Tanzania: Luxury & Private Safaris
Tanzania is a beautiful, untamed country of diverse landscapes ranging from majestic mountain peaks to white sand beaches and endless stretches of open plains, famously inhabited by large herds of wildlife. In particular, the Great Migration is a sight that draws safari enthusiasts year after year for its affirmation of life and timelessness.
Tanzania offers something for everyone who seeks a true, authentic African safari experience. While climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and embarking on a safari across the northern circuit (Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti) are the most well known adventures, there are certainly more remote safari circuits that are equally as majestic. A safari to Tanzania requires careful planning in terms of timing, weather and locations, especially with regards to animal movements. We will be able to guide you to the best areas so that all of your own unique interests can be included in your Tanzania safari.
Secrets and Tips from our Experts
- You can fly directly between the Serengeti and the Maasai Mara to easily combine Tanzania and Kenya.
- You can fly directly between the Serengeti and Kigali, Rwanda for gorilla trekking.
- Consider the northern Serengeti outside of peak migration season for good populations of resident wildlife yet fewer crowds.
- Visit the Ngorongoro Crater in the early morning rather than in the afternoon to avoid crowds.
- If you have been to the Serengeti, then consider a return trip to western or southern Tanzania.
Is Tanzania the right destination for you?
- Tanzania is perfect for travelers looking for a quintessential safari, with diverse landscapes, authentic culture and huge herds of animals.
- Tanzania is also great for repeat safari-goers or someone who wants to travel off-the-beaten-path. Lesser known reserves like Katavi, Mahale Mountains, Ruaha and Selous are very remote and wild, making it easy to feel like you are alone on safari.
- For you hikers, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro – Africa’s highest mountain – is one of Tanzania’s most exciting activities available.
- It’s easy to add an extension to Zanzibar or Mafia Island for diving, snorkeling, fishing or just plain relaxing after a busy safari.
- If you wish to avoid small planes, then a safari in Tanzania works well with a private driver-guide and vehicle.
When to Visit Tanzania
The high season in Tanzania is between July and October and from December to February – the dry seasons when game is easier to spot. To avoid the crowds, consider May, November and early December, although you should expect some rain. If you are traveling to western or southern Tanzania, then May through early October is best, as it can be very hot during the rest of the year. April and May endure long rains in Tanzania, so be prepared for un-drivable roads and muddy, buggy conditions – camps in western and southern Tanzania are closed.
If you’re focused on the migration, then plan to visit the Serengeti from January to early March, in June/July or from late October to mid-December (we’ll advise on the best camp location based on your month of travel). Keep in mind that weather patterns are changing across the world, which in turn affects the movement of wildlife.
How much should I budget for a safari to Tanzania?
Tanzania: Luxury & Private Safaris are the Best Option
Budget itineraries can start as low as $300 per person per night – but this is the bottom of the range for mass-market tourism and we don’t recommend or sell these trips. The upmarket, luxury properties cost between $600-$1,300 per person per night during peak season, with the most exclusive properties reaching $2,700 per person per night. For the best experience, we do not advocate going below $500 per person per night for a Tanzania safari.
Our favorite areas
In our opinion, the Grumeti Reserve is the cream of the crop – one of the most unbelievable places in all of Africa, with Faru Faru Lodge being a favorite contemporary camp. If you’re not focused on the Great Migration, then we recommend visiting the northern Serengeti in the off-season (January to mid-March, June and November to mid-December). The scenery is simply spectacular and since most wildlife doesn’t migrate like the wildebeest, you’ll get lots of solo time with all the resident big cats and antelope herds. A few of our favorite camps include Lamai Serengeti, Singita Mara River and Lemala Kuria Hills. We also love enjoying the slower safari pace at Chem Chem Lodge, secretly tucked between Tarangire and Lake Manyara. For something a bit more remote and off the beaten path, we love both Ruaha in the south (including Ikuka Safari Camp and Kigelia Ruaha), as well as Mahale Mountains in the west for some of the best chimp trekking in Africa. And for some beach time away from the crowds, The Manta Resort on Pemba Island is not to be missed for your dose of barefoot beach luxury.
What else should I know before planning a safari to Tanzania?
- Tanzania: Animals: Tanzania is all about the animals – you won’t find large cities conveniently placed near a reserve for a quick shopping spree. Arusha and Dar es Salaam are the two cities from which to set off on safari, but neither one compares to the activities in Nairobi nor the cosmopolitan vibe of Cape Town.
- Tanzania: Luxury & Private Safaris: Properties in Tanzania are usually owned by larger groups, and though you may come across smaller, family-owned lodges, these are not the norm and are more easily found in Kenya.
- Tanzania: Limited Activities: Northern Tanzania can be a little frustrating for active travelers since most walking is limited by the park authorities; however, there are some options to get out of the vehicle at Chem Chem, Singita Grumeti Reserve and Wayo; otherwise, plan for more activities in Southern Tanzania where walking, boating, fishing, chimp trekking and fly camping are viable options.
Ways to experience Tanzania
- For the most part, Tanzania focuses on game drives as the primary mode for game-viewing; however, there are properties that offer walking safaris (Serengeti Bushtops), crater walks (Entamanu Ngorongoro), boating (Sand Rivers Selous), chimp trekking (Greystoke Mahale) and fishing (Rubondo Island). In shoulder and green season, there are great multi-day walking options.
- Zanzibar offers an array of beach activities such as diving, snorkeling, dhow trips and fishing. For more culture, you can explore Stone Town, go on a Spice Tour, or visit Jozani Forest for the colobus monkeys.
- One of the most active ways to experience Tanzania is to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak.
- Viewing the Serengeti from a hot air balloon is an amazing way to experience Tanzania, but this of course comes at an additional cost.
Wildlife you will see
- You will have an opportunity to see all of the classic big game animals throughout a Tanzania safari, and if you’re lucky, then you may even spot the highly endangered black rhino or rare wild dogs.
- During certain times, you will be able to view the annual Great Migration where the massive herds of wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle move through the Serengeti, trailed by predators waiting for an opportunity.
- The birding is incredible in Tanzanian – Lake Manyara is particularly famous for its prolific water birds and Southern Tanzania offers some of the best birding in East Africa.
- Mahale Mountains National Park on Lake Tanganyika is home to the largest remaining chimpanzee population in the world – viewing these chimps is a truly amazing and humbling experience.
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