Even in as little as a week, you can experience Tanzania's most famous highlights: safari adventures and tropical beaches. Start with the wildlife as you embark on game drives across the savannas of Serengeti National Park to spot lions, cheetahs, elephants, giraffes, and more. Then spend a few days relaxing in Zanzibar, an oasis of white-sand beaches and coral atolls nestled amid a sea of sapphire and crystalline waters.


  • See exotic animals on game drives in Serengeti National Park
  • Overnight in a safari camp right on the Serengeti savanna
  • Relax on the white-sand beaches of Zanzibar
  • Enjoy optional activities like snorkeling, caving, surfing, and more

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Arusha, Transfer to Serengeti National Park Serengeti National Park
Day 2-3 Serengeti National Park Game Drives Serengeti National Park
Day 4 Serengeti National Park to Zanzibar Zanzibar Beach
Days 5-6 Zanzibar Optional Activities Zanzibar Beach
Day 7 Zanzibar to Arusha, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Arusha, Transfer to Serengeti National Park

Bush elephants in Serengeti National Park 
Welcome to Tanzania! This gem of a country is a wildlife lover's paradise, home to some of the most popular safari destinations and unspoiled national parks in Africa. Located in the Great Lakes region of East Africa, Tanzania is known for its vast wilderness regions. After all, this country is home to the Serengeti ecosystem, where millions of plains animals migrate around its fertile savannas.
Upon arrival in the northern city of Arusha, you'll catch a 30-minute connecting flight to the Seronera Airstrip in Serengeti National Park. This legendary wildlife reserve is the archetypal safari destination. In the Maasai language, the name Serengeti means "endless plains," and this protected area's 5,700 sq miles (14,763 sq km) deliver on that promise. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve that supports the largest concentration of plains game globally, including the famous Big Five animals: lions, leopards, buffalo, elephants, and black rhinos.
With any luck, you'll arrive in the Serengeti at the right time to witness the Great Migration, which typically occurs from June to November. This "greatest wildlife show on earth" sees more than a million wildebeest, plus hundreds of thousands of zebras and Thomson's gazelles, undertaking the long trek to new grazing grounds. Upon arrival, you'll head to your camp and enjoy an introductory game drive while en route. Once settled, you can choose to head out for more wildlife spotting or relax in camp with a good book. You'll have three days here, so there's no need to rush.

Day 2-3: Serengeti Game Drives

Spot lions in Serengeti National Park
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Spend the next couple of days living every wildlife enthusiast's dream as you embark on safaris across the wondrous Serengeti. You'll enjoy both morning and afternoon game drives to witness the wildlife in one of the oldest ecosystems on earth. Don't forget your camera.
Mornings are the best time to see the animals at their most active. During these early hours, you'll likely see grazing giraffes and zebras—and perhaps even lions as they hunt wildebeest and gazelles. Other animals you're likely to spot include elephants and buffalo, with leopards and rhinos being a less common sight. You can choose to have lunch on the road or back at camp, after which you'll continue the game drive into the afternoon. Dinner will be served each night in camp.

Day 4: Serengeti National Park to Zanzibar

Welcome to Zanzibar
In the morning, you'll catch a flight from the Serengeti's Seronera Airstrip to Zanzibar. This archipelago is regarded as one of East Africa's most beautiful island destinations. Upon arrival at the airport, a personal driver will be waiting to transfer you to your beach hotel. After unpacking, feel free to kick back on the sand amid the tall palms and enjoy the fantastic views of the Indian Ocean
Depending on the hotel you select, you may have all modern conveniences and creature comforts at your disposal, such as a private butler/chef, rooftop deck, and plunge pool overlooking the stunning coastline. If that's the case, you may want to spend the day at your villa and later enjoy a romantic evening.

However, if you feel like venturing out, there's plenty to do. Take a stroll down the beach, go snorkeling, or participate in one of the many activities available on the island. If you're traveling with that special someone, you can enjoy a romantic lunch on your own private sandbank. Like in the Serengeti, there's no need to rush because you'll have multiple days to explore every corner of the island. 

Days 5-6: Zanzibar Optional Activities

Zanzibar Beach
Enjoy Zanzibar's beaches

There are many optional activities to keep you busy in Zanzibar. Of course, the main attractions are its inviting beaches. You can easily spend the next couple of days relaxing on one of these prized stretches of sand. Or, if you're feeling social, there's no shortage of beach clubs and party vibes in the coastal village of Nungwi. If calm and relaxation are your goals, head to Michamvi Kae for some isolation.

Maybe you'd prefer a snorkeling or diving tour. Matemwe, on the northeast coast, is the best place for either activity, as it provides access to the coral reefs around the Mnemba Atoll. Or spend a day at Jozani Forest, home to exotic animals like the red colobus monkey. Explore the Kuumbi Caves in Jambiani on the southeast coast for more nature. There are options besides swimming and hiking, like surfing, kayaking in mangrove forests, or cycling around the island. You could also head out to sea for a sport-fishing adventure to reel in some marlin and sailfish.
You'll want to spend time in the main town, too. Besides beaches and nature, Zanzibar boasts a rich history. The medieval center of the capital, Stone Town, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This warren of alleyways, shops, bazaars, and mosques is home to some of Zanzibar's most historic buildings. One standout is the Arab Fort, a defensive fortification built in the 17th century. A great activity is to stroll Stone Town and admire its unique mix of Arabic architecture and Indian influences. You can also visit the solemn site of a former slave market and learn about this sad part of the island's history.

Day 7: Zanzibar to Arusha, Depart

Sunset in Zanzibar 
Unfortunately, it's time to leave the tropical paradise. You'll transfer to Zanzibar's airport in the morning and fly to Arusha, where you'll catch your connecting flight home. Safe travels!

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 Serengeti & Zanzibar Getaway - 7 Days
Map of Serengeti & Zanzibar Getaway - 7 Days