible and among the highest in Africa, beckoning an ascent.The bustling market town of Ruhengeri has a memorable setting at the base of the Virungas. On the outskirts of town, the natural bridge at Musanze – a solidified lava flow – is a fascinating relic of the volcanic activity that shaped this scenic area. Also within easy day tripping distance of Ruhengeri are the seldom visited but lovely Lakes Burera, Ruhondo and Karago. Ruhengeri offers a good selection of reasonably-priced small hotels and guest houses, including the newly renovated hotel Gorilla’s Nest. Visitors could also base themselves in Gisenyi or Kigali and – with an early start – head to the Parc des Volcans and Ruhengeri as a day trip.
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- ZANZIBAR AND PEMBA ISLANDSAlthough Zanzibar and its neighbouring tropical island of Pemba do not have reserve or park status, they are worth mentioning here for the aquatic life, some rare primates and a fascinating history. Zanzibar is a common post-safari destination that adds a relaxing, exotic element to a hectic holiday.These islands lie at the top of Tanzania’s Indian Ocean coastline, which over the centuries have been influenced by numerous cultures which have blended together to create the Zanzibar of today. The confusing mix originates from an African Asian combination created by a touch of Persian, Arabian, Indian and Chinese influences with some Dutch, Portuguese and English thrown in for good measure. Slaves and spices made these islands famous.
Shirazi Persians and Omani Arabs settled and ruled the Zanzibar Sultanate, which explains the Arab influences and Muslim religion which endures today. Heavily carved and studded Zanzibar doors relieve the plain exteriors of many houses, many of which are peeling and dishevelled. The Indian influence produced coloured glasswork and ornamental fretwork balconies and today Gujerati traders sell just about anything from cloves to curios. The English legacy is a number of solid imperial buildings occupying the more select parts of The Stone Town.
The islands conjure up everything one could want from a tropical escape. Spectacular beaches, simple fishing villages, relaxing resorts, silence and solitude if you wish or the hustle and bustle in the narrow streets of an ancient town.
ANIMALS AND BIRDS
Palm fringed white beaches epitomise a perfect tropical scene. Add to this warm water and an unspoiled marine environment with coral gardens inhabited by brightly coloured fish, and the picture is complete. The islands offer world class scuba diving or snorkelling and deep sea fishing in the Pemba and Mnemba channels.
A visit to a spice farm will bring your sense of smell to life with pungent cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, ginger and black pepper, along with such exotic fruits as tamarind, guava, mango, rose apple and bananas. The rare red colobus monkey might also be seen at some farms and particularly at Jozani Forest in the south of Zanzibar and in Pemba’s natural forest.
Changuu Island used to house wayward slaves, but hundred year old tortoises occupy the prison now.
Lying within the tropics, Zanzibar experiences warm weather almost all the year.
Dry Season: The hottest month of the dry season is February with a maximum average daily temperature of 84°F (29°C). The southern hemisphere winter season is only slightly cooler here with a very pleasant average temperature of 70°F (21°C) in August.
Rainy Season: There are two periods of rain, heaviest in March to May and lesser rains in October and November.
• Diving and snorkelling on tropical reefs
• Historic Stone Town with its narrow streets
• Elaborate carved wooden doors
• Spices – 75% of the world’s cloves are grown here
• Traditional dhows
Zanzibar is part of the Republic of Tanzania but has its own separate government and multi-party democracy.
The two islands comprising Zanzibar (Unguja and Pemba) are about 22 miles (35km) off Tanzania’s coastline and lie 6 degrees south of the equator.
Access is by air or sea from Dar es Salaam.
This is a malarial area.
Africa’s other Parks and Game reserves
• Central Kaahari Game Reserve
• Chobe National Park
• Linyanti Swamp
• Makgadikgadi Pan National Park & Salt Pans
• Mashatu Game Reserve
• Nxai Pan National Park
• Okavango Delta
• Moremi Game Reserve
• Savuti Channel & Savute MarshSOUTH AFRICA
• Addo Elephant National Park
• Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve
• Cape Peninsula National Park
• Cedarerg Wilderness
• Drakensberg Mountains
• Hluhluwe and Umfolozi Game Reserves
• Kalahari Gemsbok National Park
• Knysna Lagoon, Gadern Route & Wilderness
• Kruger National Park
• Kruger Private Game Reserves
• Sabi-Sands Game Reserve
• Timbavati Game Reserve
• Makalali Game Reserve
• Madikwe Game Reserve
• Maputaland Coastal Forest Reserve
• Mkuze Game Reserve
• Ndumo and Tembe Elephant Park
• Phinda Private Game Reserve
• Pilanesberg National Park
• Rocktail Bay World Heritage Site
• St Lucia Wetland Park
• Tsitsikama National Park
• Welgevonden Game Reserve
• West Coast National Park
• Wild Coast and Transkei
• Caprivi Region
• Damaraland & Brandberg
• Etosha National Park
• Fish River Canyon & Ai-Ais Hot Springs
• Namib Desert & Namib-Naukluft Park
• Skeleton Coast National Park
• Waterberg PlateauMALAWI
• Lake Malawi
• Liwonde & Mvuu WildernessSWAZILAND
• Hlane Game Reserve
• Malolotja Nature Reserve
• Mkhaya Private Game Reserve
• Kafue National Park
• Lechwe Plains & Lochinvar
• Lower Zambezi National Park
• North Luangwa National Park
• South Luangwa National Park
• Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park
• Gona-re-Zhou National Park
• Hwange National Park
• Matusadona National Park
• Lake Kariba
• Malilangwe Private Willdlife Reserve
• Mana Pools National Park
• Matobo Hills National Park
• Victoria Falls