Tanzania is one of the best safari destinations in Africa. There are plenty of parks to explore and wildlife to see. If you are looking for the best safari, Tanzania is the place to go.
This 8-day safari itinerary will take you across Tanzania’s northern parks. Here, you will be treated to some of the most splendid views in Africa. There is nothing more spectacular than seeing some of the best wildlife in the world.
Are you thinking of visiting both Kenya and Tanzania? Check out this list of safaris in Kenya and Tanzania. But first, let’s dive into our Tanzania safari itinerary.
How to Plan for a Safari in Tanzania
Planning for a safari can be daunting and time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. You need to have a good itinerary, know the best times to go, and pack wisely. Preparing for your trip shouldn’t be a problem if you follow these guidelines.
When Is the Best Time to Go
When planning your trip, you need to ask yourself when the best time for an African safari is?
You also need to consider weather conditions and whether you want to visit during the biggest animal migration in Africa.
Visiting Tanzania between June and August is your best bet at getting the most out of your experience. During these months, the climate is drier, which means more opportunities for you to see wildlife at waterholes. The Mara River crossing, which is part of the great migration, occurs from June to July.
If you want to view the great Wildebeest Migration in Tanzania, September is the best month. This is when they cross the Mara River as the crocodiles wait to catch their prey. It is perfect for those looking for a dramatic viewing filled with struggles, losses, and near escapes.
What to Pack for a Safari
When packing for a safari in Tanzania, there are a few essential items that you will need. You will need t-shirts, long-sleeve shirts, and long pants in neutral shades. You will also need comfortable shoes for walking and maybe a swimsuit if you want to hop in the pool at your accommodation.
Depending on the weather, you might need to pack a warm hat, scarf, and thermals. You will also need sun protection, so sunscreen, a sunhat, and sunglasses are necessary — even in winter.
Packing a few first aid items is a good idea, so make sure you have the basic kit, anti-malaria tablets, and mosquito repellant. Hand sanitiser and some wet wipes are also helpful to keep.
If you plan on taking tech like cameras, make sure you carry a spare battery, chargers, and a portable power bank. Having a pair of binoculars is also recommended. Carrying some cash (in US Dollars) is also great to tip your drivers and guides.
Where to Stay on Safari in Tanzania
Finding accommodation in Tanzania isn’t a problem, and if you think you have to rough it out, you don’t. Many luxury safari resorts offer a five-star experience. All parks have accommodation within their boundaries.
If you are on a budget, lodges outside park boundaries still provide you with comfort at a lower price. Just bear in mind that you will most likely have to travel a little further to reach the game reserve.
Some parks also offer the option of public campsites. These campsites have a communal bathroom and dining areas. They’re an excellent option if you want to spend the night under the starry African sky.
8-day Northern Tanzania Safari Itinerary
Northern Tanzania is a popular area for safaris. Lake Manyara, the Serengeti National Park, and many other places provide excellent opportunities to view Africa’s wildlife. This 8-day itinerary will guarantee that you have one of the best safaris in Tanzania.
Day 1: Arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport
Upon your arrival in Kilimanjaro, you will have some time in the city of Arusha before departing to Tarangire National Park. The journey is over four hours long, so you can opt to stay in the city overnight and travel early in the morning or travel straight to the park.
Spend this day resting as you’ve been traveling non-stop. Admire the sights of Africa and get excited about a fun-filled trip.
Day 2 and 3: Tarangire National Park
This is where the fun starts. Tarangire National Park is home to Tanzania’s largest elephant population and is known for its distinctive baobab trees.
Visiting the park in the dry season is excellent as you can watch animals gather along the Tarangire River. You’re likely to spot giraffes, elephants, zebras and many more.
If you’re a birdwatcher, Tarangire National Park is one of the best places to visit. There are over 500 species of bird that fill the skies. Starting your trip here guarantees that you will have the best safari in Tanzania.
Day 4: Lake Manyara National Park
On day four, you will head out to Lake Manyara National Park. Don’t be fooled by its size. Although Lake Manyara is one of the smaller national parks in Tanzania, it is still an excellent place to explore.
You can expect to spot elephants on your safari as they trek across the plains, as well as troops of baboons, and Lake Manyara’s famous tree-climbing lions.
Take a driving tour on a 4×4 safari vehicle with a safari guide explaining everything to you. Around the lake, you are sure to see buffalo, warthog, wildebeest, zebras, and pink flamingos.
If you are looking to spot some hippos, the shallow Hippo Pool is not to be missed. Here, you can witness the hippos drifting in the waters and watch them in their daily routines. The pool also offers you incredible views of the Rift Valley Escarpment.
Lake Manyara offers various activities like canopy walks and cultural tours. Once you’re done for the day, return to your accommodation and enjoy a delicious dinner soundtracked by the wildlife of Africa.
Day 5 and 6 Serengeti National Park
The Serengeti National Park is the country’s most popular game reserve. It is home to diverse wildlife and endless plains of beauty. It also hosts the Wildebeest Migration, with more than a million wildebeest crossing its plains every year.
Apart from the migration, you are also likely to spot other animals like lions, cheetahs, zebras, and the endangered black rhino. Once you spend time here, you will realise why this is the country’s most famous park.
The park also offers you a balloon safari to experience the wildlife from a different perspective. Drift silently above the plains and watch as the herds of wildlife pass by under you. The hot air balloon is one of the best safari tours in Tanzania.
End your days with a sunset dinner at your lodge’s restaurant and let the hum of Africa’s wildlife fill the air. A visit to the Serengeti National Park is a once in a lifetime experience.
Day 7: Ngorongoro Conservation Area
After spending two days in the Serengeti National Park, you will have an early start and travel to Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
The crater is a collapsed volcano and is the largest intact caldera in Africa. It is rumored that if the volcano had not collapsed, the mountain would be taller than Mount Kilimanjaro. There is a unique ecosystem surrounding the crater with various vegetation and wildlife.
Home to the highest concentration of wildlife in Africa, the crater is full of elephants, buffalo, lions, and hippos. This is a great place if you want to spot the Big Five. It is no wonder that this beautiful area is one of Africa’s Seven Natural Wonders.
The crater is a breathtaking marvel that makes it the perfect choice for your last stop on your trip. You want to end your visit on a high note and revelling in the greatness of Ngorongoro is precisely that.
Day 8: Rest and Departure
Depending on your flight, you will have time to visit the Maasai village. Visitors are usually greeted with a song and dance, and you are taught about the villagers’ traditions and daily lives. Then you can grab a quick lunch before heading to Kilimanjaro Airport.
The trip back is long and tiring, so make sure you are well-rested. Perhaps catch a nap on your way to the airport? This is an excellent time to reflect on your trip and your experiences. You will need to rest before you begin your long journey home.
A Footnote on Tanzania Safari Itineraries
This country is a wonderful place for an African escape, and following this itinerary will ensure that you have the best Tanzania safari. Planning your trip during the peak season also ensures that you can see various animals in their natural habitat.
This itinerary packs in the best of Tanzania’s safaris. There is also a lot of freedom for you to change around activities to what you desire. Each game reserve has its highlights and fun things to do. So book your trip to Tanzania, and get ready for a wild adventure.
If you’re looking for more safari itineraries, check out this 10-day Kruger Park itinerary.