Ranked among the best if not leading wildlife safari destinations in Africa, Tanzania is remarkably beautiful with towering mountain ranges, steep rift valley escarpments, extensive open savannah plains and vast Ocean and fresh water masses. Tanzania is home to the Africa’s highest Mountain – Mount Kilimanjaro with snow capped peaks, Ngorongoro Crater with the World’s largest intact, unfilled and inactive volcanic caldera ranked among the Natural Wonders of the world, open lands of Serengeti, the Cradle land of man at Olduvai gorge, over 800km Coast line along the vast Indian Ocean, the largest section of Fresh water Lake Victoria shared among Uganda Kenya and Tanzania and the ancient Baobab trees in Tarangire Landscape.
The diverse Tanzanian environment bring along the lasting experience where by a traveller on Safari in Tanzania can fly from a wildlife camp in Serengeti in the morning and enjoy the Sun, Sand and Sea in Zanzibar Islands.
Where to go on Tanzania Safari Holiday Tour
Being a large destination, where to go for a Tanzania Safari can be cleared by understanding the tourism circuits which include; Northern Circuit, Western Tanzania, Southern Circuit and Coastal and Island Circuit.
Northern Tanzania Safari Circuit
Northern Tanzania Safari Circuit comprises of Lake Manyara National Park, Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Serengeti National Park. This is the most popular circuit in Tanzania because of its great concentration of wildlife and as a result the tourism facilities are well developed compared to other areas.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Ngorongoro Conservation Area was formerly part of the Serengeti National Park before it was declared an independent establishment run by the Ngorongoro Conservation Authority. The main icon of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is the Ngorongoro Crater whose formation dates far back to 2 – 3 million years ago when a large volcano erupted and collapsed on itself producing what today stands as the world’s largest intact, unfilled and inactive volcanic Caldera listed among the Natural Wonders of the World rising to 400 – 610m in elevation and 16 – 19km in diameter. The crater was declared a world heritage site in 1978 by UNESCO.
The Crater floor supports a range of wildlife species including; herds of Wildebeest, the Zebras, the Grant’s Gazelle, the Thomson Gazelle, Topis, High concentration of Black Rhinos in East Africa, the Lions, Leopards, Cheetah, Side-stripped jackals and Spotted Hyenas.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area is about 4 hours drive from Arusha but one can as well board a flight to Lake Manyara National Park and then drive for one hour to the crater.
The Tanzania Safari accommodation is available at the Crater rim lodges like Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge, Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge, Rhino Lodge and Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge while others are available in Karatu Area near the Rift valley escarpment like Gibb’s Farm, Plantation Lodge and Ngorongoro Farm house.
The Olduvai Gorge where the fossil remains of early man were discovered is also part of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
Serengeti National Park
Serengeti National Park covers 15,000km2 and its name Serengeti literally translates into endless plains. The open Savannah Park is home to two million Wildebeest, tens of thousands of Impala, about half a million Zebra, hundreds of thousands of Thompson Gazzelle along with other antelopes like Grant’s Zebra Hartebeest and Topi. The Great Migration is icon of Serengeti where the millions of Wildebeest, hundreds of thousands of Zebras and Thomson Gazelle cross the Grumeti and Mara Rivers to the neighboring Kenya’s Maasai Mara and back every year forming one of the greatest natural wonders.
Serengeti National Park’s main centre piece is Seronera Area which features beautiful open savannah and scattered rock Kopjes presenting impressive opportunities for game viewing.
Seronera Area is the busiest of the Serengeti Park sections and features resident populations of the Big five along with Cheetah and many more. Tanzania Safari tour accommodation in this sector include; Serengeti Seronera Safari Lodge, Dunia Camp, Seronera Wildlife Lodge, Four Seasons Lodge Serengeti and Serengeti Sopa Lodge. The Migration occurs in this area in the months of April and May.
Southern Plains also feature impressive wildlife counts including amazing counts of Wildebeest in the months of November and April. Tanzania Safari accommodation in this area include; Olduvai Camp, Ndutu Safari Lodge, Olakira Camp and Kusini Camp.
