ABOUT TANZANIA

TANZANIA OVER VIEW

The United Republic of Tanzania is located in eastern Africa on the Indian Ocean between Mozambique and Kenya and includes the island of Zanzibar. Its largest city, Dar es Salaam, is located along the eastern coast on the Indian Ocean. The capital Dodoma lies west of Dar-es-Salaam. The population is estimated at 60,445,249 million (2019). ), There are over 120 different ethnic groups in Tanzania but the main language here is Swahili and English.

Tanzania covers an area roughly 947, 303 km2 (365,756 sq mi). The terrain includes coastal plains, a central plateau, and highlands in the north and south. It is home to Mt. Kilimanjaro (the highest point in Africa), Lake Victoria (the second largest lake in the world), and the Great Rift Valley. The climate varies from tropical along the coast to temperate in the highlands.

Tanzania is regarded as an excellent safari destination, largely due to its many world class opportunities for game spotting. Tanzania is home to many of the best and biggest parks in Africa more than 20 game parks and more than 43 game reserves, and some of the most varied and unique landscapes that you’ll ever see. From grasslands to woodlands, rock formations, and mountain peaks, there’s no question that Tanzania features some amazing opportunities for sightseeing, and photo hunting alike. These varied ecosystems are also ideal conditions for one of the most quintessential aspects of any great safari: African animals.

No safari would be complete without a glimpse of a few of the “Big Five” or the chance to see some lesser known, but equally fascinating animals. Fortunately, Tanzania doesn’t disappoint. Home to the Great Wildebeest Migration, each year, Tanzania sees millions of animals make their way across the land in search of water and fresh pasture. Wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle make the arduous journey, and brave the raging Mara River filled with waiting crocodiles.

But the great migration isn’t the only aspect of Tanzania that’s worth seeing. Herds of grazing animals mean that predators won’t be far away. In Tanzania, you’ll have the opportunity to see lion, cheetah, leopards, and hunting dogs. If you’re curious about what this beautiful country has to offer, read more about best Tanzania safari destinations.

As African Diurnal Safari and Tours, we are here to help you experience the best travel experience all around Tanzania and East Africa. Regardless of your status, or where you come, we’ll ensure you get the moment of your life. We’ll help you create memories that you will cherish forever.

But the great migration isn’t the only aspect of Tanzania that’s worth seeing. Herds of grazing animals mean that predators won’t be far away. In Tanzania, you’ll have the opportunity to see lion, cheetah, leopards, and hunting dogs. If you’re curious about what this beautiful country has to offer, read more about best Tanzania safari destinations.

As African Diurnal Safari and Tours, we are here to help you experience the best travel experience all around Tanzania and East Africa. Regardless of your status, or where you come, we’ll ensure you get the moment of your life. We’ll help you create memories that you will cherish forever.

Best time to visit Tanzania

The best time to visit Tanzania is during the Dry season, from late June to October, when wildlife viewing is generally at its best. The wildebeest migration in the Serengeti is usually during June and July and the time to see the wildebeest calving is late January to February and March. The southern and western circuit parks are best visited during the Dry season (June to October), unlike the more popular northern circuit parks that can be visited year-round.

Weather and climate in Tanzania

Tanzania has a pleasant, tropical climate but has large regional climatic variations influenced by several factors, including altitude. The hottest and most humid part of the country is the coast. Other low-lying areas, such as the western and southern parks, are also hot but less humid. The rest of the interior is much milder and cools down significantly at night. Tanzania has a distinct Dry and Wet season. There is very little rainfall during this period and humidity is very low. It cools off at night; be sure to pack warm clothing because morning game drives in open vehicles will be cold, especially in the northern parks.

June, July, August, September and October, Afternoon temperatures are usually between 20°C/68°F and 30°C/86°F and vary greatly according to altitude and location. Most days have a fine, clear sky and sunny weather. During most of the Wet season, afternoon temperatures are consistently hot (a bit above or below 30°C/86°F) but it is colder above 1,300m/4,265ft. Mornings are cold in most northern parks due to the high altitude.

