Lots of people would imagine that a safari in Tanzania is just like one in Kenya or South Africa, considering that Tanzania suits the combined tourism market as well as, with very large attractions like Serengeti plus the well-known Ngorongoro Crater, it's undoubtedly thrilling. conversely, This is, , totally incorrect and in these more famous parts of Tanzania, the safaris in addition to the wildlife approach has been attempting to conserve the wildlife plus the game areas for the forthcoming future instead of trying to establish several camps inside the parks which would bring in short-term benefits and yet not conserve the parks.
When arranging a safari to Tanzania here are a few pointers worth remembering for your itinerary
How long would you like to do your safari in Tanzania? -
This question cuts across a number of different areas of whatever kind of safari you wish to take and it's usually impossible to go to all the parks in just 5 days. However, the more time you will spend on safari, the more expensive the safari will be. Generally I suggest that you concentrate on spending a maximum of seven days on safari since it will allow you to visit the different parks
Which animal species do you want to see?
Even though nearly all the wildlife sanctuaries inside Tanzania have an remarkable variety of wildlife species, you will find some of them with particular species not easily seen elsewhere whereas others have specific species in very large numbers.
Serengeti National Park - unsurprisingly, this park is famous for its numerous wildebeests that migrate yearly through this park and, several zebras plus gazelles.
Tarangire National Park; from June to the close of October this park is a convergence place for thousands of giant elephant that assemble here from distant destinations such as Amboseli National Park in Kenya.
The Ngorongoro Crater; is a stunning volcanic crater home to the very rare black rhinos and, for those who are enthusiastic about seeing them this is the most ideal place to go to.
The Selous Game Reserve - this unique wildlife park in southern Tanzania, is one of the last enduring homes of the uncommon African Hunting Dog (the wild dog). This park also features a number of wild animals linked to water such as hippos along with crocodiles and its likewise home to elephants plus leopards.
Mahale National Park - is home to chimpanzees and the finest place to see them in Tanzania.
Which safari activities to do?
With an complete selection of wildlife biodiversities, the country presents a number of different safari activities.
Walking safaris - are among the finest and easy way to personally experience the bushes of Tanzania, a walking safari offers the true “feel” of the natural environment.
Boating safaris - for many reasons, the majority of wildlife species are less vigorous when neared by boat.
Vehicle safaris - the most utilized way of taking a Tanzania safari is in 4WD vehicles. This is an excellent way of exploring most of the ground and, because the animals are increasingly becoming accustomed to seeing these vehicles!
Why take a safari in Tanzania?
In case your main reason for going to Africa is to enjoy the profusion of African wildlife in pristine wilderness, then Tanzania needs to be your destination of preference. You basically can't overcome the wildlife numbers present in Tanzania.
The national parks plus wildlife reserves inside Tanzania are populated by large herds of wildebeests distributed across the wide Serengeti savannah, big numbers of elephants plus buffalos, in addition to plains wild animals plus various predators. All these wild animals interact and also move about freely, just like they have done for thousands of years ago.
In Tanzania, you will witness an amazing range of ecology and will discover the vegetation plus bird life to be as amazing as the large animals. Tanzania is habitat to more than Thirty five species of big 4-legged mammals and possesses more than One thousand recorded species of birds.
What to see on a safari in Tanzania?
You'll find so many choices for specialist safaris plus activities, regardless of whether you want to dive, take a hot-air balloon safari, ride, trekking chimpanzees or even fish.
Tanzania: Walking Safaris
Taking a Walking safari is among the best ways to personally experience this African wilderness, with all the views and smells as well as interest that comes with finding your way across the terrain on foot. However, these should be carried out with a professional guide plus ranger, usually armed in the event of any trouble.
Chimpanzees are the living animals that are closely related to man and these share more than 98% of their DNA with man. Fortunately in Tanzania you will have the opportunity to track the chimps on foot in their natural habitat and there you will be able to observe them go about their day to activities and even take pictures of them. The best place to enjoy this activity is in Mahale Mountains National Park, and you will need a chimpanzee trekking permit to participate in this thrilling activity.
Hot air balloon safaris
Hot air balloon tours are only conducted in Serengeti National Park found in Northern Tanzania. These commence at daybreak from Grumeti, Ndutu and Seronera areas, and following some hours of floating in the sky over the wide plains, you will eventually land and then enjoy a delicious bush breakfast laid out on with aplomb.
