Ruaha National Park
While Ruaha may not be well-known, it’s Africa’s largest national park. Other than rhinos, it’s home to all the major safari animals, and offers a wild, untamed setting with magnificent beauty that includes ancient baobab trees. It’s one of the few places on the planet where wild dog packs can be observed, with exciting wildlife watching for rare species like sable and roan antelope, as well as Grant’s gazelle, buffalo and lions.
Selous Game Reserve
Africa’s largest uninhabited area, Selous Game Reserve is known for its vast unspoiled expanses of land and is also one of two places used by elephants for their annual migration. Thousands of the majestic creatures can be seen in this UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with crocodiles, hippos, and more. Visitors can also take boat safaris on the Rufiji River which is teeming with crocs and hippos, while lions are often lying around waiting for animals to come for a drink. The birdlife is impressive too.
Lake Manyara National Park
Bordered to the west by a dramatic Rift Valley escarpment and dominated by the soda lake for which it’s named during the wet season, while Lake Manyara covers only 130 square miles, it’s one of the most underrated safari destinations in the country. A mini-Serengeti, it hosts nearly a dozen ecosystems and an impressive amount of wildlife. The star of the show are the tree-climbing lions, followed by the hundreds of elephants that are commonly spotted. In fact, it has one of the highest densities of large mammals. You might see Maasai giraffe, one of the largest giraffe subspecies, hippos, zebras, Sykes’ monkeys, buffalos and various antelope species.