This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more

Skip to main content

Talk to an expert 1-800-242-2434 Lines open now

User menu
Wildlife safaris in Tanzania
Wildlife safaris in Tanzania
Wildlife safaris in Tanzania
Wildlife safaris in Tanzania
Wildlife safaris in Tanzania
Wildlife safaris in Tanzania
Wildlife safaris in Tanzania
Wildlife safaris in Tanzania
Wildlife safaris in Tanzania
Wildlife safaris in Tanzania
Wildlife safaris in Tanzania
Wildlife safaris in Tanzania

Tanzania wildlife safaris

Our recommended places for wildlife safaris in Tanzania

Tanzania offers a winning combination: some of Africa's best wildlife safaris plus stunning tropical beaches. Besides the Serengeti's famous wildebeest migration, there are other world-class safari locations here. For wildlife safaris in Tanzania, consider three areas: the famous 'northern circuit', the wild parks in the south, and the remote parks of western Tanzania:
  • Tanzania's 'northern circuit' is the country's wildlife showpiece. The great Serengeti hosts what many would call the best wildlife safari in Africa: the migration of around 1.5million of wildebeest. Nearby Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Lake Manyara National Park and Tarangire National Park all provide outstanding wildlife safaris. However, all can also be very busy with people.
  • In southern Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve is arguably the largest in Africa, and combines well with the hotter, drier Ruaha National Park. Both offer very authentic wilderness experiences, based out of small lodges using open-topped 4WDs - and so vie for the accolade of the best wildlife safari in Tanzania.
  • Western Tanzania appeals for superb and contrasting wildlife safari experiences, with only a few other travellers around. 'Old Africa hands' will gravitate to the buffalo and lion in Katavi National Park or the chimpanzees in the thickly-forested Mahale Mountains National Park. However, it usually takes more time and expense to reach these parks than the north or south of the country.

Lake Manze Camp

A stay at Lake Manze allows you to feel close to the wildlife - a wide variety of game including elephant, impala, hippos and buffalos can be seen from your own tent, or you can go on a game drive or boat safari from here.


Mdonya Old River Camp

You'll find all of the usual big game species in Ruaha, including elephant, large herds of buffalo, wildebeest, lion, leopard, cheetah and even wild dog. Ruaha also has a few species associated with the parks further north, including Grant's gazelle and lesser kudu.

Lake Manze Camp

A stay at Lake Manze allows you to feel close to the wildlife - a wide variety of game including elephant, impala, hippos and buffalos can be seen from your own tent, or you can go on a game drive or boat safari from here.


Beho Beho

The wildlife in this area of the Selous is usually good, but can be a little elusive at times. There is a permanent population of lions and frequent sightings of more transient wild dogs. Among much other game, there’s usually an abundance of giraffe, wildebeest and the odd buffalo.

Ikuka Safari Camp

Ikuka is located in one of the best game-viewing areas in Ruaha, making it a great choice for wildlife safaris in Tanzania. The park is known for its particularly good numbers of lion and elephant and guests staying for several nights can expect some excellent wildlife sightings.


Siwandu

The Selous Game Reserve has a good population of wildlife throughout the year. There is always an abundance of giraffe and impala as well as a number of lion. The fortunate might see leopard, as well as wild dogs that occasionally move through the area around Siwandu.

Jongomero Camp

You'll find all of the usual big game species in Ruaha, including elephant, large herds of buffalo, wildebeest, lion, leopard, occasional cheetah and wild dog. Ruaha also has a few species associated with the parks further north, including Grant's gazelle and lesser kudu.


Impala Camp

Selous is an excellent game reserve with great populations of big game from elephants and buffalo to lion, leopard and a good population of wild dogs.


Greystoke Mahale

Simply the best place for watching chimps and other primates in the forests of central Africa.

Chada Camp

Chada camp is a very serious safari camp in one of Africa's most remote national parks. It's particularly noted for its sense of wilderness, and for large herds of buffalo hunted by big prides of lion!


Lake Manyara Tree Lodge

Lake Manyara Tree Lodge is well placed to experience the diversity of animals within Lake Manyara National Park, and the possibility of night drives here makes it one of our top tips for an extensive and relatively exclusive wildlife safari in Tanzania.

Klein's Camp

It is possible to go on night game-drives and day bush walks from Klein's. The lodge is also on the route for the Serengeti's great migration and the best time to see this in the Klein's area is generally between mid-October and end-November.


Olakira Camp

Olakira Camp is a semi-permanent tented camp that moves twice a year, in order to optimise its location for the Serengeti’s wildebeest migration. With careful planning (talk to us about this), it can be the perfect base from which to witness one of nature's greatest spectacles.

