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Tanzania

Amazing diversity, abundant wildlife, and world-famous parks
Overview

From majestic Mt. Kilimanjaro to the Rift Valley lakes and the exotic islands of Zanzibar, Tanzania is many worlds wrapped in one. Nowhere on Earth will you find better chances to sight the Big Five (lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo, and rhinoceros), thanks to a plethora of parks, including the world-famous Serengeti.

With year-round concentrations of wildlife and waving, golden grasslands as far as the eye can see, the Serengeti is Tanzania’s crown jewel. Lions lurk in wait for prey among the park’s iconic kopjes (great piles of weathered granite), and wildebeest in the hundreds of thousands begin their epic annual Great Migration here. Watching the sunset or a thunderstorm rolling in over this immense landscape is a spectacularly charged experience.

Other stunning parks abound in this country where nearly 40 percent of the land is set aside for conservation. Tarangire is notable for its gorgeous baobabs and a profusion of water sources that draw huge herds of foraging elephants and countless other creatures during the dry season. Sightings of cats, including tree-climbing lions, are extraordinary here. To the north, shimmering clouds of pink flamingoes cover Lake Manyara, a bird-watcher’s dream.

Jutting dramatically above the Great Rift Valley, the extinct volcanic Ngorongoro Crater, 20km across and 600m deep, is Tanzania’s oldest UNESCO World Heritage site. Alive with water and vegetation, this vast and magnificent natural oasis draws an unparalleled permanent population of lions, buffalos, black rhinos, hippos, and more; it’s especially mesmerizing in the early morning light as you descend from the crater rim. Nearby Lake Eyasi is home to the Hadzabe, Africa’s last remaining hunter-gatherers and speakers of a fascinating “click” language.

For a complete change of pace, visit Zanzibar, off Tanzania’s Swahili Coast. The island’s rich Arab- and Indian-influenced trading history is palpable in the narrow alleys of Stone Town, fragrant with cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, cloves, and nutmeg grown in the adjacent hills. Pristine Indian Ocean beaches enhance Zanzibar’s charm, with white sands, turquoise waters, and fishermen setting sail in traditional dhows.

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Country Highlights & Attractions

  • Follow the Great Migration across the Serengeti’s vast grasslands
  • Discover baobabs and tree-climbing lions in Tarangire National Park
  • Descend into the primeval world of Ngorongoro Crater, an ancient oasis for African wildlife
  • Stroll the pristine beaches and spice-scented markets of Zanzibar
  • Go bird-watching beside the flamingo-pink waters of Lake Manyara
Wildlife

Wildlife in Tanzania

For iconic African wildlife on a grand scale, Tanzania is a dream safari destination. Whether you come to follow the Great Migration or spot the Big Five, you’ll see a storybook collection of great African mammals, protected in some of the continent’s finest national parks.

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Big Five

Tanzania is one of Africa’s best spots to see the “Big Five,” including elephants found throughout the national parks and known for their own mini-migration in Tarangire National Park.

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Flamingos

A fantasia of birdlife, including the lesser and greater flamingos, flocks to Tanzania’s Lake Natron, Lake Manyara, and Ngorongoro Crater.

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Lions

Lions abound in Tanzania: both the famous prides of the Serengeti and the tree-climbing lions of Lake Manyara National Park, who scale branches to enjoy cool breezes and escape bothersome tsetse flies.

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Black Rhino

Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater is one of the best places in Africa to spot the critically endangered black rhino, whose distinctive prehensile upper lip is used to feed on woody plants such as acacias.

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Great Migration

Between October and May, millions of wildebeest move from their Tanzanian birthing grounds across the Mara River towards Kenya, braving the challenge of lions, crocodiles, and other predators.

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Turtles

Zanzibar’s sandy beaches and warm Indian Ocean waters offer prime habitat for hawksbill and green sea turtles, long hunted for their beautiful shells and meat but now benefiting from conservation efforts.

Country Facts

Karibu! Welcome to Tanzania, a nation whose geographic splendor and cultural diversity make it a microcosm of the entire African continent. Slightly larger than Texas, its superlatives include Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest point; Lake Victoria, the continent’s largest lake; Lake Tanganyika, the world’s second-deepest lake; and Olduvai Gorge, the “Cradle of Mankind.” With almost 40 percent of the country protected in reserves and national parks (including the well-known Serengeti and Ngorongoro Highlands), Tanzania has more areas devoted to conservation than any other wildlife destination worldwide.

