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Serengeti National Park
Time seems to stand still in this most superlative of East African parks. A lion sits majestically on a rock, giraffes stride gracefully into the sunset, crocodiles bask on the riverbanks and secretary birds gaze quizzically at you from the roadside. The wildlife watching is outstanding at any time of year; just be sure to allow enough time to appreciate all the Serengeti
has to offer.
It is difficult to resist the allure of climbing Africa’s highest peak,Mt Kilimanjaro
with its snow-capped summit and views over the surrounding plains. But there are also other rewarding ways to experience the mountain. Take a day hike on the lush lower slopes, spend time learning about local Chagga culture or sip a sundowner from one of the many vantage points that has the mountain as a backdrop.
magic starts while you are still up on the rim, with the chilly air and sublime views over the enormous crater. The descent takes you down to a wide plain cloaked in hues of blue and green. If you are lucky enough to find a quiet spot, it is easy to imagine primeval Africa, with an almost constant parade of animals against a quintessential East African backdrop.
With more than 1,000km of Indian Ocean coastline, exotic archipelagos and inland lakes, you will be spoiled for choice when it comes to Tanzania’s shores. Zanzibar
’s stunning beaches (pictured) are the most developed, with blindingly white sand, the obligatory palm trees and rewarding diving. To really get away from it all, try the far south, between Kilwa Masoko and the Mozambique border, or inland along the Lake Tanganyika shoreline.
Elephants in Ruaha National Park
Rugged, baobab-studded Ruaha National Park is home to one of Tanzania’s largest elephant populations. An ideal spot to watch for the giant pachyderms is along the lovely Great Ruaha River at sunrise or sundown, when they make their way down to the banks for a snack or a swim in the company of hippos, antelopes and more than 400 different types of birds.
in Tanzania is one of the most serene lakes in Africa, but it's also the source of some of the most phantasmagorical photographs ever captured — images that look as though living animals had instantly turned to stone.
The alkaline water in Lake Natron has a pH as high as 10.5 and is so caustic it can burn the skin and eyes of animals that aren't adapted to it. The water's alkalinity comes from the sodium carbonate and other minerals that flow into the lake from the surrounding hills. And deposits of sodium carbonate — which was once used in Egyptian mummification — also acts as a fantastic type of preservative for those animals unlucky enough to die in the waters of Lake Natron