Observing animals in their natural habitat, living in contact with new cultures, visiting natural parks: a safari is certainly an experience destined to remain etched in the minds of those who participate. There are hundreds of places where you can go for a safari, and one of those destined to offer an unforgettable adventure is certainly Tanzania, thanks to its unique landscapes in the world. Organizing and experiencing a safari, however, is not a simple thing. You need to know the entry requirements in the country, the best time to go and of course, choose the safari to do. Here is all the useful information to experience a perfect trip to Tanzania.
- Travel informed: useful information
- When to go: climate and best time
- Lake Manyara National Park - Ngorongoro Conservation Area
- The Great Winter Migration
- The parks of Northern Tanzania
- Tarangire Park - Lake Natron
- The parks of southern Tanzania
- What to wear and what to pack
- User questions and comments
- Request a personalized quote
Travel informed: useful information
- Inhabitants: 55,57 million
- Capital: Dodoma (since 1973, previously it was Dar Es Salam)
- Languages: Swahili (official language), Arabic and English (other official language, but mainly used in big cities, tourist destinations and for commercial purposes)
- Local currency: Tanzanian shilling (€ 1,00 = 2.773,8 Tanzanian shillings)
- Weather: tropical, with temperatures ranging from 10 to 20 ° C in the highlands, in the rest of the country they rarely drop below 20 ° C. It is possible to divide Tanzania into two major regions. In the first (central western to southwest), the rainy season occurs from December to April. In the second region (north and north coast), the rainy season occurs respectively from October to December (commonly called "small rains") and March-May, the famous "long rains".
- vaccinations: There are no compulsory vaccinations to be carried out before entering the country, except for the one against yellow fever, in the event that you enter Tanzania by land passing through countries at risk, or after having stopped 12 hours at airports located in such areas. Those for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, malaria, typhus and especially antimalarial prophylaxis are recommended.
- Entry requirements: passport with residual validity of at least six months and tourist visa. The stay is limited to three months
- Travel / health insurance: recommended.
When to go: climate and best time
The best time to travel to Tanzania depends on several factors, such as the temperature, the places to visit and of course, the migratory flows of the animals, always an exciting spectacle.
The best months to visit Tanzania are from May to October, given the large presence of animals in all the parks and the scarce possibility of rain. Other recommended periods are September and October in the Arusha Park, famous for the presence of pink flamingos and buffaloes, December, January and February in the Serengeti Park (period of birth of the puppies) and in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. June-July is ideal for watching the wildebeest migration. November-April is the recommended period for bird-watchers who, during the rainy season, will be able to observe numerous species in the Serengeti plain.
- Weather: Tropical, with a dry season between May and October and between January and February, and a rainy season between December and April in the south and between March and May in the north. Temperatures are almost constant with minimums around 18/20 ° and maximums around 30/32 °.
- Best time: Generally the best period is between May and October, with preference for July and August, but it depends a lot on the chosen area.
- Period to avoid: Tanzania is generally rainier from late October to April, although January and February are ideal for the migration of wildebeest in the Serengeti from Tanzania to Kenya.
1 - Lake Manyara National Park - Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Lake Manyara National Park is located on a spit of land that includes the lake itself, with a length of about 50 km and a width between 6 and 8 km. The northern end of the park occupies different environments ranging from dense forest to savannah, up to the marshy areas. This offers the possibility of close contact with different species of animals including elephants, the main attraction, colonies of baboons, wildebeest, zebras and giraffes, not to mention the 380 species of birds, including elegant flamingos. Predators in the area are mainly leopards and lions.
Always along the comfortable asphalted road of arrival, it is possible to reach the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1978. Among the most populated and fascinating natural areas of Tanzania, the area owes its name to the Ngorongoro crater, which was formed when a volcano exploded and collapsed on itself about 3 million years ago, giving life to the current caldera, 610 meters deep and home to Lake Magadi. Characterized by very shallow water, the lake soon became home to flocks of flamingos and crowned cranes, as well as a source of water for the 30.000 animals that permanently live in the surrounding savannah. The area is one of the few places in all of Africa where you can meet elephants, buffaloes, lions, leopards and rhinos at the same time, the famous "Big Five", which will be possible to photograph during the Game Drive scheduled inside the crater.
- Best time: June-September / January-February
- Recommended duration: 4 days
- Average price: starting from € 1.000,00 per person
2 - The Great Winter Migration
In the Ndutu area, within the Ngorongoro conservation Area, it is possible to witness the beginning of what can be called the most evocative show in the world: the Great Migration. Here, about one and a half million wildebeest and half a million zebras "meet", to begin their journey in search of food and water, challenging large and dangerous predators. From here it will be possible to observe their journey from Kenya to the Serengeti central, where they will be stationed from December to March, moving around the area chasing the sporadic downpours, a source of new fresh grass.
- Best time: December - March
- Recommended duration: 8 days
- Average price: starting from € 3.000,00
3 - The parks of Northern Tanzania
The famous parks of Northern Tanzania can compose a unique itinerary as they are close to each other, and therefore can be visited in a single safari.
Arusha park, at the foot of Kilimanjaro, is ideal for venturing out immediately in search of the "Big Five", elephant, rhinoceros, buffalo, lion and leopard: the five animals that cannot be missing in a photographic safari.
At the colorful Momela Lake, it will then be possible to admire the hundreds of pink flamingos that reside there, a joy for bird watchers, who will certainly also find the Lake Manyara National Park interesting.
