A Serengeti safari is a must to this famous park that has vast open plains, where you can see the annual Wildebeest Migration. Africa’s “Eden” the unique Ngorongoro Crater (the 8th Wonder of the World) – the largest caldera in the world teeming with game, is a must see. Tanzania lays claim to the title, “The Cradle of Mankind” at Olduvai Gorge, where early human fossils were discovered. The majestic, snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro, is the tallest free standing mountain in the world. The spectacular Lake Manyara National Park in the Great Rift Valley with its tree climbing lions, Tarangire National Park, famous for its eco system, with huge baobab trees and large herds of elephants. Arusha National Park, a hidden treasure on the foothills of the volcanic Mount Meru.
Tanzania Safaris in the less explored parks in the South and West of Tanzania include Selous Game Reserve that is teeming with wildlife, Mikumi National Park, Ruaha National Park, and Katavi National Park. Gombe Streams famous for its chimpanzees, the new Saadani Game Reserve with a unique combination of both bush and beach experience; and the exotic islands of Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia. Let African Legends take you on memorable Tanzania Safaris, Kilimanjaro climb and Zanzibar beach holidays.
Tanzania is a fitting destination for both seasoned travelers and first time travelers. Family safaris can be arranged with ease and can be easily combined with a beach holiday to the Swahili Coast or the Zanzibar archipelago. We are able to arrange for a Tanzania Safari Wedding and Honeymoon to suit your needs. An East African Safari can be arranged by combining a Kenya & Tanzania safari and even adding a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda or Rwanda.
For ideas and inspiration browse through our Tanzania Safari itineraries or contact our safari experts. with your requirements and we will recommend a safari to suit your needs.
For a classic African Safari, Tanzania offers some of the best safari options. As part of a Tanzania safari involves accommodation, we can arrange for all types of accommodation ranging from luxury to budget accommodation. There are luxury lodges and tented camps, mobile tented camps, resorts and even budget camping.
If you are planning on experiencing a Serengeti safari it is important to know where the wildebeest migration may be taking place so that you can book appropriate accommodation closer to the migrating herds of wildebeest, zebras and gazelles. It is also important to book your accommodation in the Serengeti area well in advance to enable you to get accommodation that is close to the migration.
There are various types of accommodation in the Zanzibar archipelago and other Indian Ocean destinations ranging from Bed and Breakfasts, inns, hotels and resorts. On a Zanzibar beach holiday, it is possible to stay in the historic Stone Town which allows you to experience the traditional setting with the narrow streets, carved doors, rooftop terraces, explore the local markets, ‘ngalawas’ (local dhows) floating by, and muezzins calling the faithful to prayer
In order to experience some bush and beach, it is possible to combine a Tanzania safari with a beach holiday either on the Swahili Coast (mainland Tanzania coastline), Zanzibar, Pemba or Mafia. African Legends can easily make these arrangements for you, together with booking the relevant domestic flights.
Tanzania’s northern safari circuit is famous for being home to the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire National Park and Lake Manyara. Follow the wildebeest migration, explore the Tanzanian coastline, visit the islands of Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia. To highlight what a Tanzania safari entails see below:
Serengeti National Park: Home of the Wildebeest Migration – Serengeti is where the wildebeest spend a greater part of the year migrating between locations. The savannah is vast and as such is home to an abundance of wildlife both predator and prey in their daily life struggles.
Ngorongoro Crater – the largest caldera in the world. The high walls of the crater keep the wildlife in it and it is possible to find the Big 5 here on a good day. There are 2 lakes at the bottom of the crater – a salt water lake and a fresh water lake. There are various types of eco systems within the crater – wetlands, savannah and forest. Ngorongoro crater borders Serengeti in the Ndutu area and between December – March the wildebeest migration takes place here.
There are very few properties that have the privilege of being perched on the rim of the crater overlooking the spectacular scenery of the crater. Although it is ideal to stay at one of these properties, one can also stay in the nearby town of Karatu which has a lot of very comfortable lodges and permanent tented camps to choose from.
Lake Manyara – It is famous for its flocks of flamingos and tree climbing lion that have adapted the unusual behavior due to the environment. It is a great bird watching destination! In Manyara you will find hippos, giraffes, elephants and even leopard. It is also possible to do cultural tours, canoe safaris and boat safaris. Night game drives are possible here.
Tarangire National Park – This park is a gem in the dry season when the wildlife congregate along the Tarangire River in search of water. There are large predators present preying on the animals that congregate at the river’s edge to quench their thirst. This is usually between the months of June to October. It has large herds of elephants and a unique eco system that is covered in baobab trees. This is a bird watchers paradise being that there are approximately 500 species of birds present.
Mount Kilimanjaro: Africa’s highest freestanding mountain – This awe-inspiring feature is for the adventurous at heart. It has 5 main routes that range from Marangu, Machame, Lemosho, Rongai and Umbwe. The most popular route is the Marangu Route which is considered to be the simplest route up Kilimanjaro. This is the only route up Kilimanjaro that offers accommodation in huts. The best time to climb Kilimanjaro is June to October and December to March.
Zanzibar Archipelago – This consists of the islands of Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia and smaller islets. Crown your Tanzania safari with a beach holiday to Zanzibar. Find out why they call it the ‘Spice Island.’ Visit the historical Stone Town with its narrow streets, carved doors, slave market and slave caves of old or just relax on the sandy beaches on the shores of the Indian Ocean.
Pemba and Mafia are more popular destinations for travelers that are interested in diving and snorkeling. There are luxury beach resorts, boutique hotels and other more reasonable options.
