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Tanzania
Tanzania
Tanzania
Tanzania
Tanzania
Tanzania
Tanzania
Tanzania
Tanzania
Tanzania
Tanzania

Tanzania

Tanzania: In depth

A guide to visiting Tanzania

Our safari holidays in Tanzania visit a vibrant and beautiful country with world-class parks. Safaris have been a way of life in Tanzania for decades; the country is blessed with the winning combination of both superb big game and stunning tropical beaches. You can fly from a Tanzania safari camp in the morning to an Indian Ocean beach for an afternoon swim.

Because the country is vast, it helps to think of Tanzania holidays falling into four broad areas: the famous 'northern circuit' safaris; the wild parks of southern Tanzania; the remote safaris of western Tanzania; and the beaches of the coast & islands. Tanzania's three safari areas are very different; but all combine well with trips to the beach! Looking at each in more detail:

A Northern Tanzania Safari

Tanzania's first safari areas were in the north, and this 'northern circuit' remains its most famous safari area. The Ngorongoro Crater and the Rift Valley's Lake Manyara are names to conjure with – whilst the Serengeti's great migration is one of the world's great wildlife spectacles; no wonder it attracts hundreds of thousands of human visitors every year!

Sadly, sometimes the mini-buses out-number the animals here; you can find the side of mass tourism to Africa that we don't like. Hence we've strived to find ways of visiting these areas, whilst avoiding the human hotspots. The main parks here are:

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Tanzania's greatest wildlife showpiece, the Ngorongoro Crater has breath-taking views, phenomenal game and a lot of visitors. Look out for elephants, buffalo and black rhino on the crater floor; the large lion population is far from camera shy. (Read more about the Ngorongoro area… )

The Serengeti

The Serengeti's vast ecosystem covers several different reserves, and includes overwhelming amounts of game. Many areas are also very busy, and we're very aware that this will detract from many Tanzania safaris here. Other safari areas may be harder to reach, but are usually worth the effort for their exclusivity. It is still possible to safari here with the migration to yourself – but getting the timing right is a science in itself! (Read more about the Serengeti... )

Lake Manyara National Park

This small, yet spectacular safari park sits between the Great Rift Valley's steep Western escarpment and the Lake Manyara, a shallow alkaline lake. It is easily visited from Arusha by 4WD, and often on the way to Ngorongoro Crater and/or the Serengeti. (Read more about Lake Manyara... )

Tarangire National Park

At its best when it's dry, Tarangire is an excellent park: with abundant game and very varied bird-life. The bulk of it is also relatively quiet, with few people reaching the southern regions where safaris can still find a sense of 'wilderness.' (Read more about Tarangire... )

A Southern Tanzania Safari

The parks in southern Tanzania cover huge areas and offer great game-viewing in remote areas, based at small lodges where local safari guides (often real experts) drive you around in open 4WDs. It's an excellent experience, similar to the best safaris in southern Africa - and these trips probably include our most popular Tanzania safaris. There is no 'migration' here – but the game is excellent, and you will relish the real feeling of wilderness here and complete lack of crowds! The main options are:

Selous Game Reserve

Arguably Africa's largest game reserve, the Selous offers some of best big game safaris in Tanzania with excellent guiding, and it's a relatively short flight from Dar es Salaam, the coast and islands. Selous is perfect for a week's safari! (Read more about the Selous... )

Ruaha National Park

In the heart of Tanzania, Ruaha makes a great extension to a Selous safari. It's hotter, drier and higher here, so the environments, and several of the game species, are different. Being that bit more remote, there are even fewer camps here. (Read more about Ruaha… )

Mikumi and Udzungwa national parks

These two parks and are best for the well-travelled enthusiast. Mikumi is one of Tanzania's smaller parks, best visited with a 4WD and driver/guide. The environment is similar to that in Selous, and you can base yourself here for trips into the Udzungwa Mountains – a small, densely-forested park where keen wildlife enthusiasts come in search of endemic species. (Read more about Mikumi & Udzungwa... )

A Western Tanzania Safari

Safaris in western Tanzania are in a league of their own with superb and contrasting wildlife experiences – but see a map to realise that they are seriously remote! Because of this, Tanzania safaris here usually expensive and so receive very few visitors - but of course having few other visitors sharing your experience is a real attraction in itself. The two main parks here are:

Katavi National Park

One of Africa's most remote safari parks, Katavi has excellent game, including prolific buffalo and lion, and an unbeatable feeling of wilderness. It's very remote even by Tanzania safari standards, but a big draw for old Africa hands who have travelled extensively. (Read more about Katavi... )

