The name Tanzania conjures up images of wildebeest stampeding across vast savannah, rain forests teeming with monkeys and birdlife, and great plains brimming with legions of game. All of these natural wonders and more are on offer in this exceptionally diverse African nation. Visitors typically visit Tanzania to partake in at least one of the four well known Tanzanian tourist experiences: a relaxing seaside vacation on the picturesque island paradise of Zanzibar, an underwater tour of some of the world’s most renowned dive sites around the gorgeous Spice Islands, a safari adventure in some of Africa’s most impressive game reserves, or a hiking excursion around Mount Kilimanjaro National Park. Whichever of these incredible holidays you choose, you will undoubtedly be welcomed by some fabulously friendly and peaceful inhabitants who, despite being divided into 120 different ethnic groups and cultures, live in harmony with one another and provide some of the most wonderfully exotic local cuisine you could imagine. With all of this diversity on offer, the most difficult part of your Tanzanian holiday experience is likely to be deciding where to go!
Days 1 - 4
Resting at the foot of Mount Meru, the sprawling city of Arusha is known as the safari capital of northern Tanzania. It serves as an excellent base from which to explore the remarkably scenic surrounding area which includes majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, as well as the Manyara, Tarangire and Ngorongoro National Parks. Arusha is a good spot to take a day or two off from the safari circuit as it features a temperate climate and lush surrounds. Visitors can look forward to exploring the wildlife-abundant Serengeti National Park; the magnificent Arusha National Park; and taking on the challenge of climbing Mount Meru, Africa’s fifth highest mountain.
Tarangire National Park
Days 4 - 5
Located just a few hours drive from the town of Arusha, Tarangire is a popular stop for safaris travelling through the northern circuit on their way to Ngorongoro and the Serengeti. The park extends into two game controlled areas and the wildlife are allowed to move freely throughout. After the Serengeti, Tarangire has the greatest concentration of wildlife in Tanzania and in the dry season the Tarangire River is a magnet for thirsty wildlife. Large herds of elephants and migratory wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, gazelle, hartebeest and eland gather and not surprisingly the predators follow. This is also the one place in Tanzania where dry-country antelope such as oryx and gerenuk are regularly spotted. Tarangire is also known for its spectacular baobab trees, and its breathtaking views of the Masaai Steppe and the mountains to the south.
Lake Manyara National Park
Days 5 - 6
Situated in Tanzania’s central-northern region with the Lake Manyara on its east and the Manyara Escarpment to its west, the Lake Manyara National Park offers breathtaking views and a large variety of habitats supporting an array of wildlife. This small park is home to surprising biodiversity and features a magnificent landscape of acacia woodlands, water forests, baobab strewn cliffs, algae-streaked hot springs, swamps and the lake itself. The park supports 400 species of bird, and the largest concentration of baboons anywhere in the world. Other species include giraffes, zebras, wildebeest, impala, waterbuck, warthog, the Cape clawless otter, and Egyptian mongoose. Don’t miss the opportunity to see thousands of flamingos on the lake, the renowned tree-climbing lions, and large families of elephants strolling through the forest.
Days 6 - 7
Tucked between the Kidero Mountains in the south and the Eyasi Escarpment in the north, Lake Eyasi is set in a remote, dry, arid landscape located just south of Tanzania’s renowned Serengeti National Park. This seasonal lake features dry salt beds; a variety of birdlife such as flamingos and pelicans; and is surrounded by woodlands, forests and ancient baobabs. Visitors can learn about local cultures and visit the pastoralist Datoga people as well as the nomadic hunter-gatherer Hadzabe group. Other popular activities include: bird watching, hiking, walking safaris and soaking up the spectacular views. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the nearby Oldeani Mountain, the swampy valley of Yaeda and spectacular Serengeti.
Days 7 - 8
Travellers heading for the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater will inevitably pass through the town of Karatu in the green hills of Tanzania’s northern highlands. Presided over by the towering Ol Deani Volcano, this small, colourful town serves as a popular overnight stop for visitors exploring the area’s many game parks. The town offers a variety of activities including browsing the bustling marketplace, sampling beer at a local brewery, visiting a traditional Iraqw homestead, or taking a guided walk through the Ngorongoro Forest in search of waterfalls and elephants caves. Whether you are looking for cultural tours, hiking and biking opportunities, a chance to enjoy an authentic rural Tanzania experience, or simply a break between safari game drives, this underrated town has plenty to offer.
Days 8 - 10
Located in Northern Tanzania, the Ngorongoro Crater is best known for its natural beauty and abundance of diverse wildlife; which makes it one of Africa’s most popular safari destinations. Surrounded by Tanzania’s highlands, this UNESCO-listed crater is said to be the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera. Visitors can look forward to spotting the world-renowned Big Five and a host of other wildlife species including large herds of zebra and wildebeest. It is famed as one of Tanzania’s best tourist attractions offering visitors an array of wonderful activities including excellent bird watching, trekking, wildlife viewing, mountain biking and visiting a local Maasai village. Don’t miss the opportunity to jump on an excursion to the magnificent Olduvai Gorge.
Days 10 - 12
Situated in the heart of Tanzania, the Central Serengeti encompasses the world-famous Seronera Valley which is known for its prime wildlife-viewing opportunities. This picture-perfect landscape is characterised by endless stretches of savannah-covered open plains, interspersed by rocky outcrops of granite, scattered with acacia woodlands and covered in a network of rivers and streams. The Central Serengeti forms part of the great wildebeest and zebra migration and provides an ideal habitat for a variety of wildlife such as giraffe, impala, waterbuck, hippo, elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard, hyena, jackal, serval and much more. Popular activities include: game viewing, cultural tours, horse riding safaris, and hot air ballooning over the spectacularly scenic terrain.