Tanzania Safaris Travel
Kilimanjaro, Serengeti & Zanzibar
Tanzania is a beautiful country with abundance of attractions from wildlife, mountains, beaches, historical sites and cultural diversity. Home to Serengeti the endless plains with Wildebeest Migration, Kilimanjaro Mountain, Selous Game Reserve, Ngorongoro Crater, Ruaha National Park, Historical Sites, Vibrant Culture and Exotic Islands of Zanzibar. Tanzania is blessed with over 125 local ethnics, spectacular white sandy beaches and 16 National Parks with diversity of flora and fauna.
Tanzania officially the United Republic of Tanzania, is a large country in Eastern Africa within the African Great Lakes region. Tanzania is a presidential constitutional republic, and since 1996, its official capital city has been Dodoma, where the President’s Office, the National Assembly, and some government ministries are located. Dar es Salaam, the former capital, retains most government offices and is the country’s largest city, principal port, and leading commercial centre.
European colonialism began in mainland Tanzania during the late 19th century when Germany formed German East Africa, which gave way to British rule following World War I. The mainland was governed as Tanganyika, with the Zanzibar Archipelago remaining a separate colonial jurisdiction. Following their respective independence in 1961 and 1963, the two entities merged in April 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanzania.
Tanzania is an East African country known for its vast wilderness areas. They include the plains of Serengeti National Park, a safari mecca populated by the “big five” game (elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino), and Kilimanjaro National Park, home to Africa’s highest mountain. Offshore lie the tropical islands of Zanzibar and Mafia Marine Park, where whale sharks swim through reefs.
Climate-wise, Tanzania has a tropical climate, an average daytime temperature of around 25°C, and receives an annual average of 892mm per year.
While old hands will tell you that Tanzania can be visited at any time of the year, choosing when to travel will be dictated by climate, area and interest.
June through October – Dry Season
June and July are the best months to see the wildebeest migration. You can see crossing, there is a lot of game in Tarangire, Ngorongoro Crater, Central Serengeti, Eastern and northern Serengeti. Plenty of cats, big number of Elephants in Tarangire and Serengeti and they are found in open areas. Animals are easier to spot since they concentrate around waterholes and rivers and there is less vegetation. There are fewer mosquitoes because there is little to no rain. Skies are clear and most days are sunny.
Even though most tourists visit during the dry season, the parks still don’t feel crowded, except for the Seronera area in the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater. Mornings and nights get cold. It’s recommended to bring warm clothing for morning game drives in open vehicles during the months of June, July and August.
November through May – Wet Season
Late January to February is the time to see the migration, calving lots of predators following migration and there is a lot of hunting in the central, western and southern Serengeti. This is an excellent time to see predator action.
The scenery is green and beautiful. It’s low season, meaning lower rates and less crowded parks. Although wildlife is easier to spot in the dry season, you’ll still see plenty and most northern circuit parks offer good year-round game viewing. Migratory birds are present and bird watching is at its best. Except for March, April and May, rains are mostly short afternoon showers and seldom have a negative impact on your trip. March to May is the peak of the wet season. Most big wildlife has migrated out of Tarangire NP and game viewing in Katavi, Selous and Ruaha is clearly better during the dry season.
Tarangire National Park
Tarangire National Park is the sixth largest national park in Tanzania after Ruaha, Serengeti, Mikumi, Katavi and Mkomazi. The national park is located in Manyara Region. Size: 2850 sq km (1,096 sq miles).
Location: 118 km (75 miles) southwest of Arusha.
When to go Year round but dry season (June & September) for sheer numbers of animals.
What to see
In dry season in particular, Tarangire is a place where animal densities are high, so the highlights are many. And it’s not only elephants: Tarangire is the home of buffalo, lion, wildebeest and zebra. Year-round, spotting the beautiful and endangered black rhino is a strong possibility. Gerenuk and fringe-eared oryx could be classed as ‘local specialties’. Lake Natron’s marshy shores are the attraction for all these mammals, as well as for many beautiful bird species. Keep a watch for giant kingfishers, hoopoes and the delightfully-named white-bellied go-away bird. Amidst varied vegetation, the animal and bird-spotting opportunities are tremendous.
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park Size is 330 sq km (127 sq miles), of which up to 200 sq km (77 sq miles) is lake when water levels are high. Location: In northern Tanzania. The entrance gate lies 1.5 hours (126km/80 miles) west of Arusha along a newly surfaced road,
Lake Manyara National Park is small, but its diverse eco-systems pack in a huge variety of animal and bird life. It is rightly famous for its tree-climbing lions, but also for its boisterous baboons! A riot of color is provided by the bird life here. Location: 118 km (75 miles) southwest of Arusha.