Rekero

Rekero was the camp where Jackson Looseyia (of Big Cat Diary fame) first earned his spurs as a spotter and outstanding guide. More recently its first-class lion, leopard and cheetah viewing made it ideal as a base for much of the filming of Disney's African Cats documentary.

Namiri Plains Camp

Namiri Plains is in a remote part of the central-eastern Serengeti, and is an excellent camp from which to see great numbers of big cats, specifically cheetah and lion.


Sand Rivers Camp

The Selous Game Reserve and area around Sand Rivers has an abundance of game, especially during the dryer months when game is drawn to the river for water. However throughout the year you can expect to see good numbers of giraffe, elephant and maybe even lions and wild dog.


Kwihala Camp

Ruaha is an excellent reserve with a rather wild feel to it, which makes Kwihala a great option for wildlife safaris in Tanzania. You can find all the usual big game, including large herds of elephant and buffalo. Ruaha also has unusually high numbers of lion and several endemic species, including the Ruaha hornbill.

Wildlife safaris elsewhere in Africa

Our top ideas and inspiration for Wildlife safaris in other countries.


Wildlife safaris in Botswana

Botswana

Botswana's wildlife safaris are perhaps the best in Africa: the vast reserves are usually un-fenced, ...

Wildlife safaris in Kenya

Kenya

Kenya is the country where the word 'Safari' (Swahili for 'journey') actually comes from. Close ...

Wildlife safaris in Malawi

Malawi

Don't expect spectacular game on a wildlife safari in Malawi, instead come for a relaxed safari ...

Wildlife safaris in Mozambique

Mozambique

Mozambique is best known for its wonderful beaches and marine life, not its 4WD safaris. There ...

Wildlife safaris in Namibia

Namibia

Wildlife safaris in Namibia can be outstanding. The country has Africa's highest cheetah population, ...

Wildlife safaris in Rwanda

Rwanda

Having walked since dawn, you're tired but your senses are alive. You hear them grunt before you ...

Wildlife safaris in South Africa

South Africa

Expert Africa covers only the western side of South Africa, including the Cape and Kgalagadi. Within ...

Wildlife safaris in Zambia

Zambia

Top-class walking safaris, the outstanding quality of guiding, and many highly individual lodges ...

Wildlife safaris in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe

If watching wildlife from a 4WD is not close enough for you, then go on a wildlife safari in Zimbabwe! ...

Where to see wildlife species in Africa

Maximise the chances of seeing your favourite African animals based on traveller sightings reports from the field.


Lion

Lion

Panthera leo

Lions are at the top of the food chain and also most safari wish-lists, but with their numbers falling fast, any encounter with these majestic apex predators always feels like a privilege.

80% SUCCESS

1,314 sightings from 1,646 observations

Where to see lion in Africa

Leopard

Leopard

Panthera pardus

The most numerous of Africa’s big cats, leopard occur across many habitats, from wild tracts to populated areas. Their grace and their elusive nature make them a unique safari drawcard.

45% SUCCESS

840 sightings from 1,873 observations

Where to see leopard in Africa

Cheetah

Cheetah

Acinonyx jubatus

The cheetah is the fastest land animal and the only cat that hunts by pure speed. Found largely in open grasslands, its slim, elegant form is today an increasingly rare sight.

29% SUCCESS

418 sightings from 1,453 observations

Where to see cheetah in Africa

Wild dog

Wild dog

Lycaon pictus

African wild dogs are among the continent’s most compelling animals. Much misunderstood, these rare, tie-dyed canids are amazingly efficient hunters with a fascinating social life.

31% SUCCESS

375 sightings from 1,214 observations

Where to see wild dog in Africa

Spotted Hyena

Spotted Hyena

Crocuta crocuta

The spotted hyena may be thought of as ‘ugly’ and ‘cowardly’. In fact, this versatile and intelligent carnivore is one of Africa’s most fascinating and warrants attention on any safari.

50% SUCCESS

903 sightings from 1,799 observations

Where to see spotted hyena in Africa

Wildebeest

Wildebeest

Connochaetes sp.

Superficially bovine in appearance, wildebeests are known for their spectacular migrations sometimes in huge numbers. These resilient animals are some of Africa’s most successful herbivores.

63% SUCCESS

1,058 sightings from 1,668 observations

Where to see wildebeest in Africa

Buffalo

Buffalo

Syncerus caffer

One of the ‘Big Five’, buffalo earned a fearsome reputation in hunters’ tales. By contrast, big herds of these sociable bovids are placid, but mount formidable defences against predators.

83% SUCCESS

1,112 sightings from 1,335 observations

Where to see buffalo in Africa

Chimpanzee

Chimpanzee

Pan troglodytes

The chimpanzee is our closest living relative. This highly intelligent great ape is a forest animal with a sophisticated social life. Any encounter in the wild is a memorable experience.

