Located within Njombe Region of the southern Highlands of Tanzania, at the northern end of Kipengere Range (Livingstone Mountain Range) is a Protected Area known as Mpanga-Kipengere Game Reserve. It is nestled partly within Wanging’ombe District and partially in Makete District, on the northern edge of the Volcanic Livingstone-Kipengere Mountain range.

Tributaries of the Great Ruaha River that start from this Game Reserve such as Ipera, Mlomboji, Mbarali and Kimani River all flow mainly northwards. The altitude of the Reserve ranges from 1800 meters (5906 feet) above sea level to 23000 meters (75,459 feet) above sea level but also extends for an area of 1574 square kilometers (608 square miles).

It is known for its extraordinary flora and fauna, cultural Heritage and breathtaking scenery within the Kimani waterfalls and Nyumba Nitu Forest that are undeniably very attractive for nature tourism. On top of the conservation and preservation of wildlife species, Mpanga-Kipengere Game Reserve is considered a significant catchment Area for the headwaters (source) of a number of Rivers like Ipera, Mbarali, Kimani and Mlomboji that feed into the mighty Ruaha River that supplies water to the Usangu wetlands.

When it comes to beautiful sceneries, this Reserve cannot be surpassed with the Mpanga Highlands, Kipengere ranges (south-west highlands of Tanzania at the northern edge of Lake Nyasa and Matema beach near Malawi border but runs south-east being part of eastern rift valley escarpment reaching Mozambique), Chafukwe and Lugala Mountains providing sceneries of green mountains, remarkable valleys and plains. The Chafukwe Mountains are particularly perfect for recreation where visitors can relish the breathtaking views of the lush mountains ranges and surrounding areas. Additionally, there are several natural wonders around these areas including rivers, cascading waterfalls and breathtaking flowers such as tuberous orchids.

While at the top of Kipengere mountain range, tourists can clearly relish the views of Lake Nyasa and Matema Beach (one of the popular beaches within Mbeya region). An exceptional Montane Forest type within Tanzania (Southern Rift Montane Woodlands) covers the largest part of the Game Reserve

Attractions within the Game Reserve

This area is rich in both flora and fauna including numerous species of mammals (totaling to 28 indigenous species) such as primates (yellow baboons and black and white colobus monkeys), rodents as well as bird species including the Denham’s Bustard, migratory birds like the Abdimis Storks and Blue swallows and reptiles among others. This area is known for numerous endemic species like the nosed chameleons, the rare Fufumka bird, the marsh widow, Kipengere seedeaters and Njombe Cisticola among others.

Tourist Activities within Mpanga-Kipengere Game Reserve

Activities to enjoy within the Game Reserve include mountaineering, hiking, trekking and walking around the Chafukwe Mountains.

Therefore, Mpanga-Kipengere Game Reserve is famous for spectacular landscapes in form of Chafukwe and Lugala mountains, Mpanga highlands, Kipengere ranges and magical valleys as well as mammals, birds, reptiles and Amphibians among others.

Would you like to explore Mpanga – Kipengere Game Reserve? Why not plan a safari with African Jungle Adventures? Check out the different options offered by selected tour operators organising safaris in Tanzania.

The second largest continent on the globe, Africa is far more nuanced and diverse than many mainstream media accounts imply. A broad array of vibrant groups and cultures call the continent “home”. Africa is a continent with immense and iconic ecological diversity as well. Over the past century or so, lots of this beautiful land has fallen under state protection in the form of national parks and game conservatories. Here are some of the most extraordinary among them.

The Serengeti, Tanzania

The Serengeti is one of the most famous regions of Africa. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and many consider it to be one of the top 10 wonders of the world. A lot of wildlife lives here, and the Serengeti National Park serves to protect and preserve it. One of the most exciting events that takes place here each year is the great wildebeest migration, where six million of these animals partake in this 40 km long ritual that has existed for millennia. In addition to witnessing this magnificent aspect of nature, Serengeti National Park maintains the natural balance of predator and prey. You can see lions, serval cats, and aardwolves on the hunt here as well.

South Luangwa National Park

South Luangwa National Park in eastern Zambia, is the southern most of three national parks in the valley of the Luangwa River, and is a world-renowned wildlife haven. It supports large populations of Thornicroft’s giraffe, herds of elephants and Cape buffaloes often several hundred strong. The Luangwa River supports abundant crocodiles and hippopotamuses. It is one of the best known national parks of Africa

Kruger National Park, South Africa

Kruger National Park in South Africa was established in 1898. The park boasts of containing African wildlife’s ‘Big Five’, which include; lions, rhinos, elephants, buffaloes, and leopards. Here you can even go on an elephant back safari. Like many of the national parks on our list, Kruger prides itself in its grassroots animal breeding and conservation efforts. There are also unique historical and archaeological sites within the bounds of the park where you can see things like ancient bushman rock paintings. If you aren’t able to make it to the park, you can also keep track of what’s going on through the park’s live webcams.

Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya

Deemed ‘the bird watcher’s paradise,’ Lake Nakuru National Park is home to a type of algae that attracts staggering numbers of pink flamingos to feed on the algae in Lake Nakuru each year. Sometimes these numbers reach into the millions. The park harbors an ecologically broad spectrum of species beyond the iconic flamingos as well, including white rhinos, baboons, warthogs, cheetahs, giraffes and more. Established only about 55 years ago, the park was recently enlarged to help provide sanctuary for the rare and endangered black rhino. Some of the other bird species worth watching out for at Lake Nakuru National park are the pied kingfisher, African fish eagle, and the Goliath heron.

Queen Elizabeth Park, Uganda

Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of the most visited parks in Uganda.  It it is the perfect park when combined with gorilla tracking at Bwindi Impenetrable forest. One can, in five or six days visit the Mountain Gorillas of Uganda in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, see the tree climbing Lions in the Ishasha area of Queen Elizabeth Park, and take a Boat Ride Safari on the Kazinga Channel with its abundant wildlife, hundreds of birds, and the highest concentration of hippos in the whole wide world. You can also include chimpanzee tracking in what BBC called the “lost valley”, which is part of the Western Rift in Uganda, also known as the Kyambura Gorge. Queen Elizabeth Park is simply a tapestry of natural wonders in the western region of Uganda. Queen Elizabeth Park is filled with lots of wildlife. Besides its lions, leopards and other cats, it has elephants, buffaloes, antelopes and more species of birds than any other Ugandan Wildlife Park. In this same national park, you will also find the scenic Katwe explosion craters and the Maramagambo forest where you can go hiking, birding, and also enjoy the cultural visits of the region.

Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo

If you’re in search of biodiversity, head to Virunga National Park. It is the most biologically diverse part of the continent. You’ll find rain forests, volcanoes, mountains with glacial peeks, savannas, swamps and more. From the top of the Nyiragongo Volcano, you can see a full view of the largest volcanic lake in the world. Virunga the national park, does a lot to protect the mountain gorillas that live here and are nearly extinct. Chimpanzees and lowland gorillas live here as well. A dedicated group of forest rangers run the park and ward off poachers.

Tsavo National Parks, Kenya

Approximately 150 miles south of Nairobi, this park boasts of Wildlife that includes; Leopard, Cheetah, Buffalo, Rhino, Red Elephant, Giraffe, Zebra, Lion, Crocodile, Mongoose, Hyrax, Dik- dik, Lesser Kudu, and Nocturnal Porcupine, among others. Together the Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks form one of the largest national parks in the world, covering around 4% of Kenya’s total land area. The emerald-hued Galana and Tsavo Rivers run through the area, with the Nairobi-Mombasa highway and railroad separating the two parks. The river banks are a great spot for viewing the wildlife, especially the African Elephants that flock here in large numbers. The Lugards Falls are a major attraction as well, with the Galana River flowing through eroded rocks and pooling to form a haven for some monster crocodiles.

Amboseli National Park, Kenya

Amboseli National Park contains over 400 species of birds and 47 species of raptors, thanks to the presence of a large system of swamps. It is said to be one of the best places in the world for viewing birds and other wildlife. Come and marvel at parades of elephants as they pass by, and against the backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro which makes up a large portion of the horizon. In fact, this is also one of the best places in Africa to get up close and personal with these majestic creatures. The park originally began as a reservation for the Maasai peoples, and there is legislation in the works to afford them more control over park activities and upkeep.

Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

If you’re looking for the world’s tallest waterfall, head to Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. Here you will find Victoria Falls. Hwange National Park was named after a celebrated leader of the local Nhanzwa tribe. Over 500 species of animals and birds reside in this unique ecosystem of forests at the edge of the Kalahari Desert. Elephants in particular tend to thrive in Hwange National Park. Unfortunately, the park has experienced some poaching issues in the last few years, including the tragic death of the famed lion named Cecil. The park authorities are actively doing what they can to prevent such awful acts on this beautiful and biologically diverse land.