You will find numerous types of alternatives to ride on your safari, whether it is a single day trip or even longer as you pleasure in a riding experience. Make sure you discuss what you prefer with your tour guide.
Almost all the diving centres close to Zanzibar are PADI approved, and the warm waters are varied enough to match all abilities plus skills. it is possible to go on a complete PADI course during your holiday here in Zanzibar, or to enjoy night plus drift dives, wreck dives as well as wall dives.
You will find a number of places providing kite surfing within Zanzibar so this is another amazing activity to enjoy on these islands.
Which Safari Company or Tour Operator?
There are a number of safari companies within Tanzania. Most of these companies provide tours in the neighboring countries of Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda with tours like gorilla trekking plus wildlife safaris. it is extremely important to discover whether your tour operator your planning to use belongs to any of the recognized Tourism professional association such as Tanzania Association of Tour Operators(TATO)
Where to Stay On a Tanzanian Safari?
Accommodation options vary greatly in fashion and perspective; with most nearly as worthwhile and fascinating as the wild animals close to them! This is applicable in general to mobile, hotel, tented, or thatched in accordance with location, management as well as design of the finest places.
Mobile Fly Camp: this is a private, mobile camp that is pitched on a new area inside the park every day. The tents are often small and pretty basic.
Semi-permanent tented lodge: this is a camp built with spacious, luxurious, semi-permanent tents; you won't observe their 'mobility' since the camp is set before the guests arrive and won't move throughout your stay. The advantage of the semi-permanent camps is that they are set up in accordance with the seasonal location of the migrating wildlife herds, and place you in the center of the wildlife action. Not necessarily private to your group.
Tented Camps or Lodges: these tented lodges or camps are permanent structures that offer accommodation under canvas. The majority of them possess solid, wooden floors, running water in proper bathrooms, and they have a completely solid structure bar plus restaurant area.
Lodge: The word ‘lodge’ is usually used to refer to a smaller, accommodation facility usually run by the owner, as different from a big hotel. However the lodges you will normally use on your safari are beautifully designed and managed, will often have swimming pools and nearly all possess their own private vehicles, guides plus trackers.
Hotels: The safari hotels are usually much bigger, and less personalized and intimate models of lodges. They generally do not possess their own private safari vehicles, even though, as usual, there are some exceptions! See here for a cheap hotel in Arusha
When to Go on a Safari in Tanzania?
Excellent throughout the year, particularly June to October, however look out for the major rainy season from April to May.
Tanzania features a wonderful climate for most months of the year. With regards to weather and wildlife viewing the ideal time to visit is from June to October. The weather is generally hot, although not humid, and wildlife viewing is great. Tanzania is as well as an excellent winter-sun option, but it can be extremely humid from January to March. The main rainy season to prevent is from April through May when the camps are closed. Additionally there is a shorter rainy season from mid November. But camps tend to remain open during these months since there are just a couple of rain showers.
How much does a Tanzania Safari cost?
A four day to Lake Manyara National Park, Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater in a small group of 5 people taking a budget package can go as low as $720. It will include game drives in the different wildlife areas and accommodation will be offered in budget facilities.
Are Tanzanians Friendly?
The people of Tanzania are very friendly and welcoming. They delight in a multiplicity of tribes and cultures each having a distinctive language however Kiswahili plus English are the recognized languages and are spoken by a lot of people residing in Tanzania; in addition to the numerous ethnic groups, talking localized languages. Make an effort to learn basic KiSwahili prior to going, to enable you to enjoy your safari more!
What is the Weather like in Tanzania?
Tanzania is a country without winter. The temperatures in the Northern part of Tanzania vary from 60°F to 75°F throughout the day and 40°F to 50°F during the night from May up to October.
Then from November to March, the temperatures during the day vary from 70°F to 90°F and 60°F to 75°F during the night.
However keep in mind that the weather is very unpredictable.
Top Destinations in Tanzania
Serengeti National Park
This park is found in the northern part of the country. There is a wide variety of animals in this park among which are lions, leopards, African Elephants hyenas, impalas, wild dogs and many others. Most spectacular about this spark is the annual migration of thousands and thousands of wildebeest plus zebras between November and May.
