Wildlife of Tanzania - Background, National Parks, Conservation and More

Wildlife of Tanzania – Background, National Parks, Conservation and More

Large animal species are dispersed over Tanzania’s national parks, encompassing more than 42,000 square kilometers, marine parks, conservation areas, and reserves. They account for around 38 percent of the country’s total land area. As a safari destination, Tanzania’s wildlife riches are referred to as “unrivaled in Africa” and “the best game viewing destination.” Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, at 14,763 square kilometers, is the country’s second-largest park in terms of land area and is well-known for its varied wildlife of Tanzania and migratory herds of wildebeests and zebras. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area, home to the Maasai people since 1959, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In terms of unsullied calderas, Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania is the largest in the world.

The wetlands of Tanzania include Tanzania’s national parks; The species here prefer aqua bodies like the hippopotamus. Waterbuck, amongst other aqua-loving creatures like elephants, crocodiles, and sitatungas.

Snapshot – Wildlife of Tanzania

Since the colonial epoch, the government has been in charge of the conservation of the wildlife of Tanzania. Rural poverty and poaching have long been exacerbated by this structure, limiting residents’ access to natural resources. As a result of these efforts, the Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA) has contributed to the local economy through equitable benefit sharing in recent years.

Revenue from the wildlife of Tanzania generates a total of US$30 million for the state exchequer and US$9 million for leasing companies each year. An estimated $50 million is wasted on illegal hunting. There was an approximately 30 percent increase in wildlife tourism in the 1990s due to exports of 1.68 million birds, 5.23,000 reptiles, 12,000 mammals, and 148,000 amphibians. The Nile perch export accounted for the lion’s share of the country’s export revenue in 2003, bringing in $US100 million.

List of Wildlife Management Areas in Tanzania

Wildlife in Tanzania, which has been described as having the “finest safari experiences and animal spectacles in the universe,” is protected by 40 national parks and game reserves. It is estimated that the entire area of the nation’s national parks is 42,235 square kilometers (17 national parks). Here’s what you’ll find at these parks:

Entrance to Jozani Chwaka Bay – National Park
Entrance to Jozani Chwaka Bay – National Park
  1. Arusha encompasses More than 552 square kilometers or (213 square miles) – National Park.
  2. The Gombe Stream (52 square kilometers, or 20 square miles) – National Park.
  3. The Jozani Chwaka Bay – National Park.
  4. The Katavi is (4,471 square kilometers, or 1,726 square miles) – National park.
  5. The Kilimanjaro covers 1,668 square kilometers (644 square miles) – National Park.
  6. The Kitulo spans about 413 square kilometers (159 square miles) in – National Park.
  7. The Mahale Mountains stretches across 1,613 square kilometers (623 square miles) – National Park.
  8. There are 330 square kilometers (130 square miles) in Lake Manyara National Park.
  9. Mikumi National Park has an area of 1,250 square miles (3,230 square kilometers).
  10. The Mkomazi has 3,245 square kilometers (1,253 square miles) – National Park.
  11. Approximately 20,226 square kilometers covered landmass by the Ruaha National Park (7,809 square miles).
  12. The Rubondo Island has 176 square miles (457 square kilometers) of – National Park.
  13. There are 1,062 square kilometers in Saadani National Park (410 square miles).
  14. The Saanane Island is 2.18 square kilometers (0.84 square miles) – National Park.
  15. The Serengeti stretch is 14,763 square kilometers long (5,700 square miles) – National Park.
  16. The Tarangire course is 2,850 square kilometers (1,100 square miles) in – National Park.
  17. The Udzungwa Mountains spread to 1,990 square kilometers (770 square miles).

Features of Arusha’s National Park

There are 552 square kilometers of land in Arusha National Park (213 sq mi). Its riverine wetlands make up most of the area where it is situated. Montane forests and arid alpine deserts make up Mount Meru‘s mountain range (14,980 ft). The park also has marshlands, grassy slopes, and a forest savannah. The Ngurdoto Crater, the Momela Lakes, and a tributary of the Pangani River may all be found in this park. Populated with a vast species of the wildlife of Tanzania, the elephants, leopards, warthogs, klipspringers, still-interesting but rarely spotted hyenas, giraffes, blue colobus monkeys, turacos, trogons, etc. In lakes, flamingos, as well as other water birds, tend to cluster in large numbers. Just 60 kilometers (37 miles) from Kilimanjaro International Airport, Arusha city is a few blocks away.