  • November and December – ‘Short rains’ – A period of about a month of short rains which occurs sometime between November and December. Its timing is unpredictable and, in Northern Tanzania, it can even happen in October. The rains will rarely interfere with your safari.
  • January and February – The northern parks and coastal areas tend to have a break in the rainy season. The other parks don’t really experience a dry spell.
  • March, April and May – ‘Long rains’ – These are the wettest months. It tends to rain heavily almost every day, although not often for the whole day. Humidity tends to be high, especially in the hotter southern and western parks.

NORTHERN CIRCUIT GAME PARKS OF TANZANIA

Tanzania Game Parks Northern

Serengeti National Park

The Serengeti is one of the largest wildlife sanctuaries in the world covering an area of 14,763 square kilometres. The spectacular concentration of plain animals found nowhere in the worlds and the annual wildebeest migration. Apart from the wildebeests and zebras, you can expect to see a large variety of animals, Gazelles; Hippos will be found there at any time of the year. Elephants will be frequently seen, but the population is migratory.

The Serengeti predators made famous by many films and documentaries include lion, leopard, cheetah, and hyena. The birds of the Serengeti are just as spectacular and varied as the animals. There are several types of Eagles and vultures, Ostrich, Secretary birds, Kori Bustards, Hornbills as well as a host of small birds. There are almost 500 species of birds recorded in the parks.

Ngorongoro Crater

Ngorongoro Conservation Area (crater) is a world-famous geographic feature; it is technically called a “caldera”, which is a collapsed volcano. The floor covers an area of over 102 square miles which includes a soda lake and forms a perfectly preserved and self-contained habitat for a large number and variety of animals species, Elephant, Buffalo, Hippo and many other species can generally be seen here at any time of year.

Maasai tribesmen traditionally graze night, and they may be seen in their distinctive dress, tending to their herds of cattle. The animals are not trapped in the crater. There is some migratory movement, but because of the protected nature of the habitat and the availability of grazing and water, many of the animal population remains resident year around. This makes Ngorongoro ideal for game viewing. There are several feelings of pride of lions and some of the last surviving to be found in Tanzania.

The lodges and campsites are situated around the rim of the crater. This makes the clients to view the crater all the time while in a lodge or campsite.

Lake Manyara national park

This is one of the most popular and attractive wildlife sanctuaries in East Africa beneath the Great Rift Valley. It is home to baboons, blue monkeys, buffalo, giraffe, elephant, hippos and so many more. Over 300 species of birds are found here.

The park consists of 350km2, 120 square mile of land during the wet season but is nearly non-existent during the dry seasons. The park is also famous for the flamingos that habit the lake.

Arusha national park

This comparatively small park is covering only 137 square kilometres. It is often bypassed, since visitors on a limited itinerary understandably want to see the more famous attraction. It is situated a short distance from Arusha itself, making it easy to visit on a day or a half-day trip.

The park has several completely different habitats within its confines, from a flamingo fringed soda lake to dense forest, a crater floor like a miniature Ngorongoro and Mount Meru itself. You will not see the enormous herds or predator of the plains here, but there are numerous monkeys, birds, giraffe, buffalo, hippo, warthog, gazelle and zebra, and even elephant may be spotted here.

Tarangire national park

One of the outstanding features of Tarangire is the vast number of enormous baobab trees. These giants also known as the upside-down tree, are a strange and beautiful sight in themselves. Tarangire is located in Manyara Region, the name of the park originated from the Tarangire river that crosses through the park, being the only source of water for the wild animal during the dry season. During the dry season, thousands of animals migrate to the Tarangire National Park from Manyara.

The park is very famous for its massive number of Elephant, baobab trees and lions climbing trees.

Mkomozi national park

Together with a sister park in Kenya, Mkomozi National Park forms one of the largest and most significant wilderness conservation areas in Africa. A haven for elephant and the dwindling black rhino.

