Tanzania is one of the most romantic, friendly and scenically stunning countries in Africa. When people think of Africa, they actually think of Tanzania. Here you will find some of the finest game parks in the world, Africa’s highest mountains superb white sand beaches and coral reefs. Tanzania is the proud host of the snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro, rhinos standing proud in Ngorogoro Crater and wildebeest hooves thundering over the Serengeti National Park.
Tanzania’s new and enlarged national parks mean it is now the only country in the world to protect more than 25% of its land, so game viewing experiences are widely regarded as the best in Africa. It is the place to see seemingly endless herds of wildebeest and zebra trekking across the plains on their annual migration - followed by the predatory lions, leopard, cheetah and hyaena. It is elephant country, boasting some of the largest populations in the world.
The Singita Grumeti Game Reserves is privately owned and is truly the most exclusive and unique experience in Tanzania. It borders the Serengeti and is host to the three most decadent lodges in Tanzania. Here you will be spoilt with luxurious heated pools and spa facilities with a touch of colonial sophistication. Wildlife viewing is excellent and you can view masses of game from air balloons, horseback or open air safaris.
And, at Gombe Stream and Mahale Mountains National Park, it is home to chimpanzees now so rarely seen in the wild. You can experience one of Africa’s greatest wildernesses and travel by boat on Lake Tanganyika or track chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park. Gombe Stream National Park offers visitors the rare chance to observe communities of chimpanzee. It is only reachable by boat from Kigoma and the area is heavily forested making it an unsuitable habitat for carnivores and safe for walking safaris. The other sanctuary of the chimpanzees, Mahale Mountain National Park, is only reached by charter flight or by boat also from Kigoma. The chimpanzees population is estimated at around 1 000 and they may be observed in their natural habitat in groups of up to 30.
The Northern Safari Circuit is one of the most compelling and impressive destinations in Africa and is host to a superb blend of magnificent wildlife and stunning scenery. The Northern Safari Circuit contains the most famous and remarkable sights with Africa’s most famous peak, Mount Kilimanjaro and the impressive Ngorongoro Crater, while “The Greatest Show on Earth” takes place annually - the awesome Great Migration.
The Southern Circuit is less frequented than the national parks in the north and provide a sense of African adventure unsurpassed anywhere on the continent. The principal areas are the Selous Game Reserve and the Mikumi, Rauha and Udzungwa Mountains National Parks.
Tanzania also boasts beautiful beaches - hundreds of miles of palm-fringed sands overlooking the Indian Ocean and Zanzibar is also host to the most unspoilt romantic tropical beaches. In Stone Town sizzling local specials are cooked on open grills and lots of visitors watch the sun go down on the romantic beaches. Its huge lakes, Victoria, Tanganyika and Nyasa, are bountiful with fish. Its mountains are massive and mysterious and include Mount Meru, Ol Doinyo Lengai and the Usambaras in addition, of course, to Mount Kilimanjaro - the “Roof of Africa”
Its cities are relaxed and friendly and in Dar es Salaam there are many nightclubs and cabarets. Dar es Salaam boasts one of the world’s finest natural harbours and while it has grown to become a prosperous centre of the Eastern African region it remains a place of fascination with many reminders of its colourful past. The city displays the many influences of its history, with an Asian district and a German colonization as well as evidence of British occupation with its flower-filled parks.
Arusha is the safari capital of Tanzania and tourists embarking on the northern circuit stop here to prepare for their safari. Its closeness to the Arusha, Lake Manyara, Serengeti and Tarangire parks and the Ngorongoro Crater, make it an ideal stop-over before the start of an exciting journey.
Annual Migration through Kenya and Tanzania
The Great wildebeest Migration, where millions of animals wander the plains, is one of the wanders of the natural world. This movement is constant and exact locations cannot be guaranteed, for the migration simply follows the annual rains in search of good grazing pastures. The following guide is a general overview for reference only. Please contact us for the latest migration update, as our guides on the ground can provide more accurate positions.
Rainfall: April - May (long rains), November - mid-December (short rainsTanzania’s hottest months are from October to February and the main rain season from mid-March to late May. Heavy downpours during April and May are often accompanied by violent thunderstorms, particularly in the highlands. There is also a short rainy season in November and December. The coolest months, June to September, are also very pleasant.
Coastal areas are hot and humid and the central plateau has hot days and cool nights. Mt Kilimanjaro and the northern and southern highlands register low temperatures in May - August. Mt Kilimanjaro is snowcapped year-round, although climate changes are melting more ice each year.
The central plateau experiences hot days and cool nights. The hilly country between the coast and the northern highlands has a pleasant climate from January to September, with temperatures averaging around 20dC.For the whole country the hottest months are from October to February. The main, long rainy season is from mid-March to late May.
Dar-es-Salaam International Airport: Tanzania's main airport is the gateway to the Indian Ocean coast and Zanzibar as well as Selous Game Reserve.