Arusha: Starting point for Northern Circuit Safaris – This is undoubtedly Tanzania’s safari capital. All Tanzania safaris start hee and proceed to Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Lake Natron, Lake Eyasi, Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti. Depending on the arrival time of your international flight, that would determine whether you would need to overnight in Arusha. There are many town hotels boutique hotels and lodges in and around the town. The closest international airport is Kilimanjaro International Airport. Arusha has a small airport for scheduled domestic flights and chartered flights.
It is possible to do a safari in the nearby Arusha National Park which although not very large is very scenic with views of Mount Meru and in good weather Mount Kilimanjaro. Visit the local markets, curio shops or experience a cultural tour.
Dar es Salaam – Is the international gateway into Tanzania. If you have an international flight that arrives into Dar es Salaam and you are planning on a Northern Circuit safari, then you will have to factor in a domestic flight from Dar es Salaam to Arusha for the start of your safari. Otherwise, you can book a safari off the beaten track to the less explored parks of the Southern Tanzania which include Selous, Mikumi. Ruaha, etc. It is also a convenient arrival point for a beach holiday to Zanzibar and the islands. You can opt to fly to Zanzibar or take the ferry. Dar es Salaam is a cosmopolitan city which has excellent accommodation if you need to spend the night prior to the start of your safari or beach holiday.
Southern Tanzania Safari: Off the beaten track – for those who would like to explore the less visited parks of Tanzania this is a great option for you. You can do a combination of driving safari, boat safari, walking safari and even fishing. Visit the savannah, swamps, rainforests, lakes and see the large herds of elephants, buffalos, hippos, lions and wild dogs.
Western Tanzania Safari: Chimpanzee Trekking – Gombe Streams and Mahale Mountain National Park are home to the chimpanzees. These locations are mainly reached by air due to the remoteness of the areas. Although chimpanzee trekking can be done as a family safari, there is a minimum age of 16 years for children. A 3 day minimum stay is required for the chimpanzee trekking experience.
Overall Tanzania can be visited all year round. With regard to the weather there are generally two seasons dry and rainy. The long rains take place from April to end of May and short rains in November.
The best time to experience the wildebeest migration is as follows: Peak Season: June to August; Mid season: October to November; Peak Season: December to March. Although the long rains take place in April and May, the wildebeest tend to be grazing in the savannah in central Serengeti. Follow this link for more information on the annual wildebeest migration.
There are generally 2 peak seasons for a Tanzania safari – June to October and December to March. Mid season is November and Low season is April and May. The best time to climb Kilimanjaro is during the dry seasons, thus the peak seasons above are the best times to climb. April and May are the least recommended months to travel to Zanzibar due to the long rains. The hottest months to visit Zanzibar are January to March and September to December.
Passports & Visas – Passports should have a minimum of 6 months prior to expiry at the time of travel. Most visitors to Tanzania require a visa which costs on avareage USD $50 per person for a single entry visa. For detailed information regarding visas please see the Tanzania Immigration services. It is referable that you get your visa ahead of time, but for some countries, it is possible to get your visa on arrival at any port of entry like Julius Nyerere International Airport (Dar es Salaam) or Kilimanjaro International Airport (Arusha).
Vaccinations – It is important to have up to date vaccinations prior to embarking on your Tanzania safari or Zanzibar beach holiday. Currently travelers are required to have Yellow Fever Vaccination. Kindly visit your doctor to ensure that you are in good health and vaccinations are up to date prior to the start of your safari or beach holiday. For more information regarding health check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
International Flights – When making your bookings for a Tanzania safari to northern circuit i.e. Serengeti, Ngorongoro, etc. it is preferable to book your international flights to arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA). If you are combining a Tanzania safari with Zanzibar then you would need to arrive at KIA and depart from Zanzibar. If you are interested in a safari in southern Tanzania or Zanzibar beach holiday then Julius Nyerere International Airport (Dar es Salaam) is the right port of entry for you. For more information on international flights see: Travel Information & International Flights. To book an international follow the Travelstart link.
Packing List – Generally for a Tanzania safari you require light weight, comfortable clothing. You will need a jacket or sweater for the evenings, socks. If you will be visiting Zanzibar please dress moderately so as not to offend the locals when visiting Stone Town and other villages. The dress code at the resorts is less restrictive, but at some properties a dress code may be required. Detailed information on what to pack for your African safari see packing list. We also have a Kilimanjaro packing list.
Suggested Reading – Refer to the following books about Tanzania Safari, Kilimanjaro Climb and Zanzibar:
by Abdulrazak Gurnah
- Lonely Planet Tanzania
by Mary Fitzpatrick
by Henry Stedman
- The Tree Where Man Was Born
by Peter Matthiessen
For other reading links see: Suggested Reading
Climate – Weather is generally pleasant for most of the year with an average temperature of 21° – 29°C. The coldest months of the year are June and July with an average temperature of 9° – 15°C. The long rains take place in April and May, and short rains in November. Refer to the temperature and rainfall chart for the best time to travel to Tanzania.
Language – English and Kiswahili are spoken by most people in the travel industry and in offices. Learn a few Swahili Phrases.
Customs – Tanzanians are friendly and polite people who will greet you if they come in contact with you. They are a conservative people and as sucj it is important to dress appropriately. It is considered polite to greet people when they greet you. It is also very important to ask people if you can take photographs of them before you take photographs.
Currency – Tanzanian currency is the Tanzania Shilling (Tshs). The currency of choice for Tanzania safaris is US Dollars. Credit cards can be used at the bigger hotels and resorts, but you will need some cash for smaller properties. Credit cards incur a transaction fee of 5.1%. ATMs are present at most major towns in Tanzania.
Note that US Dollars will not be accepted if they are older than 2003.
Tipping –Your driver guide, mountain climbing guide, waiters and other subsidiary staff that make your safari a success appreciate a tip. Details on tipping can be found at FAQs.