Tanzania is one of the top prime safari destinations in Africa. Loads of visitors come to this East African country to experience its wilderness, nonchalant islands and beaches and unique culture. It is an ideal place for nature enthusiasts because of its spontaneous and unprecedented wildlife species and natural physical features that run from one corner of the country to the other.
Due to its immeasurable natural attractions and destinations, it would take a visitor to explore and enjoy Tanzania for almost a year. With time not being the best ally of most people/visitors in this day and age generation, here are the 10 must-visit places on your trip to Tanzania for the short time you might have of your daily routine.
This is one of the most touristic natural biodiversity places in Tanzania. One would say, it is the place to be for visitors who wish to explore and enjoy nature at its best. It is famously known for its natural phenomenon of the great migration of millions of wildebeests from its central plains to the north and as far as Masai Mara in Kenya forth and back. The Migration of the Wildebeest is regarded as one of the natural wonders of the world. The Migration of these ungulates is the largest movement of animals ever experienced in the world. Serengeti National park is also a popular big five destination. It has one of the highest concentration of lions in the world and the other big four (leopards, elephants, rhinos and buffaloes) are in huge numbers. Other big mammals are also seen on a game viewing session in Serengeti for example the elands, zebras, giraffes etcetera. The savannah park is also a bird paradise with a whooping number of over 500 species recorded within its lashing vegetation.
Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area
This is part of the great Serengeti conservation area located in the west of Arusha. Its centrepiece is the Ngorongoro crater, the largest inactive and intact volcanic caldera in the world. With so much life around the volcanic area, Ngorongoro records an endless list of wildlife species that are encountered on a game drive for example lions, elands, African buffaloes, zebras, wildebeests, hyenas and bird species like grey crowned crane and silver checked hornbill. Ngorongoro is one of the most scenic places in the world as it is painted with green rolling hills. This conservation area is also known to be one of the oldest human settlement areas in the world. The oldest human remains to ever be discovered were found at Olduvai Gorge, a place within Ngorongoro.
Kilimanjaro is the highest natural feature on the African continent located in the north of Tanzania on the borders of Kenya. It is a dormant volcano with three volcanic cones, Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira. Kibo is the largest of all the three ranges and has the highest peak Uhuru standing at the height of 5,895 m and this makes Kilimanjaro the fourth highest mountain in the world. It has diminishing glacier peaks which makes it a scenic feature to watch from far and near. Kilimanjaro Mountain is a national park its self with lots of biodiversities to protect and treasure. It has a few large mammals in its perch for example elephants and buffaloes are occasionally seen, other wildlife species within are mongoose, sunbirds, warthogs, dik-diks, bushbucks and chameleons. Though it has some unique wildlife to encounter, Kilimanjaro is majorly sought after for its hiking expeditions. The travellers visit this elevated site to hike up to the top of its snow-capped ranges. Its peaks are very breathtaking spots to reach, hikers tend to enjoy a panoramic view of Tanzania and other neighbouring countries at large.
This Picturesque area of nature is located in the southwest of Arusha. It is dominated by Lake Manyara, the popular natural phenomenon in the area and the rift valley. Lake Manyara is alkaline in a closed basin with no outflows, only fed by underground streams, rivers and springs whose waters are fetched from Ngorongoro highlands. It is the seventh-largest lake in the country. Lake Manyara is a salty water body, draws a reasonable number of bird species that are attractive to the tourists of the park. Lake Manyara is regarded as an important bird area with over 2 million birds of different species visiting the area. Some of them include flamingos, black-winged stilt, yellow-billed stork, Pied Avocet, great white pelican, Caspian plover and many more. Lake Manyara has a rare fish species Oreochromis amphimelas and also catfish and tilapia exist in the water inflow areas where the salt is less. Within the park plains, there are herbivores seen like gazelle, impala, zebras, wildebeest, giraffes, buffalos and so forth. These are migratory animals from the nearby habitat Tarangire national park.
A two hour’s drive south away from the popular city of Arusha there lies Tarangire the sixth largest national wildlife reserve in Tanzania. The most popular centrepiece of this great natural biodiversity is the Tarangire River where the park’s name was derived from. The Tarangire river acts as the main source of water during the dry season to various wild animals in the northern circuit of the country which is purely dominated by different natural habitats. In the months of June- November where Tanzania experiences a great dry spell, there is a huge migration of different animals from other biodiversities to Tarangire national park for greener pastures and water from the river. Animal species like zebra, wildebeest and cape buffaloes migrate around the river areas for survival. The park is also home to waterbuck, giraffes, gazelle, baboons, vervet monkeys, dik-dik, impala, elands and predators like leopards, lions, cheetahs and wild dogs. It is also a bird haven with over 550 species recorded in its perch. The Tarangire national park is more of a season game habitat as most animals are hugely present in the area during the dry season of June-November. A game drive and bird watching expeditions in the dry months are always memorable!
