10 Best Tanzania Safari Destinations

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Tanzania is an excellent safari destination with about 16 national parks. It’s home to pure African wilderness, landscapes like you’ve never seen before, adventurous activities, and pristine beaches! Moreover, about 38% of Tanzania’s total land is protected. This should give you an idea of how precious the country is for safari enthusiasts!

Here are the 10 best Tanzania safari destinations that you must visit:

 

  1. Serengeti National Park

Serengeti is a beautiful, breath-taking safari destination with a lot to offer. Its endless plains are home to the Big 5 of Africa. Moreover, Serengeti is known for its Great Migration, which draws in thousands of tourists from all over the world every year.

The Great Migration is a natural migration of millions of wildebeests in a clockwise manner from Serengeti to Masai Mara and then back again. It’s a magnificent natural phenomenon and witnessing it live in front of you is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Serengeti is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Tanzania owing to its breath-taking scenery, diverse wildlife, and pure African wilderness. Watching lions hunt for zebras and other preys is a spectacular experience. However, it can get crowded during the peak tourist season.

Wildlife: Big 5, giraffes, hippos, zebras, wildebeests, cheetahs, hyenas, gazelles, jackals, and elands.

Highlights:

  • Big 5
  • Great Migration
  • You can go on a hot air balloon safari here
  • Easily accessible
  • Many options for accommodation
  • Diverse wildlife
  • Excellent birdwatching with over 500 species

Best time to visit: June to October. February is also a great time to visit because it’s the calving season of the wildebeests when all their herds are gathered in the park.

 

 

  1. Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Ngorongoro Conservation Area is known for the Ngorongoro Crater, which is a large volcanic caldera. Ngorongoro is another spot where you can spot the Big 5 in Tanzania. It offers breath-taking sceneries and spectacular landscapes.

Wildlife: Big 5, jackals, cheetahs, zebras, wildebeests, hippos, hyenas, and gazelles.

Highlights:

  • Big 5
  • Hot air balloon safari
  • Many options for accommodation
  • Great birdwatching experience with over 500 species
  • High wildlife concentration
  • Offers excellent wildlife viewing throughout the year

 

Best time to visit: Year-round.

 

 

  1. Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park is easily accessible and is known for its large population of elephants. It’s a scenic park with beautiful baobab trees (some of which are hundreds of years old) that provide shelter to tree-climbing lions. You can spot over 500 bird species here.

Wildlife: Tree-climbing lions, wildebeests, zebras, fringe-eared oryx, hyenas, buffaloes, hippos, giraffes and elephants.

Highlights:

  • Amazing scenery
  • Over 500 bird species
  • Large herds of elephants (consisting about 300 elephants)
  • Tree-climbing lions

Best time to visit: June to mid-November for wildlife, and Mid-November to May for birdwatching.

 

  1. Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara National Park has a huge population of lesser flamingoes and elephants. Often, you can spot so many flamingoes that the lake appears pink because of the reflection of the flamingoes! You can also spot the unusual tree-climbing lions here. Don’t forget to go on the tree-top walkway that takes you through the roof of the Park!

Wildlife: Elephants, hippos, giraffes, zebras, buffaloes, wildebeests, and impalas.

Highlights:

  • Night game drive available
  • Large population of elephants and flamingoes
  • Tree-climbing lions
  • Tree-top walkway
  • Rewarding birdwatching experience with over 400 bird species

Best time to visit: June to October for wildlife, November to May for birdwatching

 

  1. Ruaha National Park

Ruaha is home to rare wildlife species like African wild dogs, spotted hyenas, sable antelopes, and lesser kudus. It’s a hidden gem in Tanzania. The park also offers exclusivity and gives you an authentic African wilderness experience. You can spot about 450 species of birds here!

Wildlife: Elephants, African wild dogs, hippos, lions, giraffes, buffaloes, zebras, leopards, greater kudus, lesser kudus, roan antelopes, sable antelopes, impalas, jackals, hyenas, and cheetahs.

Highlights:

  • Rare wildlife species
  • Offers fly-camping
  • You can go on a hot air balloon safari here
  • About 450 bird species
  • Best place to spot critically endangered African wild dogs in Tanzania

Best time to visit: June to November

 

 

  1. Selous Game Reserve

Selous is the largest game reserve in Africa. It’s largely untouched and gives you some exclusive time with nature. It’s huge and beautiful! It’s also very easy to get to because it contains many airstrips. It has a huge population of elephants and you can also spot the critically endangered African wild dogs here.

Wildlife: lions, elephants, buffaloes, hippos, zebras, giraffes, wildebeests, impalas, hyenas, and leopards.

Highlights:

  • Canoe safari at River Rufiji
  • Not crowded
  • Offers fly-camping
  • Many options for accommodation
  • Diverse wildlife
  • Over 400 species of birds can be spotted here

Best time to visit: June to November

 

  1. Katavi National Park

Although Katavi is hard to get to, the journey is definitely worth it. Katavi is a pristine National Park filled with predators. It depicts true African wilderness. It’s also a great place for birdwatching because it’s home to over 400 species of birds!

Wildlife: lions, elephants, buffaloes, leopards, zebras, hippos, giraffes, sable antelopes, roan antelopes, jackals, wild dogs, spotted hyenas, impalas, and crocodiles.

Highlights:

  • Great wildlife diversity
  • Rewarding birdwatching
  • Not crowded
  • Known for its large herds of buffaloes

Best time to visit: Mid-June to the beginning of November

 

 

  1. Mikumi National Park

Mikumi National Park has a great wildlife diversity and it’s often called a mini version of Serengeti. It’s home to midget elephants, which are incredibly small elephants. You can also spot elands here! The Mkata flood plain dominates the park.

Wildlife: Lions, elephants, buffaloes, elands, hippos, zebras, hyenas, giraffes, and many reptiles.

Highlights:

  • Midget elephants
  • Diverse wildlife
  • More than 400 species of birds can be found here
  • Not crowded
  • Contains two artificial hippo ponds

Best time to visit: May to October

 

 

  1. Gombe Stream National Park

Gombe Stream National Park is popular for its huge population of chimpanzees! It’s also home to about 200 species of birds. Gombe Stream National Park is where Jane Goodall spent time observing chimpanzees for her research. This is where she first realized that chimpanzees, too, have emotions and are capable of hugging, kissing, and even tickling!

Wildlife: Chimpanzees, blue monkeys, vervet monkeys, red colobus monkeys, baboons, and leopards.

Highlights:

  • Not crowded
  • Great place for chimpanzee tracking
  • Famous for Jane Goodall’s research

Best time to visit: June to October

 

 

  1. Mahale Mountains National Park

Mahale National Park gives you an off-the-track authentic safari experience. It’s away from the main crowds and gives you a wonderful opportunity to spot and observe chimpanzees, our evolutionary ancestors.

The Mahale mountains provide a scenic backdrop. Watching the sunset over Lake Tanganyika is also a tremendous experience.

Wildlife: leopards, chimpanzees, Red Colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, hippos, and antelopes.

Highlights:

  • Chimpanzee tracking
  • Not crowded
  • You can go fishing at Lake Tangayika
  • Camping safari

Best time to visit: June to October

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