It might seem impossible, but five days is enough time to embark on safari adventures in multiple national parks in Africa. The country to do it is Tanzania, where you'll marvel at lions and leopards on the Serengeti, see grazing giraffes at Lake Manyara, and spot a rhino or two at the Ngorongoro Crater. Other five-day itineraries include a relaxing beach holiday in Zanzibar, cultural exchanges with local tribespeople, and an unforgettable hike up iconic Mount Kilimanjaro.

Itinerary #1: Tanzania Safari Adventure

This 5-day African escapade packs Tanzania's major safari highlights into a quick itinerary perfect for those with limited time. 

get ready for some safaris
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Arusha, Transfer to Lake Manyara Karatu
Day 2 Lake Manyara to Serengeti National Park Serengeti National Park
Day 3 Serengeti Game Drives Serengeti National Park
Day 4 Serengeti to Ngorongoro Conservation Area Ngorongoro
Day 5 Ngorongoro to Kilimanjaro & Hot Spring, Depart  

This grand getaway begins in Arusha, a city in northern Tanzania strategically located near many national parks. Your first safari is at Lake Manyara, a haven for flamingoes. Onshore, you'll see plenty of giraffes, zebras, and the country's largest population of bush elephants. Then you're off to the legendary Serengeti National Park. This 5,700-sq-mile (14,763-sq-km) area of unspoiled savanna hosts the Great Migration, in which over a million wildebeests travel each year from June to November to new grazing grounds. It's also a haven for Big Five animals: lions, elephants, leopards, buffaloes, and black rhinos.

After a couple of days of 4WD game drives in the Serengeti, you'll travel to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. This marvel of nature is the largest volcanic caldera in the world at 2,000 feet (609 m) deep and 100 sq miles (259 sq km) wide. There's a marvelous ecosystem on the crater floor, which over 20,000 animals (and 40,000 Maasai tribespeople) call home. Game drives here mean you're almost guaranteed to see the elusive black rhino because anti-poaching patrols ensure the population's survival. End the adventure with a dip in a natural spring at Mount Kilimanjaro before heading home. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Zanzibar Beach Holiday

If you're looking for a quick getaway to recharge your batteries, this 5-day beach holiday in tropical Zanzibar is perfect.  

Escape to Zanzibar
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Zanzibar, Walking Tour Stone Town Zanzibar
Day 2 Beach Day & Spice Tour Zanzibar Beach
Days 3-4 Beach Day, Optional Activities Zanzibar Beach
Day 5 Depart Zanzibar  

Zanzibar is renowned as the most beautiful island destination in East Africa. Situated in the Indian Ocean, this archipelago is known for its picture-postcard images of crystalline waters gently lapping at the powdery white-sand coast. You'll undoubtedly get your beach time here, but first up is a guided walking tour of Stone Town, the medieval center of Zanzibar City. You'll discover a lot of culture and history as you meander through its labyrinthine streets abuzz with a mix of Arab, Indian, African, and European cultures. Visit old palaces, ancient forts, and even the solemn site of a former slave market. 

Next, you'll transfer to a 5-star hotel in the north of Zanzibar, stopping along the way to tour a spice farm. Once at the hotel, you can spend your remaining couple of days relaxing on the soft white sands, swimming in the water, or cutting loose at a nearby beach club. There are plenty of other active adventures available, including kayaking, snorkeling, and fishing. Zanzibar's Pemba Channel is a great place to catch billfish and marlin. Before you go, you'll want to ride in a traditional dhow (wooden sailboat) to enjoy the pink and vermillion hues of Zanzibar's famous sunsets. Learn more

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Itinerary #3: Highlights of Serengeti National Park

This 5-day deep dive into the Serengeti is perfect for anyone who wants the ultimate safari experience in one of the most ideal spots in Africa.

Take an aerial safari over the Serengeti in a hot air balloon
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Arusha Arusha
Day 2 Arusha to Serengeti National Park Serengeti National Park
Day 3 Serengeti Game Drives Serengeti National Park
Day 4 Balloon Safari, Walking Safari, Night Game Drive Serengeti National Park
Day 5 Serengeti to Arusha, Depart  

Upon arrival in Arusha, you'll spend a day enjoying some world-renowned Tanzanian coffee. The following day, hop a flight to an airstrip in Serengeti National Park for a few days of safari fun. You'll spend the bulk of your time in the park's northern region, which has a high concentration of wildlife and fewer visitors than other areas. That means you'll have the rolling green hills and acacia woodlands of this open savanna primarily to yourself. And if you're here at the right time (June to November), you'll get to witness the chaotic symphony of wildebeests and zebras on their Great Migration.

On days two and three, you'll embark on morning and afternoon game drives near the border with Kenya. Throughout, you'll spot gazelles and wildebeests and elephants and giraffes. Maybe you'll get lucky and see lions stalking their prey or a black rhino in the wild. Day four is an extra special treat as you'll fly over the Serengeti on an aerial safari in the basket of a hot air balloon. On the last day, you'll take one last morning game drive before transferring to the airport for your flight home. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Climb Tanzania's Mount Meru

For those without the time to hike Mount Kilimanjaro, there's this brisk 5-day ascent of Mount Meru, a 14,980-foot (4,566 m) dormant volcano whose summit looks out to some of the best views in Africa.

The crater near Mount Meru's summit
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Tanzania Usa River
Day 2 Momella Gate to Miriakamba Hut Arusha
Day 3 Miriakamba to Saddle Hut Arusha
Day 4 Saddle Hut to Socialist Peak, Return to Miriakamba Arusha
Day 5 Miriakamba Hut to Momella Gate, Return to Arusha Usa River

After arriving in Arusha, you'll transfer about an hour to the foothills of Mount Meru, located just west of Kilimanjaro. You'll spend the first night at a coffee farm, and the next morning head into Arusha National Park for the pre-climb registration. You can choose between two routes up the mountain, both of which pass through different vegetation zones home to endemic wildlife like giraffes and warthogs.

The first day's hike ascends 3,330 feet (1,015 m) to the Miriakamba Hut, where you'll overnight amid spectacular views of the volcanic crater. The next day is a similar ascent through montane forest to another hut with good facilities—plus there's soda and beer available. Day four begins at 1:30 am to reach the crater rim and continue to the summit. It's slow going, as this is a steep, sandy trail with high winds and can take about 10 hours to complete (hence the early start). After marveling at the incredible summit views (which look out to Kilimanjaro), you'll descend the mountain and return to Arusha. Learn more

More Great Tanzania Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your Tanzania trip? Check out these other Tanzania itineraries, with outdoor adventures, beach vacations, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 


Map of 5 Days in Tanzania - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 5 Days in Tanzania - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas