Travel to Tanzania is majestic. An elephant herd trumpets their arrival at a floodlit waterhole. Hyenas prowl the plains. Lion prides watch the great wildebeest migration rumble by. Nowhere in Africa are the safari wildernesses so large. Nowhere in the world are the wild mammals so many. And no visitor to Tanzania forgets how close they once were.
Tanzania is a legendary East African safari country, where visitors enjoy beautiful natural encounters with the greatest mammals to walk our Earth.
Home to many of Africa's most famous wonders, Tanzania is a country of African travel reverie. The list of destinations borders on the surreal. For safari alone there's the great wildebeest migration in the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Ruaha, Tarangire, and Africa's largest game reserve, Selous. Well-established routes offer an iconic safari experience, with Mount Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar providing two more dreamy Tanzanian experiences. While tourism is a mainstay of the economy here, the facilities and services struggle to match other popular African countries, unless you're on exclusive high-end safaris. Still, this is a small negative in comparison to Tanzania's vast and dramatic appeal.
Until 2014, Tanzania was always far behind Kenya in terms of tourist numbers. Widely held misconceptions said that the Serengeti and the great wildebeest migration was in Kenya, Zanzibar was a separate country, and Mount Kilimanjaro was found somewhere in the middle of Africa. While Kenya's tourism industry flourished, Tanzania trundled along, struggling to shake stereotypes and failing to adequately invest in the tourism. This has changed drastically in the last decade. There's been a huge upturn in both tourist numbers and tourist facilities, roads towards national parks are becoming paved, a healthy collection of new lodges and camps are prospering, and visitors are starting to explore more than just a classic route of its world-renowned wonders.
Tanzania accommodation will place you centerstage in the wilderness, even if it is under the water. From camping with the herds to contemporary lodges on the beach, you will always have animals roaming past your window. And whether it’s the best location for a wildebeest migration safari, climbing Kili or a honeymoon getaway, a local specialist can advise you on travel to Tanzania.
The Northern Circuit is an iconic safari route connecting four contiguous parks along with the great wildebeest migration. Southern Tanzania is packed with undiscovered safari gems and a great place for an off the beaten track safari.
Tanzanian safari excels in abundance and scale. There are more wild mammals here than anywhere in the world and they're easy to find on the open grass plains. Wildebeest herds sometimes number hundreds of thousands while various antelopes gather in gargantuan groups. Nutrient rich grass and a consistent rainy season help maintain the staggering numbers. The highlight of most parks is the interaction between predators and prey. Encountering raw hunting scenes is a real possibility and it's rare to go a day without seeing lion prides. Cheetah, leopard, wild dog, hyena, vultures, eagles; a menagerie of hunters form the core of most Tanzanian safaris. Elephant, hippo, and giraffe are also widespread but Tanzania has just a tiny and difficult to spot rhino population.
Most Tanzanian safaris are restricted to daytime game drives. Strict park rules mean other safari activities are rarely available, other than short bush walks from a camp. Unfenced private concessions do offer alternative game viewing and these are firmly tailored towards the luxury market. Remote accommodation is part of the experience and it's often surrounded by wildlife; it's rare that a night goes by without something passing your tent or lodge, whether that's buffalo, elephant, hyena, or a grazing antelope herd. Such encounters reinforce the general impression of safari here, notably that wildlife is absolutely everywhere and you're truly exploring an animal realm.
Travel to Tanzania can be combined with the enchantment of Zanzibar island. The iconic island has its own atmosphere and style, a counterpoint to all the safari on the mainland. Think spices, white beaches, fabled heritage, exotic culture, and absolute escapism before or after your safari.
So many iconic wonders, so much choice. Tanzania can be explored in four days or four weeks dependent on how much you want to see. The Northern Circuit is the country's most popular land-based safari, taking in the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire, and Lake Manyara. You'll need at least six days to do it all properly as the Serengeti is hard to reach by land. An alternative route explores the country's lesser visited southern parks: like Mikumi, Ruaha, Selous. High-end safaris use micro flights to connect the premier destinations from all over the country.
In addition, climbing Kilimanjaro is an iconic African experience and requires six to seven days plus some preparation and recovery days either side. Then there's Zanzibar and it's hard to put a timeframe on tranquil white sand beaches. Mixing these different destinations is part of the country's appeal and most don't combine Tanzania with anywhere else The exception is a combined Tanzania and Kenya safari.