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Since the colonial era, wildlife conservation in Tanzania has been the prerogative of the government. Under this structure, the use of wildlife resources by local communities had always been restrictive, causing increased rural poverty and poaching. In recent years, the Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA) has initiated corrective actions to involve the local community in conservation efforts, which is aimed at contribution to local economies by way of equitable benefits sharing.

Exports of the Nile perch yields US$100 million annually to Tanzania. The wildlife resources in Tanzania provide an annual income of US$30 million to the national exchequer, and an income of US$9 million as revenue from the leasing companies. Illegal hunting is estimated to be worth US$50 million. In the 1990s, exports of 1.68 million birds, 523,000 reptiles, 12,000 mammals and 148,000 amphibians occurred, in addition to an increase in wildlife related tourism by about 30%. Fishery resources have also contributed richly to the export revenue of the country with export value of US$130 million reported in 2003, with the export of the Nile perch accounting for a major share of US$100 million.

Arusha National Park


Gombe Stream National Park


Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park

Katavi National Park


Kilimanjaro National Park

  • As the name implies, Mount Kilimanjaro gives its name to the park. It is the highest mountain in Africa at 5,895 metres (19,341 ft) and is also the tallest free-standing mountain in the world. The park provides a "climatic world tour, from the tropics to the Arctic". Vegetation in the park includes thick Montane forests, mosses and lichen, and giant lobelias. The park, established in 1977, encompasses an area of 1,668 square kilometres (644 sq mi) and is within the riverine and palustrine ecosystem. Resident wild animals include elephantleopardAfrican buffalo, the endangered Abbott's duiker, and other small antelopes and primates. There is hardly any game viewing in this park. However, it is popular for mountaineering expeditions to climb the volcanic cones of Kibo, which has several remnant glaciers, and Mawenzi and to witness the Afro-montane moorland habitat. It is one of the most visited parks in Tanzania. The municipality of Moshi is near several of the park entrances and is 128 square kilometres (49 sq mi) east of the larger city of Arusha.


Kitulo National Park


Mahale Mountains National Park

  • Mahale Mountains National Park, next to the Gombe Stream National Park is set on the shores of the Lake Tanganyika with a watershed comprising richly forested Mahale Mountains with its peaks as high as 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) above the lake shore. Nkungwe peak (2,460 metres (8,070 ft)) is the park’s largest mountain in the Mahale range which is venerated by the local Tongwe people. Located in a remote and not easily approachable area, the park is spread over an area of 1,613 square kilometres (623 sq mi). Among the wild animals found here, chimpanzees are a star attraction with a reported population of about 800. Other primates found in large numbers are the red colobus, red-tailed and blue monkey. The unpolluted clear water lake, the second deepest lake in Tanzania, has as many as 1,000 fish species.


Lake Manyara National Park

  • Lake Manyara National Park, which encompasses an area of 330 square kilometres (130 sq mi) includes 200 square kilometres (77 sq mi) (at high water stage) of Lake Manyara, an alkaline lake, below the 600 metres (2,000 ft) high rift valley; Ernest Hemingway called this lake “the loveliest I had seen in Africa”. The geography of the park is seen formed by the serrated blue volcanic peaks that rise from the extensive Maasai steppes. It lies within the riverine and palustrine wetland ecosystem. Wild animals seen are troops of baboons, blue monkeys, bushbuck, giraffes, tree climbing lions, squadrons of banded mongooseKirk's dik-dik and pairs of klipspringer. Elephants, which were nearing extinction in the 1980s due to poaching, have been well conserved now. Bird life of 400 species are recorded in the park and on any given day at least 100 of them could be sighted – large number of pink-hued flamingoes, water birds such as pelicanscormorants and storks. The entry gate to the park is 126 kilometres (78 mi), west of Arusha from Mto wa Mbu, an ethnic town. The park is also connected by charter or scheduled flights from Arusha via Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. Recent activities in the park relate to "canoeing, mountain biking, walking and abseiling" It is located between Lake Victoria and the Arusha-Dodoma Road.