This is the highest mountain in the world and there is no joy compared to trekking this natural wonder. Its highest peak which lays in Tanzania is at 5896 meters and usually at takes about six days to surmount. Trekking this mountain does not require any special equipment or professionalism. It offers wonderful view of the neighboring environment and it’s an adventure worth taking.
This is among the finest destinations in Tanzania thanks to the impressive past plus the stunning beaches. Zanzibar which lays in the Indian Ocean has been a major trading center till to date. It is renowned for its wonderful spices, and also a former major hub of slave trade during the Arab supremacy. The capital of Zanzibar Stone Town is a UNESCO heritage site popular for its narrow streets, several mosques, stunning houses and the Sultan’s Palace. It has numerous beaches accessed at very affordable prices and some of the adjacent beaches offer incomparable luxury for instance Mnemba Island is one that shouldn’t be missed.
Tarangire National Park
This is a wonderful destination perfect for a one day tour through the various safari itineraries offered by this country. Its terrain is characterized by baobab and several dried-out river beds. Between August and October which is the dry season, the park hosts the largest game population in the country. It boasts of several animals among which are wildebeests, giraffes, zebras and impalas among many more in addition to a rich diversity of birdlife. Furthermore, the park offers scenic trekking safaris which are all worth trying out. There are several comfy tented camps, lodges and campsites for accommodation. Other parks include: Katavi National Park and Ruaha National Park.
Best Time To Visit Tanzania
January to March
During this time of the year the humidity inland is high and the coast is very windy since the trade winds build-up from the north -the “Kazikazi”.
Normally this is considered as the green season within the parks in southern Tanzania. During this time everything is in abundance and there are numerous new bones playing around, the rivers are full and several migrating birds are in the country. However what is important to note is that during the green season the ponds result into numerous mosquitoes!
In my view it is the ideal time to travel down south to visit the southern parks since then there are no tourists crowding them. It is as well worth noting that the majority of the lodges plus camps are offering a low seasonal rate at that time. It is also harder to see the wildlife due to the thick vegetation as well as the availability of water in different parts of the park. However birders will have an amazing time since this a great time to see the numerous types of birds. Recommended parks: The Selous and Ruaha NP
The properties: Mdonya, Siwandu Camp, Mwagusi and Sand Rivers
In generally, this is not considered as the best time of the year to visit the parks in the west. Katavi is normally flooded with water at this time and, because of the black cotton soil, it is almost impassable. The parks are open in January and, for visitors seeking adventure in this quarter of the year then this could be an ok option although just as in the parks in the south, there are numerous mosquitoes here as well
Mahale is at a less extent affected during this time and so it can be accessed throughout these 3 months. In areas where it is humid, the chimps can stay so you may even visit them and this in fact is the ideal time to visit them for those operating on a minimal budget or those seeking foe some peaceful adventure.
The parks: Mahale Mountains and Katavi National Park
The properties: Greystoke's and Katavi Wildlife
A good time to explore the safari parks in the north and definitely vies among of the best times in the year. This is the best foaling season for game associated with the plains in southern Serengeti and therefore there are large numbers of wildebeests, impalas as well as zebras in and close to the Ndutu Plains.
Also in and adjacent to the crater you can take advantage of the somewhat warmer climate which is the summer of the southern hemisphere and therefore it is probable to eat outside in the day very comfortably. (a thing that isn’t essentially possible during the other time of the year).
With some little vegetation you will find less mosquitoes compared to those in the south during this time of year.
The parks: The Northern Parks and The Great Migration
The properties: Plantation Lodge, Olakira Camp and Nomad Serengeti,
Down at the coast the overall humidity has picked-up and has built from the January front until the start of the heavy rains in April. The temperatures are somewhat consistent at thirty degrees Celsius, while the trade winds are much stronger since they come from the north. However this is still an ok time to enjoy some of the winter sun on Tanzania’s island and in case it rains, it does so for a brief time before it shines again.
June to October
This is perhaps the peak of the season to explore the parks and visit the beaches. It is referred to as Tanzania’s ‘dry season’ and it is also then that 60 to 70% of the tourists arrive in the country. In general, the weather is very good and the skies are reliably clear. This however does not mean that the occasion rains don’t fall; they do, but quickly pass. The temperatures are in the 30s at the coast as well as inland while the cool Kuzi trade winds breeze from the south blow and the air is fresh as well as clear.