Features of Gombe Stream National Park

A mere 52 square kilometers make up Tanzania’s Gombe Stream National Park, which is the country’s second-tiniest national park (20 sq mi). Its innate hallmarks are river valleys, steep hill slopes, and the sandy shore northwards of Lake Tanganyika. Discharged by the Gombe River and approachable only via Kigoma vessels.

Dr Jane Goodhall at Gombe Stream National Park
Dr Jane Goodhall at Gombe Stream National Park

The park’s most common inhabitants are Primate species, including beachcomber olive baboons, chimpanzees, red colobus monkeys, and red-tailed monkeys. Jane Goodall has been conducting chimpanzee behavioral studies at the park since 1960, which described One hundred and fifty samples familiar with humans.

In addition to the red-throated twinspot and African fish eagle, the park is home to a varied bird population of over 200 species.

Features of Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park

Note: To be updated in the near future

Features of Katavi National Park

On a surface area of 4,471 square kilometers, Katavi National Park is Tanzania’s third-largest park (1,726 square miles).

It’s in the country’s far southwest corner. A portion of the East African Rift, which ends in Lake Rukwa, its riverine wetlands depend on it for the health of their ecosystems. Katuma River and its alluvial plains, Brachystegia trees, and marshy lakes provide a slice of its habitation, home to the following categories of the wildlife of Tanzania ; Nile crocodiles and hippos. Animal sightings such as spotted hyenas, lions, elephants, African buffalo, giraffes, and zebras are prevalent during the dry season.

Features of Kilimanjaro’s National Park

The park’s name was derived from the mountain. It is Africa’s highest peak and the world’s tallest free-standing mountain at 5,895 meters (19,341 ft). Visitors can take a “world tour” of the tropics to the arctic. The deep highland forest, lichen and mosses, and enormous lobelias cover the park. With around 1,668 square kilometers (644 square miles), the park has been around since it was entrenched in 1977. A wide variety of the wildlife of Tanzania like the tiny antelopes and primates, as well as leopards, elephants, African buffalo, and the elusive Abbott’s duiker, can be seen in the area. Wildlife observation is not sought after in this park. It’s desired for mountaineering trips to climb the volcanoes of Kibo and Mawenzi, which still retain many glaciers, and to see Africa’s mountainous moorlands. In terms of Tanzanian tourist attractions, this is one of the most populous, with Moshi town sitting by the entrance.

Features of Kitulo National Park

Southern Tanzania’s Kitulo Plateau, or “Bustani ya Mungu,” is home to the Kitulo National Park, which encompasses an area of 413 square kilometers (159 square miles). The montane grassland, located at the height of around 2,600 meters, offers an abundance of water (8,500 ft). Volcanic soils and the Ruaha River characterize this area, flanked by the rugged peaks of the Poroto, Kipengere, and Livingstone Mountains. Floral abundance in the park has made it a designated region. Cordillera eland and reedbuck are the only wildlife of Tanzania on this turf. The imperiled blue swallow, Denham’s bustard, Njombe cisticola, mountain marsh widow, and Kipengere seedeater are just a few of the birds that ornithologists keep an eye on. Species such as the butterfly, chameleon, lizard, and frog are also found in this region. Mbeya town is around 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the park’s headquarters in Matamba.

Features of Mahale Mountains National Park

The highly forested Mahale Mountains rose two kilometers (1.2 miles) above Lake Tanganyika’s shoreline. They encircled Mahale Mountains National Park adjacent to Gombe Stream National Park. Unearthed in the Mahale range is Nkungwe peak standing at 2,460 meters (8,070 feet), and is treasured by the indigenous Tongwe ethnic group. The park is 1,613 square kilometers and is located in a secluded and difficult-to-reach area (623 sq mi). Wild chimpanzees, which number around 800 in this area, are the main category of the wildlife of Tanzania in this region. Others include blue-tailed, red, and red colobus monkeys. More than 1,000 fish species can be found, nursing the second-deepest lake in Tanzania.

