Wildlife in Tanzania
It is unusual to meet anyone who has been on safari to Tanzania and not explored the northern region. Dominated by the annual wildebeest (and zebra) migration, visitors are blown away by the prolific herds of plains game that also include large numbers of topi, eland and gazelles. Predators are abundant here too with lion and cheetah dominating the sightings, although leopard sightings are also reliable and wild dogs are making a strong comeback. The critically endangered East African black rhino of Ngorongoro and Mkomazi, giant elephant tuskers of Tarangire and abundant flamingos seasonally visiting Lake Manyara round off a wildlife smorgasbord second to none.
Although it has suffered badly at the hands of poachers in recent years, the southern region of Tanzania is still renowned for its large numbers of elephants and huge herds of buffalo. These mega-herbivores, along with the full suite of plains game, support healthy predator populations with Selous being famous for its wild dogs and Ruaha for its carnivores like lions. In the west of this region, abutting Lake Tanganyika, are the primate strongholds of Mahale Mountains and Gombe Stream national parks with habituated chimpanzees being the prime wildlife attraction here.
With the exception of endemic Zanzibar red colobus monkey, Aders’ duiker, Sykes blue monkey and the diminutive suni antelope, the islands off the east coast of Tanzania are all about marine wildlife. Dynamite fishing has done some damage here, but dolphins are still frequently seen on diving and snorkelling trips off the coast of Zanzibar and Mnemba, while harmless whale sharks frequent the warm waters around Mafia Island.