Ruaha National Park

In the heart of Tanzania, Ruaha makes a great extension to a Selous safari. It's hotter, drier and higher here, so the environments, and several of the game species, are different. Being that bit more remote, there are even fewer camps here. (Read more about Ruaha…


Mikumi and Udzungwa national parks

These are parks for the well-travelled enthusiast. Mikumi is one of Tanzania's smaller parks, best visited with a 4WD and driver/guide. The environment is similar to that in Selous, and you can base yourself here for trips into the Udzungwa Mountains – a small, densely-forested park where keen wildlife enthusiasts come in search of endemic species. (Read more about Mikumi & Udzungwa...


Safaris in western Tanzania are> See bellow 

Safaris in western Tanzania are in a league of their own with superb and contrasting wildlife experiences – but see a map to realise that they are seriously remote! Because of this, they are expensive and receive very few visitors. The two main parks here are:


Katavi National Park

One of Africa's most remote safari parks, Katavi has excellent game, including prolific buffalo and lion, and an unbeatable feeling of wilderness. It's very remote even by Tanzania's standards, but a big draw for old Africa hands who have travelled extensively. (Read more about Katavi...


Mahale Mountains National Park

Totally different from Tanzania's safari parks, Mahale is a thickly-forested and mountainous. On one side is the vast Lake Tanganyika, and the odd superb beach; but come because it's Africa's best to watch wild chimpanzees at close quarters. It's a superb experience, in a park that's very remote and so costly to reach. (Read more about Mahale…


The coast & islands

Tanzania's beaches, especially those on its islands, are spectacular, accessible, and often relatively inexpensive to visit. There's a real choice of small beach lodges and hotels; consider the options:



The spicy, exotic island of Zanzibar conjures up an amazing image. What's more, it can live up to it – with a cosmopolitan mix of cultures, enchanting palm-fringed beaches and some good diving and snorkeling in the ocean around it. (Read more about Zanzibar.


Mafia Archipelago

South of Zanzibar, Mafia Archipelago is laid-back, sparsely-populated and delightful. A huge marine park protects one side of this, where there is first-class diving and snorkeling and a few small beach lodges. Mafia is great value and a firm favorite with its visitors. (Read more about Mafia.


Pemba Island

Pemba doesn't have Zanzibar's reputation or its choice of beach lodges. It's a little less easy to reach, and the population are a little more conservative, and so it has fewer visitors. It has one good beach lodge, which isn't cheap but is popular with a young British honeymoon crowd. (Read more about



Ras Kutani area

On the mainland, Ras Kutani is only about an hour's drive south of Dar es Salaam. It can make a good stop for two nights at the start or end of your trip – and here there are two very good, if contrasting, lodges beside a lovely long beach. (Read more about Ras Kutani.


Dar es Salaam

The urban sprawl of Dar es Salaam is Tanzania's largest and most important city, and a major gateway for international flights – although it's not the country's capital city! 'Dar', as its often known, is fine for a night's stay, but most visitors pass straight through. (Read more about Dar….

Tanzania safaris: how to travel around

Camps in the remote areas of southern and western Tanzania are usually visited on fly-in safaris, which use light aircraft to fly between the parks and camp. Flying allows quick access to even remote camps, and scheduled aircraft run frequently. Once at the camps, their own guides will use 4WDs and boats to get you around the parks.


In the northern circuit, the choice is more complex. The main parks here are relatively close together, and so private-guided safaris work very well – and are the obvious choice when small groups or families are travelling together. These have the advantage that you'll drive through the towns and rural areas, and be able to stop there – giving you insights into local life, and showing you what Tanzania is like outside its safari areas. However, travelling by road is a lot slower, and journeys can be bumpy, dusty and long. You'll normally travel in closed-cab 4WDs, and use the same vehicle for game drives; whilst these have a pop-top roof for game-viewing, they're not generally as good as open-topped game-viewing vehicles.


Premier national parks & game reserves

  • Serengeti National Park

  • Ngorongoro CA

  • Selous Game Reserve

  • Ruaha National Park

  • Tarangire National Park

  • Lake Manyara NP

  • Katavi National Park

  • Gombe National Park


By alphabet - This list contains Tanzania's major national parks and game reserves, not all


  • Arusha National Park:                    Classic safari, hiking, several antelope species and black-and-white colobus

  • Gombe National Park                Chimpanzee tracking, other primate species are present

  • Katavi National Park                  Classic safari, 4 of the Big 5 (no rhino), abundant wildlife in the dry season

  • Lake Manyara NP                    Classic safari, 4 of the Big 5 (no rhino), big cats difficult to spot

  • Mahale Mountains NP           Chimpanzee tracking, several major safari animals present but rarely seen

  • Mikumi National Park            Walking and classic safari, 4 of the Big 5 (no rhino), predators rarely seen

  • Mkomazi National Park            Classic safari, Big 5 present but difficult to spot, wildlife thinly populated

  • Ngorongoro CA                       Classic safari, abundant wildlife in the volcanic crater includes the Big 5

  • Ruaha National Park            Walking and classic safari, 4 of the Big 5 (no rhino), cheetah and wild dogs

  • Saadani National Park             Walking, boat and classic safari, beach and bush, wildlife is thinly populated

  • Selous Game Reserve           Walking, boat and classic safari, Big 5 present, healthy population of wild dogs

  • Serengeti National Park      Classic safari, Big 5 present (rhino rare), many big cats, wildebeest migration

  • Tarangire National Park      Classic safari, 4 of the Big 5 (no rhino), abundant wildlife in the dry season