Tanzania Safari – The Three Must See Spots on a Tanzania Safari
Planning an African safari is a big endeavor as this trip is often a bucket-list for many people. With so many places to see and limited time, knowing where to go is critical to maximize your time and chances of seeing all the animals. These are the must see spots on a Tanzania safari. For a more detailed itinerary to follow, head to my post – African Safari – The Bucket List Tanzania Safari Itinerary.
Serengeti National Park is the crown jewel of safari locations and my number one of must see spots on a Tanzania safari . It is massive – almost 6,000 square miles – and is most known for the continuous Great Migration of zebras and wildebeest. Because of this, your chances of seeing the other animals on your safari greatly increase. Lions, cheetah, leopards, giraffes, elephants, and rhinos all call Serengeti National Park home. Timing your trip to the Serengeti is important because the Great Migration impacts where in the park the animals will be at one time. For more information on Serengeti National Park and planning a few days there check-out my article – The Ultimate Guide to a Safari in Serengeti National Park.
Tarangire National Park is located about two hours outside of Arusha, Tanzania. Arusha (near Kilimanjaro) is the base of operations for many safari adventures. Tarangire is famous for the high number of elephants that roam the park as well as the unique baobab trees. While not located within the Great Migration route, zebras, wildebeest, gazelle, and impala all make their home within the park. Also roaming in Tarangire are lion, cheetahs, leopard, and hyena. The baobab trees are reason enough to visit Tarangire as they truly are unique. For those not wanting to make the trek to the Serengeti or who want to increase their chances of seeing elephants and big cats, Tarangire National Park provides a unique landscape worth visiting when on a safari in Tanzania.
Ngorongoro National Conservation Area is another one of the must see spots on a Tanzania safari as it includes the famous Ngorongoro Crater – the largest inactive (and intact) dormant volcanic caldera. From the rim of the crater you can see how vast a space the crater is – nearly 12 miles across and walls approximately 900ft high. The flat plain in the middle provides a fertile ground for animals to roam. So not only is the Ngorongoro Crater a beautiful landscape to view, but it is also a great place to safari because it is home to the “Big 5” – Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Elephant, and Buffalo. Also, the Great Migration goes though the Ngornogoro Crater from December to March – depending on the rains – so if you plan your trip right, you might truly see quite a sight in the crater!
Seeing all three of these locations can easily fill an entire safari trip. However, there are other safari and cultural spots that are worth ensuring you see on your Tanzania safari.
Lake Manyara – Lake Manyara National Park is located approximately 1.5 hours from Arusha and is one of the largest lakes in Tanzania. It is home to large bird populations, especially flamingos. In addition to being home to wildebeest, zebra and gazelle, Lake Manyara is known for its tree climbing lions.
Lake Eyasi and Tribe Visits – Lake Eyasi is a shallow salt-water lake right at the edge of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. While not home to many of the safari animals, it is a unique landscape worth viewing in its own right. One of the benefits of a stop-over at Lake Eyasi is that you can visit with local tribes. The Datoga are blacksmiths and herders. A visit to the Datoga will open your eyes to not only how arrow and spear tips are made, but also exceptionally beautiful jewelry. Additionally, the Hadzabe nomadic tribe can be found near Lake Eyasi. The Hadzabe tribe are still able to hunt and if you coordinate your visit with your guide, they will take you as they hunt early morning for baboon and other animals.
I recommend the team at Shadows of Africa for helping to plan your safari as they will create a custom itinerary that meets your needs! For more information on planning your African safari, head to my blog post on What to Pack for your African Safari.