Tanzania safari holidays take you to a land with vast swathes of stunning wilderness known to have the most designated wildlife areas than any other country on earth. A wildlife safari in Tanzania treats you to some of the world’s best National Parks, Africa’s tallest mountain, resort coastal white sand beaches, and hospitable people. Safari holidays in Tanzania offer unmatched game viewing opportunities with an extraordinary range of wildlife; the big five that is the elephant, rhino, leopard, and buffalo can easily be seen in most Tanzania National Parks.
Among other wildlife species include an estimated 14,000 of these charismatic cats which is as much as 40 percent of the global total, 300,000 African buffalo, 51,000 elephants, and 30,000 giraffes, 30,000 hippos, 150,000, and over 1156 bird species. The classic parks such as Serengeti mostly occupy plains and are where you’ll get to see the animal from inside a safari vehicle while other parks do allow walking and hiking in designated areas that too can be arranged as part of your Tanzania safari tour.
Tanzania Safari Tours
Our Tanzania tours are expertly crafted trips with the best itineraries designed to offer you unmatched safari experiences across the top attractions the country has to offer. All our Tanzania safari tours can be customized to meet budget, midrange, and luxury travelers’ interests with ease in flexibility. Tanzania is arguably the best safari destination in the world, if you have the chance to visit, set aside as much time as possible to explore the country’s varied safari attractions.
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Tanzania Safari Highlights
- Have front row seats on a wilidlife safari in Tanzania safari to the spectacle known as the Great Migration of the Wildebeest across the majestic Serengeti plains.
- Experience a world-class luxury Tanzania safari in Tarangire the Grumeti Reserves and the Serengeti.
- Descend into the Ngorongoro Crater, the largest caldera in the world, for a day of game viewing and the opportunity to see the “Big Five”
- Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro – the highest peak in Africa.
- Spend time with the Hadzabe Bushmen, the Datoga and the Maasai.
- Fly to the Selous for Te Southern Tanzania safari and experience guided walking safaris and game viewing by boat.
- Trek chimpanzees at Mahale or Gombe, and visit remote Katavi to see big game with very few tourists.
- Experience Tanzania safari and beach with a stay on Zanzibar or one of the charming outer islands offering barefoot luxury.
The Best Time to Visit Tanzania Safari
The best time for Tanzania safari to the Northern Circuit is June through March. Late December to February and July and August are the busiest periods. April and May is traditionally the rainy season and travel in 4wd vehicles is highly recommended for safari holidays in Tanzania, however, as the seasons are not as pronounced as they were a few decades ago, Tanzania safari tours during that period may in fact encounter little rain.
Advantages of Tanzania tours in April and May is that they do include lower rates, fewer tourists, and great game viewing in some parks, such as the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. This is also great time to book Tanzania safari packages to visit the Great Serengeti Migration, with possibly no other vehicles in sight! Light rains usually fall late October to early December, but little negative effect on game viewing in some reserves. November is in fact one of my favorite times for a wildlife safari in Tanzania’s northern circuit, a little rain is nice because it helps drop the dust out of the air, and the bush turns from brown to green.
For southern Tanzania safari, the best months for game viewing are June to November due to the longer 6-month dry season compared to the north. The country contains 35 species of antelope and over 1.5 million wildebeest — over 80% of the population of this species in Africa. The calving season for wildebeest in Serengeti National Park is from mid-January to mid-March.
How much does it cost for a safari in Tanzania?
The cheapest way to arrange your safari in Tanzania is through a Tanzania safari tour operator, however, the cost of a Tanzania safari varies with the type of safari you opt for. The type of Tanzania safari tour you take is largely determined by your budget, with the accommodation being the main factor. The types of Tanzania safaris include; budget, midange and luxury safaris.
Budget Tanzania Trips (camping and tented camps)
At the lower end are the “budget” or “camping” Tanzania safaris. These are touted for a little as $150 per person per day, but a trip with a reliable Tanzania tour operator costs $200–300 per person per day, depending on the group size, the duration of the safari, exactly where you’ll be going, and whether you’re sharing the trip with other travelers. Nights are usually spent in small tents, either in public campsites inside the parks or in cheaper ones outside.
