The name Tanzania conjures up images of wildebeest stampeding across vast savannah, rain forests teeming with monkeys and birdlife, and great plains brimming with legions of game. All of these natural wonders and more are on offer in this exceptionally diverse African nation. Visitors typically visit Tanzania to partake in at least one of the four well known Tanzanian tourist experiences: a relaxing seaside vacation on the picturesque island paradise of Zanzibar, an underwater tour of some of the world’s most renowned dive sites around the gorgeous Spice Islands, a safari adventure in some of Africa’s most impressive game reserves, or a hiking excursion around Mount Kilimanjaro National Park. Whichever of these incredible holidays you choose, you will undoubtedly be welcomed by some fabulously friendly and peaceful inhabitants who, despite being divided into 120 different ethnic groups and cultures, live in harmony with one another and provide some of the most wonderfully exotic local cuisine you could imagine. With all of this diversity on offer, the most difficult part of your Tanzanian holiday experience is likely to be deciding where to go!
Days 1 - 2
Set within the ecologically important migratory corridor of Manyara and Tarangire, Lake Burunge-Manyara is one of three major lakes in Tanzania’s Manyara region that provide incredible game viewing opportunities. Lookout decks along the shore offer close-up encounters with the wild animals which come to drink or hunt, as well as with 300 bird species. Game drives, guided walks, canoeing, and cultural tours to the neighbouring Mbugwe and Maasai villages are just some of the activities visitors can look forward to. Neighbouring Tarangire National Park is another highlight of the area, only 30 kilometres away.
Days 2 - 3
Set in the Arusha Region, Ndutu is situated in the northern part of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area within the magnificent Serengeti. The surrounding landscapes are covered in sweeping grasslands which provide the perfect habitat for the migratory route for hundreds of thousands of wildebeest, antelope and zebra. Visitors can look forward to exploring the forest around Lake Ndutu, spotting an array of wildlife, and visiting the fascinating archaeological site at the Olduvai Gorge. Don’t miss the opportunity to jump on a game drive to view the spectacular herds of the annual Great Migration, enjoy a scenic hot air balloon ride over the plains and take a guided tour with the local Maasai and learn about culture and traditions. Other commonly spotted species include: leopard, lion, cheetah, caracal, serval, African wildcat, and a variety of prolific birdlife.
Days 3 - 5
Situated in the heart of Tanzania, the Central Serengeti encompasses the world-famous Seronera Valley which is known for its prime wildlife-viewing opportunities. This picture-perfect landscape is characterised by endless stretches of savannah-covered open plains interspersed by rocky outcrops of granite and scattered with acacia woodlands and covered in a network of rivers and streams. The Central Serengeti forms part of the great wildebeest and zebra migration and provides an ideal habitat for a variety of wildlife such as giraffe, impala, waterbuck, hippo, elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard, hyena, jackal, serval and much more. Popular activities include: game viewing, cultural tours, horse riding safaris, and hot air ballooning over the spectacularly scenic terrain.
Lake Victoria, Tanzania
Days 5 - 6
The massive 6.5 million-hectare Lake Victoria is three times the size of Wales and is shared by Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Known as one of Africa’s ‘Great Lakes', it is world-renowned as the source of the Nile and is Africa’s largest lake. Its waters are rich in fish life with shimmering shoals of colourful cichlids and large Nile Perch, sought after by fishermen. The lake boasts an impressive 3440 kilometre stretch of shoreline and is dotted with over 3000 inhabited islets. Visitors can look forward to a variety of activities including excellent fishing; wildlife viewing; and boating, among others. Make sure to visit Ukerewe, the lake's largest island, and enjoy the picturesque island beaches and spectacular scenery.
