Tanzania is known for its abundant wildlife and the annual wildebeest migration, one of the world’s most famous natural spectacles during which, every year, an estimated 2 million wildebeest, zebra and other wildlife move en masse through the Serengeti in search of green pastures. There are three main safari circuits to explore in Tanzania: the north, the south and the west.
On a tailor-made itinerary to Tanzania, for those with time on their hands explore a combination of ‘circuits’ or alternatively focus on one area to spend more time viewing wildlife.
The Northern circuit includes some of the most impressive parks of Tanzania: the Serengeti, the Tarangire, Lake Manyara and the Ngorongoro Crater. The Serengeti National Park is known for its huge savanna plains, excellent resident wildlife throughout the year and the great wildebeest migration (November to July), one of the world’s greatest wildlife spectacles. Staying in a mobile camp, which moves periodically to get as close as possible to the herds, offers one of the best ways to see the migration.
Tarangire National Park, with its ancient baobab trees, particularly comes to life in the dry season (January to February and July to October), with the Tarangire river acting as a magnet for large animals, especially elephants. Lake Manyara National Park contains a beautiful soda lake and an excellent variety of wildlife, including elusive tree-climbing lions and huge flocks of pink flamingos. Finally, the Ngorongoro Crater contains one of the world’s greatest concentrations of wildlife, due to its fertile volcanic soil.
Southern Tanzania consists of Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park are both areas with pristine wilderness and low visitor numbers.
Whereas the west is much less visited and if you journey a little further off the beaten track, you will have the wildlife all to yourself. Mahale Mountains National Park, on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, combines stunning white beaches with a superb chimpanzee interaction experience. Incredibly remote and said to have the highest biodiversity of any park in Africa, Katavi National Park has good general wildlife, with many buffaloes and lions.
To end your tailor-made itinerary, why not continue to the coast of Tanzania where you are spoilt for choice of an array of sugar white sand beaches, flourishing corals and exotic cuisine. We highly recommend combining a safari holiday with a stay on Zanzibar for a combination of fabulous beaches and distinctive culture. Often described as ‘where the Middle East meets Africa’, Persian and Omani sultans made this the spice-trading capital of the world. You can decide to stay on the beach or alternatively choose from a wide range of boutique hotels in Stone Town, which can act as a base for exploring the island. Take a sunset dhow cruise, have cooking lessons using the Zanzibarian spices, or take a walk to see the endangered red colobus monkeys of Jozani forest.