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Tanzania Day Trips

Tanzania offers some of the best safaris available in Africa. To really appreciate what this country has to offer, you need at least a few days out in the bush. When on safari, every day is different and you never know what nature has in store for you. However, if 1 day is all you have, a 1-day Tanzanian safari might be exactly what you are looking for. Luckily, many tour operators have tapped into this need and there are lots of great day trips on offer. Most day trips involve a fair bit of driving time getting to the park and back, but this gives you a chance to see some of the countryside and people going about their daily lives. Be prepared for a fun action-packed day while making memories to cherish for years to come.

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1-20 of 346 one day tours and day trips to Tanzania

6 Questions About Tanzania Day Trips


6 Questions About Tanzania Day Trips

Answered by Ariadne van Zandbergen

Are there day trips available to Tanzanian parks and reserves?

“Some Tanzanian parks and reserves are easily accessible for day trips from Arusha or Dar es Salaam. Arusha is the gateway to the country’s Northern safari circuit. To visit the whole circuit you need at least 4 or 5 days, but with 1 day to spare you can visit Tarangire or Lake Manyara National Parks. Although it makes for a long day, you can even visit the Ngorongoro Crater on a day trip. Arusha National Park is just a stone’s throw away from the city. This small but scenic park makes for a perfect half- or full-day trip without too much driving time. You can enjoy game drives and walking safaris here. Even more special is a canoe trip on the Momella Lakes, which are often visited by big flocks of flamingos. If you’re looking for a suitable day safari from Dar es Salaam, your best bet is Mikumi National Park. It’s worth stopping off at one of the waterholes to see a constant stream of animals, including huge herds of buffalo, coming to drink. Alternatively, you can go on a day trip to Saadani National Park where the bush meets the sea. The drive here takes about three hours, but a transfer by boat is possible too.”


What can I expect from a 1-day Tanzania safari?

“On a typical 1-day safari, you’ll be picked up at your accommodation at dawn or straight after an early breakfast. The drive to the park usually takes several hours. This gives you a chance to see the rural Tanzanian way of life outside the city. You’ll pass some villages and people working in the fields. When you get to the entrance gate your driver-guide will take a few minutes to sort out the paperwork while you have a chance to use the toilet facilities. Your guide will pop up the roof before you head off into the park on a game drive. You’ll spend the morning looking for animals. When animals retreat to the shade, it’s time to stop for lunch at a picnic spot. This might be at a scenic viewpoint or even a waterhole where animals come to drink. The afternoon is spent looking for more animals before you are dropped off back at your hotel in time for dinner.”


Is it safe to book a day trip in Tanzania?

“As long as you book with a reputable tour operator, in our opinion, day trips in Tanzania are very safe. Most day trips start in Arusha or Dar es Salaam. Many travelers walk around Arusha without any problems, but it is important to follow a few safety precautions and avoid busy areas such as the market and the bus station. Big cities are hot spots for crime throughout the world, and Dar es Salaam in particular has a bad reputation. When you’re not familiar with a city, you might put yourself at risk because you don’t know which areas to avoid and where trouble may wait. Therefore, it is recommended to book a trip if you have a day spare and you would like to explore. You will be collected and dropped off at your hotel or the airport. The guide’s presence alone will make you a very unlikely target.”

More about staying safe in Tanzania 3

Is it possible to see the Big Five on a 1-day tour?

“Tanzania offers incredible wildlife viewing and on a 4- to 5-day safari in the Northern circuit you have a very good chance of seeing the Big Five. This is trickier on a day trip though. Rhino is absent in most Tanzanian parks and reserves. The only place to reliably see black rhino in the wild is in the Ngorongoro Crater, and this is the only place where you might see the Big Five on a day trip. Tarangire is known for its big elephant herds in the Dry season. Buffalo is common too, but big-cat sightings are hit-and-miss. Lake Manyara offers great general wildlife viewing and a chance to see tree-climbing lions. There is lots of wildlife in Arusha National Park, including beautiful black-and-white colobus monkeys, but you’re unlikely to see any of the Big Five, except perhaps buffalo. Mikumi offers quality wildlife viewing too, with three of the Big Five easily seen, but leopard sightings are very rare. In Saadani you might see elephants, giraffes and several antelope species, but wildlife densities are quite low. A boat trip on the mangrove-lined Wami River is a very special experience, though. Mkomazi National Park is also home to the Big Five. It offers exciting close-up encounters with black rhino in a fenced sanctuary, but big-cat sightings are hit-and-miss.”


Is a 1-day Tanzania safari worth it?

“Although a proper safari should at least incorporate a few nights out in the bush, sometimes there is the need for a 1-day Tanzania safari. You might be a business traveler in the largest city of Dar es Salaam looking for the best way to spend a free day. Or maybe you’re in transit with time for a dash out of the airport. You might have an extra day to fill after a longer safari out of Arusha. Or maybe you have booked a beach holiday in Zanzibar and you’d like a little adventure with a day trip to the bush. Whatever the circumstances, with a day to spare, it’s always worth getting out on a safari. You’d be surprised how much you can see and experience in just a single day.”


How much will this safari cost?

“Most 1-day safaris from Arusha or Dar es Salaam cost between US$250 and US$500 per person. This includes pick-up and drop-off at your hotel or the airport and park entry fees. It usually includes a packed lunch and drinking water. Day trips to the Ngorongoro Crater start at around US$450 per person. The main reasons for this high price are the high entrance fee to the Crater and, to a lesser extent, the longer drive. Note that it is customary to tip the guide at the end of the day on top of this.”


Tanzania Reviews

4.8/5 1514 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

Mike Unwin  –  
United Kingdom UK

Mike is an award-winning wildlife writer, former editor of Travel Zambia magazine and author of the Bradt Guide to Southern African Wildlife.

Endless Space

While Kenya may be the African destination most synonymous with safaris, Tanzania – its larger neighbour – boasts Africa’s single most famous park, and arguably offers even more than Kenya in terms of variety and quantity of wildlife....

Full Review

Carl Hagen  –  
Germany DE
Reviewed: Feb 19, 2024
Worth a visit!

Tanzania has everything a traveller can hope for. Great food, beautiful landscape, amazing wildlife, stunning beaches, the highest mountain in Africa, the biggest lake in Africa and a very happy, helpful and outgoing population. I would...

Full Review

Serena Moore  –  
United Kingdom UK
Reviewed: Feb 18, 2024
Really good day out, just a couple of adaptions to make the day great

The price was great for what was included. The day started a bit sour for us though. Collected at 5am, for a 6:30am flight to be told we was on a 09:30am flight. We had to sit and wait for hours. No clear instruction at the airport. They...

Full Review

Mathieu Dos Santos  –  
France FR
Reviewed: Feb 17, 2024
Amazing safaris mainland and astonishing Zanzibar

Safari (3 days) : - Ngorongoro : it is a must. Incredible 1 day experience (1 day is enough) - Tarangire : great park (we stayed 1 day there (I think 1 day may be enough as well) - Manyara : good as well (1 day is enough) Would have...

Full Review

Silvana  –  
Italy IT
Reviewed: Feb 16, 2024
Amazing country

Tanzania didn’t disappoint my expectations. If I could imagine that the parks of Tarangire and Serengeti were not to be missed, the visit of Ngorongoro left me speechless; in particular the view point of the park is among the most...

Full Review