See is the map of the most national parks in Tanzania, including the popular Serengeti, more remote Gombe and a total wilderness paradise that is Katavi.
Largely based on the ease of access and a choice of accommodation to the parks, the parks in Tanzania are divided into Northern, Southern and – even more vaguely – West.
Northern Circuit Parks: Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Tarangire, Lake Manyara
Northern parks are by far the most popular due to Serengeti’s fame and the Wildebeest Migration that takes place there. But in terms of logistics, these parks – Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire and Lake Manyara – are very easily accessed from Arusha and Kilimanjaro airport. The whole journey might be about 2-3 hours in total.
Southern Circuit Parks: Selous, Ruaha
Southern parks are far less visited and this is due to the fact that they are harder to reach. To avoid five-hour drives from Dar es Salaam, visitors usually fly into these parks. Flights take about under an hour but come with heftier price tags. Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park are also connected by flights (90 minutes), to make a trip south even more invigorating.
Western Parks: The Mahale Mountains, Gombe, Katavi
Western parks – the Mahale Mountains and Gombe National Park – are only visited by about 5% of all travellers to Tanzania. And this is not because chimpanzee tracking available here is lacking in excitement, but because the roads get muddy and accessing these parks is often a challenge on top of the higher price of flying in here. However, this is exactly what makes them so unique and definitely worth considering.
To reach Katavi National Park one will have to endure a 4-5 hour flight from Arusha or Dar es Salaam.
This just gives you an idea of the size of Tanzania. It’s about 1.5 times bigger than the US state of Texas. Says it all in terms of true adventure being hard to find!
Time Needed for Your Safari
To complete a safari in the North, visiting all the parks you will need about 8 days, in the South – add another few days, and then if you go west, add another week as tracking chimps might take more than a day and the nature there is out of this world so you will want to enjoy it whilst you are there. Probably only once in your lifetime.