Planning a Tanzania safari can be a daunting task at first glance. When is the best time to visit? Which parks should be explored? Where can we stay? Don’t worry, this guide’s here to help you plan the ultimate safari experience in Tanzania.
Not only will you be mesmerized by the local wildlife, but your safari expedition also doesn’t have to break the bank. A Tanzania safari tour can either be a budget-friendly or luxurious African experience.
Here you will find everything you need to know for your trip on the East African safari.
When to Go for a Safari in Tanzania
Deciding which time of year you want to go on your wildlife safari in Tanzania trip depends on what you want to get out of the experience. The season you choose to go in will have an impact on which parks you should visit, what animals you will see and, of course, the prices.
Each season has its perks and drawbacks, which we’ve highlighted for you below.
Calving Season – December to March
The calving season is most notable for the presence of tens of thousands of baby wildebeest. Those lucky enough will see the babies take their first steps. The herd stays in the Ndutu region until it is time to migrate to the north.
The calving season is a popular time to visit Tanzania and occurs around Christmas and New Year’s. This makes it hard to find hotels and the cost of accommodation also increases during this period. Still, if you’re intrigued by this phenomenon, it’s worth spending on your safari holidays in Tanzania.
Green Season – April and May
Though the surroundings will be green and in full bloom, there is a lot of rainfall at this time of year. This means the visibility can be limited at times. And you may also have to spend more time in your tent or hotel than you had hoped.
However, as it is low season, the rates for deluxe lodges and safari tours in Tanzania are usually reduced. If you would like to experience a luxury safari on Tanzanian parks and reserves at an affordable price, this is the ideal time to visit.
Peak Season – June to September
Without a doubt, this time of year is the most popular time to go on a Tanzania safaris tour. These months are distinguished by East Africa’s great wildebeest migration – one of the world’s most spectacular wildlife events. Starting from the Southern Serengeti, wildebeests make their way to the Masai Mara in Kenya.
If you would like to see the great migration and the possibility of witnessing a river cross at Grumeti or Mara River, then this is the best time for wildlife viewing.
Shoulder Season – October and November
These two months are often known as the short rainy season. This results in it being a quiet time of the year. There will be fewer crowds in the parks but accommodation won’t be as cheap as it is in the rainy season.
Your chances of seeing the great migration in the Masai Mara area are very slim at this time of the year. However, there’s still abundant wildlife to be seen roaming the endless plains on safaris in Tanzania.
Tanzania Safari Tours
Once you know what time of year you’d like to embark on your safari in Tanzania, you’ll have to figure out which parks offer the best Tanzania safari packages. Whichever you choose, you probably won’t go wrong as there isn’t a single best safari in Tanzania.
Serengeti National Park
This park is known worldwide because of the role it plays in hosting the Wildebeest Migration each year.
The park itself is split into several regions. The Ndutu region is home to the annual calving season. While the Seronera region is popular among visitors as it has a large big cat population.
Though the Grumeti Region section is often overlooked, you should definitely add it to your list. Each year it hosts the Grumeti River crossing – an unforgettable sight.
The Northern Serengeti is very popular during the months of July through August. This is when the Mara River crossing portion of the Wildebeest Migration takes place. A stunning experience to witness with many Tanzania tours on offer.
View the Serengeti National Park in a different way on this hot-air balloon tour.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is home to the Ngorongoro Crater and features Tanzania’s largest rhinoceros population. The crater formed as a result of the cone of an extinct volcano collapsing inward after a major eruption. It’s also a part of the World Heritage Site in the area.
What stands today are mostly open grasslands that lend themselves well for a safari adventure. Among the array of wildlife found at the park are elephants, buffalo, hyenas, hippos, lions, and much more.
The best Tanzania safari tour in the area is this Ngorongoro Crater day trip.
Lake Manyara National Park
This might come as a surprise to some, but Lake Manyara National Park is best to visit during the rainy season. Its waters are at their peak then, attracting hippos and colorful flamingos.
Lake Manyara is also famous for its tree-climbing lions and variety of birdlife. This makes it the best Tanzania safari tour for you if you aren’t fond of crowds.
It is one of the few places in Tanzania that offers a canoe safari and a night game drive. Enjoy a visit to Lake Manyara as part of this three-day multi-park tour for an unforgettable African safari.
Tarangire National Park
As one of Tanzania’s most unique parks, Tarangire is home to the distinctive baobab trees and the country’s largest elephant population.
Visit this park during the dry season as animals gather along the banks of the Tarangire River. This increases your chances of spotting giraffes, zebras, elephants, lions, and more.
Tarangire National Park is also one of the best places for birdwatching in East Africa as there are over 500 species of bird that roam the skies. Join in on this Tarangire guided day tour to experience one of the best Tanzania safaris.
Where to Stay During Safari Trips in Tanzania
Just as it offers different travelers a great African safari, Tanzania offers a diverse accommodation profile. From roughing it out on the plains of the Serengeti to swimming in your own private pool.
For those on a budget or with a thirst for adventure, camping is a great choice. You’ll usually camp in a public area with communal kitchen and bathroom facilities. A great perk is that you will be sleeping under the starry night sky.
Click here to book a budget-friendly camping safari complete with a tour.
Budget Lodges and Tented Camps
Though in most cases you won’t find these within park boundaries, towns such as Arusha and Karatu offer a few options for those on a tight budget. However, bear in mind you’ll have to travel a little more than you would with properties in the national parks.
One such property is the Kataru Safari Camp Lodge which affords you a no-frills comfortable sleep between game drives.
You can book your stay here.
These types of accommodations are the ultimate, once-in-a-lifetime safari experience which highlight many Tanzania luxury safari holidays.
One of the best ones is the Four Seasons Safari Lodge nestled in the Serengeti. It features modern amenities like air-conditioned rooms with flat-screen TVs, a swimming pool, and a safe. There’s an onsite restaurant offering delicious Tanzanian delicacies which can be coupled with the finest of wines.
Enjoy a view of the Serengeti plains while you rest in between your Tanzanian safari game viewing experiences.
Final Thoughts – Tanzania Safaris
No matter how many videos or pictures you have seen of wildlife, it will never be as glorious as your first safari encounter. The life-changing experience will be a memory that you will cherish for life. Wait no longer and book a Tanzania tour now.
Do keep in mind to be vigilant and respectful of the animals as you’re a guest in their homes. Follow the guidelines and regulations during your Tanzania safari vacation and you are bound to go home with spectacular photos and experiences. This applies to all game parks including Lake Manyara, Tarangire, Serengeti, and Ngorongoro Crater.
If you’re keen to extend your dream trip to other safari destinations in Africa, check out these all-inclusive African safari vacations.