A short stop in Arusha, the Geneva of Africa, opens a world beyond on this tour though the Tanzanian wild. Your trip into the bush starts at Tarangire National Park, one of the best nature parks in the world, where zebras, giraffes, and elephants adorn the lush landscape. The magic of the Serengeti and Lake Manyara National Park are no less enchanting, and end a trip in the bush that won’t be easily forgotten.
Your first stop is in a city nestled between the soaring peaks of Mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro: Arusha. The lively streets of Arusha buzz with the energy of the Central Market, where locals sell hand-woven baskets and shirts in traditional Maasai style. Make sure to visit the Arusha Declaration Museum, which traverses Tanzania’s political history and its hard-fought independence from British Colonial rule.
2. Tarangire National Park
Any tour of Tanzania’s northern safari circuit would be incomplete without a visit to the virgin Tarangire National Park, one of the gems of northern Tanzania. Today, you’ll see why: the ecosystems at this park are wide-ranging and colossal, with habitats that are far different to other local national parks; its game-viewing zone, for instance, is ten times the size of the nearby Lake Manyara National Park.
Karatu was once a staple in the cartography of the German colonial administration. Today, Karatu’s main street zips with rainbow-colored stalls—look out for the vivid “Mrs. Obama” and “John Kerry” gift shops—which sell anything from local chapati snacks to Tinga Tinga paintings. Have a cup of coffee at the Ngia Coffee Estate or the Kifaru Coffee plantation, which provide a fascinating window into Tanzania’s coffee culture.
4. Northern Serengeti
A highlight of your trip is next: the vast, rolling savanna of the Northern Serengeti, which is known as the hub of the great migration. Wildlife can be seen along the banks of the Mara River and visitors can view the annual spectacle of the half a million migrating wildebeest. Commonly spotted wildlife includes a multitude of plains game such as buffalo, gazelles, and impala, as well as lion and leopard. Visitors can look forward to bird watching, hot air ballooning, game safaris and guided bush walks.
5. Lake Manyara National Park
An afternoon game-drive at the Lake Manyara National Park will bring you one step closer to Tanzania’s magical wildlife. Take your camera out and be ready to spot the sight of thousands of pink flamingos taking off from the crystalline lake. A large variety of birds, elephants, and baboon will also make your game-drive one of the most unique on your trip.
End your trip where you started in Arusha. No visit to the city is complete without a stop at any of the city’s street-food stands: chow down on “Chicken on the Bonnet”—a local specialty at Khan’s Barbeque in the city center—to experience the best of a city whose multicultural melting pot is comprised of more than 100 nationalities. Enjoy the Tanzanian sunset one last time before you return home.
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