Lake Manyara is a Tanzanian national park that is located both in Arusha region and the Manyara region in Tanzania. These two regions have no authority over the parks. The national park is ruled by the Tanzania National parks Authority. The main park land area is a narrow strip that runs between the gregory rift wall to the west and lake Manyara which is also an alkaline or soda lake to the east. This national park is over 330km and covered with land, forest and the soda lake that covers as much as 220km ofland.

Lake Manyara national park is also known for the many flamingos that live in the lake. In the wet season, they live the edges ofthe lake in flocks of thousands but they are not so present during the dry season. There are more than 400 bird species that live in the park and many remain throughout the year. Since this lake is also good for bird watching, the visitors to the park can expect to see over 100 different species of birds. The other animal species also include; the Masai lions, leopards, blue monkeys,elephants, dik-dik, gazelles, the Masai giraffes, zebras and the Impalas. There are also the hippos at one end of the park where the visitors can get out of their cars and see from a safe distance. The lions and the leopards are also known to laze in the trees while not hunting for the prey.

 The park is located 26km south west of Arusha andcan be reached by the car in an hour and half. This national park can also be reached easily from Bahati the capital of Manyara region. The national park is also close to Tarangire national park.

The Mantara region is also one of Tanzanian’s 30administrative regions, the regional capital is the town of Bahati. This region has a population of 1,425,131 and it’s the 22nd most densely populated region in 32 people per square kilometer. Lake manyara is the northern part of the region and its bordered to the north by the Arusha region,to the north east by the Kilimanjaro region, tto the east by the Tanga region,to the south by the Dodoma region, to the south west by the Singida region, and to the northwest by the simivu region and its highest mountain is Mount Hanang.

Lake Manyara is also a shallow lake in the NatronManayaraBalangida branch of the eastern African rift with in the Manayara region in Tanzania. This region is also home to variety of land scape andwildlife. The name Manyara also comes from the Maasai word Emanyara that meanseuphorbia species of the plant that is grown into a hedge around a family homestead.

The lake also covers 89km though the area changes widely with seasons and the dry spells expose large areas of mud flats. The region is also known for the baboons, the lake and the environs a home to the herbivores like the hippos, elephants, buffaloes, warthogs and the giraffes.There are also the giant fig trees and the Mahogany that is seen in the groundwater forest around the park gates. To the south, there are the acacia woodlands. The leopards are in abundance as well as the lions. The lake also gives a chance for the ornithologists who like to view and also observe over300 migratory birds including the long crested eagle, Flamingos, and the grey headed kingfisher.

Rwenzori National park is situated in south-western Uganda on the eastern side of the western African rift valley. It also lies along the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo and the boarder of DRC along  the border of Virunga National park. It’s also located in the districtsof Kabarole, kasese and Bundibugyo. The park was established in 1991 and was designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 due to its natural outstanding beauty. Its 1,000km in size and has got the highest mountain peak with waterfalls,lakes as well as glaciers. This national park is known for its fantastic plant life.

The park also as most of its centre and the eastern half of it covered with Rwenzori Mountains. This mountain is the highest mountain range in the whole of Africa with also Africa’s highest mountain peak, six peaks including mount Stanley, Speke, Gessi, Emin Pasha, Luigi da Savoia and Mount Baker. The main peaks here can also be compared to those of Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya. This national park has also got glaciers waterfalls, lakes, snowfields, and it’s one of the most beautiful mountains inAfrica.

This national park has also got 217 bird species, 70mammal species, 19 albertine Rift endemics and the world’s rarest vegetation cover. These are also known as the mountains of the moon. The equatorial snowpeaks also include; the third highest point in Africa, with its lower slopesthat are covered in the moorland, bamboo, the moist montane forest, the colourful mosses, the huge tree heathers and these are swathed across the mountainside with the giant lobelias as well as the everlasting flowers that create a very charming fairy-tale scene.

These are also world class hiking and mounteering destinations, you can enjoy a 9 to 11 day hike with the skilled climbers to the summit of the Margherita which is the highest peak.  This mountain is only 80 miles but has one of the most theatrical diversities of the ecosystems in the world. It has also got5 different zones of the habituation generating a world of great biodiversity.

