Tanzania is our other fantastic home destination. It is very seasonal though and different parts of the country come into their own at entirely different times of year. Southern Tanzania is good from June to October, and the north is absolutely great all year round – but with strong seasonal migration of animals. The country is also home to Kilimanjaro – the tallest mountain in Africa – and a gorgeous coastline including the tropical spice islands of Zanzibar and Pemba – great beaches, coastal cultures and serene sailing onboard a traditional jahazi.
Every safari in Tanzania takes in at least part of the 5,700 square miles of the Serengeti. And generally focuses on the whereabouts of the 1.5 million strong Wildebeest Migration. On the southern Short Grass Plains through November to the calving in February and March. Then as the plains dry the herds move westwards to new grazing on the Grumeti River. This is where the rut occurs in June, before they sweep northwards to the Mara River and into Kenya in July and August. To finally make the long return journey southwards in September and October. That is the Year of the Wildebeest. The Serengeti is also known for its Acacia woodland opening into expansive open plains, granite outcrops – like islands in a sea of grass and an extraordinary local abundance of wildlife. I know the Serengeti intimately and some of my favourite areas are good year round.
In Northern Tanzania we also include Tarangire National Park – for some of the largest elephant herds in East Africa, Lake Manyara – seasonally for thousands of flamingos, and Ngorongoro Crater – the world’s largest collapsed volcanic caldera. In Southern Tanzania lies the huge wilderness of the Selous Game Reserve – 1,250 square miles of unbroken bush just waiting to be explored, Ruaha National Park – stunning early morning walks on the riverbank and beautiful kopjies, and Katavi Plains National Park – for massive herds of hippo, buffalo and some of the largest lions in Tanzania. And on the eastern shore of the beautiful Lake Tanganyika lie the Mahale Mountains – home to habituated groups of chimpanzees.