Author: Apaloderma safaris

What to expect on a Tanzania Safari

Many people dream of going on safari in Tanzania, consistently voted the best safari country in Africa. For some, it’s a bucket list adventure, for some it’s a once in a lifetime experience, and to others it’s a passion that needs to be fulfilled. One thing is for sure – you will never forget the first moment you see African animals in the wild! Whatever the reason for traveling, many people don’t quite know what to expect and it can be intimidating to plan. With that in mind, here are a few things you can expect on your Tanzania safari:


Tanzania has a diverse ecosystem that ranges from golden savannas and plains to mountains and forests to waterfalls and walled cities to islands that offer visitors an unequaled paradise. You will be able to drive on unpaved roads while enjoying the gorgeous natural scenery.

One of the most visited natural sites is the Ngorongoro Crater (located in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area), a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Africa’s “Garden of Eden”. The crater is the biggest intact volcanic caldera in the world and provides a safe haven to 25,000-30,0000 large animals including black rhinoceros, elephants and lions. Water is never scarce and its gorgeous vistas make it a must-visit to be included in any Tanzania safari checklist. Another attraction is the famous Serengeti National Park which is home to the Great Migration, the biggest migration of land mammals in the world. And for anybody who is looking for a physical challenge, how about conquering majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak and the world’s tallest free-standing mountain!


Tanzania has always been popular and is world-famous for its diversity of wildlife and variety of bird species. It is not unusual to find a herd of zebras along with wildebeest in one corner and then a pride of lions and a cackle of hyenas in another. Due to the parks’ vastness, animals can be hard to spot if you don’t know how and where to look but thanks to our professional and knowledgeable driver guides, you will be brought to where the action is. One legendary spectacle is the Great Migration in the Serengeti, where millions of wildebeest, zebra and gazelles move across the East African plains in an endless cycle in anticipation of rains and better grazing. This happens year-round so whatever month you are looking to visit the Serengeti, you will surely be able to experience this spectacle as long as you have an experienced guide to navigate your Tanzania tour.


Since most national parks are huge and nature has its own way of showing up, you might need some time to find the best spots to see animals. You’ll spend most of your day inside the safari vehicle keeping your eyes peeled for some amazing animal sightings. Since there are no paved roads in the national parks, be prepared for a lot of bumping and bouncing around (safari massage at no extra charge)!

Since we only offer private safaris, every day can be planned to your liking. From trees pushed over by elephants, blocking the road, to watching a lion cub frolic and play with its mother, time is not a concept in the wild: we recommend leaving your watch at home! If you would like to follow a herd of elephants for hours, you can do that. If you want to head back to camp early, no problem! Most animals show the greatest activity just before sunrise, so typically your safari will start early in the morning. Animals in Tanzania roam free so if you want to see lions, giraffes, zebras and cheetahs, sometimes it takes a little patience to be rewarded. Another thing to keep in mind is that everything can always change in an instance – you might drive for a long time without seeing much and just when you want to give up something extraordinary happens – we have experienced this many, many times! It is an adventure!


Most people come to Tanzania to see its wildlife, but they fall in love with Tanzania’s people. Our mission is to introduce our guests to the country’s diverse village life and many different people…Maasai and Hadzabe, Datoga, Iraqw people and Zanzibaris, all of whom will greet you as friends. Tanzania has 120 different tribes so getting to know some of them is a must-do on any Tanzania safari!


  • Tanzania is near the equator so it only has two seasons: wet and dry. But its weather can be unpredictable at times. Sometimes showers can last as little as 5 minutes, sometimes the rains last for a few hours, and other times it can rain all day (typically only in the rainy season though).

  • The summer months can become hot, the winter months (dry season) tend to get dusty!

  • Believe it or not, it can get very cold in certain areas of Tanzania during the dry season (between June-October)! So a light scarf, warm jacket and a beanie for morning game drives are not an over-reaction! The wind-chill factor in an open 4×4 can add to the cold temperatures in the morning. Usually, as soon as the sun comes up the temperature warms up and you can take off the warmer layers of your clothes.


