Tanzania is wild Africa with wilderness which has remained unchanged for aeons and where the timeless struggles for survival have been enacted and re-enacted on its plains, shores and forests since the beginning of time.
Tanzania hosts some of the Earth’s most wondrous sights, names which quicken the pulse of even the most well-travelled: the towering Mount Kilimanjaro; the pulsing plains of the Serengeti; the primeval Ngorongoro Crater; the vast Selous. Tanzania tends to be split into the Northern and Southern Circuits. The various National Parks and Reserves of these regions are what initially capture the imagination of visitors but combining a safari with a stay on its stunning and exotic coastline or idyllic neighbouring islands really puts the icing on the cake.
The Northern Circuit tends to steal the limelight having the main tourist draw cards and, as a result of its proximity to Kilimanjaro Airport and Arusha, and its infrastructure, it is certainly the most accessible. The Ngorongoro Crater, a World Heritage Site, is a phenomenal natural amphitheatre enclosing an estimated 30,000 animals! It is incredibly impressive and, deservedly, popular.
A stay at one of the crater lodges rewards with incredible sunrises and sunsets. The Serengeti National Park is famed for the migration of massive herds of wildebeest, zebra and antelope, forever stalked by their ubiquitous predators. There are also numerous other parks on the Northern Circuit including Tarangire and Lake Manyara, each with their own particular characteristics.
For the more active the 5,895m (19,340 ft) Mount Kilimanjaro is a great temptation but it is a serious hike to its summit.
The Southern Circuit has little infrastructure and is less frequented. Camps and lodges are separated by great distances and best reached by light aircraft. The experience is one of isolation and harmony with the bush.
The Selous Game Reserve is the second largest in the world and is essentially closed in the wet season (April to June) when its few roads become impassable. Mikumi and the Ruaha are the least accessible parks, while to the west lies Lake Tanganiya - the largest of the Rift Valley lakes teeming with tropical fish and flanked by beaches, mountains and forests.
Tanzania offers a real wilderness experience. A safari here is enriching and game viewing is regarded as some of the best, and least contrived, in Africa. Moving around is less easy and tends to be more expensive but the effort is repaid by the experience many times over.