Destinations > Tanzania
‘He that travels much knows much.’
From the magic of the Spice Island Zanzibar to the supernatural spectacle of the wildebeest migration, Tanzania has a lot to offer for everyone. This country boasts some of the most scenic African Savannah in Africa.
Tanzania, like Kenya, is a country with a strong presence of tourism, where we have been fortunate to have spent many wonderful times visiting relatively unexplored regions of this vast country. If you know where to look for the hidden gems, they exist, it has become very clear to us that it’s possible to visit Tanzania and not be surrounded by multiple numbers of mini-buses full of tourists by simply using some common sense and a little strategy. Talk to an expert.
We look forward to introducing you to the vast wilderness of Tanzania. Learn about the many destinations in Tanzania below in our highlights.
Katavi National Park
Katavi wildlife includes large animal herds, particularly of Cape Buffalo and elephant, plus along the Katuma river, crocodiles and hippos which upon annual dry seasons results in mudholes that can be packed with hundreds of hippos. The most noteworthy feature of Katavi versus other Tanzania Parks is that it lacks human visitors and jeeps conducting game drives. Isolated, untrammelled and seldom visited, Katavi is a true wilderness, providing the few intrepid souls who make it there with a thrilling taste of Africa as it must have been a century ago.
Gombe Stream National Park
Gombe Stream National Park is the smallest national park in Tanzania, with only 20 square miles (52 km2) of forest running along the hills of the northern shore of Lake Tanganyika. The park is most famous as the location where Jane Goodall pioneered her behavioral research conducted on the chimpanzee populations. The Kasakela chimpanzee community, featured in several books and documentaries, lives in Gombe Stream National Park. Visits here for primate lovers is a pure delight.
Rubondo Island is tucked in the southwest corner of Lake Victoria, the world’s second-largest lake. Rubondo protects precious fish breeding grounds. The shaggy-coated aquatic sitatunga, the most elusive of antelopes, is remarkably easily observed here, not only in the papyrus swamps, but also in the forest interior. Giving this island a close look is well worth it for those looking for a quiet corner of Tanzania.
Saadani National Park
Saadani is where the beach meets the bush. The only wildlife sanctuary in East Africa to boast an Indian Ocean beachfront, it possesses all the attributes that make Tanzania’s tropical coastline and islands so popular with those searching the sun and bush in one package. It is the one place where those idle hours of sunbathing might be interrupted by an elephant strolling past, or a lion coming to drink at the nearby waterhole!
Mikumi National Park
Mikumi National Park is often compared to the Serengeti. The north-west vegetation consists of savannah dotted with acacia, baobab, tamarinds, and some rare palm. In this area, at the furthest from the road, there are spectacular rock formations of the mountains Rubeho and Uluguru. The southeast part of the park is less rich in wildlife, and not very accessible. The fauna includes many species characteristic of the African savannah. According to locals seeing a lion who climbs a tree trunk is larger than in Manyara (famous for being one of the few places where the lions exhibit this behavior). The park contains a subspecies of giraffe, that biologists consider the link between the Masai giraffe and the Somali giraffe. Other animals in the park are elephants, zebras, gnu, impales, eland, kudu, black antelope, baboons, wildebeests and buffaloes. More than 400 different species of birds also inhabit the park.
Mahale National Park
Mahale National Park is mainly a chimpanzee sanctuary on the shores of Lake Tanganyika about halfway down the lake. The highest peak in the park, Nkungwe ensures that moist air blowing in from the lake condenses there and falls as rain. This rain supports extensive montane forests, grasslands and alpine bamboo. The animals which live in this park show closer affinities with western rather than eastern Africa. They include chimpanzee, brush-tailed porcupine, various species of colobus monkey, guinea fowl and mangoese. Scientists, mainly from Japan, have been studying the chimpanzees for 20 years, during which time more than 100 of the animals have been habituated to human contact. The population have been dramaticully increased since 1975, when local people were moved to villages outside the park, this putting a stop to poaching and field-burning activities. This relocation has also led to the reapperance of leopard, lion and buffalo, which were never seen in the past. Mahale is a park for walking only.