Kilimanjaro International Airport: Tanzania's second international airport serves the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire and Lake Manyara. However, you need to transfer to nearby Arusha Airport for charter flights to these destinations and, as international flights often arrive at Kilimanjaro Airport late in the day, a night in Arusha is usually necessary.
Arusha Airport: Located 30km from Kilimanjaro Airport, this is the gateway to northern Tanzania's fly-in safari airstrips. Given the size of Tanzania and the condition of its roads, charter flights are considered the best way to get around the country.
Road transfers and game drives in Tanzania are conducted in open-sided 4X4 vehicles though visitors to Gombe and Mahale will enjoy a boat transfer across Lake Tanganyika.
Almost all visitors to Tanzania require a visa, which costs between US$20 and US$50 for a single-entry visa valid for three months. You should try to obtain a visa for Tanzania before departing your home country (especially if you require multiple entry); however, visas can also be purchased at Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro airports as long as you are able to pay cash in US dollars.
Visitors to Tanzania must possess a passport that is valid for six months after the initial date of travel.
The largest country in East Africa and the majority consists of savanna and desert bush. Forest and woodland cover 46% of the land and there are distinct zones; a lush tropical coastal belt, mountain ranges to the north and high plateau in the central and southern regions. The coastline is unspoilt with sandy beaches and the main islands of Zanzibar Archipelago and Pemba.
Tanzania’s 300 million years of geological upheaval have created an extraordinary range of geographical features, of which the impressive Great Rift Valley, where the continent is, quite literally ripping itself apart. The surrounding volcanic belt features some of Tanzania’s most notable sights, including the Ngorongoro volcanic crater, Mts Kilimanjaro and Lake Tanganyika, the deepest lake in the world. Another two distinctive geological zones are the tropical coastal belts, with it endless sandy beaches and the unique tropical forests, which provide a sanctuary for many unique plant and animal species.
The area in Tanzania known as the Northern Safari Circuit contains some of the most famous and remarkable sights in the world. Physical phenomena include Africa’s most famous peak, Mount Kilimanjaro and the impressive Ngorongoro Crater while annual events like the Great Migration have been dubbed ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’. Tanzania’s Northern Circuit is celebrated for some of the best wildlife safaris in Africa. Parks and reserves in the region include Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, the Ngorongoro Crater Conservancy and of course - the Serengeti National Park. The Northern Safari Circuit is undoubtedly one of the most impressive and condensed safari destinations in Africa.
Even as Zanzibar grows, the island remains a rustic and traditional place. This is a large part of the charm of the islands in the warm water off the Tanzanian coast. There truly is nowhere else like Zanzibar and its surrounding archipelago - beautiful beaches, historic towns and villages and superb diving combine to make this the quintessential tropical holiday destination. Within the Zanzibar and Surrounds Region, are the islands of the Zanzibar Archipelago: Zanzibar Island, Pemba Island and Mnemba Island.
From winter to summer, dry season to rainy season, the country offers a kaleidoscope of ever-changing landscapes, beautiful people, diverse wildlife and some of Africa’s most wonderful images. Within days of arriving, we find most visitors simply fall in love with the country’s ambience, always departing hungry for more. With millions of wildebeest, national parks that seem to overflow with elephant, buffalo and big cats, the snow-capped peaks of Kilimanjaro, the spice islands of Zanzibar, Lake Tanganyika with its chimpanzees, Ruaha and Selous… it is easy to understand the desire to return.
Tanzania has an excellent infrastructure, making it simple to enjoy a safari in the north or south, or to combine the two through a reliable network of scheduled or charter flights, trains, boats or good bush tracks. Naturally, there are camps and lodges where access is trickier, though with careful planning visitors will not be disappointed. Northern Tanzania is about the quantity of wildlife, making it a destination everyone should visit at least once in their lives. The western and southern parks are simpler, a little wilder and certainly attract fewer visitors. To many wildlife enthusiasts this is heaven, for the style of accommodation, game drives, walking safaris and boating seem a charm in themselves and run very differently to the north. This is certainly an area worth exploring.Health & Safety
It is advised you check with your tour operator or hotel concierge - they will know if there are any potentially unsafe areas along your travel route. It is wise to avoid deserted areas, particularly at night and if you are on a self-drive adventure then please ensure your car is locked at all times and park in well-lit, busy areas. Dress-down (i.e. don’t wear excessive jewellery) when exploring Africa’s diverse cities. Concealed travel wallets are recommended. Stopping for hitch hikers is not recommended.Tanzania is a safe country to visit but it helps to be vigilant, especially in the bigger cities like Dar es Salaam. Watch your belongings and don't leave luggage unattended.
Consult your doctor or an immunisation centre about the relevant vaccination requirements for the countries to which you will be travelling. We do suggest you get a Yellow Fever vaccination, because it’s compulsory for most African countries. For extra safety while travelling African countries, we recommend vaccinations for typhoid, polio, tetanus, hepatitis, meningitis and cholera. Also with your passport, make a certified copy of your certificate. Refer to www.travelclinics.co.za for more medical advise.