Find out where to go on the best Tanzania Safari Tours this year. And see why these are the best destinations for an African safari in Tanzania.
Serengeti Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, Tarangire and Kilimanjaro, to name a few. Plus, the southern Tanzania safari destinations of Ruaha, Selous Game Reserve and more. Then add Tanzania’s beach getaways, like exotic Zanzibar Island. Here are the top destinations for the best Tanzania Safari Tours in 2021 and beyond.
For up-to-date, personalised advice on travelling to Tanzania and where best to go on safari, talk to a safari expert at African Budget Safaris.
Where to go on the best Tanzania Safari Tours
Often rated as the best African safari country, Tanzania features two safari regions. The northern and southern Tanzania Safari Circuits. These are the two best areas for Tanzania Safari Tours. We’ll start with northern Tanzania safari destinations.
Northern Tanzania is the most popular safari region. Mainly, because it hosts the world-famous Serengeti National Park. But, that’s not the only place to go for the best Tanzania Safari Tours in the north.
- Serengeti National Park (World Heritage Site) – widely regarded as the best African safari destination. Serengeti boasts endless African savannahs teeming with wildlife. But it is best known for the annual Great Migration (one of the greatest natural wonders on earth). Serengeti Park is also home to plenty of big game. Including large populations of predators (lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs and more). It is also an excellent birding destination. And Serengeti sees spectacular sunsets over its quintessential African safari landscapes.
- Ngorongoro Crater (World Heritage Site) – known as the ‘Garden of Eden’. Home to the highest concentration of big game in Africa. Including the highest density of mammalian predators in Africa, according to UNESCO. Ngorongoro Crater is the largest intact volcanic caldera in the world. Adding to its acclaim, the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area also features Olduvai Gorge. This is one of the most significant fossil sites in the world. It hosts the world’s oldest Homo sapiens fossils – the earliest evidence of our human ancestors.
- Lake Manyara National Park – a beautiful reserve famous for its tree-climbing lions. Despite its compact size, this national park hosts more diverse plant, bird and animal life than Serengeti! Most of the park comprises Lake Manyara – 230 of its 325 km2 (125 sq mi) area. Yet, it features an incredible variety of habitats. Thus it hosts rich and varied bird and animal populations. And this diverse reserve is home to the world’s highest concentration of baboons. Lake Manyara Park is also a very scenic reserve. Because the Great Rift Valley escarpment rises hundreds of metres from the lakeshores. Although small, Lake Manyara is less crowded than Tanzania’s most famous parks.
- Tarangire National Park – a lesser-known (crowd-free) gem on northern Tanzania’s safari circuit. This under-rated park hosts a wide diversity and abundance of animals. In the dry, winter season, Tarangire offers some of Tanzania’s best game viewing. It is best known for its large herds of elephants. And, Tarangire is a birding haven. It is also home to ancient baobab trees and rock art, along with some unusual animal species.
- Mount Kilimanjaro – the tallest peak in Africa and the world’s highest free-standing mountain. One of the few tall summits in the world that you can climb without special equipment. Often snow-capped, the peak provides sweeping views over the surrounding plains of Tanzania. Mount Kilimanjaro’s highest peak is a dormant volcano called Kibo. One of the ‘Seven Summits’ of the world, Kilimanjaro is 5 895 meters (19 340 feet) tall.
On southern Tanzania Safaris, you’ll experience wilder and more remote African wilderness areas. You’ll also encounter fewer tourists and fewer other vehicles out in the bush. Here’s where to go on the best Tanzania Safari Tours of the south:
- Selous Game Reserve (World Heritage Site) – the largest game reserve in Africa. Declared a World Heritage Site for its diverse wildlife and dramatic scenery. Yet, this wild and secluded wilderness area is almost unknown outside of Tanzania. Selous hosts a wide diversity of wildlife in large numbers. These include the Big Five of Africa and the large predators of Africa. Selous is best known for its pristine bush and big herds of elephants and buffalos. And, the birdlife is prolific. It’s also one of few Tanzania safari destinations to offer boat trips and walking safaris.
- Ruaha National Park – Tanzania’s best-kept wildlife secret. This vast park is the second largest in Tanzania. Its landscapes are dramatic and varied. Its wilderness, rugged and wild. Ruaha is also famous for its massive elephant and buffalo herds and unspoilt wilderness. It is also home to healthy predator populations, especially lions and wild dogs. And Ruaha is one of the few places where greater and lesser kudu are both found. The birding is also phenomenal. Ruaha is ideal for an uncrowded Tanzania safari tour in the unspoilt bush.
- Gombe Stream National Park – one of the best places to track chimpanzees in Africa. Chimpanzee sightings are almost guaranteed in Gombe Stream Park. The park hosts a primate research centre, established by the famous Dr Jane Goodall in the 1960s. The primate-rich forests of Gombe Stream aren’t your typical Tanzania Safari destination. Located on the remote shores of Lake Tanganyika, you can only reach Gombe by boat and explore it on foot. The mountains and steep valleys of the park are also home to other primates and rich birdlife.
