If you are planning for a safari, the first thing is to get the best Tanzania safari itinerary. Imagine watching a herd of wildebeest stampede across the open plains. Imagine coming face to face with a lion, an elephant, or a mighty Maasai warrior.
Now imagine the brightest sunset you’ve ever seen silhouetting the trunk of a mighty baobab tree.
These are just a few of the many reasons why over 33 million people travel to Africa every year.
With its diverse landscape, cultures, and wildlife, it’s no wonder so many visitors are drawn to this beautiful continent. There are many things you can experience that aren’t possible–or simply don’t exist–in the rest of the world.
If you’re dreaming of an African safari, you have many countries to choose from. But you can search high and low, and you’ll never find anything like a Tanzania safari. The best Tanzania safari itinerary can make your dream safari come true.
What makes Tanzania safari tours so epic? What sets Tanzania apart from other safari destinations?
In this post, we’ll outline why you should choose Tanzania for your ultimate safari destination. We’ll also tell you where and how to book the best safari in Tanzania.
Read on to learn more!
Why Choose Tanzania?
For starters, what makes Tanzania worthy of being on your travel bucket list?
If you’re an animal lover hoping for lots of wildlife encounters, Tanzania is your best bet. With over 4 million animals inside its borders, Tanzania has the highest concentration of animals (per square mile) of any country on earth.
Looking for epic landscapes? Tanzania has that too. It’s home to both the world’s largest free-standing mountain–Kilimanjaro–and the world’s largest volcanic crater, Ngorongoro.
If you want unspoiled natural beauty, a Tanzania safari delivers. A full 30% of the country is made up of national parks, including 13 nature reserves and another 38 protected areas.
And when you’re finished with your safari, there’s no better place to unwind than the stunning island of Zanzibar. Located right off the coast, north of Dar es Salaam, it’s an island paradise of white sand beaches and crystal clear tropical waters.
Do we have your attention now? Good. Now that you’ve got an overview of all that Tanzania has to offer, let’s outline where to go on the best Tanzania safari tours.
The Serengeti is what most people think of when they envision an African safari.
Its name comes from the Maasai language and means “endless plains,” which is the perfect description of this incredible land. The Serengeti spans over 12,000 square miles (30,000 square kilometers) in northern Tanzania and southern Kenya.
It’s home to the largest animal migration in the world, which begins in December each year. During this time, over 1 million wildebeest and hundreds of thousands of other plains animals migrate through the area in search of greener grasslands.
While the great migration is a sight to behold, it’s far from the only wildlife viewing opportunity. The Serengeti is also home to zebras, lions, elephants, giraffes, cheetahs, and hyenas, to name just a few.
The Serengeti is also a great place to get a taste of true African culture. The park is home to both the Maasai and Swahili tribes–the only people, in fact, who are allowed to live within its borders!
Amazingly, the first European to visit the Serengeti, Oscar Baumann, didn’t do so until 1892. Because it was unknown to the outside world for so many years, it still retains its wild, “untouched” feel.
Tarangire National Park
Tarangire National Park is not as famous as the Serengeti–and that’s one of the things that makes it so great. Here you’ll find incredible wildlife viewing opportunities and none of the crowds!
Why is this park included on the best Tanzania safari tours? For starters, its river is the only water source for migrating wildlife during the dry season. This alone ensures ample opportunity to get up close and personal with many different species.
The park is home to more breeding species of birds than anywhere else on earth. It’s also believed to have the largest elephant population in the world.
If those facts aren’t impressive enough, Tarangire is also your chance to see the famous tree-climbing lions. It’s a very rare phenomenon that can only be seen in a few parts of Tanzania.
Tarangire is home to more than just fauna. It also boasts an impressive variety of flora, including one of the world’s largest concentrations of baobab trees.
Arusha National Park
Preferred in most Tanzania safari itinerary with a limited time, and as a get started for the other biggest parks trips.
If you’re interested in seeing giraffes, look no further than Arusha National Park.
