Safari reserves & places to visit in Tanzania
Arusha is a small town in northern Tanzania that is most commonly used for an overnight stay before or after a safari around the northern circuit. Though if you stay a little longer, it can also be a base for the often overlooked, but charming Arusha National Park.
Dar es Salaam
Dar es Salaam is the country's largest city and main port, and is the entry/exit point for international flights. It is a vibrant and bustling modern African city, and it will sometimes be necessary to stop here for a night's stay, but many visitors pass straight through.
Located 20 miles off the Tanzanian coast, the stunning Fanjove Island has previously been inaccessible to all except a few local fishermen and the stunning bird and wildlife which thrive in its tropical vegetation.
Over the past year, a very reliable operator has set up a small eco lodge here to allow the more intrepid travellers to experience this beautiful island...
Gombe Stream National Park
Gombe Stream National Park is smaller and less dramatic than Mahale Mountains, but otherwise its environment is similar: a sandy beach with a backdrop of vegetated mountains. As a result of Jane Goodall's research, it is renowned for its chimps.
Katavi National Park
The most remote of Tanzania's best safari areas, Katavi can be costly to reach, but it's full of game and virtually empty of visitors. Expect a vast open plain with large herds of plains game, surrounded by dense, productive woodlands and forests. Katavi is a park for experienced safari hands who love the wilderness.
Lake Manyara National Park
At the bottom of the Great Rift Valley, the vast shallow salt-lake - Lake Manyara - is visually stunning and a magnet for local wildlife and birdlife. Well worth stopping into for a few nights if you can - but try to spend at least a whole day in the park.
Lake Natron has stunning scenery with relatively little tourism – with fascinating walking and often vast numbers of flamingos. It is also a great gateway into the back of the Serengeti – avoiding the busier routes.
Mafia Archipelago is sparsely-populated and laid-back, with one side protected by a huge Marine National Park. There are few small, unpretentious lodges here, swathes of empty beaches and of Tanzania's best diving. Mafia is a firm favourite, partially because many overlook it.
Mahale Mountains National Park
Very different from Tanzania's traditional parks, Mahale Mountains is a remote, costly and totally magical. Expect lush forests, white tropical beach, a huge freshwater lake, and Africa's best chimp safaris. Watching chimpanzees at close quarters is a profound and fascinating experience.
Mikumi & Udzungwa Mountains
Holiday in Tanzania – visiting Mikumi National Park and Udzungwa Mountains National Park in your own private 4WD with a driver/guide.
Safari holiday in Northern Tanzania's spectacular Ngorongoro Crater.
Pemba is less developed than Zanzibar and less easy to reach, so has fewer visitors. Its generally rural, conservative in outlook and fringed by mangroves. The popular beach lodge at Fundu Lagoon is a favourite with divers and honeymooners.
Ras Kutani area
For two nights at the start or end of your trip, consider one of the two excellent, contrasting lodges on the lovely long beach of Ras Kutani. It's only about an hour's drive south of Dar es Salaam.
Ruaha National Park
In the heart of Tanzania, Ruaha National Park offers a great extension to a stay in the Selous Game Reserve; it's hotter, drier and higher – in some ways more like areas further north – and has several species that you won't find further south.
Rubondo Island National Park
The largest island national park in the whole of Africa, Rubondo Island offers a true off-the-beaten-track experience on a Jurassic Park style island. With just one camp here, it's exclusive and intimate, offering a relaxing safari experience as a beach alternative.
Saadani National Park
Saadani National Park is a tiny national park which can genuinely claim to offer both sides of a 'bush and beach' experience. Come to for some gentle, low-key game viewing and time to relax on the beach, walk with guides, and enjoy peaceful river trips. Don't come expecting a full-on 'Big 5' game experience.
Selous Game Reserve
The northern section of the Selous, Tanzania's largest reserve, is dedicated to photographic safaris. Come to one of a handful of small, remote camps for excellent big game safaris, a hint of adventure, and a convenient location close to idyllic beaches of the offshore islands. If there's a better reserve for a 'bush-and-beach' trip, we haven't found it yet!
Serengeti Migration Area
The vast open plains and occasional kopjies of the famous Serengeti National Park need no introduction - but choose your time to visit, and precisely where you go, with great care and our advice - it varies enormously.
Tarangire National Park
Northern Tanzania's Tarangire National Park has highly seasonal game – at its best from June to October. It's famous for baobabs, large herds of elephants and a northern section which is too busy with transient tourists. So if you come here at all, then come for a few days to its wilder, quieter and much more interesting southern side.
Lying off Tanzania's coast, the Zanzibar Archipelago consists of over 50 islands, most of which have a long history and a rich cultural mix. The best known island here is Zanzibar (or 'Unguja Island', as it is more properly known). It is an integral part of Tanzania – even though it often seems separate, and this website treats it separately!
The larger islands in the archipelago are highly fertile, with many agricultural resources...