Best Place For Safari In Tanzania In 2024

If you’re looking to experience the natural African landscape at its finest, Tanzania is the best place for it. The country’s diverse geography can help you witness biodiversity in its purest form.

As of 2023, the country hosts 6 out of 25 globally recognized hotspots with over 55,000 unique species of flora and fauna.

Image credits: Freepik

Thus, your excursion can vary vastly depending on where, when, and for how long you plan for a Tanzania safari package.

Unless you’re an oligarch who can afford to stay in-country throughout the year, you might miss out on the perfect safari experience as per your taste.

That’s where this piece will help you plan your vacation more efficiently, telling you about the various destinations along with the ideal time for the best safari in Tanzania.

Where To Go on a Safari in Tanzania?

Tanzania has something for every kind of nature-lover, from thrill-seeking adventurers to calm, quiet individuals who require some time to kick back and relax now and then.

The following is a highlight reel of all the interesting places you can check out for the best wildlife safari in Tanzania as per your preferences.

Mount Kilimanjaro

Among the most renowned mountain peaks in the world, Mount Kilimanjaro is the ideal destination if you prefer a Tom Cruise-esque adrenaline-filled adventure. At 19,340 feet (5,895 metres), it is the fourth-highest peak in the world and the highest one in Africa.

Since Kilimanjaro stands on a dormant volcano, it’s the highest standalone mountain in the world (not part of a mountain range).

And I do stress the word “dormant” as scientists still hold out the possibility that it might erupt in the future.

If you’re making it to the top, you can notice the faint smell of sulfur from the lava churning just below the surface, much like a massive fire beast in slumber.

Mount Kilimanjaro
Image credits: Freepik

Those looking to visit during the dry season may plan their visit between July and October, January, or March. For those seeking the best time to climb Kilimanjaro, November and December are the best months to visit.

Nothing beats the view from the top glacier, where you can observe the entirety of the Kilimanjaro National Park beneath clear skies.

Ruaha National Park

The Ruaha National Park lies about 81 miles (130 kilometers) west of Iringa. It stands as one of the rare, untouched game reserves that only a fortunate few have the opportunity to visit annually.

If you plan a visit here, you have the chance to witness the true wild Tanzania without the interference of Jeep convoys filled with Europeans taking photos.

While Ruaha stretches to more than 7722 square miles (20,000 square kilometers), there are only a few campsites over that area.

It proves that most people who plan their Tanzania safari in Ruaha look for nature at its purest rather than luxury or convenience.

If you fancy such a gem with nothing but the African flora and fauna to interrupt your thoughts in a calm serene place, then you need to plan your visit right.

The best Kilima bnjaro tour operators might advise visiting during the dry summer months (May to October) to spot a rare wild dog or a cheetah dashing across the plain.

Nyerere National Park

Known as the Selous Game Reserve until 2019, Nyerere National Park is one of the largest wildlife sanctuaries in the world.

If you think Ruaha is massive, Nyerere stretches to more than 30,900 square kilometers in area. With such a massive area under the protection of Tanzania conservation authorities, you are bound to run into all the big 5 of Africa (leopard, rhino, lion, buffalo, and elephant) with a single visit.

Nyerere offers the authentic Tanzania safari experience that people have paid top dollar even when Tanzania was a colony (Germans controlled it in the 19th century and the British till 1961).

Sure, the hunting has been curbed, but you can witness the awe of nature in its purest form. The best time to visit Nyerere is the dry season between June to October.

It’s a good idea to plan for a 5-day stay if you wish to explore all the vistas this natural reserve has to offer.

Lake Tanganyika

If you’re into aquatic vistas, then Lake Tanganyika is the perfect holiday destination. It’s the second-oldest and second-largest lake in the world.

Situated in the beautiful Great Rift Valley, the freshwater feeds into the lush jungles and dense basins in the surrounding area. The lake is home to over 330 species of fish, the vast majority of which are exclusive to its waters, and found nowhere else on the planet.

Lake Tanganyika
Image credits: Behance

Just mind the large Nile crocodiles near the docks if you’re planning for a boat ride. Those reptiles are quite adept at camouflage and can be hard to spot against the mud.

With the right Tanzania safari package, you can also scuba dive to get a closer look at the aquatic life. You can even catch a glimpse of the centuries-old warship, MV Liemba, which sank in the lake while it was still under German occupation.

Northern Safari Circuit

Tanzania’s Northern Safari Circuit is one of the most desirable safari trips in the world.

Rather than limit yourself to a single location, it takes you through the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, and Lake Tarangire in one sweep.

As such, it’s best to put your phone/camera aside for a bit and create memories that you can cherish as you retreat to your daily grind.

