What is the great migration, when and where to see it

The Great Migration is rightfully one of Tanzania's most celebrated natural phenomena. It is an event of gargantuan proportions, an annual journey comprising almost two million wildebeest, zebras, and other mammals from Tanzania's Serengeti to the greener pastures of Kenya's Maasai Mara. This astounding event is a magnificent testament to the wonders of the natural world.

What is the Great Migration?

To answer, "What is the Great Migration?", you first have to envision the following: around 1.5 million wildebeest, 200,000 zebras, and a host of other herbivorous animals traversing approximately 800 kilometers across vast plains, rocky terrains, and mighty rivers, all in pursuit of fertile grazing lands. The migration, composed predominantly of wildebeest, is a cyclical event dictated by the seasonal availability of grazing pastures.

Although termed the "Great Migration", this remarkable journey is less about moving and more about survival. A fascinating aspect of this event is that it doesn’t follow a linear route. Instead, the herds move in a circular pattern, tracking the rainfall and hence the growth of nutritious grass they need for their survival.

The herds' constant search for food and water forces them to journey through different ecosystems, ranging from the grassy plains of the south to the river-laden landscapes of the north. This captivating cycle has been ongoing for centuries and remains a vital part of the Tanzanian and Kenyan ecosystems.

When Does the Great Migration Happen?

One might ask, "When does the Great Migration occur?" Contrary to popular belief, the Great Migration happens year-round. However, there are certain significant phases that are often grouped into events or spectacles within the migration:

  • Calving season – January to March: The southernmost plains of the Serengeti become the stage for the wildebeest calving season, where nearly half a million newborn wildebeest find their footing in the world.
  • Grumeti River crossing – May to June: As the dry season begins, the herds move towards fresher grazing areas. The biggest hurdle here is the crossing of the Grumeti River, renowned for its large Nile crocodiles.
  • Mara River crossing – July to September: The migrating herds move northwards, leading to the legendary crossing of the Mara River, a spectacle that's highly sought after by wildlife enthusiasts.
  • Return journey – October to December: With the onset of the rainy season, the herds begin their journey southwards, marking the return part of their circular migration.

Where Does the Great Migration Happen?

Starting from Tanzania's Ngorongoro Conservation Area in the south, the herds move north through the Serengeti towards Kenya's Maasai Mara reserve.

Throughout the year, the Great Migration can be observed in different locations across Tanzania. These locations are dependent on rainfall patterns and the availability of fresh grazing lands. Some of the best places to experience the migration across different months include:

  • Southern Serengeti (January - March): The calving season takes place in the southern part of Tanzania's Serengeti, near the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Thousands of newborn wildebeest calves join the herds during this time.
  • Western Serengeti (April - May): The herds begin to migrate west and north to the grassier plains and woodlands of the Serengeti's Western Corridor. Numerous lodges and tented camps in the area offer prime viewing opportunities.
  • Central Serengeti (May - July): As the herds move further north towards the Mara River, they pass through the central regions of the Serengeti. This area is known for its abundant wildlife and spectacular sightings.
  • Northern Serengeti (July - October): The Great Migration's most iconic spectacle, the Mara River crossing, takes place in the northern part of the Serengeti. This perilous crossing is an unforgettable experience for wildlife enthusiasts.

Conclusions

The Great Migration in Tanzania is a breathtaking spectacle, a testament to the raw, unforgiving, yet deeply compelling aspects of nature. The grounds of the Serengeti and Maasai Mara are indeed arenas of survival, theatres of life in its most primal form.

Witnessing this timeless journey is like watching a live natural documentary, except there are no voice-overs, only the dominant soundtrack of pounding hooves against the earth. The allure of the Great Migration spans across ages and continents, beckoning wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers from all around the globe, truly making it Tanzania's greatest spectacle.

To sum up, the Great Migration serves as a gentle reminder of our intrinsic duties as custodians of this planet. In an increasingly industrialized world, events such as these should inspire us to safeguard these invaluable experiences for future generations to admire and learn from.

5 amazing National Parks to visit during your first safari experience in Tanzania

Tanzania - the name alone conjures images of wandering elephants casting long shadows under a setting sun, of proud Maasai warriors clothed in red against an emerald backdrop, of the brilliantly colored birdlife that flitters amongst the Acacia trees, and the relentless drama of predator versus prey played out upon the vast, untamed stage of the Serengeti.

Blessed with a biodiversity that's hard to match, Tanzania holds within its boundaries some of the world's most renowned national parks. These are places where nature asserts its raw power and beauty, where you can see wildlife as it has lived for millennia and where you become part of a magnificent, ancient cycle that recalls a time when humans were merely bystanders in the vast eco-play of the earth.

In this blog post, we will guide you through the top 5 national parks in Tanzania that will provide you with the best possible experience of Africa's stunning landscapes and wildlife. Whether it is the colossal herds of wild beasts during the annual Great Migration in the Serengeti, the flocks of flamingos turning Lake Manyara pink, or the seasonal waterfalls spilling over ancient rocks in Tarangire, each park offers unique spectacles

that will leave lifelong imprints on your memory.

So prepare yourself for an adventure that tears off the veil of the mundane world and immerses you in the heart of the wild – welcome to Tanzania, Africa's unrivaled wildlife paradise.

Serengeti National Park

For those seeking an unparalleled wildlife experience, look no further than Tanzania's iconic Serengeti National Park. Stretching over 14,763 square kilometers of vast savannah plains, dotted with acacia trees and punctuated with kopjes – ancient rocky outcrops that provide a home for many a predator.

