Facts about Tanzania’s wildlife
Photo of a lion in the Ngorongoro Crater by Sara&Joachim on Flickr
Tanzania is home to 364 species of mammals and 1108 species of birds. It also supports 130 amphibian and over 275 reptile species, many of which are endemic.
The Serengeti National Park is most famous for its annual migration of over one million and a half white bearded (or brindled) wildebeest and 250,000 zebra. Up to 250,000 wildebeest die each year in the long and arduous movement to find forage in the dry season.
A population of approximately 25,000 large animals, largely ungulates along with reputedly the highest density of mammalian predators in Africa, lives in the Ngorongoro Crater.
Jane Goodall pioneered her behavioral research conducted on the chimpanzee populations in Gombe Stream National Park is located in western Tanzania.
The Selous Game Reserve is one of the largest fauna reserves of the world, covering a total area of 54,600 km² and has additional buffer zones and no permanent human habitation or permanent structures are permitted
- Zanzibar Archipelago of Unguja and Pemba Islands provide habitat for three notable Tanzanian species: the endemic Zanzibar red colobus monkey, Pemba flying fox, and the continent’s rarest forest antelope, Ader’s duiker.
- Tarangire National Park supports one of the highest densities of large ungulates in East Africa, in addition oryx, lesser kudu, and the largest population of elephants in northern Tanzania (now numbering close to 2,500).
- The wildlife in Tarangire migrate on a seasonal basis, leaving the relative safety of the park and dispersing onto neighboring lands in search of mineral-rich forage. Much of this land belongs to the pastoral Maasai communities, who do not traditionally hunt wild animals and have coexisted with the migrating herds.
- The Southern Highlands in the country’s remote southwest, are home to dozens of endangered and/or endemic species including Abbott’s duiker, the kipunji, chimpanzees, rare birds, and numerous species of orchids. Twelve new vertebrate species have been discovered there during the last five years alone.
- The kipunji, discovered in 2003, is the first new monkey genus discovered in Africa in more than 80 years and is extremely rare. As of last count, the population numbered 1,117.
- The Ruaha River, which arises in the Southern Highlands, is the country’s most important waterway, a key fishery that also provides 70 percent of Tanzania’s electricity and nourishes an ecosystem vital to the area’s wildlife and to millions of people.