Safaris in Tanzania with the best trusted Experts
There is no doubt that Tanzania is one of the top safari destinations Africa has to offer. Tanzania is a wide country, and the main safari destinations can be divided into the north (Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater) or the south (Selous and Ruaha). West Tanzania is also an option, although it is extremely expensive to get to and hardly any tourists do it.
Tanzania Safari Options
- If you need to see The Great Migration in Serengeti, you should choose a northern circuit safari.
- Visitors who wish to escape into the wilderness should choose a southern circuit safari.
- Visitors who want to see the Chimpanzee and Gorilla you should choose western circuit safari.
Northern Circuit Tanzania Safari Guide
The Serengeti National Park (bordering the Masai Mara in Kenya) is world-class and home to the Great wildebeest Migration as well as the greatest concentration of predators on the earth. We would recommend spending at least three nights in the Serengeti.
The Ngorongoro Crater has a large number of the big five in a special and dramatic atmosphere. Surrounding the crater, the Ngorongoro Highlands are home to vibrant Masai culture and rolling coffee plantations. Typically, we just suggest a big game drive to the crater, because it’s small, so one day is enough. You can either live at the crater rim or at the Ngorongoro Highlands on either side of your game drive.
Tarangire National Park is another option with night drives, fantastic views and a huge number of elephants. It is, however, something of a “add-on” park to the central northern circuit of the crater and Serengeti. You can visit it for a few nights on your way to the crater if you have plenty of time.
Lake Manyara is another smaller park with flamingos, a great bird life and some truly spectacular safari spots. It can be used in the afternoon rather than as the target of a small journey.
Tanzania Safari Northern Circuit Itinerary Ideas
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Southern Circuit Tanzania Safari Guide
South of Tanzania offers better value accommodation, a less touristic experience but is not a classic big 5 safari destination.
The Selous Game Reserve is a major dry season park offering boating, walking safaris and flying camping with excellent wild dogs.
Ruaha National Park is a beautiful red-earth park where you can enjoy walking, flying-camping, lion ‘s super pride and huge buffalo herds. Ruaha is home to 10% of the world’s lions.
Tanzania Safari Southern Circuit Itinerary Ideas
Southern itineraries usually consist of three out of four nights at The Selous and Ruaha. For those who want a very short safari and more beach time, the Selous can be an easy option. However, we would recommend that you try to combine both if the budget allows. As this will provide you with diverse landscapes, wildlife and a range of safari activities
Western Circuit Tanzania Safari Guide
The West consists of Katavi and Mahale, which are expensive to get to, but because of their relative inaccessibility. They offer a simply magical experience alone in the wilderness. Where you can trek chimps in the Mahale Mountains. Also you can see some of Tanzania’s most dramatic safari scenes in the depths of Katavi ‘s harsh dry season.
Very few travelers head to Katavi and Mahale, because the flights are simply very expensive, and there are also a few lodges available. If you did, you could either fly from Arusha through the Serengeti or from Dar, but through a night or two in Ruaha. Flights only operate a few days a week, however, so the West is usually only feasible for those with a large budget who are very willing to visit it and who will turn their entire holiday around doing so.
Tanzania Safari Best Time to Visit
Generally, Tanzania is the best destination to visit in the dry-season from June-October when the parks are dry and wildlife viewing is dramatic, simple and action packed.
June and October / November are great months of the shoulder season, where you get spectacular wildlife but for a third of the price than in the peak season with exclusive deals and low season prices.
Ngorongoro is great all year round – it’s not very large, so the animals can’t scatter widely when there’s plenty of grass and water. Due to its higher elevation, you can find cooler weather in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
But in the Serengeti, February is the best time to see The Great Migration as the wildebeest congregation in the southern plains in their thousands during calving seasons.
When to visit Serengeti National Park for Safari in Tanzania
The Great Wildebeest Migration is a spectacular event where 2 million grazers circle the Serengeti in search of fresh pastures year round. Some months are better than others to see the herds. The best time are when they are the most concentrated in some areas.
The herds cross the Mara River in the northern Serengeti from July-October. Here is where you get those dramatic wildebeest scenes hurtling into crocodile-infested waters.
February is when the Calving Season is in full swing, and this is the best time to see the herds in their full glory as they gather in their thousands in the endless plains of the south. February is the only time of year that you are guaranteed to see the herds if you stay where they are predicted to be, as they never fail to gather in the Ndutu plains at this time of year.
