13 recommended wildlife locations. The species listed below are just a selection of those you may see.

Serengeti National Park

The Serengeti supports Africa’s greatest concentration of plains game. Its ranges include wooded highland, grass plains, acacia savannah and rivers. With an estimated three million large animals, most of which take part in a seasonal migration, you can experience one of nature’s greatest wonders.

  • Where: Northern Tanzania
  • Ideal for viewing: Burchell’s zebra, Cheetah, Leopard, Lion, White-bearded wildebeest
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Photography tours with Nick Garbutt, Vehicle safaris, Birdwatching

Arusha National Park

Arusha National Park is the gem in Tanzania’s ’Northern Safari Circuit’. The park consists of lush swamps of the Ngurdodo Crater, the changing colours of Momela Lakes and the rugged alpine peaks of Mt Meru. Its habitat ranges from highland montane forest to lowland swamp, sustaining an array of wildlife.

  • Where: Northern Tanzania
  • Ideal for viewing: Black and white colobus monkey, Bohor reedbuck, Bushbuck, Kirk’s dik dik, Olive baboon
  • Excellent for: Vehicle safaris, Birdwatching

Gombe Stream National Park

Although occupying a mere 52 square kilometres, this park is nevertheless magnificent and was made world famous by British researcher Jane Goodall for her work on its primates. In the absence of roads, all game-viewing is done on foot. The main attraction is around 100 habituated chimpanzees.

  • Where: Kigoma
  • Ideal for viewing: Blue monkey, Chimpanzee, Olive baboon, Red colobus monkey, Bushpig
  • Excellent for: Birdwatching

Katavi National Park

Katavi National Park is a remote area of unspoilt nature. Forming part of the new “Western Safari Circuit”, this undiscovered wilderness is awash with plains game and over 400 species of birds. Its isolated location results in low visitor numbers, making it ideal for watching wildlife in peace and solitude.

  • Where: Western Tanzania
  • Ideal for viewing: Cape buffalo, Lion, Puku, Roan, Sable
  • Excellent for: Vehicle safaris, Birdwatching

Lake Manyara National Park

Often seen as just a stopping off point on the popular Northern Circuit, this small park definitely warrants a visit in its own right. Mahogany and sausage trees are abundant and well laden with fruit for the wildlife to feed upon and it is a sanctuary for its most famous residents – the tree climbing lion.

  • Where: Manyara District
  • Ideal for viewing: African elephant, Hippo, Leopard, Lion, Augur buzzard
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris, Birdwatching

Mahale National Park

Mahale National Park is located on the shores of Lake Tanganyika and split in two by the Mahal Mountains. Home to some of Africa’s last remaining wild chimpanzees, this is a magical place of tropical forests with vines and tall trees growing on the banks of rivers which then tumble into countless waterfalls.

  • Where: Kigoma District
  • Ideal for viewing: Blue duiker, Chimpanzee, Red colobus monkey, Sharpe’s grysbok, Brush-tailed porcupine
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Birdwatching

Mikumi National Park

An extension of the Selous ecosystem, this park nestles between the Uluguru and Rubeho mountains en-route west. You can spend a day here without seeing another tourist vehicle. Families of yellow baboon live at the southern end, near Kiboga, and more than 300 species of birds have been recorded.

  • Where: Morogoro Region
  • Ideal for viewing: African elephant, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, Spotted hyena, Yellow baboon, Eland
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris, Birdwatching

Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area

The Ngorongoro Crater is a natural amphitheatre and one of the most dramatic settings in Africa. Its swamps, forests and soda lake attract thousands of flamingos and other waterfowl and the plains enclose the largest concentration of game – the predator prey balance is so precise that animals seldom leave.

  • Where: Crater Highlands Region
  • Ideal for viewing: Black rhino, African elephant, Greater flamingo, Spotted hyena, Lion
  • Excellent for: Photography tours with Nick Garbutt, Vehicle safaris, Birdwatching

Ruaha National Park

Ruaha National Park is Tanzania’s wildest, and due to its remote location and previous inaccessibility has remained unchanged for centuries. Bordered by the rapids of Great Ruaha and Mzombe Rivers, a vast expanse of wilderness, dotted with fig trees and baobabs, stretches to the hazy blue southern highlands.

  • Where: Central Tanzania
  • Ideal for viewing: Cape buffalo, African elephant, Lesser kudu, Wild dog, Grant’s gazelle
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris, Birdwatching

Saadani National Park

A stone’s throw from Zanzibar, the spice island, Saadani National Park shares its eastern border with the Indian Ocean and its southern border with the Wami river, allowing game watching in bush, river and coastal settings. Saadani is the only park, in Tanzania, where you can enjoy a safari on the beach.

