17 Top Reasons Why Tanzania Safaris

From the sweeping plains of the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater in the north, Tanzania retains its combined charm of the wilderness and idyllic coastal beaches.  Tanzania, home to Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain that needs no introduction, and looms proudly with brightly snow-capped peaks.

The alluring spice island of Zanzibar tantalizes with turquoise warm waters, while sun and sand kiss its long stretching beaches. Tanzania also has a dozen UNESCO heritage sites, enhancing the kaleidoscopic diversity of Tanzania, making it an all-year-round holiday choice for new or even seasoned travelers.  For whatever thoughts about Tanzania, we can assure you that the land of Mount Kilimanjaro is indeed a destination like no other in Africa.

Apart from pristine beaches and quaint islands, Tanzania is renowned for its access to unlimited wildlife experiences all year-round; this isn’t actually the only reason for you to consider visiting Tanzania.

  • Chimpanzees: Tanzania is one of the best places in the world to track chimpanzees; Mahale offers the chance to track them from your beautiful beach accommodation.
  • Wildlife and beach: Tanzania is perfect for combining the best of African wildlife with the stunning beaches off the coast, or even the beaches of Spice Island, Zanzibar.
  • Great migrations & incredible wildlife: From the world-famous great migration to the big cats, big five and the beautiful birds. In history, Tanzania remains one of the best wildlife destinations on earth.

Home to some of the world’s most diverse wildlife, Tanzania is certainly an iconic safari destination. Arguably best known for the incredible landscapes of Serengeti National Park especially during the endless wildebeest migration. To be honest, there’s so much more to see in this fascinating country.

Discovering Ngorongoro Crater certainly astounded us. Created by a large volcano, which exploded and collapsed up to three million years ago, this jaw-dropping site has its own ecosystem, and needs to be seen to be believed – it’s awesomely mind-blowing.

We know just how incredible spotting your first wild animal is, so our experts truly recommend exploring the Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks for first timers in Tanzania. Both parks are teeming with majestic wildlife, and even elegant bright pink flamingo in the latter. While visiting Tanzania, Oluokos Signature will endeavor to keep you away from the masses, steering you towards the best times of year and selecting secluded conservancies to ensure you get an authentic, natural safari experience, yet still exploring the best this country has to offer.

Tanzania Wildlife Safaris

Top Tanzania Tourist Attractions

Tanzania’s great migration is one of the world’s best-known wildlife spectacles. Millions of animals move across the endless Serengeti Plains following the rains, seeking lush green pastures on which to feed. The Serengeti’s resident wildlife never fails to impress, but when the migration passes through, the magic is intensified!

Travelers come from around the world to see this incredible phenomenon, as do photographers. We are excited to offer a special Great Migration Photographic Safari, designed to position you for the best chance to capture exciting wildlife images, including the potential for river crossings.

At the foot of Kilimanjaro, are the misty forests, seas of moss-covered trees in the villages, and banana-coffee gardens of the Chagga community. The volcano creates the optimal climatic conditions for these lush tropical gardens, with nutrient rich soils, a stable temperature and numerous fresh water springs. 

On a visit to the area it’s possible to learn from a local farmer the process of growing and roasting Arabica, the best seasons and what gives the coffee its full-bodied flavour. The reasons that these food products are big business in Tanzania! After discovering why it’s one of the best places in the country to grow bananas and coffee, try some for yourself!  Don’t miss the banana beer! It is a specialty of the Chagga people, traditionally concocted  for social gatherings such as weddings, births or wakes. 

At 19,340 feet, Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest peak, but the climb to the top is surprisingly accessible and can take anything between 4-5 days on the so-called “fast route. The amazing journey to the top from the steppes below takes in all manner of ecosystems, stretching from agrarian landscapes to rainforest, heath to alpine desert before arctic conditions at the summit.

Tanzania’s famous Masai warriors patrolled the savannahs plains of the Great Rift Valley for ages. Traditionally, they are herders, where livestock are a vital resource. Their diet consists largely of cow’s meat, milk and blood, tapped from the jugular vein with no lasting damage to the animal. On certain occasions, the two are combined in something akin to a blood milkshake.

Tanzania has a wide array of foods but a national staple and a ‘must try’ is Ugali.  A typical Tanzanian’s diet is meat heavy with few fresh vegetables; for a special meal one might have a goat barbeque.  Though if you’re missing the crunch of fresh vegetables there’s no lack of international options in the large multicultural cities.  With the plentitude of coffee and tea plantations, it’s no surprise that coffee and chai are the country’s favorite brews.

For the real gourmet experience, we suggest that you head to Zanzibar. The Spice Island. of Zanzibar proves itself as the country’s culinary cathedral with a fusion of seafood, spices, fruit, herbs, and spices in their dishes, all sourced from the island.  Mouthwatering combinations of spicy curries accented with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, are very popular Zanzibari options.

Sometimes referred as “Africa’s Garden of Eden,” the Ngorongoro Crater is a 12-mile-wide ecosystem within an ecosystem that was created by a massive collapse of land following a volcanic eruption. Dubbed as one of the seven natural wonders of Africa, the crater sits at 5,900 feet above sea level and evidence suggests hominids have lived in the wider conservation area for over 3 million years.