Mahale Mountains National Park

Totally different from Tanzania's safari parks, Mahale is a thickly-forested and mountainous. On one side is the vast Lake Tanganyika, and the odd superb beach; but come because it's Africa's best to watch wild chimpanzees at close quarters. It's a superb experience, in a park that's very remote and so costly to reach. (Read more about Mahale… )

Adding to a Tanzania safari: The coast & islands

Tanzania's beaches, especially those on its islands, are spectacular, accessible, and often relatively inexpensive to visit. There's a real choice of small beach lodges and hotels; consider the options:

Zanzibar

The spicy, exotic island of Zanzibar conjures up an amazing image. What's more, it can live up to it – with a cosmopolitan mix of cultures, enchanting palm-fringed beaches and some good diving and snorkelling in the ocean around it. (Read more about Zanzibar... )

Mafia Archipelago

South of Zanzibar, Mafia Archipelago is laid-back, sparsely-populated and delightful. A huge marine park protects one side of this, where there is first-class diving and snorkelling and a few small beach lodges. Mafia is great value and a firm favourite with its visitors. (Read more about Mafia... )

Pemba Island

Pemba doesn't have Zanzibar's reputation or its choice of beach lodges. It's a little less easy to reach, and the population are a little more conservative, and so it has fewer visitors. It has one good beach lodge, which isn't cheap but is popular with a young British honeymoon crowd. (Read more about Pemba... )

Ras Kutani area

On the mainland, Ras Kutani is only about an hour's drive south of Dar es Salaam. It can make a good stop for two nights at the start or end of your trip – and here there are two very good, if contrasting, lodges beside a lovely long beach. (Read more about Ras Kutani... )

Dar es Salaam

The urban sprawl of Dar es Salaam is Tanzania's largest and most important city, and a major gateway for international flights – although it's not the country's capital city! 'Dar', as it's often known, is fine for a night's stay, but most visitors pass straight through. (Read more about Dar... ) Most Tanzania safaris in Southern Tanzania will pass thought Dar - whereas most safaris to Northern or Western Tanzania will use Arusha as their hub.

A Tanzania safari: how to travel around


Camps in the remote areas of southern and western Tanzania are usually visited on fly-in safaris, which use light aircraft to fly between the parks and camp. Flying allows quick access to even remote camps, and scheduled aircraft run frequently. Once at the camps, their own guides will use 4WDs and boats to get you around the parks.

In the northern circuit, the choice is more complex. The main parks here are relatively close together, and so private-guided safaris work very well – and are the obvious choice when small groups or families are travelling together. These have the advantage that you'll drive through the towns and rural areas, and be able to stop there – giving you insights into local life, and showing you what Tanzania is like outside its safari areas. However, travelling by road is a lot slower, and journeys can be bumpy, dusty and long. You'll normally travel in closed-cab 4WDs, and use the same vehicle for game drives; whilst these have a pop-top roof for game-viewing, they're not generally as good as open-topped game-viewing vehicles.

Our travellers’ wildlife sightings in Tanzania

This is their success in sighting key species on our safaris in Tanzania. Click on a species for more detail. How we work this out.


Chimpanzee

100% success

Sitatunga

100% success

Zebra

95% success

Giraffe

95% success

Lion

94% success

Elephant

93% success

Wildebeest

87% success

Buffalo

87% success

Hippo

87% success

Spotted Hyena

71% success

Eland

63% success

Leopard

50% success

Cheetah

31% success

Roan antelope

24% success

Oryx

24% success

Wild dog

22% success

Black Rhino

19% success

Striped Hyena

17% success

Sable antelope

7% success

Aardvark

2% success

Gerenuk

0% success

Pangolin

0% success

Tanzania holiday styles & special interests

From family adventures to romantic breaks, find ideas here for your perfect Tanzania safari


Beach holidays

Beach holidays

Discover Africa's coast and tropical islands.

Birdwatching

Birdwatching

Diverse habitats, discreet hides and superb guiding.

Cultural experiences

Cultural experiences

Get an insight into Africa's cultures and history.

Diving & snorkelling

Diving & snorkelling

Find captivating marine life beneath the waves

Family holidays

Family holidays

Hand-picked camps for an incredible family safari.

Honeymoons

Honeymoons

Romantic safaris and castaway island retreats.

Luxury

Luxury

First-class service, scenic vistas and unparalleled comfort await you during these carefully selected luxury holidays. 

