Tanzania is the second largest country in East Africa and one of the continent’s stalwart safari destinations. It lies on the idyllic Indian Ocean coast and shares borders with other incredible safari destinations like Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique.
Tanzania is home to a great diversity of wildlife, fascinating cultures and natural, scenic beauty. It’s a dream destination from the classic, sweeping Savannah of the Serengeti to the flamingo-lined shores of Lake Manyara, world wonder Ngorongoro Crater and Mount Kilimanjaro (Africa’s highest mountain).
It also offers bucket-list experiences that like chimpanzee trekking in the rain forest of Mahale and Gombe, and game viewing in the far-flung wildernesses of Katavi, Ruaha and Nyerere National Park (Selous).
Tanzania’s greatest wildlife attraction is the annual Wildebeest Migration, which sees almost two million wildebeest and zebra follow seasonal rains across the Serengeti-Mara Ecosystem each year. Tanzania hosts the lion’s share of the Migration two main events take place in the Serengeti:
The mass calving season when almost a quarter of a million babies are born in the southern Serengeti.
The dramatic Grumeti River crossings.
Tanzania offers superb safari-and-beach combinations, thanks to its long tropical coastline and coral-fringed islands. You can easily fly from a Tanzania safari camp after breakfast and be on a powder-soft beach in time for sunset cocktails.
Zanzibar – one of the world’s most romantic honeymoon destinations.
Mnemba Island – a private island holiday paradise.
Pemba Island – among the world’s best diving sites.
Mafia Island – swim with migrating whale sharks (about October to April).
Peak game viewing in Tanzania is in the dry winter season (about June to October). This is the ideal time to explore the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara because game is concentrated around water sources. The Wildebeest Migration River crossings also take place between July and October.
If you’d prefer to avoid high season crowds, we recommend combining Ruaha and Nyerere (Selous) with a beach break on the coast or heading to Lake Victoria to combine chimp trekking in Mahale and Gombe with game viewing in the Katavi.
During low or Green Season (about November to March), there are baby animals everywhere, the days are deliciously hot, the dust is settled by afternoon thundershowers and, best of all, you’ll enjoy the very best value for money and crowd-free game viewing.
Game viewing is still excellent after the short rains in November but, for the best value, travel before 15 December to avoid the Christmas crowds (and prices!).
For keen photographers, this quiet period offers very special advantages: expect lush green landscapes rather than the dull browns of winter; dramatic cloudy skies rather than winter’s endless pale blue skies; and much more relaxed game viewing conditions, which means more time to get that winning shot.
The best time to summit Kilimanjaro is between July and October or between January and March which makes it easy to combine a mountain trek with both game viewing and relaxing on a tropical island.
Combine your big game safari with Tanzania’s islands between August and October. We don’t recommend the coast or islands during the long rains from March to May when it’s very wet and humid.