For Tanzania camping safari, expect to move in with the crew for some of the work, like pitching tents and washing up, and be prepared for a degree of discomfort: thin mattresses and sleeping bags, not having a shower every night, and basic food. More expensive tented camp Tanzania trips ($275–350) get you better tents, camp-beds with linen, portable (chemical) toilets, and tend to use wilder “special” campsites as opposed to the public ones.
Mid-range Tanzania Tours
For $350–500 per person per day, you get a midrange Tanzania trip to stay in wildlife lodges or at the more basic tented camps, which have proper rooms (or walk-in tents that are much the same), restaurants, bars, and often also swimming pools. Some can be wonderfully intimate, but most are large (eighty rooms or so), overrun by package tours, and lack much of the wilderness feeling. Before booking your Tanzania tour, find out what kind of vehicle will be used, if you’re on a shared safari, and establish the maximum group size. Be aware that group sizes may become irrelevant if you end up being ferried around in convoys, as frequently happens with the larger operators dealing with (mostly US) Tanzania safari package tours.
Luxury Tanzania safaris (Lodges and tented camps)
Spending $500–900 per person a day gets you a private “tailor-made” Tanzania tour that could include flights – dispensing with the dusty discomfort and time wasted getting to places by road. On such jaunts, the guiding and service should be top-notch, as should the tented camps you’ll be staying in, some of them amazingly luxurious affairs straight out of the pages of Condé Nast.
Pulling out all the stops, for a blistering $1500 a day and up or thereabouts you can treat yourself to a Hemingwayesque “mobile camping safari”, with fly-camps set up in the bush before your arrival each evening, champagne breakfasts (actually sparkling wine), and a rifle-toting expat as your wildlife guide. The main advantage to a super-luxury safari holidays in Tanzania is the exclusiveness as you enjoy safari in the most private concessions most Tanzania National Parks
For mid-range and luxury Tanzania trips, booking ahead by months rather than weeks is essential to be sure of getting the dates and accommodation you want. Tanzania Safari vehicles tend to be Land Rovers or Land Cruisers, sometimes with roof hatches (handy for taking pictures). On a normal driving Tanzania safari tour, you can keep costs down by sharing with other travelers; in a group of four or five, you might pay half what you would have paid in a couple. For goup joining Tanzania tours, some of the itineraries may be fixed, some aspects may be flexible, and daily routines can be altered to suit you and your fellow travelers – if you want to go on an early game drive, for example, don’t be afraid to suggest you skip breakfast, or take sandwiches.
Tanzania Safari Tour Operators
Given the considerable cost of Tanzania safaris, and the hefty deposit required when booking ahead (anything from thirty percent to the full amount upfront), the importance of taking your time in choosing a reliable and trustworthy Tanzania safari company cannot be stressed highly enough. Ensure your selection is responsible, ethical, and – within reason – best priced. Most of the Tanzania Safari Operators are based in Arusha or Dar es Salaam, but there are also some in Mwanza, Iringa, and – specializing in Kilimanjaro climbs – in and around Moshi. The overseas Tanzania tour operators have their own Tanzanian operations, too. Standards can and do change, however, so always check up on companies you’re interested in beforehand online.
The Top Tanzania Safari Attractions
The most popular safari attractions in Tanzania are located in the north.on what is commonly known as the Northern Circuit. From Arusha, the country’s capital, the famous parks of Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro and Serengeti beckon, and the increasing number of visitors keen to explore this region proves it to arguably be the best safari in Tanzania.
Regular visitors to Tanzania seek the wilder Southern Circuit, which is best reached from Dar es Salaam. Certainly, every first time visitor will and should flock the Northern Circuit, the sounthern Tanzania safari is recommended as an add-on or as a wildlife safari in Tanzania alternative to repeat visitors.
