What images does the term "safari" conjure in your mind? Maybe it's a lioness stalking her prey amid an endless grassland under wide open skies. Maybe it's sipping a sundowner and watching a giraffe nibble on an acacia umbrella tree silhouetted against the horizon with the African sun slipping away. Maybe it's visiting a Maasai village to listen and learn about what it takes to become a warrior. No matter what images "safari" invokes in your mind, you are imagining Tanzania! Every time that I return to this jewel of an East African country, I'm astounded by the quality and variety of wildlife and cultural encounters that are possible. Tanzania is the quintessential safari destination and here are 3 reasons why:
The Great Migration – You won't find another place in Africa (or the world) where 2 million wildebeests and zebras trace out an ancient 2,000-mile circuit in the greater Serengeti-Maasai Mara ecosystem. It's simply unreal to see so many animals, literally horizon to horizon in some places! Action abounds in August and September when these herds cross the Mara river, with crocodiles nipping at their heels! The Great Migration can be amazing to behold during either of Tanzania's two dry seasons: December to late February and June through October.
There are lots of places in Africa to have amazing wildlife encounters but Tanzania also allows for some truly exceptional cross-cultural encounters with indigenous tribal populations. One day you might be hunting with the Hadzabe Bushmen and the next day shooting photos of lions, rhinos, leopards, hyenas, and elephants. Other encounters may be beading with the Maasai or learning to make a Wa Iraqw hand drum. We seek out unscripted, genuine interactions that allow guests to come away transformed by their experience.
National parks offer something for everyone. For the first time visitor, getting into the major northern wildlife areas like Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and the Serengeti will create memories of wildlife encounters to last a lifetime. For those that come back for more, remote and exclusive areas beckon like Mahale and Katavi (see our Wild Western Tanzania Safari) or Ruaha and Pemba (see our Secret Tanzania). Budget-minded families and couples can find small group departures that offer discounts for traveling on specific dates and itineraries. More independent travelers will enjoy the flexibility and freedom to design their own itinerary so that they can explore exactly when and wherever they want. For those who enjoy the exclusivity and comfort that comes from staying in top-end luxury lodges, Tanzania offers some of the most amazing and unique options on the continent. From the Highlands at Ngorongoro to the Underwater Room at Manta Resort on Pemba Island, to beautiful new lodges like Jabali Ridge in Ruaha National Park, Tanzania has it all.
Lastly, below are two safari videos that I filmed during my last trip to Tanzania, plus win a 12-day safari for two in Tanzania!