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Safaris From Dar es Salaam - Compare 373 Tours

Dar es Salaam is a fabulous gateway for going on a Tanzania safari. Because of its geographical location, it’s a popular starting point for parks and reserves in the country’s south. But if you’re willing to fly, you could go almost anywhere in the country. Choosing where to go will probably be the hardest decision you make on your whole safari, simply because there are so many incredible possibilities. Take your time to plan carefully, think about which animals you’d like to see, and then approach a tour operator (or a number of different operators) to ask them what your options are. As long as you’re on safari in Tanzania, it’s sure to be an amazing trip.

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1-20 of 373 Tanzania safaris starting from Dar es Salaam

5 Questions About Safaris From Dar es Salaam


5 Questions About Safaris From Dar es Salaam

Answered by Anthony Ham

Where can I go on a safari from Dar es Salaam?

“In general, the most popular safaris out of Dar es Salaam focus on the country’s south. Most often, this means Nyerere National Park (formerly Selous Game Reserve), with its unique mix of incredible wildlife and boat excursions on the stunning Rufiji River. Almost as popular is a visit to Mikumi National Park, which is often compared to the Serengeti for both its wildlife and landscapes. A little farther away but still within reach, Ruaha National Park is a massive park filled with lions and other fantastic wildlife. One final option for a short excursion from Dar is Saadani National Park, which has less wildlife than other parks but has the special attraction of being able to see the animals alongside the coast. If you are willing to fly farther afield, you could visit the parks of northern Tanzania (Serengeti, Lake Manyara and Tarangire National Parks and the Ngorongoro Crater), but most safaris to these places begin in Arusha. Longer flights could also take you out west to Gombe and Mahale Mountains National Parks, which are Tanzania’s best parks for chimpanzee trekking.”


How much time do I need for a Tanzania trip from Dar es Salaam?

“There are so many different ways to answer this question because of the many possible safaris you can do from Dar. The simplest answer is that the more time you can spend on safari, the more parks you’ll be able to visit and the more wildlife you’ll get to see. If you only have a day or 2, then Saadani National Park is the best and easiest option. With 3 days you could easily visit Nyerere, and if you fly there and back you can have the best part of 3 days in the park. Add a couple of extra days and you could also spend time in Mikumi. If you prefer to travel at a more leisurely pace, then 1 week spread across Nyerere and Mikumi is ideal. With 10 days you could also visit Ruaha. Of course, if you’re driving to and between these parks, you may need to factor in more time.”


Can I see the Big Five animals on a safari from Dar es Salaam?

“Seeing the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo) on a safari from Dar es Salaam is possible but difficult. The problem is likely to be rhino: most parks have the other four members of the Big Five, but there are very few rhinos in southern Tanzania. Nyerere National Park may be the exception, with a few black rhinos, but they’re very rarely seen. It’s usually easier to see the Big Five in the north, if you visit the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater on the same trip. Remember that the Big Five is not the only way to think about the best animals to see. The idea of the Big Five was actually invented by colonial hunters to list the five most dangerous animals to hunt. Seeing the Big Five is always a highlight, but these days many safari travelers get just as excited by seeing a cheetah, African wild dog, giraffe or zebra, all of which are easily seen in the parks of the south.”


Should I go for a road or fly-in trip from Dar es Salaam?

“There are advantages to both kinds of safari, so how you answer this question all comes down to deciding what kind of safari you’d like to enjoy. A fly-in safari is the quickest way to get to and between the parks you’ll visit on safari. This means that you’ll spend less time getting from A to B, which frees up more time for actually looking for animals on the ground. Flying into a park is also like taking a scenic flight, with so many incredible views on the way in and out. You’ll never forget the first time you see a herd of elephants from the air! The problem with flying is that it can be expensive, meaning that it can push some safaris out of reach for those seeking a cheap and affordable trip. Driving also has the advantage of letting you see more of the country and local life up close as you travel around.”


What is the cost of a Tanzania trip from Dar es Salaam?

“There are many different answers to this question. A 3-day budget camping safari in which you travel by road could start at around US$150 per person per day; it could cost less per day the longer you travel. If, on the other hand, you go on a fly-in luxury safari, the price could start at US$350 to US$400 per person per day and could go much higher. Apart from accommodation, the main variables when it comes to cost include whether you travel in high or low season, whether you’re on a private, group or self-drive safari, and how long you’re traveling for. There will be lots of different tour operators to choose from, and all of them will offer different packages. Whichever one you go for, always make sure that you understand what is (and what isn’t) included. Quoted prices should include all accommodation, meals, some drinks, park entry fees, transfers, guide, driver, game drives and vehicle.”


Tanzania Safari Reviews

4.8/5 1600 Reviews
Mary Fitzpatrick  –  
United States US

Mary is an acclaimed travel writer and author of many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including South Africa, Tanzania, East Africa and Africa.

Tanzania – Classic African Safari Destination

Few areas of the continent offer the amount, variety and accessibility of wildlife that Tanzania does, against such a scenic backdrop. Wildlife is abundant, species diversity excellent, and evocative acacia- and baobab-studded landscapes...

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Christopher Clark  –  
United Kingdom UK

Christopher is a British travel writer and has contributed to various Fodor's guidebooks and a range of travel magazines.

The capital of safari in word and deed

If I think about everything that I imagined safari to be before I moved to South Africa and began travelling Africa, it turns out that what I imagined was Tanzania. For me, the striking variety of landscapes and the staggering density of...

Full Review

Desley  –  
Australia AU
Reviewed: Jun 22, 2024
Wow! is a word that I would use a lot to describe Tanzania

We had a great tour through Lappet Faced Safaris in June 2024, we went to Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Olduvai Gorge, Lake Manyara NP, Tarangire NP and Kilimanjaro. Although the Great Migration was late this year we still saw herds of thousands...

Full Review

Mario  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Jun 21, 2024

A bucket list item and an unforgettable trip in everyway. From sleeping under the starlight (which the night sky is so much more beautiful since you are away from cities/towns and their night pollution), to camping next to animals without...

Full Review

Alexander Falkovsky, MD, DO  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Jun 19, 2024
Incomparable experience of beauty and wildlife

“Meru slopes “ provided great experienced guide and incredible driver Nuru! Unexpected luxury in the tent located in the middle of Serengeti ! Food, people’s attitude and friendliness beyond our expectations! Overall amazing...

Full Review

Chris  –  
United Kingdom UK
Reviewed: Jun 13, 2024
Trip of. Lifetime

We went first week of June and weather was perfect, cool mornings and evenings and about 25degrees centigrade in the middle of the day. Scenery and wildlife were incredible and the parks are relatively quiet so no mobs of vehicles. Saw the...

Full Review