You finally took the plunge on THAT bucket list adventure. You booked the trip to Tanzania, packed your bags and watched The Lion King to prepare for your experience.
But there’s something nagging at you: the Serengeti is a BIG park. Where do you go? What do you want to see?
You paid a lot of money for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. You definitely don’t want to miss out on anything.
And I was the same way. I was worried that I wouldn’t have enough time or would spend my days wishing I had better planned ahead.
I’VE GOT YOU, BOO. Each of these tours highlights something different. Tried, tested, and true, here are 5 safari drives you want to do in Tanzania.
Tarangire National Park
Known for their abundant elephant populations, Tarangire is a good first stop after you land in Arusha. You will be absolutely thrilled to see a zebra drink at the watering hole, and the baobab trees towering over you will have you squealing with delight at your first African safari experience.
This is also a bird lover’s park. Lots of trees mean lots of birds, so be sure to pack your camera and keep an eye out for my favourite hornbill, Zazu.
Take note that the Tsetse flies may be bad in this park. Our vehicle was sprayed before heading in, although we didn’t think the flies were bad when we went in the dry season.
- baobab trees
Before it collapsed inside itself, this site was actually a volcano. Now called Ngorongo Crater, it is the largest caldera in the world and an absolute must-see for a safari drive.
The real highlight that brings tourists here: the elusive rhino. Whether you see one or not depends on your chances, but I would say that it is worth a shot.
Even if you are only able to spot one through binoculars like we did, there are many other animals in the crater to admire, such as lions, zebras, wildebeest, hippos, and elephants.
Personally, I found the crater itself to be the most impressive. In the book Wild by Cheryl Strayed, she refers to a caldera as ‘a mountain in reverse,’ and I find that that is exactly what it is. The caldera has filled out over the years with lush landscape, providing an oasis for the animals who now live in the crater.
When I thought of the African Savannah, I imagined wide open plains that stretched to infinity and beyond. I was quite a bit surprised at the trees and forested areas, but I now know that the elephants and giraffes thrive in such places!
However, when you embark on your safari drive in Cat Country, you begin to understand the word Serengti, which means ‘endless plains.’
Cat Country is VAST. It has wide open spaces for running and long grass for grazing (and hiding). The plains seem to stretch on forever, both beautiful and unforgiving all at once.
We saw two cheetahs that had just gorged themselves on a meal and a leopard who was snoozing high up on a rock.
I was slightly horrified when I saw a lioness hunt and kill a warthog just meters from our vehicle, but that my friends, is the circle of life.
The Wildebeest Migration
Did you even go to the Serengeti if you didn’t see the biggest migration on Earth? We had to track the migration all the way to the Mara River on the border of Kenya, but it was the best sight to see.
With almost two million zebras and wildebeest following the rain and therefore the fresh grasses, the Great Wildebeest Migration is considered one of the Top Ten Wonders of the Natural World.
Another fun fact: they follow one another in a straight line! It is truly the biggest game of follow the leader you will ever see and a definite must-do on your safari drive.
Centrally located and popular among tourists, there are a couple of highlights in the region that you could cover in one day.
Along with the abundance of animals in the area, both the Seronera Visitor’s Centre and the Retina Hippo Pool are worth a visit.
Ask to drive the Seronera River Circuit and keep an eye out for the comical sausage trees, which actually look like they have sausages hanging from them.
- sausage trees