The widest variety of wildlife in Africa
Beautiful coast and mountain travel choices
Wide variety of tour operators
Catering for all budgets
High-end travel available
Perhaps a long flight if you're in the US or Asia
You'll probably need a few injections before going, depending on your medical history
Africa is not shy when it comes to excellent safari destinations to pick from. Then again what makes travel experts and seasoned tourists alike choose Tanzania over the eco-estates of Botswana, Zimbabwe and its majestic Victoria Falls, the luxury boutique hotels of South Africa or the world renowned bird life of Zambia? It is simply the thunder like sound of millions of wildebeest migrating across the Serengeti. It is the total abundance of wildlife and astounding natural beauty Tanzania has to offer. It is the various add-ons that Tanzania offers its safari tourists, such as spending extra days after their safari trips on the idyllic and historical island of Zanzibar, soaking up the sun at resorts located on the edges of white sanded beaches, or going gorilla and chimp trekking.
Tanzania, located in East Africa, and borders Uganda and Kenya to the north; Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the west; Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia to the south, and on the east, the Indian Ocean. A country that has nearby 38% of its land area under protected nature reserves. These protected lands are divided into four zones, namely the Northern Circuit, the Southern Circuit, the Eastern Circuit and the Western Circuit. Some reserves like the Gombe Stream National Park located in the west have become world famous, through the work Jane Goodall did on chimpanzee behavior. But it is Tanzania’s high biodiversity that stretches beyond the white-bearded wildebeest, and the chimpanzee, but the country has over 1130 bird species, 130 amphibian and over 275 reptile species, many endemic.
Plus, when it comes to well-known safari locations, Tanzania has two world famous destinations. That of the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater. These two parks are both in the Northern Circuit and both offering some of the best wildlife viewing experiences, making these areas almost guaranteed to view game. More so, both are declared UNESCO historical sites, with the Serengeti named as one of the natural wonders of the world.
The Serengeti National Park, best known as where the migration of millions of wildebeest, gazelles and zebra takes place, as they move down from the Ngorongoro Highlands towards the Serengeti plain where predators await them. The Ngorongoro Crater is known for its huge volcanic caldera that once was higher than Kilimanjaro, but now is home to a rich abundance of wildlife. This area includes the highest concentration of predators in the world that includes lions and leopards, but also other animals such as black rhinos, hippos, buffalos and large elephants; as well as rivers, lakes and forests at the bottom of the crater. It is no wonder that the Ngorongoro Crater is also known as the Garden of Eden, which is over 2 million years old. Then there is also Lake Manyara National Park. A small, less touristy area, but still a very scenic reserve. Here you can spot tree-climbing lions, huge baboon troops and an abundant bird life.
On the western circuit, there is the Katavi National Park. This park is known for its large quantity of large mammals, like buffaloes and hippos. On the southern circuit you can view large predators, like crocodiles and hippos. These are lessor explored wilderness areas, than it world famous Northern neighbor, but this area included the Selous Game Reserve that is the second biggest national park on earth, and a World Heritage Site. One of Tanzania’s best kept secrets, partly since it is less accessible, is that of the Ruaha National Park. This park offers a safari tourist a chance to see not only a massive concentrations of game, but also the biggest elephant herds in Tanzania, as well as occasional leopards and rhinos. The park itself is located on a vast plateau with panoramic views of the surrounding unspoiled landscapes.
When it comes to the landscape a safari goers is not just limited to the open plains and plateaus. There are three main lakes, ranging from the largest Lake Victoria, to the third largest and second deepest lake in Africa, Lake Malawi, as well as Lake Taganyika the world’s longest freshwater lake and second deepest.
In essence, Tanzania is a country of two halves. Each portion is richly endowed with natural beauty and lavish wildlife, however this country also offer different types of safari experiences for tourist. This ranges from the budget to how you can experience a safari. As you have an option between a tight budget, mid-budget option to luxury accommodation. Tanzania also offers different manners to view game and the baobab filled landscape. From balloon rides in the Serengeti; to boat safaris in the Selous Game Reserve, or safari by horseback. There is also safaris you can do by canoes, allowing you to travel down the river. Then again there are camels and elephants that can be taken, not to mention to do a safari by foot.
When you look that which month is the best, it is strange to note that Tanzania is different than other safari destinations in the sense that each month of the year is a good month to travel to the country. Particularly the northern zone which offer outstanding wildlife viewing all year round.
In the end, Tanzania even with its stiff competition from other safari destination in Africa, it is still the best destination in Africa to do a safari. From its massive amount of wildlife and varied landscapes, it stands out that you can experience the true African safari experience since the parks are unfenced and there are dirt roads and endless plains. Also it’s the amount of things to do while there. Indeed, all those extras like extending your stay to include Zanzibar, going to Kilimanjaro to seeing Jane Goodall’s chimpanzees. All of this and more, in a country that is political stable, but also have good access links by air to Europe and other areas. It is understandable to why this country was voted the best safari destination in Africa.
Resource list before you go:
- Alien Adventures: Planning a Tanzana Safari: read more
- About Tanzania: from WikiTravel
- Tanzania on Wikipedia: Country guide
- Tanzania Safari and WWF: read more
- Safari tour operators: read more
- Ranger safari: read more
- “Book all Safari’s”: read more
- Breaking travel news: read more
- Alien Adventures: Mount Kilimanjaro – read more
- Funny story of a UK benefit fraudster who was fit enough to climb Kilimanjaro – read this story