Tanzania is home to a melting pot of nationalities descending from Europe, Arab countries, Pakistan, India and China. The diversity is most seen in the port city of Dar Es Salaam and the spice island of Zanzibar.
Wildlife highlights on Tanzania Safari Tours are the wildebeest migration into the Serengeti National Park around late October. The calving season takes place from January to February when you can see baby animals huddled close to their mothers. Herds then travel to the southern Ndutu region by March and April and return to the Masai Mara by late June.
The Ngorongoro Crater is home to an abundant diversity of wildlife and flora as well as the Big 5. With Tanzania’s 16 national parks and reserves it most certainly has alot to offer on a budget Tanzania safari tour.
Tanzania doesn’t just offer wildlife on land. In the clear waters and coral reefs around Zanzibar and Mafia archipelagos are a stunning array of marine animals. Why not add a snorkeling or diving activity to your to-do list!
Tanzania has been described as one of the most diverse countries in Africa with over 158 local languages spoken. Add to this 120 tribes and you have a cultural melting pot. Expect a wide range of cultural activities including performing arts and visual arts along with literature.
Tanzania Safari Tours best Highlights
* Fantastic wildlife viewing on day and night safaris
During the months of July and August the weather is cool. In the dry season parks such as Tarangire are at their prime. It is also the best time to visit the Serengeti on safari. December to mid March is the calving season in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater which is amazing game viewing.
If you are headed to Zanzibar, plan your trip around June to October as the temperature is around 28 degrees Celsius which is ideal for lazy beach days.
Weather in Tanzania
Tanzania is a typical tropical climate with humid and hot days while cool at night. The heaviest rains fall from the middle of March to May, with light rain covering the area from October to January. Heavy rains can make certain areas impassable so please check with our consultants on when to plan your trip.
The high mountain areas such as Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru can have temperatures that fall to below freezing and can be quite unbearable at night.
While the dry season can have temperatures soaring to above 35°C in Dar es Salaam. Plenty of sunscreen of factor 50 is needed when you hit the golden beaches!
10 Reasons to Travel to Tanzania
The Great Migration in the Serengeti
Every year more than two million wildebeest and zebra migrate across the plains of Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park in pursuit of grazing grass. The migration offers East African wildlife viewing at its best showcasing massive herds of animals. The landscape is characteristic of nature documentaries with acacia trees dotting the Savannah. Dramatic kills by the predators that trail the antelope are quiet the spectacle to remember. The annual migration is one of the main reasons for travelers wishing to visit this region.
Tanzania’s most popular National Park offers the quintessential African safari experience. Picturesque rolling Savannah and forests along with diverse species of wildlife. The Serengeti is the world’s largest protected grassland and is especially well known for its predator which include lions, leopards, cheetahs and hyenas.
Ngorongoro is the remains of a huge volcano that last erupted millions of years ago. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most pristine wilderness areas in Africa, and home to some of the densest populations of animals found anywhere on Earth. Here you will spot lion, elephant, giraffe and wildebeest which explains why it has been nicknamed “Africa’s Garden of Eden”.
Africa’s tallest mountain is one of Tanzania’s most famous sights and a bucket list topper for any mountaineer. The dormant volcano known as the ‘Roof of Africa’ stands at nearly 6000 meters above sea level. An ascent to the summit is surprisingly accessible while offering up spectacular scenery along the way. You can walk to the top in just four or five days without any climbing experience, just a good level of fitness and a guide.
Selous Game Reserve
Selous Game Reserve is Africa’s largest protected area and the world’s biggest game reserve. It is a wildlife wonderland that is home to one of the biggest concentrations of elephants, hippos, wild dogs, buffalo and sable antelope on the continent. Selous Game Reserve also has a quarter of the continent’s rapidly dwindling African wild dog population. This diverse ecosystem is often overlooked when compared with more famous reserves of the Serengeti and Ngorongoro in the north. For travelers seeking wildlife without the crowds, Selous is hard to beat.
Lying a short distance off the coast of Tanzania, the Zanzibar Archipelago is one of East Africa’s best beach destinations. Made up of two large islands of Unguja and Pemba, it also boasts to several smaller islands. Unguja is also known as Zanzibar Island and is the most visited island. Wildly popular with budget-friendly accommodation and romantic hotels scattered on postcard-perfect white-sand beaches. Stretches of coastline are fringed with swaying palm trees. Pemba on the other hand has only three hotels and is more secluded than Unguja.
Both islands offer amazing snorkelling and diving on coral reefs. Typical days include sailing trips on traditional dhows or unwinding on idyllic beaches. Alternatively visit Stone Town on Unguja which is rich with history and beautiful old architecture.