The Serengeti is legendary for its wealth of wildlife and biodiversity. It's home to an impressive array of fauna, including the 'Big Five' - lions, elephants, buffaloes, leopards, and rhinoceros. In addition, it provides shelter for a myriad of other animals, such as cheetahs, zebras, giraffes, and various species of gazelles. Its flora, dominated by expansive grasslands and scattered acacias, is equally captivating and adapts astoundingly to the region's climate changes.

When it comes to the best time to visit, the Serengeti offers an awe-inspiring experience year-round. However, the period from late June to October, during the dry season, is regarded as the optimal time for wildlife viewing and is when you can witness one of nature's most incredible spectacles - the Great Migration. This is when approximately 1.5 million wildebeest, 200,000 zebras, and 300,000 Thomson's gazelles join a mass exodus in search of fresh grazing. Predators follow the migration, making for some particularly thrilling wildlife spotting.

Nevertheless, the Serengeti's allure is not confined solely to the dry season. January to February is equally a fantastic time to visit as this is calving season when hundreds of thousands of wildebeest babies are born, attracting predators for some of the best nature-action encounters.

Step into the timeless spectacle that the Serengeti offers and lose yourself in a landscape where wildlife roams across endless plains, and under a sky that sweeps above in an unbroken blue dome. The pure scope and ancient rhythms make a safari in the Serengeti an experience like no other.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) in northern Tanzania is a breathtaking natural wonder, spanning extensive savannahs, highland plains, woodlands, and forests[3%5E]. NCA encompasses the world-famous Ngorongoro Crater, Ndutu area, and the less traveled but equally stunning Empakaai Crater.

The Ngorongoro Crater, the world's largest inactive volcanic caldera, is the centerpiece of the NCA. It's often referred to as Africa's 'Garden of Eden' for its year-round water supply and lush greenery, attracting a vast array of animals.

Situated in the southeastern plains of the NCA, the Ndutu area becomes a thriving hotspot for wildlife during the calving season of the Great Wildebeest Migration, when wildebeest and zebra herds assemble to give birth. Whereas Empakaai Crater, renowned for its deep soda lake and oft-sighted flocks of flamingos, provides a contrasting, tranquil trekking experience.

NCA boasts an astounding variety of fauna, including the densest population of large mammals globally, such as lions, black rhinos, buffalos, hippos, and elephants. It is also famous for the massive wildebeest and zebra herds that participate in the awe-inspiring annual Great Wildebeest Migration.

In terms of flora, the area is predominantly grassland and bushland which gradually transforms into woodland and, in the higher altitudes, into dense montane forest. This varied vegetation is adapted to each region's specific climate conditions and is an ideal habitat for the area's species-rich fauna.

The NCA offers stellar game viewing all year round. However, the dry season from late June to October is among the best times to witness large numbers of wildlife congregating around water sources4. Meanwhile, the calving season of the Great Migration, usually around late January to February, offers incredible sights in the Ndutu region.

Immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of the NCA experience, where wildlife, culture, and striking landscapes interweave in a spectacle like no other.

Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park, the sixth-largest national park in Tanzania, is renowned for its stunning scenery and diverse wildlife. Nestled within an expansive landscape of hilly ridges and rolling plains, the park draws its name from the Tarangire River - the lifeblood of the park, around which wildlife congregates in the dry season.

When it comes to flora, Tarangire National Park can be characterized as a mix of Acacia woodland, Combretum Savannah, seasonally flooded grassland, and Baobab trees. These Baobab trees, some of which are over 1000 years old, are an iconic part of the park's landscape and offer a scenic backdrop for wildlife viewing.

The park is home to a diverse array of fauna. Notably, it boasts the largest concentration of elephants in the country and is also known for its three rare species of animals - the Greater Kudu, the Fringed-eared Oryx, and a few Ashy Starlings.

The best time for wildlife viewing in Tarangire National Park is during the dry season, which spans from late June to October. During this period, most animals migrate towards the Tarangire River, the only source of water when the seasonal ponds and lagoons dry up.

Interestingly, Tarangire National Park witnesses its own migration. While it's part of the extended ecosystem of Serengeti, it experiences a separate, less-known migration. Herds of wildebeest and zebras, along with elephants, elands, and oryx, move into the park during the dry season, transforming it into a bustling animal kingdom.

Overall, Tarangire National Park offers its visitors a relatively quieter yet vibrant safari experience, laden with spectacular views, diverse wildlife, and a unique, dry-season migration spectacle.

Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara National Park is a true gem, showcasing a diverse range of habitats and wildlife within its relatively compact area of 330 square kilometers. Situated at the base of the Rift Valley escarpment in northern Tanzania, the park is most famous for its eponymous lake and lush, groundwater forests, which provide an enchanting backdrop for a stunning array of flora and fauna.

When it comes to flora, Lake Manyara National Park is home to an ecological tapestry of groundwater forests, acacia woodlands, swampy marshlands, and grassy plains. This distinct vegetation not only creates a captivating landscape but also supports a diverse array of wildlife species.

Lake Manyara's fauna comprises an impressive variety of animals, with more than 400 species of birds, including notable flocks of flamingos and migratory birds during the summer months. The park is inhabited by elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, hippos, various primates, and the famous tree-climbing lions, which are a prime attraction.

The best time to visit Lake Manyara National Park is during the summer months, from November to April. This period offers opportunities to witness migratory birds like flamingos, as well as wildebeest and zebra grazing near the lake. However, keep in mind that the summer season can also be very rainy, with cooler evenings.

