Tanzania: A Safari Destination

Dive into an in-depth guide about Tanzania's finest safari spots, cultural insights, and essential travel tips for an unforgettable adventure.
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Tanzania is a country of diverse landscapes and rich heritage, located in East Africa. It’s famed for its expansive wilderness areas which 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, with Arabic influences, and Mafia, with a marine park home to whale sharks and coral reefs. Tanzania’s blend of wildlife, cultures, and landscapes makes it a captivating destination for travelers seeking to experience the rhythm of Africa.

Aerial. Seascape, Zanzibar, Tanzania.
The magical shores of Zanzibar

Which locations in Tanzania should I visit on a safari?

1. Serengeti National Park

The Serengeti is not just a safari destination; it’s a phenomenon. The vast plains host the Great Migration, a spectacle involving millions of wildebeest, zebras, and gazelles in a cycle of life and death. The Serengeti is also home to a high density of predators, making it an ideal location for witnessing nature’s drama unfold. The park’s diverse habitats, including savannah, woodland, and wetlands, support a variety of wildlife, ensuring that every safari experience is unique.

Visit Serengeti National Park on the 10-Day Serengeti & Ngorongoro Safari with Zanzibar.

Group of young lions lying on rocks - beautiful scenery of savanna at sunset. Wildlife Safari in Serengeti National Park, Masai Mara, Tanzania, Africa
Wildlife safari in Serengeti National Park

2. Ngorongoro Conservation Area

The Ngorongoro Crater, a massive volcanic caldera, is a microcosm of East African scenery and wildlife. This natural amphitheater is teeming with animals, including the densest population of lions in the world. The interaction between the Maasai people and the wildlife in the area adds a fascinating cultural dimension to your safari experience.

Visit Ngorongoro Conservation Area on the 5-Day Best of Tanzania Safari Tour.

Group of giraffes walking in Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania. Wildlife of Africa
Giraffes in their natural habitat in Ngorongoro Conservation Area

3. Tarangire National Park

Known for its large elephant herds and iconic baobab trees, Tarangire offers a distinct safari experience. The Tarangire River is a magnet for wildlife, especially during the dry season when animals gather in large numbers at the riverbanks, making it a prime location for game viewing.

Visit Tarangire National Park on the 7-Day Big Five Safari in Tanzania.

tarangire national park
Aerial view of Tarangire National Park

4. Lake Manyara National Park

Nestled at the base of the Great Rift Valley escarpment, Lake Manyara National Park is famous for its tree-climbing lions, large troops of baboons, and a large variety of birdlife, including flamingos. The park’s diverse ecosystems, from its alkaline lake to dense woodlands and steep mountainsides, host a wide array of wildlife.

Visit Lake Manyara National Park on the 8-Day The Great Migration Safari Tour in Tanzania.

Landscape in Manyara National Park
Landscape in Lake Manyara National Park

5. Ruaha National Park

Ruaha’s remote location means it’s less frequented by tourists, offering a truly wild and exclusive safari experience. It’s known for its large elephant population and a diverse array of other game, including kudus, antelopes, and endangered wild dogs. The Ruaha River attracts a plethora of animals, especially during the dry season, making it an excellent site for game viewing.

Candelabra Tree in the hilly landscape, Ruaha National Park, Tanzania
Candelabra Tree in the hilly landscape of Ruaha National Park

6. Nyerere National Park (Selous)

Covering a vast area, Nyerere is one of the largest faunal reserves in the world. The Rufiji River flows through the park, creating a network of lakes, lagoons, and channels. Boat safaris offer a unique perspective on the park’s inhabitants, including hippos, crocodiles, and a variety of water birds. The park’s woodlands and plains are home to large numbers of elephants, buffaloes, and giraffes, as well as the elusive leopard.

Aerial view of Nyerere national Park in Tanzania
Aerial view of Nyerere National Park

7. Mahale Mountains National Park

Set against the backdrop of Lake Tanganyika, Mahale is synonymous with chimpanzee trekking. The park’s mountainous terrain, covered in dense tropical forest, is a stronghold for these primates. The experience of watching chimpanzees in their natural habitat is profound and humbling. Mahale also offers the opportunity for lakeside relaxation and water-based activities, providing a tranquil counterpoint to the thrill of the chimp treks​​.

The hilly landscape of Mahale Mountains National Park

When is the best time to visit Tanzania?

The ideal time to visit Tanzania varies based on what you want to see:


The dry season (June to October) offers excellent wildlife viewing. Animals are easier to spot as they congregate around waterholes and rivers. The Great Migration is a highlight in the Serengeti during this period.