Features of the National Park at Lake Manyara

A Variety of Animals Drinking Water at the Lake Manyara National Park
A Variety of Animals Drinking Water at the Lake Manyara National Park

Labeled by Ernest Hemingway as; the most beautiful park he witnessed in Africa,” It is located beneath a 600-meter-high rift valley. Lake Manyara National Park has a total area of 330 square kilometers (130 square miles), including 200 square kilometers (77 square miles) (at the high water stage) of the Lake Manyara. Rising from the vast Maasai steppes, the serrated blue volcanic peaks define the park’s topology of palustrine muskeg. The categories of the Wildlife in Tanzania in this region are: Elephants, giraffes, and tree-climbing lions are just a few of the animals roaming freely in the African wilderness. As a result of poaching, elephants amidst others periled were on the point of extinction in the 1980s. Still, visitors can now view at least 100 of the park’s 400 bird species, including many pink-hued flamingos and water birds like pelicans, cormorants, and storks. The Mto wa Mbu ethnic village, 126 kilometers (78 miles) west of Arusha, is home to the park’s entrance gate. A hired flight from Arusha to Serengeti or Ngorongoro Crater can also get you to the park. “Canoeing, mountain biking, walking, and abseiling” are the park’s most recent additions, situated just between Lake Victoria and the Arusha-Dodoma Road.

Features of Mikumi National Park

It is located in a 75,000-square-kilometer (29,000-square-mile) swath of wildness. Mikumi National Park is its fourth-largest national park, with 3,230 square kilometers (1,250 square miles). One of Africa’s largest wildlife sanctuaries lies north (the Selous). This habitat consists of the Mkata floodplain, extensive grass plains, and miombo-covered foothills of the highlands. Covered with palustrine wetlands, the wildlife of Tanzania in this region can be found in groups and grasslands. Namely are zebras and lions; impalas, large herds of wildebeests, buffaloes, kudus, elands, and sables; and ponds filled with hippos and other water-loving creatures. Elephants and antelope are also familiar sights. The lilac-breasted roller, yellow-throated longclaw, and bateleur eagle are documented in the 400 bird species. Selous, Udzungwa, and Katavi Routes from Dar es Salaam connect this region with 283-kilometer (176-mile) by road.

Features of Mkomazi National Park

Note: To be updated in the near future

Features of Ruaha National Park

Ruaha Park is Tanzania’s largest, with a total area of 20,226 square kilometers (7,809 sq mi). It has the typical semi-arid bush scenery. With its river flowing through the park and flooding during a downpour, it remains a temporary stream filled with ponds, a sandy, rocky riverbed, and banks. The park is located in the Usangu Plain, accomodating wetland, expansive meadows, dense woodlands, and an acacia-shrouded savanna make up much of the park. Sheltering tens of thousands of the wildlife of Tanzania herbivores like; elephants, giraffes, zebras, and waterbuck. The park’s emblem is Antelopes like sable, roan, and greater kudu with corkscrew horns. Cheetahs, and other carnivores, including hyenas; other notable species are crested barbet (yellow/black birds with white spots) and ashy starling, Yellow-collared lovebird. West of Iringa town, it is about 128 kilometers away.

Features of Rubondo Island National Park

It’s a park of 457 square kilometers; It’s about 93 miles west of Mwanza, in Tanzania’s northwest. Nine smaller islands make up the island. It is surrounded by a lacustrine environment on the shores of Lake Victoria. One of the world’s largest fish species, the Nile perch (weighing up to 220 pounds), may be found in this “water wonderland.” Tilapia and yellow-spotted otters are also found here.

This remote and difficult-to-access park is home to many species of the Wildlife of Tanzania mammal species, including indigenous hippos, genets, vervet monkeys, and mongooses, introduced chimpanzees, black-and-white colobus, elephants, giraffes, as well as bushbucks, and shaggy-coated aquatic sitatungas. Fish eagles and crocodiles can be spotted around the bay.