100% SUCCESS

17 sightings from 17 observations

Where to see chimpanzee in Africa

Eland

Eland

Taurotragus oryx

Africa’s largest antelope, eland are culturally important from prehistoric rock art to modern game farms. Though widespread, they are also shy so sightings are uncommon and often fleeting.

45% SUCCESS

613 sightings from 1,362 observations

Where to see eland in Africa

Elephant

Elephant

Loxodonta africana

By far the biggest of the so-called Big Five – indeed, the largest land animal on the planet – the elephant shapes the very landscape it inhabits and is a defining presence on any safari.

91% SUCCESS

1,590 sightings from 1,750 observations

Where to see elephant in Africa

Oryx

Oryx

Oryx sp.

Oryx are impressive antelopes, with a powerful physique and elegant markings set off by rapier-like horns. They cut a distinctive dash in some of Africa’s harshest landscapes.

70% SUCCESS

644 sightings from 924 observations

Where to see oryx in Africa

Gerenuk

Gerenuk

Litocranius walleri

With its slender frame and extraordinarily long neck, this unmistakable East African antelope resembles an attenuated impala and often stands on its back legs browse high shrubs.

76% SUCCESS

37 sightings from 49 observations

Where to see gerenuk in Africa

Giraffe

Giraffe

Giraffa camelopardalis

The world’s tallest land mammal, giraffes are herbivores which have evolved many unique adaptations. Their iconic outlines tower above the bush in many of Africa’s wildlife areas.

83% SUCCESS

1,523 sightings from 1,833 observations

Where to see giraffe in Africa

Hippo

Hippo

Hippopotamus amphibius

The territorial calls of the hippo create a signature soundtrack to Africa’s rivers & wetlands. Despite an endearing smile, this aquatic herbivore has a notoriously aggressive disposition.

89% SUCCESS

1,168 sightings from 1,310 observations

Where to see hippo in Africa

Roan antelope

Roan antelope

Hippotragus equinus

Africa’s second largest antelope and one of its most handsome, with a powerful build and distinctive markings, roan are wary of people, but renowned for their bravery against predators.

24% SUCCESS

228 sightings from 959 observations

Where to see roan antelope in Africa

Sable antelope

Sable antelope

Hippotragus niger

Perhaps Africa’s most beautiful antelope, sable are renowned for their combative nature, even holding off lions. Shy and restricted in range, sightings of sable are always special.

21% SUCCESS

198 sightings from 954 observations

Where to see sable antelope in Africa

Sitatunga

Sitatunga

Tragelaphus spekii

The sitatunga is the most aquatic of Africa’s antelopes and specially adapted to its swampy habitats. Though widespread across Africa, only a handful of places offer reliable sightings.

20% SUCCESS

25 sightings from 122 observations

Where to see sitatunga in Africa

Striped Hyena

Striped Hyena

Hyaena hyaena

The striped hyena is the most widespread of the world’s hyenas, but absent from southern Africa. A rarely-seen nocturnal scavenger, it is shyer and more solitary than its spotted cousin.

16% SUCCESS

55 sightings from 346 observations

Where to see striped hyena in Africa

Zebra

Zebra

Equus sp.

The zebra is a quintessential African animal: the horse in stripy pyjamas at the end of every child’s A–Z. There are three species, of which the plains zebra is much the most common.

84% SUCCESS

1,724 sightings from 2,057 observations

Where to see zebra in Africa

Aardvark

Aardvark

Orycteropus afer

The aardvark is one of Africa’s most bizarre and enigmatic animals. A shy, nocturnal termite-eater, signs of its presence may be scattered about the bush whilst sightings remain elusive.

3% SUCCESS

43 sightings from 1,572 observations

Where to see aardvark in Africa

Pangolin

Pangolin

Smutsia sp.

Pangolins appear to be more pine cone than animal in their unique armoury of scales. These nocturnal, ant-eating oddities are not only highly elusive but also increasingly rare.

2% SUCCESS

27 sightings from 1,487 observations

Where to see pangolin in Africa

Black Rhino

Black Rhino

Diceros bicornis

The black rhino is the smaller and rarer of Africa’s two rhino species but has the more fearsome reputation. Shy and heavily persecuted, it tends to stick to cover.

29% SUCCESS

261 sightings from 899 observations

Where to see black rhino in Africa

Inspire me

Need inspiration?

Let our trip chooser narrow down the options for you

Inspire me

Login to Expert Africa

Sign in with password

Sign in with email link


New to Expert Africa? Create an account

Forgotten your details?

It's free & quick to set up

  • Order a brochure
  • Save your wish-list
  • Send us an enquiry
  • Pay online for your trip
  • Subscribe to our newsletter
  • Give us feedback on your trip
  • Full site benefits of the site

Need some help? Talk to our team