Tanzania’s striking landscape and iconic wildlife is otherworldly.
Tanzania’s landscape is infinitely diverse and often otherworldly. Crowned by stunning mountains and volcanoes in the northeast, Mount Kilimanjaro stands as Africa's highest peak. The great lakes of the northwest include Lake Victoria, the biggest in Africa, and Africa’s deepest water mass, Lake Tanganyika.
The flat savanna plains of Tanzania encompass famed wildlife parks like Serengeti National Park - immortalized for its wildebeest migration – and the vast Selous Game Reserve, the largest in Africa. In the west, the tropical jungle of Gombe Stream National Park is home to Dr. Jane Goodall’s legendary chimpanzees. Meanwhile, the east coast is humid, tropical and sprayed with idyllic beaches, as is the legendary island of Zanzibar.
Among Tanzania’s endlessly diverse fauna, the ‘big five’ - rhino, elephant, buffalo, lion and leopard – remain the most iconic. Once prized as hunting trophies, tourists on photographic safaris (‘journey’ in Swahili) now cherish these wild beasts with their eyes, and cameras, from a safe and friendly distance.
The roll call of wildlife in Tanzania is infinite: birdwatchers can marvel at the 500 bird species in the Serengeti alone that live alongside cheetah, giraffe, zebra, rhino and lion; one can swim with the dolphins on Zanzibar; or contemplate the largest populations of elephants and buffalo in Africa in Selous Game Reserve.
The Great Wildebeest Migration
One and a half million wildebeest, five hundred thousand zebra, four million hooves pounding the plains of the Serengeti. This is the park at the height of the great migration, when columns of wildebeest up to twenty-file miles long instinctively follow fresh grasses through gorges, woodlands and crocodile-infested rivers. As the herds move, they fertilize their path, dropping 420 tons of dung daily. During wildebeest mating season, males circle their harems, battling junior males that threaten their dominance. This annual ritual results in an average of 8,000 births a day during calving season. The best time to view the great migration is from December through August.