Lose yourself in the enchanting world that Lake Manyara National Park has to offer, where diverse habitats converge to form a beautiful microcosm of Tanzania's natural wonders.

Selous Game Reserve

Selous Game Reserve, or Nyerere National Park as it's also known, is the largest national park in Tanzania and one of the world's most significant wildlife sanctuaries. The reserve is part of the African Great Lakes region and is teeming with an extraordinary array of flora and fauna.

The reserve is a fusion of various types of vegetation, from open grasslands and dense thickets to deciduous Miombo woodlands. This diverse vegetation not only contributes to the striking natural beauty of the reserve but also creates a conducive habitat for numerous wild species.

In terms of fauna, Selous Game Reserve plays host to some of the highest densities of animals in the world. Its rich wildlife includes elephants, black rhinos, buffaloes, giraffes, African wild dogs, hippos, crocodiles, and a plethora of bird species.

The best time to visit the Selous Game Reserve is during the dry season, from June to October. During this period, animals tend to cluster around the dwindling waterholes, making wildlife spotting easier. Additionally, the vegetation is thinner, improving visibility for game viewing.

Whether you are an adventurer, a wildlife enthusiast, or simply a nature lover, Selous Game Reserve offers an immersive safari experience. Its extensive size, splendid biodiversity, and awe-inspiring landscapes further reinforce its status as a top-tier destination for an unforgettable African safari adventure.

Experience the wild: Planning Your ultimate Safari in Tanzania

Embarking on a safari is the heart of every Tanzanian adventure. With its diverse landscapes serving as a backdrop to some of the world's most unique wildlife, Tanzania presents an unmatched savannah spectacle, making it an ultimate safari destination.

From witnessing the legendary Great Migration in the Serengeti, catching glimpses of tree-climbing lions in Lake Manyara National Park to following the elephants' trail in Tarangire National Park, there's a wealth of wildlife discoveries waiting for you in Tanzania.

As you venture deeper into Tanzania's wilderness, ensure to pay a visit to the Ngorongoro Crater, a natural wildlife haven renowned for its dense animal population. For a touch of tropical paradise, the islands of Zanzibar or Mafia offer a unique blend of beach and marine safari.

Planning a safari can seem like a gigantic task, but with the right advice and guidance, it becomes an exciting countdown to an unforgettable adventure. If Tanzania, with its abundant wildlife and diverse landscapes, is on your list, then you've made an incredible choice!

In this guide, you'll discover expert tips to plan your dream safari in Tanzania, from identifying the best time to visit, to understanding the various safari activities available. Additionally, we will uncover some of the most enchanting destinations that Tanzania has to offer, each offering a unique window into the stunning biodiversity of this magical country.

Pack your binoculars and let's embark on a virtual journey to the wild heart of Africa, where every day brings a new spectacle of Mother Nature's grandeur. Read on and ignite your wanderlust for an unforgettable Tanzanian safari!

Design your own safari advenure

Renowned as one of the world's most thrilling wildlife destinations, Tanzania not only offers the thrill of viewing a variety of wildlife but also the flexibility to design your own safari adventure. Whether you are an adventure enthusiast or nature lover, there are a plethora of experiences to pick from to create a personalised Tanzanian safari.

Begin by selecting the region you wish to explore. Tanzania’s National Parks can be broadly categorized into the northern and southern circuits.

The northern circuit is a classic choice, featuring celebrated destinations such as Serengeti National Park, known for the Great Wildebeest Migration, and Ngorongoro Crater, an exceptional wildlife viewing spot. If you wish to add a touch of adventure, Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, offers numerous trekking routes.

On the other hand, the southern circuit offers a quieter, less travelled, and more intimate wildlife experience. Parks like Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National park are adored for their vast wilderness and exclusive lodges.

After selecting your region, tailor your safari with a range of activities that provide different perspectives to the Tanzanian wilderness.

For a high-altitude view, opt for a breathtaking hot air balloon ride over the Serengeti. Walking safaris offer a deeper, connective experience with nature. In contrast, boat safaris on Lake Manyara or Rufiji River provide unique opportunities to observe aquatic birds and animals.

Amidst these adventures, don’t miss visiting local Maasai villages. The interactions open doors to an enriching cultural exchange, allowing you to view Tanzania through a different lens.

Thus, creating your own safari adventure in Tanzania is not only about choosing your destinations, but it's also about handpicking experiences that complement your interests and preferences.

This flexibility, combined with Tanzania’s diverse offerings, ensures that you can create a safari that is truly yours, providing treasured memories to last a lifetime.

Set your safari budget

Embarking on a safari in Tanzania is an experience of a lifetime, one that can be tailored to suit various budget ranges. From budget-friendly camping adventures to luxurious stays in opulent lodges, Tanzania offers an array of choices to create the safari adventure that suits you best.

Safari costs in Tanzania typically start from around $350 per person per day for camping in a tent. These budget-friendly safaris, while affordable, still offer the thrill of game drives, the expertise of professional guides, and the rustic charm of camping under the African sky.

On the other end of the spectrum, you'll find premium safari experiences that can run into several thousands of dollars per person per day. Such luxury safaris boast sumptuous tented camps or lodges, offering lavish amenities like private plunge pools, gourmet dining, and butler services, often set in exclusive wildlife areas for a more intimate and luxurious experience.

Regardless of the budget, these prices are generally all-inclusive. They cover the costs of your vehicle, petrol, a professional guide, accommodations, park entry fees, and meals, thus providing a hassle-free and well-curated safari experience.