Previously decimated by overgrazing and poaching the area was rehabilitated by the George Adamson (of born free same) wildlife preservation trust and now offers visitors a glimpse into African’s past glory.

Mount Kilimanjaro national park

Undisputed on its majesty, this freestanding mountain is the highest peak in Africa. Mount Kilimanjaro lives forever in the hearts of those who have climbed it.

An amazing variety of vegetation belts contribute to its splendour, with cultivated land at the base moving on to the dense rainforest. As the ascent continues, the forest gives way to open health and adjacent area which in turn, dwindles into the alpine desert, culminating in glacier-capped peaks.

Mount Meru

Home to the Black and White Colobus Monkey, Arusha is a breathtaking park that includes the alkaline mommela lakes the Ngurduto crater and spectacular. It has as its dramatic backdrop the 4566 meters high Mt. Meru. Hike the foothills of Mt. Meru, climb the Mountain View of the Ngurdoto Crater.

Lake Natron

Lake Natron is located in northern Tanzania close to the Kenyan border in the eastern branch of African’s Great Rift Valley.

This lake supports an expected 2.5 million birds as their only breeding ground. This spectacle is a sight to behold hundreds of thousands of fabulously pink head flamingos come to feed blue-green algae on the lake.

The size of the lake is about 260 square. The major attraction here is a salt lake, large Flamingo populations, Oldoinyo Lengai, Engaruka rains, Engare Sero waterfalls.

Oldoinyo Lengai

Is an active volcano located in the north of Tanzania and is part of the volcano system of the great valley in Eastern Africa. It is located in the Eastern Rift Valley south of both Lake Natron and Kenya. The Oldoinyo Lengai size is about 2960 meters (9711ft).

The name Oldoinyo Lengai means “the mountain of God” in the Maasai language of the native people. The volcano is the only active volcano in the part of the Rift Valley and is often referred to as the strangest volcano on Earth. The primary activity is only trekking.

Lake Eyasi

Lake Eyasi is a seasonal shallow endothermic salt lake on the floor of the Great Rift valley at the base of the Serengeti Plateau. Just south of the Serengeti Plateau and immediately southwest of the Ngorongoro crater in the crater highlands of Tanzania, The lake is elongated, orientated southwest to northeast, and lies in the Eyasi-Wembere branch of the Great Rift valley.

The major attractions in Lake Eyasi, the Hardzabe bushman live in the Lake Eyasi region as the Datoga and Mbulu tribes. The alkaline water of Lake Eyasi are also famous for its large flocks of pink head flamingo; also you will have a walking safari around the villages.

SOUTHERN GAME PARKS OF TANZANIA

Tanzania Game Parks Southern

Ruaha National Park

The second biggest Tanzanian National Park, located in the heart of the country- Ruaha is another park on the southern circuit. Ruaha’s relative inaccessibility has resulted in a park that takes far fewer tourists than the Selous and the fewer than any park in the Northern circuit. The rewards of travelling this far is a wild landscape with baobab studded hills and rocky escapements, playing host to an excellent level of game including superb predator concentration huge elephant and buffalo herds and a crossover of game from southern and eastern Africa.

Mikumi National Park

Mikumi National Park is located in the north of the Selous Game Reserve in Morogoro. Ulugulu Mountains border it in the North and Rubeho Mountains to the South- East. The main feature in the park is Mkata river floodplain. The park was extended to the border of Selous in 1975 and gazette in 1964 during the construction of Morogoro- Iringa highway. The park shares the eco-system with the Selous Game Reserve and Kilombero Game Controlled Area.

With 3,230 square kilometres coverage, Mikumi National Park is well –known Park in Tanzania. The park is very famous for its population of elephants, giraffes, buffalo, zebra and sable antelope. Predators include lions, leopards, wild hunting dogs and black-backed jackals and more than 400 species of birds have been recorded here.