This mountain range was named Rwenzori by the European explorer Henry M Stanley , the mountain has also got different vegetation including; the African savannah, with animals including the zebrasand the elephants, the rain forests, bamboo forest, Heath zone, and Alpine  Zone, The main tourist activities here include; Bird watching which is also a great opportunity with in the montane forest and some of the species hereinclude; the bee eaters, the Robins, sun birds, the barbets and some of the 217species that are found in Rwenzori Mountains National park. There are also the cultural encounters were you discover the farming villages of Ruboni which is home to over 2000 Bakonzo with in the foothills of the mountain. You walk with the villagers as they show their daily activities including tending to the animals and crops to preparing meals with the freshest ingredients. The other activities also include; hiking and the nature walks, mountain or volcano climbing, and many more.

Africa is the mother of all wildlife safaris. There are lots of national parks to visit for game viewing in Africa. Here are 10 less known national parks to enjoy wildlife safaris in Africa;

  1. Masai Mara National Reserve

The Maasai Mara national Reserve, also known as “The Mara,” is the venue for arguably the most astounding wildlife spectacle on earth.

Every year during the great migration an estimated 2.5 million animals make a round-trip journey of 2,000 kilometres across the Serengeti ecosystem between Tanzania and Kenya.

The Mara has been described as the most prolific wildlife real-estate on earth and is perhaps Africa’s greatest safari destination.

Similarly, the Serengeti, which is contiguous with The Mara to the south, is one of Africa’s truly untamed wildernesses, with seemingly endless expanses of swaying savannah where plains herds graze and lions and cheetah maintain a vigil from their lookout kopjes

2 Liwonde National Park, Malawi
Game boma in Liwonde National Park (Dreamstime)

Recognising the economic benefits of national parks and game viewing, the Malawi government has made it a priority to rehabilitate Liwonde National Park. Their aim is to make it a Big Five park again, re-introducing rhino, lions and elephants for the first time in decades.

Located beside the Shire River, the park offers the opportunity to track rhinos with researchers, as well as go on walking safaris.

Sunset cruises along the river are popular too, affording great sightings of elephants, hippos, crocs, waterbucks and abundant birdlife.

3 Tiwai National Park, Sierra Leone

You’ve probably seen the forests of Tiwai National Park on television without realising it. The park is a long-term favourite with wildlife documentary-makers, the go-to place for footage of chimpanzees and Pygmy hippos living undisturbed in an environment that hasn’t changed for centuries.

Tiwai remains pristine because it sits on an island on the Mao River, largely cut off from the rest of Sierra Leone. The island is reached by motorboat from Kambama and accommodation is limited – just tents and a shared bathroom – but the advantage is that monkeys frequently stroll through the camp.The park is a UNESCO-listed site, recognised for its lush rainforest, unique and rich biodiversity, and a high concentration of endemic species.

  1. Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana

A good place for lion spotters and best for untamed, limitless desert wilderness and the tough Kalahari lions.
Botswana’s Central Kalahari Game Reserve is Africa at its rawest. The San Bushmen have lived here for an estimated 30,000 years and the first explorers knew this area as “the plains where courage fails.”

There are only a few lodges that allow an opportunity to explore the reserve without the safety net of a full-blown four-wheel drive expedition vehicle and in this area you could not feel farther removed from the crowds and tour buses of other parks.

In the heart of the Kalahari you camp within earshot of roaring lions, in the certain knowledge that there will rarely be anyone else within 50 kilometres.

  1. 5. Kidepo Valley National Park, Uganda

For all your adrenalin-producing needs and is good for: Spectacular landscapes and great buffalo herds.
With sprawling savannah and soaring mountains, Kidepo National Park might be the most picturesque park in Africa.

Sharing borders with Sudan and Kenya’s Northern Frontier District, it is Uganda’s most beautiful, remote and least-explored park. Kidepo was once the playground of the late president Idi Amin and you can still visit the haunting ruins of a lodge that could just as easily have been designed as a massive bunker.

Those who take the trouble to get here are rewarded with phenomenal wildlife sightings and a level of exclusivity that can rarely be had at any cost in neighbouring countries.

  1. Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area, Tanzania

Near guaranteed sightings of the “Big Five” (elephant, lion, buffalo, rhino and leopard).
Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater could be the most compact wildlife venue on the planet. From the first spellbinding glimpse of the crater and the stomach-churning descent down the inner walls, your senses are assaulted by Africa at its most intense. During a single morning you can easily rack up unforgettable sightings of elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard.

If this is your first time on safari it can be the perfect choice but aficionados complain that this amazing little “lost world” makes it all too easy. 

  1. Etosha National Park, Namibia

Best for Cheetah spotting and waterhole stake outs.Etosha National Park is Namibia’s premier wildlife venue and one of Africa’s most hypnotic landscapes.

