Protected areas in Tanzania are extremely varied, ranging from sea habitats over grasslands to the top of Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa. About a third of the country’s total area is protected to a certain degree as a national park, game reserve, marine park, or forest reserve. The following list gives an overview of the various protected areas in Tanzania including their predominant habitat, wildlife, and flora.  

The map will show you the multitude of National Parks in Tanzania.


We invite you to the gallery, where you will learn a bit about parks and meet their inhabitants! You probably know that you can observe a great migration in Serengeti. The largest elephant population in Tarangire, and tree-climbing lions in Manyara?


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The name Serengeti gets from the Maasai word „Siringet” meaning ‘endless plain’. This park has a variety of marvels, including open grass plains in the south, savannah with acacia trees in the center, forested grassland in the north, enormous woods and black clay plains in the west. Small rivers, lakes, and swamps are scattered everywhere across the land. In the southeast rise the great volcanic massifs and craters of the Ngorongoro Highlands. Serengeti National Park is a crucial part of the entire Serengeti ecosystem. The Serengeti is considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa and one of the Ten Natural Travel Wonders of the World. Serengeti National Park is situated approximately 320 km northwest of Arusha and covers an area of 14,763 square km (5,700 square miles). 



Ngorongoro’ is the Massai word that the Maasai warriors use to name the sound of the jingle bell that is always tied around the neck of the leading cow in a herd. Known for its breathtaking landscape and exciting wildlife viewings, Ngorongoro Crater is often referred to as „Africa’s Garden of Eden” and the „Eighth Wonder of the World.” Ngorongoro Crater is a part of a group of extinct, dormant, and active volcanoes associated with the widening of the Great Rift Valley of Africa. It is the world’s biggest unbroken crater or caldera, which is approximately up to 19km (12 miles) in diameter and stands at over 2,500m (8200ft). It is home to the Maasai Tribe (the best known of all the people in East Africa). They live surrounded by wildlife in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The vegetation varies from lush greens, highland forests, abundant short grass to desert plants in other areas. There are also many rivers, swamps, and bodies of water including Lake Magadi, which sits near the center of the crater. This area is the location of one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world, Olduvai Gorge, where the remains of the first human were found. 



Tarangire meaning ‘river of warthogs‘ is most famous for its great population of elephants, and the highest density of baobab trees! Here too, you can get acquainted with over 500 species of birds. This park has the same attractions as the parks up north but is not usually as crowded. Tarangire National Park occupies part of the rift south valley of Lake Manyara and has a wide variety of habitats, ranging from mixed savannah and dense vegetation of acacia to low hills and large swampland. Dominating its ecosystem is permanent water spots, located in the southern swamps and along the Tarangire River, which is the biggest source of water for many animals particularly during the dry season. It is located just over 100km (62 miles) south of Arusha. The park covers an area of 2600 km2. 



The name Manyara may come from the Maasai word emanyara, which is the spiky, protective enclosure around a family homestead (boma). Manyara National Park is famous for tree-climbing lions. Lions can be spotted during the day resting and spreading out along the branches of the acacia trees. The park also has large herds of buffalo ranges of Antelopes and almost 400 species of birds. Flamingos, Pelicans, African Spoonbills, and Hammerkops can be spotted in large numbers on the shores of the lake. Manyara National Park is located 126 km (80 miles) west of Arusha and is situated under the wall of the Great Rift Valley. The park has a total area of 330 square km of which 230 square km is covered by Lake Manyara. Lake Manyara is a habitat for thousands of Flamingos and other aquatic birds. 



Arusha National Park covers Mount Meru, a prominent volcano with an elevation of 4566 m, in the Arusha Region of northeastern Tanzania. The park is small but full of various and spectacular landscapes in three distinct areas. In the west, the Meru Crater funnels the Jekukumia River; the peak of Mount Meru lies on its rim. Arusha park is home to Colobus monkey. The name “colobus” is derived from the Greek word for “mutilated,” because, unlike other monkeys, colobus monkeys do not have thumbs. Their beautiful black fur strongly contrasts with the long white mantle, whiskers, bushy tail, and beard-like fur around the face. This park is located about 35 km away from Arusha town. 



If chimpanzees are your object of interest, then this is where you need to be. Mahale offers some of the best chimp-viewings in Africa, and Gombe National Park is closely linked with Jane Goodall, it is here that she began her important research and study of chimps. Mahale National Park is remarkable, remote, and quite different from what you might expect from an African landscape. It lies on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, about as far west as you can go in Tanzania. The white, sandy shores of the lake have the stunning backdrop of verdant mountains covered in lush, tropical forest crisscrossed by crystal clear streams and waterfalls. The main attraction is undoubtedly the chimps, and Mahale is widely considered to offer the finest chimp experience in Africa. It is here that you have the opportunity to come across the famous ‘M’ clan, who have been habituated by researchers since the 1960s, and whilst they are still wild, they are relaxed and comfortable around humans. As well as the chimps, the forest is home to a great range of fauna and flora including red colobus, red-tailed monkeys, vervets, warthogs, and even leopard appear sometimes, you might be lucky enough to see them. Down by the lake, beneath the beautiful clear waters are hundreds of colorful tropical fish. You can explore the waters by boat or kayak. Also, swimming and snorkeling in the lake are highly recommended, providing a unforgettable experience. With an area of just 56 sq km, Gombe is Tanzania’s smallest national park. 


The Tanzanian Islands are the essence of paradise. With pristine white sand and turquoise waters, these beaches are the place from which dreams are made. From the famous island of Zanzibar and the exotic islands of Pemba and Mafia, to unique and exclusive private islands. Zanzibar is the best beach destination. Starting with the historic capital of Stown Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is where you can check out the most impressive night market on the island of „Forodhani”. Only here you can meet the Red Monkey in Jozani Forest or go on a spice tour. When going on a blue safari, stop at prison island and meet the giant turtles.



We often talk about Mount Kilimanjaro as if it was just that, a single mountain. But, in reality, it has three separate volcanic cones. In this case separate means three individual peaks. Kibo (the highest) and Mawenzi (the second highest) are as much as 7.5 miles (roughly 12 km) apart! There are many legends about this highest mountain in Africa, the most beautiful of which is described below. 
This story is passed down by the Changa People who have lived is the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro for generations. It explains why there is so much space between the two peaks.
Once upon a time, long ago, the three peaks were brothers. Kibo, as the oldest brother, was responsible for making ugali for his entire family – a dish that is traditionally prepared by first making porridge. One day, as Kibo was cooking, Mawenzi knocked on his door. Mawenziwho was always know for his carefree attitude, needed to borrow some heat to help light his fire. He got what he was looking for but came back a few minutes later because he couldn’t keep the fire on his cold mountain peak from going out. The same thing happened over and over that day…not only irritating Kibo, but also forcing him to make a tough choice. The only way that Kibo could give his younger brother what he needed was by sacrificing his own fire – the one on which his family meal was cooking. That was something that Kibo wasn’t prepared to do… Irritated and inpatient, Mawenzi spilled to boiling porridge all over his brother, which is why Kibo’s peak is covered in white. Their other brothers – Meru, Oldonyo – heard the fighting and came to help. But Kibo managed just fine on his own…smacking Mawenzi over the head with the giant wooden spoon that he used to stir porridge. That’s why the peak of Mawenzi is so rough and uneven. This legend is closest to our heart!