Jun to Oct (Migration from Jun-Jul & Jan-Feb)
Arusha (JRO); Dar es Salaam (DAR)
With its natural splendor and biodiversity, Tanzania offers a wide range of safaris for both first-timers and seasoned travelers, thus making it an ideal safari destination and a top destination for ecotourists. Tanzania has three safari circuits – Northern, Southern, and Western, each unique in wildlife and topography.
The most traveled Northern Circuit hosts the world-renowned Serengeti migration. It also consists of the dramatic Ngorongoro Crater, home to around 30,000 animals, the elephant-rich Tarangire, Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro, the scenic Lake Manyara, and the historical and cultural hub of Zanzibar.
The Southern Safari Circuit includes the vast Selous Game Reserve that supports the world’s largest surviving populations of elephant, buffalo, lion, and the African wild dog. The scenically beautiful Ruaha, with a rugged baobab-strewn picturesque landscape and a huge favorite with lion junkies.
In the Western Safari Circuit, the underrated Katavi National Park has wide open plains full of vast herds of buffalo and antelope, alongside rivers heaving with hippos and crocodiles. The forested Mahale Mountains, only accessible by boat, and the Gombe Stream, offer the finest chimp trekking. While Mahale mountains are more scenic and isolated, Gombe Stream is where the chimps were initially studied by the famous primatologist, Jane Goodall. These primates are amazingly well habituated and hardly bat an eyelid at the human presence.
With Recherché Journeys, create your tailor-made Tanzania safari and discover local conservation efforts, meet the Hadzabe bushmen and the enchanting Maasai during your unforgettable adventure. Contact us for a FREE tour plan.
Serengeti National Park: Africa’s most famous park offers classic safari and excellent year-round wildlife viewing, including the annual wildebeest migration (late Jan – Sep). Vast grassland plains provide fantastic opportunities for spotting predators, a variety of accommodation that caters to all budgets, hot air balloon safaris available. The best time to visit is June – Feb, while June, July, and Oct-Apr are the peak season, and the Seronera area gets crowded.
Ngorongoro Crater: Excellent year-round wildlife viewing with Big 5 easily spotted. Excellent range of accommodation, visit the ethnic Masai tribe. The best time to visit is from June to Sep. Gets more crowded than usual from July – March.
Ruaha National Park: It is an exclusive park with great wilderness appeal. The best time to go is June to Oct when balloon safaris are also available. Excellent wildlife viewing includes big prides of lion, wild dogs, greater and lesser kudu, roan, and sable. Has the finest accommodations and very few budget options. Most lodges closed from March to May.
Selous Game Reserve: Most of the park has been set aside for hunting. The area open to the public, while small, offers outstanding animal sighting with easy predator spotting. Boat safaris on the Rufiji River are the highlight. Mid-range and luxury lodges available, and most are closed from March to May.
Gombe National Park: Gombe Stream is a pristine forest on Lake Tanganyika’s shore and is one of the best places in Africa to track chimpanzees. First researched in the 1960s by Jane Goodall, the primates are remarkably habituated. The best time to visit is from May to Oct.
Lake Manyara National Park: With plenty of wildlife, it is one of the best parks to view elephants at close quarters and offers exceptional birding opportunities. En-route to Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti from Arusha, it is easily accessible. It provides options for canoe safaris, night drives, and a treetop walkway. Gets crowded from April to July.
Tarangire National Park: Outstanding wildlife during the dry season (Jun-Oct) with herds of up to 300 elephants can be seen. Excellent birding and gorgeous landscape with many baobab trees. Variety of mid-range and luxury lodges available. Gets crowded during the peak season.
Katavi National Park: Off the beaten track, Katavi provides a classic wilderness and an exclusive experience. Dry season (Jun-Oct) is the best time to view wildlife with large Hippo pods and antelope species. Accommodation is limited and difficult to obtain.
When to go
Best time to visit: June to October (all parks). June – July, and January – February are the months when wildebeest migrate and calve at Serengeti.
High Season: July to March (Northern Circuit parks are crowded and should be booked well in advance). July to October (Southern and Western Circuit parks)
Low Season: April to May (Many lodges close down in Southern and Western circuit). March and April are very wet.