Ultimately, whether your preference leans toward a modest tented experience bathed in the magic of the African wilderness or a high-end luxury retreat nestled amidst serene landscapes, Tanzania's breadth of offerings makes it a suitable destination for every type of traveler and budget. By setting your safari budget wisely, you can ensure a fulfilling adventure that doesn’t compromise your financial comfort.

Picking the Right Time to Travel to Tanzania

When planning a trip to Tanzania, considering the country's climatic conditions and corresponding wildlife patterns can help you choose the best time for your visit.

Tanzania experiences two main seasons — the dry season and the wet season, each with its own pros and cons.

  • Dry Season (June - October): This is typically the high season in Tanzania. Thanks to the sparse vegetation and scarce water sources, wildlife tend to congregate around the few available watering holes, making game viewing easier. Another highlight is witnessing the Great Migration in the Serengeti around June and July, an event that attracts travelers from around the world. The downside is the increased tourist flow leading to overcrowded popular spots and higher prices for accommodations.
  • Wet Season (November - May): The wet season is divided into the 'short rains' (November - December) and 'long rains' (March - May). The landscape is lush and green, and there's an abundance of newborn wildlife, providing great photographic opportunities. On the other hand, the rains might restrict some activities, like certain hiking trails, and may make wildlife spotting more challenging. However, you'll find fewer tourists and better rates for safari lodges and camps.

It's important to note that Tanzania is a year-round destination, and each season offers a unique experience. For instance, birdwatchers might find the wet season ideal due to the influx of migratory species, while those planning a Mount Kilimanjaro trek might prefer the dry season's clear skies and firm ground.

Ultimately, the 'right time' to visit Tanzania depends on the preferred activities and wildlife-spotting priorities of each traveler. By understanding the country's seasons and their pros and cons, you can make an informed decision about when to book your Tanzanian adventure.

Exploring Tanzania's Majestic National Parks

In Tanzania, a land teeming with abundant wildlife and diverse landscapes, choosing the ideal park for a safari experience can be a daunting task. Numerous factors come into play when selecting the perfect destination, such as the time of year, the type of wildlife one hopes to spot, and of course, personal preferences.

Some well-known parks to consider include the Serengeti National Park, renowned for its annual Great Migration; Ngorongoro Conservation Area, boasting a rich concentration of wildlife within the volcanic Ngorongoro Crater; and Tarangire National Park, which comes alive with vast herds of elephants during the dry season.

Visitors should also keep in mind lesser-known gems such as Ruaha National Park and Selous Game Reserve, offering less crowded experiences amidst vast wilderness areas.

Ultimately, conducting thorough research and consulting with experienced tour operators can assist in crafting an unforgettable safari adventure tailored to individual interests and desires.

The Serengeti National Park

Stretching over 14,763 sq km, the Serengetti National Park is the epitome of an African safari experience. The park is world-renowned for the Great Migration, where over a million wildebeest, zebras, and gazelles traverse its plains annually in search of greener pastures. Home to an impressive array of wildlife including lions, leopards, elephants, and cheetahs, it keeps wildlife aficionados spellbound by its sheer abundance of wildlife encounters.

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Next on our list is the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for the Ngorongoro Crater, the largest unbroken and unflooded volcanic caldera in the world. This natural amphitheater hosts approximately 25,000 animals, making wildlife viewing here exceptional. From the endangered black rhino to vast herds of wildebeests and zebras, it brims with biodiversity.

The Tarangire National Park

The underrated gem, Tarangire National Park, is Africa's premier destination for elephant lovers. The park's life-giving Tarangire River attracts hundreds of elephants, in addition to zebras, buffalos, and wildebeests, especially during the dry season. Its diverse landscape of baobab and acacia trees, swamps, and grassy hills, provides a picturesque setting for animal viewing.

The Lake Manyara National Park

Although small in comparison, Lake Manyara National Park delivers a compact safari experience. Its alkaline lake lures in astounding flocks of flamingos, while the groundwater forests serve as playgrounds for troops of baboons and blue monkeys. The park's claim to fame, however, are the oddballs - the tree-climbing lions, offering a truly unique spectacle.

The Selous Game Reserve

Sprawling over a vast 50,000 sq km, the UNESCO-listed Selous Game Reserve is Africa's largest protected wildlife area. Selous maintains a wild, off-the-beaten-path charm, allowing intrepid travelers to experience a sense of pristine wilderness. Its thriving ecosystem includes the mighty Rufiji River, meandering through diverse habitats and creating a sanctuary for wildlife including lions, leopards, African wild dogs, elephants, buffalos, and more. Selous offers a unique chance to enjoy walking, boat, and fly-camping safaris, providing an up-close and intimate experience with nature.

The Ruaha National Park

Ruaha National Park, Tanzania's largest national park, is a remote and enchanting destination that rewards visitors with an exclusive safari experience. Its dramatic landscape, marked by the Great Ruaha River and numerous baobabs, is home to a remarkable concentration of predators, such as lions, hyenas, and cheetahs. It also boasts an impressive array of birdlife, making it a bird-watcher's paradise. Ruaha's secluded location and vast wilderness promise an intimate and authentic safari experience for those who venture to explore its hidden grace.

The Gombe Stream National Park

Nestled along the shores of Lake Tanganyika, Gombe Stream National Park is an idyllic yet lesser-known gem. While it may be Tanzania's smallest national park, it gained fame through the groundbreaking work of primatologist Jane Goodall.

Thanks to her research on chimpanzee behavior, Gombe has evolved into the best location in the country for observing these closest relatives of humans in their natural habitat. The park's dense forest and hilly terrain offer visitors a chance to not only appreciate the resident chimpanzees but also witness breathtaking views of Lake Tanganyika and its diverse fauna and flora.

Each of these Tanzanian national parks brings its unique spectrum of flora and fauna, contributing to a comprehensive and rewarding safari experience. Get your cameras ready as you delve into the heart of Tanzania's wild realm!

tanzania safari car

Decide how many days safari you want to book

The number of days you should spend on a safari in Tanzania can greatly vary depending on the scope of your adventure and your personal preferences. Generally, Tanzania offers safari packages that range from short 2 to 3-day trips to longer multi-day wildlife safaris that last for weeks[5%5E].

With such a diverse range of wildlife, landscapes, and attractions, Tanzania caters to both adventurers looking for immersive, long-lasting experiences, as well as travelers aiming to squeeze memorable wildlife encounters into a shorter trips. For example, a 2 to 3-day safari can be a great way to experience the highlights, such as a visit to the Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire National Parl.

However, if your goal is a thorough exploration of diverse parks and reserves, you may consider opting for a longer safari. Spending more days on safari allows for a more relaxed and in-depth encounter with Tanzania's wildlife, landscapes, and cultural experiences[5%5E].

Thus, there's no definitive answer to this question; the ideal duration for a Tanzanian safari depends on your interests, budget, time constraints, and what you are hoping to see and experience on your trip. It's always wise to speak to a tour operator or a safari expert, outlining your wishes and constraints to tailor the best possible safari itinerary for you.

Find a responsible and reliable safari tour operator in Tanzania

Finding a responsible and reliable safari tour operator in Tanzania is crucial to ensuring a memorable and fulfilling experience, as the right provider can significantly enhance your journey through this incredible country.

With numerous options available, it can be challenging to narrow down the list of potential operators. Prioritizing a tour operator with a valid license, in-depth expertise, and knowledge of Tanzania and its parks is essential, as these qualifications demonstrate professionalism, experience, and adherence to national regulations.

Moreover, look for an operator with extensive connections to an array of lodges and tented camps, as this will give you greater flexibility in terms of accommodation choices and offer diverse experiences to suit your travel preferences. An operator that is prompt and available to answer your questions demonstrates their commitment to customer service and ensures that they are ready to address any concerns or queries you may have throughout the planning process.

Flexibility in terms of itineraries, locations, and trip duration is another crucial factor to consider when selecting a safari tour operator. This allows you to personalize your adventure and ensures that your unique interests and needs are catered to while exploring Tanzania's breathtaking landscapes and spotting its diverse wildlife.

Lastly, consider user ratings, online reviews, and recommendations from friends or family who have previously embarked on Tanzanian safaris, as these can provide valuable insights into the quality of service and experiences a specific tour operator provides. Wonder about our ratings? Check this out.

By thoroughly researching and selecting a responsible tour operator who meets the aforementioned criteria, you will be better equipped to embark on the journey of a lifetime, exploring Tanzania's awe-inspiring national parks and immersing yourself in the magic of its diverse ecosystems.

Tanzania Honeymoon: A blissful symphony of adventure and romance

As newlyweds, if you are envisioning an exuberant honeymoon involving extraordinary wildlife, idyllic beaches, and starlit skies, then look no further. Tanzania, Africa's top authentic tailor-made safari destination, offers a perfect combination of adventure and tranquility for honeymooners.

Seamlessly blending adventure with relaxation, Tanzania offers an irresistible charm that lays the groundwork for a perfect honeymoon. From immersive safari adventures to lazy escapes on exotic beaches, Tanzania caters to all tastes and persuasions of honeymooners.

Here, we outline how best to savor your honeymoon in Tanzania, ensuring memories that will last a lifetime.

Encounter the Wild

Mark the start of your marital journey with an exciting expedition across Tanzania's world-renowned National Parks, such as Selous Game Reserve and Serengeti National Park. Few experiences are more special and memorable than witnessing a playful herd of elephants or the Great Wildebeest Migration.

Tanzania is home to numerous luxury safari lodges where you can enjoy a wildlife-watching experience while indulging in the lap of luxury. High-quality service, romantic ambiance, superb food, and spa facilities come standard in many of these lodges, like the opulent Ole Serai luxury camp in the Serengeti National Park.

Relax Amidst The Waves

Post adrenaline-inducing safari adventures, placate your senses with the calming vistas of azure waters and white sandy beaches of the Zanzibar Archipelago. The archipelago, a tantalizing tease of sun-kissed beaches and crystal-clear water, is the perfect antidote to safari exhaustion.

From diving into the vibrant coral reefs, sailing on a traditional wooden dhow enjoying a romantic sunset cruise, to simply sunbathing on the shimmering sands, Zanzibar offers countless ways to soak in the tropical delight.

For the ultimate romantic escape, visit Mafia Island where stylish accommodations like the Pole Pole Bungalows can cater to your every need.

Build Your Customized Safari Experience

When planning your honeymoon in Tanzania, consider customizing your safari experience by creating a bucket list of wildlife you'd like to see. Not every game reserve has the same animals, so prioritize your choices based on the terrain and landscape of each reserve.

A safari in Tanzania evokes visions of vast savannas dotted with countless wildlife, awe-inspiring sunsets, and tranquil starlit nights. However, when it comes to creating a truly personalized experience, considering some key factors can turn your safari from a fantastic adventure into an extraordinary, tailor-made journey of a lifetime.

