This legendary safari destination is the quintessential African experience!
One of the key advantages of taking a safari to Tanzania is that it sees less tourists than neighbouring Kenya and it's Southern counterpart, South Africa. Another key perk of travelling to Tanzania is that you can combine wild bush and idyllic beach getaways on one African adventure.
Highlights of Tanzanian Safaris
Tanzania's highlights are among the most sought after of all safari destinations in Africa, with places like the Serengeti Plains, Zanzibar and the Cradle of Mankind conjuring up the untamed Africa of story tales.
The Northern Safari Circuit - Tanzania's famous gems
- Serengeti National Park (World Heritage Site) - endless plains teeming with wildlife, this is where the Great Migration (one of the greatest natural wonders on earth) happens.
- Ngorongoro Crater (World Heritage Site) - home to Olduvai Gorge and the highest concentration of predators in the world, this diverse 'Garden of Eden' is over 2 million years old.
- Lake Manyara National Park - a compact, less touristy and very scenic reserve, where tree-climbing lions can be seen, along with huge baboon troops and prolific bird life.
- Mount Kilimanjaro - highest freestanding peak in Africa, a snow-capped mountain towering over the plains, one of few lofty summits that can be climbed without special equipment.
Zanzibar Islands - the Exotic Spice Islands
- Zanzibar Island - tropical beach paradise in the warm Indian Ocean, where Arabic and African cultures converge in a rich historical cocktail.
- Mnemba Island - off the tip of Zanzibar is the ultimate beach getaway offering diving and snorkelling to pristine coral reefs.
Other islands include the green isle of Pemba, off Zanzibar, and the remote Mafia Island to the south.
Southern & Central Game Parks - off the trodden tracks
On the more remote southern safari circuit of Tanzania you will encounter fewer other travellers in lesser explored wilderness areas.
Selous Game Reserve (World Heritage Site) - the second biggest national park on earth, this untamed wilderness is located off the beaten track and inhabited by an abundance of birds and wildlife.
Ruaha National Park - Tanzania's best kept secret, this less accessible yet great national park hosts massive concentrations of game (biggest elephant herds in Tanzania) on its vast plateau with panoramic views of the surrounding unspoilt landscapes.
Gombe Stream National Park - hugging the white-sand shores of Lake Tanganyika, this remote and pretty reserve covers steep valleys and forested mountains, and is best-known for its primate populations, especially chimpanzees.
Mahale Mountains National Park - Tanzania's most remote and seldom visited park boasts breathtaking scenery combining verdant mountains and white sand beaches, as well as hosting over 700 chimpanzees.
Gombe and Mahale National Parks are explored exclusively on foot and Gombe can only be reached by boat.
The Big Five in Tanzania's Wilderness
If you're in search of the iconic Big Five of Africa the head to one of the following Tanzanian game parks:
- Serengeti National Park - said to host Africa's largest population of lions, excellent leopard sightings in certain areas, elephant herds in the north, healthy populations of buffalos and a few rhinos in the central part.
- Ngorongoro Crater - best place to see the Big Five in Tanzania. Hosting the densest population of lions, black rhinos, large elephants bulls and healthy populations of leopards and buffalos.
- Selous Game Reserve - large numbers of lions, large herds of elephants and buffalos and occasional leopard and rhino sightings.
Lake Manyara hosts four of the big five, with the exception being rhino.
The Tanzanian Travel Experience
Game Viewing & Bird Watching
- Get up close to a dazzling array of wildlife, including the Big Five of Africa
- One of the world's best birding destinations, featuring over 1130 bird species
- Wild chimpanzees in Gombe Stream and Mahale Mountains National Parks
- Over a quarter of the country is protected by wildlife and national parks
African Great Lakes
- Lake Victoria - the largest lake in Africa, a good place to see how local Tanzanians live and visit Rubondo Island National Park to spot an array of birds and various wild animals.
- Lake Malawi - third largest and second deepest lake in Africa, Tanzanians call it lake Nyasa, largely inaccessible except for a few spots like Matema Beach where the scenery outshines Malawi's shores.
- Lake Tanganyika - world's longest freshwater lake and the second deepest, enjoy various water activities, hiking and visit fishing villages, great base for Katavi, Gombe and Mahale Mountains National Parks.
Tanzania's People & their Cultures
- Traditional Masai tribes can be encountered in the northern parts of Tanzania
- On the Zanzibar Islands and in Dar es Salaam Arabic influences blend with African cultures
- Unique mix of African cultures, as well as expatriate communities from across the globe
Tanzania is a politically stable and democratic country.
Food & Entertainment
- Fusion of culinary influences, particularly in Dar es Salaam
- Fresh seafood and fish along the coast and at some lakes
- Vegetarian options, plenty of fruit and vegetables
- Fresh fish, aromatic spices, fruits and exotic flavours of Zanzibar
Scenery & Activities
- Game viewing on the remote southern and famous northern safari circuit
- Hot air balloon rides over the endless Serengeti Plains
- Water sports - snorkelling, scuba diving, fishing and sailing in modern or traditional dhow vessels
- Explore the vast wilderness of Selous on a walking safari or by boat
- Go chimpanzee trekking in Gombe Stream or Mahale Parks
- Examine the history of humankind at Olduvai Gorge, the Cradle of Mankind
The Potential Snags of Travel to Tanzania
- Tanzanian safaris aren't the cheapest tours around, but it is well worth spending a bit more to experience its famous and lesser known highlights. The less-visited southern parks are also generally less expensive, than the famous northern parks.
- The infrastructure leaves quite a bit to be desired, especially when it comes to roads and the lack of maintenance. Infrastructure is improving however, as the tourism industry grows.
All-in-all Tanzania lives up to its legendary safari names, especially the magnificent Serengeti Park, as well as Zanzibar and its hidden scenic and game viewing gems.