Tanzania is without rival when it comes to African safaris. In layman’s terms, Tanzania is simply amazing. When you think of Tanzania you might picture a march of a thousand wildebeests during their Serengeti migration. You might think of a happy family of elephants crossing the muddy, wide Tarangire River, a healthy pride of lions catching some sunrays in the Ngorongoro Crater, or a flock of bright pink flamingos getting lunch on the banks of Lake Natron. These images that might come to mind are not unreasonable, and can be put to life during your visit to Tanzania.
We have listed some statistics to show you just how fantastic of a safari destination Tanzania is:
- 25 percent of Tanzania’s surface area has been allotted to conservation, with the well-known Serengeti National Park and astonishingly vast Selous Game Reserve which provides an array of protected areas which 20 percent of Africa’s large mammal population calls home.
- Tanzania is home to the highest and fifth highest peaks on the continent. Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru, respectively.
- The “spice island” of Zanzibar is the quintessential example of the Indian Ocean coastline, providing many magazine-worthy beaches, amazing diving areas, and mysterious medieval ruins.
- Tanzania hosts the best location for wild chimpanzee tracking at Gombe Stream and Mahale Mountains National Parks.
No matter where you travel in Tanzania you are likely to hear the locals throw around the word “Karibu!” The locals are always smiling and will welcome you with this heartfelt greeting!
low we have listed all of the remarkable places you can visit in Tanzania.
Ngorongoro Crater and the Olduvai gorge
Serengeti National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
Tarangire National Park
Arusha National Park
Kilimanjaro National park and Mount Kilimanjaro
Lake Victoria and Rubondo Island National Park
Mkomazi National Park
Saadani National Park
The wildlife reserves and parks in Northern Tanzania are the most famous areas of Tanzania and generally attract the most tourists. The Northern area of Tanzania is host to the famous Seregenti, Ngorongoro, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Lake Manyara, and Tarangire National parks. Wildlife viewing and big mountain climbs are the highlights of Northern Tanzania. Due to the close proximity of the national parks in Northern Tanzania, it is possible to visit most of the parks in a relatively short safari trip! Visiting these famous parks is a great idea for tourists, as they can see so many different scenes in such a short amount of time. The parks in the Northern circuit are more easily accessible than the other circuits. Authentic African Safaris gives travelers the choice of flying into Arusha or flying into Nairobi (four hours from Arusha). Travelers will depart on their safari directly from Arusha.
Covering more than 14,000 sq km, Serengeti is the largest national park in Tanzania, with various types of vegetation from grassy plains to savannah with acacias to wooded hill and mountains. The concentration of animals reaches its peak during the wildebeest migration, when over 1.5 million wildebeest undertake a circuit of 1000kms, searching for new pastures and watering holes. Upon entering the park you will read a sign that says “the world as it was in the beginning” which could not have been written more accurately!
The un-official eighth wonder of the world, the Land of the Maasai, Ngorongoro Crater sits 2000ft deep and occupying an area of about 265 km square. It is dotted with watering holes and shelters almost 30,000 animals in an area naturally enclosed by the slopes of the volcano There are a small number of black rhino, which are all individually under 24hrs vigilance. The bird life is largely seasonal and is also affected by the ratio of soda fresh water in Lake Magadi on the crater floor.
Located within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is the Oldupai Gorge is the place where Dr. Louis Leakey discovered the remains of ‘Homo hablis’ and regarded as mankind’s first step on the ladder of human evolution. Many more fossils have been discovered here including those of prehistoric elephants and enormous ostriches. This site is commonly referred to as the “Cradle of Mankind”.
The Roof of Africa, the Highest free standing mountain in the world, Kilimanjaro consists of three summits; the Shira plateau, Mawenzi peak and between the two, the snow capped summit of KIBO, which reaches a height of 19,342ft above mean sea level.
There are several routes to reach the summit; Marangu route which is the most popular, Machame route and Shira route. The latter two are most demanding and most scenic too.
