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Best Tanzania Safaris and Tours Destinations



Along with other East African countries, Tanzania is regarded as one of Africa’s top wildlife safari destinations. Sandwiched between the Western Great Rift Valley and the Indian Ocean, a safari tour to this country offers you an unforgettable blend of wilderness and beach holidays. Home of the highest mountain in Africa (Mt. Kilimanjaro), the greatest large mammal migration spectacle on the planet (the Great Serengeti Wildebeest Migration).

Tanzania is located just a few degrees South of the Equator; which crosses through the heart of her neighboring country, Kenya. This article gives a brief insight into what awaits you so that you can start planning your next Tanzania safaris and tours. As you will learn on your safari with Bovid Africa Safaris, Tanzania has so much to discover, experience and enjoy; leaving you with fond memories of East Africa.

Tanzania has four major tourism circuits that visitors enjoy visiting during their stay in the country i.e. the Northern, Eastern, Southern and Western tourism circuits. Each circuit has unique parks and reserves that all add to the beauty of enjoying a safari or beach holiday in the country. In this article, we will highlight some of the most visited tour destinations so as to get a glimpse of what they offer.

Best Tanzania Safaris and Tours Destinations

Northern Tanzania Safaris and Tours Circuit

Serengeti National Park

The Maasai Tribe call Serengeti National Park the “Endless Plain.” These vast and natural plains have always drawn visitors from far to come and enjoy this park. Serengeti National Park is arguably the home of “The Greatest Wildlife Show on Earth.” Here, during your Tanzania safaris and tours, you get to witness the famous Serengeti annual wildebeest migration, joined by thousands of zebras and antelopes.

Africa’s top predators i.e. lions, cheetahs, leopards and hyenas stalk these herds as they make their way across the plains. The basic outline of the park is well orchestrated in order to ensure that you are able to fully maximize the scenes and sights of the bush. Serengeti National Park is also a great location for Tanzania Photography Safaris.

The Northern section of Serengeti National Park, bordering Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve features thick scrub and riverine forest along the Mara River. There is also another major river in this Northern Section, namely Grumeti River. This area is one of the best locations to enjoy your Tanzania safaris and tours. The Central Serengeti (also known as the Seronera Area) features Acacia savanna; whereas the South-Eastern section is dominated by short grass plains.

The Western Serengeti corridor is marked by woodlands, plains and hills. Serengeti National Park is home to about 1.5 million wildebeests, half a million zebras, thousands of impala, gazelles and elands. The park is also a great place to watch Africa’s Big Five animals (African Lion, Black Rhino, African Buffalo, African Elephant and Leopard). Game viewing can be done all year round but the best timings for Serengeti Safaris and Tours are often during the months of December through July.

Ngorongoro Crater and Ngorongoro Conservation Area; including Ndutu Plains the Ol Duvai Gorge

Bordering Serengeti National Park and Lake Manyara National Park, the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area is a safari destination like no other. Within this expansive wilderness area, a number of sites exist where visitors can explore and enjoy wild Africa in its rawest form.

To begin with, many visitors opt to start with the Ngorongoro Crater. This is the largest intact caldera in the World. Most Tanzania Safaris and Tours spend one or more days exploring this beautiful crater. The distance across the widest points at the crater’s top is estimated to be about 19kms. As you descend the walls of the crater on a meandering road, you pass highland forest habitat and then some Euphorbia trees mosaic. Bushbucks, Squirrels and Suni may be encountered in this zone.

Once you arrive at the base of the crater, take a clockwise route so as not to miss out on any of the crater’s delights. The crater floor features grassland habitat which is typical for lions, jackals, hyenas, buffaloes, zebra, topi, gazelles and elands. This site is one of the best locations in Africa to sight the Black Rhino- one of the Big Five species and a highlight on all Tanzania Safaris and Tours. Gorigor Swamp, which is also present in the crater floor, is a good spot to see schools of Hippos.

After enjoying the highlights of the Ngorongoro Crater, you also have the option of further exploring the nearby craters e.g. Olmoti Crater, located about an hours’ drive North-East of Ngorongoro. As an extra bonus, you can also frequently see Masai herdsmen as they shepherd their cattle to the water sources within the conservation area, around the crater rim.   

