Tanzania’s natural beauty is world renowned. After all, countless documentaries and David Attenborough wildlife specials have been made about diving head first into this African wilderness and in Tanzania its beyond beautiful.
You just have to see it with your own two eyes to believe it.
The best way of observing Tanzania’s abundant natural beauty is by going on a safari. This will put you right in the middle of the action and allow you to see the animals in their natural environment! However, before you set off on your safari adventure read this ultimate safari guide to Tanzania to ensure you get the most out of your trip.
Tanzania is a naturally warm country, with two seasons. The dry season lasts from April to October, and the wet season from November to May. This is a year-round destination- all the top national parks can be visited throughout the year, without a problem.
The best time to visit Tanzanian national parks depends on a number of things: the Great Migration, the dry season that brings huge crowds and easily wildlife spotting opportunities and the wet season, an apparent lack of tourists and some of the best of nature.
Best Season: Throughout the year (depending on preference)
Now that you know when to visit Tanzania, it is important for you to think about where you want to go. There are a number of beautiful options for you to consider.
Ngorongoro Conservation Crater
This is downright the best safari destination for those visiting Tanzania. You get everything that you were hoping for, in one location. The Ngorongoro crater was formed millions of years ago, and for the longest time, the 600 meter tall walls acted as a natural border, making the flora and fauna within these walls thrive in a way inconceivable today.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Crater will give you the opportunity to observe some of the most exotic and endangered animals, and provide you with adventures enough to last a lifetime. It is also incredibly easy to access, so you do not have much to worry about!
When to visit: All year
Animal Sightings: Black rhino, wildebeest, elephants, gazelle, zebra, lion, spotted hyena, buffalo, cheetah, etc.
Serengeti National Park
From the moment we saw Lion King, a lot of us have been enamoured by the Serengeti, with its stunning fields, exotic animals, and the Great Migration. The Maasai were the one who named the place, referring to it as ‘the place where land moves on forever’. Serengeti National Park is one of the most ecologically diverse destinations in Africa, and a safari in Serengeti is a must-visit for those headed to Tanzania.
The most popular attraction in Serengeti is the Great Migration. The most stunning wildebeest migration usually starts around July-August. Besides that, the Serengeti National Park offers a number of special opportunities- world class safaris, hot balloon safaris, amazing hotels and camps, and so much more!
When to visit: June-July, and January- February
Animal Sightings: Wildebeest, gazelle, elephants, big cats, zebra, etc.
Mahale Mountains National Park
Mahale Mountains National Park is the best place for those who want an off-beat destination that is overlooked by most other tourists. It can be quite an adventure just getting to Mahale, as it is tucked away, and does not fall within the more popular parks circuit. There is also limited admittance into the park.
However, once you get to the park, you will get to explore human’s closest relative, the chimpanzee, in a way that is impossible elsewhere. The park boasts of stunning natural beauty and incredible views. Moreover- it is the best park for those who want the safari experience combined with Tanzania’s beautiful sand beaches!
When to Go: May- October
Animal Sightings: Chimpanzee, blue monkey, red-tailed monkey, red colobus monkey, leopards, warthog, antelope, bushbuck, etc.
TIPS AND TRICKS TO HELP YOU PLAN YOUR TANZANIA SAFARI
Tanzania is a country that will definitely blow your mind. No amount of videos or books can prepare you for the majesty of the safaris you will take when you’re in the country, after all. However, it is always good to do your due diligence, and plan out your safari, so you’re not met with too many challenges.
Here are some tips and tricks that will definitely help you plan and enjoy your holiday better.
Before you go:
Go through the Tanzanian government’s visa requirements at least 3 months prior to your trip to get everything in order.
You can also apply for the visa after landing in Tanzania (depending on your nationality).
Those entering Tanzania would have to get a yellow-fever inoculation, and several other booster shots. Please go through the official list, and get all your vaccinations in order before visiting.
Decide whether you want to explore Tanzania in style, or on a budget. There are great safari offerings for all budgets!
Think about when you want to visit. If you want to see the great migration, you should visit between May-October. If you want to avoid the dry weather and wish to enjoy some solace, you should visit between November-March.
Purchase sturdy walking shoes. It is possible to explore the safaris directly from your car, but this will not give you the full safari experience. It is highly recommended that you walk as much as you can between your destinations.
Choose multiple national parks to visit. This way, you can explore the natural variation within the country.
If you have internal flights within Africa, check the baggage limit, and pack accordingly. Some of the flights are rather small and have limited luggage capacity.
Whilst on safari:
Every park has multiple safari offerings, so you should plan ahead. There are jeep safaris, boat safaris, group offerings, private tours, etc. Choosing between these will help you find the right safari for yourself, and book the tickets early.
Private safaris are great for people who want a tailor-made vacation, whereas large safaris are good for those who want to explore all of Tanzania’s tourist offerings in one go.
You can even opt for a flying safari, which will be the best way to spot the wildebeest running, but it won’t offer the best view of the animals during the rest of the year.
Think about your accommodation options as well- Tanzania offers great opportunities for those who want to live in mobile camps, so do consider that option.
When on the safari, avoid dark blue or black clothes, as they can attract disease carrying flies.
Always carry an insect-repellent with you.
Have you been to Tanzania? Do you have any helpful tips to share? Leave your suggestions in the comments below.