Tanzania Safaris and Tours

From the Wildebeest Migration to the Big 5 and Tropical Beaches

Tanzania is Africa’s visual masterpiece. It is a country of natural splendour, astounding wildlife, seductive beaches, charming ancient towns, archaeological sites and geological wonders. Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro, rises from lush, grassy plains and towers over the land. Its snow-capped peak is a sight to behold. Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is surprisingly easy and standing on the roof of Africa is a life-changing experience. The ideal bush and beach destination, visitors can witness the mighty herds of The Great Migration thundering across the Serengeti plains and end their unforgettable safari with a serene beach holiday on Zanzibar, the intoxicatingly beautiful and exotic Spice Island.

Safari happens almost everywhere you look in Tanzania. It’s been a way of life for decades. Few destinations in Africa can rival Tanzania’s diversity of wildlife and landscapes. From incredible year-round game viewing to the wildebeest migration and tropical beach finales.

Here are some of our best reasons to go on a Tanzania safari

Witness the Great Wildebeest Migration

Hardly any other destination on Earth can offer a wildlife encounter to match the annual Wildebeest Migration, and it is the best time to go to Tanzania when it is in full swing. Forming the centrepiece of most inaugural Tanzania safari itineraries, the Migration is a mind-blowing display of nature at her most extraordinary. About 2 million wildebeest, zebra and antelope run the gauntlet of predators as they migrate around the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem in search of fresh grazing. This awe-inspiring event is one of the last mass terrestrial animal movements left on the planet – the herds are so big they can be observed from space!

  • The Serengeti National Park – Tanzania’s flagship conservation area – hosts the bulk of the Migration.
  • Mobile camps move regularly to stay as close to the herds as possible.
  • Some accommodations offer easy access to river crossing points.
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Note: availability of well-located safari camps between June and October (river crossing season) is limited. If you want front-row seats to the dramatic river crossings, you should book your Tanzania safari at least a year in advance. Or opt to go when the herds give birth and graze their way across the plains, which is just as impressive to see but easier to guarantee – plus the tourist crowds are fewer. Chat with one of our Africa Safari Experts to plan your trip to coincide with the movements of the herds.

See the Big 5 in an Ancient Volcano

The Ngorongoro Crater was formed around 2.5 million years ago when a giant volcano exploded and collapsed on itself. Now an enclosed ecosystem and World Heritage Site, the Crater is the best place in East Africa to see the Big 5. Measuring in at around 600 metres (1 970 feet) deep, the Crater’s floor covers about 260 square kilometres (100 square miles). This is where to go in Tanzania to see diverse habitats that support around 30 000 animals.

  • East Africa’s most reliable Big 5 sightings.
  • One of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa.
  • Home to some of Africa’s densest large mammal populations.

Go Off the Beaten Path

Tanzania’s little-visited parks and reserves are ideal for intrepid safari-goers and those who have already experienced the more familiar destinations in Northern Tanzania. From savannahs and swamps to rainforests and lakes, Tanzania’s undiscovered safari spots offer incredible wildlife encounters far away from the crowds. Plus you can enjoy activities like fishing, walking and boating safaris, and off-roading and night drives – activities not permitted in national parks like the Serengeti.

  • Discover Ruaha National Park, Tanzania’s best-kept secret and home to the country’s biggest elephant population.
  • Visit Nyerere National Park (Selous Game Reserve), one of Africa’s most important sanctuaries for endangered wild dog.
  • Journey to Mahale Mountains or Rubondo Island for one of Tanzania’s most unique safari experiences: chimpanzee trekking.

End Your Safari on a Tropical Island

Many Tanzania safaris end with a relaxing stay on a palm-fringed beach lapped by the Indian Ocean’s warm azure waters. Days on safari can be long and dusty, and a sun-kissed tropical island is an ideal place to reflect on your incredible experience before heading back to everyday life. You can easily fly from a Tanzania safari camp after breakfast and be on a powder-soft beach in time for sunset cocktails.

  • Zanzibar – is one of the world’s most romantic honeymoon destinations.
  • Mnemba Island – a private island holiday paradise.
  • Pemba Island – is among the world’s best diving sites.
  • Mafia Island – swim with migrating whale sharks (about October to April).

Climb Africa’s Highest Mountain

Mount Kilimanjaro is not only the tallest mountain in Africa, it’s also the highest free-standing mountain on Earth. Rising almost 6 kilometres (4 miles) above Tanzania’s plains, climbing to the ‘Roof of Africa’ can take five or more days to complete. There are many routes to the top with varying levels of difficulty, climbing time, crowdedness and natural beauty. Chat with one of our Experts about planning a Kilimanjaro hike, based on your wishes and abilities. We can also easily combine your Kili experience with a Tanzania safari in nearby parks and reserves.

How to get to Tanzania

There are direct and one-stop flights from overseas to Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro (near Arusha) and Zanzibar Island. Arusha town is the starting point for Tanzania’s most popular Northern Safari Circuit. Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) is situated 46km/29mi east of Arusha. Tanzania’s main airport is Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) located 13km/8mi southwest of Dar es Salaam. The latter is the entry-point for visitors to the southern parks.

Moving on from Arusha or Dar es Salaam you can fly or drive between reserves, or you can opt to do a bit of both. Some domestic flights out of Arusha will leave from Kilimanjaro International Airport, but most flights to reserves leave from the much smaller Arusha Airport (ARK) located 8km/5mi west of town. However you choose to travel, in most cases, your local tour operator will pick you up from the airport and arrange all further transportation as part of your safari package.

Flights & Airlines to Tanzania

Please check Skyscanner, or for multiple-destination flights check Expedia, to see which airlines can take you to Tanzania and what tickets would cost.

Domestic Airlines & Flights in Tanzania

Domestic and charter flights between parks are usually booked by tour operators as part of the tour package. Domestic flights can be booked with several domestic carriers.

Passport, Visa and Other Entry Requirements

Entry requirements can change, so please contact your local Tanzania embassy to verify the information below is current.

  • A passport is required for all foreign visitors and has to be valid for at least six months.
  • Passports must have a clean and a full visa page for endorsement.
  • When arriving from a yellow-fever-infected country in Africa or the Americas a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required.
  • Citizens of most countries require a visa. A list of countries that don’t need a visa is available.
  • Visas are best obtained in advance through an official online visa-application portal, but they can also be obtained through your local Tanzania Embassy or High Commission.
  • Visas can also be obtained on arrival but this is a lengthy process that can take one to two hours.