What to Expect on Safari in Tanzania

What to Expect on Safari in Tanzania

The word “safari” comes from the Swahili language meaning “journey,” but a safari is more than a journey – it’s a life changing and mind-opening experience, and something to definitely move to the top of your bucket list now that international travel has opened up.

Tanzania offers one of Africa’s most dynamic safari adventures, whether explored on its own or paired with another East African destination. Bordering Kenya to the north, the Indian Ocean to the east, and Rwanda to the west, twenty five percent of Tanzania has been designated as a conservation area. It boasts multiple UNESCO World Heritage sites, the largest national parks and Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. Most travelers come for the Serengeti’s “Great Wildebeest Migration,” the largest movement of animals in the world, but there is plenty of wildlife to view year-round including the big five (elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino).

On my itinerary, after spending time on safari in Kenya, we flew from Nairobi’s Wilson airport to Kilimanjaro International Airport, Tanzania, and from there, hopped onto a quick flight by bush plane to Lake Manyara Airstrip.

Photo by Leif Blessing on Pexels.com

A safari in Tanzania includes six-to-eight-hour daily game drives conducted by a professional guide to designated protected areas in a pop-up roof style 4×4 vehicle. Most safari vehicles come fully equipped with cold beverages, binoculars, charging ports, and wifi. You will become fully immersed in local knowledge about the landscape, flora, and wildlife encountered along the way. Often a “walking safari” can be arranged and a highlight of the day will be lunch enjoyed outdoors “in the bush.”

There are several locations you can include in your Tanzania itinerary based on how much time you have allotted to your trip. Traveling between the various locations will be by 4×4 vehicle or bush plane, depending on travel distances and budget. Here are a few top locations to consider:

Ngorongoro Crater:
A UNESCO World Heritage site, this three million year old volcanic caldera is known for its incredible population density of animals that call this fertile 100 square mile grazing area home.

Lake Manyara National Park:
Stretched out at the base of the Rift Valley (a lowland region that forms where Earth’s tectonic plates move apart), its shores are populated by more than 500 bird species including thousands of pink flamingoes. If you look up, you might also catch site of tree climbing lions!

Olduvai Gorge:
This “Cradle of Mankind” holds the earliest evidence of the existence of our human ancestors. The Leakey family and fellow paleoanthropologists, discovered human fossils dating back two million years. The forest, swamp, and grasslands are home to monkeys, baboon, jackals, spotted hyena, bull elephants, hippo, and dark maned lions.

Tarangire National Park:
Hosts one of the largest populations of elephants in its vast savannah dotted with giant iconic baobab trees. During dry season, herds of zebra, wildebeest, and their predators (lions, cheetahs, leopards) make their way to this area because of its large river, an important water source.

Arusha National Park:
Home to Mount Meru, the second highest peak in Tanzania, a walking safari through the wide open plains will get you up close with giraffes, zebras and Cape buffalo.

Serengeti National Park:
A World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of Africa, this park lives up to its ancient Maasai name which means “endless open plains.” The sweeping savannah grasses turn golden in the dry season, then green and dotted with wildflowers in the rainy season. The Serengeti welcomes the constant grazing of large herbivores. Annually, over 1.1 million wildebeest joined by herds of zebra and Thomson’s gazelle, traverse over 800 kilometers. They graze in the southeastern portion and then make their way towards the north in search of more verdant lands. The Serengeti, along with the South Kenyan Mara ecosystem across the border, is where the wildebeest can be viewed by land, chartered plane, or hot air balloon.

Where to stay?
Accommodations in Tanzania include luxury tented lodges, tree houses, small inns, and hotels. Some accommodations are outfitted with private plunge pools and outdoor terraces with panoramic views. As a travel agent, I can help you pick the perfect accommodations for you and family.

Elewana The Manor at Ngorongoro
Neptune Luxury Lodge Ngorongoro
Neptune Luxury Lodge

It’s never TOO early to plan your next adventure. Email me: mollie@herrickstravel.com and find out about upgrades, special amenities, and VIP service for all Herricks Travel customers. Looking for the best of the best Safari experience? Let me help you plan your trip with Micato Safaris, one of the world’s top outfitters, delivering unparalleled service.

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Asante Sana! (Thank you!)