- Mahale Mountains National Park – arguably the best place on the planet to track chimpanzees. This is one of Tanzania’s most remote and beautiful parks. It is also one of the most difficult places to access and thus expensive to visit. For the lucky few who do make it to Mahale, lush forests and the fine white-sand beaches of Lake Tanganyika await. Mahale Mountains Park is rich in bird, plant and mammal life, including plenty of primates. But, the main attraction is its 800-odd chimps, many of which are habituated to humans.
View our Tanzania Safari Tours to the Southern Tanzania Safari Circuit. More about the Southern Tanzania Safari Circuit and southern Tanzania safari tours.
Now that you know where to go on the best Tanzania Safari Tours, let’s take a look at the top beach destinations. These are Tanzania’s best beach destinations to combine with your African safari. Tanzania is after all home to some of Africa’s finest beaches.
Tanzania has plenty of idyllic beach holiday destinations to choose from. These are the ideal beach getaways to visit before or after your Tanzania safari. Many of them are easy and affordable to combine with African safaris in Tanzania.
- Zanzibar Island – Tanzania’s most famous beach holiday destination. Known as the Spice Islands, Zanzibar is a cluster of tropical islands in the warm Indian Ocean. The main island, Zanzibar Island (or Unguja) is the most popular. It features all the tourism infrastructure and amenities for an easy beach holiday. But its the picturesque sandy beaches, turquoise waters and sunshine that attract holidaymakers. That and the exotic spices and rich culture of Zanzibar. A place where ancient Arabic, African and Asian cultures converge. To top it off, Zanzibar is also renowned for its superb snorkelling and scuba diving.
- Mnemba Island – an exclusive island in the Zanzibar Archipelago for luxury beach getaways. This private island is the ultimate destination for romantic barefoot holidays. of course, it doesn’t come cheap. But, you can visit Mnemba on half or full-day boat trips that are affordable. A great way to enjoy the exceptional diving and snorkelling on its pristine coral reefs.
- Pemba Island & Misali Island: a secluded beach getaway north of Zanzibar Island. Pemba is greener, wilder and less developed than the main island of Zanzibar. It is also more difficult and expensive to reach, but well worth the reward of escaping the crowds. Pemba boasts some of the best scuba diving in the world, along with unspoilt beaches and scenic sand bars. Visiting nearby Misali Island for a day on a boat trip is a must. This beautiful island offers exceptional scuba diving and snorkelling. It’s also an ideal spot to see turtles hatching and whale sharks, in season.
- Mafia Island – a remote and rustic little island getaway, south of Zanzibar’s main island. Mafia Island has even fewer beach resorts and hotels than Pemba, so it’s more secluded. The main attraction is scuba diving in the marine park that surrounds the island. Mafia has an unpolished charm, intriguing maritime history and interesting archaeological sites. Turtles also make their seasonal nesting sites here in season.
- Saadani National Park – an ideal beach destination to combine with your Tanzania Safari when you’re short on time or money. Located on the mainland of Tanzania, near Dar es Salaam (62 mi/ 100 km north). The real bonus of visiting Saadani Park is that you may spot wildlife while relaxing on the beach. You can also see big game animals, like lions, buffalos and elephants on game drives here. And you can take laid-back river cruises to see birds, hippos and other animals.
- Pangani & Ushongo Beach – a historical port town on a beautiful stretch of coastline north of Dar es Salaam. Pangani was once a major trading post on the slave trade route. It is a good place to experience local history and Swahili culture. And, to the north and south of this untouristy town lie nearly-deserted beaches. Ushongo beach is one of these beautiful, quiet beaches. It is safe for swimming and sports excellent diving on the offshore reefs of Maziwe Island Marine Reserve.
- Sange Beach – some say it’s Tanzania’s best-kept beach secret. This picture-perfect sandy beach lies between Pangani and Saadani Park. A secluded and scenic beach fringed with mangrove forests and palm trees. There are a variety of activities at Sange including snorkelling. This, along with the accommodation, makes it a great spot for family beach holidays.
Other top Tanzania beach holiday destinations are Kilwa Masoko, Ras Kutani, Ushongo and Fanjove Island. And, there are more, like Paje, Kipepeo and Jambiani beaches! Many of which can easily be combined with Tanzania safaris on a budget.
Where to go for the best African safari in Tanzania depends on what you are looking for and the type of travel you enjoy.
Most people include Tanzania’s top safari destination, the Serengeti National Park, on their African safari. This is usually to see the Great Migration, or Wildebeest Migration, in action. And most people also visit the nearby Ngorongoro Crater. But, for more rugged and remote wildlife safaris the south is the best place to go. More so, if you want to get away from it all and avoid crowds.
Then you have Tanzania’s fantastic beach destinations. A host of idyllic coastal getaways that definitely add to the appeal of going on safari in Tanzania! There plenty of beach getaways well worth adding to your trip. Regardless of where you go on your Tanzania safari (north or south, or both).
Take a look at our affordable Tanzania Safari Tours. These range from excellent-value camping and lodge safaris to family and private tours.
Still not sure where to go on the best Tanzania safari tour? Get in touch with our team of African safari experts who can help you plan the best safari in Tanzania.
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