First and foremost, identify your main interests. Whether you share a passion for bird-watching, wish to spot specific wildlife such as the thrilling Big Five game (lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and buffalo), or are driven by the immense landscape; your preferences will significantly impact the choice of destinations within Tanzania. For instance, if your checklist points towards the Big Five, the Northern Circuit, consisting of Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater, is your best bet.

Next, consider the time of your visit. While Tanzania is a year-round destination, the wildlife viewing experience can vary with the seasons. For instance, the dry season (June to October) is best for large game viewing, whereas the wet season (November to May) is ideal for bird-watching and witnessing the calving season of wildebeest.

Further, contemplate over the kind of accommodations you desire. Basing your stay in serene luxury lodges, rustic tented camps or fly-camping under the stars, each offers a distinct safari experience. Your choice could depend on your penchant for comfort, adventure, privacy, or connection with nature.

Lastly, think about including other activities in your itinerary to provide variety to your safari experience. Hot-air balloon rides over the Serengeti, guided nature walks, cultural visits to Maasai tribes and exploring archaeological sites like Olduvai Gorge can exquisitely enrich your journey.

By considering these aspects while pre-planning your safari, and consulting with an experienced travel expert, you can shape an intimate and engaging safari experience, personalized to your taste, thereby making the most of your Tanzanian adventure.

cheeta

Splurge on Luxury Camps

Enhance the romantic vibe of your honeymoon by choosing to stay in some of Tanzania's luxury lodges or tented camps. Nestled amidst wilderness or perched on the beachfront, these opulent accommodations offer unique experiences, like private candlelit dinners, invigorating spa services, or hot balloon tours over the Serengeti.

Nothing quite spells opulence, romance, and adventure for a honeymoon as indulging in a luxurious safari camp experience in Tanzania. Underneath the expansive African sky, these luxury camps combine wilderness with comfort, providing an intimate connection with nature without compromising on life's finer aspects.

From treetop suites to luxury tented camps, Tanzania offers a diverse range of extravagant accommodations, each unique in its offering. Imagine waking up to sweeping views of the savanna with wildlife grazing nearby, indulging in gourmet meals served right at your private verandah, and retiring by night to the lullaby of distant animal calls and comforting crackling campfires.

An especially romantic experience for honeymooners can be found at The Highlands in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. With its geodesic domes featuring tasteful décor, cozy fireplaces, ensuite bathrooms, and floor-to-ceiling windows, the camp offers breathtaking view of surrounding vistas.

For a private beach escape following the thrill of a safari, the luxury lodges of Mnemba Island offer barefoot luxury. With just ten beachside bandas overlooking a marine reserve, it's an idyllic, secluded paradise perfect for a romantic honeymoon.

So, splurge on the luxury camps of Tanzania for an unforgettable honeymoon, where you can expect romance, adventure, comfort, and privacy, all impeccably intertwined with the untamed Tanzanian wilderness.

While luxury camps in Tanzania can be expensive, they are well worth the investment. These upscale accommodations offer a more intimate and personalized experience, fewer guests, and generally do not allow children, creating the perfect environment for a honeymoon.

Explore More Than Just Safari Drives

While wildlife safaris form the heart of the Tanzanian experience, the country boasts a wealth of other engaging activities that provide a deeper understanding of its geography, diverse cultures, and exceptional landscapes — perfect for those wishing to weave varied experiences into their journey.

One such activity is a visit to a traditional Maasai village. These indigenous tribal people welcome visitors into their world, showcasing their unique lifestyle, cultural rituals, and dance performances. It's an unforgettable experience that affords deeper insights into local traditions, enhancing your Tanzanian visit with rich cultural perspectives.

For those with a taste for adventure, Tanzania provides ample opportunities for hiking and trekking. Exploring the magnificent Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa, or the captivating landscapes of the Udzungwa Mountains National Park, these expeditions present breathtaking views and encounters with endemic flora and fauna.

Another exhilarating experience is a hot air balloon ride over the Serengeti. Floating above the endless plains as the sun rises and wildlife awaken, offers a dramatic and romantic perspective of the Tanzanian wilderness.

Lastly, consider a boat safari on the Rufiji River in the Selous Game Reserve for a different perspective on the region's wildlife and bird population.

By including these diverse activities in your itinerary, you can venture beyond traditional safari drives and create a well-rounded, immersive Tanzanian adventure.

Exploring Local Life

For an added layer of interest, consider interacting with the local communities. Visiting a traditional Maasai village or wandering through the historic streets of Stone Town in Zanzibar, you can gain a deeper understanding of the rich cultural fabric of Tanzania.

The sheer diversity of experiences that Tanzania offers makes it an unparalleled destination for those looking for a unique honeymoon. With its mesmerizing landscapes, incredible wildlife, pristine beaches, and luxurious accommodations, expect to cherish every moment of your romantic getaway in Tanzania.

Find the Perfect Itinerary Balance

An unforgettable honeymoon in Tanzania lies in striking the right balance between leisure, adventure, and cultural experiences. To create a harmonious itinerary that caters to your desires, blend your passion for wildlife, the tranquility of pristine beaches, and the warmth of Tanzanian culture into a seamless, enchanting journey to cherish.

Begin with an immersive safari, exploring iconic destinations like the Serengeti National Park, Selous Game Reserve, or the Ngorongoro Crater. Settle for a three or four-day stay in a luxurious lodge or camp where you can take pleasure in each other's company while soaking in the wonders of the wild.

Next, unwind amidst the picturesque archipelago of Zanzibar. Connect with your partner on sun-kissed beaches like Nungwi or visit the historic Stone Town for an enriching cultural exchange. Create a balance between relaxation and exploration by spending your days snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters, indulging in pampering spa sessions, or savoring exquisite local seafood dishes at beachside restaurants.

