Wildlife & Animals – 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.

Tanzania offers excellent wildlife viewing. There are three different safari circuits, and each one of them alone would make Tanzania a great wildlife destination. The Big Five and most other sought-after safari animals are easily seen. The black rhino is very rare throughout, with the exception of the Ngorongoro Crater.

Abundant
Common
Occasional
Rare
None
ElephantAbundant
GiraffeAbundant
HippoAbundant
BuffaloAbundant
ZebraAbundant
WildebeestAbundant
LionCommon
LeopardOccasional
CheetahOccasional
HyenaCommon

Wildebeest Migration

The wildebeest migration is one of Africa's greatest wildlife spectacles. At least two million ungulates – mainly wildebeest, but also zebra and gazelle – move around the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem. The wildebeest calving season is also a very special time to visit. The large concentrations of wildebeest and their calves attract many opportunistic predators, and this is a good time to see some action.

Wildlife Highlights

The Serengeti is famous for its abundance of big cats and the highly endangered African Wild Dog is relatively easy to find in Selous and Ruaha where their numbers are quite healthy. Gombe Stream and Mahale are Africa's best chimpanzee reserves.

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

The Dry season (late June to October) is the best time for wildlife viewing. The Wet season (November-May) is often more beautiful and tourist numbers are lower. The best chance for seeing the wildebeest migration is during June and July. The parks in the Southern and Western circuit are less accessible in the long rains (March to May) and some lodges close in that period.

Wildlife Rating

Recommended Wildlife Books

  • A Field Guide to the Larger Mammals of Tanzania
    Charles Foley
  • Field Guide to the Larger Mammals of Africa
    Chris Stuart
  • Pocket Guide to Mammals of East Africa
    Chris Stuart

Wildlife Photos

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