Arusha National Park; The Park has a total area of 137 sq km. and is situated only 37 km from Arusha town. There are over 50 km of game viewing road/track in the Ngurdoto and Momella Section of the Park. The Major attractions of this park include the Momella Lakes, Ngurdoto Crater, and Meru Crater with its ash cone at 1829 meters. The most common animals found in this park are the Abyssinian black and white Colobus Monkey, vervet monkeys, the red forest duikers, hippos, buffaloes, and bushbuck, and sometimes leopard. Many northern bird migrants can be seen between May and October. It also has the largest concentration of giraffe anywhere. Mt. Meru can be scaled in three days, with accommodation in alpine huts on your way up and down.
Tarangire National Park; Tarangire is situated 120 km. South of Arusha, along The Great North Road in the large open grass plains of the southern Maasailand and covers an area of 2600 sq. km. The name Tarangire is derived from the river, which provides permanent water for wildlife.
In the dry season after the long rains between June and November, concentration of wildlife in Tarangire is second only to Ngorongoro. Over 300 species of birds are recorded in the park, including some Eurasian migrants. Large numbers of wildebeests, zebras, elephants, elands and Oryx gather and stay in Tarangire until the onset of the rains, when they move to better grazing grounds.
Lake Manyara National Park; Located 130 km. south west of Arusha, it nestles at the base of the Great Rift Valley. The park is 320 sq km of which about 70% is the Lake. Lake Manyara is an ornithologist's paradise with over 400 bird species. Small herds of zebras, wildebeest, and giraffe begin to appear on the approach to the gate. The hippo pool formed by the Simba River offers a good spot for photography. A large collection of water birds shares the pool. Hippos are the main residents. Pink flamingos colour the waters of the lake. Another attraction in Manyara is its hot springs, in Swahili Majimoto. Small hot water springs are found on the tracts of the Endabash River and bigger hot water springs some distance past the Endabash River.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area (Crater) & Olduvai Gorge; A UNESCO protected "World Heritage Site" Ngorongoro Conservation Area covers an area of 8288 sq. km and is situated 190 km. from Arusha between Lake Manyara and Serengeti National Park. Surrounded by very steep walls rising 610m from the Crater floor, this natural amphitheatre measures about 16-19kms across in diameter and has an area 256sq.km. It is such a captivating and breathtaking phenomenon. " There is nothing with which to compare. It is one of the wonders of the world." once wrote Professor Bernard Grzimek . The floor includes a large lake and forms a perfectly preserved and self contained habitat for a huge number and variety of animal species Elephant, Buffalo, Hippo and many other species can generally be seen here at any time of year. The animals are not trapped in the crater, and there is some migratory movement in and out, but because of the protected nature of the habitat and the availability of grazing and water, much of the animal population remains resident year round. This makes Ngorongoro ideal for game viewing. There are several prides of lion, and some of the last surviving rhino to be found in Tanzania. The alkaline soda lake is home to huge flocks of flamingos, a remarkable and unforgettable sight. The whole crater has a quite unique almost magical atmosphere. The lodges are situated around the crater rim, and the descent into the crater and tour are taken in 4 wheel drive vehicles since the entry and exit roads are steep and unsuitable for minibus. Full day tours include a picnic lunch in a scenic spot right in the crater itself.
Ndutu;Is located directly in the path of the wildebeast migration. From January to April, the southeastern plains of the Serengeti ecosystem and thee woodlands around Lake Mesak and Lagaja become the center of activity of the migratory animals which can be seen in the thousands.
Serengeti National Park; The largest of Tanzania's National Parks is located 320 km. northwest of Arusha. It covers an area of over 14763 sq km. Serengeti is derived from a Maasai word ( siringet) meaning extended or endless plains, with its northern boundary abutting Kenya's Maasai Mara Game Reserve and Lake Victoria. In this precious wildlife sanctuary, there still exists the greatest concentration of game animals found anywhere on earth. When the grasses lose their green flush, millions of wildebeest and zebra and gazelle as well as eland and other plain animals begin to mass in preparation for their migration to the north and the west. The animal's coverage in millions and move in winding columns miles and miles long. Though essentially, a wildebeest affair, large contingents of other animals participate. The terrain of the park varies from the short and long grass, open plains in the south, the acacia savanna in the central area, the hilly, more densely wooded northern section, and the extensive woodland and black clay plains, dominated by the central ranges of mountains in the western corridor. The plains are dotted with rocky outcrops known as "kopjes", and there are several rivers running through the park, notably the Seronera River in the central area, the Grumeti River in the Western corridor and the Mara River in the north.
Lake Natron; is one of the largest of the shallow alkaline lakes of the Great African Rift Valley, and has a heavy concentration of Sodium Carbonate. Flamingoes are plentiful in this area. In the vicinity, one can hike up to the 100ft high waterfalls in the Engare Sero Gorge. The hike involves wading through the Engare Sero stream cutting its way through the 2000ft escarpment.
Oldoinyo Lengai, with an altitude of 2878 meters, can be climbed, but is steep and a rather rigorous climb. Literally translated the name means "Mountain of God" in the Maasai language. The ascent starts at about 750 m. sometimes there are signs of volcanic activity.