Far detached from the northern safari circuit, situated in the western region, Kigoma on the eastern hills of Lake Tanganyika margins, Gombe national park is unique biodiversity in all sense. Its vegetation comprises of tropical rainforest, grasslands and woodland making it an ideal home for African primate species like chimpanzees, red colobus, blue monkeys, vervet monkeys, red-tailed monkeys and olive baboons. It also has snake species, a variety of birds, bush pigs and irregular leopards and hippos.
Chimpanzee trekking is the most popular tourism activity in the park, the chimpanzees are one of the akin relatives of mankind and their theatrical antics in the wild are mindboggling. A date with the chimpanzee in these wonderful habitats is a lifetime experience!
Less toured than the northern safari circuit destination, Selous game reserve is located in the southern hemisphere of Tanzania. The park was named after a game hunter and early nature conservationist Freddick Selous. The park is mainly covered by miombo woodlands, acacia, wetlands and savannah grassland hence being a comfortable home for the common African game like black rhinos, lion, elephants, Masai giraffes, plains zebras, wild dogs, bush elephants. It is held the Rufiji river which verifies the presences of Nile crocodiles, hippos and a mammoth of aquatic bird species. Selous Game reserve is a popular area for game hunting safaris.
Tanzania well known for its peculiar wildlife habitats, culture and breathtaking beaches in the Indian ocean, it is a place where different vacationers get their greatest pleasures and adventures. Though visited by about 1.5 million tourists throughout the year, there are always would-be travellers who ask questions about its safety. We can say Tanzania is a safe country to travel to since there minimal alarming safety and security threatening incidents that happen to its visitors. However, like any place with people around, there are some mysteries that occur which dent the safety and security of travellers. Though these can be avoided when safety precautions are taken by the travellers themselves.
What guarantees safe travel in Tanzania?
There is no major security threatening incident that has happened in Tanzania over a long period of time apart from the 1998 bombing of the US embassy that claimed 11 lives. Tanzania is one of the most politically stable countries in Africa. It is the most democratic country on the continent, it has been changing presidents from time to time.
Its security department is strong and competent. Tanzania has a strong and combative police department that keeps law and order in the country. It curbs down criminals every now and then. The police also offer the local people and travellers security in case they feel their lives is in danger. The Judiciary system is also sound. People are always given a fair judgement. More to that, the tourist sites like the game reserve are well protected from any insecurities which may arouse. The security personnel are visibly seen loitering and surveying around these tourism destinations to protect both the animals and the tourists.
There are lots of credible tour operators in Tanzania to organise safari trips for travellers. What more safety do you need on the trip when you have a local handler who knows everything about the destination. These local tour operators arrange for the visitors, tourism destinations to go to, transport to use and accommodation to stay. They ensure that every travel item, they book for the traveller is safe and secure.
Health service establishments like hospitals, clinics and pharmacies are all over the country. Any illness that may attack a visitor while on a trip, it can be attended to. The health facilities in Tanzania are well equipped, they treat communicable and non-communicable disease, underlying illnesses and also injuries.
Tanzania has financial institutions that offer electronic transfer services. In addition, the tourism facilities like lodges, tour operators and national parks offer cashless services whereby a traveller can make a payment through his/her visa or credit card. With the limitation of cash usage, the travellers avoid theft which is one of safety threatening incidents.
The people of Tanzania are very hospitable and friendly. They welcome their visitors and always provide help to them when need be. With the hospitality conveyed to the travellers by the locals, they always feel safe to travel around Tanzania.
What threatens safety travel in Tanzania?
Tanzania lies in the tropics, there are lots of insect-infested diseases which are life-threatening. These diseases include malaria caused by mosquitos, yellow fever caused by tsetse flies and Bilharzia got from the waters of the sea.
We all know that there is a global pandemic (Covid-19) looming around. Tanzania at first had been rebellious of adhering to the standard operating procedures (SOPS) advised by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Henceforth becoming a risky area of catching the coronavirus. However, they have come to terms that covid-19 is real and are now obliging to the SOPs
Petty theft like scamming and duping, pickpocketing and snatching of valuables from people is rampant in the urban cities of Tanzania like Dodoma, Dar Es Salaam, Arusha, Mwanza and Zanzibar.
There is also discrimination of LGBTI people. Homosexuality is illegal in Tanzania. The government and the locals are totally against it. Once caught in the act, you are sentenced to jail for 30 years. If known by extremists in the local communities, you can be mobbed or excommunicated from their society.
Safety tips for Visitors in Tanzania
Get all the medical aid before travelling to Tanzania. Get vaccinated for Covid-19 and yellow fever. The traveller must also carry anti Malaria tablets. In the case of the underlying sickness, go to the personal doctor to check if travelling to Tanzania is possible without weakening you. Medication that regulates the illness must also be carried and taken as prescribed.
