TANZANIA NATIONAL PARKS
June 20, 2010
Fees: North Tanzania South Tanzania West Tanzania Kenya
Tanzania has twelve national parks, the best well-known being Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti. The newest additions to the National Parks are Udzingwa National Park in central Tanzania and Mbeya National Park. Ngorongoro Crater is a Conservation Area and not a National Park although the Crater more or less has the status of a National Park. Mkomazi is at present a Game Reserve but is expected to be declared a National Park in 2006.
FEES FOR NATIONAL PARKS AND GAME RESERVES: Fees are based on per person per 24 hour period.
Northern Tanzania. From 1 January 2006 Park Fees for the following parks are (per person per 24 hours) -
Serengeti N. Park $50 Arusha N. Park $35 Tarangire N. Park $35 Lake Manyara N. Park $35
Ngorongoro Crater Vehicle entry fee $100.
Ngorongoro Crater and Conservation Area. See Ngorongoro page
Entry Fee $30. Transit to Serengeti $30. Vehicle Crater Fee $100 per entry. Public Camp Site $20. Private Camp Site $40.
Ngorongoro Conservation are includes Ngorongoro Crater; the smaller craters of Embakai, Olmoti and Oldeani; the Ngorongoro Highlands; part of the Serengeti Plain; and Olduvai Gorge. Ngorongoro Crater is excellent for a quick visit and it is more or less guaranteed to see lions, elephants, rhino and buffalo. However, in recent years it has tended to get overcrowded with tourist vehicles and this has tended to mar some of the game viewing. The following are costs per person per 24 hours -
Southern Tanzania. Fees per person per 24 hours: $15 Camp Fees $20. See South Tanzania Page.
Ruaha National Park Mikumi National Park Udzungwa National Park Mbeya N. Park Selous Game Reserve
Katavi National Park Robondo National Park Biharumulo National Park Gombe National Park Mahali National Park
The western Tanzania National Parks are difficult to get to and accommodation is limited to luxury camps and to camp sites. They are thus considerably more expensive than safaris of the northern circuit. Normally visitors fly to Katavi and Robondo on a full service safari package. Both these parks have the attraction of being very much off the normal tourist circuit.
Katavi is 100 kms east of Lake Victoria and is exceptional for its large herds of buffalo. Robondo is a large island in the south-east of Lake Victoria and has no one living on it except the National Park personnel. Vehicles are not permitted on Robondo Island. Limited camping facilities are available. Safaris to Katavi and Robondo average out at approximately $500 per day per person with a minimum of 4 days. Further information and quotes can be sent on request.
Biharumulo National Park is on the south west of Lake Victoria.
ZANZIBAR: Jozani Forest National Park. Entry $20. Well-known for Red Colobus monkeys. See ZANZIBAR page.
CHIMPANZEE NATIONAL PARKS: Gombe National Park Mahal National Park
Swala Safaris will arrange safaris to these parks, but please bear in mind that they take a lot of organizing and difficult to get to. A minimum of two nights is required - and another two nights for staying at a Kigoma Hotel. Allow more to make the trip worthwhile. Cost is about $300 per person per night. Entry fee is $50 per person per 24 hours. Camping fee is $50 per person per night.
Access to Gombe is through the town of Kigoma where a small boat is hired for the two-hour trip to Gombe. This is normally in the mornings as the lake gets a little rough in the afternoon. Gombe is about 150 kms south of Kigoma. It is impractical to do it by boat. There is no access by road.
The Uganda Parks of Kibondo and Fort Portal are much easier to get to. They are both good for viewing chimpanzees and a visit to them is best combined with a gorilla safari.
GORILLAS: Uganda's Bwindi Forest is the best place to go to at present for seeing gorillas. Getting close to the gorillas is one of the most worthwhile wildlife experiences one can have. The gorilla permit is approximately $260 per person and allows for one visit. It is recommended to have two permits to ensure sighting the gorillas. It is highly unlikely that gorillas are not seen on any of the visits.
Other gorilla reserves are in Rwanda and Zaire. Check on the latest political events before going.
GAME RESERVES: Most game reserves are allocated mainly for tourist hunting although photographic safaris are also organized. The northern part of Selous Game Reserve is open to tourism. It is one of the largest game reserves in the world. Entry Fee per person per day is $20.
The northern Selous and Mkomazi are exceptions and can be visited by anyone. Entry fees are the same as for national parks. The Selous has about six camps. The boat trip on the Rufiji River is very worthwhile. Mikumi, which has Kenya's Tsavo National Park on its northern boundary, has no tourist facilities.
The Masai Mara is Kenya's best park. It unfortunately has the reputation of being overcrowded but is nevertheless excellent between July and October. The Mara is part of the greater Serengeti ecosystem. It is only an eight hour drive from the Serengeti. A night stop over is suggested at Musoma by Lake Victoria. Swala Safaris uses this route as it saves much time and mileage than that used by other Arusha tour operators who back-track through the Namanga border. The Lake Victoria route saves two days of back-tracking!
An alternative to the Masai Mara for those who want to see the spectacular river crossings of the wildebeest, is to camp in the northern part of the Serengeti. It is an excellent area for wildlife and is away from the normal tourist route.
Amboseli National Park is worth doing as a side trip between Arusha and Nairobi.
Swala Safaris will organize safaris that include both Amboseli and the Masai Mara. See our 15 Day Tanzania and Kenya Safari.