Resting in the magnificent Great Rift Valley and presided over by the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, Kenya is characterised by hauntingly beautiful natural landscapes of forested hills, patchwork farms, wooded savanna and vast forests brimming with an extraordinary abundance of wildlife. The nation’s diverse range of traditional African cultures is influenced by over 70 unique ethnic groups from the Maasai, Samburu, Kikuyu, and Turkana tribes to the Arabs and Indians that settled on the coast. Add to this: an exquisite tropical coastline fringed with breathtaking golden sand beaches; gorgeous coral gardens providing excellent snorkeling and diving opportunities; and a slew of lively beach resorts, and it is easy to see why so many visitors flock here from around the world to experience a truly unique African adventure in one of the world’s most pristine safari destinations.
Days 6 - 7
The Masai Mara together with Tanzania’s Serengeti form Africa’s most famous wildlife park, the Masai Mara National Reserve. The image of acacia trees dotting endless grass plains epitomises Africa for many, then add a Maasai warrior and some cattle to the picture and the conversation need go no further. The undeniable highlight of the Masai Mara National Reserve is undoubtedly the annual wildebeest migration traversing the vast plains of the Serengeti and the Masai Mara. It is known as the largest mass movement of land mammals on the planet – with more than a million animals following the rains. Large prides of lions, herds of elephants, as well as giraffes, gazelles and eland can also be spotted in the reserve. Aside from horse riding safaris and traditional vehicle safaris, hot-air ballooning over the Mara plains has become almost essential.
Masai Mara National Reserve
Days 7 - 9
One of Kenya’s undisputed natural highlights is the Masai Mara National Reserve, which sprawls across more than 1500 square kilometres of the country’s southwest. The park protects a phenomenal array of game, including elephant, lion, leopard and buffalo, as well as crocodile and hippopotamus in the Mara River. The birdlife is no less impressive, with over 450 resident bird species. However, the true highlight here is the Great Migration, recognised as one of the Seven New Wonders of the World. To survive the dry months of July to September, some 1.7 million wildebeest, migrate from the parched plains of the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. Along with much smaller numbers of antelope, buffalo and zebra, they move to the more forgiving grasslands of the Masai Mara. In their wake come predators such as lion, hyena and cheetah, for whom these giant herds are an easy source of prey.
Days 9 - 10
Nakuru is a fascinating city on the shores of western Kenya’s Lake Nakuru. The capital of Nakuru County located in the Great Rift Valley, about ten kilometres from the massive Menengai Crater. A hiking trail leads up to the rim of this ancient caldera, offering bird’s eye views over the lake and surrounds, and then plunges 400 metres down to the floor below, where visitors can walk among ancient forests. Lake Nakuru National Park, surrounding Nakuru, is home to exceptional birdlife, as well as over 50 varieties of mammals including lion, leopard, buffalo, zebra, giraffe, rhino, antelope and various primates. History and culture enthusiasts should make sure to visit the incredible Hyrax Hill prehistoric site.
Days 10 - 11
Situated along the Nairobi River in beautiful Kenya, the capital of Nairobi is East Africa's most cosmopolitan city. It serves as an excellent starting point for African safari trips around Kenya. Nairobi is Africa’s 4th largest city and is a vibrant and exciting place to be. There are some fascinating attractions: its cafe culture, unbridled nightlife, the National Museum, the Karen Blixen Museum and most notably, just 20 minutes from the city centre, wild lions and buffalo roam in the world’s only urban game reserve. Make sure you pay a visit to the elephant orphanage operated by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust for a once in a lifetime experience.
Amboseli National Park
Days 11 - 12
Located in the southern reaches of Kenya, the Amboseli National Park is renowned for its excellent variety of wildlife such as Maasai giraffe, elephant, lion and cheetah and not surprisingly it is one of Kenya's most popular parks. The landscape of Amboseli is dominated by the majestic snowcap of Mount Kilimanjaro, as well as open plains, acacia woodland, swamps and the massif of Ol Doinyo Orok. The birding is excellent, especially closer to the lakes and swamps. The park is famous for being the best place in Africa to get close to large herds of elephants among other wildlife species. Other attractions include opportunities to meet the Maasai people and soak up spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest free-standing mountain in the world.