Entry #3 – Wild Things –
When people dream of going an African safari it is typically because they want to see the wildlife. Most of the world’s population doesn’t have regular access to view the types of beautiful creatures that roam in Africa, hence the desire to go see them in their natural habitat. This entry in Journey to Tanzania is focused on the wildlife.
Based on the protected areas and national parks we are going to visit, I’ve researched the animals we are likely to see. No guarantees of course!
Zanzibar is a series of islands located 16-31 miles off the coast of Tanzania in the Indian Ocean. We will be on the island of Ungula where its’ capital, Zanzibar City, and the famed Stone Town are located. Zanzibar features some rare creatures including Zanzibar Red Colobus (primate), Zanzibar Servaline Genet (looks like small Cheetah) and the Zanzibar Leopard (very rare). We have yet to schedule our excursions while in Zanzibar so I don’t know if we’ll see any wildlife on land or while snorkeling but, I certainly hope we do!
Tarangire National Park
Tarangire National Park is transected by the Tarangire River which in the dry season becomes a life source for an abundance of animals, including thousands of elephant. The lush swamplands are home to one of the largest populations of breeding birds, and 550 species of bird have been recorded within the park’s boundaries. The red earthed and white-grassed landscape of Tarangire is punctuated by magnificent baobab trees and termite mounds, and is home to a myriad of animals. The most commonly seen animals include elephants, giraffe, hippo, zebra, wildebeest and lion. Some of the more rare animals that can be seen include leopard, cheetah and hyena. I’m most interested in spotting a leopard or cheetah (no pun intended!).
Ngorongoro Crater is unofficially the “Eight Wonder of the World”, a protected area and a World Heritage Site. It is considered a crater because of the large volcanic caldera within the area which spans over 3.2K square miles. The rich ecosystem is home to thousands of species of birds and animals. Animals that are unique to the area include Black Rhinoceros, Hippopotamus, Blue Monkey and Spotted Hyena. Lake Magadi, a large lake to the southwest of the crater, is home to thousands of flamingos.
Serengeti National Park
The Big Five in this area are Rhino, Lion, Leopard, Cape Buffalo and Elephants. The Serengeti is a 12K square mile region in the northern part of Tanzania that plays host to the annual animal migration. We will be there in October toward the end of the ultimate ‘wildlife show on earth’. However, we should still see a fare amount of Wildebeests as they head south for the short grass plains arriving in December in plenty of time for calving in February.
Lynn Clark is the owner of Journeys Travel Group, Inc. dba Travel Leaders located in Southeast Wisconsin. She is capturing her Journey to Tanzania through a series of blog posts that chronicle her experience leading up to the adventure in October 2021. Lynn has spent nearly three decades working in travel for industry leading brands including The Walt Disney Travel Company, Carlson Companies and Funjet Vacations. In 2017 she cast off the Corporate America lines and set sail for a new adventure, owning a travel agency. Her goal in life is to connect people and ideas in the pursuit of transformational experiences which most often come in the form of travel.