Popular Routes – Tanzania

Philip Briggs
Expert
By Philip Briggs

Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Bradt guidebooks to African destinations, including the guide to Tanzania.

Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Bradt guidebook to Tanzania.

Philip is the author of the Bradt guidebook to Tanzania.

Popular Routes in Tanzania

Northern Circuit (1 to 2 weeks)

The northern circuit is the most popular circuit in Tanzania. In most cases, you will fly to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) or Arusha Airport (ARK) near Arusha, the gateway of the northern circuit.

Destinations:

  • Arusha National Park (0.5 to 2 days) has beautiful scenery with Mount Meru as a backdrop and views of Mt Kilimanjaro on clear days
  • Lake Manyara National Park or Tarangire National Park (1 to 2 days each) offer excellent wildlife viewing with a chance of seeing lion
  • Ngorongoro Conservation Area (1 to 2 days) where it’s not unusual to see the Big Five in one day
  • Serengeti National Park (3 to 5 days) for top-class wildlife viewing throughout the year and the spectacular wildebeest migration is the cherry on top


Popular add-ons:

  • Zanzibar Island for some relaxing on gorgeous beaches
  • Gombe National Park or Mahale Mountains National Park for chimpanzee trekking
  • Kilimanjaro National Park to climb the mountain

Southern Circuit (1 to 2 weeks)

The ‘off-the-beaten-track’ character of the southern circuit makes for a holistic wilderness experience. It’s an excellent choice for a second safari on which marking off the Big Five is less of a concern. In most cases, you will fly into Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) in Dar es Salaam and fly on by small airplane to Ruaha or Selous.

Destinations:

  • Mikumi National Park (1 to 2 days) is very accessible via a sealed road from Dar es Salaam and is an easy weekend getaway or can be visited en route to Selous Game Reserve
  • Selous Game Reserve (3 to 5 days) lies on the Rufiji River and aside from the usual game drives, boat trips and walking safaris are offered
  • Ruaha National Park (3 to 5 days) is great to see many animals that aren’t easily seen in the north, such as wild dog and several unusual antelope species


Popular add-ons:

  • Zanzibar Island for some relaxing on gorgeous beaches

Western Circuit (1 week)

Destinations:

  • Mahale Mountains National Park or Gombe National Park (2 to 5 days) for the best chimpanzee trekking in Africa.
  • Katavi National Park (2 to 5 days) for excellent wildlife viewing in the Dry season with superb wilderness appeal.


Popular add-ons:

  • Zanzibar Island for some relaxing on gorgeous beaches and/or scuba diving

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