Stalk the stalker, watch it pounce upon its prey, see millions of animals crossing a river, track gorillas, live in the wild and discover unusual species while you’re at it. A wildlife safari is one of the biggest charms of any African adventure and Tanzania is perhaps the best country for a journey into the wild. Tanzania’s national parks are designed to suit all kinds of interests, preferences and comfort levels, and you can be rest assured that there is a safari which is perfect for you.

But before you embark on your safari adventure, you need to make one of the biggest decisions – which park to visit and which park to leave out. Serengeti or Ngorongoro feel like the most obvious places to be, but it is equally possible that you have a much better time in one of the lesser-known parks.

Bookmundi recommends you to ask yourself the following questions as they should help you zero in on the best national park in Tanzania.

  • When do you plan to take a Tanzania trip?
  • Which animals attract you the most?
  • Do you prefer crowds or wish to explore the park without having to come across other tour groups?
  • Game drives, hot air balloons, fly camping, walking expeditions into the wild – which of these attract you the most?
  • Would you like to watch a few predators or thousands of game animals?
  • What kind of accommodation are you looking for?
  • Are you a budget traveler or are you searching for luxury?

Below we are listing highlights, lowlights, and facts about some of the top national parks in Tanzania:

#1 Serengeti National Park

Home to the Great Migration, Serengeti National Park easily makes its way into most bucket lists. This fascinating park presents all kinds of ecosystems which allows it to host a variety of plants, birds and animals. The sheer diversity makes it one of the most unique national parks in Africa. Over the years, Serengeti National Park has attracted people from all walks of life, including movie stars, celebrities, writers and poets, and it easily ranks as one of the most coveted safari destinations in Africa. Besides a great safari experience, Serengeti offers plenty of other attractions too.

Wildebeest Migration in the Serengeti plains
A view of the Great Migration taking place in Serengeti National Park


  • Home to the Great Migration
  • Authentic game viewing opportunities
  • Hot air balloon safaris
  • One of the best destinations to spot African predators
  • Excellent accommodation options
  • One of the cheapest national parks in Tanzania


  • The park is very crowded during peak season
Serengeti National Park Facts
Number of annual visitors: +350,000
Size: 13,250 sq. km.
Altitude: 3,737 feet to 7,133 feet
Common Animal Sightings: Wildebeest, giraffe, gazelle, big cats, elephant, zebra, eland, topi, kongoni.
Best Season to Visit: June to July and January to February
Nearby Attractions: Ngorongoro Conservation Center, Lake Natron, Tarangire National Park
Entrance fees: USD 60 for non-African citizens

#2 Ngorongoro Conservation Crater

Formed millions of years ago, the Ngorongoro Crater closed off its borders to man with the help of walls that rose to heights of 400 to 600 meters. As a result, nature was allowed to run free here and create some of the most exotic species of plants and animals that the world has ever seen. This is one of the few places where you can see the Big 5 in a single day and it also hosts the endangered black rhino.

Black rhinos in Ngorongoro Crater
Black Rhinos (Diceros bicornis) standing in the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania


  • Year-round wildlife viewing
  • Watch the endangered black rhino
  • Excellent accommodation
  • Explore the Maasai culture by visiting a traditional village
  • See the Big 5 in a single day


  • Expensive
  • Very crowded during peak season
Ngorongoro Crater Facts
Number of annual visitors: 400,000
Size: 8,228 sq. kms.
Altitude: 3,310 feet to 1,959 feet
Common Animal Sightings: Black rhino, wildebeest, zebra, gazelle, elephant, topi, buffalo, cheetah, lion, spotted hyena, leopard, golden jackal, bat-eared fox.
Best Season to Visit: June to September
Nearby attractions: Serengeti National Park, Empakaai Center, Mount Kilimanjaro
Entrance fees: USD 71

#3 Lake Manyara

Think of Lake Manyara as a mini Serengeti. The place is very small in size, and a majority of the area is covered by the lake itself, but it still hosts as many as 11 ecosystems and a vast and varied wildlife. The groundwater forest surroundings at Lake Manyara offer a much-needed break from African savannahs. Tree-climbing lions are the superstars here, but predator sightings are difficult. A close encounter with hundreds of elephants is the next best thing.

Tree climbing lions in Lake Manyara
A closer look at tree climbing lions in Lake Manyara National Park


  • Night safaris, hiking and trekking available
  • Tree-climbing lions
  • Splendid bird-watching opportunities
  • See elephants from up close
  • Breathtaking natural beauty
  • Wildlife is usually concentrated in certain pockets


  • Very crowded during peak season
Lake Manyara Facts
Size: 330 sq. kms.
Altitude: 3,127 feet to 4,741 feet
Common Animal Sightings: Baboon, flamingo, elephant, wildebeest, giraffe, blue monkey, buffalo, water-buck, impala, warthog, zebra, klipspringer, Kirk’s dik-dik, lion, leopard.
Best Season to Visit: July to October
Nearby Attractions: Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Center
Entrance fees: USD 53

A visit to Lake Manyara National Park is not only limited to wildlife safaris. There are many things to do in Lake Manyara.