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.

Rates (USD) $192 to $600 pp/day
Best Time to Go Jun to Oct (Migration from Jun-Jul & Jan-Feb)
High Season July to March (Northern circuit parks get crowded)
Size 947,303km² / 365,756mi²

Pros and Cons

  • Superb wildlife viewing, including the annual wildebeest migration in the Serengeti
  • Off-the-beaten-track safaris in Selous and Ruaha parks
  • Several wildlife viewing circuits for repeat visits
  • Best chimp tracking in Africa in Gombe and Mahale Mountains
  • Beach holiday extensions in Zanzibar
  • Traditional indigenous cultures
  • Too many highlights to fit in one safari

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Wildlife

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 tracking, 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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Tanzania Safari Reviews

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Most Helpful Expert Review
Crowded Favorites and Well-Kept Secrets
5/5

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
Superb "à la carte" trip
4/5

Hello, I went alone to north East Tanzania in November 2017. I met a group of amazing US tourists there, I traveled with them to Tarangire national park, Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. Amazing trip, with amazing people in an amazing...