The Northern Tanzania region is headlined by the Serengeti, the mother of all safari areas, home to a vast wildebeest and zebra migration and other prodigious wildlife viewing. The region also contains cluster of further reserves including the volcanoes of Ngorongoro, the Rift Valley lakes of Manyara, Eyasi and Natron, as well as the more subtle landscapes of Tarangire.Because these reserves are so closely clustered together, the area has traditionally been visited by travelling overland from one to the next, with a private vehicle and driver-guide, which really does give you the freedom to explore and provides a uniquely engaging style of safari.
Tanzania North is an absolutely magnificent safari area, a place which we adore. It is one of those few areas which we could easily recommend it to virtually everyone, it is simply somewhere that you have to visit at some stage in your safari career.
But getting a trip right can be a very complicated business. Despite the magnificence of the region, a remarkably high proportion of visitors end up having a relatively poor quality safari experience, simply flogging up and down the main road regardless of the seasonal.
Traffic is the main potential negative. For most of the year 10% of the land area hosts over 90% of the visitor traffic and significant and distasteful vehicle clustering does occur. But if you divert just a few kilometres off this main drag, then you really can find yourself out on your own.
There is also a very wide range of accommodation in the area and choosing exactly the right mix of lodges and camps will be crucial to ensuring the quality, breadth and authenticity of your safari.
The region is best known for its authentic seasonal tented mobile camps, which are completely removed from the parks during the low seasons. We strongly recommend that you include at least one of these, even if you are not usually the camping type.
We divide Tanzania North into a total of eight sub-areas, each of which have their own very different character and safari seasonality. Most guests combine one, two or three of these areas into their safari ...
Serengeti ... is the mother of all parks, the undoubted highlight of this region. It is an extremely seasonal reserve and safari planning can be quite complicated. We sub-divide the reserve into a further eight areas, of which Serengeti Mara is the place to be for migration viewing and river crossings during the Jul/Oct dry season and Serengeti Southwest is one of the major centres for migration action during the calving season Dec/Apr.
Ngorongoro ... is a range of mountains which straddles the Rift Valley escarpment. An overland safari through this area inherently needs to travel up and over these mountains, he great highlight of which is the famous Ngorongoro Crater. The Ngorongoro Karatu area on the south-east side contains some wonderful farmhouse lodges, whilst the remote highland areas of Ngorongoro South and Ngorongoro North offer some superb options for hiking and trekking with Maasai.
Tarangire ... is the most southerly of the cluster of parks in this region, a substantial slice of wilderness which can be busy in the north end, but very quiet in the south. The park experiences a major clustering of wildlife during the Jun/Nov dry season, notably enormous numbers of elephants. There are some great little camps, some of which notably feature quality walking safari and night vehicle safari.