Safari in the Swahili language means ‘journey’. A more commonly used word nowadays to mean game drives across open savannah deserts exploring the wildlife of the area in their own habitat.
Peace Matunda Tours is located in the Arusha region of Northern Tanzania, home to some of the most famous safari lands in the world: the Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Tarangire, Manyara to name but a few. Situated along the Great Rift Valley stretching from Jordan in the Middle East, all the way down to Mozambique in East Africa, each park has its own unique environment and wildlife habitat. We can offer safari programmes from 1 day to several weeks, depending on your choice and always in the safe hands of our experienced and highly trained guides and cooks.
Overnight stays often consist of staying within a patrolled but open campsite near or close to, the park on your itinerary. Camping is the most common way to experience a game drive safari, however, if you’re not the camping kind then don’t be put off! We can offer lodge accommodation in any of the beautiful African lodges within suitable distance of your excursion. Please email us for more information.
The northern Safari circuit includes the following national parks:
The Serengeti is one of the oldest ecosystems on earth stretching a vast 15,000 km2. The name of the national park, often said to be the best in Africa, originated from the Masai word Siringeti to describe “endless plains”. However, Endless plains are not all the Serengeti has to offer! With over 70 species of animals and 500 types of birds as well as home to all of the “Big Five”- lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant, and rhino, one does not have to look far to find wildlife.
Look out over the infinite savannah punctuated with acacia trees and random dramatic rock formations, called kopjes, for grazing giraffe, zebra, elephants, wildebeest, and gazelle. Observe birds stood on the backs of resting buffalo and families of baboons grooming each other. Watch closely and you may find a pride of lions lying in the tall grass, a leopard dragging a fresh kill up a tree, or a cheetah family walking casually across the road.
Perhaps the most famous aspect of the Serengeti is the “Great Migration” of over a million wildebeest, 400,000 gazelle, and 200,000 Zebra that follow the rain through the Serengeti and neighboring Masai Mara national park in Kenya. As one of the World’s largest migration systems in tact thousands of tourists travel to the national park to witness the endless stampede stretched over the horizon as far as the eye can see. Visit the central and southern Serengeti from November to April for the best time to see the migration.
Game viewing aside, the purely majestic landscape of the Great Plains with the African sun setting behind distant acacia trees is enough to make the Serengeti an experience of a lifetime.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area borders the Serengeti but offers an entirely different landscape. From highland plains to rainforest, lakes to volcanoes, the conservation area makes for the perfect habitat year round for thousands of animals. The only people allowed to live inside the borders of the protected area are the indigenous tribes such as the Masai.
The conservation area includes the legendary Olduvai Gorge where Lucy, the 1.75 million-year-old remains of Australopithecus boisei, was found; indicating that the first evolution of humans took place in what is now Tanzania.
And, of course, the Ngorongoro Crater a perfectly unbroken circular mountain chain called a caldera, formed by volcanic activity. Within the 20 km width of the crater lies a lake and incredibly fertile grassland. The crater boasts one of the densest populations of game in the World and with short grass plains and few bushes as cover, animals are incredibly easy to spot.
Elephants ramble over the green crater floor amongst lions, hyena, ostrich, hippos, warthogs, and dozens of other animal and bird species. The soda lake that lies within the crater attracts hundreds of flamingos that form a pink mirage against the bluish green crater wall. Perhaps the most fascinating animal found in the crater is the Black Rhino. Almost extinct and extremely rare to see in any other game park the crater provides the perfect home to the Black Rhinos that emerge at dusk.
The Ngorongoro Crater is a must seen in the northern safari circuit and an unparalleled game viewing experience unmatched by other game parks in Africa.
The Lake Manyara national park, just south of Serengeti and Ngorongoro, is 330km2 with a soda lake that covers up to 200 km2 of land during the rains from November to June. The wet land and abundance of ants are two reasons researchers use to explain the fact that Lake Manyara is the only place in the World to find tree climbing lions! The park opens into the dense rainforest full of blue monkeys climbing in the ancient mahogany trees and families of baboons grooming each other. The road then opens up to Lake Manyara known as the Paradise of Flamingos on the edge of the Great Rift Valley. Continue into the acacia woodland in search of tree climbing lions.
Tarangire National Park
The Tarangire national park is named after the Tarangire River, the only source of water in the area during the dry season. Watch by the waters edge for herds of up to 300 resident elephants as well as impala, gazelle, hartebeest, and zebra. The dusty red earth, dry from the sun, is scattered with Baobab trees and enormous termite mounds. Tarangire is known for its over 550 bird species, from the Kori bustard, the heaviest flying bird or stocking-thighed ostrich, the largest bird, to the yellow-collared lovebird often spotted along the river.
Arusha National Park
While Arusha national park is often overlooked and may seem dull in comparison to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater the Tanzanian tourist board describes it as a multi-faceted jewel. Visit Arusha national park to explore a diversity of habitats through forest, swamp, and grassy hills. Arusha national park offers the unique opportunity to see the black and white colobus monkey that is not as easily seen in other national parks. Also unique is the Ngurdoto Crater that lies within the park with steep cliffs surrounding herds of buffalo and warthog. Also find wildebeest, zebra, gazelle, dik dik and many other small animals and bird. Head to the Momela lakes to see swarms of flamingos and pairs of giraffes gliding across the landscape.