Tanzania

- Popular Routes Tanzania Safaris

Popular routes where wildlife viewing is a major part of the tour



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Northern Circuit (1.5 to 2 weeks) - Serengeti NP, Ngorongoro CA, Lake Manyara NP, Tarangire NP, Arusha NP

The northern circuit is the most popular safari circuit of Tanzania. In most cases, you will fly to Kilimanjaro Int. Airport or Arusha airport and travel onwards to Arusha, the town from where the northern circuit is explored. Upon an early arrival, you could start with a visit to Arusha National Park the same day. If the safari includes a flight back to Arusha from the Serengeti, Tarangire and/or Lake Manyara will most likely be the first you'll visit (depending on the season, since Tarangire is only seasonally good). Next is Ngorongoro crater, one of the largest intact volcanic calderas in the world and full of wildlife. Last but not least, Serengeti National Park, one of the best parks of Africa. If you drive back instead of flying, you will most likely skip either the Ngorongoro crater or Tarangire/Lake Manyara on the way to the Serengeti, and visit them on the way back.

Popular add-ons:
  • Zanzibar Island for some relaxing on gorgeous beaches or scuba-diving. Less popular, but good, alternatives are Mafia Island, Pemba Island or Pangani.
  • Gombe NP or Mahale Mountains NP to go chimpanzee tracking. You will most likely get there by charter flight from Arusha Airport.
  • Mt. Kilimanjaro NP to climb the mountain. Some do it as a 5-day hike, but it is recommended to take at least 7or 8 days, since it is a tough hike with great altitude challenges.

Southern Circuit (1 to 2 weeks) - Selous GR, Ruaha NP, Mikumi NP

In wildlife densities and ease of viewing, the southern safari circuit isn't quite on a par with the northern circuit. However, its 'off-the-beaten-track' character makes for a more holistic wilderness experience. Tourist densities are lower and camps tend to be more exclusive, catering to a more upmarket clientele. The southern circuit is often the choice for a second safari on which ticking off the big five is less of a concern. The circuit is also popular as an add-on to a beach holiday in Zanzibar or around Dar-es-Salaam. In most cases, you will fly into Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar-es-Salaam and fly on by chartered plane to Ruaha or Selous. The immense Selous Game Reserve is most popular because of its proximity to Dar-es-Salaam. You can easily drive here from the city and take in the less impressive Mikumi National Park on the way. Selous lies on the Rufiji River and, aside from the usual game drives, boattrips and walking safari are offered. The very remote and wild Ruaha National Park is one of Africa's best kept secrets with excellent game viewing, including many animals that aren't easily seen in the north, like wild dog and several unusual antelope species.

Popular add-ons:
  • Zanzibar Island for some relaxing on gorgeous beaches or scuba-diving. Less popular, but good, alternatives are Mafia Island, Pemba Island or Pangani.

Western Circuit (1 week) - Katavi NP, Gombe NP, Mahale Mountains NP

Most people visit the western circuit to track chimpanzees in Gombe or Mahale Mountains National Park. These two chimp reserves on the shore of Lake Tanganyika offer the best chimp tracking in Africa. Getting here is expensive and time-consuming and is mostly done by chartered plane from Arusha. Instead of visiting one of the chimp reserves as an add-on to a safari in the north, you can combine it with a safari in Katavi, which is the savannah reserve in the western circuit and probably Tanzania's least visited park. Not for lack of wildlife, though. This park offers excellent game viewing in the Dry season with superb wilderness appeal, which will make you'll feel like you own the place.

Popular add-ons:
  • Zanzibar Island for some relaxing on gorgeous beaches or scuba-diving. Less popular, but good, alternatives are Mafia Island, Pemba Island or Pangani.

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