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Tanzania Safari From Zanzibar - Compare 475 Tours

Zanzibar may be part of Tanzania but it really is a world apart. Adding a mainland Tanzanian safari to your Zanzibar holiday allows you to enjoy the best of both of these worlds. Zanzibar is a special place where history seems written on every stone. It’s also a long-standing favorite Indian Ocean beach destination for many travelers, with fabulous stretches of sand and stunning resorts. Over on the mainland, Tanzania is one of Africa’s premier safari destinations with world-class parks filled with wildlife. Whether you visit Nyerere National Park (formerly Selous Game Reserve) in the south or Serengeti National Park in the north, it’s all within a short flight from Zanzibar.

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6 Questions About Safaris From Zanzibar


6 Questions About Safaris From Zanzibar

Answered by Anthony Ham

What parks are best for a safari from Zanzibar?

“Most parks on the Tanzanian mainland are a short flight from Zanzibar, although in some cases you may need to change planes in Arusha or Dar es Salaam. If I could visit just one area of Tanzania on my safari from Zanzibar, it would be the country’s north. This is where you find Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater, which are undoubtedly my top picks. Both of these destinations are really close to Lake Manyara and Tarangire National Parks, which are fantastic wildlife destinations if you can spare the time. To do all four of these destinations, you would need a minimum of 10 days. Another option would be to head south, where you’ll find the wildlife-rich Nyerere National Park, which is especially good for varied landscapes, as well as elephants and lions. Visiting Nyerere would add at least 3 days to your overall trip. With more time, you could include Mikumi National Park and possibly even Ruaha National Park for a wilderness experience.”


How many days is recommended for a trip from Zanzibar?

“How long you devote to your safari from Zanzibar will depend on where you want to go. If you only have 3 to 4 days, you should probably focus on just one park. This might be Nyerere or the Serengeti. With each extra couple of days, you could add an extra park or two – Ngorongoro and perhaps even Lake Manyara in the north, or Mikumi in the south. If you can allow 10 days out of Zanzibar, then you could possibly complete the Northern safari circuit, or visit three or four parks across Tanzania’s south. It's worth talking with your operator about what combined Tanzania safari and Zanzibar packages are on offer. Many people who visit Zanzibar also visit the Tanzanian mainland, so you should have plenty of choice. And one final thing to remember: if you’re looking for a cheap or more affordable safari, you will need to try and minimize the number of flights while you’re on the mainland.”


Is a Serengeti safari possible from Zanzibar?

“It is possible to combine a trip to the Serengeti with time on Zanzibar, and there are lots of tours where this is an option. It usually involves a flight from Zanzibar to Arusha, in northern Tanzania, with a further flight from Arusha to one of the airstrips in the Serengeti. It is also possible to drive from Arusha to the Serengeti and enjoy some of the other attractions along the way (such as Lake Manyara and the Ngorongoro Crater), but this will add quite a bit of extra time. The Serengeti is certainly worth it and it’s one of my favorite parks anywhere in Africa. The wildlife here is incredible. This is especially the case during the great wildebeest migration, which you can see at different stages from January to August or September. But any time of year is good for wildlife viewing in the Serengeti, where you’ll see the big cats, elephant and so many other species.”


Should I go on a fly-in trip from Zanzibar?

“There will almost certainly be a flying component to your safari from Zanzibar. Although there are boat connections between Zanzibar Island and the mainland, they’re much slower than flying and not very convenient for those heading over to Tanzania for a safari. In addition to your flight from Zanzibar to the mainland (which usually means flying into Arusha or Dar es Salaam), you may also fly from these airports into the national park of your choice. This is, of course, much more expensive than driving. But it will save precious holiday time for actually being on safari, rather than driving to get there. It will also provide you with some incredible views. Taking an air transfer is like going on a scenic flight, and there’s something special about getting off a plane deep in a national park with wildlife all around you.”


How much does a Tanzania trip from Zanzibar cost?

“There are so many variables when it comes to calculating the cost of a Zanzibar to Tanzania mainland safari. But as a general guideline, you can expect your safari from Zanzibar to cost at least US$300 per person per day, with prices for more expensive packages triple that or more. There are many reasons for such differences. One is your accommodation: it obviously costs a lot more to stay in luxury tented camps than it does to go on a budget camping safari. The number of flights you take can also have a big influence. Other factors include the number of days you spend on safari, the season in which you’re traveling (high-season prices can be double what you’ll pay in low season) and the type of safari you choose (a private safari costs more than a group safari, for example).”


Can you do a classic safari on Zanzibar Island?

“A classic safari is not really possible on Zanzibar Island. You might find some wildlife parks on the island, but they are more like zoos, and visiting them is nothing like going on a real safari in one of Tanzania’s parks. If you’d like to get a real safari experience while you’re on Zanzibar, ask your tour operator what might be possible. They will have suggestions about where to go and what you can see by flying to the mainland. Before having such a conversation, you should do some of your own research and have a very clear idea of which animals you’d really like to see. If it’s big cats and elephants, then places such as the Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Tarangire and Nyerere are all excellent. If, on the other hand, you’d like to follow in the footsteps of Jane Goodall and spend time tracking chimpanzees through the forest, then Gombe and Mahale Mountains National Parks (in the far west of the country) should be high on your list.”


Tanzania Safari Reviews

4.8/5 1570 Reviews
Sue Watt  –  
United Kingdom UK

Sue is an award-winning writer who specializes in African travel and conservation. She writes for national newspapers, magazines, Rough Guides and Lonely Planet.

The perfect safari destination

With almost a quarter of this vast country dedicated to wildlife reserves and national parks, Tanzania is justifiably regarded as Africa’s premier safari destination. It’s one of my favourite countries, not just for the bush, beaches...

Full Review

Brian Jackman  –  
United Kingdom UK

Brian is an award winning travel writer, author of safari books and regular contributor to magazines such as BBC Wildlife and Travel Africa.

Wilderness unlimited

Tanzania may be one of the world’s poorest countries but its national parks and game reserves are the crown jewels of Africa. First among equals is the Serengeti, probably the most famous wildlife refuge on the planet, a wilderness the...

Full Review

Beatrice *******  –  
Italy IT
Reviewed: Apr 16, 2024

Our safari was great. At the airport, after resolving a few small problems, we were picked up by the driver and taken to Arusha to a good hotel to spend the night and agree on the Safari that would start the next day. We had booked the...

Full Review

Marion Martellacci  –  
Canada CA
Reviewed: Apr 16, 2024
Beautiful Country

My daughter and I did a 3 day fly in fly out from Zanzibar. You get the island experience in Zanzibar with beautiful beaches and Stonetown. When you hit the Serengeti it is such a special place, the Crater is another totally different...

Full Review

Arash  –  
Germany DE
Reviewed: Apr 15, 2024
Absolute beauty and sheer diversity!

We had six days in Serengeti and Ngorongoro protected areas and we absolutely loved it! Ndutu region was marvellous with lots of game sightings and more intimate experiences with nature. Here, sighting a caracal, a family of five bat-eared...

Full Review

Adriana Saldarriaga  –  
Colombia CO
Reviewed: Apr 14, 2024
A dream come true!

This was my first time in Tanzania so I didn’t know what to expect, but I was amazed by the beauty of the Serengeti and by the amount of wildlife I got to see ! They were right there, next to the car, so close I could almost touch them! I...

Full Review