Tanzania is Africa’s visual masterpiece. It is a country of natural splendour, astounding wildlife, seductive beaches, charming ancient towns, archaeological sites and geological wonders. Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro, rises from lush, grassy plains and towers over the land. Its snow-capped peak is a sight to behold. Climbing Kilimanjaro is surprisingly easy and standing on the roof of Africa is a life-changing experience. The ideal bush and beach destination, visitors can witness the mighty herds of the Great Migration thundering across the Serengeti plains and end their unforgettable safari with a serene beach holiday on Zanzibar, the intoxicatingly beautiful and exotic Spice Island.
Why visit Tanzania?
Tanzania is the untamed half of east Africa, the raw safari experience that first drew explorers from around the world, home to endless savannah, volcanic mountains, the Great Migration and the towering walls of the Ngorongoro Crater.
A few hours away is mighty Mount Kilimanjaro itself, where adventure seekers can hike through a series of wildly different landscapes in a bid to reach the pinnacle of Africa, accompanied by a full complement of hardy porters and experienced guides. Although the mountain can be summited without having to do any serious climbing, it is still to be respected. Though the summit of Kilimanjaro lies among the clouds, those wanting to stand upon the mountain need not climb to the very top, as special excursions cater for short hikes and picnic lunches on its slopes.
Creating yet another rugged and scenic landscape nearby, the Rift Valley plunges down to the shores of tranquil Lake Manyara in a series of steep cliffs. Shallow and fed by the runoff from the high escarpment along its side, Manyara is home to great multitudes of pink-feathered flamingo throughout the year. The verdant national park that lies along its shores is famed for high concentrations of wildlife, including its unusual tree-climbing lion.
Uniquely scenic Tarangire does not have a lake, but it does boast extensive marshlands that turn swathes of it a brilliant green. Abundant game gathers to feel and play among these reeds and long grasses that grow near the cooling water, while patient lion lounge around its shores, eyes alert for the injured or the unwary.
Far away to the west, Lake Tanganyika forms the western boundary of Tanzania, remote and wild as can be. This region is so distant and isolated that planes only head out twice a week and the wildlife regard the camps as part of the bush, wandering in and out as they please. Here those guests in search of truly remote safaris in Tanzania can immerse themselves completely in the solitude and wonder of the African bush.
Katavi is a wilderness that has remained unsullied by time and progress, while the Mahale Mountains National Park stretches alongside the extensive lakeshore, offering refuge to chimpanzee in its deep forests.
While the northern game reserves areas are the better known, the south is the rough-cut gem of safaris in Tanzania. These are some of the largest wilderness areas in the world. The Selous Game Reserve alone covers an area the size of Switzerland. Nearby Ruaha is not as massive, but offers a rich, untainted game experience. The remote location and lower profile of the southern parks ensure these areas are seldom crowded and visitors to these untouched reserves may often find themselves roaming the African bush for days without seeing another soul.
The east coast of Tanzania is blessed with the dazzling white beaches and warm waters of the Indian Ocean, home to world-class scuba diving and thrilling deep sea fishing. Colourful and exotic, Zanzibar fires the imagination with its beautiful scenery and fascinating history as a spice port. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the island’s ancient capital of Stone Town hides its singular character and distinct charm within a labyrinth of winding alleyways and ornate doorways.
The most famous of all Tanzania’s safari areas and often acting the link between the exceptional experiences that the country can offer is the fabled Serengeti National Park, its endless plains home to abundant game and site of the annual Great Migration of over a million wildebeest and zebra. Dubbed the Greatest Show on Earth, this fascinating spectacle moves continually through the Serengeti, across the borders to Kenya’s Masai Mara and back down again. Its endless cycle of life and death enthrals first time visitors and lifelong safari fanatics alike.
Summer (October – April)
Winter (May – September)
Long rains in the winter, short rains in the summer