Tanzanian Safaris for the richest African experience
An East African country within the African Great Lakes region, Tanzania is bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north; Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west; Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south and the Indian Ocean to the east. It is known for vast wilderness areas, offering some of the best game viewing and safari experiences in all of Africa.
These include the plains of Serengeti National Park, a safari mecca populated by big five game (elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino), and Kilimanjaro National Park, home to Africa’s highest volcanic, snow-tipped mountain, along with Kenya's Masai Mara, home to the Great Migration. Can you imagine the sight when 1.5m wildebeest take to the road, following the rains in search of green pastures? This is once-in-a-lifetime stuff and the ultimate wildlife experience.
Tanzania also boasts some less visited but no less interesting parks and reserves, including the Selous, Ruaha, Mahale and Katavi.
The high-quality, low-volume approach to safari tourism, with an emphasis on excellent accommodation, service and guiding, makes for a much better, more exclusive and intimate, safari experience than in other destinations which take a more mass-market approach, so make sure you do your research before taking a trip.
It’s easy to find an impressive range of safari accommodation across the country to suit every traveller, from the most intrepid and adventurous to the most sophisticated. From rustic and basic tented camps with bucket showers and no electricity, to uber-luxurious permanent camps where every wish is met, Tanzania will have something to suit you.
Each season in Tanzania is blessed with its own charm. However, game viewing is usually best during the dry season of June to October, and again from December to March.
The long rains come during April and May, and the short rains during November. During the rains, the plains turn green and offer plenty of sustenance, and the wildlife spreads out making it harder to spot. In between the rains is the dry season, particularly from June to October. During the dry season, as water sources diminish and vegetation dries out, the wildlife has no option but to seek water at the limited water holes, guaranteeing a spectacular pageant of predatory action.
If a safari trip is not for you, the Kalambo waterfalls in the southwestern region of Rukwa are the second highest uninterrupted falls in Africa, and are located near the southeastern shore of Lake Tanganyika on the border with Zambia. Offshore lies the tropical islands of Zanzibar and Mafia Marine Park, where whale sharks swim through the reefs. One of the many activities on offer, like a hot air balloon trip over the Serengeti, a night fly camping in the bush, or boating in the Selous, means the choice is limitless.
The best safari lodges and camps do get booked up well in advance during the peak (dry) season, so it's best to plan ahead. And then enjoy the experience!