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What to expect on a safari in Tanzania?

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Safari Safari

A journey to Tanzania

Africa has a special magic - sunsets so beautiful that time stands still, remote locations where the brilliance of the night stars truly takes your breath away and encounters with nature that will change how you see the world.

The best and most interesting way to experience nature in Africa is on a wildlife safari, which allows visitors to get close to wild animals in their natural habitat, all while supporting national environmental conservation efforts in the form of protected areas or national parks.

And of all the African nations to choose from, make Tanzania your top safari destination. A safari in Tanzania is so much more than a vacation, it is a travel experience that will make you fall in love with nature and embrace the beauty of the wild in a completely new way.

Tanzania is where Jane Goodall fell in love with chimpanzees. Her experience at Gombe National Park not only changed her life, but motivated her to change the world!

Tanzania is where Louis and Mary Leakey discovered one of the most important archeological finds on earth - at Olduvai Gorge, which continues to be carefully excavated to this day.

Tanzania has inspired artists and writers for centuries, including Ernest Hemmingway, with his famous book “The Snows of Kilimanjaro”.

What is a Safari?

What is a safari and what makes it different from a typical vacation?

The word safari comes from the Swahili language, meaning ‘a journey’ and is the root of the verb ‘to travel’ in this East African language.

Tanzania is by far the best country in Africa to go on a safari - it boasts the largest national parks, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, as well as the highest mountain in Africa.

As further testament to Tanzania’s claim as the top country in Africa for a safari, Serengeti National Park has been awarded the ‘Best Safari Destination’ out of numerous national parks across Africa by the pundits for multiple years in a row.

Hence, a safari is not just a vacation, but a travel experience in Africa. While other places (such as Thailand or India) may advertise ‘safaris’, these game drives to view animals are not comparable to an African safari, nor do they have any historical connection to this Swahili word.

Need even more reasons to choose Tanzania as your safari destination?

  • The Great Wildebeest Migration has the largest movement of animals in the world (well, after the migration of bats, but it is not that spectacular)! And it occurs in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park for nine months a year!
  • It is only in Tanzania where you can combine your safari adventure with climbing the highest mountain in Africa - Mount Kilimanjaro.
  • Tanzania is the only location where one of the rarest gemstones in the world - Tanzanite - has ever been found.
  • Tanzania has the largest population density of animals and diversity of animals compared to any other African country. Here, you are sure to witness healthy herds of elephants and can visit a rhino sanctuary where rangers are working to save the endangered black rhino species. Also, the largest population of lions on the planet is in Tanzania.
  • While it is true that park fees to enter Tanzanian national parks are higher than neighboring countries, without question, the parks of Tanzania offer a higher-quality experience for an African safari.

A safari in Tanzania National Park means:

  • A typical African safari means a game drive under the guidance of a professional guide to designated protected areas. Your driver-guide will explain about the environment, animals and other wildlife you encounter and give the opportunity for you to take incredible photos of everything.
  • In some locations, there is an opportunity for a ‘walking safari’ (such as in Arusha National Park), or a “Tree Top Walk” (Manyara National Park), which means you can hike or climb near the animals in a sustainable and environmentally-safe (and physically safe!) manner.
  • Afterwards, you will continue to your accommodations at a comfortable lodge or camp, where you will enjoy a beautiful African sunset and eat a delicious meal as you reminisce about your exciting day.

What is a game drive?

By nature, safaris usually mean lengthy game drives. Guests can expect to spend anywhere from 6-8 hours in a safari car for animal viewing, especially in parks where they may not be permitted to exit the vehicle except in designated areas.

Because of this, some guests opt to leave for a sunrise game drive, departing early in the morning with the hopes of viewing elusive animals - such as cheetahs - and return to the lodge or hotel earlier in the day to enjoy a swim in the pool or a leisurely hike before evening.

There is no rule that says you have to stay in the park until closing time. The hours of national parks are 6 am - 6 pm, and you are welcome to come and go any time between these hours.

Of course, it is not necessary to spend all day game-driving in the car. Most hotels are located right amidst the national parks, and, taking a longer safari itinerary, will allow you to enjoy the comforts of award-winning properties the whole day. Water hotels drilled around the lodge will attract the animals directly to the terrace, bringing safari vibes right to you.

Because of the long time spent within a safari car, give consideration to traveling with young children. Keep in mind if your young one is able to sit for long periods of time and how attentive they may be to this experience. Safaris are exciting and there are animals, birds, and unique wildlife to see all around, but it can be tiresome for young travelers.

Also, remember that time moves differently on safari. A morning spent in Tarangire National Park following a herd of elephants is thrilling; your heart will race when you see a lion just a few meters away; you will stand up to fully appreciate the height of a giraffe, and climb through the safari car to get a perfect photograph of a leopard hiding in a tree overhead.

Before you know it, it’s time for lunch; your driver will take you to a specially designated picnic spot, usually overlooking a lake or with a fantastic view of the park, where you will enjoy your meal outside of the safari car.

Things that make a safari in Tanzania special


Tanzania has the largest biodiversity of animals in Africa, making it hands-down the best location for a wildlife safari.

Considering even just Tanzania’s northern parks and attractions, it is easy to see why Tanzania is a popular tourist destination for wildlife safaris:

Ngorongoro Crater, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is known for its incredible population density of animals - the highest in the world per square meter. Visitors may also spy on the endangered black rhino in Ngorongoro Crater. Visiting this amazing conservation area offers guests the chance to see the most wildlife, and is truly a special experience in nature.

Serengeti National Park has also been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its unique ecosystem, and because it hosts the most ungulates on earth, and has the highest number of predators in a specific area than anywhere else in the world. Serengeti is where guests will see the wildebeest migration with their own eyes - with the opportunity to see it from the air in either a chartered plane or a hot air balloon adventure.

