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Planning a safari in Tanzania? This Tanzania Safari Guide should come in handy for you. Below we're listing some of the top national safari parks available in Tanzania. For each national park, we're giving you access to a 'Safari Guide', the top 'Things to do, and some Accommodation advice. We hope that our safari guide will give you a great overview of the top safari adventures that await you while you visit Tanzania

Book this tour if you want an excellent Kilimanjaro experience
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1. Serengeti National Park

Wildebeest Migration in the Serengeti plains
The great migration in the Serengeti National Park

The world’s most celebrated wildlife destination: it is difficult to look beyond the vast expanses of the Serengeti when it comes to wildlife adventures in the heart of Africa. One of the oldest parks in the country, this UNESCO World Heritage Site hosts boasts of having the most spectacular collection of wildlife on the planet.

One of the last ‘great’ migratory systems

Serengeti is most famous for its Great Migration phenomenon, and its abundant wildlife and bird-watching opportunities are a big reason why 90000 people make their way to the park each year.

        Safari Guide                      Things to Do                      Accommodation                      

2. Ngorongoro Crater

A close view of Wildebeest at Ngorongoro crater
Herds of wildebeests walking in Ngorongoro

Home to the densest populations of lions in the world. An extinct volcanic caldera in Tanzania. You’ve probably heard of the Ngorongoro Crater, considered to be one of the most beautiful and jaw-dropping natural wonders on the planet.

The best place to see the Big Five

Ngorongoro is a must-do in any Northern Safari, and its wildlife viewing experiences are second to none. With guaranteed sightings and mesmerizing locales, you’re sure to fall in love with this ancient beauty.

       Safari Guide                      Things to Do                      Accommodation                     

3. Kilimanjaro National Park

Kilimanjaro National Park
Kilimanjaro National Park

Towering over the entire continent, the snowy peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro offer some of the most magnificent views in the entire world. This isolated, volcanic mountain stands at the center of a massive national park- one you will have much difficulty leaving behind.

Stand on top of the roof of Africa

Hike up the desert lands, and reward yourself with stunning views of crater lakes, and the lofty Mount Kibo. Maybe your journey up the tallest free-standing structure in the world will help you solve the mystery that shrouds the place- does its name mean ‘Mountain of Greatness’ or ‘Mountain of Light’?

Channel the inner explorer in you. Book a tour to Mount Kilimanjaro today!

                  Safari Guide                                    Things to Do                                    

4. Lake Manyara National Park

Birds at Lake Manyara National Park
Birds at Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara oft gets ignored in safari itineraries due to its smaller size- but we think this is a detour you should definitely make. On one side is the wide, sloping escarpment of the Rift Valley, and on the other side is the alkaline Lake Manyara- a view to behold, with the turquoise blue waters clashing so beautifully with the magnificent pink of the flamingos.

Well worth the detour

The views in Lake Manyara, with the lake, and the cavalcade of animals, are unique, and well worth the detour! Book a tour to this soda lake today and let the otherworldly landscape blow your mind.

       Safari Guide                      Things to Do                      Accommodation                    

5. Tarangire National Park

The Tarangire giant Baobab tree
Zebras, Imapala, Baobab tree at the Tarangire National Park

The massive Tarangire National Park lies a little away from the main circuit, leaving large swathes of the park virtually untouched my tourist presence. Experience Tanzania in a way few others would- through parades of elephants, thrilling night safaris, and treetop abodes to welcome you home for the night!

Take the road less travelled

Follow the flow of the majestic Tarangire River, that flows against the backdrop of otherworldly baobab trees, down to the Kolo Rocks, to spot the art-work made by our ancestor’s hands tens of thousands of years ago.

This is the journey that will mark your transformation from a tourist to a traveler.

6. Arusha National Park

Moss covered trees at Arusha National Park
Moss-covered trees at Arusha National Park

Wander alongside majestic creatures, in the shadow of the domineering Mt Meru, a volcanic cone with an almost perfect crater, that offers adventurous trekking possibilities to those who are adventurous enough for the same. Arusha is a good introduction to Tanzania- especially for beginners who want to get a feel of the adventure that awaits them across the country.

Welcome to the home of the giraffes

Frolic with the giraffes (Arusha’s home to the world’s largest population of these animals), before heading up to the peak of Mt Meru. Take a canoe through the Momella Lakes, and pay a visit to the Ngorongoro’s younger sibling- the Ngurdoto Crater.

Check out our Arusha tours and plan the most adventurous day of your life here.

7. Selous Game Reserve

Elephant in Selous Game Reserve
Elephant in Selous Game Reserve

Spreading over 45,000 square km, covering an area twice the size of the Serengeti, the Selous Game Reserve is an almost holy destination for big game fans. This unique game reserve benefits from its location- surrounded by Tanzania’s biggest river Rufiji, that splits the area into grasslands, swamps, lakes, and more.

Africa’s biggest game reserve

If you’re not a fan of hunting animals, you can still shoot them- with your camera! The northern portion of the reserve is dedicated only to photographic safaris, so don’t be surprised if you see landscapes that have inspired internationally famous photographs while you’re here.

8. Kitulo National Park

The Kitulo National Park is rather unique an attraction- it’s one of the very few parks in the Africa that has gained its popularity due to its abundance of floral blooms. Lying in the shadows of the rugged Kipengere Poroto and Livingstone Mountains, this volcanic valley is covered in a plethora of stunning orchids, daisies, lilies, geraniums and more.