Finally, consider cultural experiences to accentuate your Tanzania honeymoon adventure. Visit Maasai villages to witness the vibrant traditions of these indigenous people, engage with local communities to learn about their craft, or hike Mount Kilimanjaro to share a once-in-a-lifetime achievement together.

By skillfully intertwining leisure, adventure, and cultural immersion into your Tanzania honeymoon, you'll create an itinerary that complements your unique preferences, evoking memories that you and your partner will cherish for a lifetime.

Still, struggling to plan your Tanzania honeymoon safari? Check out our Tanzania honeymoon blog for Five romantic honeymoon accommodation options in the Serengeti. With its mesmerizing landscapes, incredible wildlife, pristine beaches, and luxurious accommodations, Tanzania remains an unparalleled destination for honeymooners seeking unique and unforgettable experiences.

When is the best time to travel to Tanzania?

Tanzania is a Country of great nature, one of the best known tourist destinations in Africa, its main attractions include Mount Kilimanjaro, Lake Victoria as well as the many wild animals that live in freedom on its great plains.
But also safaris Tanzania hides many attractions that increasingly call more tourists such as paradisiacal beaches and water sports.

Tanzania in Africa is known as the country of the largest: the largest lake, the highest peak, the highest concentration of animals, the largest number of world heritage sites, but also offers more discoveries.

If you are considering a trip to Tanzania, surely you already know all this and what really interests you is knowing what is the best time to go to Tanzania. Here are our suggestions to plan your trip in the right month! 

great migration

The best time to visit Tanzania

Let's confess something to you, any time is good to travel to Tanzania. 
As there is no ideal time for everyone, each person has their own tastes and interests and is looking for a certain adventure on the African continent.

But what is important to get the most out of your visit is that you know a little about its weather, so you can choose beforehand knowing what you can find.

The country has a tropical climate, but with different variations that depend mainly on factors such as altitude or region.

Since it is very close to the Ecuador, it does not have great differences between summer and winter, although what is well distinguished is between the dry and rainy seasons.

We are going to offer you some recommendations so that you do not miss anything you had dreamed of. 

Tanzania during the rainy season

Tanzania really has two rainy seasons: a longer one, from March to May, and a shorter one with less abundant rainfall, which occurs between November and mid-December.

It is clear that if you want to spend a few days on the beach they are not the right dates, but it is also true that at this time tourism is much less.

Also, in the short rainy season, the colors of the landscapes are beautiful, and there is lush vegetation and that is when you can see the wildebeest and zebra in the Serengeti National Park and Ndutu Area. 

Traveling in the long rainy season is a little more risky, especially since sometimes there are torrential rains that make some areas and roads impassable.

But, as we have already seen, traveling in the rainy season also has its advantages to which we must add that the safaris are much more exclusive and, of course, the adventure will be even more unforgettable!

Tanzania during the dry season

The dry season is preferred by many who do not want to meet the abundant rains that may occur at other times of the year and the ones that wish to see the Great Migration happening in Northern Serengeti, the world-famous Maasai River Crossing (usually happing in August and September).
The short dry season runs from January to March and the long one runs from June to October.

This time is ideal to enjoy the good weather without rain problems, although if you do not want to feel too hot, it is best to avoid the months of January and February.

The short dry season has milder temperatures and is perfect for visiting the northern part of the country.
An ideal option is to go on a safari through the Serengeti National Park, where you will see animals such as lions, elephants, leopards, buffalo, rhinos, zebras and many other species.
If you want to make the ascent to Kilimanjaro do not hesitate to do it during this season, since the temperatures will help you to climb to the top (in the high season they can drop a lot, reaching the top at -20 °).
Normally it is advisable not to do this route in the rainy season because the roads can become muddy and in some sections it would be almost impossible to continue.

Stop imagining yourself on vacation in Tanzania and make your dreams come true. Pack your bags and get ready to make the most exciting trip of your life. Now that you know that the best time to travel to Tanzania is always the one you choose, you just have to make your reservation with us.
Adventure awaits you on the African continent!

Experience Maasai life in a typical village

Experiencing Tanzania and the Maasai tribe genuinely is not very easy, especially if you stay along the traditional tourist safari routes in the North of the Country.

You have to travel into the heart of Tanzania and literally reach the middle of nowhere, Kiberashi, about 9 hours from Arusha and 8 from Dar Es Salam, and what many mistakenly believe to be a purely tourist attraction turns into a real experience, not only of travel but of life.

The village in Tanzania's savannah takes about 9 hours by car from Arusha to be reached.
Here you will have the chance, and privilege, to live a few days completely disconnected from the outside world in connection with nature, culture, and tribal habits.

The Maasai family will welcome and host you into the little and sweet guesthouse that Cristina, an Italian lady, and her husband Willy, a Maasai, have built in the past few years.
The initial idea was just having a house there and move for good.
Till when friends and family traveling to Tanzania gave them the idea to let even others live this incredible experience.

The house in which you will sleep, built with care and love in the middle of the savannah, is the fruit of an ethical and sustainable project in which the Italo-Maasai couple, Cristina and Willy, have chosen to invest, to the point of deciding to move there permanently, firmly believing in intercultural encounters and offering their support to the responsible enhancement of tribal traction.

Thanks to our partnership with them we are happy to organize a trip to the Maasai village and propose you a complete package to get the best of Tanzania's nature and culture. Get in touch for having more information about our travel ideas.