There are very few places left where you can see chimpanzees in the wild, and the only countries that offer chimpanzee tracking are Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda. In Tanzania, Mahale Mountains National Park is the best place to see chimpanzees in the wild. With a population of 1000 of the apes living in the thick Montane Forest and a habituated group of around 100 individuals that can be viewed by visitors. In Montane forest you will also spot other primate species such as red-tailed monkey, red colobus, black and white colobus and blue monkeys.
Known as the Indian Ocean’s best-kept secret, the Mafia Archipelago rewards intrepid travelers with countless natural treasures. Experience world-class diving on the barrier reef, which is said to be one of the richest in the world with shoals of fish and turtles. Swim with whale sharks or go bird watching in mangrove forests or explore miles and miles of totally undeveloped and unspoiled sandy beaches.
Tanzania’s most famous tribe who are traditionally nomadic, moving around vast areas with their cattle. Recognisable in their brightly coloured clothes and distinctive jewellery. Some Masai live in traditional villages on the edges of Tanzania’s national parks and welcome visitors who want to learn about their customs. You can also stay at Masai-owned and run lodges to support community tourism.
Hiking Ol Doinyo Lengai
Tanzania’s most epic hiking adventure is a trek to the top of a 2000-metre-high active volcano in the Great Rift Valley. In Ol Doinyo Lengai which falls in the North, typically not as easy to summit but worth the effort for panoramic views over the forested hills of the Great Rift Valley. Not forgetting views of the Avenue of Volcanoes, the salt flats of Lake Natron and Mount Kilimanjaro to the east which are truly astounding.
Highlights of Zanzibar Island
Locally known as Unguja, Zanzibar Island gets most of the headlines, but the archipelago also consists of lush Pemba to the north and many more smaller islands. Visiting the museums and taking a walk through Stone Town is a good way of getting an idea of Zanzibar’s rich and turbulent slave-trade past. The architecture will surely fascinate you, as will the street markets.
The old city of Stone Town is the cultural heart of Zanzibar, and little has changed there for hundreds of years. The majority of Stone Town’s buildings were built by Omani sultans in the 19th century when Zanzibar was one of the most important trading centers in the Indian Ocean. In order to preserve these architectural markers of history, the Stone Town Conservation Authority has been working towards restoring this ancient town.
The relaxing resort of Nungwi Beach is on the northern tip of the island, which is the busier and slightly more commercial side. It’s regarded as one of Zanzibar’s best beaches, because here you can swim to your heart’s delight as it’s one of the few beaches with no coral reef. It is also ideal as the tide doesn’t draw back for miles, unlike the east coast, which is a long walk before you can swim in the water.
The East Coast
The East Coast of Zanzibar is the less commercial and more traditional. Here you can chill out on one of the wooden beds with a good book or enjoy a traditional massage on the beach. Vendors walk up and down the beach to sell you a little something of Zanzibar.
The City of Dar es Salaam
Tanzania’s premier city, Dar es Salaam is a teeming metropolis of 1.5 million people. It is the largest city in Tanzania, as well as the wealthiest dealing in manufacturing and trade.
Olduvai Gorge ‘Cradle of Mankind’
Olduvai Gorge is a steep-sided ravine in the Great Rift Valley and is about 48km (30mi) long. The original spelling was Oldupai, which is Maasai for the wild sisal plant that grows there. Olduvai is often referred to as the ‘Cradle of Mankind’ because the first humanoid skeletons were discovered there. A museum that’s documented all its remarkable findings is well worth the visit.
Mt Kilimanjaro National Park
Jutting out from Tanzania’s north-eastern plains is Mt Kilimanjaro, an almost perfectly shaped volcano. It’s truly a sight to behold. At a solid 5896m (19343ft), its snow-capped peak is the highest in Africa.
Often overlooked as a wildlife destination due to its small size, Lake Manyara offers a really unusual stop on your Africa overland tour. Mostly due to it’s legendary tree-climbing lions. It lies about 130km from Arusha near the small town of Mto Wa Mbu.
How to get to Tanzania
European airlines which fly to Tanzania include British Airways, KLM and Swissair.
Tanzania has two International Airports. One just outside Dar es Salaam called Julius Nyerere International Airport and the other near Arusha namely Kilimanjaro International Airport. There are also some charter flights that will take you directly to Zanzibar Island.
If you are heading to Northern Tanzania we suggest you arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport.
If your destination is Zanzibar, or Southern and Western Tanzania it is best to fly to Dar es Salaam.
Facts on Tanzania
Full name: United Republic of Tanzania
Capital city: Dodoma (official); Dar es Salaam (administrative)
Area: 945,090 sq km; 364,899 sq miles
Time Zone: GMT/UTC + 3 ()
Languages: Swahili (official); English (official)
Religion: Christian (45%); Muslim (40%); indigenous beliefs (15%)
Electricity: 230V; 50HzHz
Electric Plug Details: British-style plug: 2 flat blades & 1 flat grounding blade, South African/Indian-style plug: 2 circular metal pins above a large circular grounding pin