With its 945,000 km2, Tanzania is an extremely wide country, whose landscape includes plateaux, plains characterized by savannah and miombo woodlands, mountain ranges, 80 km long coastline on the Indian Ocean and archipelagos like Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia.
These areas hide several wonders: first of all Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain of African continent thanks to its 5,895 meters, and some internationally well-known lakes such as Lake Victoria, on whose shores the city of Mwanzaflourishes, and Lake Tanganyica, the second deepest lake in the World (1,435 m), in addition to the Great Rift Valley’s salt lakes, including Lake Natron, Lake Eyasi and Lake Manyara.
Tanzania is sprinkled with 14 national parks and roughly thirty conservation areas and fauna reserves.
The most visited parks are those of the Northern Circuit, the most studied and filmed ever. This circuit includes The Serengeti National Park, where you can see the Great Migration of wildebeests looking for grazing and water, and The Ngorongoro Conservation Area, an area densely populated by animals, with three craters – the Ngorongoro, the Olmiti and the Empakaai. Both conservation areas are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
On the borders of these two giants there is the Olduvai Gorge, an important area where the Leakeys – Kenyan anthropologists of English origin – discovered remarkable hominin remains from different prehistoric periods, included the Australopithecus Boisei, who exclusively inhabited this area.
This region also includes Lake Eyasiand Lake Manyara, in the National Park bearing the same name. The two lakes formed from depressions resulting from the eastern branch of The Great Rift Valley, and Tarangire National Park, famous not only for its large community of elephants and majestic baobabs but also for the wildebeest migration to Lake Tarangire during the dry season.
The end of the Northern Circuit is Arusha National Park, where Mount Peru stands 4,566 meters high, a few kilometres from the city of Arusha, the undisputed destination for safaris in Tanzania as well as gateway to any parks of the Northern Circuit.
Once you have crossed Usambara Mountains, you get to the coast, to the sleepy and colonial city of Tangaand to the Indian Ocean, where you find islands and archipelagos. On the coast, exactly in front of Zanzibar, there is the Saadani National Park, created in order to protect rare species, in particular dolphins and sea turtles.
From Dar es Salaam you head towards the so-called Southern Circuit which includes Mikumi National Park, Ruaha National Park, Udzungwa Mountains National Park, as well as the vast area of Selous Game Reserve, the largest of Africa, where you can still bump into wild dogs, which have died out in the rest of the world, but this place is characterized by a great concentration of other species too.
The central part of Tanzania, where the capital city Dodomalies, is the most rugged of the country. Plateaux and grasslands characterize this area. Kondoa and other villages close to it play an important role thanks to their famous cave paintings dated back between 1,000 and 6,000 years and made by local primitive tribes. Absolutely astonishing!
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