Known in colonial days as Tanganyika, Tanzania gained its independence from Great Britain in 1961. Zanzibar joined the newly formed nation in 1964. Today, Tanzania is a multiparty democratic republic. Its traditional capital, Dar es Salaam, is still the seat of the executive branch, while the legislative branch is based in the new capital of Dodoma.

Language & People

Tanzania’s two official languages are English and Kiswahili; Arabic is also widely spoken in Zanzibar. Literally thousands of local languages, mostly from the Bantu family, are spoken alongside these main languages.

Tanzania’s vibrant mix of 50 million people includes African, Arab, European, and Indian influences, and more than 130 indigenous tribes, most of Bantu origin. The seminomadic Maasai, of Nilotic origin, live in the country’s northern regions. Religious affiliation is about 30 percent Christian, 35 percent Muslim (99 percent in Zanzibar), and 35 percent indigenous beliefs.

Food & Drink

The cuisine of Tanzania is as varied as its cultural groups. Along the coast, dishes are typically spicy and use coconut milk. In the highlands, rice and maize porridge are staples, along with grilled meats and kisamvu, a type of cassava leaf.

Weather & Elements

Tanzania is an ideal year-round destination, with a tropical climate along its Indian Ocean coast and a temperate climate in the highlands. The annual daytime temperature range is fairly narrow: 77° to 86° F on the coast, and 71° to 80° F in the highlands. Nighttime temperatures in the highlands can be considerably cooler. The hottest months are October through March, and the coolest are June to September. There is rainfall in November and December, and from April to mid-May, usually clearing by midday. Best periods to observe the Great Migration are April to June and October to December.

Entry Requirements & Visas

U.S. citizens: Passports and visas are required, and passports must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date the visa is obtained. Visas (current fee $100 for a 12-month, multiple-entry tourist visa) may be obtained before arrival or at the port of entry. For most up-to-date visa information and for non-U.S. citizens, see the Embassy of Tanzania website: www.tanzaniaembassy-us.org. For visa and passport assistance, we recommend Travel Document Systems: www.traveldocs.com.

 

Currency

Tanzania uses the Tanzanian shilling (TZS). As of November 2014, $1 US = 1 TZS. For up-to-date exchange rates, see www.oanda.com.

Foreign currency (especially USD) can be changed at banks and change offices in larger towns; ATMs are only available in larger towns. Small-denomination USD banknotes in good condition can be used locally; note that pre-2006 banknotes are generally not accepted. Credit cards are accepted only at travel agents, major lodges, and hotels.

Immunizations & Health

No immunizations are required to enter Tanzania, except that travelers coming from or transiting through a country with yellow fever transmission must show proof of yellow fever vaccination.

Malaria medication, hepatitis, tetanus, typhoid, polio, measles, mumps, and rubella vaccinations are generally recommended for all travelers. Requirements and recommendations change frequently, so check directly with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC: www.cdc.gov/travel; 800-232-4636), a travel clinic, and/or your personal physician for the most current information. Plan ahead for immunizations, as some require administration several months prior to departure.

 

Electricity

Alternating current of 230v and 50Hz is used in Tanzania. Plugs typically have three round prongs and are type D.

Phone & Internet

Tanzania country code: +255

International access code calling out of Tanzania: 001

  • Cell-phone coverage throughout Tanzania is extensive, but cannot be guaranteed at all times, especially in remote areas.
  • Internet access is generally very good in towns and villages but less dependable elsewhere, especially in parks and reserves.

For more information about Tanzania, see the national tourism board website: www.tanzaniatouristboard.com.

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Guides
Wakara cropped

Wakara Kizito

Initially a teacher by profession, Wakara is an excellent safari guide. His outgoing personality enables him to make every safari experience unique. A certified wildlife manager with eight years of experience, he has commendable knowledge of flora, fauna, and the wildlife of Tanzania. He is a member of the Tanzania Tour Guides Association and speaks fluent English and Swahili, and some French. The Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater are his favorite locations to guide safaris. He has a liking for the warthog, vulture (not always tops on everyone’s “like” list), and cheetah. When he is not guiding, Wakara enjoys football, reading, and traveling to more remote places.

TZ - Severin Mallya

Severin Mallya

Severin Mallya grew up in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in Moshi, Tanzania. His parents were both farmers and retired teachers. He completed his education with a Wildlife Management Course before starting his guiding career. Though he has traveled widely throughout Tanzania, he claims the Serengeti National Park as his favorite. Severin’s favorite animal is the giraffe. Our guests repeatedly sing the praises of Severin’s personality and skill as a guide on our safaris.

