Safari Planning Guidelines
A good travel guide doesn’t replace the advice and assistance from one of Safari Experts, but it does equip you to be an active and informed decision-maker in planning your Tanzania safari. In this guide, we focus on the tips and insights that will help you make the most of your time and money!
1. Excellent Year-round Game Viewing:
Tanzania is home to a great diversity of wildlife, fascinating cultures and natural, scenic beauty. It’s a dream destination from the classic, sweeping savannah of the Serengeti to the flamingo-lined shores of Lake Manyara, world wonder Ngorongoro Crater and Mount Kilimanjaro (Africa’s highest mountain).
It also offers bucket-list experiences that like chimpanzee trekking in the rain forests of Mahale and Gombe, and game viewing in the far-flung wildernesses of Katavi, Ruaha and Selous.
2. The Wildebeest Migration:
Without a doubt, Tanzania’s greatest wildlife attraction is the annual Wildebeest Migration, which sees almost two million wildebeest and zebra follow seasonal rains across the Serengeti-Mara Ecosystem each year. Tanzania hosts the lion’s share of the Migration – two main events take place in the Serengeti:
- 1. The mass calving season when almost a quarter of a million babies are born in the southern Serengeti.
- 2. The dramatic Grumeti River crossings.
2. Bush and Beach Holidays:
Tanzania offers superb safari-and-beach combinations, thanks to its long tropical coastline and coral-fringed islands. You can easily fly from a safari camp after breakfast and be on a powder-soft beach in time for sunset cocktails.
- 1. Tanzania’s top tropical islands are:
- 2. Zanzibar – one of the world’s most romantic honeymoon destinations.
- 3. Mnemba Island – a private island holiday paradise.
- 4. Pemba Island – among the world’s best diving sites.
- 5. Mafia Island – swim with migrating whale sharks (about October to April).
The Best Time to Go to Tanzania:
Deciding when to visit Tanzania depends entirely on what it is that you want to experience.
Peak game viewing in Tanzania is in the dry winter season (about June to October). This is the ideal time to explore the Serengeti, Ngorogoro Crater and Lake Manyara because game is concentrated around water sources. The Wildebeest Migration river crossings also take place between July and October. If you’d prefer to avoid high season crowds, we recommend combining Ruaha and Selous with a beach break on the coast or heading to Lake Victoria to combine chimp trekking in Mahale and Gombe with game viewing in the Katavi.
For keen photographers, this quiet period offers very special advantages: expect lush green landscapes rather than the dull browns of winter; dramatic cloudy skies rather than winter’s endless pale blue skies; and much more relaxed game viewing conditions, which means more time to get that winning shot.
The best time to summit Kilimanjaro is between July and October or between January and March – which makes it easy to combine a mountain trek with both game viewing and relaxing on a tropical island.
Combine your big game safari with Tanzania’s islands between August and October. We don’t recommend the coast or islands during the long rains from March to May when it’s very wet and humid.