Beach Holidays

Zanzibar and other coastal regions are best visited in the dry months (June to October and December to February). The weather is warm and sunny, perfect for beach activities and exploring the coral reefs​​.

Scenery landscape of Serengeti national park full of animals
For safaris, it’s optimal to visit Tanzania during the dry season

Is Tanzania safe?

Tanzania is generally safe for tourists, but it’s prudent to take standard safety measures. Keep valuables secure, especially in crowded places. When on safari, always listen to your guide – they are trained to ensure your safety around wildlife. Respect local customs and traditions, especially when visiting villages or religious sites. Dress conservatively and seek permission before photographing people to show respect for local culture​​.

Tanzania, Zanzibar - 6/10/2018:  a woman in a burka walking through the outdoor market in Stone Town.
Streets of Stone Town

Do I need a visa to enter Tanzania?

Tanzania is accessible via international flights to Julius Nyerere International Airport (Dar es Salaam) and Kilimanjaro International Airport (Arusha). Visa requirements vary, so check with the Tanzanian embassy or consulate in your country before traveling. Domestic flights connect major destinations, while dala-dalas (minibusses) and boda-bodas (motorcycle taxis) offer local transport. For longer journeys or safaris, private vehicles or organized tours are recommended​​.

USA visa in a passport background
Check the Visa requirements for your country ahead of your trip

How is local transport in Tanzania?

For the authentic Tanzanian experience, local transportation like dala-dalas and boda-bodas offer a glimpse into daily life. However, for comfort and convenience, especially when traveling to remote safari destinations, private vehicles or flights are preferable. Tanzania’s infrastructure supports a range of transportation options, catering to different preferences and budgets​​.

Rear view of bus traveling on dirt road, Tanzania, Africa
A minibus traveling on a dirt road in Tanzania

What are the accommodation options in Tanzania?

From luxury lodges in the heart of the bush to beachfront resorts on the Swahili coast, Tanzania caters to all tastes and budgets. Safari accommodations range from tented camps offering an intimate connection with nature to opulent lodges with world-class amenities. In Zanzibar and other coastal areas, resorts and hotels provide relaxation and various water-based activities​​.

Kon Tiki Serengeti Camp
Kon Tiki Serengeti Camp in the national park

What else can I do in Tanzania besides seeing wildlife?

Tanzania’s safaris are just the beginning. The country offers diverse experiences:

  • Balloon Safari: Gain a bird’s-eye view of the Serengeti with a hot air balloon safari. The serene and majestic panorama of the plains at sunrise is unforgettable.
  • Cultural Interactions: Engage with local communities, such as the Maasai, to understand their way of life. These cultural exchanges are enriching and offer perspective.
  • Diving and Snorkeling: The clear waters of Zanzibar and Mafia Island are perfect for underwater exploration. The coral reefs are teeming with marine life, offering world-class diving and snorkeling.
  • Boat Safaris: In parks like Nyerere (Selous), boat safaris provide a different perspective on wildlife. Watching animals come to drink at the water’s edge is a serene experience​​​​.
Hot air balloon floating over an acacia tree in Serengeti National Park.
Hot Air Balloon above Serengeti

How is the food?

Tanzanian cuisine is a fusion of African, Arab, and Indian flavors. Staples like Ugali and Nyama Choma are must-tries. The coast, especially Zanzibar, offers an array of seafood and is renowned for its spices. Sampling the local cuisine is not just about sustenance; it’s about experiencing the culture.

Street food Forodhani on the waterfront, Stone town, Zanzibar.
Street food in Zanzibar

What are some etiquette tips for when in Tanzania?

While tipping is not mandatory, it is customary for good service, especially on safaris and in restaurants. Understanding and respecting local customs, dressing modestly, and asking for permission before taking photographs are key to a respectful and enriching travel experience​​.

View of the Ngorongoro crater in Tanzania. Ngorongoro conservation area. African landscape. Guide showing something to tourists
Be sure to respect local customs

Why Choose Safari Tours Africa to Travel to Tanzania?

Tanzania offers a tapestry of landscapes and experiences, from the dramatic wildlife spectacles of the Serengeti and Ngorongoro to the serene beaches of Zanzibar. It’s a land where every safari is not just a journey through nature, but a journey into the soul of Africa.

With its rich cultural heritage, diverse wildlife, and breathtaking landscapes, Tanzania promises an adventure that will captivate your heart and linger in your memory long after your safari in Tanzania.

Discover the wild beauty of Africa with Safari Tours Africa, offering unforgettable safari trips in Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Uganda, and Rwanda.
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