TZ - Raphael Kugesha 2

Raphael Kugesha

Raphael Kugesha grew up in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Beyond exploring all corners of his country, Raphael has also traveled through Kenya, South Africa, Zambia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo – each affecting him in a different way. He completed his degree in Cooperative Business Studies at Moshi University before following his passion to share his world. Raphael is well educated in flora and fauna, and is a certified member of the Tanzania Tour Guides Association; he speaks fluent English and Swahili.

Outgoing and sociable, there is never a dull moment with well-traveled Raphael. Raphael is a storyteller while on safari – a favorite being a recounting of the thrill of watching a lion chasing a leopard, right up the same tree! However, it is not only about the Big Five on safari with him, as you’ll soon learn his favorite animal is one of the littlest: the elephant shrew. In his spare time, you’ll likely find Raphael playing soccer (his favorite team is Arsenal) or listening to reggae music.

TZ - Godfrey Mmani

Godfrey Mmani

Godfrey Mmani was born to guide in the famed parks of Tanzania. Raised and educated in Arusha, Tanzania, Godfrey knew from a young age that he wanted to work with wildlife when he grew up. His father was a doctor and his mother a nurse. He finally settled on studying wildlife management, eventually leading him to guiding. His favorite moments with guest are in the Serengeti National Park in the heart of the great migration. Well loved on the trail and off, a safari with him is sure to be a lot of fun. In his free time, Godfrey enjoys watching movies and wildlife documentaries, reading books, playing soccer, and listening to R&B and Swahili music.

TZ - Francis Kembo

Francis Kembo

If you want to learn to jump with the Maasai while on safari, Francis Kembo is the one to practice with – he played for the Tanzania men’s national basketball team for five years! Francis’s father was a judge and his mother was a teacher – Francis himself grew up on the shores of Lake Victoria wanting to be a priest. Guiding became his passion by coincidence after his father passed away. He landed a job guiding to help pay for his siblings’ school fees. This life event turned into an exciting career.

Francis is an active member of the Tanzania Tour Guides Association, a professional association of highly trained nature safari guides, tour operators, and hospitality companies. Francis’s favorite animal is the stately African elephant and providing interpretation of animal behavior is the most rewarding part of guiding for him. The most rewarding part for our guests: Francis’s incredible personality and expert skills on safari.

TZ - Emmanuel Kimario

Emmanuel Kimario

Emmanuel Kimario grew up in Karatu bordering the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area. He was raised by a mother who was a teacher and a father who was both a businessman and small-scale farming entrepreneur. Emmanuel first considered being a safari guide when he was just an impressionable youngster in primary school. As it turns out, he was inspired by a guide who brought small groups of tourists to visit his school. It didn’t take long for Emmanuel to realize the importance and impact of guiding.

He is exceptionally knowledgeable about the subtleties of safely conducting an off-road vehicle through the Tanzanian backcountry. Guests are often amazed by his command of local flora and fauna. A master of many tongues, Emmanuel speaks English, German, and Spanish fluently in addition to his native Swahili. His favorite park to share in Tanzania is the Serengeti National Park – with his favorite animal being the cheetah, you know he’ll be on the lookout! When not guiding, Emmanuel spends his spare time playing basketball, watching wildlife documentaries, and listening to country music.

KE - Stephen Kyengo

Stephen M. Kyengo

Stephen is a proficient safari driver and enthusiastic guide. His wealth of knowledge about the African wild, combined with his fluency in English, Swahili, and intermediate Japanese, make him a most remarkable travel companion. His seven years of experience in safari guiding is reflected in his intimate familiarity with the flora and fauna. His passion for the region may be partly inherited, as his father is also a professional safari guide. Outgoing and lively, Stephen loves meeting new people and is an accredited member of the Kenya Professional Safari Guide Association. His favorite parks are Samburu and Masai Mara; his favorite animal is the giraffe.

Chris Nyambu

Chris brings knowledge and dedication to his career as a safari guide. Highly focused and passionate about his profession, he is accredited by the Kenya Professional Safari Guide Association with eight years’ guiding experience. Because Chris speaks fluent English and Swahili, he is a perfect bridge between our safari guests and the places they visit. His conversance with the African wilderness—its geography, flora, and fauna—is equally fluent. Driven by his love for wildlife and desire to conserve nature, he became a member of the Friends of Tsavo. Among his favorite places to travel: Masai Mara, Samburu, and Lake Nakuru. When not traveling or guiding, he enjoys football and photography. His favorite subject? The African elephant.