The park takes its name from a local word meaning “Great White Place” and the startling white pan (which was a lake bed 12 million years ago) covers about a quarter of Etosha’s 22,300 square kilometres.

The key to wildlife spotting here is to focus on the waterholes that dot these lizard-baking, mirage-haunted plains.

Etosha is home to the Big Five, vast herds of gazelle and antelope and (depending on season) more than 300 species of birds.

  1. National Parks along Gambia River,

Best for: Bird watching and West African aquatic wildlife.
The Gambia is effectively little more than the opposing banks of West Africa’s greatest river, but the six national parks strung along Gambia River constitute one of Africa’s most unexpected safari venues.

The country has traditionally been written off by safari connoisseurs as “hunted out” but its reputation as a safari destination has been sadly understated.

Not only is it a paradise for bird-watchers (with almost 600 species) but its bush is home to monkey, baboon and chimpanzee, and its crocodile-infested waters offer rarer sightings like African otter and manatee.

  1. Ahaggar National Park, Algeria

Best for: Tuareg nomadic culture and vast, sweeping Sahara land scapes.On a map of North Africa, Algeria’s Ahaggar National Park is where the “H” would be in “SAHARA.”

This immense park is 40 times the size of the entire Gambian nation but, far from being a massive wasteland, the center of the world’s greatest desert is a diverse area, boasting classic dunes and a 3,000-meter mountain range.

Despite its reputation, security is rarely a problem in this area: as the local Tuareg people are quick to point out, in this vast country you’re further from Algiers than you would be if you’d stayed in London.

  1. Kruger National Park, South Africa

One of Africa’s more convenient parks and for: best Accessible wilderness.
Kruger National Park, South Africa’s flagship park, is famous for the great diversity of habitats (16 macro eco-zones have been recognized here) that can be found in the 300 kilometres of wilderness that lie between the Limpopo and the Crocodile rivers.

Kruger is the most accessible and best equipped of Africa’s great parks and makes an ideal venue for self-drive safaris, since it is well signposted, well maintained and even boasts restaurants and gas stations.

Apart from wonderful wildlife sightings, other great adventure draw-cards of Kruger are its range of multi-day hiking trails and mountain-biking tours.

Maasai Mara (Masai Mara) is situated in south-west Kenya and is one of Africa’s Greatest Wildlife Reserves. Together with the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania it forms Africa’s most diverse, incredible and most spectacular eco-systems and possibly the world’s top safari big game viewing eco-system.

Made famous by the abundance of the big cats, Lion, Leopard, Cheetah and the Great Wildebeest Migration and the Maasai people, well known for their distinctive custom and dress.

There is a wide selection of places to stay in and around the Maasai Mara and the conservancies surrounding it . The conservancies surrounding the Maasai Mara have restricted number of vehicles allowing a more private game viewing of wildlife.DSC06062 Maasai Mara National Reserve

Safaris including the Maasai Mara are without a doubt some of the best you ever get. To get the best out of your safari time, try a book at seven day safari at least and cover two or more other destinations.

The Maasai Mara Ecosystem (see our map) holds one of the highest lion densities in world and this is where over TWO MILLION Wildebeest, Zebra and Thomsons Gazelle migrate annually.

Maasai Mara National Reserve stretches 1,510 sq km (580 sq miles) and raises 1,500-2,170 meters above sea level. It hosts over 95 species of mammals and 570 recorded species of birds.

Distance

It’s about 270 km from the capital Nairobi City and takes about 5-6 hours by road or 40-45 minutes by flight. The road is great for the most part. There is a section from Narok town to Sekenani Gate that is dirt road but fairly good. The other road through Lemek and Aitong town is not good day all, very bumpy.

Best Time To Visit

With the wildebeest migration in JULY – OCTOBER, this is the best time to see this incredible movement of animals. Although it is not guaranteed that the wildebeest get to Maasai Mara, it has yet to let us down. Also, December to February are great times as it is dryer and good for the Big Cats.

NOTE: The Maasai Mara is an all year round destination with the big cats, and all the big game still in the Maasai Mara Ecosystem.

Akagera National park also known as the little Serengeti is covered with savannah grassland, inhabits the best of Rwanda safari trips, rich with a variety of animals such as Elephants, lions, Rhinos, hyenas, crocodiles, Buffaloes, Giraffes, Zebras, Hippos, herds of different antelope species like the beautiful Kob, bush bucks, Eland, impalas, bush babies, water bucks, topis among others. A game drive in this park will reward you with the view of all these animals. A Canoe ride ride on ihema lake is another interesting activity to get close to the wild.