Tanzania contains some 20 percent of the species of Africa’s large mammal population, found across its reserves, conservation areas, marine parks, and 17 national parks, spread over an area of more than 42,000 square kilometres (16,000 sq mi) and forming approximately 38 percent of the country’s territory. Wildlife resources of Tanzania are described as “without parallel in Africa” and “the prime game viewing country”. Serengeti National Park, the country’s second largest national park area at 14,763 square kilometres (5,700 sq mi), is located in northern Tanzania and is famous for its extensive migratory herds of wildebeests and zebra while also having the reputation as one of the great natural wonders of the world. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area, established in 1959, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and inhabited by the Maasai people. Its Ngorongoro Crater is the largest intact caldera in the world.
Tanzania offers excellent wildlife viewing. There are three different safari circuits, and each one of them alone would make Tanzania a great wildlife destination. The Big Five and most other sought-after safari animals are easily seen. The black rhino is very rare throughout, with the exception of the Ngorongoro Crater.
The national parks are also part of the wetlands of Tanzania. The wild animals tend to be closer to the wetlands, particularly the water loving species such as the hippopotamus, waterbuck, common warthog, elephant, crocodile, sitatunga as well as water birds such as flamingoes and ducks.
Tanzania’s wildlife, extolled as the “finest safari experiences and wildlife spectacles found anywhere on the planet”, has 40 national parks and game reserves.There are 17 national parks covering a total area of 42,235 square kilometres (16,307 sq mi).
Swahili is the National Language, originating from Arab and Bantu(an indigenous tribal language) and it is spoken by over 95% of the Tanzanians. English is widely spoken but a few Swahili words will even be more appreciated. Most people in the tourism industry speak English, Other can speak other languages like French, Spanish, Germany and Italian.
Luckily UK and US citizens can get it at point of entry (at the international airports at Kilimanjaro, Dar Es Salaam). It will cost you 50 USD. Citizens of other countries may have to get the visa prior to departure – but it isn’t usually a problem. Check with your country’s authorities. In order to get your visa you will need an International Health Card with Yellow fever vaccination noted on it. That is rarely looked at. You will need sufficient funds to be in the country (rarely asked of Westerners) and you will need a return ticket to country of origin (also rarely requested).
USD is widely accepted in Tanzania. There are also ATMs where you can get Tanzanian money.
Be sensible and practical. Would you do this back in your own country? Tanzania is for the most part safe and enjoyable. But while in the lodges don’t leave temptation for the staff since they tempted
There are precautions to take before you arrive here and some things to do after you get here. Bring mosquito repellent (also good for Teztze flies). We recommend Deet. Also make sure you have jabs for Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Polio and Yellow Fever before you come
240 volts is the voltage in Tanzania and you will need a UK plug. You can buy a converter plug that will make your appliance fit locally.
Tanzania has three very distinct seasons and your itinerary should be designed accordingly. For example, the Serengeti is a huge place and going to the wrong place at the wrong time can leave you with a sense of traveling through a wasteland – with a mouthful of dust! The same goes for the rest of Tanzania; going to some of the Southern Tanzanian National Parks in the rainy season (or just after) will ensure some intimate experiences with Tsetse flies…
For a safari in Northern Tanzania (Serengeti and surrounding parks) the season is determined by the movement of the annual wildebeest migration. These animals are constantly on the move and we can generally predict where they should be at a given time of the year. Since the Serengeti is vast and we don’t want to waste time driving over barren areas we focus our “Serengeti time” in the area where the migration will be.
So…when choosing a time of year to go, we can help you with what is typically the best wildlife viewing during that period and make sure you get there to see it. Here are our itineraries for each season:
What should I pack for my Safari in Tanzania?
If this is your first time in Tanzania or your first time on Safari, Seven wonders has put together a suggested packing list below to ensure that you will be comfortable during your adventure. If you do forget a few things, don’t worry, you can pick up most everyday items in town before you leave.
- Valid passport
- Yellow fever vaccination records/ certificate
- Tanzania visa, available at airport upon arrival, USD $100 payable in cash only for US citizens or USD $50 for residents of UK/European Union and most other countries
- Copy of flight itinerary
- Copy of travel and/or medical evacuation insurance
- Personal medical/dental insurance cards
- Credit card (Visa and MasterCard are most widely accepted)
- Cash in U.S. Dollars (Bills MUST have been issued in 2004 or later)
Remember, it’s not a fashion show out there, and the elephants are not going to mind if you’re not sporting the latest trends, so be a bit more practical when choosing your safari wardrobe. Try to stay away from bright colours – Khaki and other neutral colours tend to work well.
- Sweater or fleece pullover to keep warm
- Sturdy shoes or boots
- Sun hat
- Sun glasses
- T-shirts or polo shirts (2-5 depending on how often you want to change)
- Long sleeve shirts (light weight)
- Long trousers
- Travel towel
- Thermal underwear, gloves and warm hat (during May – Sept)
- Rain coat and rain trousers (During rainy season Mar – May and Oct – Dec)
- Camera and memory cards
- Hand Sanitizer and wet wipes
- Insect Repellent
- Personal toiletries (soap, shampoo, toothbrush, eye drops etc)
- Malaria tablets
- Basic first aid kit and prescription medicines
- Flashlight or headlamp
- Chargers and extra batteries for your camera, phone etc
- Power adapter to fit the UK style electrical socket
- Bring soft luggage such as a duffel bag, hiking pack or sports bag. These are ideal for packing into a safari vehicle. Hard suitcases can often be difficult to fit into the vehicles.
- Bring a back pack to carry all of your important items including travel documents, money, camera, medication etc. You should keep this back pack with you at all times.
- Keep luxury items such as hair dryers/ straighteners, expensive jewellery, make up and bulky toiletries to an absolute minimum.