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Dry Season

Grass is short, so it’s easy to spot wildlife that is concentrated near waterholes.

Temperate Season

Ideal Safari season – wildlife is easy to track, and the weather is temperate.

Rainy Season

Tropical downpours mean an ideal season for birding and photography.

Light Rains

Cooler weather & nighttime rains mean animals are more active during the day.

Jan, Feb & Mar: An ideal time to safari in Tanzania. Warm and dry, this is the season when then wildebeest give birth to their young in the Southern Serengeti – the “start” of the migration. Average high: 72-84F. Average low: 52-63F. Zanzibar will be hot, humid, and wet.

Apr, May & Jun: April is typically the wettest month of the year. May into early June bring some afternoon rains and clean, crisp air. A wonderful time for photography and birding. The migration is in full swing, making its way north west toward Kenya. Average high: 69-79F. Average low: 54 -61F. May and June are Temperate and lovely in Zanzibar.

Jul, Aug & Sept: This is the peak safari season. Warm days, cold nights, and dry weather all around. It is easy to spot wildlife concentrated around waterholes. Average high: 66-77F. Average low: 48-59F. A perfect time for travel to Zanzibar.

Oct, Nov & Dec: Days warm up in anticipation of the welcomed short rains. A wonderful, less-crowded season for a safari offering great value. Average high: 70-82F. Average low: 54-63F. Increasing warmth and turtle nesting season in Zanzibar.

Read more about The Best Time To Visit

6 Tanzania Safaris

Tanzania

Best of Tanzania 10 Days / 9 Nights

Activities: Active Safaris, The Big Five, Classic Game Drives, The Great Migration, Cultural VisitsDiscover Tanzania’s amazing natural and cultural diversity—from Lake Manyara’s flamingoes to the Serengeti’s lions, from Maasai herders to Hadzabe hunter-gatherers—on this multifaceted adventure.

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Flight + Safari from $5,788 USD per person
  Safari Only from $4,298USD per person
trip details

Highlights

  • Follow the timeless dance of predator and prey across the Serengeti’s infinite spaces
  • Hear the cackle of hyenas and the roar of lions from your tented camp deep in the savanna
  • Search for flamingos and 400 other bird species at shimmering Lake Manyara
  • Share in Tanzania’s rich cultural diversity with visits to Maasai warriors and Hadzabe hunter-gatherers
  • Track elephants through grasslands dotted with stately baobabs in Tarangire National Park
  • Experience the magic of Ngorongoro Crater, where creatures great and small roam the fertile floor of a vast caldera encircled by ancient volcanoes

Departure Dates


May 14-May 23Jun 4-Jun 13Jul 9-Jul 18Sep 3-Sep 12Oct 29-Nov 7

Also available as a Private departure - choose your own dates!

NEED HELP DECIDING?

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Call 888-483-7696 | Request a Reservation  

Tanzania

Classic Game Parks & Zanzibar 13 Days / 12 Nights

Activities: Active Safaris, The Big Five, Classic Game Drives, The Great Migration, Cultural VisitsShare unforgettable wildlife sightings, cultural encounters, and active adventures with your family as you explore Tanzania from the Serengeti’s golden grasslands to Zanzibar’s turquoise waters.

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Safari From $6,598 USD per persontrip details

Highlights

  • Feel Africa’s grandeur as you mingle with great mammals on the vast Serengeti plains
  • Spend an unforgettable day in “Africa’s Eden,” the primeval, wildlife-rich Ngorongoro Crater
  • See tree-climbing lions and pink flamingos at Lake Manyara National Park
  • Step into another culture with a visit to the Hadzabe, Tanzania’s last remaining hunter-gatherers
  • Snorkel and swim off Zanzibar’s stunning beaches, and wander the spice-scented alleys of Stone Town

Departure Dates


Make it your own! Private trips are just for you and your travel companions. Choose your preferred departure date and we handle all the details.

NEED HELP DECIDING?

We Speak Safari
Call 888-483-7696 | Request a Reservation  

Kenya/Tanzania

Great Migration 12 Days / 11 Nights

Activities: The Big Five, Classic Game Drives, The Great Migration, Urban ExplorationsGet a front-row perspective on Africa’s most thrilling wildlife spectacle, as millions of animals traverse the vast expanses of Tanzania’s Serengeti and Kenya’s Masai Mara.

