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Everything you need to know about safari in Tanzania

The Northern Circuit

The Northern Circuit is the most frequented by tourists for two reasons: most of the destinations are fairly close to each other and many of Tanzania’s most famous sights, such as Ngorongoro Crater, the Serengeti and Mt Kilimanjaro are all a part of this circuit. Due to the fact that all the parks, towns and attractions are within easy reach of one another, one can tour this entire circuit by vehicle with only a couple of hours in-between destinations.

The Coastal Circuit

One of the great attractions of Tanzania is its fantastic 800 km coastline with palm fringed beaches of white sand and the historic towns of Dar es Salaam, Bagamoyo, Kilwa, Lindi, Mikindani and Mtwara, along with the exotic islands of Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia.

Swahili language and culture trace their roots to the Indian Ocean coastline. Many explorers, sultans and slave traders encountered Africa for the first time along this history-steeped coastline and contributed to the events that were to define modern Tanzania. The islands of the Zanzibar Archipelago became principal stepping stones for the culture that was to mould Tanzania’s people and their language.

The Southern Circuit

The national parks and game reserves of the Southern Circuit are, arguably, the hidden treasures of Tanzania’s authentic Africa. These parks are enormous, with some of the highest concentrations of animals anywhere in Africa and a spectacular diversity of wildlife including roan antelope, sable antelope, Cape hunting dogs, and a multitude of colourful birdlife. The lodges and camps of the South are small and intimate, with no more than 30 rooms or tents at the very most. This means there are far fewer tourists in the South compared to the North, and allows the area to hold true to the tenets of eco-tourism. The travel times between parks in the South are long as the parks are far apart. The parks of the South can be visited independently, or as a circuit combining various parks into one package. Packages can be arranged using scheduled air services or as road safaris using 4x4 vehicles.

The Western Circuit

Lying in the Great Rift Valley are the inland lakes, Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika. All three national parks in this circuit offer the only safe opportunities to see chimpanzees in the wild today. The habitats of these areas are a merger between Western Africa and East Africa therefore the cultures, rainfall and flora are unique to this small area. The Western circuit is seldom experienced on its own but is more often an addition to either the Southern or Northern circuits, or both. The Western circuit is so remote that travel by both aircraft and boat is necessary in order to experience this lovely side of Tanzania.

Where should I go and when?

As with so many things the best thing for you depends on your interests. Many of Tanzania's national parks and game reserves have unique appeal throughout the year although the game viewing experience and the 'human' experience can vary considerably depending on the time of year you visit.

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Guide to Tanzania's National Parks and Game Reserves


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You are here: Home Adventures Tanzania Safari Guide