With the right travel service, Tanzania’s Northern Safari Circuit can deliver a comprehensive experience without burning a hole in your pocket.

Whether you wish for a calm sunset across the plains or the rush of the Great Migration across the Nile, you’re sure to get more than your money’s worth, especially when going for a middle-of-the-year booking.

Tanzania Coast

Not many people know about it, but Tanzania boasts a handful of exquisite beaches that could rival those found in the Maldives or Indonesia.

You can reach it conveniently from most safari destinations if you want some cool Indian Ocean winds on your face. For the best experience, you can go for the Saadani National Park, which is arguably the most spellbinding coastal national park in the world.

Whether you want to drink a couple of Mojitos or fancy a surfing session, the Tanzania coast is well worth a day’s visit.

However, before you add it to your itinerary, it’s wise to check for any storm warnings that may ruin your Tanzania safari vacation package.

Southern Tanzania

If you believe that Tanzania’s Northern Safari Circuit is a bit out of your budget, you need not lose hope.

You can think of Southern Tanzania as a lite and less expensive version of what is becoming an exceedingly premium package each year.

You can still find much of the wildlife, same as the North, but also have the added advantage of fly camping and mountain trekking which can bring you face to-face with the cute little chimpanzees.

Trust me, they’re more friendly than what their reputation suggests.

Southern Tanzania
Image credits: Freepik

Still, that also grants you the great responsibility of making your trip sustainable. Try to limit the use of vehicles and beware of throwing away anything from your backpack.

Travel light, as your nearest resort is already stocked on all the camping supplies you will ever need.

Western Tanzania

The Lonely Planet describes Western Tanzania as a “rough, remote frontier land.”

There are vast expanses without any power lines or tracks, and minimal infrastructure to remind you of any civilization. It’s a place you go to for complete isolation from the bustles of everyday life, something that’s becoming increasingly rare for most citizens of the world.

The Katavi National Park and Mahale Mountains are a couple of highlights that you can check out.

You’re unlikely to spot any of the Big 5 here, but the calm environment offers the perfect place to meditate and reflect on natural beauty, something that most other destinations have lost over the years, owing to the increasing need for tourist comforts.

Ngorongoro Crater

The Ngorongoro crater is the result of an extinct volcanic caldera about 75 miles (120 km) west of Arusha.

Since 1979, it has been categorized as a UNESCO World Heritage site, thanks to the diversity of wildlife that now call it home.

It covers an area of 102 square miles, offering the opportunity to witness the best safari in Tanzania within a short duration.

In addition to the Big 5, you can watch flocks of pink flamingos take off into the skies, an iconic media part of most travel guides and memoirs of Africa since the 1930s.

Any time of the year is a good time to visit Ngorongoro, but the rainy season might hinder your movement a bit. 

Tarangire National Park

Tarangire is another lesser-known destination where you can escape the rush that often accompanies the safaris of Serengeti. You might find it more suitable if you’re into bird-watching.

The national park is home to more than 500 species of birds, thanks to its varied flora and the iconic baobab trees.

Tarangire National Park
Image credits: Discover Africa

It’s common for visitors to keep quiet, get comfy, and observe the herds of elephants or flocks of birds from a good vantage point.

You don’t need to get dirty or ghillied up, as the park rangers already have several planned locations where you can take in magnificent views without the need for binoculars.

Before booking a visit, it’s best to research a bit online and know what kind of fauna you can spot in the current season.

Lake Manyara National Park

Just north of the Tarangire lies Lake Manyara National Park, home to the renowned tree-climbing lions of Tanzania.

If you’re looking to explore the African wilderness on foot (safely), then this is the place to go.

Not only are there highly maintained trails across the preserve, but a treetop walkway can let you get the perspective of where the lions spend their hot summer afternoons.

In addition to those, there are still other heavyweight animals, such as buffalos, hippos, and zebras that you can spot on your holiday. While the bird population is less sparse than Tarangire, you can still notice droves of pelicans and flamingos drinking from the lake’s freshwater reserves.

Zanzibar And Other Tanzania Islands

Most of Tanzania is land-based terrain, but just a short boat ride off the coast lie a few of the beautiful groups of islands that you can experience in your lifetime.

For context, the island town of Dar Es Salaam was the capital of Tanzania until 1911 when the British took control of the colony. You can also visit other historical gems close by, such as Tanga and Sadani.

Zanzibar And Other Tanzania Islands
Image credits: Vecteezy

Legend says that several pirates made Zanzibar their unofficial deposit of riches, as a way of deceiving the British and Portuguese who were taking control of the trade routes in the Indian Ocean.

You never know, perhaps you’ll stumble upon some kind of long-lost treasure yourself. When booking a Zanzibar vacation package, it’s a good idea to manually monitor the location of your stay.

