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2-Day Tanzania Safari Tours

Tanzania is one of Africa’s top wildlife destinations. To really savor this, you should spend at least a few nights in the bush. However, as wildlife densities are high in Tanzanian parks and reserves, you’ll be able to see a big variety of wildlife in a short time span if you need to take a 2-day safari. Luckily many tour operators have realized the need for a quick safari and there are lots of great overnight trips available. Most 2-day trips require a lot of driving time getting to the park and back, but this gives you the opportunity to see the countryside. If time or budget mean you’re restricted to 2 days, you need to make the most of it, so below are some answers to popular questions to help you on your way.

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6 Questions About 2-Day Tanzania Safaris


6 Questions About 2-Day Tanzania Safaris

Answered by Ariadne van Zandbergen

Are there 2-day tours available to Tanzanian parks and reserves?

“There are many 2-day/1-night tours available in Tanzania. Most safaris start from Arusha or Dar es Salaam, but it is possible to book a quick 2-day safari from Zanzibar too. Arusha is the gateway to the country’s Northern safari circuit. To take a tour of the entire circuit you need at least 4 or 5 days, but in 2 days you can visit the famous Ngorongoro Crater in combination with Tarangire or Lake Manyara National Parks. Of course you can also opt to reduce traveling time and spend both days in just one of these destinations. Even more convenient is an overnight trip to Arusha National Park, located not too far from the city. Here you can enjoy game drives and walking safaris, but more amazing are canoe trips on the Momella Lakes. Large flocks of flamingos often drop by the lakes. From Dar es Salaam, a convenient 2-day safari is to Mikumi National Park. If you park near one of the waterholes you may see a constant stream of animals, including huge herds of buffalo, coming to drink. Otherwise, you can go to Saadani National Park, which spills onto the beaches of the Indian Ocean. It is possible to drive here (the drive takes about three hours), but boat transfers are also available. Nyerere National Park (formerly Selous Game Reserve) can also be visited on a 2-day road trip from Dar es Salaam, but because of the distance, a fly-in trip here is more suitable.”


What can I expect from a 2-day Tanzania safari?

“On a typical 2-day safari, at dawn or straight after an early breakfast you’ll be picked up at your accommodation. Usually you’ll drive for several hours to reach the park. The drive gives you the opportunity to see rural Tanzania. Once you arrive at the park entrance gate, your driver-guide will take a few minutes to sort out the paperwork and pop up the roof of your 4x4. This is where your game drive starts. Your guide will drive slowly while looking for animals. You can relax and sit down or you can stand up and look around for animals. When animals move to seek shelter from the sun, it’s time to stop for lunch at a picnic spot, which could be at a scenic viewpoint or even a waterhole where you’ll be able to watch animals coming to drink. The afternoon is spent looking for more animals before you get to your accommodation for the night. After an early breakfast, you might go on another game drive before commencing the drive back to the city. You’ll be dropped back at your hotel in time for dinner.”


Is it safe to book a 2-day tour in Tanzania?

“All Tanzanian safaris run by reputable companies can be considered very safe. There is virtually no crime in any of the country’s parks and reserves. However, like anywhere in the world, cities tend to be crime hot spots. Most tours start in Arusha or Dar es Salaam. Many travelers walk around Arusha without any problems, but we suggest avoiding busy areas, such as the market and the bus station, and following some safety precautions. Dar es Salaam has a bad reputation for crime and you need to be more careful here. Exploring the city unguided is not recommended. Rather, book a tour or get around by taxi.”

More about staying safe in Tanzania 3

Is it possible to see the Big Five in 2 days?

“Tanzania’s wildlife viewing is incredible, and on a 4- to 5-day safari around the Northern circuit your chances of seeing the Big Five are very good. This is more tricky on a 2-day trip though. Most Tanzanian parks and reserves don’t have rhino. The only place to dependably see black rhino in the wild is in the Ngorongoro Crater. The other members of the Big Five are regularly spotted here too, although you need some luck to see leopard. In the Dry season, Tarangire is known for its big elephant herds, and buffalo is commonly seen too. Sightings of big cats, however, can be erratic. There is great general wildlife viewing in Lake Manyara, and you’ll have the chance to see tree-climbing lions. Arusha National Park isn’t as much a conventional safari destination. There are lots of animals, including the beautiful black-and-white colobus monkey, but there’s little chance of seeing any of the Big Five, except perhaps buffalo. In Mikumi three of the Big Five are easily seen, but leopard sightings are very rare. In Saadani, while wildlife densities are rather low, you could see elephants, giraffes and several antelope species. A highlight in Saadani is a boat trip on the mangrove-lined Wami River.”


Is a 2-day Tanzania safari worth it?

“Whatever time you can allocate, it’s always worth getting out on a safari. Even though a proper safari should at least take you out into the bush for a few nights, sometimes a quick Tanzania safari is all you may have time to do. You might be traveling on business to the biggest city of Dar es Salaam and looking for the best way to spend a free weekend. Or perhaps you have booked a beach holiday in Zanzibar and you’d like a small safari adventure with a 2-day trip to the bush. Or maybe a 2-day safari is all the budget allows. It may surprise you how much you can see and take in on an overnight tour. And hopefully it will inspire you to do a longer safari another time.”


How much will this safari cost?

“There is a big range of prices for a 2-day safari in Tanzania. The cheapest 2-day budget camping tours start at around US$400 per person. Private tours are usually a bit more pricey than group tours where a vehicle might be shared by six to eight people. Mid-range private tours, where you stay in no-frills accommodation, start at around US$500 per person, but luxury safaris start at around US$800 per person. Fly-in Nyerere packages start at around US$750 per person for an overnight trip. Use the filters on the SafariBookings website to narrow down your search, and always get a few quotes before making a booking.”


Tanzania Reviews

4.8/5 1568 Reviews
Harriet Nimmo  –  
South Africa ZA

Harriet is a zoologist with more than 20 years’ experience. She has the privilege of working with the world’s top wildlife photographers and photo-guides.

The Serengeti and so much more.

Tanzania is “the” classic safari destination and should be top of every Africa lover’s wish list. The starting point for most visitors is the northern safari circuit, comprising the iconic Serengeti and Ngorogoro Crater, with Lake...

Full Review

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

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

Jeannette  –  
Germany DE
Reviewed: Apr 14, 2024
Wonderful, very scenic, diversified = tropical forest, savannah + beautiful beaches. People friendly

See above written. As a sole female traveler, no problem. I strongly suggest that one interact with the people; enjoy authentic interactions by taking a ride on the back of a motorbike on a beach or village road, go fishing with a local...

Full Review

Carel Nolte  –  
United Arab Emirates AE
Reviewed: Apr 14, 2024
Dream African experience

My wife and I had an excellent experience once again. It was our third visit to Tanzania. Although it was not the best time of year for game viewing, it was a great time to experience the Rufiji river in all its greatness. The bush was lush...

Full Review