This park is smaller than the others on our list, but don’t let that fool you. It packs a powerful punch in terms of wildlife sightings and incredible topography. It’s also the easiest national park in Tanzania to get to, convenient to both Arusha and Moshi.
Arusha is home to the largest population of giraffes anywhere in the world. The park also abounds with zebra, hippos, buffalo, and elephants. Because of its compact size, it’s the ideal park to enjoy a walking or canoeing safari.
The still-active Mount Meru is Africa’s fifth-highest mountain at 14,990 feet (4,566 meters). It’s an ideal mountain for trekking, offering superb views of the plains and nearby Mount Kilimanjaro.
If you’re hoping to combine a traditional safari experience with hiking or camping, Arusha National Park is the spot for you.
Ernest Hemingway once described Lake Manyara as, “The loveliest I’ve seen in all of Africa.”
The lake itself is impressive, sometimes swelling to 77 square miles (200 square kilometers) during the wet season. Because of the intense evaporation during the region’s dry season, Lake Manyara is slightly salty.
It’s still safe for animals to drink, though, and beckons the park’s large wildlife population as a watering hole.
To be sure, this national park has plenty to offer for any safari in Tanzania. It’s another chance to see the tree-climbing lions (if you missed them in Tarangire) as well as over 400 species of birds.
The park hosts the highest concentration of elephants in the world, which almost guarantees sightings of the gentle giants. You’ll also get the chance to see baboons, mongooses, aardvarks, flamingos, and some other less-common animals.
Adrenaline junkies can get their fix here, too. Biking, rappelling, and horseback riding are common activities for visitors on safari to enjoy.
Was a crater the first thing that came to your mind when you envisioned a Tanzania safari itinerary?
Probably not, but here’s why it should be.
For starters, Ngorongoro Crater is the biggest inactive, unbroken, and unfilled volcanic caldera on earth. It was formed about 2.5 million years ago when a large volcano erupted and then collapsed on itself.
The crater itself is about 2000 feet (610 meters) deep and 100 square miles (260 square kilometers) in size. Some of the world’s oldest fossils and prehistoric sites have been discovered in this area.
Because of its unique topography, it’s also home to some unique wildlife. Here you’ll find leopards, cheetahs, and warthogs, as well as the endangered black rhino and black-maned lions.
Interestingly, you won’t see any giraffes living in the crater. Experts believe the sides of the crater are too steep for them to descend!
Giraffes or no giraffes, this crater is often referred to as “the Garden of Eden” for its incredible natural beauty.
Of course, seeking out wildlife is one of the main draws of any Tanzania safari itinerary.
But what if you have a few days at the end of your holiday? What else does Tanzania have to offer?
Plenty! Here are just a few ideas for places and activities to add to your safari in Tanzania.
After days or weeks of exploring national parks, what better way to unwind than on an idyllic tropical island?
Surrounded by coral reefs and stunningly blue waters, you have to see Zanzibar believe it. Spend a few days lounging on a white sand beach, snorkeling in the crystal clear waters, and eating your fill of delicious coconut crab.
If you’re more of an adrenaline junkie than a beach bum, head north to the famed peak of Mount Kilimanjaro.
The world’s tallest free-standing mountain beckons thousands of trekkers every year to ascend its mighty peak. At 19,341 feet (5,895 meters), this 5-9 day trek is not for the faint of heart.
If you’re up for the challenge, though, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience you’ll treasure forever.
If you want to get away from it all and enjoy some peaceful fishing or birdwatching, add Lake Victoria to your Tanzania safari itinerary.
The largest lake in all of Africa, it’s the perfect spot to cast a line for giant tilapia or Nile perch. In the center of the lake, Robundo Island offers great wildlife viewing opportunities and a chance to escape the crowds.
Book Your Tanzania Safari Itinerary Today
Well, what are you waiting for?
Now that you know how to plan the ultimate Tanzania safari itinerary, the only thing left to do is experience it for yourself!
We at Earthlife Expeditions are here to help. Click here to view our sample safari itineraries and see which one will become your dream holiday.
You can also contact us directly with any questions or concerns. We look forward to hearing from you!