Photography holidays

Photography holidays

Great holidays to suit the keen photographer.

Private villas & houses

Private villas & houses

Enjoy Africa with just your friends & family

Riding holidays

Riding holidays

Explore Africa's wilderness on horseback.

Solo Travel

Solo Travel

Trip ideas ideally suited for a solo traveller.

Walking

Walking

Explore Africa's most scenic trails on foot.

Walking safaris

Walking safaris

Explore Africa's untouched wildernesses on foot.

Wellbeing

Wellbeing

Wellness escapes in stunning locations

Wildlife safaris

Wildlife safaris

These trips include hard-hitting game and fascinatingly elusive species alike, as well as superb guiding and a variety of diverse ecosystems.

Inspire me

Need inspiration?

Let our trip chooser narrow down the options for you

Inspire me

Our top safaris in Tanzania

Here are 32 great Tanzania safaris to inspire you.


Itinerary image

Marabou Stork Fly-in Safari

13 days • 5 locations
KILIMANJARO AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

Four luxurious camps enable exploration of Tanzania’s north and southern regions. With a range of land and water-based activities available throughout, decidedly comfortable accommodation and applicable long-stay discounts, this adventurous safari is excellent value.

US$13,390 - US$18,440 per person

Itinerary image

Flufftail Guided Safari

10 days • 3 locations
KILIMANJARO AIRPORT TO KILIMANJARO AIRPORT

Stay in three uniquely special camps as you safari across the Ngorongoro Crater and iconic Serengeti Plains with your private guide and 4WD vehicle: a trip of comfort and autonomy, filled with excellent wildlife.

US$11,190 - US$14,720 per person

Itinerary image

Firefinch Drive-Fly Safari

9 days • 3 locations
KILIMANJARO AIRPORT TO KILIMANJARO AIRPORT

Enjoy a combination of privately guided and shared game drives during this good-value exploration of Northern Tanzania. Explore game-dense regions from three comfortable bases where there are a variety of activities on offer.

US$7,790 - US$10,280 per person

Itinerary image

Jackal Fly-in Safari

8 days • 2 locations
DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

Enjoy a range of activities during this ultra-luxurious fly-in safari. Explore the remoter regions of Ruaha National Park and Selous Game Reserve with phenomenal guides during stays at two impressively comfortable camps that remain perfectly in-keeping with their surroundings.

US$6,460 - US$7,910 per person

Itinerary image

Chimpanzee Fly-in Safari

8 days • 3 locations
KILIMANJARO AIRPORT TO KILIMANJARO AIRPORT

Combining two of the remotest parks in Tanzania, this safari can deliver extraordinary wildlife viewing in Katavi, and East Africa's best chimp treks, on the shores of Lake Tanganyika.

US$8,450 - US$11,770 per person

Itinerary image

Tinkerbird Fly-in Safari

8 days • 4 locations
KILIMANJARO AIRPORT TO KILIMANJARO AIRPORT

Explore Tanzania’s famous northern circuit with safari in Tarangire National Park, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Serengeti National Park. Four smart sister camps offer a high level of care, first-class guiding and wide range of activities.

US$8,630 - US$12,000 per person

Itinerary image

Secretary Bird Fly-in Safari

8 days • 4 locations
KILIMANJARO AIRPORT TO KILIMANJARO AIRPORT

Chosen for comfort and relaxation as much as for its range of activities, this safari makes for a leisurely trip featuring stunning accommodation and swift access to many of northern Tanzania’s best wildlife regions.

US$10,100 - US$13,300 per person

Itinerary image

Jasmine Beach Holiday

8 days • 1 locations
DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

Relax on Pemba Island’s Manta Resort, a laidback and remote beach retreat with superb views. Enjoy a range of land and water-based activities, and spend a night in the unique underwater bedroom for a truly special evening.

US$2,630 - US$3,820 per person

Itinerary image

Topi Fly-in Safari

7 days • 2 locations
DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

Explore Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park from two luxurious, colonially styled camps. Chosen for their access to good game viewing and thrilling remoteness, these camps also offer a range of varied safari activities.

US$5,460 - US$5,460 per person

Itinerary image

Yellow Baboon Fly-In Safari

7 days • 2 locations
DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

Two authentic bushcamps offer access to Ruaha’s remote wildernesses. Explore the heart of the park’s best game-viewing as well as its largely untouched eastern fringes in almost utter isolation. Walking safaris, day and night 4WD drives, fly-camping and superb guiding heighten your immersion in nature.

US$6,630 - US$7,320 per person

View all holidays in Tanzania

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