At the Western end of the Ngorongoro Crater, you find the World-famous Ol Duvai Gorge. This site, also known as the Ol Dupai gorge, is a significant pre-historic site. This site has led to multiple archaeological and paleontological discoveries; and is often a highlight on our Tanzania Safaris and Tours.

Home to the great work by Louis and Mary Leakey, Ol Duvai Gorge is a phenomenal destination. Some famous discoveries here include Zinjanthropus, Homo habilis and Homo erectus. The local museum is a great interactive resource that takes you back in history. You can also visit some of the excavation sites at the floor of the valley.

Next to the Ol Duvai Gorge are the famous Ndutu plains. To the South of the plains, lie two great lakes – Lake Ndutu and Lake Masek. Ndutu Plains is the site known for the great wildebeest calving season; where thousands of calves are born each year.

Ngorongoro Crater and Ndutu Plains are also great locations for Tanzania Photography Safaris.

Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park covers an area of approximately 2,600km2 and is one of the best game-viewing spots in the Northern Tanzania tourism circuit. The best time to go for safari is from July through to October. These months give you a high likelihood of seeing lots of animals. Owing to its outstanding landscapes and distinct vegetation zones, Tarangire National Park is one of the best places to spot Lions on trees. In addition to the ancient Baobab trees, the park has Acacia woodlands, grasslands and wetland habitats. Big game such as Zebra, Wildebeest and Elephants occur in their thousands.

In the North-Eastern region, the Tarangire River flows and makes the open grasslands teem with huge concentrations of Fringe-eared Oryx, Cape Buffaloes and Gazelles. Look out for Bat-eared Foxes as well as Klipspringers on the rocky outcrops. The Larmakau region is marked by marsh and swamp vegetation. The famous Tarangire Swamp is indeed a great site to look for Waterbuck and an assortment of bird species.

On the edges of Tarangire National Park, Lake Burunge forms another great location to enjoy on your Tanzania Safaris. Here you can relax in the bush as you enjoy sounds of birds chirping in joy. Tarangire National Park is also a great location for Tanzania Photography Safaris.

Lake Manyara National Park

Covering an area of close to 325km2, Lake Manyara National Park is set on the floor of Africa’s Great Rift Valley. This great national park also includes the alkaline Lake Manyara.  The park’s relatively small size supports a huge diversity of vegetation types which in turn give rise to a good collection of wildlife.

The streams that percolate through the escarpments of the rift valley support a groundwater forest which is frequented by Elephants and Buffalos. Along the edges of the lake lies a marshland which is another good site for Waterbucks and Reedbucks. Open grasslands and spread out Acacia feature in the open plains of Lake Manyara National Park. Maasai Giraffes, Impalas and Zebra dot the plains. Here the “tree-climbing Lions” of Lake Manyara are also a famous attraction on all Tanzania Safaris.

The alkaline lake supports huge quantities of shrimp and blue-green algae which act as a magnet for Greater and Lesser Flamingos. Wildlife numbers are resident throughout the year and thus game viewing at Lake Manyara National Park can be done at any time of the year.

Mt. Kilimanjaro National Park and West Kilimanjaro

Arguably one of the most famous landmarks in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro is indeed the roof of the continent. This is one of the best Tanzania Safaris and Tours Destinations; and has led to great fame locally and internationally. Kilimanjaro National Park is often visited by hiking groups who are committed to conquer Africa’s highest mountain peak.

There are several routes available to hike up the mountain, depending on your level of experience and number of days. Some famous routes include: Marangu, Rongai, Umbwe, Londorosi/ Lemosho and Machame. Mt. Kilimanjaro rises to 5,895 metres above sea level; and the Kilimanjaro National Park is a World Heritage Site.

You may also choose to spend some nights at West Kilimanjaro, where you enjoy views of Mount Kilimanjaro as well as local wildlife. Here you will be based on one of the community conservancies, where humans and wildlife live harmoniously. Local wildlife includes Lions, Cheetah, assorted Gazelles, Zebras and Giraffe. This area is a great addition to your Tanzania Safaris and Tours itineraries; and provides an extra-relaxed game viewing experience.

Mkomazi National Park

The beautiful Mkomazi National Park is a gem in the Northern Tanzania tourism circuit. It is less visited on most Tanzania Safaris and Tours but it has a great array of diversity and wildlife to offer.

