Home to many of the best and largest national parks in Africa, Tanzania boasts some of the most singular and magnificent scenery you will ever encounter.
Unparalleled sightseeing and photo-hunting opportunities range across vistas of expansive grasslands, wooded trails, iconic mountain tops, and gorgeous white sand beaches on tropical islands.
All these diverse Tanzania settings support flora, rare birds, and abundant wildlife populations unique to the region.
And for most, no safari is complete without spotting the Big Five animals. The chance to watch a lion with cubs, or elephants lumbering by, is one of the most deeply satisfying aspects of a Tanzania luxury safari.
Considered one of the safest African destinations, foreign visitors can access Tanzania through direct flights to international airports in Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar, and Dar es Salaam.
While there are many reasons why Tanzania is a fantastic safari destination, we’ve listed five of our favorites for your consideration.
Unrivaled National Parks
Per a Tanzanian National Park report from 2021, Tanzania has set aside 38.24% of its territory as protected areas. National parks, conservation areas, marine parks, game reserves, and forest reserves fall under this protected status.
In fact, Tanzania boasts more animals per square mile than any other country in Africa, and it is home to 20% of the continent’s species of large mammals.
As one of the most iconically revered and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the popular Serengeti National Park is home to millions of large animals–and the park with the greatest number of lions. If you’re on a Tanzania honeymoon safari, the Serengeti National Park should top your favorite destination list on a Tanzanian safari.
The Tarangire National Park and Selous Game Reserve is the preserve of the largest population of elephants in Tanzania. And if you’ve always dreamed of walking among troops of chimps, you’ll want to visit the Mahale Mountains National Park in western Tanzania. Situated along the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika, the park is accessible only by boat and a favorite of birdwatchers.
The Serengeti Wildebeest Migration
You must experience the Great Wildebeest Migration to fully understand this event’s sheer drama, energy, scope, and scale when on a Tanzania safari. As the world’s largest migration of land animals, the cyclical movement of over 2 million animals, wildebeests, zebras, and antelopes must be seen to be believed.
With the exception of the herds that move into southern Kenya’s Maasai Mara Nature Reserve in late September, the migration path moves counter-clockwise within the confines of the Serengeti National Park, moving through 12000 square miles of plains and grasslands in search of fresh grass and water, culminating in life-or-death river crossings.
Undoubtedly, the Mara River crossing into Kenya’s Maasai Mara Nature Reserve is one of the most high-energy, raw, climactic spectacles to observe in nature. Thousands of animals crowd onto the river banks, compelled to cross the crocodile-infested river in search of fresh grass, where more predators await. Fully one-third of the wildebeests, zebras, and antelopes that make the crossing don’t make it across alive.
Beautiful Landscapes and Topography
The truth is most safari destinations have scenic and natural beauty to offer. But one thing is sure: Tanzania stands out from all others. It has a unique geographical splendor and a vast range of beautiful scenic vistas.
Beloved by tourists and locals alike, the Ngorongoro Crater undoubtedly offers one of Tanzania’s most dramatic scenic sites.If your aim is to go for a Tanzania luxury safari then the Ngorongoro crater should be your priority. As the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera, the encircling heavily-forested rim of the Ngorongoro Crater gives way to an astonishingly picturesque 102 square miles of mostly open grassland, home to the Maasai, their livestock, and surprisingly diverse and abundant wildlife.
The vast plains of the Serengeti to the south, the mountainous rifts to the north, blue streams winding through the land, and gorgeous mountain peaks in the distance leave visitors to this beautiful place in awe, mesmerized at every turn.
Mount Kilimanjaro: The Tallest Free-Standing Mountain in the World
This list is in no particular order–or Mount Kilimanjaro might very well be at the top. This beautiful mountain is a must-visit if you’re planning a Tanzania safari.
When you see Mount Kilimanjaro, sometimes referred to as the “House of God,” with its cone-shaped peak covered with snow, its dramatic beauty is indisputable. It’s easy to understand why Ernest Hemingway took his time to describe the beauty of the mountain in the Snows of Kilimanjaro.
At 19340 feet, Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest freestanding mountain in the world. What adds to its majesty is the contrast with the comparatively flat surroundings of Kilimanjaro National Park and beyond.
Its seven trails take you through every ecological system, including cultivated land, an alpine desert, the rainforest, and the arctic peak. From many vantage points in the climb, Mount Kilimanjaro offers stunning views of and from the mountain, and they’re among the best in the world.
And while there are trails that take only 5-6 days to summit, we recommend taking an extra day to acclimatize. An additional day or two will increase both your enjoyment of the hike and your chances of making it to the top! Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro can be the highlight of your Tanzanian safari.
The Magnificent Islands of the Zanzibar Archipelago
Zanzibar is an island archipelago off the east coast of Tanzania. The beautiful blue waters of the Indian Ocean, the white-sand beaches, and lush tropical foliage, snorkeling, and scuba diving make Zanzibar a safari destination not to be missed. Easily accessible by air or ferry from the mainland, Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania, so an additional visa is not required.
An idyllic Tanzanian honeymoon safari destination, Zanzibar is among the most popular for newlyweds. Luxurious lodgings offer private pools and dining, gorgeous beaches, and beautiful spa facilities. And there’s fantastic shopping in Stone Town, Zanzibar’s historic town center.
Top-notch wildlife viewing makes Tanzania a top safari destination. Its gorgeous and distinctive environment, magnificent islands, and the most beautiful mountain in Africa make it deserving of a spot on your bucket list. So when you’re wondering where to enjoy your African safari vacation, Tanzania belongs at the top of the list.