Just as the rest of the country, this is the ideal time to explore the parks in the south. Because the vegetation is thinning and the few rainwater ponds of rain have all dried up, the animals in the parks congregate around the rivers to drink water. Because of these large numbers of wildlife, game viewing safaris are very rewarding like no other season of the year. Because of this dry heat there are relatively very few mosquitoes, thus you will certainly be able to enjoy your stay. In case you are interested in seeing large numbers of wildlife but with fewer people around, then I would recommend that you travel south even during this peak season.
The parks: The Selous and Ruaha NP
The properties: Mdonya, Siwandu Camp, Mwagusi and Sand Rivers,
Also this is a good time of year to adventure. As the large floodplains in Katavi totally dry up yet again the vast wraps of the plain game plus buffaloes are compelled to look for water in the remaining river system of Katuma. This practice done in the morning as well as evening is also common among the lions plus other predators which will offer you some of the best game views across the African continent. As the season progresses, the water sources dry up even more and it is rather possible to observe the amazing occurrence which is a hippo pool with about 4,000 individuals while the hundreds of crocodiles dig into the riverbanks to exploit the deteriorating supplies.
The parks: Katavi NP and Mahale Mountains
The properties: Greystoke's and Katavi Wildlife
Not until long ago, this was considered as the best time to begin planning a safari Kenya instead of Tanzania (specially from mid July to the finish of October) as the large herds of migrating animals move up north of the Serengeti. Nonetheless, with River Mara flowing through the plains in the north and the grasslands begin to dry up, these herds can easily be seen from the side of Tanzania across the border. In the far most northern area of the park are a couple of lodges so even in this extremely busy season, there will be less people there.
The parks: The Northern Parks and the Great Migration
The properties: Alex Walker's Serian, Nomads Lamai and Sayari Mara,
As the season progresses, the temperatures on the coast begin to rise again to about thirty four degrees Celsius. The powerful “Kuzi” trade winds offer a cooling breeze on the islands, however this is time to relax on the sun bed and enjoy a cup of coffee!
November and December
The start of the short rains (when it rains it does so for a short time and then shines again) brings about a number of changes in the country. The most significant one of the change in the trade-winds. What seemed to be a light breeze coming from the south becomes a stronger (although not distractive) breeze coming from the north. Besides this, the rains also bring moisture to the coast as well as the inland and as well brings back mosquitoes. I should say that the first weeks of November are most likely the finest time to take a safari to southern part of Tanzania as the very-first fall of rainfall shower the infertile land with a film of green, the wildlife is more active however it is still probable to see everything and the prices are pretty lower!
As earlier mentioned, in case you can actually time right (in the very first November week) and catch the time between the earliest rainfall plus the short rains coming then there is no better time to organize a safari into Tanzania. As the season progresses as the majority of the accommodation facilities are still operational, it becomes more challenging to see the animals since they tend to scatter across the park. Something else to note is that, in general, once the rains have just fallen in Africa there are several bugs plus mosquitoes.
The parks: The Selous and Ruaha NP
The properties: Siwandu Camp, Mdonya, Sand Rivers and Mwagusi,
Just as the parks in the south at the very start of November is the best time to see wildlife within Katavi. As the season progresses and the wildlife scatters into the bush hence making it more challenging to see. Mahale isn’t much affected by these short rains and therefore it is a wonderful time to visit this park to see the chimpanzees and spend some time on Lake Tanganyika’s shores.
The parks: Mahale Mountains and Katavi NP
The properties: Katavi Wildlife and Greystoke's
This season signals the shift of the large herds down to the southern part of Serengeti from the borders up in the north and is, normally, among the most challenging times to predict the location of the migration. In general i recommend that you visit the central part of Serengeti but the wildlife is still amzing and, during this time, it is probable to see the large herds as they match across the plains for several miles.
The parks: The Northern Parks and The Great Migration
The properties: Dunia Camp, Migration Camp and Kati Kati,
The beginning of the short rains also signals the change in trade winds from south to north. This implies that the winds are more prevalent so you can go to the beaches however this can as well work in your favor since the winds move any probable clouds inland or even to the coast. This is the ideal time to visit the islands and also the temperatures rise to approximately 32 degrees Celsius.