When it comes to connecting to the internet, almost all camps and lodges have WiFi so you can still go online in the mornings and evenings to check your e-mails or post photos. However, the internet connection can also be intermittent or unreliable so if you require a high bandwidth, don’t expect too much. Besides, why would you want to stare at your screen for too long if you have the beautiful African savannah as backdrop?


Food quality in the lodges is usually excellent but when you’re out on your safari you are typically provided with a lunchbox for which options can be limited because it has to last several hours. Lunchbox items often include sandwiches, fried foods (chicken), boiled eggs and some fruit. But back at the lodge/camp, breakfast and dinner more than make up for it, as the chefs prepare both local and international cuisine.


Sundowners have become a ritual for Africa safari-goers. The tradition consists of enjoying a beverage, often with alcohol for those of age and juice or soda for kids, while the sun slowly sets on the African horizon and turns the sky red, pink and orange…an unforgettable backdrop to bathing elephants, parading wildebeest, or zebras quietly snuggling…!

Top 6 reasons why you should visit the Serengeti at least once in your life

For many, the name Serengeti is synonymous with safari and when deciding where to go on your African safari, it often ranks amongst the top destinations. Visiting Tanzania for the first time and skipping the Serengeti? Unthinkable.

But what is the excitement all about? And is it really worth going?

We’ll tell you why you shouldn’t miss a visit to the Serengeti when travelling to East Africa.

1. The endless plains

Despite being one of the most popular safari destinations in Africa, the Serengeti is so big, you won’t meet your colleague who stole your travel idea after a chat at the water cooler. Living up to its name, which translates to “endless plains”, the savannah stretches far and beyond of what your eyes can see, and your mind can fathom. If you are looking for a break from city life, this seemingly never-ending vastness across 15.000 square kilometres will give you space to breathe and to take a break from the world as you know it.


2. The Great Migration

Known as the “Greatest Show on Earth”, between one and two million herbivores follow the rains across the Serengeti and into Kenya’s Masai Mara in search of fresh green pastures each year. Take a few moments, just sit in your safari vehicle in silence and listen to the constant sounds of the wildebeest – their sheer number and the never-ending mooing, their intrinsic rhythm and coordination will leave you in awe.

While the Great Migration is best witnessed in the northern Serengeti between July and September, it is in fact a natural wonder to be seen year-round – it’s not as if the animals suddenly disappear. If you visit the Serengeti at the beginning of the year, head to the south and see young wildebeest embarking on the circle of life.


3. The great lion population

Tanzania and the Serengeti in particular, are one of the best places to see lions. It is estimated that more than 3000 lions call the Serengeti ecosystem home. Which means you don’t have to share “your” lion with ten other safari vehicles, but can confidently pass the crowds, take a turn and look for your very own and intimate lion encounter.

Find them readying for the hunt at dusk or dawn, feasting on their prey, playing with their siblings, but mostly – sleeping in the shade of an acacia tree or on top of one of the kopjes, small inselberge scattered across the landscapes.


4. The most spectacular accommodations – in their own right

When visiting the Serengeti you are spoilt for choice when deciding where to stay the night. From luxurious high-end lodges to budget public campsites, you’ll find what you are looking for.

One of the best ways to truly experience the wild, without sharing a toilet with strangers, are tented camps. They have a set-up of a lodge, including ensuite bathrooms, but instead of brick walls, only the tent canvas will separate you from nature. Falling asleep to the concert of the nightly bush is a luxury you will only fully appreciate once you’ve experienced it.

If you’re really feeling the bush, you can even overnight on private special campsites in a mobile explorer camp. Just you, your friends and the endless plains of the Serengeti – your only neighbours are the animals. The world can wait!


