The Northern Circuit  

Arusha is one of the four cities of Tanzania and is the administrative capital of the Arusha Region. It is known as the safari capital of Tanzania as it is the hub for those arriving on their way to the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Conservation Areas. But these are just a few of the parks that are available to the safari enthusiast.

The city is a pleasant town that is at the base of a volcanic mountain called Mt. Meru and further away is the tallest mountain in Africa, Mt. Kilimanjaro. Apart from the mountains, there is Arusha National Park where one can experience walks in the park and activities like canoeing.

As the starting point for many safaris, there is accommodation for all types of clients, from the backpackers to the posh and luxurious establishments. Apart from taking the famed “jeep” to the parks, one can also fly to the far distant corners of Tanzania that have the many unspoiled parks and reserves offering rare animals, birds and plants.

If you want more information on the available accommodation in Arusha, please click here.


Just two hours from Arusha town is one of the many National Parks in Tanzania that offers one an amazing introduction to the flora and fauna of this great country. Along the way to Tarangire, there is also and experience of the culture as one goes through Maasai country. One will see the herds of cows, sheep and goats as they graze and walk towards the watering holes. Those who are lucky and drive on this road during the market days, thousands of Maasai men and women will be seen as they sell and buy products in the market dressed in the distinctive red and blue “shukas”.

Tarangire National Park is well known for the large herds of elephants that call it home. But it is not only elephants that are found here, but also other animal species like, zebras, impalas, wildebeests, and the baboons. For the bird lovers, Tarangire National Park will not disappoint as there has been known to be about 500 different species of birds. For those looking for the cats, the lions and leopards will be seen as they move around or on trees relaxing under the shades during the hot days.

There are all types of accommodation facilities available both inside and outside the park. One can choose between the lodges and the tented camps inside or outside the park. Some of the lodges and camps also offer an opportunity for night game drives and guided walks for an experience of a life time.

Please click here for accommodation in and around Tarangire National Park.


While the selling point for Tarangire National Park are the herds of elephants,Lake Manyara National Park has something extra and that is the flamingoes. The flamingoes migrate between the lakes in Kenya and Tanzania. One of the destination lakes in Tanzania is Lake Manyara. They come here yearly and form part of the ecosystem that makes this place unique.

While other parks have a lot of accommodation options inside the park, Lake Manyara National Park due to its size does not have as many camps or lodges inside the park.

Most visitors here tend to opt for the camps and lodges outside the park. Lake Manyara National Park is an ideal visit for a day or half a day. It is not recommended for a long visit unless one is a returning guest and would like to sit by the hippo pool and observe the hippos as they splash the water around them.

For information on accommodation around Lake Manyara National Park, please click here.


A visit to the northern safari circuit would be incomplete without a visit to the Ngorongoro Crater. Just after the Rift Valley escarpment, a crater was formed thousands of years ago by the same process that formed the Rift Valley. It is one of the wonders of the world and it is a spectacle to watch as the rim rises to over 2000 metres. While there are thousands of wild animals that call this special place home, a large population of Maasai men, women and children including their cows, sheep, goats and donkeys move around freely without disturbing the wild animals.

A game drive at the crater floor reveals large herds of elephants with large tusks, zebras, buffaloes and other smaller herbivorous, plus the big cats that follow them. Unlike other places, the black rhino can be found here and it is one of the endangered species therefore it requires round the clock protection against the poachers that sell the rhino horns in the far east as aphrodisiac concoctions. There is a permanent shallow lake that changes in size depending on the season.

The floor consists mainly of open grassland that is common in the African Savannah. The acacias and the hippo pool are another common feature of the crater floor. The diversity offered by the floor is unique to this place and it requires a whole day or two to experience all that is on offer. Due to the fact that the animals around here have been used to visitors, it is relatively easy to get very close to them although one should always remember that they are wild animals and therefore dangerous.

There is no accommodation on the crater floor and all the lodges and camps are around the crater rim and outside the conservation area. One should note that the rim is on a very high altitude and can be chilly at night. It is therefore recommended for one to carry a jacket or heavy clothing for the cold nights. Around the rim and outside the conservation area in the little town of Karatu, there are accommodation amenities that cater for all budgets.

For information on accommodation while visiting the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority click here.

After the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority to the west, one comes in contact with another ecosystem this time for animals alone and no one is grazing any domesticated animals or cultivating any crops. This is The Serengeti. The plains that are larger than some sovereign countries of the world. It stretches from Tanzania to Kenya forming a corridor for the wildebeest’s migration that takes place annually without fail.

Depending on the time of the year, and the location of the migration, the Serengeti is divided into four cardinal points. There is the North, South, East and West with each offering a different experience from the other. The Southern point of The Serengeti borders the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority and due to the nutrients offered by the volcanic ashes the wildebeests come here to give birth to their young and following them are the lions, leopards, cheetas and hyenas. The best time to visit experience the calving season is during the months between late December and early March.

Most lodges and camps are closed during the months of April and May due to the long rains. When the lodges and camps open in June, the migration is in the western side of the Serengeti and the young calves that were born in the south face the dangerous journey of crossing Grumeti River. Having escaped the lions, cheetahs and hyenas in the South, the young calves have to close the river that is full of crocodiles.

Once they close the river, they continue the journey north to the border with Kenya and into the Maasai Mara. By mid August, the great migration is closer to the Mara River in the North and another spectacle awaits as the thousands of wildebeests, zebras and impalas close the river as the drive to get to the Mara urges them on. Once they close to Kenya and into the Maasai Mara they will have reached their destination and turn back towards the southern part of the Serengeti. However, on their way south, they pass through the eastern side of the Serengeti and by December they will have done the full circle.

For accommodation in the Serengeti, please click here. We will recommend what is the best time to visit the different locations in the Serengeti.