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Safari From $11,698 USD per persontrip details

Highlights

  • Explore Africa’s most magnificent grasslands on both sides of the border: Kenya’s Masai Mara and Tanzania’s Serengeti
  • Follow in the footsteps of Africa’s iconic animals – lions, antelopes, zebras, and more – on daily game drives
  • Stay in the heart of the action, at luxury tented camps overlooking the Mara River
  • See elephants silhouetted against snowcapped Mt. Kilimanjaro in Amboseli National Park
  • Immerse yourself in the primordial beauty of Ngorongoro Crater, an ancient caldera filled with grasslands, waterholes, and thousands of mammals

Departure Dates


Jul 26-Aug 6Aug 16-Aug 27Sep 13-Sep 24

Also available as a Private departure - choose your own dates!

NEED HELP DECIDING?

We Speak Safari
Call 888-483-7696 | Request a Reservation  

Kenya/Tanzania

Serengeti, Masai Mara & Beyond 14 Days / 13 Nights

Activities: Active Safaris, The Big Five, Classic Game Drives, The Great Migration, Cultural VisitsTake a grand tour of East Africa’s finest wildlife reserves, from Amboseli’s elephant herds and Kilimanjaro vistas to the big cats and unbroken savannas of the Serengeti.

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Safari From $6,898 USD per persontrip details

Highlights

  • Enjoy nonstop opportunities to spot the Big Five in East Africa’s richest wildlife habitats
  • Follow the awe-inspiring migration of a million wildebeest from Kenya’s Masai Mara to Tanzania’s Serengeti
  • Discover the incomparable beauty of Ngorongoro Crater, a timeless wildlife oasis
  • Feel Africa’s grandeur in Amboseli National Park, where magnificent Mt. Kilimanjaro frames epic panoramas of wildlife-packed savannas and swamps
  • Seek out big cats, wild dogs, and endangered Grevy’s zebras in seldom-visited Samburu National Reserve

Departure Dates


May 17-May 30Jun 14-Jun 27

Also available as a Private departure - choose your own dates!

NEED HELP DECIDING?

We Speak Safari
Call 888-483-7696 | Request a Reservation  

Tanzania

Tarangire, Ngorongoro & Serengeti 8 Days / 7 Nights

Activities: The Big Five, Classic Game Drives, The Great MigrationExperience Africa’s natural splendor from land and air on this exclusive fly-in safari, tracking the continent’s great mammals in Tanzania’s three most spectacular wildlife reserves.

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Safari From $9,198 USD per persontrip details

Highlights

  • Walk with your Maasai guide through forest trails, tribal villages, and local markets
  • Thrill to the wild beauty of ancient baobabs, year-round elephant herds, and outstanding game viewing in Tarangire National Park
  • Enjoy spectacular aerial views of the Serengeti’s grasslands, then spend three riveting days discovering its wildlife at ground level
  • Descend into Ngorongoro Crater, a volcanic oasis where tens of thousands of mammals roam a landscape unmatched anywhere in Africa

Departure Dates


Make it your own! Private trips are just for you and your travel companions. Choose your preferred departure date and we handle all the details.

NEED HELP DECIDING?

We Speak Safari
Call 888-483-7696 | Request a Reservation  

Tanzania

Zanzibar 5 Days / 4 Nights

Activities: Active Safaris, Cultural Visits, Urban Explorations, Boats and BeachesStroll beaches of white sand, snorkel in crystal-clear Indian Ocean waters, and wander the spice-scented alleys of Stone Town on this exotic escape to legendary Zanzibar.

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Safari From $1,698 USD per persontrip details

Highlights

  • Stroll narrow alleys past the sultan’s palace and colorful markets in historic Stone Town
  • Track giant tortoises and coconut crabs on Zanzibar’s outlying islands
  • Inhale the exotic aromas of fresh-grown spices on a plantation tour
  • Swim, snorkel, and kayak through a landscape of dazzling white sands lapped by brilliant turquoise waters
  • Enhance your experience with optional cultural activities: visiting local villages, tracking monkeys, or watching the construction of traditional dhow sailboats

Departure Dates


Make it your own! Private trips are just for you and your travel companions. Choose your preferred departure date and we handle all the details.

NEED HELP DECIDING?

We Speak Safari
Call 888-483-7696 | Request a Reservation  

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