Neighbouring the famous Pare Mountains and West Usambara Mountains, this park has landscape views not comparable to many other Tanzanian parks. The wildlife in Mkomazi National Park is made up of Black Rhino, African Lion, Cheetah, Leopard, Common Zebra, African Buffalo, Maasai Giraffe, Savannah Elephant, Lesser Kudu, Fringe-eared Oryx, Gerenuk, Common Eland and Common Impala.

Some of these species may be shy, but a good number are spotted easily in this less-crowded park.

Arusha National Park

The picturesque Arusha National Park is the best place in Northern Tanzania to find the Black and White Colobus Monkeys (a popular species on all Tanzania Safaris and Tours). This high-altitude park is well endowed with a variety of habitats, mainly featuring highland rain forest, acacia woodlands and a series of wetlands. After checking in at the gate, a drive into the park introduces you to the open grasslands. Here large plains game such as giraffe and zebra are commonly seen.

The first right turn takes you towards the Ngurdoto Crater. Here you have good views of Mt. Kilimanjaro and the famous Momella Lakes; a famous attraction at Arusha National Park, and a favourite on all Tanzania Safaris and Tours. Journeying North from the crater, you’ll pass by some marshy wetland and Lokie Swamp. Here you may encounter Waterbuck, the Bohor Reedbuck as well as numerous herds of Cape Buffalo.

The Eastern region of the park is home to the famous Momella or Momela Lakes. The habitat is typically of open marshland and features Waterbucks, Bushbucks, Hippos and a variety of waterfowl. The Western part of the park features the Mount Meru crater. Hikers prefer trekking the summit of Mt. Meru during the months of June through March since the weather is more favourable. As you scale up the crater, look out for Giraffes, Dikdiks and Klipspringers.

Eastern Tanzania Safaris and Tours Circuit

Saadani National Park

Saadani National Park is the only park in East Africa that offers you a blend of wildlife safari and sandy beaches in one destination. It is likened to a mini-Tanzania where you have the ocean on one end and the African bush on the other end.

Saadani National Park is marked by Miombo woodland habitat, open plains, riparian vegetation and coastal Mangroves. The warm and humid tropical climate makes your visit pleasant and game viewing ideal. The park can be visited at any time of year, thus making it an ideal destination to add onto your Tanzania Safaris and Tours.

While in Saadani National Park, you can also enjoy a boat or canoe ride in the Wami River as you enjoy the local wildlife.

Southern Tanzania Safaris and Tours Circuit

Selous Game Reserve

Selous Game Reserve is Africa’s largest game reserve; and a key destination on the Tanzania safaris. It is home to abundant predators big and small; as well as an array of herbivores. Selous Game Reserve is one of the last large wildernesses in Africa. This 50,000 km2 game reserve is situated on the South-Eastern region of Tanzania. Owing to the reserve’s relatively undisturbed nature, visitors experience Africa in its rawest form.

Selous Game Reserve is one of the few places where elephants can still follow their traditional migration routes. It is home to about 4,000 lions and vast buffalo herds. African Wild dogs are also present here; making this place a top destination for Tanzania Safaris and Tours. The main habitats that characterize this reserve include grasslands, floodplains, marshes and some sections of dense forest.

The Rufiji River flows through the Selous Game Reserve, providing a lifeline to the local ecosystem. Unlike most parks in Tanzania where game viewing is done by road, visitors enjoy a lifetime experience of watching wildlife while on a boat safari cruising the River Rufiji basin. Along sections of the river, you will look out for Hippos and Nile Crocodiles.

The months of June through November are excellent seasons for game viewing in Selous Game Reserve; so this is a great time to plan your Tanzania Safaris to this region.  

Ruaha National Park

Ruaha National Park has maintained its standing as one of the best kept secrets while on a safari in Southern Tanzania. The park is strategically located and is situated where the East African and South African ecological biomes overlap. This thus gives rise to endemic and diverse wildlife species.

A visit to Ruaha National Park lets you enjoy sighting Africa’s big cats in their natural environment. Also present in significant numbers at Ruaha National Park are the endangered African Wild Dogs, Black-backed Jackals, the rare Striped Hyena and Bat-eared Fox.