The Nothern Circuit
Tanzania Safari tours to the Northern circuit take you to wildlife-rich area from Mt. Kilimanjaro in the east to Serengeti National Park in the west; this is also the area most visited by Tanzania safari tours goers and boast many of the country’s most famous parks. Some visitors reach Arusha, the gateway to the area, by flying directly into Kilimanjaro International Airport. You can also fly into Nairobi (Kenya) and then take a 1-hour flight to Kilimanjaro or a 5-hour drive via Namanga to Arusha, or they fly into Dar es Salaam and then take an hour’s flight to Kilimanjaro or Arusha airports. Kilimanjaro International Airport is located 34 miles (54 km) east of Arusha and 22 miles (35 km) west of Moshi and has a bank, bar, shops, and a restaurant.
The traditional Tanzania Safari to “Northern Circuit” includes Arusha National Park, Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Oldupai Gorge and the Serengeti National Park. Other areas of interest in the north that you could couple up to your Tanzania safari tour include; Ndarakwai Ranch, Sinya, and Lake Eyasi (opportunities for great cultural experiences), Manyara Ranch Conservancy, Grumeti Reserves, Mt. Meru and Mt. Kilimanjaro.
From Arusha, the Northern Circuit runs 45 miles (73 km) west on a good tarmac road, across the gently rolling Maasai plains with scattered acacia trees, to Makuyuni. You can then either continue on the main road toward Dodoma for another 20 miles (32 km) to Tarangire National Park or turn right (northwest) to Mto wa Mbu (Mosquito Creek) on a paved road.
Northern Tanzania Safari Highlights
- Serengeti National Park; The famous “endless plains” are centre-stage for the world’s biggest mammalian migration, with millions of animals including wildebeest, zebra, and ever-attentive lions. Game drives are the usual way around, though lodges can arrange short hikes, and you float over the lot in a hot-air balloon.
- Tarangire National Park; Like the Serengeti, Tarangire bushland is the turntable for a wildlife migration. A perennial river ensures good animal spotting year-round, especially for elephants. The park’s other giants are baobab trees. Birding is big, too, and you can go hiking in the adjacent conservation area.
- Arusha National Park;This encloses most of Mount Meru, a dormant 4566m volcano looming over Arusha city. Hike to the top in three days, or drive or walk around the mountain’s base in search of plains game. Canoeing is also possible. Wildlife includes buffaloes, elephants, monkeys and plains game.
- Ngorongoro Crater; The world’s densest population of predators is to be found in the volcanic caldera at the heart of this conservation area, which is also the only place in Tanzania to virtually guarantee sightings of black rhino. Most visitors come on game drives, but an exciting alternative is to explore the Ngorongoro’s northern highlands on foot, in the company of an armed ranger.
- Lake Manyara National Park; At the base of a Rift Valley escarpment, Manyara’s tangled shoreline is home to many species, including tree-climbing lions. The lake itself has hippos and vast flocks of pink flamingoes, drawn by algae that thrive off alkaline springs
- Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest mountain, and the world’s highest free-standing massif, present sturdy legs with a 5892m ice-capped challenge, best tackled over six or seven days
- Rubondo Island, An isolated bird-rich haven in Lake Victoria’s southwest corner, but awkward (or expensive) access means it’s one for dedicated twitchers only.
The Southern Circuit
Tanzania safari tours to the “Southern Circuit” take you to the wildlife reserves of; Ruaha National Park, Mikumi National Park, and the Selous Game Reserve. The Selous and Ruaha are less visited than the northern Tanzania parks and offer a great opportunity to explore the wild and unspoiled bush. Mikumi is seldomly visited by international travelers. Daily scheduled charter flights link the Selous and Ruaha with Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar.
Southern Tanzania Safari Highlights
- Mikumi National Park; Within easy reach of Dar es Salaam and Morogoro, this has heaps of classic plains game, including sometimes sizeable packs of endangered African hunting dogs.
- Ruaha National Park;The southernmost of the Rift Valley parks, watered on and off by the Great Ruaha River. All the plains game of northern Tanzania plus elephants, the usual predators and rich birdlife, but with far fewer crowds.