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Southern Tanzania is a classic dry season park that’s definitely the best from July-October. Outside these months, wildlife can be tricky to find than in northern Tanzania.
As Ruaha and The Selous are relatively low land compared to northern Tanzania, they are a little more affected by rainfall. The Selous is closed from mid-March to the end of May, as the camps became inaccessible when it was very wet. Ruaha is also largely closed at this time of year.
October and November can be really hot in the Selous, which is important to keep in mind if you’re not a fan of high temperatures.
Safari Tanzania Cost
How much does a safari in Tanzania cost? The cost of Tanzania safari depends on several factors such as: time of travel (seasonality), number of people going to safari with you (group size), type of accommodation, number of days on safari, etc.
Below is an overview of the cost of a safari in Tanzania based on the type of safari you choose and the key cost factors just listed.
The Type of a Safari in Tanzania
Firstly, you have a wide choice between joining a group safari or booking a private safari tailor-made for you. Groups Safaris are cheaper than customized safaris, but they don’t deliver as much versatility or exclusivity. Private safaris can be fully customized to include the standard of accommodation and the activities you prefer that give you more choice.
When you travel in a group of 4 or more people, private, tailor-made safaris become more affordable. Even if your travel party is smaller, you may find that the extra cost is worthwhile, especially if your group needs a specialist guide who speaks your language (French / German, etc.).
In addition private safaris are also suitable for special interest groups like hiking, shooting, and birding.
National Parks you will visit
Remember not all parks are made equal. For example, Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Serengeti charge a much higher entrance fee than Lake Manyara, Tarangire, or the Arusha National Park. Ngorongoro Conservation Area also has a fee for crater that helps make this the most expensive day on most safaris.
Transports (4WD Land Cruiser)
Traveling overland (in a car on land) is much easier than flying from destination to destination, and the weather is much better!
Transfers from Arusha Airport and from Kilimanjaro International Airport are usually included in your quote. These are the same price you’d get with a local taxi, and they come without the trouble of explaining where your hotel is.
You are collected from the airport on arrival on day one for Tanzania safari, and transferred back to the airport on the last day of your journey. Alternatively, you can normally arrange pick-up and drop-off at / from your pre-and post-safari hotel, if you prefer. Land travel is usually undertaken during Tanzania Safari in a 4×4 vehicle which can cope with challenging African roads. We can also arrange shuttle transfers or private transfers for those landing in Nairobi at an additional rate.
Standard of Accommodation
All in all accommodation is a huge portion of your Tanzanian safaris final cost. Fortunately for all budgets Tanzania provides everything. There is something to suit every taste, from camping to inexpensive lodges to tented camps to luxurious properties.
When planning your safari, you can find a balance between comfort, cost and staying in fantastic properties. Obviously it might be worth adding a camping safari for a few nights. Then you can spend out on your last night on that unforgettable luxury lodge.
Your expert at Zaita Tours can prepare a quote using budget, medium and luxury accommodation. We can also provide a mix of different styles for tailoring the experience to your tastes and budget.
The number of people who share a vehicle is an enormous factor in determining the cost of a safari per passenger. Not only does one person pay for their park entrance fees and lodging on his own, but he also bears the entire expense of the vehicle, driver and all related fees. If six people sharing a 4WD Land Cruiser then split the cost six ways on the flip side, and enjoy a much lower cost per person.
Time of Travel
The last big factor in the expense of your safari would be the time of year you visit Tanzania. During the peak seasons of December-February and June-October, when lodges get plenty of company, rates are huge.
If you’re looking to save some money on your Tanzanian safari, consider visiting a fraction of what they will normally be in April or May when the rainy season sees many luxury lodges reducing their prices. Enjoying a green season safari when staying in lodges that would usually be out of your price range is absolutely possible.
Average Cost for a Safaris in Tanzania
Once you have determined your daily travel budget per person you can choose the type of safari that matches your needs and decide how long you can expect to travel for. Or find the type of tour that works best for you, and see how long in that style you can travel for.
- Budget Camping Safari in Tanzania ( $ 195 – 250 Per Day )
- Budget Lodge Safari in Tanzania ( $ 260 – 370 Per Day )
- Private Safari in Tanzania ( $ 380 – 550 Per Day )
- Luxury Safari in Tanzania ( $ 560 – 850 Per Day )
Tanzania Safari Price Differences
Tanzania is a seasonal safari destination with high and low seasons marked, so the time of year you decide to travel has a noticeable cost impact.