The Great Ruaha River meanders along the Southern margins of the park and plays host to numerous Nile Crocodiles and Hippos. Guided walks along the river are also available, making for a great experience on your Tanzania Safari.

Against the backdrop of Baobab Trees, and with the sounds of the Ruaha River flowing on, this is one of the best spots to capture on photo an African sunrise or sunset. Ruaha National Park is home to more than 10,000 freely roaming jumbos. Ruaha National Park is also a great location for Tanzania Photography Safaris.

Kitulo National Park

Kitulo National Park is a botanists’ paradise. This park is one of the least visited attractions on the Tanzania Safari itineraries; but it is a haven for flower lovers. Kitulo National Park is nicknamed “Bustani ya Mungu”; which is Swahili for – The Garden of God. Some visitors who get a chance to enjoy this great park often call it “the Serengeti of Flowers”

Kitulo National Park is known to host over 350 different species of vascular plants. This has made the park one of the World’s premier floral displays; especially if visited during or just after the rains. Here you also enjoy animals such as assorted monkeys, eland, reedbuck and diverse birdlife.

Mikumi National Park

Mikumi National Park is a haven for Africa’s big game safaris and tours. It is located North of the Selous Game Reserve and features the extensive Mkata or Makata River flood plain, swamps, grasslands and miombo woodlands. Three of Africa’s Big Five are present, as is the beautiful Greater Kudu. Sable Antelopes, Lichtenstein’s Hartebeests and Elands.

Mikumi National Park’s close proximity to Dar es Salaam makes it a suitable destination for visitors from the coastal city. Night game drives and guided walks are also available in Mikumi National Park- enriching your Tanzania Safaris and Tours experiences.

Western Tanzania Safaris and Tours Circuit

Mahale Mountains National Park and Lake Tanganyika

Mahale Mountains National Park is situated along the Eastern shores of the mighty Lake Tanganyika (the world’s longest and second-deepest lake). The Mahale Mountains form part of the Western arm of the Great Rift Valley. 

Mahale Mountains National Park is one of the best places in East Africa to walk with wild Chimpanzees (a precious experience on the Tanzania safaris and tours). Besides the Chimps, the park is also home to several other species of primates, including the Yellow Baboon, Vervet, Blue and Red-tailed Monkeys, as well as the Red and Angolan Colobus.

Visitors enjoy wonderful moments getting to learn about the endangered Chimpanzees as well as other aspects on mountain forests.

The beaches of Lake Tanganyika are a great place to relax, enjoy a swim or even a boat cruise. A sunset outdoor meal or drink is one of the best experiences to enjoy on Tanzania Safaris and Tours.

Gombe Stream National Park

The beautiful Gombe Stream National Park is one of the smallest parks in Tanzania. It is a less visited place but a true gem to consider on your Tanzania Safaris and Tours.

Gombe Stream National Park is a great place walking with wild Chimpanzees; on a guided adventure with local trackers and researchers. This park was made famous by Jane Goodall, a World-renowned Chimpanzee research Scientist. Here, the team of researchers are still studying Chimpanzees in the wild, as has been done for many decades.

The forest is located along the edges of the Western Great Rift Valley. At Gombe Stream National Park, the local Chimpanzees co-exist with other primates like baboons and bushbabies. Though not often added on Tanzania safaris and tours itineraries, this park is worth a visit any day.

Katavi National Park

Katavi National Park is one of the most remote national parks in Tanzania. For many years, Katavi National Park has remained relatively pristine in its nature and usually offers astonishing game viewing experiences to its visitors. For most guests, a trip to Katavi National Park is one of the best experiences on any Tanzania Safaris and Tours.

The Northern part of the park features Lake Katavi and its vast floodplains. Lake Chada lies towards the South-East and the surrounding areas are marked by Acacia and Miombo woodlands. Sable Antelopes and Lichtestein’s Hartebeest are usually common here.

Other mammals include Leopard, African Wild Dog (a major target species on all Tanzania safaris and tours), Common Eland, Maasai Giraffe, Common Zebra, Common Impala, Topi, African Lion and Spotted Hyena. Katavi National Park is also a great location for Tanzania Photography Safaris.



We, at Bovid Africa Safaris look forward to hosting you on many Tanzania Safaris and Tours. Please contact us today to start planning your next safari adventure…