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With abundant wildlife, unique natural landmarks, sprawling beaches and a rich tribal culture, Tanzania does not let up for a moment. Its northern circuit hosts several world-class wildlife reserves, including the famous Serengeti and Ngorongoro, while to the south of the country are under-the-radar gems like Ruaha and Selous. The secluded, sunny stretches of Zanzibar and Mafia Island are haven for beach lovers. And anyone on a trip to Tanzania is bound to fall in love with the Maasai people. 

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How much time should I spend in Tanzania?

A short stay in Tanzania can last less than a week and revolve around a handful of national parks in the country’s northers circuit. Almost all itineraries include Serengeti and Ngorongoro, while a few add Lake Manyara to the mix. More comprehensive tours that last a week or slightly more often include at least one beach destination, Zanzibar being the most popular.

However, to truly get under the skin of the country, we recommend that you go for a trip that is at least ten days long and incorporate destinations like Selous to your itinerary along with the African Great Lakes, which includes Lake Victoria, the second largest fresh-water lake in the world. Around the lakes live members of different ethnic groups, including the Maasai. Alternatively, you can cut down on chasing wildlife and climb Mount Kilimanjaro instead. If scrambling up a cliff is not your forte, go for a hiking trip in the nearby Mount Meru instead.

Giraffe peeking with Mount Kilimanjaro in the back
Giraffe peeking through treetops with Mount Kilimanjaro in the back.

Tick the Big Five off your bucket list during a one-week Tanzania tour and combine wildlife reserves along Tanzania’s northern circuit with a beach destination during your stay. Enjoy game drives in the sprawling savanna of Serengeti and drive down to Ngorongoro’s crater floor for an ultimate safari experience. Lake Manyara is a great destination for birdwatching while those interested in human evolution can head out to the Olduvai Gorge. Spend the final few moments of your trip relaxing on Zanzibar’s sun-soaked beaches or opt for one on the mainland, like Pangani. Figure out all that you can do in Tanzania with our one-week trips in Tanzania.

For more trip ideas, go through our recommended itineraries in 7 days in Tanzania guide. Browse through our 7-day Tanzania tours and trips to book one directly.

Wildebeest Migration involves crossing rivers
A herd of Wildbeest cross the Mara river to reach Kenya from Tanzania, Africa.
November to February is a summer season in Tanzania
A luxury beachfront resort with palms trees in Zanzibar.

Short trips to Tanzania last around a week or less than that, but a ten-day tour is ideal for relaxed traveling. Explore the busy markets of Dar es Salaam and head out to the nearby Pugu Hills for some birdwatching. Hikers will find themselves at home amid the soaring cliffs and verdant greenery of the Udzungwa Mountains, while travelers with the Big Five on their bucket list can head for Serengeti and Ngorongoro. Alternatively, slog up the icy cliffs of Kilimanjaro to reach the top of Africa’s tallest mountain. With ten days to spare, you can even combine mountaineering with a safari trip in the savanna. Hamlets abound Tanzania’s lake region for those wishing to experience authentic Maasai culture, while islands off the country’s coast — Zanzibar and Mafia being the most popular — offer secluded beaches and a refreshing dip after a busy schedule. 

Check out our 10 days in Tanzania article for travel ideas. If you want a packaged trip, browse through our list of 10-day Tanzania itineraries.

African lion in a Tanzania national park
A safari in Tanzania almost guarantees viewing of the African lion.

A two-week trip to Tanzania allows for a more comprehensive experience of the country and its culture. Cover nature reserves along both its northern and southern circuits or focus on an in-depth exploration of a few national parks, during your 14 days in Tanzania. Combine your wildlife safari trip with a hike through the foothills of Mount Meru. Then set sail in Lake Victoria and cycle through the towns and villages of Ukerewe Island. Alternatively, rub the well-worn destinations off your list to follow in the footsteps of legendary primatologist Jane Goodall in Gombe National Park. For a well-rounded adventure, add Katavi and Mahale to your itinerary and go on a dhow ride in Lake Tanganyika. Snorkel in the lake’s shallow lagoons and discover the vibrant, underwater world of over 250 cichlid species.

Browse through our pick of 14-day Tanzania tours for more details. You can also check out some other trip ideas in our 2 weeks in Tanzania guide.

Planning a trip to Tanzania?

If the above suggestions have inspired you to plan your very own Tanzania itinerary, feel free to reach out to our travel experts in Tanzania. If you’d like to book a private itinerary or join a group tour, head to our Tanzania tours page.

Published by Marie Storm, updated on September 7, 2022

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Plan a trip to TanzaniaWe offer different tour types. You can also chat with a local travel specialist if you want a customized tour to Tanzania.
  • Philemon Joel
    Philemon JoelTravel Expert in Tanzania
  • Thea Gillingham
    Thea GillinghamTravel Expert in Kenya & Tanzania
  • Leonie Taylor
    Leonie TaylorTravel Expert in Kenya & Tanzania
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