- High season: July – October and December
- Mid-Season: Jan and Feb and June (about 20% off high season rates)
- Low Season: March – May and November (up to 40 % off high season rates)
Most lodges sell low and high seasonal rates. Off-peak rates are often significantly lower and low season travel has its advantages, so consider booking in the shoulder and low seasons. Low season in Serengeti is during long rains (March -May) and high season is from late June / early July till late August / early September when wildlife viewing is at its best.
Visa for Tanzania
For most nationals a tourist visa in Tanzania costs $ 50 and can be obtained at the border (for most nationalities) upon arrival. This is a single entry tourist visa, valid for 90 days, for visits of up to 30 days. A Tanzania visa costs $ 100 for USA residents but allows multiple-entry visits of up to 90 days and is valid for up to 12 months.
The good news is that both Tanzania (mainland) and Zanzibar Island are eligible for tourist visas.
Safaris in Tanzania Add-ons
Basically one of Tanzania ‘s major safari expenses is flights, which is why many travelers choose to add to their safaris and extend their journeys. Kenya safaris, Zanzibar Island holidays and Kilimanjaro climbing tours in Tanzania are favorite add-on activities.
Zanzibar Island holiday
At this point we recommend adding Zanzibar to your safari to Serengeti the ultimate beach and bush getaway. Tanzania is one of the best places in Africa to spend a lazy beach holiday after your action-packed wildlife safari. Why? because Zanzibar is tropical white sandy beaches, the warm Indian Ocean, excellent diving and snorkeling, dhow sailing trips and exotic spices, to name a few.
Accommodation at a 3-star Zanzibar Island resort costs from about $150 per person per night excluding flights, transfers, activities and meals. The easiest way to get to Zanzibar after a Northern Circuit Safari is to take a flight from Arusha. If your safari ends in Dar Es’ Salaam, you can take a ferry to Stone Town for about $50 (one way) or a short flight for about $120 (return).
Pre- and Post- Tanzania Safari Accommodation
Accommodation in mid-range hotels or backpackers costs about $90 per night (two people sharing a twin room) with safari lodges in Tanzania’s top destinations for more. In Arusha, you can find good quality lodge accommodation for between $50 and $150 per person sharing (double room) including breakfast. Single room prices range from $65 to $180 depending on the level of comfort and style.
What to Pack for Safari in Tanzania
The packing list below will enable you to be well prepared and relaxed during your trip whether this is your first time in Tanzania, or your first time on a safari. If you forget a few things, don’t worry, you can pick up the most daily items in town before you leave.
Best Clothes for Safari in Tanzania
Note: When picking your safari outfit, it’s not a fashion show out there so is a bit more realistic. Consider keeping away from bright colors-khaki and other soft shades seem to fit well. Possibly it’s better if you’re wrapped in layers because it can get cold but also really hot.
- Sun hat
- Sweater or fleece pullover to keep warm
- Sturdy boots or sandals
- Sun glasses
- Long sleeve shirts (light weight)
- Thermal underwear, gloves and warm hat (during May – Sept)
- Long trousers
- Rain coat and rain trousers (During rainy season Mar – May and Oct – Dec)
- Travel towel
- Copy of flight itinerary
- Valid passport
- Tanzania visa
- Yellow fever vaccination records/ certificate.
- Copy of travel and/or medical evacuation insurance.
- Credit card (Visa and MasterCard are most widely accepted).
- Cash in U.S. Dollars (bills MUST have been issued in 2009 or later)
- Personal medical/dental insurance cards.
- Camera and memory cards
- Hand sanitizer and wet wipes
- Insect Repellent
- Personal toiletries (soap, shampoo, toothbrush, eye drops etc.)
- Malaria tablets
- Basic first aid kit and prescription medicines
- Flashlight or headlamp
- Chargers and extra batteries for your camera, phone etc.
- Power adapter to fit the UK style electrical socket
Others Best Tips For Safari in Tanzania
- Take soft luggage such as a duffel bag, sports bag or hiking pack. These are good to pack into a safari vehicle. Heavy suitcases are also hard to fit into the vehicles.
- Bring a backpack that will hold all your important items like travel documents, money, camera, medicine, etc. You should still carry your backpack with you.
- If you’re planning to bring cash, split it into separate areas of your carry-on luggage, wallet, and money belt just in case one of those carry things happens.
- Leave some space in your luggage for the very important souvenirs you are likely to buy. There are places where you can send packages home via DHL etc., but this can be a costly option at times.