Selous Game Reserve
Selous Game Reserve is the largest game reserve in Africa (second largest in the world). Selous holds large numbers of wildlife, found mainly along the mighty Rufiji River. Selous boasts premier walking safari territory. Bwana Game, (Eric Balson – first warden of Serengeti National Park) would take Prince Bernard of the Netherlands and other famous people on safari here given the true authentic African wilderness to be found. A destination not to be missed by anyone trying to escape the busyness of the northern circuits of Tanzania. Tourists generally want to visit the places everyone has heard about and seen on National Geographic, this leaves other destinations little visited. You will find the Africa of old in the Selous Game Reserve.
Ruaha National Park
Ruaha National Park is famous for its large populations of Elephant and is a true birdwatchers paradise. The African Wild Dog and Sable Antelope are another big drawcard for this park. The best times to visit for predators and large mammals is the dry season (May–December) and for birds and flowers, the wet season (January–April).
Tarangire National Park
The name Tarangire originates from the Tarangire river that passes through the park, the only source of water for wild animals during the dry season. Thousands of animals migrate to the Tarangire National Park from Manyara during the dry season. So game viewing in this park does have a low and high season. Large numbers of elephant, baobab trees and tree climbing African pythons define this park. The landscape and vegetation is incredibly diverse. The rolling landscape is dotted with Baobab trees making a very picture friendly destination.
Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a conservation area and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Ngorongoro Crater, a large volcanic caldera, lies within the area. Based on fossil evidence it is known that various hominid species have occupied the area for 3 million years. Anywhere up to 250 safari vehicles can enter the crater on any given day. The time of year to visit the crater determines the experience you will have. One of the most quiet times of year for tourists is actually when the Crater is most vibrant with life. Timing is important. We will help advise you of the best scenario for visiting this global treasure.
Lake Manyara National Park
Ernest Hemingway described Lake Manyara as “the loveliest I had seen in Africa”. Lake Manyara is a park used by many for an introductory safari. This has caused the regions just inside the main park gates to be overused. To visit Lake Manyara and experience the gem Earnest Hemingway described, you need to do it ‘our way’ – spend the time and get deeper into the park – talk to us about Lake Manyara in detail, and how we can do this ‘right’.
The Spice Islands are very close to the mainland, and consist of several small islands and two large ones: Unguja ( Zanzibar), and Pemba. The capital of Zanzibar, located on the island of Unguja, is Zanzibar City, and its historic centre, known as Stone Town, is a World Heritage Site. Zanzibar’s main industries are spices, raffia, and tourism. The production of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper are common, it is for this reason that the islands are sometimes called the Spice Islands. Visitors enjoy Zanzibar for relaxing at the end of a safari, the laid back environment of Stonetown, and the snorkling, diving and fresh sea food all make for a fitting end to any safari.
Kilimanjaro is an inactive volcano in north-eastern Tanzania and the highest mountain in Africa at 5,895 metres or 19,341 feet above sea level. The Uhuru Peak is the destination of many hikers who come to summit Kilimanjaro each year. Contact us to learn about your options for attempting the summit of Africa’s highest mountain.
Serengeti National Park
The Serengeti National Park and surrounding conservation areas are most famous for the annual migration of one and a half million wildebeest and 250,000 zebra. Serengeti National Park is widely regarded as the best wildlife reserve in Africa due to its density of predators and prey. We use the latest migration maps produced by Frankfurt Zoological Society and the many weeks we spend in the Serengeti each year to ensure we put you in the heart of the action – we send you with knowledge. Each year groups enter the Serengeti thinking they will see the migration, but miss it based on not been in the right location. Lodges and camps offer great prices and specials when the migration is not in their region – be aware and talk to an expert.