Tanzania is one of the most diverse and famed safari destinations we offer. The country is home to a lifetime’s worth of off the beaten track explorations and many popular bucket-list safari destinations alike. Whichever you prefer, Tanzania covers both!
Tanzania is one of the most diverse and famed safari destinations we currently offer. A country that is home to a lifetime’s worth of off-the-beaten-track adventures and countless bucket-list safari destinations alike.
Whichever you prefer – and let’s be honest, why not just choose both – Tanzania covers every possible holiday dream with plenty to spare.
Home to Mount Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Crater, Zanzibar Island, and the world’s largest annual wildebeest migration, Tanzania needs little introduction as one of the biggest draws, not only in East Africa but anywhere on the continent
It is on most first-time safari travellers’ lists for good reason; it is quite simply breathtaking and offers something for everyone, regardless of age or preferences – a perfect place for safari tours.
There is, however, much more to be discovered in Tanzania. After experiencing the country’s heavy-hitting hotspots, it is entirely possible to escape the crowds, and with a little effort have vast tracts of the Tanzanian wilderness all to yourself.
- Tanzania has a human population of 60 million comprised of a staggering 120 ethnic groups.
- It is the home of Mount Kilimanjaro, known as the roof of Africa.
- Tanzania has the largest concentration of wildlife per square kilometre of any country in Africa.
- The currency is the Tanzanian shilling.
Tanzania Safari Highlights
With so much on offer, we have divided Tanzania into 5 sections to make differentiation easier: Arusha, northern Tanzania, southern Tanzania, western Tanzania, and Zanzibar & Mafia Islands.
The normal tourist route incorporates just 3: the safaris either start or end in Zanzibar, then head over to Arusha and continue through Northern Tanzania. This leaves southern and western Tanzania relatively undiscovered and far less visited by tourists.
For more detailed information on all of the five sections please take a look at their dedicated pages, but for a quick overview, here’s a snapshot of our Tanzanian highlights.
Lying in the shadow of the brooding Mt Meru and surrounded by coffee plantations, the Tanzanian city of Arusha, the capital of the region with the same name, is the gateway to Tanzania’s northern region.
Arusha itself has developed into a thriving city with plenty on offer, but it is what lies just outside that really brings in the visitors. The area is home to the excellent Arusha National Park and is also the perfect base for Mt Kilimanjaro expeditions or the ideal starting point for many safari adventures heading north. Arusha is a phenomenal setting and a great place to let your safari dreams take flight.
With names like the Serengeti, Mt Kilimanjaro, and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area all in attendance, it can be easy to ask yourself why you would choose anywhere else but Northern Tanzania.
In an area where some of the biggest names in all of Africa crowd, it’s perhaps no surprise that this is unquestionably Tanzania’s busiest region. A true-show stopper and an area of the planet you really must visit once before you die.
After seeing the names above that comprise Northern Tanzania’s blockbuster locations, Southern Tanzania can sound like a sad second place, but it holds two enormous aces up its sleeve – the price and the reduced numbers.
A safari in Southern Tanzania might not include many of the biggest names in the industry, but it is much more affordable and significantly quieter.
What’s more, big names aren’t everything. Yes, the Serengeti might look great on an Instagram post, but a visit to the lesser-known Selous Game Reserve, one of the largest game reserves in the country, and the Ruaha National Park, offer more than enough safari excitement and glimpses of exactly the kind of wildlife you can to Africa to see.
If you thought the south was quiet, Tanzania’s western region is wild, rugged, and wonderfully free of mass tourism. This is home to some of the country’s least visited national parks and game reserves, including the Katavi National Park, perfect for Big Game viewing, and the Mahale National Park, home to an impressive number of chimpanzees.
This is not the kind of place that has big names but offers spectacular scenery and real adventure nonetheless.
Zanzibar & Mafia Islands
Few names stir the imagination quite like Zanzibar. The once independent island nation -for less than a year – with a colourful and also deeply chequered history, lies just 74 kilometres from the Tanzanian capital, Dar es Salaam.
The wonderfully atmospheric Stone Town retains much of its yesteryear charm and the beaches that ring the island are frequently spectacular, but often also home to grand sprawling 5* resorts that may not be to everybody’s tastes.
160 km south of Zanzibar, lies Mafia Island, which is far less gangster-esque than the name might suggest. If Zanzibar is bending under the increased pressure of tourism, Mafia Island provides a much more authentic Indian Ocean experience with a fraction of the crowds.
Why we like it
- A staggering 30% of the country consists of protected wildlife areas.
