Take, for example, Tarangire - a National Park that flies below
most people's radar yet which in our summer months boasts one of
the highest concentrations of game in East Africa. The park itself
is also extremely beautiful, dotted with huge ancient baobabs and
an ideal spot for a walking safari.
Neighbouring Lake Manyara dovetails beautifully with Tarangire,
offering birdlife outstanding and plentiful enough to turn the
least ornithologically minded into born again twitchers. Add
tree-climbing lions (presumably trying to catch all those birds)
and the spectacular sight of thousands of flamingos on the lake and
it's another African classic.
Speaking of African classics, they don't come much more classic
than the Ngorongoro Crater, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This
three million year old and 12 mile wide caldera of an extinct
(thankfully) volcano is quite possibly the world's best natural
zoo, with the high walls acting like a vast pen, and the lush
crater floor home to game including elephant, buffalo, giraffe,
black-maned lion, the endangered black rhino in unprecedented
numbers. For the full photographic cultural experience while on a
Northern Tanzania safari throw in local Maasai herders who graze
their cattle here.
Finally, less dramatic but an excellent potential pitstop
between safari and beach action is the hill country of Karutu, home
to many of Tanzania's finest coffee producing farms. Lovers of the
black stuff will have to employ strict discipline to avoid a
caffeine OD, but these lodges offer a great change of pace and
scenery, but our favourites are still within reach of Ngorongoro
should the safari urge strike.