Mikumi National Park

  • Mikumi National Park covers an area of 3,230 square kilometres (1,250 sq mi) (the fourth largest park in the country) in a 75,000 square kilometres (29,000 sq mi) tract of wilderness that extends east, close to the Indian Ocean. It borders in the north with the Selous Game Reserve, which is the largest such reserve in Africa. The habitat has the Mkata floodplain, extensive grass plains with the Mkata River flowing through the park and the miombo-covered foothills of the mountains. It lies within the riverine and palustrine wetland ecosystem. Animal life consists of herd of zebras, lions in the grassy vastness, wildebeest, impala, buffalo herds, giraffes, elands, kudu, sable and hippos in water ponds (5 kilometres (3.1 mi) north of the main entrance gate). Antelope, and elephants are also seen. Bird species recorded are 400, which includes lilac-breasted rolleryellow-throated longclaw and bateleur eagle. It is connected by a 283 kilometres (176 mi) road with Dar es Salaam, via Selous Reserve, Ruaha, Udzungwa and Katavi.


Mkomazi National Park


Ruaha National Park

  • Ruaha National Park is Tanzania's largest national park, covering 20,226 square kilometres (7,809 sq mi). It has rugged, semi-arid bush country, typical of central Tanzania. The Ruaha River flows through the park and gets flooded during the rainy season, otherwise remaining an ephemeral stream with ponds, sand and rocky river bed and banks. The park includes an extensive riverine and palustrine wetland ecosystem on the Usangu Plain. Open grasslands and acacia savanna abound in the park. There are reportedly 10,000 elephants, zebras, giraffes, impala, waterbuck and other antelopes, cheetahs, striped and spotted hyena, sable and roan antelope sable and roan antelope, greater kudu with corkscrew horns (which is the park’s emblem) in the park. Of the reported 450 bird species, notable ones are the crested barbet (yellow-and-black bird), endemics such as the yellow-collared lovebird and ashy starling. It is located 128 km west of Iringa.


Rubondo Island National Park

  • Rubondo Island National Park is an island park with an area of 457 square kilometres (176 sq mi). It is located in northwest Tanzania, 150 kilometres (93 mi) west of Mwanza. It includes nine smaller islands. It is in the lacustrine wetland ecosystem on the shores of the Lake Victoria. Known as a "water wonderland", it is fish breeding ground; tilapiayellow-spotted otters and Nile perch (as heavy as 100 kilograms (220 lb)) are some of the special species.

  • Mammal species abound in this remote and not easily accessible park and consist of indigenous species of hippos, vervet monkeysgenets and mongooses, which coexist with introduced species of chimpanzee, black-and-white colobus, elephant and giraffe, bushbucks, shaggy-coated aquatic sitatunga. Fish eagles are seen near the bay and so also crocodiles.


Saadani National Park

  • Saadani National Park, a game reserve since the 1960s, was declared a national park in 2002, covers an area of 1,062 square kilometres (410 sq mi) including the former Mkwaja ranch area, the Wami River and the Zaraninge forest. It is the only park in East Africa with an Indian Ocean beachfront. It is Tanzania's 13th National Park. Animals are seen basking along the Indian Ocean shores. Before it was declared a national park it was maintained by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) with the objective to preserve the last coastal rainforest in the country. It was also run as a cattle ranch between 1952 and 2000. Hunting lodges had also been established on the coastal front of the park, which catered to the celebrities who came here for hunting game and to be away from the busy life in Dare es Salam.

  • The climate in this sea coast fronted park is hot and humid. Marine and mainland fauna reported in the park are of 30 species of large mammals, reptiles and birds; elephants, black and white colobus monkeys and Roosevelt sable antelope are some of the terrestrial species, while the marine or coastal species noted are many species of fish, green turtles which breed on the beaches, dolphins (pomboo) and humpback whales (nyangumi).