Sitting at the base of the Great Rift Valley escarpment the park is noted for its incredible beauty and the famous tree climbing lions. It’s 390sq km of lush forest, woodland, Grassland, Swamps and soda lake give sanctuary to over 350 species of birds. The pink Flamingos are particularly found on the shore of this lake. It also has buffaloes, Elephants, Hippo, Giraffe and a variety of smaller animals.
Tarangire is claimed to be one of the best places in all of Africa to view elephants during the dry season. During this season, animals typically migrate towards the Tarangire River, providing magnificent views for adventurers. The park covers nearly 2,600 square kilometers and contains nine different vegetation zones. The park is also home to over 300 species of birds, including greed wood hoopoes and green and yellow parrots! Tarangire is a great bird watchers paradise.
Just 32 km’s away from the town of Arusha, Arusha National Park is famous for John Wayne’s ‘HATARI’ which was shot back in the 60’s, the memories of which still lingers when you visit the Momela Lodge in the park. The park consists of three spectacular features. The Momela Lakes, Mount Meru and the Ngurudoto Crater. On clear days magnificent views of mount Kilimanjaro can be seen from almost any part of the park.
The vegetation and the wildlife varies with the topography, which ranges from forest to swamp.
The park is famous for its 400 species of bird life, both migrant and resident, and black and white colobus monkeys. You can take a single day safari to this park from Arusha or spend a night at the few spectacular lodges found inside the park. Mount Meru climbers start their climb from the gate of Arusha National Park.
Mount Meru is mountain located west of Mount Kilimanjaro. At a height of 14,968 ft, it is visible from Mt Kilimanjaro on a clear day and is the ninth highest mountain in Africa.
Mount Meru serves as a great warm up for Mount Kilimanjaro climbers. In fact, it is ideal for altitude acclimatization and after climbing Mount Meru, you may elect to climb Mount Kilimanjaro without the additional acclimatization day.
Mt Meru is located in the center of Arusha National Park, a beautiful area with a wide range of habitats teeming with wildlife. On the lower slopes of the mountain and inside the park, there is a good chance of spotting animals. An armed ranger will accompany your party on the first stage to protect against any wildlife threats. Once at the summit, the view of Mount Kilimanjaro is unforgettable.
The source of Nile, the largest lake in Africa and the second largest fresh water lake in the world – Lake Victoria. It is home to the lungfish, a unique fish type that dates back 300 million years. Scenically beautiful, Lake Victoria also has great numbers of fish, the most successful commercial variety being Tilapia.
Rubondo Island National Park is an island of Lake Victoria. Here you will find Hippopotamus, crocodiles, lizards, sitatunga (marshbuck), giraffe, a variety of birds. The island is rich of flora and fauna. Most striking are the hippo and crocodile population in the lake. These two different animal species decorate the lakeshores during the early morning and evening hours.
This park has an area of 240 sq km and is famous for the various species of plants ranging from savannah and open woodland to dense forest and papyrus swamps.
Set in the slopes of the Usambara and Pare Mountain ranges and overseen by iconic snow – capped peak of Kilimanjaro, Mkomazi, a virgin breathtaking beauty exhibiting unique natural treasures and immense sense of space – adds to the fulfillment of high visitor enjoyment expectations – a much needed bridge between northern circuit and coastal attractions.
Mkomazi is refuge for two highly endangered species, the charismatic black rhino and sociable African wild dog, both of which were successfully reintroduced in the 1990s. Nomadic by nature, wild dog might be seen almost anywhere in the park, but black rhino are restricted to a fenced sanctuary, ensuring their safe keeping for future generations enjoyment and prosperity.
Saadani National Park covers 1100 sq km and it is the only wildlife sanctuary in Tanzania bordering the sea. The climate is coastal, hot and humid. It offers a unique combination of both marine and mainland flora and fauna in a culturally fascinating setting. About 30 species of larger mammals are present as well as numerous reptiles and birds. Besides many species of fish, green turtles, humpback whales and dolphins occur in the ocean nearby
Wildlife reserves and parks in the Southern circuit are located in Southern Tanzania. The southern circuit does not tend to attract as many travelers as the northern circuit, but that does not mean it doesn’t have a lot to offer! The remoteness and vast areas of wilderness offer superb wildlife viewing opportunities and serve as a perfect getaway from the crowded north. Southern Tanzania is often used as a research area for scientists and tourists alike to learn about the complex ecosystems and diverse selection of plants and animals. As opposed to the safari style of the north, tourists on the southern circuit tend to visit fewer parks, but spend more time at each park. The southern circuit of Tanzania consists of the Selous wildlife reserve, and Mukumi, Ruaha, and Udzungwa Mountains National parks.
