Overview – Tanzania
Tanzania has three safari circuits, and each one of them, in its own right, would make Tanzania a top wildlife destination. The popular Northern circuit with the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater offers one of the best classical safaris in Africa, especially if timed with the annual wildebeest migration.
Pros & Cons
You’ll have few problems spotting the more-prominent African animals in Tanzania, including the lion, elephant, giraffe and buffalo. For big cats like the leopard and cheetah, you’ll want to head to the Serengeti, while Ngorongoro Crater is where you want to be for a chance of seeing a black rhino. Other wildlife highlights include chimpanzee trekking, checking out African wild dogs, and being awestruck by the several million wildebeest, gazelle and zebra on their annual migration.
Weather & Climate
In equatorial Tanzania, the humidity lessens noticeably the further away from the coast you get. Heat is a mainstay of the country everywhere except for the central region, where things cool quickly once the sun goes down. The Dry season (June to October) sees the temperature vary between 20°C/68°F and 30°C/86°F. It’s useful to remember, the higher the altitude, the cooler it will be. The Wet season (November to May) kicks off with showers (the ‘short rains’), followed by a drier interlude and then heavy downfalls (the ‘long rains’) from March.
Best Time to Visit
To see the incredible spectacle of the great migration, you need to visit during the Dry season (June to October). Wildlife watching across the country is also at a premium at this time. There’s far less rainfall and therefore bush to impede your view, and not so many mosquitoes to bug you. That said, the northern-circuit parks still have productive game drives in the Wet season (November to May). And January and February is the time when wildebeest calving in the Serengeti attracts lots of predators.
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Tim is a travel writer who has covered 10 African countries for Lonely Planet's Africa, East Africa and West Africa guidebooks.
Crowded Favorites and Well-Kept Secrets
Tanzania is home to Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater; and this fact alone makes a solid case for declaring it Africa’s best safari country. But, of course, there’s much more that just these two places. Most visitors stick...
Latest User Review
5 Days Tanzania Safari BIg Five Northern Circuit Tour (private tour 3 people) October 2019
It was a beautiful tour, everything was fine. We were picked up at the airport in Arusha, and then we started. Our guide Isaack showed us a lot of animals. We especially liked the stay in the Serengeti. There we have seen all the animals,...