  • Where: Eastern Tanzania (Indian Ocean)
  • Ideal for viewing: African elephant, Lion, Cape buffalo, Hippo, Grévy’s zebra
  • Excellent for: Just Conservation, Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris, River safaris

Selous Game Reserve

Selous Game Reserve is the largest wildlife sanctuary in Africa. Its vast tracts of wilderness contain perhaps the greatest concentration of big game on earth, sustained by the waters of the Rufiji River whose tributaries form a network of lakes and lagoons to help create a home for a bewildering array of birds.

  • Where: Southern Tanzania
  • Ideal for viewing: Cape buffalo, Eland, African elephant, Greater kudu, Wild dog
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris, River safaris, Birdwatching

Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park is one of Africa’s best kept secrets. Dominated by the Tarangire River, the landscape is a rich mix of trees, grassland plains, swamps and rocky outcrops providing habitats for superb wildlife. The area is also excellent for birds of prey and provides a superb habitat for many other species.

  • Where: Northern Tanzania
  • Ideal for viewing: African elephant, Fringe-eared oryx, Kori bustard, Warthog, Wild dog
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris, Birdwatching

Udzungwa National Park

This is a remnant of the rainforest that stretched along the eastern side of the Rift Valley 165 million years ago, when Madagascar broke off the mainland – similarities still exist today. Udzungwa demonstrates a high degree of endemism – many of its plants are unique, and there are several endemic primates.

  • Where: Morogoro Region
  • Ideal for viewing: Hehe red colobus monkey, Rufous-winged sunbird, Sanje crested mangaby, Udzungwa partridge, Iringa red colobus
  • Excellent for: Birdwatching

2 recommended locations for extending your wildlife trip.

Mt Kilimanjaro

Africa’s highest peak (5,895 metres) is the world’s tallest free-standing mountain. Intensely cultivated lower slopes give way to lush montane forest inhabited by elephant, leopard, buffalo, endangered Abbot’s duiker, other small antelopes and primates. Higher still, below the barren upper reaches, the heather moorland is studded with giant lobelias.

Zanzibar, Mafia, Pemba

Zanzibar is a short hop from the mainland by plane or ferry. Hotels range from simple to opulent, from where you can visit historic Stone Town, spice gardens and dazzling white sandy beaches. The islands of Mafia and Pemba are more off the beaten track, and thus quieter and more laid back.

5 recommended trips. All our trip ideas are offered to inspire you, but our strength is in tailoring your itinerary.

Elephant Collaring by Helicopter

This incredible project provides a unique opportunity for close interaction with elephants and to make a direct and hands-on contribution to their conservation.

  • Trip type: Just Conservation Group tour
  • Duration exc. international flights: 7 days

Serengeti Migration

Witness the annual migration of hundreds of thousands of wildebeest, zebra and other game around the Serengeti-Masai Mara ecosystem, one of the ‘must see’ events of the natural world.

  • Trip type: Group tour
  • Duration exc. international flights: 16 days

Tanzania’s Wild West

Explore two fantastic and contrasting national parks in the remote reaches of Western Tanzania and trek chimps in the forests of  Mahale.

  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
  • Duration exc. international flights: 9 days

Spirit of the North

Take in all the major wildlife highlights and contrasting locations of northern Tanzania on this excellent value, classic safari.

  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
  • Duration exc. international flights: 8 days

Best of the South

This is Tanzania at its wildest and ideal for the discerning wildlife enthusiast seeking a pioneering Africa trip.

  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
  • Duration exc. international flights: 7 days

When to go

Best visited during the long dry season from June to October, or the shorter one from January to February, although the wildebeest migration is best seen from February to March.

Seasons

  • Dry season

    Jan to Feb: A brief lull between the short and long rains, but hot
  • Long rains

    Mar to May: The wettest season of the year
  • Dry Season

    Jun to Sep: The best time of year to travel, but peak season
  • Short rains

    Oct to Dec: A couple of months of intermittent rain freshen things up

Wildlife events

  • Jan to Feb: Short dry season – Serengeti wildebeest & zebra give birth
  • Jun: Dry season starts – wildebeest & zebra head to Masai Mara
  • Aug to Oct: Best wildlife watching; whales off the coast
  • Nov: Short rains break – wildebeest & zebra return to Serengeti
  • Sep to Mar: Best season for climbing Kilimanjaro

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