The Selous Game Reserve is the largest protected wildlife area in Africa. This UN World Heritage site and uninhabited area is larger than Switzerland. Selous boasts Tanzania’s largest population of elephants and a large numbers of buffalos, hippos and wild dogs. Other animals commonly seen are lions, bushbucks, impalas, giraffes, eland, baboon, zebra and the greater kudu.
The River Rufiji which flows from north to south, provides the life-blood to the wildlife in the Selous.
One of Tanzania’s best kept wildlife secrets is the Ruaha National Park. Due to inaccessibility, the park has remained virtually unchanged and unaffected by the ravages of mankind.
Ruaha is the second largest national park covering 10,300 sq km and hosts large herds of elephants, buffalo, gazelle, crocodiles, hippos and over 400 species of birds! Ruaha National Park is also home to endangered species of antelopes, the greater and lesser kudu, and wild dogs. Ruaha is largely unexplored due to its remoteness. This gives tourists the option of having a very private and unique safari. The Great Ruaha river, from which the park gets its name, also allows travelers to explore by boat, offering exceptional river views and wildlife viewing opportunities.
Located to the north of the Selous Game Reserve, very close to the main city of Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, is Mikumi National Park. Because of its accessibility it is one of the most popular parks in Tanzania and is an important centre for education where students go to study ecology and conservation. A wide range of wildlife inhabit the 3230 sq km area. Lions are commonly seen as are packs of wild dogs, rare elsewhere in Africa.
TThe Udzungwa Mountains National park offers stunning scenery, being home to some plants that cannot be found anywhere else in the world! The Udzungwa Mountains National park is located on the western part of the Selous Wildlife Reserve and is home to a variety of primates including the red colobus monkey, vervet monkeys, sanje mangebey, sykes monkeys and baboons. The park offers five trails that wind through the forest with varying difficulty levels ranging from amateur to professional. The trails offer beautiful sights of both animal and plant life.
Lake Nyasa is the most southerly of the Rift Valley lakes. The northern shores are home to the Nyakusa people whose huts and villages have remained unchanged for centuries. The Kisi tribe are famous for their pottery.
The lake contains 30 % of the world’s Cichlid – a colorful fish easily observed in the clear water.
Several wildlife reserves and parks can be visited in western Tanzania, most of which are located around Lake Tanganyika. Western Tanzania is known as one of the best places in the world to view Chimpanzees. There is really no experience like trekking and observing Chimpanzees close up in their natural setting. With varying scenes offered by the rugged mountains, the equatorial forest, and the shores of Lake Tanganyika, western Tanzaia is a great place to enjoy an African jungle safari experience. The western circuit includes the Mahale Mountains, Gombe Stream, and Katavi National Parks. In addition to the vehicle based safaris, visitors can go on hiking, boating, or fishing excursions.
This National Park found on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, is the smallest park in Tanzania covering only 52 sq km., but offers visitors the rare chance to observe the chimpanzee communities made famous by the famous Jane Goodall. A number of monkey species like the red colubus monkeys are also found here.
The area is heavily forested making it an unsuitable habitat for carnivores, so the park is safe for walking safaris. It is also a great site for birdwatchers.
The other sanctuary of Chimpanzee in Tanzania is the Mahale Mountain National Park which is reached by boat from Kigoma. Covering an area of 1613 sq km, its western boundary is the shore of Lake Tanganyika.
The chimpanzee population of the park is estimated at about 1000 and can be seen in groups of fives and thirty’s at a time in their natural habitat. Other primates such as Baboons and Colobus monkeys are also found. Elephants, buffalos, porcupines and many other animals are found on this national park.
