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Tanzania Safari & Zanzibar Packages

Mainland Tanzania and the Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar are stunning destinations. Visiting both provides a wonderful experience of the best that Tanzania has to offer. You can enjoy the safari of a lifetime in the national parks on the mainland, then follow it up with a chilled beach holiday on Zanzibar, which also has a superb cultural and architectural legacy. Mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar are very different destinations, but the combination of a world-class safari and tropical beach time complement each other perfectly.

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1-20 of 379 Tanzania safaris with Zanzibar beach extension

6 Questions About Tanzania Safaris With Zanzibar Add-on


6 Questions About Tanzania Safaris With Zanzibar Add-on

Answered by Anthony Ham

Why is a Tanzania safari and a Zanzibar beach holiday an ideal combination?

“Trips that combine a Tanzania safari and Zanzibar will be a special experience because it is easy to travel between the two, yet they span such a variety of worlds. The Tanzanian mainland has many different attractions that cover a range of activities. But above all else, it is famous as one of the best safari destinations on Earth. The incredible wildlife, with beautiful landscapes as a backdrop, fills national parks such as Serengeti, Lake Manyara, Tarangire, Nyerere (formerly Selous Game Reserve), Gombe and more. Hiking is also brilliant in Tanzania, from the ascent of Mt Kilimanjaro or Mt Meru to the lesser-known Usambara Mountains. Zanzibar couldn’t be more different. The island is a fabulous beach destination, with a stunning coastline and resorts to match. It’s also home to Stone Town, a glorious maze of hybrid African and Arab architecture where the streets fill with the smell of spices and the call to prayer. Being able to experience all of this on one trip is simply wonderful.”


What can I expect from a trip to Tanzania and Zanzibar?

“Combining your Tanzania safari with Zanzibar means spending as much time as you can in the fantastic national parks on the mainland, then flying directly onto the island of Zanzibar. How long you stay in each place, and the order in which you visit them (most people go on safari first), will be determined by where your greatest interest lies and how much time you have. But the flight between the two is just long enough for you to catch your breath in readiness for what comes next. On the mainland safari leg, expect to be thrilled by the abundant wildlife for which Tanzania is famous, although what you see will depend on which parks you visit. Most commonly, especially on a first trip to Tanzania, travelers prioritize the Northern safari circuit, which includes Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara. On Zanzibar, you’ll need to make the difficult choice between how much time to spend on the beach and how much time you need to explore Stone Town: a difficult choice because they’re both such pleasurable experiences.”


How much will this tour cost?

“Costs vary greatly for trips that include a Tanzania safari and Zanzibar. As a starting point, expect to pay US$150 to US$250 per person per day for a budget safari, and upward (sometimes significantly upward) of US$400 per person per day for high-end luxury tours. A big variable when it comes to determining the cost of your trip is the level of luxury you would like to enjoy. Most often, this has to do with the accommodations you’ll be staying in. Another factor to consider is the season in which you’re traveling: the cost of high-season packages can be double that of low season. The length of trips is also something that will affect the price: the flight between the Tanzanian mainland and Zanzibar can be expensive, but its impact on the per-person daily cost will be less if you’re traveling for longer. The final main variable when it comes to cost is the type of safari you choose. A private safari (where you’ll have your own vehicle and guide just for you for the duration of your holiday) is obviously the most expensive option. Group safaris (where you share vehicles and guides) are cheaper. If you choose a self-drive safari, the costs will lie somewhere between group and private safaris. As a rule, the combination of pricier lodges and high park entrance fees means that the safari leg of your trip will cost much more per day than staying on Zanzibar. This means that you can cut costs by spending less time on safari and more at the beach.”


What is the ideal holiday length for a Tanzania safari with a stay in Zanzibar?

“The short answer to this question is that the longer you have, the better! How long you stay will, of course, depend on how much time you have available and how much you’re willing to pay for your trip. As a starting point, most people would regard 8 to 12 days (exclusive of international flights) as the ideal length of a trip combining a Tanzania safari with Zanzibar, but shorter itineraries are workable and the upper limit is as long as you want it to be. To visit mainland Tanzania on safari, you may want to visit a number of parks. If you do this, you could fly between them, thereby saving traveling time but also increasing the cost of your safari. A week on the Northern safari circuit is just about long enough to fit in the four main parks there (Lake Manyara, Tarangire, Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti), but 8 days or longer on safari would be more relaxed. Other activities, such as chimp trekking in the parks of western Tanzania or climbing Mt Kilimanjaro, will obviously add numerous days to your calculations. For the Zanzibar section of your trip, so much depends on how much time you want to spend by the beach. Stone Town could be seen in a day, but you’ll definitely want to immerse yourself in its charms for longer.”


What is the best time to visit Tanzania and Zanzibar?

“For mainland Tanzania, the best time for safari holidays is from June to October. This coincides with the Dry season, meaning that you’re more likely to enjoy favorable weather and road conditions. The Dry season is also the best time for seeing wildlife, as the animals are more likely to be closer to known water sources and therefore easier to find. If you’re a birder, you may want to consider the months from November to April, when migrating birds spend nearly six months in the country. If you’re hoping to see the great wildebeest migration in the Serengeti, when around 2 million wildebeest, zebra and gazelle migrate through the park, often with predators in tow, then the best months are January to February in the south, June to July in the west, and August to September in the north. Zanzibar is very much a year-round destination: it’s always warm enough to go to the beach. That said, the best weather is usually from June or July until October, while the rainiest months are April and to a lesser extent March and May.”


How do I get to Zanzibar from mainland Tanzania?

“The overwhelming majority of Tanzania safari and Zanzibar tours and trips involve flying between mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar. Sometimes the flights may be direct from an airstrip in one of the national parks (such as the Serengeti) to Zanzibar. On other packages, you may need to change planes in Arusha, the gateway city to the Northern circuit. If you’re changing in Arusha, you may end up traveling on two very different kinds of planes – a small plane to and from the national parks, then a commercial airliner from Arusha to Zanzibar. There are lots of different possibilities, so ask any prospective tour operators when making your trip inquiries. Regular ferry (boat) services connect Dar es Salaam (the largest city on the Tanzanian mainland) to Zanzibar, and the quickest take less than an hour. However, ferries are seldom used for safari extensions to Zanzibar because you would first need to fly to Dar to catch one.”