- Sealous National Park; Africa’s second-largest animal sanctuary. Plenty of birds but mammals can be elusive. Activities include game drives, boat safaris, and bush walks.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Ngorongoro Conservation Area is located between the Serengeti and Lake Manyara National Park about 160 kilometers from Arusha. A Conservation Area basically means that humans and animals can live in the area, this is a bit different from a National Park since National Parks are conserved for wildlife only. Ngorongoro includes a couple of things among these are; 80,000 Maasai people who live here but the most significant part of Ngorongoro is the crater.
It’s the world’s largest unbroken caldera. It’s basically a huge open amphitheater with walls about 600 meters high. Inside of the Caldera is 260 kilometers square and basically a big flat area. It has open grasslands, swamps, lakes (both fresh and saltwater lakes) but the amazing bit about Ngorongoro is that it was created from a volcano.
Ngorongoro is one of Tanzania’s most popular wildlife viewing areas, this huge volcanic crater has a permanent supply of water which draws thousands of animals. Many visitors come here primarily for viewing large animals and bird watching, thousands of animals can be seen on the crater floor including lions, elephants, rhinos, Thomson’s gazelles, and buffaloes but wild beasts and zebras account for over half of the animals that call Ngorongoro crater home. Birdwatching is superb especially around Lake Magadi which attracts flocks of flamingos to the shallows, hippos are content to submerge themselves during the day and then grace in the nearby grass in the evening. Ngorongoro is known as the largest intact ancient caldera in the world, nearly 3 million years old.
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara is a birdlime haven with elusive tree-climbing lions. The Park’s abundance of hippos and its setting beneath the dramatic western escarpment of the Rift Valley make it one of the unique destinations to visit.
Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest peak at 5,895 meters; Tanzania’s most iconic image Mount Kilimanjaro National Park unlike other parks in northern Tanzania is not visited for the wildlife. This mountain can be climbed at any time of the year although the best period is from late June to October during the dry season. Kilimanjaro, a World Heritage Site was formed over 1 million years ago by volcanic movement along the Rift Valley.
Three volcanic cones Shira, Kibo, and Mawenzi came to be about 750 thousand years ago, the highest point is the Uhuru peak on the cable which is one of the seven summits of the world. Tanzania Safari Kilimanjaro takes you to altitudes rising from farmlands on the lower level to rainforests an alpine meadow
And then barren lunar landscapes are the peaks the slopes of rainforests are home to buffaloes, Leopards, monkeys, elephants and the Alpine zone is where bird watchers will find an abundance of birds of prey. The trek up Kilimanjaro lures hundreds Tanzania safari goers each year, and is even attractive because with the right preparation you can trek all the way to the summit without ropes.
Tarangire National Park
Tarangire National Park is about 120 kilometers from Arusha and 160 kilometers from the Kilimanjaro Airport, this makes it very convenient if you’re flying in from either of the two airports for your Tanzania tour. Tarangire is the sixth largest park within Tanzania and was the fifth to the opened after Tanzania’s independence from Britain. Tarangire National Park was established in 1971. In terms of big attractions: there are lots of baobab trees everywhere and also what’s very important about this particular park is the Tarangire River which attracts lots of wildlife and bird species during the dry season. The months; July to September are very dry which makes it difficult for animals to find water, but the river keeps flowing and so many wildlife species are attracted here, So it’s particularly the best time to visit Tanzania safari in Tarangire National Park.
Selous Game Reserve
Tanzania safari tours to Selous take you the Huge licensed game reserve in Africa established in 1922 and covers 5% of Tanzania’s total area. The southern area is a Forbidden Zone, undeveloped, heavily forested and contains a series of steep cliffs.
Safaris are limited to the area north of the Rufigi River, this area of Selous game reserve has a large open grassland , woodland, rivers, hills and plains. The best time to visit Tanzania safari Selous is July through October. The Rufigi river bisects The Selous Game Reserve and has the largest catchment area of any river in East Africa,
the river is an important feature of the reserve providing the opportunity to watch the diverse water-based wildlife; a broad range of wildlife can be found including elephants, hippos and rhinos as well as buffalos, antelopes, giraffes, warthog, wildebeests, lions monkeys and cheetahs.
