More than any other African destination, Tanzania is the land of safaris. The country boasts 14 national parks and unrivalled quantities of game. Each stunning park has its own claim to fame.
The endless plains of the Serengeti are best known for the annual migration of over a million wildebeest and zebra. Take a hot air balloon at sunrise and watch the natural spectacle unfold as you drift through the calm skies. See the animals move en masse, stampeding through the wilderness in search of greener pastures.
The Tarangire National Park is famous for its vast herds of elephants, while the Ngorongoro Crater has the densest concentration of wildlife in Africa. Once an active volcano, the rich, fertile lands are now home to over 30,000 animals, including black rhinos, hippos and a large lion population. The lush vegetation has created a unique conservation area offering incredible opportunities for game viewing.
Manyara is a much smaller park but stunningly beautiful. Bordered on one side by a dazzling lake encrusted with flamingos and the Great Rift Valley escarpment on the other, it is renowned for its bird life and tree climbing lions. Further south, Selous provides a majestic wetland scenery, brimming with wildlife. Take a boat trip down the mighty Rufiji River to catch a glimpse of crocodiles or the hundreds of hippos jostling for space.
The remote southern parks are like an untouched wilderness. In Katavi you can travel hundreds of miles without seeing another human being, just herds of buffalo kicking up dust or pods of hippos gathering by the waters edge. Ruaha with its baobab forests and sandstone gorges is Tanzania’s largest park and is home to lions, hyenas and rare wild dogs. The Mahale Mountains form a fascinating landscape where you can track wild chimpanzees in their natural habitat. There are very few roads. These isolated regions beg to be explored on foot, by boat or by air.
If you’re a keen trekker then it’s hard to resist the allure of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak. Climb through the lush forest to the snow-capped summit and take in the magnificent views over the surrounding plains.
A week’s safari is easily combined with a beach stay in the Zanzibar archipelago. The enchanting main island is just a 20 minute plane ride away from the Tanzanian coast. Its powdery white sands and warm, azure waters offer a haven of relaxation and exceptional diving. The capital, Old Town, was once the slave capital of East Africa. Today it retains an Arabic flavour, with narrow maze-like streets and colourful spice markets.
Tanzania is a land of beautiful scenery, abundant wildlife and heavenly beaches. It is the ultimate safari destination, promising some of the best game viewing Africa has to offer.
When to go
Tanzania enjoys a tropical climate and has good weather all year round. The rainy season begins in December with the long rains falling between March and May, so it is wise to avoid travelling then.