Africa’s highest peak, the breathtaking Mount Kilimanjaro, rises above the grassy plains of northeast Tanzania. The snow-capped mountain is one of the tallest in the world, encircled by a rich mountain forest. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the sprawling volcano is recognized as an unparalleled natural wonder. Paired with a safari, scaling the so-called Roof of Africa can be a life-changing experience.To the west of Mount Kilimanjaro lies Tanzania’s most well-known safari destination, Serengeti National Park. Millions of hectares of grassland plains and savannah stretch to support vast herds of migrating wildebeests, gazelles and zebras, as well as the big cats and other predators that trail in their wakes. Host to the greatest wildlife spectacle on earth, Serengeti National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Serengeti’s southeast span ends at the volcanic highlands of the Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest unfilled caldera. The crater took its shape three million years ago, after an immense volcano exploded and collapsed in on itself. The crater and the surrounding Ngorongoro Conservation Area, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, serves as home for dense wildlife populations which include several globally threatened species.To the southeast of Ngorongoro, the tranquil shores of Lake Manyara sit against the rocky cliffs formed by the East African Rift. The alkaline lake plays host to flocks of flamingos, squadrons of pelicans and hundreds of other bird species. Surrounding the lake are rich forests, swamplands and sprawling bush plains teeming with wildlife – including the area’s remarkable tree-climbing lions.A short distance from Manyara, the verdant marshlands and sweeping grasslands of Tarangire National Park unfold. Enticed by the Tarangire River, herds numbering in the thousands of wildebeests, cape buffalo and zebras congregate in the area during the region’s dry months. The scenic park is home to one of the largest elephant populations in Africa and to a plethora of other species, including giraffes, lions, gazelles and leopards.
Pristine, white sand beaches hug the eastern coast of Tanzania, trailing off into crystal clear waters filled with dazzling marine life. In the warm water of the Indian Ocean, spot humpback whales or explore the spectacular coral reefs. Off the coast lies Zanzibar, home to yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site: the historic Stone Town. Once the capital of the island, the town served a pivotal role in the region’s flourishing spice trade in the 19th century. Its winding alleyways and intricate architecture maintain the town’s distinct charm.
EXPLORE KENYA'S BEAUTIFUL LANDSCAPES AND WILDLIFE
Kenya is a land of adventure with a variety of stunning landscapes to explore, including wildlife-rich savannahs, bird-filled lakes, and beautiful white sand beaches. A wide range of wild animals, including elephants, rhinos, buffaloes, lions, and leopards – the classic “big five” game animals – make Kenya the ultimate safari destination. The lovely white sand beaches of the coast offer a relaxing escape, while the warm waters of the Indian Ocean present a fascinating underwater world to explore.
MASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE: A WELL-KNOWN WILDLIFE PARADISE
Home to the largest number of savannah species in the world, the golden plains of the Masai Mara National Reserve in southwest Kenya are famous for their rich wildlife populations, including majestic lions, sleek cheetahs, and impressive elephants. From July to October, huge herds of wildebeest and zebra brave the crocodile-infested waters of the Mara River as part of the Great Migration, crossing from Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park into Masai Mara. This exciting crossing is considered the most amazing wildlife spectacle on Earth.
AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK AND CHYULU HILLS NATIONAL PARK: BEAUTIFUL VIEWS AND WILDLIFE EXPERIENCES
To the southeast, Amboseli National Park extends over the Tanzanian border, offering picture-perfect views of Africa’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro. Large-tusked elephants gather in the hundreds to graze among the park’s swamps and marshes, the edges of which sometimes also attract sturdy hippos. The plains end to the northeast, where the lush green slopes of Chyulu Hills National Park begin.
MOUNT KENYA: A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE AND BIOSPHERE RESERVE
The rugged, ice-covered peaks of Mount Kenya, the highest mountain in the country, rise into the sky further to the northwest. Recognized by UNESCO as “one of the most impressive landscapes in East Africa,” this World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve is revered as a sacred site to several local communities, including the Kikuyu and the Meru. Two of the mountain’s highest peaks require special skills to reach, but the third, Point Lenana, can be reached by foot and offers incredible views of the park’s rocky landscape and glacial lakes.
GREAT RIFT VALLEY: A UNIQUE NATURAL WONDER
To the west of the mountain, the landscape drops into steep rock walls that form Kenya’s portion of the continental Great Rift Valley. Numerous lakes attract some of the most diverse populations of bird species in the world, including massive flocks of bright pink flamingos. A variety of large animals, including critically endangered black rhinos, elegant antelope, and tall giraffes, graze in the nearby plains and woodlands.
GIRAFFE MANOR: A PERSONAL WILDLIFE EXPERIENCE
Travelers looking for a more personal and intimate wildlife experience will delight in the herd of Rothschild’s giraffes living at Giraffe Manor, just outside the bustling capital of Nairobi. The curious animals will sometimes poke their heads into the windows of the charming, ivy-covered brick manor in hopes of leaving with a treat. Set on private land in 140 beautiful acres of indigenous forest, the manor is known as one of the most Instagrammed properties in the world.
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