A true paradise for birds, which amount to approximately 380 species, this small but characteristic park offers a breathtaking view given by the alternation of the mountains of the Rift Valley with ponds, woods and large acacia forests. A magnificent landscape home to baboons, blue monkeys, elephants, giraffes and zebras.
Moving towards the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1978, it will be possible to visit the Olduvai gorge, the famous "cradle of humanity". The place owes its name to the discovery of the remains of a hominid, which dates back to about 2 million years ago. Another suggestive place in the area is the Ngorongoro crater, the largest caldera in the world, home to approximately 30.000 large mammals including buffaloes, lions, elephants, cheetahs and rhinos. At the center of the crater is Lake Magadi, characterized by shallow waters, habitat of flocks of flamingos and crowned cranes.
In the same area, a little further north, is the Serengeti National Park, an absolutely unmissable stop and "home" of the Big Five (elephant, lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo).
Moving towards the Serengeti National Park, it will be possible to observe the change of the landscape from green and luxuriant to boundless Savannah. There will be plenty of space here for Game Drive Safari, looking for elephants, leopards, zebras, wildebeests, buffaloes and all the other animals, which live in the area by the hundreds. Especially recommended are the Game Drives at the first light of dawn, which give the opportunity to admire the red sun, which illuminates the suggestive African landscapes.
Continuing along the main road, it is possible to reach the Tarangire Park, famous for the herds of elephants, the gigantic baobabs but above all for the African pythons, which reside in the forests and near the river.
In the same area, a little further south, there is the Lake Manyara National Park, which alone occupies 230 square kilometers of the total 330 square meters of the park, where it is possible to meet both 380 types of different birds and a large number of animal species including elephant, buffalo, zebra, giraffe, leopard, antelope and several others.
- Best time: from mid-December to mid-March and from mid-June to mid-October.
- Recommended duration: 8 days
- Average price: starting from € 2.800,00
4 - Tarangire Park - Lake Natron
Tarangire National Park is a protected natural area in northern Tanzania, famous for its centuries-old baobabs, and herds of elephants that reside here. Especially during the dry season, the park is home to numerous species of animals, including buffaloes, gazelles, giraffes and some predators, such as lions and cheetahs, attracted by the Tarangire River: the only source of water available for miles.
Moving south-east of the same area it is possible to reach the protected natural area of Lake Manyara National Park, where the homonymous alkaline lake is located. The whole park constitutes an area renowned for the wealth of plant varieties, for different types of forest and savannah that alternate with each other, and for the fauna of the park. In fact, here live numerous species including elephants, baboons, zebras, giraffes, pink flamingos and many other species of birds, which make the lake a paradise for bird watchers.
Among the guests of the park we cannot fail to mention the Manyara lions who, annoyed by the humidity of the ground and by insects, have acquired the curious habit of climbing trees.
- Best time: September-October and April-May
- Recommended duration: 4 days
- Average price: starting from € 660,00
5 - The parks of southern Tanzania
The Parks of Southern Tanzania are considered the wildest and most pristine territory in the entire nation. Ruaha National Park is the second largest protected area in the nation, and is home to one of the largest elephant populations, along with herds of buffalo, kudu, gazelle, antelope and more than 400 species of birds, which can be admired during the games drive and hiking.
Obviously there is no shortage of predators who, given the great abundance of fauna during the dry season, feast on industarbati in the area. The Ruaha River, which flows in the eastern part of the Park, is inhabited by hippos, crocodiles and numerous water birds. Two other rivers cross the area, the Mwagusi and the Mdonya, where however the water only flows during the rainy season. Throughout the rest of the year the two rivers dry up completely, and their beds are used by animals as paths to reach other water reserves.
Water is instead the characterizing element of Selous Wildlife Reserve, where you can enjoy the best boat safaris in all of Tanzania. The area is crossed by the Rufiji River and an immense savannah, where high concentrations of elephants, hippos, wild dogs and crocodiles live, which will be possible to admire during the walking safaris, which are prohibited in most other African national parks.
Another place of particular interest for the more adventurous is the Stiegler gorge: a canyon about one hundred meters deep, which can be covered with a cable car.
- Best time: From June to November the dry river beds attract numerous elephants and buffaloes, and it is possible to admire the animals concentrating around the rivers and pools of water. From December to March, thanks to the hot days, the humid climate and the possible rains, the area becomes greener, and it is possible to admire the new puppies.
- Recommended duration: 10 days
- Average price: starting from € 2.940,00
What to wear and what to pack
The climate in Tanzania makes the difference. Given the presence of different types of climate, which vary according to the areas to visit, it is good to bring diversified clothing with you: light and practical for safaris in the hottest parks, windproof and warm for the coldest places, for example stages on Kilimanjaro.
- Recommended clothing: Light-colored clothing is recommended (but not white, as it tends to get dirty easily), while dark colors are to be avoided, given the particular charm they exert on mosquitoes, and their ability to attract sunlight. It is of fundamental importance to wear opaque, long-sleeved clothes with long socks, in order to reduce the surface of the body exposed to insect bites. Sweatshirts and anoraks are also recommended during the dry seasons, where temperatures are quite low in the morning and evening.
- Useful accessories: It's always good to have strong sunscreen, moisturizer, wind bandana, hat and insect repellent in your suitcase - don't forget you're close to the equator.