Udzungwa Mountains National Park

The Udzungwa Mountains is one of the southern circuit National Park and its 45 kilometres south of Mikumi. A rainforest area covering 1,000sqkm has been declared as a conservation area. The area has spectacular mountain scenery, waterfalls and rare vegetation not found anywhere in the world. The ancient rainfall will shoe you several species which are unique to the area, such as Iringa red colobus and the Sanje Crested Mangabey monkeys.

You’re like here also with a magnitude of nature, primates, birds, butterflies and you get an impression about what these forests mean to research and traditional medicine.

Selous Game Reserve

Located in southern Tanzania and far from the madding crowds, the Selous game reserve is African’s largest Game Reserve and one of our favourite’s wildlife viewing areas. It is a hidden gem!

The rivers and lakes of the Selous are the lifeblood of a park that hosts some fabulous game, including elephant, wild dog, buffalo, hippo, crocodiles and fantastic pride of lions.

Not only that, Selous offers an amazing introduction to unspool Africa. The game viewing is superb, especially in the peak season month. The wildness on display is some of the most untouched in Africa, and the sheer variety of activities available makes for an excellent safari experience.

WESTERN GAME PARKS OF TANZANIA

Tanzania Game Parks Western

Mahale Mountain National Park

The Mahale national park is one of the western Tanzania National Park located to the south at Kigoma town. It is bordering Lake Tanganyika. The world largest second deepest Lake and least polluted in 1980 covering an area of 1.613 km. Mahale National Park is very famous in the western circuit with various attractions. These include chimp trekking, hiking, camping safaris, snorkelling and sports fishing in Lake Tanganyika.

Rubondo Island National Park

Rubondo Island is one of the game parks on Lake Victoria. The park is located on the Southwest of Lake Victoria, and it has 456 bi species. Rubondo Island also protects another 11 islets, none much large breeding ground for both migratory and fish species, Tilapia and Nile perch.

The animals found in Rubondo Island include sitatunga, elephant, Giraffe, Hippos, Crocodiles, and colobus.

Saanane Island National Park

It’s the second smallest Island which is a National park in Lake Victoria, and it covers an area of 0.5 square Kilometers. This park is a beautiful place where you can get a view of Mwanza city.

The most animals can be seen in Saanane Island while walking with an armed guide are Impala lizards, Hyrax, crocodiles and migrant species of birds more than 200 species have been recorded here.

Zanzibar & islands

Zanzibar is part of the East Africa nation of Tanzania. It is archipelago in the Indian Ocean that is 25- 50 km off the coast of Tanzania. The archipelago consists of 2 large islands and many smaller islands. The two large islands are Unguja (Zanzibar Island) and Pemba.

The capital of Zanzibar, located on the island of Unguja is Zanzibar city and its old quarter known as Stone Town, is a world heritage site. Zanzibar’s rich history has been influenced by the Arabs, Persians, Indians, Portuguese, British and local tribes from Africa mainland and this shows in the architecture.

Zanzibar is characterized by beautiful sandy beaches with fringing coral roofs and the historically significant stone town. Its brilliant white beaches are lapped by the warm waters of the Indian ocean and provide the perfect place to relax, soak up the sun and take a break from some busy sightseeing

Zanzibar main industries are species and tourism. It is still sometimes referred to as the Spice Island because of the significance of its production of cloves of which it’s a world leader and also nutmeg, cardamon, and pepper. The ecology is of note for being the home of the endemic Zanzibar Red colobus monkey, not to maintain the diverse marine life found on the islands surrounding coral reefs.

TOP CITIES TO START YOUR SAFARIS

Before jumping to wildlife, you may want to check the cities too.

Mwanza City - aka Rock city

Mwanza is a part of the city on the shore of Lake Victoria in Northern Tanzania; the second longest city in Tanzanian after Dar es Salaam, the city is ringed by green hills. The city is known for unusual rock formations like Bismarck Rock near the Kamanga Ferry Terminal. The population of Mwanza Region according to 2012 records is about 2.775 million and the big tribe of Mwanza is Sukuma tribe.

