Northern Circuit:

More tourists visit the Northern Circuit than most other parts of the country, and with good reason. The sprawling landscapes, numerous varieties of wildlife, and fascinating cultures are facets of northern Tanzania, and in particular, the Northern Circuit. Drier climates and rocky terrain accompany lower elevations, while misty highlands and cool air complement unusual foliage and forest dwellers. Ease of travel throughout the region is generally determined by weather conditions. Rain makes most roads slick and slow. The dry season is the most suitable time for smooth travel, dust being the only impediment. Game-viewing is at its optimum in the Ngorongoro Crater and on the Serengeti Plains. The largest animal migration in the world - that of the white-bearded wildebeest-begins and ends here at various times of the year, and the alkaline lakes shimmer pink with the presence of millions of flamingos.


Arusha National Park

The park has three distinct zones: Ngurdoto Crater (often described as a mini Ngorongoro), the Momella Lakes, a group of shallow alkaline lakes fed by underground streams, and Mount Meru, one of the most rewarding mountains to climb in Africa.

Animals here include buffalos, elephants, hippos, giraffes, zebras, a variety of antelopes, blue monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, leopards and hyenas. It is a good place for a day hike.


Lake Manyara National Park

Hemingway describes Lake Manyara National Park's magnificent hunting country in "The Green Hills of Africa". Mahogany, sausage, and croton trees abound, along with blue and velvet monkeys. Elephants feed off of fallen fruits while bushbucks, waterbucks, baboons, aardvarks, civets, shy pangolins and leopards all make their home in the forest. Manyara is sanctuary to elusive buffalos, hippos, giraffes, impalas, zebras and its most famous residents - tree climbing lions. Lake Manyara itself is a magnet for numerous birds and a kaleidoscope of different species can be found around its shores, including large flocks of flamingos. The park is ideal for a day trip. A four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended during the rainy season. The dry season runs from June to September and January to February.


Ngorongoro Conservation Area

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a huge area containing active volcanoes, mountains, archaeological sites, rolling plains, forests, lakes, dunes and of course, the Ngorongoro Crater and Olduvai Gorge. The views at the rim of Ngorongoro Crater are sensational. On the crater floor, grassland blends with swamps, lakes, rivers, woodlands, and mountains. The crater is a paradise for wildlife: it has the densest predator population in Africa and is home to up to 25,000 large mammals, mainly grazers - gazelles, buffaloes, elands, hartebeest and warthogs. You will not find any giraffes or topis as there is not much to eat at tree level. Because the competition with wildebeest is so fierce, impalas are not found there. The crater elephants are, strangely, mainly bulls. There are a small number of black rhinos here, too. The bird life is largely seasonal and is also affected by the ratio of soda to fresh water in Lake Magadi on the crater floor. In the northern, remote part of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, you will find Olmoti and Empakaai Craters, Lake Natron and Oldoinyo Lengai, "Mountain of God", as named by the Maasai. Lake Natron is the only known breeding ground for East Africa's flamingoes. The ruins of a terraced stone city and complex irrigation system lie on the eastern side of Empakaai known as the Engakura Ruins. Their origins are a mystery as there is no tradition of stone building in that part of Africa.


Serengeti National Park

The Serengeti is on of the world's last great wildlife refuges. This vast area of land supports the greatest remaining concentration of plain game in Africa, on a scale unparalleled anywhere else in the world. The name comes from the Maasai 'Siringeti', meaning endless plains. Equal in size to Northern Ireland, the Park contains an estimated three million large animals, most of which take part in a seasonal migration that is one of nature's wonders. The annual migration of more than 1.5 million wildebeests as well as hundreds of thousands of zebras and gazelles is triggered by the rains. The wet season starts in November and lasts until about May. Generally the herds congregate and move out at the end of May. Their movement is a continual search for grass and water - the moving mass of animals requiring over 4,000 tons of grass each day. The exodus coincides with the breeding season, which causes fights among the males. As the dry season sets in the herds drift out of the West, one group to the North, the other north-east heading for the permanent waters of the northern rivers and the Mara. The immigration instinct is so strong that animals die in the rivers as they dive from the banks into the raging waters, to be dispatched by crocodiles. The survivors concentrate in Kenya's Maasai Mara National reserve until the grazing there is exhausted, at which time they turn south along the eastern and final stage of the migration route. Before the main exodus, the herds are a spectacular sight, massed in huge numbers with the weak and crippled at the tail end of the procession, followed by patient, vigilant predators. The vegetation in the Serengeti ranges from the short and long grass plains in the south, to the acacia savanna in the center, to the wooded grassland concentrated around the tributaries of the Grumeti and Mara Rivers. The western corridor is a region of wooded highlands and extensive plains reaching to the edge of Lake Victoria.