Located between Lake Katavi and Lake Chada, Katavi National Park is one of Africa’s greatest scenic spots. Katavi National Park offers spectacular scenery and wildlife viewing opportunities. Katavi National Park is a few days of driving away from Arusha or Nairobi, making it one of the most remote parks, especially compared to the northern and southern circuits. Because the park is so remote, it is one of the best safari destinations for visitors that prefer a private safari that offers many of the same viewing opportunities as the other parks. It is not uncommon for safari goers to go through a whole safari without seeing any other tourists or locals! Zebras, lions, buffalos, giraffes and many other animals can be observed at Katavi National Park, especially during dry season when the animals visit the lake to drink water.
The water of the park shelters Crocodile, Hippopotamus and large flocks of pelicans. The diverse woodland, acacia bush, lakes and swamps attract over 400 species of birds.
Lake Tanganyika is the longest (677 km) and the second deepest (1433 m) fresh water lake in the world. It also contains one of the richest concentration of fish. More than 250 species live within the lake. It is worth staying up on a moonless night to watch the local fisherman on the lake, who attract their catch by suspending lights over the bows of their boats.
Zanzibar & Zanzibar Beaches
The exotic spice island of Zanzibar is one of the best kept secrets of the Indian Ocean. Zanzibar offers palm shaded beaches and crystal clear, warm, turquoise water. The coral reefs provide a perfect setting for watersports, snorkeling, or diving. Zanzibar is also rich with culture and history. It is said to be once be the commercial trading center of ancient East Africa. If you manage to pull yourself away from the beach, you will ancient Islamic ruins, a famous stone town, sultan’s palaces, and local markets where you can try exotic spices and fruits. Our customers have the choice of taking the Zanzibar vacation by itself or combining it with one of our wildlife safaris. We lay out our itinerary in such a way that allows you to cool off and relax in the waters of Zanzibar while enjoying delicious fresh seafood and coconut juice!
It does not have a particularly romantic name, but Stone Town is the old town and the cultural heart of Zanzibar. Little has it changed in the last 200 years. The winding alleys, the bustling bazaars, the mosques and the grand Arab houses whose original owners vied with each other over the extravagance of their dwellings. This is particularly reflected in the brass-studded, carved, wooden doors. You will find more than 500 different examples of this handiwork.
On the tour you will get to view historical buildings such as the House of wonders (Bait Al Ajaib), notorious slave trader Tippu Tips’ house, and the palace museum. The Stone Town has been designated as a cultural heritage site by the United Nations.
This unique tour allows visitors to taste exotic spices and tropical fruits at local plantations. You will get to try fruits such as rose apples, jack fruit, mangoes, and spices that have made Zanzibar famous such as black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla!
Pods of dolphins can be viewed on this guided tour which involves a boat trip to the dolphin conservation area near Kizimkazi – southwest of Zanzibar Island. There is a very high likelihood of seeing dolphins on this tour. Once the dolphins have been spotted, tourists have the option of snorkeling right beside them! We also offer a trip to Prison Island (aka Changuu Island) which was formerly used to detain slaves. Today the island serves as a tourist resort and offers spectacular views of giant tortoises. The guided trip to Prison Island includes a visit to ancient ruins, swimming, and snorkeling. Other excursions we offer include a trip to the Jozani Forest which hosts the rare red colobus monkey and lush green tropical vegetation. You will get to visit a traditional coastal village and experience the traditional way of life of the locals. You will even get to sail on a wooden dhow to various islands such as Mafia and Fumba!
It’s a 40 minutes flight south of Dar-es-Salaam and is one of the most exciting big game fishing and diving areas in the world. Sports fishermen flock here for the superb catches. These include marlin, sailfish, shark, tuna, kingfish, barracuda, snapper, horse mackerel, wahoo and huge cod.
This island is located 50 km north of Zanzibar is the highly fertile. Pemba Island which although smaller than Zanzibar, grows three times as many cloves. The Pemba channel which runs between the mainland and the island offers the best game fishing in the world. The Island also boasts some excellent beaches..