Mwanza city is the best town to start your safari adventure; the city makes a good base from which to explore the nearby Rubondo Island National Park and the western parts of the Serengeti. Rubondo Island National Park offers pleasant day hikes and bird watching around the lake shore. Mwanza’s proximity to the western Serengeti just two hours drive to Serengeti National Park through the Ndabaka gate in western Corridor of the Serengeti. You can make a day trip safari then back to Mwanza in the evening, also offers an overnight safari with the combinations of multiple game parks like Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire, Lake Manyara then straight to Arusha town or Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA).

It’s a necessary stop for visitors who want to experience a less bust part of the park and see the magic of the Serengeti without the parade of safari vehicles and seasonal crowds. Mwanza is also the centre of the Sukuma tribe, the largest tribe in Tanzania, who have inhabited and farmed the region for centuries.

The Museum in Mwanza known as Bujora village is an open-air museum where, among other things to do when visiting in Mwanza, you’ll see traditional Sukuma dwellings, the grass house of a traditional healer, blacksmith’s tools and a rotating cylinder illustrating different Sukuma words for counting from one to 10. It is the site of the well-known Bulabo Dance Festival in June, where dancers compete using a variety of animals as props.

Arusha city - aka “A” TOWN

Arusha is a city in East African’s Tanzania located off the base of volcanic Mt. Meru. It is a gateway to safari destinations to African highest Park, 5895m Mt. Kilimanjaro laying some 100-kilometres northeast. The city, which has a population of 270,485 (2002 census), was established in 1900 as a minor German military garrison for the colonial administration. Arusha was once a trading place for the domestic Wameru and Waarusha tribes but today it is Tanzania’s safari and tourism center. The “Geneva of Africa” consists of picturesque street markets, craft shops, museums, Makonde carving workshops, restaurants, street cafes and bars.

Arusha is your gateway to the safari adventures that can be found on the famed northern circuit, Arusha is a dynamic and bustling city where Africa and the west collide in a dizzying, fascinating fusion. With a domestic airport (Arusha) and an international airport (Kilimanjaro) it’s also the perfect place to launch your adventures to Serengeti, Dar Es Saalam, Zanzibar, or even neighboring countries such as Rwanda, Kenya, or Uganda.

Dar es Salaam City

Dar es Salaam, formally known as Mzizima is the largest city and business Centre in Tanzania and one of the safest largest cities in East Africa as its meaning depict itself “Heaven of Peace” derived from Arab language. The open-air village grew Museum has recreated the traditional homes of local and other Tanzania tribes and hosts tribal dancing. Its part of the National Museum which offers Tanzania history exhibits including the fossils of human ancestors found by anthropologist Luis Leakey.
The region has a population of 4.36 million as of the official 2012 census; it is the most populated among the 30 regions of Tanzania, accounting for 10 percent of the total Tanzania Mainland population.

Located between latitudes 6.36 degrees and 7.0 degrees to the south of Equator and longitudes 39.0 and 338.33 to the east of Greenwich, Dar es Salaam is bounded by the Indian Ocean on the east. Dar is flat and is bordered on the East by the Indian Ocean. Dar es Salaam is certainly not at the top of the list of places to see for most visitors to Tanzania. It is often a necessary stop on their way to Zanzibar, Arusha, Mwanza. The northern safari circuit or home, that being said, Dar es Salaam has its charm.
Dar es Salaam can be easily accessed by national and international flights through Julius K. Nyerere International Airport (JKNIA) 40 minutes’ drive to the city centre. Local and International flights to Dar es Salaam includes KLM, Qatar Air, Precision Air, Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airline, Air France, Uganda Airline, Rwanda Air, South African Airline, Turkish Airlines, Emirates, Egypt Air to mention a few. Also for some of African countries Dar es Salaam can be reached through road from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Malawi, Mozambique etc, as well as Railway through the Tanzania-Zambia Railway (TAZARA).

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