I came to Tanzania expecting to see incredible things, and it just completely exceeded my expectations! So in this article I’m going to recommend the things that I think you should absolutely include in any Tanzania safari.
So let’s go take a look at my recommendations which I filmed as I tour around the country. I am in Ngorongoro which actually is a conservation area, and so let me explain the difference between a Conservation Area and a National Park.
Ngorongoro Crater Safari Tanzania
Conservation Area basically means that humans and animals can live in the area. National Park is for animals only. So Ngorongoro Conservation Area is about 160 kilometres from Arusha, and it’s a very magical place.
The actual conservation area includes a couple of things including about 80,000 Maasai people who live here. But the most significant part of Ngorongoro is the crater. It’s the world’s largest unbroken caldera in the world.
It’s a basically a huge open amphitheater. The walls are 600 meters high. There’s 260 kilometers square inside. It’s basically a big flat area. It has open grasslands, it has swamps, it has lakes (both fresh and salt water lakes), but what’s really amazing about this place which was created from a volcano, is that it’s home to up to 30,000 animals at any one time.
You can see the “big five” here. So on the day that we visited we got to see four of the “big five”. We saw elephant, we saw a rhino, we saw Buffalo and we saw lion. The only one we didn’t see was leopard.
What’s amazing about i Ngorongoro is it feels like someone’s just gone and sprinkled animals everywhere – in some parts everywhere you look, as far as you can see, there are animals. There are zebras, wildebeest, gazelles, ostriches, warthog.
We saw so many animals. Just incredible scenes of animals – in groups, in herds, huge migrations of animals. It really was incredible. That’s Ngorongoro. It is definitely an absolute must, must do.
Serengeti National Park Tanzania Safari
Serengeti. This is another of must do things to see and do in Tanzania. So the Serengeti is an amazing place. It is over 13,000 square kilometers large and it is probably the foremost national park in the world.
Now Serengeti in Swahili, the local Tanzanian language, means “endless plains that stretch right up to the sky” – and it is incredible because it’s a huge vast flat plain. It’s particularly renowned for the migration which happens when you have a million wildebeest, couple hundred thousand zebras, a couple of hundred thousand gazelles and animals just moving from the dry part of the country to the wetter part of the country to find food and water.
It was created in 1951. It’s Tanzania’s oldest National Park. So the great thing about the Serengeti is that you will get to see the “big five”. In one day I saw four of the “big five”: elephant, buffalo, lion and leopard but didn’t see rhino.
But on top of that we also saw so much wildlife. We saw huge amounts of hippos, we saw gazelles everywhere, zebras, baboons, monkeys, giraffe. Pretty much every animal you name we could see. That’s the Serengeti, an incredible place to visit within Tanzania, and probably one of the most famous places in the world to go.
Tarangire National Park Tanzania Tours
It is an absolute must do. Here I am in the Tarangire National Park, which is 120 kilometers from Arusha and 160 kilometers from the Kilimanjaro Airport, so very convenient if you’re flying in from there.
It’s actually the sixth largest park within Tanzania and was the fifth to the opened after independence from Britain. Tarangire National Park was established in 1971. In terms of big attractions: there’s lots of baobab trees everywhere and also what’s very important about this particular park is in the dry season it’s a real magnet for animals because of the Tarangire River.
So during the dry season lasting from July to September it’s very difficult for animals to find water, but the river keeps flowing and so a lot of the big animals that have left during the wetter seasons (when they move to other parts of the country where they can get great vegetation) they tend to migrate back here.
So it’s particularly good to come here in the dry season. So this is Tarangire National Park. It’s a beautiful park and definitely one of the must do things. A must-do thing, and I strongly recommend you do this if you’re on a first-time visit.
Masai Cultural Experience
Now the Maasai are people you’ll see as you travel around Tanzania, and are very distinctive as they’re wearing cloth robes often in red, blues etc. But they are the indigenous people and a very important tribe within Tanzania, and across the country you can go to different villages which help explain some of the heritage, the history and the way the people live. More experience for Tanzania safaris and cultural tours in Tanzania.
The one I went to was near Ngorongoro, and at the village you’ll see some traditional dancing and singing. They’ll show you how they make fire without using any sort of combustibles (no matches etc).
They also then show you their houses. How the houses are made. You go to see inside a house and then also you go to visit the school, and then you get a chance to buy some of a beautiful craft work. The great thing about going to the village is you get a real sense and understanding of the Maasai people of Tanzania and also gives you a chance to give back to the community.
So a couple of ways you could see these must-see things. You could do what I did, which is go on a tour which included all of them. So I went with Titan Travel and they had a tour called “The Wild Plains of Tanzania”, and we went to all of these places and all the stuff in the video I talked about and were filmed was on that particular tour.
Or you could, of course, do them as individual Tanzania safaris. What’s important to note is you do need to go into all of these places in a 4×4 – so you will need to book either a whole package tour or individual tours to each of these places.