Northern Circuit


The Tanzania’s Northern Circuit is a remarkably abundant region, teeming with natural wonders, wildlife, and historical significance. It encompasses diverse landscapes, from the snow-capped peaks of Kilimanjaro and the fiery Ol Doinyo Lengai, to the historically significant Olduvai Gorge, which is part of the Ngorongoro and Serengeti ecosystem, and extends to the fishing grounds of Lake Victoria.


The Serengeti, renowned as one of Africa’s most renowned parks, holds the distinction of being Tanzania’s oldest park and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. With its captivating wildebeest migration and excellent wildlife viewing opportunities year-round, the Serengeti stands out as a premier destination. 

This park provides exceptional chances to witness cheetahs and the Big 5 species, in addition to various other predators, making it a top-notch location for wildlife observation in Africa.


Northern Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater, formerly an enormous volcano, holds the distinction of being the largest unbroken caldera globally. It was once speculated that it might have stood taller than Africa’s highest peak, Mt. Kilimanjaro, before its eruption. 

Today, after centuries of collapse and erosion, it forms a vast highland region, with the renowned Ngorongoro Crater at its center, reaching a depth of 600 meters. This ancient caldera, dating back nearly three million years, now serves as a stunning wildlife sanctuary, often regarded as the most beautiful on our planet.


Lake Manyara National Park, situated in northern Tanzania, has gained fame for its unique features, including tree-climbing lions, a soda ash lake teeming with thousands of pink flamingos, a significant population of elephants – one of Tanzania’s largest, and awe-inspiring landscapes. Spanning an area of 330 square kilometers, the park is located 126 kilometers west of Arusha Town.


Tarangire National Park is renowned for two main attractions: its vast elephant herds and the mini-wildlife migration that occurs during the dry season, drawing around 250,000 animals into the park. The park takes its name from the Tarangire River, which flows through its territory. This river serves as a crucial water source for various wildlife species, especially during the dry season, attracting them to drink from its banks.

ARUSHA National park

Located just a short drive from Arusha and Moshi, Arusha National Park is Tanzania’s most accessible national park and the perfect place for a day trip or as the first stop on a longer Tanzania safari. It’s a small park with a lot to see – it includes the slopes, summit, and ash cone of Mt. Meru, Ngurdoto Crater, the Momella Lakes, and the lush highland forests that cover its lower slopes.

The closest national park to northern Tanzania’s safari capital, the town of Arusha, Arusha National Park is a multi-faceted diamond that is often bypassed by safari goers, despite offering the opportunity to explore an engaging diversity of habitats within a few hours.

After your Arusha NP safari, you may like to check out some of Tanzania’s other breathtaking national parks; take a look at our guides to Tarangire National Park and Serengeti National Park to get a better idea of what else is on offer.


Lake Eyasi is a huge lake that surpasses Lake Manyara in size, and its saline border expands and shrinks depending on how much rain has fallen over the year. When it’s especially dry, the water levels are extremely low, allowing the Datoga and Hadzabe tribes to actually walk across Lake Eyasi. Doum palms are distinctive and in an environment that is fairly harsh, the shade of the trees is cooling and very welcome The sunsets here are amazing, making Lake Eyasi a great stop for anyone planning a Tanzania safari that focuses on photography.  The western flank of the Rift Valley looms impressively in the distance.

The north-eastern tip of the lake lies in the shadow of Oldeani Mountain on the edge of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Lake Eyasi lies in one of the oldest parts of the Eastern Rift Valley, it runs northeast -southwest for a distance of about fifty miles below the 3000-foot escarpment, which forms the south-eastern boundary of Serengeti National Park and the Maswa Game Reserve. To the southeast of the lake is the Yaida valley, which is home to the Hadzabe tribe of hunter-gatherers.

Though not really a game destination, Lake Eyasi is a wild, scenically stunning area where you can get a real insight into the way of life of some of Tanzania’s interesting tribes, most notably the Hadzabe and Datoga. For travelers with a strong interest in genuine, “off the beaten track” cultural immersion, visiting the bushmen of the Hadzabe near Lake Eyasi is a must. For more experiences like this, check out the range of Grevys Safaris Tanzania Experiences, all which focus on meeting the people who live here and making a positive impact at the same time.


Located at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, this remote community-owned Wildlife Management Area provides travelers with access to a wild and incredibly scenic corner of Maasailand.

Thought of as being off-the-beaten path, West Kilimanjaro is a concession area to the west of Mount Kilimanjaro and south of the Amboseli National Park in Kenya. In the east it is shadowed by the majestic Mt. Kilimanjaro (learn more about this in our Kilimanjaro National Park guide) and towards the southwest lie Arusha National Park and Mt. Meru. Here, Maasai herdsmen co-exist with a remarkable variety of wildlife.

A major attraction of West Kilimanjaro is the scenery. Kilimanjaro has a commanding presence when it breaks through the clouds, usually around dawn and dusk, but the horizon is studded with many other peaks, including Mount Meru, Longido Mountain and Namanga Mountain. During the exciting drive to West Kilimanjaro you will be treated to views of the foothills of Kilimanjaro and occasionally its snow-capped peaks.

You will also discover the stunning open, empty stretches of savannah dotted with wild bush and acacia woodland. As the land is leased by the local Maasai community, you can also gain an insight into their culture. As a commitment to conservation and wildlife, the concession works closely with the Maasai.


Lake Natron is situated in northern Tanzania on the border with Kenya, close to Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Lake Natron is home to ancient hominid footprints, the largest breeding ground for Lesser Flamingo and to Ol Doinyo Lengai, and it’s the only active carbonatite volcano in the world. If you’d like to include Lake Natron in your big Tanzania safari, keep reading to find out more about this amazing place.

Situated between its volcanic hills and deep craters, Lake Natron is at the lowest point of the rift valley – 600m above sea level – and is probably the world’s most caustic body of water. The lake is fed by the Southern Ewaso Ng’iro River and by mineral-rich hot springs. It’s less than three meters (10 feet) deep, so it’s very shallow, and it varies in width depending on its water level, which changes due to high levels of evaporation, leaving high concentrations of salt magnesite and sodium carbonate (natron) on its surface…which shows as a pinkish-white soda crust.

The country surrounding the lake is hot and often very dusty and dry, which isn’t very conducive to travel, but the people who choose to visit Natron are rewarded with some of the most visually compelling scenes in the world. The views alone are worth the journey! Home to the Maasai and over one million flamingos, Lake Natron is a perfect base for amazing adventures! The area around the lake offers different attractions like a large number of volcanic implosion craters, numerous waterfalls and ravines with nesting places for Rüppell’s Griffon Vultures.

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