The park is famously known as the place where Jane Goodall’s longest running study of chimpanzees’ social groups took place.  It’s Tanzania’s smallest park, occupying a remote, lush area of steep slopes along the edge of Lake Tanganyika, a lake that is shared across the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. The protected park is home to over 100 chimpanzees and is often ranked as one of the best places to see wild chimps in their natural habitat.  During the dry season, sightings of the groups foraging are guaranteed on the lower slopes as long as you are willing to traverse over Gombe’s hills and deep valleys. Coming face to face with these wild primates (our ancestors with which we share an incredible 98% of our genes) is undeniably an experience that brings you closer to nature and implicitly makes you question what it is to be human.  It also inspires visitors to build a world of respect and coexistence with all living creatures on the planet. Gombe’s scenic lake beaches, surreal landscapes and filled with hippos, snakes, and baboons have turned it into photographer’s paradise.

With over 120 tribes, Tanzania in the post-colonial era the country’s first president Julius Nyerere made it his mission to unite the newly independent nation whilst maintaining its rich heterogeneity. The Sukuma is the largest tribe and accounts for approximately 16% of the population. Other large tribes include the Nyamwezi, Makonde, Haya and Chagga.

Enjoying a hot air balloon over the Serengeti is a once in a lifetime experience that many only dream of.  Drift away after a lift-up and get mesmerized as the cold dense morning air pushes the buoyant balloon vessel. In just a matter of minutes,  you’ll be smoothly floating at about 1000 feet above the vast dappled plains of the Serengeti while dawn transforms into vibrant hues above the golden plains.  Below you, you’ll will be marveling at birds eye view of big cats hunting, elephants roaming, while gazelles and zebras graze in vast numbers.  This indescribable flight gives riders the ultimate vantage point for photographing the park’s big 5 and other wildlife. This is especially true at dawn when predators are most active.  Furthermore, it lends the opportunity to see different areas of the park that are inaccessible to vehicles required to stay on the roads.

Lake Natron is home to 75% of the world’s 3.2 million Lesser Flamingos. The lake’s hypersaline water can strip away human skin, and breeds algae toxic to many forms of animal life, but the bird flourishes in these conditions thanks to its incredibly adapted body and feeding ecology. Your first view of Lake Natron with Ol Donyo Engai through Tanzania’s haze will seemingly transport you back in time. The barren landscape and the views of the volcano are otherworldly.  What’s more is that Lake Natron is a crimson color turned blood red by salt loving microorganisms that thrive in the hot alkaline waters. This caustic, shallow lake burns the eyes and skin of animals not adapted to its acidity. Every year, from Sept to October a spectacular congregation of 2.5 million lesser flamingos inhabit the hostile lake’s islets. This unlikely habitat is their breeding ground and the high temperatures offers natural protection against predators.  In addition to seeing the colorful plumage of the lesser flamingos, the lake is also the location of the “Dance Hall”, a rare Paleontological find. It is a huge collection of footprints from an estimated 40 homo sapiens from over 19,000 years ago found on mudflats on the southern shore of Lake Natron. If you have an interest in humanity’s prehistory then make sure not to miss the biggest collection of human footprints found in Africa. 

Zanzibar is known as “spice island.” Indulge into the tastes, aroma and textures of the island’s markets that draw in flavors from African, Arab, Indian and European cuisine. Cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper are the lifeblood of Zanzibar’s spice trade, an industry dating back to the 16th century and to which the island is indebted for its cosmopolitan charm and feel.

Over 99% of Zanzibar’s citizens are Muslim and the island has a collection of stunning places of worship. In Stone Town is the Malindi Mosque, dating from the 15th century and notable for its unusual conical minaret and square platform. The Hujjatul Islam mosque known for having the most ornate exterior, the Laghbari mosque the finest interior, whilst the Bagh Muharmi mosque is the proud owner of the island’s highest minaret.

Known “as the green island” in Arabic, Pemba lies 50 kilometers east of mainland Tanzania. More fertile than other islands in the Zanzibar archipelago, its main cash crop is cloves. Apart from its spices, the main reason to visit is to explore the natural wonders that surround Pemba. The azure waters are an ideal spot for diving, with steep drop-offs, untouched coral and abundant marine life.

Selous at a staggering 48,000 square kilometer is Africa’s largest wildlife reserve and is home to the finest presentation of Tanzania’s wildlife. Visit the country’s largest protected area to see lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos, and black rhinos among other wild and wonderful creatures.

The rustic labyrinthine alleys of Zanzibar’s Stone Town hold within them centuries of this multicultural island’s history. Walk the streets to find Persian bathhouses, coffee shops and frenetic bazaars.

Known as “The Green Island” for its rolling hills, verdant valleys, and plentiful spice production, primarily cloves.  Locally, it is known as a magic island of spirits, receiving far fewer visitors than its neighbouring island, Zanzibar.  With limited tourists, a flourishing environment, and decadent beaches, it’s undoubtedly the untouched African beaches.  Pemba’s main allure isn’t land but offshore; it’s renowned for its pristine dive sites. Enjoy exploring underwater gardens of sea corals in one moment and spotting hammerheads the next.  The gyrating shoals of big fish including sailfish, marlin and spearfish swarm around the healthy reefs.  After your first dive it’ll be easy to see why it’s considered to be the best diving on the continent. Enjoy a day sailing through turquoise water filled with wild dolphins, barracudas, and green sea turtles. If you’re visiting the island from September-December find a local outfitter to help locate whale sharks and manta rays, seasonal visitors to the island.

In the Serengeti, a conservation area in which elephants roam freely. Catch a glimpse of these majestic beasts on one the country’s eco-safaris, a popular option for luxury holidaymakers. The Serengeti National Park is bucking a negative trend in Tanzania: strong anti-poaching measures have seen an increase in elephant numbers steadily.

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