A guide to Tanzania safari tours, where to go, places to visit, safari companies and reviews.
Tanzania is an East African country lying within the African Great Lakes region. It’s a member of the east African community bordered by Uganda in the North, Burundi and Rwanda in the Northwest, Kenya in the Northeast, the Indian Ocean in the East, DR Congo in the West, Zambia, Mozambique and Malawi in the South. Tanzania’s total population is approximately 55.57 million (2016) and it covers an area of 947,300 sq km. There are various cities in Tanzania such as Dodoma which is the country’s capital city, Dar es Salaam (Tanzania’s largest and economic city) and Arusha. Languages spoken in Tanzania are very many but the major ones are Swahili, English.
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Tanzania lies at an altitude of around 200 meters above sea level but this is with the exception of some islands which vary in width from about 10-40 miles. Plateaus also are approximately 900-1,800m high and they make the biggest part of the country. The country also has various mountains found in different sections, together with the lakes such as Lake Victoria, Lake Malawi, and Lake Tanganyika among others.
The climate of Tanzania is tropical and the areas around the coast are humid and hot- the Highlands in the Northeast are temperate and cool. There are two rainy seasons; the long rains start from March to May and short rains is through October to December. The long dry season is from around June through out to October so rainfall in these months is not common. Unlike other places that receive rain; the Central plateau tends to be arid and dry all year round. Temperature ranges from 20°C to 30°C in most parts of the country.
In addition, this climate determines the great wildebeest migration so the migration goes on throughout the year involving the wildebeest and other animals like the Impalas, Elands, Gazelles and Zebras. So these animals migrate in search for water and new grazing lands, their moving patterns are fairly predictable. This is an amazing experience for a life time!
Tanzania is one of Africa’s most popular destinations renowned for Africa’s highest mountain (Mt. Kilimanjaro which is 5,895m)which draws thousands of tourist every year and its vast wilderness regions with a lot to do and see such as the Serengeti National Park famous for the “Big Five”(lion, rhino, elephant, buffalo, leopard) and wildebeest migration, Kilimanjaro National park. Not to forget the Mafia and Zanzibar islands with very beautiful and romantic beaches.
One of the world’s archeology sites is found in Tanzania and it is called the Olduvai Gorge, it is where you can find the oldest skull that is believed to have existed for more than two million years. While here there is change to visit one of the world’s biggest craters at Ngorongoro. Explore more while in Zanzibar by also tasting the coconut crab- It is said to be the largest crab ever.
Tanzania has a lot to offer. Check out the major attractions together with what to see what to do and where to stay.
THINGS TO SEE AND DO -Tanzania
Mountain Kilimanjaro is one of the famous and mostly visited attractions in Tanzania. Mount Kilimanjaro National Park is home to the magnificent and Africa’s highest mountain. This park is not visited for wildlife viewing like it is the case other parks in the North of Tanzania, it is visited by tourists that want to climb/hike to the top of the mountain and those just in need to see this majestic snow capped mountain. Mountain Kilimanjaro can be climbed anytime of the year but it is advisable to climb it during the dry season that is from late June to October.
Mountain Kilimanjaro is 5,895m above sea level and with this height all climbers in the world have always gotten interest in it. This mountain was formed over a million years ago by volcanic movement forces. There are 3 points on this mountain, Kibo, Shira, and Mawenzi whereby the highest peak called Uhuru is on Kibo crater and it is ranked among the world’s highest peaks.
Kilimanjaro is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It rises from farmland at the lowest level to the alpine and rainforests and then the bare landscape at the top. Among the rain forests there are the different animals such as leopards, elands, elephants, monkeys, and buffaloes. Climbing Kilimanjaro doesn’t need special expertise though is not an easy thing which means some fitness is required. There are other options one can go for favoring people with different climbing abilities while there. There are hiking tours on the lower levels of the mountain where tourists are able to walk around the different craters, Shira plateau and also have some wonderful views and also the amazing wildlife.
Lodging is also good around Kilimanjaro also sometimes camping may be required since the mountain cannot be climbed in one day. Make your booking today and live your dream today as you climb Kilimanjaro!
Serengeti National Park
Serengeti is Tanzania’s largest and most famous National park with great wildlife and various hectares of savannah. It is located in Northern Tanzania and was established in 1951 and covers 14,763 sq km of large savanna grasslands, dotted with acacia trees. The park is home to the greatest wildlife and receives over 350,000 tourists per year. The Serengeti is famously known for the annual Great migration where by thousands of wildebeests together with other animals like the elands, zebras, gazelle and impalas move to around the park throughout the year in search for better and new grazing lands and water. Amazingly as these wildebeests migrate also predators including the wild cats are finding their way to prey.
There are various activities that can be done in Serengeti such as balloon safaris over the park; 6 people these safaris can be done throughout the year- this is an amazing experience whereby you can view the park well and also do photography, balloons used here carry 16 people and there are added services like a drive through the park and champagne breakfast in the bush. Other activities include; Luxury Safaris, Birding Safaris, Wedding Safaris, Wildlife Safaris, Camping Safaris. Over 500 bird species are found in the park and many of these are found in the swampy areas. Other animals found in the park except the wildebeests are the lions, bat eared foxes, leopards, jackals, cheetahs, hyenas.
Serengeti can be visited any time in the year however the best months for wildlife viewing are between December and June. The best time for viewing the Great Migration is through May to July, though still this event can be viewed any time in the year since they move from place to play and their patterns are predictable by the park rangers in most cases they know where to find these animals. You can get to Serengeti by air (using flights), car hire or you can go through tour operators.
