The cleavage, known as the Great Rift Valley, can be identified from space as the most distinctive feature of the continent. The seam of this cleavage has developed a series of fascinating and beautiful lakes. Manyara is a fantastic big game park. The variety of habitats parallels its exceptional scenery. Every imaginable East African Wildlife Species are found in Lake Manyara.
There are great herds of buffalo, zebra, wildebeest and several varieties of gazelle. Mahogany, sausage tree and croton are alive with blue monkeys and vervet monkeys. Large pods of hippos congregate at the rivers emerging into the lake, and the birdlife is amazing. Lake Manyara is also known for its “tree-climbing” lions.
Ngorongoro is quite unique as its physical protection from man natural beauty ranks it among the most pristine wildernesses on earth. It is regarded as a natural wonder of the world and has been declared a World Heritage Site. It is the largest intact crater in the world, being 610 meters deep, 16 kilometers across and covering an area of 540 square kilometers. On the crater floor, grassland blends into swamps, lakes, rivers, woodland and mountains – all a haven for wildlife, including the greatest predator population in Africa. The volcanic crater of Ngorongoro is jam-packed with wildlife, including all the big game. Something exceptional about Ngorongoro however, is that it remains the last great wild refuge for black rhinos.
The name ‘Serengeti’ means ‘endless plains’ in Maasai Language. The National Park is as bigger than Rwanda, but its ecosystem is even bigger and includes the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, the Maswa Game Reserve and the Maasai Mara Game reserve (in Kenya). It lies between the shores of Lake Victoria in the west, Lake Eyasi in the south, and the Great Rift Valley to the east. As such, Serengeti offers the most complex and least disturbed ecosystem on earth. A unique combination of diverse habitats enables Serengeti to support more than 30 species of large herbivores and nearly 500 species of birds. Its landscape, originally formed by volcanic activity, has been sculpted by the concerted action of wind, rain and sun. It now varies from open grassland in the south, Savanna with scattered acacia trees in the center, hilly, wooded grassland in the north, to extensive woodland and black clay plains to the west. Small rivers, lakes and swamps are scattered throughout the Serengeti. Rising in the southeast are the great volcanic massifs and craters of the Ngorongoro Highlands. The Serengeti plains are a host to a dramatic annual migration of hundreds of thousands of wildebeest and numerous other species of animals indigenous to the area.
Tarangire National Park covers 2,600 square kilometers and is on the traditional migration route of several species of the wildlife. During dry seasons, the concentration of animals in Tarangire rivals that of the much world famous Serengeti. Herds of migratory wildebeest, gazelle, zebra and buffalo gather along the marshy shores of Lake Natron. These pools are shared by flocks of birds: green wood hoopoes, fisher lovebirds, tallish herons, white bellied go-away birds and giant kingfishers. Resident lion, giraffe, elephant, and black rhino are common at any season; Tarangire is noted for its baobab trees and splendid vistas of rolling savannah and acacia woodland.