Features of Saadani National Park

Saadani National Park, which began as a wildlife reserve in the 1960s and became a national park in 2002, covers 1,062 square kilometers (410 square miles) and contains the Wami River, the Zaraninge forest, and the Mkwaja ranch region. In East Africa, this is the only national park with a beach on the Indian Ocean. This is the location of Tanzania’s 13th National Park. Animals can be seen basking along the Indian Ocean’s shores. While it was being maintained by the WWF before becoming a national park, they were attempting to preserve the country’s sole remaining coastal rainforest. It was also used as a livestock ranch from 1952 to 2000. In addition, on the park’s beachfront, hunting lodges had been built to accommodate celebrities who came here to course wildlife and escape Dar es Salaam’s bustle.

The weather is hot and muggy at this beach resort. In addition to the 30 species of the wildlife of Tanzania namely mammals and birds, the marine and terrestrial fauna of the park includes numerous fish species, beach-breeding green turtles, dolphins (pomboo), and whales (humpback; nyangumi), as well as a variety of other marine and coastal species.

Features of Saanane National Park

Note: To be updated in the near future

Features of Serengeti National Park

Since its creation in 1951, this park has served as the world’s oldest and most famous, covering an area of 14,763 square kilometers (5,700 square miles). The environment is characterized by extensive grasslands, forested hills, savannah, rivers, termite mounds, and acacia trees. It is surrounded by Kenya to the east and Lake Victoria to the west. Amid Tanzania’s Serengeti and Kenya’s Masai Mara’s rolling grasslands, a million wildebeests are on the prowl for greener pastures during the Great Wildebeest Migration. After spending three weeks mating and giving birth to 8000 calves daily, they are occasionally spotted migrating over rivers to the north, dusting a distance of 1,000 square kilometers (390 square miles). The park sees this yearly cycle of migratory and reproductive behavior. This coordinated relocation of 200,000 zebra and 300,000 Thomson’s gazelles in forage is appropriately described as “six million hooves pounding the plains.” In addition to buffalos, elephants, giraffes, and elands, many species of the wildlife of Tanzania like the topis, elands, impalas, kongonis, and Grant’s gazelles can be found here. As for predators, you’ll find lions, leopards, and other big cats here, as well as the rare Rock Hyrax, Spotted Hyena, and Serval Cat. Reptiles include agama lizards and crocodiles. The ostrich and secretary bird are two of the more than 500 species that have been documented. There are also over a hundred different kinds of dung beetles listed.

Features of Tarangire National Park

Tanzania’s Tarangire Park is the country’s sixth-largest. The river, which flows through the park and is a constant water source for the park’s residents and the wildlife of Tanzania, is the inspiration for the park’s name. It covers 1,100 square miles southeast of Lake Manyara, spanning 2,850 square kilometers. The park’s mammals include elephants, zebras, buffalos, impalas, gazelles, beasts, and eland. Predators include the tree-climbers like leopards and lions. African pythons are the most common snake spotted perched on baobab trees. With 550 bird species, it is the world’s largest park for breeding birds; the Rufous-tailed weaver, ground hornbills, Kori bustard (the heaviest flying bird), and yellow-collared lovebird, stocking-thighed ostrich (both largest and heaviest bird), and ashy starling all call this park home. Red-and-yellow barbet couples, dwarf mongooses, and termite mounds inhabit the park. It can be reached by road from Arusha, 18 kilometers away. Arusha and Serengeti airports both have air links.

Features of Udzungwa Mountains National Park

There are 1,990 square kilometers of Udzungwa Park in the Eastern Arc Mountains (mountain ranges from the Taita Hills to the Makambako Gap. The park is often referred to as an “African Galapagos” because of the park’s uncommon species, and the park’s hills range in elevation from 820 feet to 8,451 feet. The park embodied steppe, tropical rainforest, grassland, mountain forest, and miombo woodland. Unique to Tanzania, the park is home to 30-40% of the wildlife of Tanzania both plant and animal species. More than 400 different bird species and six other primate species can be found here. It is the second most diverse park in Africa. “World Biodiversity Attraction” recognition. It is amongst the 200 WWF Ecoregions tagged critical of global importance. It is nurturing six and five indigenous primates, Udzungwa red colobus and Sanje mangabey, found nowhere else in the world.