You don’t want an hour-long cab ride just so you can hit the shore, and the villas next to the beach are often quite expensive when the season is in full swing.


Arusha is a town that can serve as your base camp as you explore the nearby regions during safaris.

If you’re traveling as part of a large group, it’s best to leave the heavier luggage in a rented room within the town and take only the essentials in a small purse or backpack on your trip.

While the wildlife sanctuaries may be spared on accommodation, Arusha is welcoming new guests for all budgets throughout the year.

It’s a pleasant retreat as well because you can indulge in the rather active nightlife after a long day of trekking in the wilderness.

Mikumi National Park

Mikumi is the fourth-largest national park in Tanzania, but it often gets overlooked in most travel brochures and blogs.

That’s ideal for you if you prefer to have a safari experience free from tourist crowds making noise and scaring away the natural wildlife. While the size can be intimidating, you can cover the entirety of the area within two days’ worth of travel, especially when you have a Mitsubishi Pajero handy.

Due to the lower volume of tourists, you can expect a lower budget if you book Mikumi as part of your Tanzania safari package.

It’s a perfect fit for travelers who don’t have much time but still want to witness the awe of African grasslands without breaking the bank.

Materuni Waterfalls

For those who wish to experience life in rural Tanzania first-hand, the village of Materuni should be on their bucket list.

Situated next to a wonderful waterfall of the same name, the inhabitants are welcoming in a way that’s near extinct in a global industry thriving on luxury and service.

A short trek up the mountain can lead you to the hot springs where you can relax and refresh better than in any five-star hotel steam room. Materuni is also known for its rich plantations of coffee.

So, if you’re a connoisseur, you can pack in a bag or two of beans to brew back home.

Serengeti National Park

It’s fair to say that we saved the best for last. Even if you’re not aware of any other wildlife sanctuary in Africa, you might have heard of the Serengeti National Park.

Established in 1952, it has been the place to go if you’re looking for the ideal Tanzania safari experience.

Serengeti National Park
Image credits: Shutterstock

The endless plains can let you observe an entire ecosystem, with most of the flora and fauna from all over the country available in its trees, bushes, rivers, and other physical features. It’s also the largest preserved area that the migrating herds have to cross in the summer season.

Just be mindful when deciding on the best time to visit Serengeti, as a customized safari holiday can set you back much more than when you book as part of a group.

When To Go on a Safari in Tanzania?

While the preserves of the country accept bookings year-long, the best safari in Tanzania depends on your preference. For instance, the winter months give you access to the challenging climbs of Kilimanjaro, whereas the summer months allow for smooth surfing of the ocean waves.

Thus, it’s best to know what kind of experience you desire and plan a vacation accordingly. As for the safaris, the months between May and October are often the ideal time to encounter any wildlife.

Where To Stay?

Contrary to popular belief, Tanzania safari deals include a wide range of luxurious stays for almost every budget.

Arusha has several spare rooms available for a budget, whereas the beach contains multiple five-star resorts that offer buggies and ATVs to explore the coastline.

Tanzania safari
Image Credits: Discover Africa

When booking a place to stay, ensure you are conveniently close to the safari, bird-watching, or trekking experience that you desire to perform.

It’s always a good idea to have a satellite phone handy to call in emergencies, as car repair shops and advanced medical facilities are quite rare in Tanzania.

Key Takeaways

The best places for safari in Tanzania are the ones tailored to your needs and preferences.

You can embark on a journey of a lifetime with our Tanzania safari services, where every moment is filled with excitement and wonder. We can create a customized experience that perfectly suits your desires, with all conveniences and amenities accounted for.

What’s more is that we don’t have any hidden fees or extra charges, although we request you carry some cash to buy any souvenirs to take home.

Book your ultimate Tanzania safari with us and leave with tales that shall echo for generations. Moreover, don’t forget to check out our other blogs to see if any other Tanzania safari packages might interest you

Frequently Asked Questions

The average safari cost in Tanzania varies between USD 1500 to USD 4000, depending on the time, duration, and location of your choice. However, the more lavish villas in Zanzibar can set you back as much as USD 10,000 or more for a week’s stay.

There have been many stories of injuries and even fatalities of tourists visiting Tanzania for a safari. Nevertheless, over the decades, the government has had a strict crackdown on hunting and poaching, making the fauna less threatening for tourists.

Moreover, the park rangers and guides always keep visitors at a safe distance and ensure they cause minimal disturbance for each visit.

The Big 5 refers to the five large species of mammals that Tanzania safaris are famous for. They include the African leopard, African buffalo, rhino, African elephant, and African lion.

You can complete most safaris within 3-5 days of staying in Tanzania. However, visits to multiple locations and taking in all the sights might require at least 10 days of stay.

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