A flower laden oasis

The entire valley is carpeted in over a million colours, offering a view that is pretty rare within the continent. Kitulo is located at 2600m, making it an ideal destination for hikers- especially those who want to go off the beaten path.

Step into a magical land with our Kitulo tours today.

9. Mikumi National Park

Various animals grazing in the grassland of Mikumi National Park
Giraffe and Zebra grazing in the grassland of Mikumi National Park

If you’re traveling to Tanzania without much time in hand, and want a guarantee of spotting wildlife and the grassy plains the country is so popular for, head down to the Mikumi National Park. It is the most accessible park from Dar es Salaam, and offers stunning plains lying in the middle of the Rubeho, Lumango, and Uluguru Mountains.

The ideal safari destination for go-getters

Mikumi National Park is famous for short safaris which are ideal for those without too much time, and it also has plenty of simple camps with luxurious tents for you to kick back and relax in. Explore nature, in leisure.

10. Ruaha National Park

Ruaha National Park
A male Cheetah hunting in the Ruaha National Park

Ruaha National Park is a rather isolated destination, offering stunning landscapes and wildlife viewing for those who have escaped the crowds to this solitary location.

Did you know?

Ruaha is actually Tanzania’s largest national park! Named after the Great Ruaha River that flows through the park, the park covers an area of over 150,000 square km.

Disconnect from the rest of the world

As a reward for reaching this isolated location, you get stunning views of the abundant baobabs, and plenty of big cats (Ruaha is home to 10% of the world’s lions.

Looking to reconnect with nature, far away from the madding crowds? Here are some of the best Ruaha safaris to choose from.

11. Udzungwa Mountains National Park

The Udzungwa Mountains look like they’re straight out of a fantasy movie- with mountain ranges surrounding the park on all sides, and waterfalls that fall from hundreds of feet above. The landscapes of this park are extremely unique- half rainforest, and half savannah. Get the best of both worlds!

Visit the ‘Galapagos’ of Africa

Take a safari through the rainforests, before emerging into the savannah for some wildlife spotting. Wonder at the beauty of the mountains, that are over 100 million years ago, and the endemic species that have called this their home for millions of years, untouched by the happenings outside.

A visit to Udzungwa will definitely change your view of life! 

12. Saadani National Park

Saadani National Park is extremely unique due to its position- this grassland offers the traditional Tanzanian views and wildlife spotting, but it also lies right on the Indian Ocean! This combination of white sand beaches, mangroves, forests, and safaris is what drives tourists to this beautifully diverse national park, and rightfully so.

Bush meets the beach

Enjoy a wildlife safari along white sand beaches. Idle along the Indian Ocean, and eat fresh and delicious Swahili seafood. Beware though- there is a chance an elephant might stroll into your beach for a quick bath!

13. Katavi National Park

Katavi National Park
Katavi National Park

Be a part of the legend. It’s said that Katavi National Park is named after Katabi, a legendary huntsman, whose spirit is believed to rest in a tamarind tree (if you’re feeling adventurous- you should definitely seek it out)!

Run wild with the buffalos

Katavi is home to the world’s largest herd of buffalos, who live unscathed in one of Tanzania’s rather untouched national parks. Explore the relatively untarnished landscapes of Katavi: however, be aware that getting to this location itself can be rather tricky. But once you do get here, rolling fields of golden grass, densely populated by wildlife await you.

Escape the crowds with these Katavi National Park safaris.

14. Mahale Mountains National Park

Chimpanzees in the Mahale Mountains National Park
Chimpanzees family in the Mahale Mountains National Park

Lying in the extreme west of Tanzania lies a national park that is quite unknown. Mahale Mountains National Park is definitely off the beaten path- it is very remote, and quite tricky to access. But often, as it happens with remote places- it is also a magical destination.

One of most remote corners of Tanzania

This untouched beauty lies on shores of the Lake Tanganyikan, surrounded by white sand beaches, and the towering peak of Mount Nkungwe peaking from behind the clouds. This remote place gives you plenty of chances for close-up encounters with chimps, and with your own self.

15. Rubondo Island National Park

Nested on the shores of Lake Victoria, Rubondo is an island national park. This area is almost untouched by tourists, and is a must-visit destination for conservationists and wildlife enthusiasts who want to explore wildlife that is almost untouched by human impact.

Safari across an island paradise

Picture this. You fly into Rubondo National Park, in a small plane. You get sweeping views of the lush green mountains that cover 80% of the park’s surface. Amidst the mountains lies one of Africa’s largest lakes, on the shores of which you can spot plenty of animals, relaxing, taking a drink of water.

Step into Rubondo, and transport yourself to another era entirely!

16. Saanane Island National Park

Saanane Island is one of Tanzania’s newest national parks, and has the unique position of being a national park located within a city! What’s so unique here? The landscape is dynamic and spellbinding. Located on the banks of Lake Victoria, this national park covers three beautiful islets. Enjoy safaris through the densely populated wildlife zones, or relax on the lakeside with a drink, and your favourite book!

Enjoy the urban sprawl within a national park

The local fisheries are quite popular as well, so if you’re a fan of seafood, this is definitely the right destination for you.

Published by Rasmus Juul Olsen, updated on October 18, 2023

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