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.
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Tanzania offers a spectacular array of wildlife, important tribal cultures, and slices of beachy paradise that might as well have been made for a postcard. Its Serengeti ecosystem hosts one of the world's most fascinating natural events: every year, over a million wildebeest, zebra, and antelope form a massive migration spanning two countries. The Ngorongoro Crater is one of the only places in Africa to view every member of the "Big Five"—rhino, lion, cheetah, leopard, and elephant—on a single game drive. Want more? Towering over the landscape, Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, beckoning trekkers from around the globe to reach its peak.
When is the best time to visit?
For the best safari weather, you'll want to book your trip to Tanzania from December-February or June-October. These are dry periods, meaning less vegetation and lower chances of a rainstorm—in other words, ideal conditions for spotting wildlife. And if for nothing else, summer is prime time for the incredible annual wildebeest migration. In November, early December, and March-May, you'll find bargain prices and fewer travelers, making it a nice time to visit if you don't mind taking your chances with safari conditions.
Where should you go?
Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater are famous for a reason, and both should top your list of must-visit places in Tanzania. But there's much more to see and do.
Get off the beaten track in Gombe Stream National Park—it's renowned for the groundbreaking chimpanzee research of Dr. Jane Goodall, yet few tourists visit due to its location far from the traditional safari route. Check out the Olduvai Gorge, one of the most important paleoanthropological sites in the world. Or wander the winding lanes of Stone Town, a historic trade center with Swahili and Islamic influences, where you'll find minarets, carved doorways and 19th-century landmarks such as the House of Wonders, a former sultan’s palace.
Beachgoers will want to visit the paradise of Zanzibar or add an element of adventure in Mafia, a premier spot to dive with whale sharks from October-February. Into anthropology? It's possible to learn about the country's tribal cultures through visits to Maasai villages and guided experiences with the Hadzabe tribe (one of the last remaining hunter-gatherer tribes in the world).
How many days should you spend?
Getting to Tanzania often involves long flights, so most travelers will want to make the most of their time by spending at least a week exploring. With 10 days, you can easily combine the Ngorongoro Crater with safari tours in Tarangire and Serengeti National Parks, and still have a couple of days left to relax in Zanzibar. If you have two weeks, you can add a couple of days of safari at each park—or combine a 5-day safari with an 8-day Kilimanjaro climb.
Only have 5 days of vacation to spare? Not to worry—you can still complete a highlights tour of the crater and parks, or stick to the beaches of Zanzibar or Mafia.
This 10-day adventure combines the best safari locations in Tanzania with beach time in gorgeous Zanzibar. However, before relaxing on those white sands, you'll test yourself on a day hike up Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa. In between, you'll embark on unforgettable safaris in the Ngorongoro Crater and legendary Serengeti.
You can't beat this itinerary for a trip that combines African cultural immersion with safari fun. It starts with some beach time in Zanzibar before hitting the road on off-the-beaten-path routes between cities in Tanzania. After relaxing at Lake Victoria, you'll cross over to Kenya for game drives in the famous Maasai Mara Reserve, plus spend time in tribal villages and participate in Maasai warrior ceremonies.
Adventurous travelers who love the idea of climbing an African mountain but who don't want an extremely challenging experience will enjoy this four-day climb of Mt. Meru. Most days will include a few hours of hiking, while on the long summit day, you'll start in the middle of the night and be rewarded by sweeping views over the plains toward Mt. Kilimanjaro. Spot wildlife, trek through different vegetation zones, and afterward, relax at the beautiful and historic Rivertrees Country Inn.
Experience one of the true gems of the Indian Ocean with a visit to the tropical paradise of Zanzibar. Over seven days, you'll enjoy this island's famed white-sand beaches plus discover its rich culture and cuisine on tours of its historic center. Finish the trip on the unspoiled island of Pemba for some snorkeling, fishing, and communing with nature far from the stress of the modern world.
Perfect for the wildlife enthusiast on the hunt for Africa's "Big 5", this trip includes visits to some of the country's best big game reserves, including Serengeti and Tarangire National Parks. Visit the big cat capital of Africa, walk with flamingos at dawn, and enjoy sunsets with views of baobab trees and volcanos while giraffes, elephants, and zebra graze in the distance. Take a break from wildlife by joining a traditional hunt with the Hadzabe Tribe and learn how to make brass with the friendly blacksmith of the Datoga Tribe.
Tanzania is a large country, about the size of California, Nevada, and Arizona combined. How long to spend will depend on whether you're on a quick beach getaway or a safari...
Even in as few as seven days you can cover the major highlights of Tanzania. That includes embarking on safari adventures in two or even three of this country's national parks....
Ten days is enough time to enjoy the best of Tanzania and then some. You can go on safaris in multiple national parks (including the Serengeti), kick back on the white-sand...
Tanzania is one of Africa's most popular safari destinations with its abundance of natural parks and unspoiled wilderness. And with two whole weeks, you can not only experience...
January is shoulder season in Tanzania, meaning you can expect thinner crowds at popular safari spots and some good deals on accommodation and flights. The weather is generally...
February is shoulder season for travel to Tanzania, so this month offers a comfortable mix of thinner crowds, lower prices, and great sights and activities. The weather is...
March is the start of one of Tanzania's low seasons for tourism, with increasing rain and humidity. But if you visit earlier in the month and hone in on particular national...
April is the low season for travel to Tanzania, as the heavy rains of the long rainy season set in. While travelers wanting to spot the Big Five on safari or lounge on a...
December is shoulder season for travel in Tanzania, with a busier peak around the Christmas and New Year period. Although there's some rain about, it's still a lovely time to enjoy the beaches of Zanzibar, to go on safari in the glorious national parks, or even to have a go at scaling Africa's tallest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro.
November is the start of Tanzania's "short rains" season and a shoulder season for travel. It tends to only rain for a short time each day, and it's still a great time to go birdwatching or see the start of the Great Migration of wildebeest in the north. Find out more about where to go and what to do in Tanzania in November.
October is the end of the peak season in Tanzania. Earlier in the month, the weather will be dry, but by late October, the rains of the short rainy season begin, and trade winds blow. It's still a good time to spot a variety of animals and birds around the country, as long as you're prepared for more changeable weather. Find out more about where to go and what to do in Tanzania in October.
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Feb 1 - Feb 17, 2024
Our trip climbing Kilimanjaro followed by a safari organized by Kimkim was fantastic. Our lead guide on Kili, Abu, was professional and really helpful. Our other guides, Nazoru and Lulu, were equally fantastic. On the safari to Tarangire park, Serengeti and Nagorogorno crater, or guide and driver, John, was so knowledgeable about the environs and animals. He really made the long driving days special. Thank you team!