Is it spelled Maasai or Masai?

Maasai is the correct spelling, the word in fact means people who speak Maa. Masai was the wrong spelling of the British colonists and it is still in current use.

maasai tanzania

Something about the Maasai

Living with the Maasai and being guided by Cristina and Willy, who explain well how traditional life works, is certainly what I recommend to do so as to deepen directly in the field the complex dynamics.

But to get to the heart of the matter and, perhaps, inspire you a bit to start actually considering this detour during a safari in Tanzania, let's find out a little more about perhaps the most famous ethnic group in Africa.

The Maasai - literally, the people who speak Maa - have lived in what is now Kenya and Tanzania since at least the 17th century.

Easily recognizable by their colorful clothing, wide checkered cloths, and embellishments made with beads, thanks to their welcoming and generous manner as well as their resistance to changing traditions, the Maasai have become true East African icons.

Despite the current challenges they are dealing with, from climate change to the arrival of technology, the Maasai, who appear to number around 2 million, continue to embrace and embody the semi-nomadic lifestyle that has been passed down for generations.

They have a reputation as fierce warriors but in truth, their lives revolve around livestock.

In fact, one of their spiritual beliefs is that their god, Enkai, created livestock for the Maasai and therefore all livestock on earth belongs to them.
This very close bond with their animals has led them to a nomadic lifestyle that, even today, follows the rainy seasons. They constantly move in search of fresh grass for their beasts that have priority and require care and attention.

The Maasai have managed to keep their traditions alive despite the fact that as the years go by it becomes more and more complicated.

The grazing areas have decreased a lot, due to urbanization and the constant decrease of land once theirs. What is now the Maasai Mara Reserve and Serengeti National Park, for example, were once Maasai grazing areas.

They then adopted a progressively more sedentary lifestyle, beginning to engage in farming as well, while continuing to deeply love their animals.

Events and Celebrations Maasai

UNESCO has decided to include in the list of World Heritage several Maasai rites of passage because "intangible cultural heritage in urgent need of protection".

The rituals that UNESCO intends to protect are three: Enkipaata, Eunoto and Enkang oo-nikiri or Olng'esherr (in Maa language in Kenya) or Elatim, Eunoto, Emanyata (in Maa language in Tanzania). Same events just different names.

These three male rites of passage represent the three main events of Maasai life and sanction the three phases of life: Children, Warriors and Elders.

The Enkipaata (Elatim in Tanzania) is the ritual that precedes the rite of circumcision and marks the entrance of children into the phase of young warriors.

After the circumcision ceremony, boys are ready to become Morani, warriors. The mini-warriors are ready to become grown men and build a family, and to do so they must pass a test.

They live isolated from the rest of the village, while being instructed by the elders on everything they must face in life as grown men, thus proving that they are ready to take the next step.

This moment is celebrated with the ritual of the Eunoto. During this ritual, the warriors, who wear their hair long, shave it off to symbolize a new beginning.

The last ritual, the Enkang oo-nikiri or Olng'esherr (Emanyata in Tanzania), known as the ceremony of the meat, is celebrated by sacrificing a bull, whose meat is prepared by the women of the village and offered to the men and celebrates the last step, that of the entrance into the group of elders.

These events, which mark the life of every Maasai man, are aimed at teaching respect and responsibility, but they are also formative since the objective is the transmission of tribal knowledge according to a disciplined process and with precise timing.

Another very important event is the Loorbak, which in the Maa language refers to the past wars between tribes. Today this term is used to indicate peace and serenity.
A Maasai, after having celebrated with the Emanyata, chooses the Maasai to whom he is most attached, who cannot refuse the invitation and who must pay half the expenses of the feast, with whom he will celebrate friendship and harmony for two days.

The best months to have the opportunity to attend these events, which are never planned well in advance, are June and July.

When to visit the Maasai village in Tanzania

At the village of Kiberashi you can live a unique experience  12 months per year.
However, the least suitable months are those of the great rains, from March to the end of April, as it becomes dangerous to move with vehicles on the dirt roads of the savannah that may not be practicable.
The remaining months of the year are always excellent, with less hot days from June to the end of August.

If you are traveling in August, I suggest you book well in advance because the places in a homestay are few and the requests for this month are always many.

Why you should spend a few days with the Maasai?

This is more of a real-life experience than a trip, and it is definitely a less classic and more original extension of the Safari + Zanzibar combination.
Certainly, reaching the village goes far beyond the classic tourist circuits.
A unique opportunity that allows you to know and discover the true Maasai culture and see it directly in their homes, ideal for those who want to get involved and confront themselves with this magical reality.

For who is this trip suitable and for whom not?

This trip is suitable for everyone as long as you have a minimum of flexibility and do not have high expectations.
The homestay has two nice bedrooms, with comfortable mattresses, an external shared bathroom, and a shower where you can use water (with moderation since there is no running water in those parts).

Electricity comes from a solar panel, there is no wi-fi (but with a SIM card, which if you don't have one is given for the days of your stay by Cristina), there are no sunbeds or laundry service. This is not a trip for those who are afraid of getting dirty with dust, nor for those who are not patient.
In Africa, life is lived at the "pole-pole" (slowly-slowly), and here more than anywhere else, you will understand what that means.

If you are ready to experience the real Maasai Life, contact us, and let's start to plan your unique and unforgettable Tanzania trip! 

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Tour Operator based in Arusha, Tanzania, registration company number 132864. We provide custom made safaris in Northern Tanzania. Our guides speak English, French and Italian.
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