Serengeti has a variety of accommodation facilities so this cannot be your worry; they range from luxury lodges to mobile camps. An experience in Serengeti National Park is unforgettable!
This archipelago in the Indian Ocean is comprised of Zanzibar and Pemba islands. Zanzibar Island is also called ‘Unguja’. Zanzibar is more like a small slice of the paradise with various numbers of white sand beaches and resort which makes it a major holiday destination. There is nothing as amazing as surfing, sailing on traditional boats and diving in ocean waters- there are great scenic views in Zanzibar such as the sun sets, the coral reefs, and lagoons also you can’t miss out on the dolphins, manta-rays and turtles.
Zanzibar is also an amazing place concerning history since it was the major centre of slave trade during the 1800s. While in Zanzibar visit the Stone Town; it is located in the centre of Zanzibar and is regarded as the world’s oldest Swahili city- It was built in the 19th Century, so those interested in history will have a great time seeing ancient Arabian buildings, narrow streets. Visitors will have chance to see some historic buildings which are now museums, there are also old churches like the Anglican church, other things to see are the Beit el-Amani, Central Darajani Market, Beit el-Sahel which is the former home of the sultans, the Old Dispensary with engraved balconies made of wood, Old Fort among others.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Ngorongoro Conservation area is located in the North of Tanzania 180 km west of Arusha town between Lake Manyara and Serengeti. It was established in 1959 and is one of Tanzania’s famous wildlife viewing areas (meet the Big 5 here) and also home to popular Ngorongoro volcanic crater which is where its name is derived from.
Ngorongoro Volcano was once among the world’s tallest volcanoes not until it erupted forming the Ngorongoro crater- This is a huge and vast volcanic crater approximately 20km wide and was formed around 2.5 million years ago. It is home to thousands of wild life such as the gazelles, lions, elephants, leopards, buffaloes, rhinos, hippos (in Lake Magadi) however the zebras and wildebeests are the biggest percentage of animals in the crater. This area is a superb place for birding especially near Lake Migadi various birds like the Pink Flamingoes have made it a home. Also meet the endangered Black rhinos which are found in this place.
Lodging in this area is available from the luxury lodges such as the Ngorongoro Serena safari lodge to camps.
The Olduvai Gorge is one of the most important archeological sites in Tanzania its original name was ‘Oldupai’ but was wrongly spelt as ‘Olduvai’. It is located in the East of Serengeti plains around Arusha, there were research programs established to find out more about the human evolution in this place. It is found on a series of fault lines and was formed by erosion; it is among the Serengeti migratory ecosystem.
Olduvai Gorge contains the oldest and well kept archaeological records about human evolution. This is so because a German professor discovered some fossil bones in 1911 while searching for butterflies in the gorge. Later as research went on various bones, skull fragments were collected and a skull and are said to be over 2 million years old and different hunting tools and weapons close to 1.5 million years are also in this gorge. A visit to the Olduvai gorge is interesting- You will also get to see the popular foot prints of a woman, man and a child at Laetoli which confirms what is said that at least 3 people lived there over 2 million years ago. Visit the Olduvai Gorge today, learn more and be a part of history!
Mafia Island is among the Zanzibar Archipelago which includes other islands like Unguja, Latham and Pemba. Mafia is an incredible place that attracts snorkelers, game fishermen, scuba divers and people who just want to relax from all over the world to come and experience a life under and on the sea, this is protected by the Mafia Island Marine Park- the Island and all activities are managed from the mainland. The economy on this island is based on the market in Kilindoni, fishing, and subsistence agriculture.
Mafia is an amazing place for those interested in deep-sea fishing such as the sail fish, marlin, tuna fish and others. There are beautiful coral gardens and variety of fish owned by the Marine Island Park. This place also is a breeding place for green turtles however they are about to be extinct, there are over 400 fish species and very many bird species, it is a wonderful and unforgettable time spend on mafia island. Activities like Scuba diving are best done from October to March; there are heavy rains in month March and April so it’s not mainly advisable to scuba dive during this time and the best weather on the Island is from May to October.
Have a cultural tour to the Maasai communities. The Masai origins are not well traced but their families and history has existed for over 2000 years, Maasai is a world-renowned Nilotic ethnic group staying in the North of Tanzania and Sothern Kenya, the mainly live near National Parks. They speak a language called ‘Maa’ and the Maasai was famous for their unique dressing code and customs.
So when you visit Tanzania endeavor to have a Maasai village tour whereby you are able to experience the authentic way of living of the Maasai people and in this you will also learn a lot. Tours in this area can vary where by some may include you spending a night in the village.
It is also a great and memorable experience staying with people with a lifestyle totally different from yours!
Selous Game Reserve
Selous Game Reserve covers an area of over 50,000 sq km; this makes it one of the largest protected areas in the world Africa’s oldest and largest game reserves; it is endowed with beautiful scenery.
The reserve is shared among five regions of Tanzania; this means it covers 5% of Tanzania’s land area. Selous is an excellent safari destination for both African honeymoons and family safaris- it is home to different animals with a high concentration of buffaloes and elephants. Other animals are Leopards, giraffes, wild dogs, crocodiles, lions, antelopes, wildebeest, hippos, and a high concentration of birds.
Enjoy activities while here such as boating safari on the Rufiji River whereby you will have chances of seeing a variety of flora and fauna. Other activities are fly camping, nature walks, and game drives.
Where to stay, there are various accommodation facilities ranging from luxurois loddges to camps such as Azura Selous Game Reserve, Selous Serena Camp, Selous Kinga Lodge, Selous Wilderness Camp, Selous Butembo Lodge & Camp Site, Selous Ngalawa Camp, and Lake Manze Tented Camp. Book and enjoy game viewing at Selous today!