At Manyara National Park, guests have the chance to see tree-climbing lions, enormous numbers of pink flamingos, and hoards of other bird species, as well as one of the largest troops of baboons in Africa. Manyara National Park has recently constructed a series of connected bridges in the strong trees along Lake Manyara, allowing for a unique ‘Tree Top Walk’ to get even closer to the incredible birdlife of this park.

Tarangire National Park has one of the largest populations of elephants in the region, visitors are sure to see elephant families with young babies in this park. During the dry season, herds of zebras and wildebeests, and their predators - lions, cheetahs and leopards - make their way to Tarangire for its large river, as a source of water.

Arusha National Park is home to the iconic Mount Meru, the second-highest peak in Tanzania. Guests can experience a walking safari through the grasslands and get close to giraffes, zebras and herds of Cape Buffalo, all under the guidance of a professional park ranger, of course.

Kilimanjaro National Park is home to Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro. Climbing this incredible peak is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure for many. Altezza offers unmatched Kili treks as either private climbs or group tours which anyone can join. Learn more about climbing Kilimanjaro here.

Scenery and Environment

Within Africa, Tanzania is one of the leading countries to set aside large land areas for conservation or wildlife protection. Over a quarter (25%) of the nation has been designated either national parks or official conservation areas.

This means there are vast areas of land which have stayed true to the integrity of nature, remote areas where nature reigns; such as the famous Great Migration with millions of wildebeests charging over the Grumeti River, risking crocodiles and other predators, savannahs where lions are still king and all nature respects the mighty elephant.

In Tanzania, visitors can truly see nature at its finest, untouched state away from human habitat.

Photographers of all walks - professionals and amateurs alike - continually choose Tanzania for amazing nature photographs. Capture photos of African plains that seem to stretch on forever, get an up-close shot of brilliant weaver birds constructing their nest in a thorny acacia tree, or some of Africa’s famous big cats like cheetahs or serval cats, prowling in the long, dry grasses. Photos taken while on safari in Tanzania are excellent, even without high-quality photography equipment because the scenery here is so vibrant and wildlife is so active.

National Geographic, Animal Planet, and other popular wildlife documentary teams frequent Tanzania because they are nearly guaranteed to see the animals in nature and capture excellent footage. 

Comfortable safari cars

The Tanzanian tourism industry maintains a high level of standard, which extends to safari vehicles. When you book with Altezza Travel, there is no compromise of driving in a van for your safari - you will certainly be in a modern, comfortable safari vehicle.

Our safari cars come with Wi-Fi internet, a fridge for cool drinks, electric outlets to charge devices on-the-go, air conditioning and extendable tops. The option to lift up the roof of the safari car means better viewing all around for a fun safari adventure.

Luxury lodges and camps

Accommodations in Tanzania have earned a reputation for excellent hospitality. There are many award-winning camps and lodges throughout national parks that cater to high-end clientele.

Visitors to Tanzania are sure to have a luxury experience throughout their stay. You may be in a remote location on the edge of the Tarangire River, the Serengeti plains or with an exquisite view of the Great Rift Valley; but you’re sure to be drinking fine wine, eating chef-prepared meals and be offered all the luxuries of any four or five-star hotel.

Altezza has carefully chosen top-rated hotels, and our staff members frequent these establishments to ensure the quality and service that our guests receive is consistent with our own high standards.

Nearly all the lodges Altezza partners with for our guests’ safari accommodations offer beautiful swimming pools, outdoor fire pits for nights under the stars and top-rated restaurants within the hotels. Rooms are spacious, often with private balconies or verandas for further relaxation and breathtaking views.

Many also provide spa services and sometimes babysitting options for families. Child-minding in such settings is educational and fun for all ages; children learn about Tanzanian culture and have the chance to participate in crafts or learn traditional dances.

Typically, guests spend early mornings and evenings at hotels or lodges, but you can create your own schedule to suit your own needs.

Professional safari guides

Altezza carefully selects safari guides who have experience in the field, and in-depth knowledge of Tanzania’s plants, animals and history. Your safari experience will be both memorable and informative. All around, you will learn about the incredible features of nature, and the behavior of Africa’s animals, in a fun and engaging way. Despite the lengthy time in the cars, many families who do bring their children on safaris find the experience opened their children’s minds to nature in a completely new way. Electronic devices seem dull compared to the excitement of the real wild!

Our guides consistently are given positive reviews from our guests. The professional and friendly manner of Altezza guides is often considered one of the aspects that took a traditional safari above and beyond expectations.

If you’re interested in an experience that is much more than a typical vacation, come to Tanzania for a wildlife safari.

If you’re seeking an adventure that is not only memorable but has the power to influence how you see the world around you, come to Tanzania for a wildlife safari.

If you want your travels to make a deeper impact and teach you about the importance of our environment, come to Tanzania for a wildlife safari.

If you want to experience the world but to avoid feeling like a regular tourist, come to Tanzania for a wildlife safari.

If you want to visit authentic Africa and see wildlife in their natural habitat, come to Tanzania for a wildlife safari.

If you want to have the best safari experience available, come to Tanzania!

Published on 21 November 2023 Revised on 11 March 2024
About this article
Marvin Derichs
Expert Articles: 13
Written byMarvin Derichs
Travel Expert Tanzania
Climbing Climbing
Safari Safari
Tanzania Tanzania

Marvin Derichs, a Germany-based travel consultant for Altezza Travel, spent seven years living in Tanzania before returning to snowy Schleswig. Drawing from his rich experience, he now advises prospective travelers on exciting adventures in Tanzania. Marvin possesses extensive knowledge about Tanzania's mountains and popular safari parks and shares his insights with our readers.

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