Ruaha National Park
Ruaha National Park is home to large herds of buffaloes and gazelles and has one of the largest concentrations of elephants in Tanzania.The Great Ruaha River is the main feature of Ruaha National Park providing magnificent wildlife viewing on the banks. The river also provides most of the electricity to Tanzania through a hydroelectric dam at kita
Ruaha national park is the least accessible for Tanzania safari and as a result, the landscape remains relatively untouched, bird watchers can enjoy over 400 species of birds that are not found in northern Tanzania under spectacular gorges and majestic trees especially appealing to photographers
Masai Cultural Visit
Maasai are people you’ll see as you travel around Tanzania, and are very distinctive as they’re wearing cloth robes often in red or blues. They are the indigenous people and a very important tribe within Tanzania, and across the country, you can go to different villages which help explain some of their heritage, history and the way the people live. As part of your Tanzania safari tour, a visit to one of the communities In Ngorongoro you’ll see some traditional dancing and singing on top of which you can acquire new skills; They’ll show you how they make fire without using any sort of combustibles, They will also show you practically how their houses are made
This is also a perfect time to check out some of their beautiful craftwork which is also available for purchase. The great thing about going to the village is you get a real sense and understanding of the Maasai people of Tanzania and also give you a chance to give back to the community.
Zanzibar is an exotic island kingdom of former slave traders and fishermen which has reinvented itself as a tourism hotspot, it was the culture and history in stone town which is seemingly at odds with its idyllic geography of white sand beaches and coconuts palm. While Zanzibar gets most of the attention, the archipelago is also made up of Pemba to north, plus numerous smaller islands and inlets. Zanzibar’s main attraction is stone town, with its whitewashed, coral rag houses, quaint shops, bazaars, mosques, courtyards and squares.
Tanzania safari and beach are very commonly landmarked here for simply relaxing and recharging. For luxury safari holidays in Tanzania, nothing beats the exclusive satellites islands on the northeastern tip of Zanzibar. There is a dizzying array of around 800 hotels beach resorts guest houses and other accommodation options to choose between on the main island it almost goes without saying this is not a place we should come if you don’t want to see other tourists at this destination because this destination always has a full house.
Stone town is the cultural heart of Zanzibar and later has changed in the last 200 years, the grand old Arabian homes lining the narrow streets and winding alleys give the city its own unique charm the majority of homes in stone town were built in the 19th century when Zanzibar was one of the most important slightly trading towns in the Indian ocean business.
You will notice the intricately carved wooden doors on many of the houses as the world’s oldest functioning swahili city. Many of the landmarks in stone town have been restored to their original glory as some of the historic buildings, museums and tourist attractions. The town also has a couple of interesting churches of historical significance,a walk along creek road takes visitors to the original stone town area and the location of the Dharasana market, bite al Imani City Hall and the Anglican Cathedral.
Some of the other key highlights include the photo Danni Gardens the oldest pantry with it’s carved wooden balconies, the former home of the Sultan’s known as Beit el Sahel or the People’s Palace, the Harmony Persian baths built in 1888 and the olders structure in stone town the old fort.
Further south lays the beautiful Island of Mafia, a touch more sophisticated and exclusive than Zanzibar but without the member price tag. This is an exciting coconut-covered island to visit. The beaches are superb and it’s mangroves and marine park ensure that the marine life is a beautiful and underwater super experience far superior to Zanzibar or Pemba more out-of-the-way and a little harder to reach. Mafia Island is a place for adventurous travelers and diving connoisseurs, the star on the water attraction is the dosa and completely harmless whale sharks that frequent the islands waters between October and March each year.
looking for a picture-perfect place to visit in Tanzania then Unguja should be on top of your pocket list, Unguja has aquamarine waters made up of soft sands and an immersive Swahili market once stood in by Sultan’s and British imperialists. The capital of stone sound here burst with coral stone fort Persian palaces and European front spaces and then there are the beaches from seaweed spattered kendwa to whiter than white new way and in salted washed bungalows on the shore. This little item in the Indian Ocean really did earn its place as a byword for tropical perfection.
