Tanzania is Africa’s visual masterpiece. It is a country of natural splendour, astounding wildlife, seductive beaches, charming ancient towns, archaeological sites and geological wonders.
Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro, rises from lush, grassy plains and towers over the land. Its snow-capped peak is a sight to behold. Climbing Kilimanjaro is surprisingly easy and standing on the roof of Africa is a life-changing experience.
The ideal bush and beach destination, visitors can witness the mighty herds of the Great Migration thundering across the Serengeti plains and end their unforgettable safari with a serene beach holiday on Zanzibar, the intoxicatingly beautiful and exotic Spice Island.
When is the best time to visit Tanzania?
“A Tanzania safari can be booked throughout the year, but the best time depends on your interests. If seeing the wildebeest migration is the main focus of your visit, you will have to plan carefully. June to September is the best period to see the migration in the Serengeti, but you’ll have to stay in different areas of the park at different stages of the migration, and as this all depends on the rain, this isn’t completely dependable. If you want to get away from the crowds, you should book your accommodation in the Serengeti away from the wildebeest migration. The wettest months are March and April, and any safari might be compromised at this time.
Why visit Tanzania, what are the major attractions?
“Tanzania is the quintessential safari destination, offering both quality and quantity. The wildlife viewing is superb and there is just so much choice in terms of places to visit and things to do. In fact, it would be hard to experience all of the highlights even in three Tanzania holidays, let alone one. There are three distinct safari circuits: the most popular northern safari circuit includes famous places like the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater; the lesser-known southern circuit centers on Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park; and the off-the-beaten-track western circuit includes Katavi National Park and the chimpanzee reserves on the shore of Lake Tanganyika. Avid mountain climbers might be surprised to learn the highest peak in Africa is in Tanzania. Mount Kilimanjaro lies between Kenya and Tanzania, but is climbed from the Tanzanian side.
What does a Tanzania safari cost?
“Tanzania tours are not geared toward big groups. The best way to see the parks is on a bespoke safari for two or four people who book together as a family or friends, though that obviously comes at a price. You should budget a starting price of US$500 per person per day, but it is difficult to put a specific figure on a trip, as a lot of variables need to be taken into account. For example, camping safaris are generally cheaper than lodge safaris. Conversely, the Serengeti and some other parks in the northern circuit have big hotels that are much cheaper than the small, exclusive lodges and tented camps – although the latter are often more basic. The season makes a big difference too. Discounted rates apply if you are willing to travel in the rainy season, while you’ll pay a premium to visit during the height of the wildebeest migration.”
How is the wildlife viewing in Tanzania?
“The wildlife viewing in Tanzania is superb. A Tanzania safari in the northern circuit takes in Lake Manyara, Tarangire, the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater. Any of these parks offer fantastic game viewing, although some of it is seasonal. Doing the whole circuit enhances the experience as you’ll be going through a variety of habitats and environments. Due to the sizes of the parks, it is possible to get away from the crowds, but as this is the most popular circuit, you will be surrounded by other tourists at times. If you really want to get away from all that, you can visit the southern circuit, where the game viewing is slightly more challenging but very good all the same. This circuit is perhaps more suited to repeat Africa visitors who are less driven to tick off the Big Five.”4
How safe is Tanzania for tourists?
“Tanzania has a slick and experienced tourist industry, and a Tanzanian safari overall is very safe. That said, there is a lot of petty crime in big cities such as Dar es Salaam and Mombasa, so walking around alone isn’t recommended. Tourists sometimes get targeted in Arusha and other urban tourist hot spots, but most of the time the hassle is benign and is really just touts wanting to sell things (anything from safaris to beaded necklaces). Being firm and standing your ground is usually all it takes to diffuse any situation. In any case, most people on Tanzanian tours don’t spend very much (or any) time in urban centers, so none of this is likely even to be a concern.”5
What type of accommodation can I expect on a safari?
“The safari industry in Tanzania is well established and there is a good variety of accommodation on offer. Going with an outfitter offering comfortable camping safaris is not only the most budget-friendly way to travel, but it also adds to the sense of adventure. If real camping isn’t your thing, but you like the romance of tented accommodation, there are tented camps (with actual beds and flushing toilets inside) offering different levels of luxury. For those visitors that prefer to spend their evenings in less of a bush environment, there are hotels that provide a total disconnect from the countryside, which also means less chance of creepy-crawlies in your room. The current trend, however, is toward exclusive designer lodges blending into the environment and offering an unparalleled level of luxury and service. The sky is the limit!
What can I expect from an African safari in Tanzania?
“When on a Tanzania tour, you can expect an experience of a lifetime – or maybe the first of many more to come. Once the safari bug has bitten, people tend to return over and over again to experience the African bush. It is hard to stay away for too long. Tanzania is the perfect destination for first-time safaris as the wildlife viewing and African landscapes in the northern circuit are all you could hope for – and more. Tanzania is also the perfect destination for repeat visitors, as your first visit won’t even scratch the surface of the touring options. Seasoned African safari enthusiasts will enjoy some of the more remote parks, with different animals such as wild dogs in the southern circuit and chimpanzees in the west.”