Gombe Stream National Park
Gombe Stream National Park is a mountainous strip that borders the shores of Lake Tanganyika. This is Tanzania’s smallest park at only 52 sq km (20 sq mi). This park can only be reached by boat from Kigoma, Tanzania. Gombe Stream National Park offers visitors the rare chance to observe chimpanzee communities and many other species of primate.
Katavi National Park
The main features of Katavi National Park are Lake Katavi, Lake Chala and the Katuma River. This park is noted for its Miombo tree woodland and is home to cape buffalo, elephant, leopard, zebra and antelope. Waterfowl are abundant, with Lake Chala being home to over 400 species. Katavi National Park is also home to Tanzania’s greatest concentration of hippo and crocodile.
Kitulo Plateau National Park
Kitulo Plateau is known locally as “God’s Garden” or the “Serengeti of Flowers”. This park has over 350 species of plants including 45 species of orchids. The park is also home to many important and rare bird species and some of the worlds rarest butterflies.
Mahale Mountains National Park
Mahale Mountains National Park is another sanctuary of the chimpanzee. This park is also reached by boat from Kigoma, Tanzania. Many species of primate, bush babies, bush pigs, bushbuck, blue duiker, civet cat, hyrax and whitetailed mongoose call this park home. Cape buffalo, elephant, giraffe, leopard, lion and various types of antelope are also present but prove more difficult to find. Lake Tanganyika, at the park’s Western boundary, is home to more than 250 different species of fish.
Rubondo Island National Park
Rubondo Island is in a small corner of Lake Victoria. The park provides a variety of habitats ranging from savannah to open woodland, dense forest, swamps and sandy beaches. There is also a wide variety of animals including bushbuck, crocodile, elephant, genet cat, giraffe, hippo, mongoose, vervet monkey and the reclusive sitatunga – a shaggy aquatic antelope.
Saadani National Park
Saadani National Park is Tanzania’s first coastal wildlife sanctuary and is located on the coast of the Indian Ocean. The park contains many species of animals including hartebeest, elephant, cape buffalo, hippo, crocodile, lion, leopard, hyena, giraffe, kudu, warthog, waterbuck, wildebeest and the rare Roosevelt Sable (a type of antelope). Bottle nose dolphin are common off the Southern coast of the park, whales pass through the Zanzibar Channel, and green sea turtles breed at Madete Beach.