While taking a walk around towns and cities, ensure that you’re simple. Don’t move with your valuable like watches, jewellery, neckless. For money and cell phone get a waist perch to keep them safe while walking.
Avoid travelling at night and alone. Some times travellers are a target to perpetual thieves around Tanzania.
Always book with a tour operator for your trip to avoid being taken advantage of by people you meet around. Normally the tour operator gives the traveller a safari driver to take him/her around Tanzania.
Self Drive in Tanzania: Best Time to Hire 4×4 Car in Tanzania.
As amidst of covid 19, Self-drive safaris in East Africa are at the peak since it allows implementation of social distance which is a key measure to control the spread of covid in Tanzania.
Car Rental Tanzania has decided to develop a complete guide regarding when is the best time to self-drive in Tanzania on safari.
The best time to go on a safari in Tanzania is still a debatable agenda among travellers. There are always different opinions when this subject comes into the corridors of wanderers. Visitors tend to have different tastes and preferences of time to travel. The two seasons or climatic times experienced by Tanzania (dry and wet periods) always bring different prepositions to the itinerants hence bringing an endless debate of the best time to visit the Bongo land.
To set the record straight Tanzania is visited throughout the year. The Tanzania safari is viable all year round because the wildlife and other attractions are always available in the national parks or other natural habitats regardless of the season. With the aforementioned analogy, the travel experts and tour operators came up with a unanimous decision that any time is the best time to go on a safari to Tanzania.
Though we shall look at the two different seasons of the year experienced in Tanzania and the fruits or merits they avail while on a safari
The Dry Season
The dry season in Tanzania consists of the months of January- Mid March, June- mid-October and December. These are the months of the year where there are minimal rains around the country and the temperatures are relatively high. These months are regarded as the peak season of the travel industry in Tanzania. These are times when visitors flock to the different national parks and other tourism destinations of this tropical country. Below are the merits of visiting Tanzania in this period of time.
In the dry months, the skies and the days seem brighter than ever in Tanzania thus making it easy for the visitors to clear sight the different wildlife species that pace and loiter around in the various savannah parks of the country. The dry climate is the dream time for the photographers. The pictures really come out well during these times.
Tanzania engages in sustainable tourism which calls for ecology consciousness whereby everything in the different game parks is left in the natural form from the habitats of the animals to the tracks or roads that lead to them. Therefore, with the roads/tracks being gravel in the different national parks, in the dry months is when they are dry and very passable. The roads being passable and accessible makes the traveller’s safari more convenient and less risky.
The dry season is when the greatest spectacle of the safari Tanzania is encountered. The great migration of the wildebeest through the plains and cross the streams of Serengeti to Masai Mara happens in the months of January- March and July- October. July- October, is when millions of wildebeests migrate from the central part of the park to the northern plains and as far as Masai Mara. This tends to draw lots of amazing scenes for the travellers. The experience of watching innumerable wildebeests moving altogether is breathtaking and more to that predators like lions, leopards, hyenas and wild dogs are seen tussling it out with these angulates as they are the easiest prey at the time. In the months of January- March, the wildebeests travel back to the central Serengeti and the aforementioned scenes happen again.
The dry season is when most people go for safaris in Tanzania. July- October and December are the months when most people in the western world get their vacations away from work and hence many coming to Tanzania for safari holidays. For travellers who are social and want to meet new people, these are the best times to travel to this African country.
Trends have changed in the travel world, the wet months of the year in Tanzania used to receive a low turn up of visitors. However, nowadays we see a mammoth of travellers engaging in safari tours in the different tourism destinations around the country. The wet months in Tanzania are Mid March-May and Mid October- November. Visitors have reasons as to why they travel within these times and why they refer to them as the best times to do a safari in Tanzania.
For starters, during the wet time of the year, the pastures in the different national parks in Tanzania are so green, the animals seem to be everywhere and healthier. The availability of wildlife species around every corner of the parks and their good looks make a Tanzania safari a remarkable one.
Customary, the wet months are regarded as the low season of the tourism industry in Tanzania and this calls for the decrease in the prices of the different tour items. In these times the safari packages in Tanzania tend to be cheaper compared to the dry months. The visitor saves some money during the wet months of the year on the Tanzania safari.
For travellers who enjoy privacy and seclusion, the wet months are the best time to do a safari in Tanzania. These are times when the parks, safari lodges and restaurants are less crowded. The traveller is able to enjoy his/her safari independently without fighting for space and this brings great peace of mind. What better way visitors enjoy safari expeditions than having peace of mind.
As we wind up, there is no certified best time to do a safari in Tanzania. All the seasons have their merits. It is within the traveller’s discretion to choose the best time to do a Tanzania safari. Tanzania welcomes visitors to its safari destinations at any time of the year and they are guaranteed nonstop excitement and exploration.