Tanzania is an East African country known for its vast wilderness areas. They include the plains of Serengeti National Park, a safari mecca populated by the “big five” game (elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino), and Kilimanjaro National Park, home to Africa’s highest mountain. Offshore lie the tropical islands of Zanzibar, with Arabic influences, and Mafia, with a marine park home to whale sharks and coral reefs.
Tanzania has three safari circuits, and each one of them, in its own right, would make Tanzania a top wildlife destination. The popular Northern circuit with the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater offers one of the best classical safaris in Africa, especially if timed with the annual wildebeest migration.
You’ll have few problems spotting the more-prominent African animals in Tanzania, including the lion, elephant, giraffe, and buffalo. For big cats like the leopard and cheetah, you’ll want to head to the Serengeti, while Ngorongoro Crater is where you want to be for a chance of seeing a black rhino. Other wildlife highlights include chimpanzee tracking, checking out African wild dogs, and being awestruck by the several million wildebeest, gazelle, and zebra on their annual migration.
Weather & Climate
In equatorial Tanzania, the humidity lessens noticeably the further away from the coast you get. Heat is a mainstay of the country everywhere except for the central region, where things cool quickly once the sun goes down. The Dry season (June to October) sees the temperature vary between 20°C/68°F and 30°C/86°F. It’s useful to remember, the higher the altitude, the cooler it will be. The Wet season (November to May) kicks off with showers (the ‘short rains’), followed by a drier interlude and then heavy downfalls (the ‘long rains’) from March.
Best Time to Visit
To see the incredible spectacle of the great migration, you need to visit during the Dry season (June to October). Wildlife watching across the country is also at a premium at this time. There’s far less rainfall and therefore bush to impede your view, and not so many mosquitoes to bug you. That said, the northern-circuit parks still have productive game drives in the Wet season (November to May). And January and February is the time when wildebeest calving in the Serengeti attracts lots of predators.