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3-Day Tanzania Safari Tours

A Tanzanian safari is an experience of a lifetime, but a 3-day safari is short. You’ll only be away for two nights. But even within these time constraints, you’ll be making precious memories, especially if you plan your limited time carefully. Whether you’re a seasoned African traveler or you’re looking into booking a safari for the first time, Tanzania has something for everybody. Even more so than on a longer safari, you’ll have to make choices. Decide what you really want from the safari and make decisions based on that. To save time, a fly-in safari might be a good choice, but driving to your destination, though slower, is not necessarily a waste of time. It is a great way to see the Tanzanian way of life in the villages and towns.

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5 Questions About 3-Day Tanzania Safaris


5 Questions About 3-Day Tanzania Safaris

Answered by Ariadne van Zandbergen

Is a 3-day safari in Tanzania too short?

“A 3-day safari is very short, but whether it is too short depends on your expectations. If you have the option, I would definitely recommend adding a few extra days. More time gives you a chance to settle in and really immerse yourself in the bush experience. However, if time or budget constraints push towards a short trip, I would say a shorter safari is better than no safari at all. Three days will give you an opportunity to get out there and get a feel for what it is all about. And hopefully you’ll be able to return someday with more time on your hands. It is never a good idea to try and fit too much into a safari, and this is especially true on a 3-day safari. Remember to take into account that quite a bit of your time will be taken up by getting to and from your start and end points. So long as you are realistic on what you can achieve on a safari of that duration, it is surely worth going.”


What can I fit in during a 3-day safari in Tanzania?

“There are many 3-day safaris on offer in Tanzania, so you do have choices on what you can fit into your safari. As you will be away for only two nights, I would recommend sleeping both nights in the same location. The most-popular option for a holiday involving a 3-day Tanzanian safari is the Northern circuit. This comprises 4 parks: Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara National Park and Tarangire National Park. To visit all four parks in three days is technically possible, but certainly not recommended. A more realistic option would be to visit the world-famous Serengeti NP and drop into the Ngorongoro Crater en route. Alternatively, Lake Manyara and Tarangire NPs are both close to Arusha National Park, and either could be combined with a visit to the Ngorongoro Crater on a 3-day safari. There are some 3-day safari options in the south of the country as well. Either Selous Game Reserve or Ruaha National Park can be visited on its own as a stand-alone fly-in safari from Dar es Salaam or Zanzibar. Mikumi National Park can be visited on a short road safari. The drive from Dar es Salaam takes about 5 hours each way. ”


What kind of accommodation can I expect?

“Tanzania has an established tourism industry, and it offers a large range of accommodation options. There are lots of budget camping tours available. This is not only the most budget-friendly way to travel, but it is the best way to really immerse yourself in the environment. A step up from this in terms of comfort would be a budget lodge tour. These budget accommodation options often lie outside the parks, but safari operators routinely use them as a base for game drives. All the popular parks have some mid-range options as well. These are usually larger, no-frills hotels in and outside the parks and reserves. Going up the scale even more are luxury accommodation options. On a short safari, these high-end lodgings are commonly used on fly-in safari packages. Great food and service are the norm, but the style differs greatly. Many are small designer ecolodges, often made to blend into the environment. If you want to do a Tanzanian safari in style, this might be the right choice for you.”


Which animals can I expect to see?

“Tanzania has an incredible wealth of wildlife, and which animals you may see will largely be determined by which parks you visit. All popular parks have a good variety of safari animals. However, the parks and reserves all have distinct differences in terrain, and this is reflected in the wildlife that is commonly encountered in each of them. If you don’t mind a lot of driving, it is possible to visit the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater on a 3-day road safari. This combination gives you a reasonable chance of seeing all the Big Five in a short time. Ngorongoro is the only reliable park in Tanzania to see black rhino. The Serengeti and the crater are both good for predators, and lion are particularly easy to find in both. Spotting a leopard on a 3-day safari is a bit trickier, but you never know your luck. To reduce driving time, you could fly in and out of the Serengeti and skip on the Ngorongoro Crater and its rhino, or drive one way via the crater and fly the other. A 3-day trip to Ruaha or Selous in the south can be very productive. Predator sightings are more hit and miss, but you’ve a very good chance of seeing lion. The southern parks are known for wild dog, and Ruaha has a large variety of unusual antelope species, including the impressive greater kudu. ”


How much does a 3-day safari cost in Tanzania?

“It is difficult to put an actual price on a 3-day safari, as so many variables must be factored in. Expect a starting price of US$600 per person for a budget camping tour, going up to about US$850 per person for a mid-range lodge tour. Luxury tours are more expensive. You’re more likely to get a good deal when traveling in the low season. Once you have decided on your priorities, get a few quotes. Tanzania’s parks and reserves are some of Africa’s best, and being able to visit them is an incredible experience. Unsurprisingly, however, you will pay a premium for the privilege. Accommodation options range from budget to mid-range to luxury. Camping is a great way to reduce costs, assuming you don’t mind the basic facilities, and it will bring you closer to nature. The price of a safari also depends on whether you book a private or a group tour. There are many 3-day road safaris on offer, but with such limited time, you might want to consider a fly-in safari. This is usually more expensive than a road safari. ”


Tanzania Safari Reviews

4.8/5 1040 Reviews
Stephen Cunliffe  –  
South Africa ZA

Stephen is a travel writer and avid conservationist whose work appears in prestigious magazines such as Africa Geographic and Travel Africa.

Much More than a Migration Destination

For me, Tanzania is a country of two halves. Both hemispheres have been richly endowed with natural beauty and plentiful wildlife, but there are some big differences when it comes to the type of safari experience you’re looking for. The...

Full Review

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

With its abundant wildlife, excellent species diversity and evocative acacia- and baobab-studded landscapes, Tanzania is one of Africa's most rewarding safari destinations. Most of the country's main parks are easily accessible via paved...

Full Review

Emanuel  –  
Israel IL
Reviewed: Feb 7, 2021
I would highly recommend Friendship Adventure to anyone looking to have an unforgettable trip!

I have just finished amazing 10 days of safari in Tanzanya.This was my first safari experience in Africa! Everything was wonderful, much better than what I expected! The tour was very well organized by Friendship African Adventures Safaris...

Full Review

ShaNae McCleskey  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Dec 19, 2020
The most eye-opening and life-changing experience I’ve ever had.

I’m writing this review many years late. But my appreciation for Tanzania, the people I met there, and the wildlife is still a driving force in my life. I went in 2012 and my tour guide on this safari was Loth Kornelio and his team. They...

Full Review

DMBT195  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Dec 17, 2020
An Awesome Experience Worth Repeating

Did a 3D/2N "Camping Safari" that was arranged through Swahili Paradise Tours & Safaris. From start to finish it was an easy process and pleasant experience dealing with everyone from Jimmy to Mashaka, Juma (Driver) and Paul (Chef who made...

Full Review

Luna  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Sep 1, 2020
A respite from quarantine

After a few months of restrictions of our normal activities, we decided to return to our favorite destination, Tanzania. We have traveled with African Big Cats in the past and would not consider traveling with any other tour company....

Full Review