Conservation of Ngorongoro

This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, despite not being a national park. The NCA covers an area of 8,292 square kilometers. This award was based on the following criteria:

The NCA’s high concentration of the wildlife of Tanzania species, including 25,000 large animals, and the NCA’s varying climate, landforms, and altitude, which result in several distinct ecosystems, are only some of the reasons why the NCA is considered one of the world’s most important biodiversity regions.


Faunal richness in both parks and wildlife reserves is also noteworthy. Three hundred ten mammalian species (Africa’s fourth-largest population) coexist with 960 bird species (Africa’s third-largest population) and several reptiles, amphibians making up Africa’s fourth-largest population. Nurtures threatened species like Uluguru bushshrikes, black rhinoceros, hawksbill, green; olive ridley; leatherback turtles. Red colobus monkeys, Pemba flying foxes, and wild canines are the most endangered. There are 430 species of four million globally, including 60,000 insects and 100 snakes, and 25 other reptiles and birds. The University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, Avibase data profiles, Bucknell University, and BirdLife International data profiles provide additional information about fauna species. Much rare wildlife of Tanzania species can be found in the East Usambara Mountains’ woods, which have been likened to the Galapagos Islands in terms of biological value.


Mammals Species That are Part of the Wildlife of Tanzania

Approximately 300 species can be found in the wildlife of Tanzania: Burchell’s zebra or Equus burchellii, Loxodonta africana, Thomson’s gazelle or Eudorcas thomsonii, kipunji or Rungwecebus kipunji, hartebeest or Alcelaphus buselaphus, Thomas’s bushbaby or Galago thomsonii, and a variety of other species like Hystrix cristata.


Canis mesomelas or black-backed jackal, Leptailurus Serval or Serval, and lion or Panthera leo are just some of the many predators.


Chimps or Pan troglodytes and baboons or Papio, such as Anubis baboons or Papio Anubis, Cynocephalus baboons or Yellow baboon, and Hamadryas baboons or Papio Hamadryas, have been identified.


List of Birds That are Part of the Wildlife of Tanzania

More than a thousand different wildlife of Tanzania bird species can be found in all national parks, including 23 indigenous species, 35 threatened, and three invading species, according to the Avibase database as of March 2004. The eastern and southern African wetland-grassland habitats of grey-crowned cranes, including Tanzania, are vulnerable to extinction.

Aboriginal Species

Yellow-collared lovebird or Agapornis personatus, a Trerom pembaensis or Pemba green pigion, Pemba scops owl or Otus pembaensis, Usamgara eagle-owl or Bubo vosseleri, Beesley’s lark or Chersomanes beesleyi, Mrs. Moreau’s warbler or Scepomycter winifredae are just a few of the birds that can be found here.

Introduced Species to the Wildlife of Tanzania

Introduced species to the wildlife of Tanzania include the rock pigeon or Columba livia and the house crow or Corvus splendens.

Conservation of the Wildlife of Tanzania

Tanzania has been plagued by poaching and social pressure to meet the high demand for wildlife meat in the 1990s, with an estimated 160,000 to 200,000 animals removed each year. The wildlife policy of Tanzania, regulations and tensions between animal conservation such as the wildlife conservation society of Tanzania (wildlife conservation foundation of Tanzania) and the needs of rural Tanzanians have been addressed by the Tanzanian government and international aid agencies, which have made substantial efforts to handle this situation. Anti-poaching activities have been initiated in the country’s widely accessible northern wildlife area. Game-viewing tourism has been an enormous success. Trophy hunting has also relieved the crisis, resulting in increasing monetary generation, notably in wildlife areas of the north, south, and western hemispheres.

According to a report published in 2020 February, there has been an increase in the population of elephants, hippos, and zebras in the Selous-Mikumi biota in October and November of 2018.

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