- It is home to incredible biodiversity and stunning scenery.
- There are some very wild and remote locations in the southern and western regions.
- It is one of the best locations for photographic and walking safaris.
- Tanzania offers friendly and safe travel with tourism being of high importance here.
- There are stunning tropical islands on the East Coast.
Locations in Tanzania
But which section is the best?
Well, they all are – mainly because of their variation, with each offering different attractions suited to different types of travellers.
Of the many different means of experiencing Tanzania, our two most highly recommended are either an adventure safari or a luxury safari experience. For those keen adventurers, it’s easy to get off the beaten path to wild and remote areas, away from the tourist crowds, and step outside of your comfort zone to immerse yourself in the landscape and its people’s culture.
Tanzania is especially great for those seeking to move their body whilst on holiday and challenge themselves physically in jaw-droppingly beautiful landscapes. Tanzania is packed full of these hidden gems, just waiting for those ready to rise to the challenge.
On the other hand, if you want the best-of-the-best in terms of a luxury safari, fantastic accommodation, exclusivity, top-notch service, and fine cuisine, then Tanzania is a perfect match. Home to some incredibly luxurious lodges that are strategically positioned to make the most of the wildlife density and movement of the animals, but also have been refined over the many years to absolute perfection.
What’s more, it has that classic East African Luxury safari atmosphere in abundance. It’s a feeling that’s hard to describe, but trust us, it’s there. View some of our recommended Luxury Tanzanian Lodges here.
Best time to visit Tanzania for a safari
As Tanzania is close to the equator, there can be some variations in weather, but typically it has 4 main seasons. It is considered an all-year destination, but the season you visit will greatly impact your experience, so be sure to choose the correct season for the experience you’re looking for.
The long wet season (March, April & May)
This is when Tanzania receives the majority of its rainfall and is fairly consistent every year. Safaris at this time of the year can become complicated as road conditions deteriorate and animals disperse from water sources. This is certainly not the ideal season to be on safari so be prepared to get a bit wet and muddy. In March, the wildebeest are usually calving in the Southern Serengeti, around the Ndutu area, and although harsh, predator viewing can be incredible during this time.
The short wet season (November & December)
These rains are not as intense as the main rainy season and can be unpredictable and vary considerably from year to year. A safari at this time of the year can be enjoyable provided you don’t mind the chance of a little rain.
The long dry season (June to October)
This is the peak season for tourism where rainfall is unusual, and days are normally clear and sunny. Keep in mind that temperatures vary depending on location and altitude. This is considered the best time for safaris because animals start to congregate around water sources, making the viewing of iconic animals more predictable.
It is between August and September when the annual wildebeest migration starts to cross the Mara River. Often regarded as the ‘greatest show on earth’, it’s an experience high on many travellers’ bucket lists. In the Tarangire National Park, the Silale Swamp becomes a hotspot for incredible game viewing, as does the Ruaha River in Ruaha National Park where large lion prides hunt buffaloes along the riverbanks.
The short dry season (January & February)
This is the period between the short and long rainy seasons where rain cannot be completely ruled out. It is, however, a great time of the year to travel. Many areas are still green from the short rains, so photographs are clear and crisp with vibrant colours. Birding is also at its peak as migratory birds have now arrived and the area teems with great flocks.
East Africa has become a Mecca for safari travel in recent decades, but in Tanzania, not only is it home to some of the most iconic names in the business, the Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Crater, and Mt Kilimanjaro, it has the infrastructure, the know-how, and the animals to back it up.
Whatever it is you’re looking for in your Tanzanian Safari and accompanying trips or side excursions, this is a country that delivers spectacular results. From witnessing the extraordinary wildebeest migration in the Serengeti National Park to enjoying the open splendour of the Ngorongoro Crater, there are simply few places that can even begin to rival Tanzania when it comes to an African safari.
And yet, that’s just the start. When you’ve had your fill of animals, visit the longest freshwater lake in the world, and the second deepest, Lake Tanganyika on the DRC border, relax on the historic and beautiful beach-strewn Zanzibar and spend time in the bustling, and yet oddly low-key for a city of 4 million, Dar es Salaam. Tanzania is a country that arrives with a megastar reputation and delivers, in breathtaking fashion.
Only 25% of the Serengeti is used for most of the tourism that takes place there. That leaves 75% of the Serengeti’s wilderness waiting to be explored onmulti-day walking safaris. We feel this is the perfect way to escape the crowds and experience this incredible destination.
Lets work together to create the safari of your dreams!