Where to stay on Tanzania Safari?
Safari in Tanzania offers a wide range of accommodation options and your choice is driven by mainly budget or personal preference. Accommodations range from Super luxury, luxury, midrange, budget and camping. Almost all lodges and tented camps in the parks offer full board rates for rooms and meals and all inclusive rates that cover room, meals and wildlife activities such as guided game drives and nature walks, boat cruises and might as well cover the park entrance.
Depending on when you plan your visit, it is important to not that Tanzania safari lodges and camps levy a peak season high season rate for the months July to September and Christmas to the New Years holidays. This is the most expensive time to book accommodation whereas the discounted low season rates are levied for the during March all through to May and discounts can go as far as 30 to 40% on room prices.
Are you looking to explore Tanzania Camping Safaris?
Tanzania camping safari is a good way to explore Tanzania on budget. There are campsites in almost all Tanzania’s Safari destinations apart from Zanzibar, campsites range from Public campsites to the private campsites. The fee for camping is USD 30 per person for a public campsite and booking in advance is recommended. Public campsites have basic facilities from toilet, water source and some do have a public dining area.
Private or Special campsites do offer the luxury of being exclusive which will cost abit higher than the public campsite. If you are looking to experience a Tanzania camping safari, please note that you have to bring everything with you, ideally all amenities you would have acquired for booking a lodge or tented camp. However if you will be booking an organized safari by a Tanzania tour operator, then do not worry about the hassle as these Tanzania Camping safaris are escorted with a cook and your guide will assist you in most of the hard work such a pitching your tent.
What documents you i need to travel to Tanzania?
Traveling to Tanzania; you will need a visit visas, passport, proof of yellow fever vaccination if only you are coming from a yellow fever infected region.
Acquiring a Tourist visit Visa
Single Entry Tanzania Tourist Visa valid for 3 months Costs $50 and can be acquired online, it is important to note that almost all East African countries are ruling out the visa on arrival option. There are no entry restrictions to any nationalities however, to apply for the visit; you will require the following documentation;
- Return Air Ticket (copy)
- Copy of a recent Passport size Photograph (copy)
- Travel Itinerary (for East African Visa)
- Copy of your Passport (Bio-data page) with validity of more than 9 months
Where do you fly into for Tanzania safari?
There are two major air Hubs in Tanzania; Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam is the landing point for safari to the southern Circuit whereas Kilimanjaro International Airport located midway between Arusha and Moshi handles international flights which are the base for safari to the Northern Circuit.
Money and Credit Cards
Tanzania’s currency is the Tanzanian Shilling but if you are to carry foreign currency, the US Dollar is recommended. Money should not be a worry in Tanzania especially if you will be part of an organized safari; most of all booked Tanzania trips are all inclusive packages that cover for almost all costs during the tour. However, if you need to access and ATM, there are many and widely spread around most towns apart from National Parks, Visa Cards work perfectly fine with a maximum of Tsh 300,000 to Tsh 400,000 per Transaction.
What is the tipping culture in Tanzania?
Tipping is common way to appreciate tours and Treks, you can tip drivers, porters and guides and other staff for a service that has been good. A good tip can range anywhere within $5 to $10, tips are highly appreciated on Tanzania safaris but not generally expected.
What to wear on a Tanzania Safari?
Preparing for a safari in Tanzania; put in mind that dressing accordingly is more for safety than comfort. First and fore most avoid bright colored clothes especially blue or black navy blue and black. These colors tend to attract the tsetse flies, so what you want to focus on is the khakis, green, Browns which are basically the earth tones. These colors make hard to recognize dirt and are less attractive to tsetse flies. Never the less you could consider wearing white as it reflects off the heat impressively but also catches dirt easily.