A Tanzania safari is a thrilling adventure and a once-in-a-lifetime trip for many people. With the lure of adventure travel to an exotic country and the prospect of seeing some of the finest animals in the world in their natural habitat, it really is a safari holiday you’ll never forget. Not only that but a two week safari gives you the chance to switch off from the modern world, which is a rare luxury many love. With limited internet and no mobile phone connection, it really does offer a great opportunity to get away from it all.
There are a few different countries in Africa you can visit on safari but one of the best is Tanzania in East Africa. It must be said that which country you visit depends on the type of animal you want to spot however as the landscape dictates which animals you find there.
Tanzania is an excellent place to see elephants on a safari. Photo by Timothy
With this in mind, Tanzania is a great choice if you especially would like to see the Great Wildebeest Migration , or wildlife like elephants, giraffes, lions, hippos and zebras; as they are very common there. In addition to this, you may see wildlife like leopards, cheetahs and rhinos although they are rarer. Offering great wildlife viewing throughout the year, Tanzania has a lot of areas reserved for wildlife . A lot of travellers favour the famous Serengeti National Park although the Ngorongoro and Katavi parks are other special highlights. Tanzania also offers different kinds of Safaris so wherever you go on a Tanzania safari will not disappoint!
The most obvious way to get to Tanzania is via aeroplane. It would be a long walk otherwise! Direct and one-stop flights are available from overseas to Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar Island. The town of Arusha, which is close to Kilimanjaro, is the starting point for the popular Northern Safari Circuit so is a good place to call in at first if you decide to go on the Northern Circuit. It also has its own small local airport which can come in handy.
If you wish to visit one of the southern parks, it would be best to fly into Tanzania’s main airport of Julius Nyerere International Airport which is located close to Dar es Salaam. Once you have landed in the country at either airport, you can either take internal flights onwards or hire a car to drive. If you book as part of an organised tour, this should be arranged by your tour operator as part of the safari package.
Lioness stands as a lookout as the another one guides their cubs to cross the road. Taken in the Serengeti, Tanzania. Photo by Anwar
The most important thing to remember before you travel to Tanzania is that you will need a Tanzanian VISA to gain entry to the country when you arrive. It is probably best to sort that out at the Tanzanian Embassy in your country before leaving. The four main entry points of Dar es Salaam International Airport, Zanzibar International Airport, Kilimanjaro International Airport and Namanga Entry Point can also grant visitors a VISA on arrival.
You will also need a current passport that has to be valid for at least six months to get into Tanzania. Please don’t forget about getting the necessary vaccinations before you travel also! Current recommendations are for yellow fever, hepatitis A and B, typhoid fever and possibly rabies depending on the official advice.
Apart from the above, you obviously need to remember to book your flights and get your packing done ! It is advised to double check with your local Tanzanian Embassy as to all the above as entry requirements and vaccinations needed can change. You should also read some books for background information on Tanzania, its culture, people and wildlife before you visit.
Now we know why a Tanzania safari is so outstanding and what we need to think about before we set off, we need to think about the best places to stay. There are many superb safari camps in Tanzania as well as lodges but what should you be looking for when you book one?
One of the main concerns for travelers is that it’s well situated, near to a safari park so you are close to the action and don’t have to travel too far (or too early) to enjoy your safari. Depending on your personal tastes, you will want to make sure it’s as authentic or luxurious as you like so you will enjoy your time there. You can go from permanent huts to mobile tented camps – you will be surprised by the choice there is when you start looking! One of the huge factors in a safari’s success is the staff who act as guides as well as looking after you at the lodge or camp, so this is well worth checking out when you’re thinking of where to stay.
We take a look at the best safari lodges in Tanzania and the best safari camps in Tanzania:
Located in the beautiful Serengeti National Park in the Mara region of the country, this stunning safari lodge will delight you. Offering an air of exclusivity and relaxation with just 6 luxury tents, this is in the area known as the Lamai Triangle.
Giving visitors a modern take on the safari experience, the beautiful views of the Mara river and decked area to chill out on make this a tremendous place to stop. After a busy day spotting wildlife, this is the perfect place to retire too at night and recover.
This superb lodge is bordered by the sea meaning you get two holidays in one! Visitors can spend their days on a game drive before heading to the nearby Indian Ocean for a dip in the afternoon. This flexibility is great for people who like a beach to lie on and is a good way to get rid of any dust you may have caught when out in the bush.
The lodge itself offers all the comforts you would expect on a holiday and the food is very tasty. When you have spent a few days seeing animals on land, you can also take to the nearby Wami River to take in the hippos and crocodiles!
Easy to get too due to its location close to Kilimanjaro and Arusha, the Hatari lodge will make your safari experience extra special. Made up of three buildings and nine bedrooms, the wooden walkway from camp to the viewing platform gives great views across the landscape throughout the day. Come night time, it makes a lovely place to relax with a drink and chat about the day’s experiences.
If you like to travel around a bit then the beautiful Momella Lake is nearby where flamingos and Egyptian Geese can be seen. A trip to this lodge will be something you will remember forever and give you a superb base for a memorable safari.
Surely one of the best safari camps in Tanzania is this stunning place. Renowned for the wildlife you can see from the camp and in the surrounding area, this gives a complete sense of relaxation and comfort. The Sayari camp is set in the remote northern section of the Serengeti National Park, the exclusive game sightings and professional guides are simply amazing.
The accommodation is modern and chic, with hillside suites giving all the amenities you require. The fabulous swimming pool and elegant feel confirm why this is one of the most popular permanent camps in the country.
The Ngorongoro Park is famous for the huge crater located within it and this is certainly worth a visit if you stop here. The Highlands camp though can offer extra access to wildlife that other lodges in the region can’t. A truly unique experience, the suites are dome shaped and have huge windows that give brilliant views of the surrounding area.
The wood-burning stove inside each suite keep it cosy at night and the elegant interior and relaxed atmosphere will allow you to unwind at the end of a busy day. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay that is a little bit different, then this is the camp for you.
Going on a fabulous safari will be an experience that will stay with you forever and give you unbelievable memories. From spotting lions and elephants to relaxing at night with a drink watching the sun go down, once you have been you will see why so many people love them.
Going on a successful safari in Tanzania involves careful planning , not least where to stay to ensure you have the experience you want. Having a good think about the type of safari lodge or camp you would like to stay in and where in the country is vital and not something to be overlooked. Hopefully our guide can help find the perfect one for you and make your Tanzanian adventure truly special.
Cover image by Mark