When to go Dry season (July-October) for large mammals; Wet season (November-June) for bird watching, the waterfalls and canoeing.
What to see
You might spot Lake Manyara’s renowned tree-climbing lions, but you could easily find baboons, elephant, hippo, wildebeest, buffalo and giraffe, plus many other species. Bird watching and a splash of color will be added by the pink-hued flamingos, one of 400 bird species recorded here. Also present are spoonbills, stilts, egrets, pelicans, cormorants and yellow-billed storks. Breathtaking scenery and the soda – Ash Lake in the centre, the lake itself takes up much of the park, leaving a strip of land running along its shores where game concentrates.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a conservation area and a UNESCO World Heritage Site located 180 km west of Arusha in the Crater Highlands area of Tanzania. The area is named after Ngorongoro Crater, a large volcanic caldera within the area.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area covers 8,292 square kilometers. It is one of the three divisions that comprise Ngorongoro District in Arusha Region.
Where human life began At far end of the NCA stands the Olduvai Gorge archaeological site, widely regarded as the cradle of mankind and the most important prehistoric site in the world. It is at Olduvai where remains of Zinjanthropus, the world’s first humans, were discovered by Dr Louis and Mary Leakey over 50 years ago. The earliest known specimens of the human genus, Homo-habilis, as well as early hominids such as Paranthropus boisei have also been found there. The Olduvai Gorge is a steep-sided ravine in the Great Rift Valley, stretching along eastern Africa. The windswept Olduvai is about thirty miles long, lying within the rain shadow of the Ngorongoro highlands. The gorge is named after oldupaai, the Maasai word for the wild sisal plant.
When to go June to October – Dry Season Wildlife is easier to spot since vegetation becomes less lush in the dry season, and animals will gather around rivers and water holes. Then November to May – Wet Season although wildlife is more easily found in June through September, the Ngorongoro Crater offers excellent wildlife viewing throughout the year.
What to see
The Ngorongoro Crater is the best place in Tanzania to see ‘The Big Five’. A healthy population of black rhino and some of the largest tusker elephants left in Africa today are the prize spots, but the crater is also home to good populations of lion, leopard and hyena along with healthy herds of wildebeest, buffalo and zebra. Other wildlife here includes serval cat, cheetah, jackal, Grant’s and Thompson’s gazelle, flamingo and bat-eared foxes, as well as approximately 400 species of bird.
Serengeti National Park
Size: 14,763 sq km (5,700 sq miles).
Location: 335km (208 miles) from Arusha, stretching north to Kenya and bordering Lake Victoria to the west.
Tanzania’s oldest and most popular national park, also a world heritage site and recently proclaimed a 7th worldwide wonder, the Serengeti is famed for its annual migration, when some six million hooves pound the open plains, as more than 200,000 zebra and 300,000 Thomson’s gazelle join the wildebeest’s trek for fresh grazing. Yet even when the migration is quiet, the Serengeti offers arguably the most scintillating game-viewing in Africa: great herds of buffalo, smaller groups of elephant and giraffe, and thousands upon thousands of eland, topi, kongoni, impala and Grant’s gazelle.
When to go To follow the wildebeest migration, December-July. To see predators, June-October.
What to see
The spectacle of predator versus prey dominates Tanzania’s greatest park. Golden-maned lion prides feast on the abundance of plain grazers. Solitary leopards haunt the acacia trees lining the Seronera River, while a high density of cheetahs prowls the south-eastern plains. Almost uniquely, all three African jackal species occur here, alongside the spotted hyena and a host of more elusive small predators, ranging from the insectivorous aardwolf to the beautiful serval cat.
But there is more to Serengeti than large mammals. Gaudy agama lizards and rock hyraxes scuffle around the surfaces of the park’s isolated granite koppies. A full 100 varieties of dung beetle have been recorded, as have 500-plus bird species, ranging from the outsized ostrich and bizarre secretary bird of the open grassland, to the black eagles that soar effortlessly above the Lobo Hills.
As enduring as the game-viewing is the liberating sense of space that characterises the Serengeti Plains, stretching across sunburnt savannah to a shimmering golden horizon at the end of the earth. Yet, after the rains, this golden expanse of grass is transformed into an endless green carpet flecked with wildflowers. And there are also wooded hills and towering termite mounds, rivers lined with fig trees and acacia woodland stained orange by dust.