Tanzania Safaris

Tanzania Overview

Tanzania, the largest country in East Africa, now consists of the mainland and the islands of Zanzibar. Before that as part of the scramble by the European powers to colonise Africa at the end of the 19th, the mainland, known as Tanganyika was claimed by Germany with the British claiming Zanzibar, which was before the Suez Canal, a major trading port on the route from India. Following the First World War, Germany was forced to surrender its territory to Great Britain with the mainland and Zanzibar, still independent of each other, becoming British protectorates. In 1961, Tanganyika became independent with Zanzibar following two years later. In April 1964, Tanganyika and Zanzibar joined to form Tanzania and the rest, so they say, is history.

Tanzania is a superb destination for a twin themed holiday offering arguably the best wildlife safaris in the region easily linked to the beaches south of Dar es Salaam or on the main Zanzibari island or on the outlying islands of Mafia, Pemba and Mnemba.

The most well known of the wildlife area in Tanzania is the Serengeti,  home of the Great Migration and a name synonymous with the vast open plains (which give it its name) and host to huge herds of zebra and wildebeest (over 1 1/2 million strong), patrolled by numerous predators, which gather to calve in the southern Serengeti each January, before moving northwards to Kenya’s Masai Mara, usually in April – this though is not a precise event and depends on when the annual rains arrive. This is the heartland of Tanzania.

Tanzania though also has many other National Parks of which the Selous, Tarangire, Lake Manyara and the incredible Ngorongoro Crater are but a few. Its coastline boasts beautiful beaches with hundreds of miles of palm-fringed sands. Its cities are relaxed and friendly. Its huge lakes, Victoria, Tanganyika and Nyasa are bountiful with fish. Its mountains are massive and mysterious and include Mount Meru, Ol Doinyo Lengai and the Usambaras in addition, of course, to Mount Kilimanjaro – the ‘Roof of Africa’ and the tallest free-standing mountain in the world.

Yet despite all these attractions, Tanzania has enough space to allow the traveller to feel the open spaces, the sense of freedom and of peace.

Tanzania can be combined with Zanzibar or Mozambique.

We would advise all travellers, prior to booking, to consult the Foreign & Commonwealth Office travel advice for the country(s) they are thinking of visiting, both in respect of the safety of travel and also passport and visa requirements. Please click here.

Tanzania Itineraries

Below is a selection of sample itineraries to help you plan your perfect Tanzania safari adventure. All Signature Safari itineraries can be adapted to suit your requirements. Contact us to plan your bespoke safari.

Additional Tanzania Information

Tanzania lies just south of the equator, on the Indian Ocean coastline the African continent and is just under twice the size of France. It is also home to Lake Victoria, the second largest fresh-water lake in Africa as well as to the world famous Serengeti (endless plains in Swahili) Ngorongoro Crater and the Zanzibar islands, which historically were a major staging point for trade and this is reflected in the number and diverse cultures that settled on the islands, their architecture, religion and food.

Tanzania shares land borders with Burundi, Kenya, Malawi Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia and has an Indian Ocean coastline. The capital is Dodoma, not Dar es Salaam, the latter of which is the principal hub for international flights although there is a major airport next to Kilimanjaro which acts as the gateway to the Serengeti.

Tanzania is probably best known for the annual migration when millions of wildebeest and zebra, and their predators, move between the Serengeti in Tanzania to the Masai Mara in Kenya in August/September returning to the Serengeti to calve in November/December.

Articles on Tanzania

We regularly update our news section with inspirational articles to help you plan your safari trip. Here’s a selection of features on Tanzania to whet your appetite.

Where To Go In Tanzania

With over a third of this vast country protected for wildlife viewing, Tanzania is a popular choice for new and experienced safari-goers. The endless plains of the Serengeti are at the heartland of this country, and witnessing thundering herds of wildebeest during the Great Migration between November and July is top of most visitors’ wish lists.

The Ngorongoro Crater, a UNESCO World Heritage Site home to approximately 25,000 mammals including black rhino and the largest density of lions in Africa, is another staple on a Tanzania trip.

But there’s plenty to see away from these popular hotspots. Selous Game Reserve in the south, while three times larger than Serengeti, sees fewer visitors and offers a more remote, untamed safari experience. Other parks in that area include the Ruaha National Park, home to 8,000 elephants, the largest population in East Africa, and Tarangire where wildlife gatherings are exceeded only by the Great Migration in the Serengeti.

Away from the vast plains, there are huge lakes including Lake Victoria, the biggest lake in Africa, and mighty mountains such as Kilimanjaro, the largest freestanding mountain in the world. If you want to combine your trip with some beach time, head to Zanzibar where white sandy beaches stretch for miles.

Where To Stay In Tanzania

At Signature Safaris, we offer an exceptional array of camps and resorts in Tanzania. For further information on our accommodation options, please contact us.

When To Go To Tanzania

It’s essential to visit Tanzania at the right time for you, so we’ve compiled some climate details to assist your planning.

Tanzania Climate

Tanzania is comfortably warm all year, though it can be chilly early morning and during the night on safari. There are short rains in November and December, and long rains in April and May.

Temperature (°C)

These are the average lows and highs for Tanzania:

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
22/3022/3021/2919/2816/2714/2514/2515/2517/2618/2720/2829/29

Rainfall (mm)

Average rainfall but will vary according to where you are in Tanzania:

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
14113789692828181837577887

What To Do In Tanzania

Tanzania offers extraordinarily rich areas of wildlife and some of the most varied safari experiences in the world. The Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater are unmissable and unforgettable, both for the stark beauty of the landscape and the density of wildlife. Don’t forget to include a trip to the Olduvai Gorge, home to the earliest known human remains, in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, while drifting over the Serengeti in a hot air balloon in the early morning makes for a breathtaking experience.

The birdlife of Tanzania is also astonishing, with Lake Manyara National Park in the south and Lake Victoria in the west both excellent birding spots.

If you’re feeling active, hike to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, the ‘roof of Africa’, for outstanding views over the Kenyan plains, while if white sand and clear blue seas are your thing, the Zanzibar Archipelago is the perfect place to relax and unwind before heading home.

Other Information

Whether it’s your first trip to Tanzania or you’re planning a return journey, here’s a recap of some essential information.

CurrencyTZS
Capital CityDodoma
Population49.25 million
LanguageSwahili, English
Time ZoneGMT +3:00