Western Corridor comprises of two parallel rivers including Mbalageti and Grumeti and contains good sights of Zebra, Colobus Monkeys and Wildebeest. The Migration passes through this area between May and July. Tanzania Safari accommodation in this area include; Mbalageti Camp, Kirawira Camp and Grumeti River Camp.
The Northern Serengeti also has rich count of resident wildlife and impressive natural features like hills and Kopjes. It is 100km north of Seronera and Tanzania Safari Accommodation in this area include; Lobo Wildlife Camp, Migration Camp, Mbuzi Mawe Tented Camp and Sayari Mara Camp.
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park is 1 ½ hours’ drive from Arusha the gateway to the northern circuit and about 1 hour transfer from Ngorongoro Crater. Lake Manyara National Park covers 330km2 but 2/3 of this landscape is under water. The views of wildlife like Wildebeest, elephants, Giraffe, Zebra, tree climbing lions, Waterbuck, warthog, Impala and large troop of Baboons may not be missed on the Tanzania Safari to Manyara. At the neighbourhood, there is an ecotourism initiative called Mto Wa Mbu which is one of the impressive community led tourism product developments in Tanzania.
Tarangire National Park
Tarangire National Park covers an area of 2850km2 at 118km to the South West of Arusha. It can as well be accessed from Lake Manyara at 7km. It is a challenging time in Tarangire as day goes after the other with a cloudless sky! The scorching sun consumes the landscape moisture leaving a dusty red earth and withered grass. River Tarangire is the main life line of Tarangire’s counts of wildlife that trek several Kilometres well convinced that water is here. The dry river beds are scratched by herds of elephants up to 300 for underground streams while the Migratory Wildebeest, Impala, Buffalo, Zebra, Gazelle, Eland and Hartebeest crowd the dwindling lagoons. Tarangire National Park is the only place in destination Tanzania where the long necked gerenuk and fringe-eared Oryx are found and it also stands as the second after Serengeti ecosystem in terms of wildlife concentration.
Tarangire National Park is home to 550 species of birds including the Kori-bustard which is the heaviest flying bird, the Ostrich among others. Amazingly, the pythons in Tarangire climb trees.
One can visit Tarangire National Park at any time of the year but the ideal period the dry season of June to September where great counts of wild game can be viewed.
Southern Tanzania Safari Tour Circuit
This Tanzania Safari Circuit features the Africa’s Largest Game Reserve – Selous Game Reserve, the Mikumi and Udzungwa National Parks and Ruaha National Park.
Western Tanzania Safari Circuit
The Western Tanzania Safari Circuit features the Katavi National Park with impressive sights of Buffalos ad Lions along with Mahale Mountains National Park that shelters Lake Tanganyika – the deepest lake on the continent of Africa.
The Coastal and Island Tanzania Safari Holiday Tour circuit
This Tanzania Vacation holiday circuit features recreational destinations of Zanzibar, the Mafia Archipelago; Ras Kutani Area, Pemba Island along with Dar es Salaam. The Sun, Sand and Sea are at their best in this circuit. The historical Stone town, the Clove plantation, Snorkelling and diving also make this circuit reach and exciting.
Best Time to go on Tanzania Safari Holiday Tour
Tanzania Safari can be best undertaken in the dry season stretching from late June through July, August and September to October while the best time to view the Great Migration is June and July. The Wildebeest Calving takes place from Late January to February.
The Tanzania Safari enthusiasts with keen interest to hiking Mount Kilimanjaro can do it from January to March or from July and October. The months of August to October are ideal to visit the Coastal and Island destinations while avoiding the heavy rains from March and May.
What to Pack for a Tanzania Safari Holiday Tour
The following but not limited to can guide you on what to pack for Safari tour in Tanzania;
- Long pants
- Light weight, Hand washable and quick dry
- Short- sleeved shirts
- Long sleeved shirts
- Shorts of Mid thigh or longer
- Rain Jacket & / or Rain Poncho
- Under garments
- Swim suite (Optional)
- Sun hat
- Sturdy and comfortable closed toe walking shoes and ideally waterproof
- Sandals for relaxing in
- Cozy Stocks
- Camera & its charger
- Money belt
- Essential medicine