5. The hot air balloon safari

Floating across the savannah in a hot air balloon is certainly a more than valid reason for visiting the Serengeti. Leave the rest of the world behind – literally – and experience the most magical morning one can dream of. Hot air balloon safaris start early in the morning, around 5:30 am, which means you can continue with your regular game drives afterwards.

6. Did we mention the unforgettable sunsets?

If there was only one reason why you should visit the Serengeti, it would simply be the iconic African safari sunsets:


When is the best time to travel to Tanzania?

That really depends on what you want to do and see. The best time to travel to Tanzania for a safari is normally during the dry season from June to October. The southern and western circuit parks are especially popular during this time, while the northern circuit parks are worth visiting year-round. The Great Migration can typically be witnessed in the Serengeti in the months from July and September. In January and February, you might be able to see newborn animals strolling through the parks and the lurking predators they attract.

Generally, the country’s seasons and wildlife are dictated by the rains. Depending on when you visit Tanzania, you will experience the country differently. Tanzania’s climate is mostly warm during the day, with cool nights. The country’s Indian Ocean coast is hot and humid, on Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru temperatures drop below zero. We compiled a little guide that helps you figure out when the best time to travel to Tanzania is for you by looking at the country’s climate.

High season: July to October, December

High season for the southern and western circuit parks in Tanzania is from July to October. These parks don’t really get crowded. The northern circuit parks, however, can get a little busy from July up to March. Over Christmas and New Year’s Eve, Tanzania is a popular spot to enjoy some sunny days.

Low season: March to May

During the ‘long rains’, some lodges in the southern and western circuit parks may close down. The northern circuit parks still have some visitors and most remain open.

Shoulder season: January to February

In the ‘short dry season, you can expect lower visitor numbers, lower prices, and still experience excellent game viewing.

Dry season: June to October

From June to October is the dry season in Tanzania, which coincides with the high season. During the dry season, animals gather around waterholes and rivers. These assemblies attract predators, making for some exciting game viewing opportunities. The water scarcity also thins out the bush, hence improving the visibility of the animals. August to September is normally the best time to travel to Tanzania to see the migrating wildebeest crossing the Mara River in northern Serengeti. During this time of year, however, parks can get a little busy and you should expect to share sightings with other vehicles.

If you’re coming to Tanzania for a tropical beach holiday, the best time to travel to the country’s coast and Zanzibar is between June and March. This is when you can enjoy hot, sunny beach days. In general, the days in Tanzania are often sunny and the skies are clear while the mornings and nights can get chilly.

Wet Season: November to May

The months November and December are characterized by the ‘short rains’, which bring relief for wildlife and the parched ground. The short afternoon showers will rarely get in the way of your safari, and you might be able to get more for your money. In late March, the real ‘green season’ starts with the ‘long rains’ which normally last until May. The rain transforms the country’s parks into beautiful green landscapes.

Peak season is over, which means you’ll enjoy lower prices and fewer crowds. Game viewing during this time is still great, even though wildlife is not as easy to spot as in the dry season. You will still be able to see plenty of animals, especially in the northern circuit parks. The wet season is also the best time to travel to Tanzania for bird watching as migratory birds arrive. Please bear in mind that some lodges may be closed from March to May.

The best time to travel to Tanzania? The ‘Shoulder season’

Our favorite time to travel to Tanzania is the ‘shoulder season’: In between the short and long rains, the sun returns in January and February. The first two months of the year are also known as the ‘short dry season’. This time of the year offers all the perks of the dry season but with lesser tourists and lower prices. Additionally, it is calving season in the Southern Serengeti and the easy prey attracts many big cats and other predators, making for some spectacular wildlife viewing opportunities.

Still unsure when you should travel to Tanzania, especially in these uncertain times? Get in touch with us and plan your trip with one of our experienced agents. We will guide you through all the uncertainties there might be around your next trip. We will help you take a break from the world you know, so you can discover a world you have yet to uncover.

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