What you need to know before going on safari in Tanzania
Going on a safari in Tanzania is an experience to try at least once in your life. Go to Tanzania and book a safari to realize its generous nature, its rich fauna and its incredibly friendly people.
Where to go on safari in Tanzania?
Serengeti National Park
The Serengeti National Park in the north of the country is the best known for safari in Tanzania. Here, the animal is king and flourishes in total freedom in a resplendent savannah free from any human influence (in the Masai language, Siringit means "endless plain"). Listed as a World Heritage Site, this 350,000-acre park is the scene of the largest animal migration still in existence. The plains as far as the eye can see, crossed by thousands of wildebeest, zebras and antelopes is an unmissable spectacle.
Where to sleep: At Mwiba Lodge, one of the finest luxury lodges in Tanzania.
Katavi National Park
Direction the South-West, less frequented, for an unusual safari in Tanzania. Katavi National Park covers 4,471 km2 and consists of two lakes where elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, zebras, impalas and spotted hyenas rush to drink. There is also a large concentration of crocodiles and hippopotamuses. Be careful, Katavi National Park is rich in tsetse flies.
Where to sleep: At Foxes – Katavi Wildlife Camp, nestled under the trees that line the marshy Katisunga Plain located in the center of Katavi Park. 6 tents mounted on a wooden structure on stilts offer luxurious comfort with private bathroom and running water, in addition to a large terrace open to the plain.
Ruaha National Park
Covering nearly 10,300 km², Ruaha National Park is characterized by its large baobabs, its verdant forests, and its wildlife. It is the second largest in the country, behind the Serengeti. To be observed: elephants and leopard rushing near the Ruaha River, and cheetahs, buffaloes and herds of antelope crossing the grassy plains. Its remoteness (in the center of Tanzania and 40 km from Dar Es-Salam) makes it one of the least visited parks in the country. All the more reason to go there, right?
Where to sleep: At the Jongomero lodge, a luxury tent located by the river and offering all the comforts possible for a successful safari in Tanzania.
Tarangire National Park
Located not far from Arusha, Tarangire takes its name from the Tarangire River, and is considered one of the most beautiful theaters of wildlife in the country. In the northern part of Tanzania, Tarangire Park is famous for its elephant migration, birds and authentic safari atmosphere. Tarangire is surprisingly large, providing visitors with a quiet and serene environment, suitable for observing animal species.
Where to sleep: Oliver's Camp, a perfect lodge to explore this remote region and really get away from other travellers.
Mikumi National Park
Southwest of Dar Es Salam, Mikumi National Park is the fourth largest national park in Tanzania and covers 3,230 km². Very little frequented by tourists, it is nevertheless rich in a varied fauna and constitutes an important migration area for many animal species. Doing a safari in Tanzania within Mikumi will allow you to see zebras, wildebeests, buffaloes, elk, impalas, elephants, giraffes, lions but also hyenas.
Where to sleep: Mikumi Safari Lodge and its unique view of the mountains.
North of Zanzibar, Lake Manyara National Park is a small park of 330 km² which stretches along the ocher cliffs of the Rift Valley. There are many baboons, gazelles and elephants, but also giraffes, zebras, wildebeest as well as huge herds of buffaloes that come to graze on the grassy plain.
Where to sleep: At the Kirurumu Tented Lodge which includes 27 tents overlooking the canopy. Close your eyes and listen to the simple sound of nature, the flow of water from the lake, the chirping of birds… Because the real asset of this hotel is the large concentration of birds that inhabit its gardens, but sometimes elephants migrating to Ngorongoro decide to cross the camp.
The Selous Game Reserve
Selous Game Reserve (also called Selous Game Reserve) is often overlooked, especially on a first Tanzanian safari. Wrongly. Very close to Dar Es-Salam, it extends over 55,000 km² and brings together a large concentration of animals around water points and along the river. Elephants, hippos and crocodiles populate the banks of the Rufiji River. The opportunity to also see a family of lions in full hunt. A breathtaking and unique spectacle.
Where to sleep: The Sand River lodge with unparalleled charm and refinement in the heart of the reserve. It offers a unique view of the Rufiji River.
When to go on safari in Tanzania?
To go on a safari in Tanzania, choose the period from July to the end of September, then from November to February, for the North and Center parks. It is the dry season and therefore the period when it is easier to see the animals near water points and rivers. The foliage is also less dense, which favors observation. However, this season is part of the high tourist season. It is not improbable then that the lodges and camps will be very quickly taken by storm and the prices at the highest.
The period for going on a safari in Tanzania also depends on the choice of the park: some (like Katavi and Tarangire) are only accessible in the dry season and almost all the camps close during the rainy season. Serengeti National Park, on the other hand, is more interesting during the rainy season when you want to observe herds of wildebeest and zebra in the south-east of the park (for lions and other predators, prefer the dry season).
What to pack for a safari in Tanzania?
To go on a safari in Tanzania, don't forget to bring these few essentials, namely: K-ways, suitable walking shoes, fleece, scarves and comfortable clothes. Long sleeves and pants will be recommended and bright colors, including white, will be avoided. And don't forget to take your binoculars, camera, sunscreen and headlamp, essential to see well if you are on a night safari in Tanzania.
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