The Seronera Valley in the Serengeti is famous for the abundance of lions and leopards that can usually be seen quite easily. The adult male lions of the Serengeti have black manes.


Tarangire National Park

Tarangire lies to the south of the large open grass plains of southern Maasailand. The features of Tarangire which correlate with the type of animals residing in the area are grass lands and flood plains. Tarangire is famous for its tree-climbing pythons, zebras, hartebeests, elephants, buffaloes, waterbucks, gazelles, oryx and abundant bird life. In Tarangire a prominent indigenous tree is the baobab (Adansonia digitata). Distinct in appearance and believed to survive for several centuries, some of these quiet giants have been shown by recent carbon dating to be close to 3,000 years old. Usually found growing in low-lying arid and semi-arid regions, the baobab stands tall and robust, with a trunk circumference of up to 10 m (33 ft.). The tree's stubby, unruly branches give it an air of having been uprooted and deposited head-first in the soil. Its branches are bereft of leaves most of the year. While the tree's white blossoms are lovely to look at, they carry a most unpleasant scent. Practically every part of the baobab can be consumed and is used by both man and beast. Leaves, fruit, flowers, seeds and roots are all used for medicinal purposes, particularly for fever and vitamin C deficiencies. The baobab's hollow trunk is used by hornbills as a nesting rook, by the locals to bury their dead, and even as a water reservoir; some trees have been known to have a capacity of 140,000 litres (30,800 gal)! The baobab's wood is spongy and so is clearly not suitable for building material, firewood or charcoal. However, its fibrous bark has a multitude of uses, from ropes, mats and cloth to the creation of musical instruments. The baobab is an extremely adaptable tree, and is able even to survive fires. Once its outer skin has been stripped away, it is capable - if left to recover undisturbed - of regenerating new bark. These attributes help to prolong the life of the amazing baobab despite both man-made and natural adversities.


THE SHIFTING SANDS AND OLMOTI/EMPAKAI CRATERS

Located just north of Olduvai is a fascinating natural phenomenon, a barchan (crescent-shaped) dune known as the "Shifting Sands". It is composed of ash blown west after one of Ol Donyo Lengai's eruptions roughly 30,000 years ago. There are several other dunes created in the same manner, though they are further away and not as large. The Shifting Sands are 100-m long and 9-m high (109-yds, 30-ft). They can by no means be compared to the giants found in Namibia. But its unique location, set as it is in the grassland plains, and its continual westward movement, make it an interesting stop on your safari. The dune moves only during the dry season, covering an average of 17-m (18-yds) per year, as indicated by the concrete markers first set up in 1969. A dune's is formed by the westward wind, which continuously blow the sand up the windward side, forcing it to crest over the peak and tumble down the leeward side. Many granules roll to the sides of the dune, forming the tight curves. The wind swirling around the dune aids in keeping its shape as it slowly moves across the pen savanna. The Maasai people believe the Shifting Sands is sacred. Masaai women perform ceremonial dances there to ensure fertility, good rainfall and good health for their children.


OLDUVAI GORGE:

The name "Olduvai" is a mispronunciation of the Maasai word "oldupai" for the wild sisal (Sansevieria ehrenbergiana), a plant that is common throughout that area. Here in a 50-km (31-m) stretch that is sometimes 90-m (295-ft) deep, a gorge cut in the earth reveals distinct layers of rock harboring a wealth of historical information. Three and a half million years ago, Sadiman mountain, to the west of Ngorongoro Crater, puffed and spewed out masses of grey ash, covering a good portion of the plains. Subsequent rain settled the ash, which in turn played a natural record-keeping role by preserving the animal spoors that existed at the time. Some of the animals that roamed the plains then were very different from what they are today. For example, there are traces left by the Hipparion, a horse-like animal with three toes. However, similar modern-day species also existed then, as records show that giraffe and guinea fowl were plentiful. Through the discoveries at Laetoli, a site to the south of Olduvai, by world-renowned archaeologist/palaeontologist Mary Leakey in 1976 and 1978, we know that at least three hominids also walked across the plains. Known today as Australopithecus afarensis, they probably resembled ape more than man; the height of this early ancestor was believed to average 1.5-m (5-ft), while its brain (measured in cubic centimeters) was small at only 400 cc - today man's brain averages 1,400 cc. However the fact remains that this ancient hominid walked on two legs, leaving his hands free, possibly to carry tools or weapons, and to hunt and defend himself.

UNTAMED SAFARIS
Back to Home Pageshapeimage_4_link_0

The success of your vacation depends on the symphony of the booking agents, the sales team and the driver guides with you in the field. Coordination and teamwork is therefore very essential for the success of your safari vacation in Tanzanian. Untamed personnel are continuously trained in team building and outdoor schools.

UNTAMED SAFARIS
spend 15% of the profit to help the poor, needy orphan children in Arusha.