Saanane Island National Park


Serengeti National Park

  • Serengeti National Park is the oldest and most popular national park which was established in 1951, with an area of 14,763 square kilometres (5,700 sq mi). The habitat, bounded by Kenya and bordered by Lake Victoria on the west, is characterized by vast plains, savannah, wooded hills, large termite mounds, rivers, and acacia woodlands. The spectacular wildlife witnessed in the park generally refers to the great Wildebeest migration where a million wildebeests chase green lands across the rolling plains of Serengeti in Tanzania and Masai Mara in Kenya. Sometimes they are seen in 40 square kilometres (15 sq mi) long columns migrating across the rivers to the north, over a distance of 1,000 square kilometres (390 sq mi), after spending three weeks of mating and giving birth to 8000 calves daily. This migration and life cycle creation is an annual feature witnessed in the park. This migration is in unison with 200,000 zebra and 300,000 Thomson's gazelle in search of grazing pastures, aptly described as "six million hooves pound the open plains". Other mammals seen here are buffaloes, elephants, giraffe, large number of elands, topiskongonis, impalas, and Grant's gazelles. The predators inhabiting the park are lionsleopardsjackalsspotted hyenasrock hyrax and serval cats. Reptiles include agama lizards and crocodiles. Bird species recorded are more than 500, which include ostrich and secretary bird. 100 varieties of dung beetle are also reported.


Tarangire National Park

  • Tarangire National Park is the sixth largest national park in Tanzania named after the Tarangire River which flows through the park and is a perennial river that assures water to both humans and animals even during the dry period. It has an area of 2,850 square kilometres (1,100 sq mi) to the south east of Lake Manyara. Mammals in the park are a number of elephants and migratory wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, gazelle, hartebeest and eland. Predators seen are the tree climbing lions and leopards. The most common reptile seen is African pythons climbing the baobab trees. The park has 550 breeding species of birds stated to be the largest number in any park in the world; Kori bustard (heaviest flying bird), the stocking-thighed ostrich (world's largest bird), ground hornbills, yellow-collared lovebird, rufous-tailed weaver and ashy starling which are endemic to savanna habitat are seen in the park. Termite mounds, dwarf mongoose and pairs of red-and-yellow barbets are a common sight in the park. It is accessed by road from the southwest of Arusha over a distance of 18 kilometres (11 mi). Airlinks are also available from airports at Arusha and the Serengeti.


Udzungwa Mountains National Park

  • Udzungwa Mountains National Park, with an area of 1,990 square kilometres (770 sq mi), is part of the Eastern Arc Mountains (which comprise mountain ranges from the Taita Hills in southern Kenya to the Makambako Gap in south-central Tanzania). Sometimes called an "African Galapagos" for the uniqueness of its wildlife, the park encompasses hills ranging in elevation between 250 metres (820 ft) and the 2,576 metres (8,451 ft) of Lohomero peak, the highest in the park. The park's habitat covers tropical rainforest, mountain forest, miombo woodland, grassland and steppe. The park has the distinction of holding 30–40 percent of plants and animal species of Tanzania. More than 400 bird species and 6 primate species are reported from the park. It has the second largest biodiversity of a national park within Africa. It is included in the list of 34 "World Biodiversity Hotspot". It is also listed as one of the 200 WWF Eco regions of global critical importance. Six primate species have been recorded, five of which are endemic. The Udzungwa red colobus and Sanje mangabey are only found in the Udzungwa Mountains National Park; that mangabey was only recognised as a distinct species in 1986.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

  • Although it is not a national park, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) with an area of 8,292 square kilometres (3,202 sq mi) was recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as a World Heritage Site in 1979. The criteria cited for this recognition include: (1) crucial evidence found within the NCA about human evolution and human-environment dynamics (this criterion added in 2010); (2) the "stunning landscape" of Ngorongoro Crater, the largest unbroken caldera in the world; (3) the NCA's large concentration of wildlife, including 25,000 large animals; and (4) the NCA's variations in climate, landforms and altitude, resulting in several overlapping ecosystems and distinct habitats.

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