Travel

A Complete Guide to Planning a Tanzania Safari

When planning a vacation, most people consider the US, UK, or Asia. But if you are looking for a thrilling experience on your vacation, you can plan a safari in Africa. Africa is full of diverse landscapes and owing to the presence of some of the biggest and best national parks, a Tanzania safari can be a great choice.

Tanzania is also a large country, so a safari in Tanzania requires some planning in advance. Many tour operators offer several safaris curated according to the number of days you want to spend in the safari.

Whether it’s a 3 day budget safari in Tanzania or a more expansive 5 or 7 days safari, many tour operators offer a lot of plans.

However, it’s important that you have knowledge about the safari you are going to partake in. So, here’s a brief guide discussing all things necessary for a Tanzania safari.

Which Region to Choose?

Tanzania consists of three main safari areas: the Northern and Southern Circuits, and Western Tanzania. Traveling between these three is a challenge and covering all the three circuits at one go will take a lot of time. So, travelers usually stick to one circuit at a time.

The most popular among the three circuits is the Northern one. It is here that you’ll find Serengeti and Ngorongoro crater, and thus the Northern Circuit is definitely the most popular and happening among the three circuits. It is here you’ll get to see the most prolific wildlife of Africa. You can also see the Great Migration in this area.

However, if you are not that interested in seeing wildlife but interested in finding tranquillity, you can happily head south. Selous and Ruaha, the two main parks here are untamed, and vast expanses of land where tree-clogged waterways give way to parched plains. You have to work harder to spot wildlife in this region but this is also a very tranquil place with not many visitors.

You can also select to visit western Tanzania which blends good wildlife and remoteness in one area. It is here that parks like Katavi are present.

When is the Best Time to Visit Tanzania?

The dry season, i.e. June to October is the best time to visit west and southern Tanzania. Due to lower vegetation in this season, the visibility is high and there are high chances of spotting wildlife. Also, there are fewer mosquitos to deal with.

In this dry season, animals tend to congregate around watering holes, so spotting wildlife is easier. June and July are the best months to see the Great Migration in the Serengeti.

Many parks in the south and west close down to the visitors in April and May, while the parks in the North can be visited all around the year. However, the Northern parks also tend to be crowded.

Parks and their Wildlife

If you want to see elephants and giraffes, Ruaha National park would be ideal for you. Ruaha is the largest reserve for elephants and giraffes. It’s also the habitat of 10% of the world’s lion population. If you want to spot wild dogs and rhinos, you can choose to visit Selous national park.

Want to spot the endangered cheetahs? Head over to the Ndutu Safari Lodge in Serengeti or the Namiri plains, ideally during the calving season of January.

A Word about the Great Migration

The great navigation is a never-ending procession of hundreds and thousands of wildebeest along with zebras and gazelle herds. Though it happens throughout the year, it can be pinpointed to certain areas of Serengeti at certain times of the year.

In September and October, the wildebeest attempt to cross the Mara River and it’s a fine chance for lion, leopard, crocodiles, or hyena to strike. If you want to witness this great spectacle, you have to visit the further north of Serengeti.

These are the factors you need to keep in mind when planning a Tanzania safari. Whether it’s a 3 day budget safari in Tanzania or a more expansive 5 or 7 days safari, just keep in mind what’s discussed above and you can enjoy your safari according to what you choose.

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