The sights and sounds of Tanzania are majestic and exotic; from the magnificent wildlife of East Africa to the spectacular Mount Kilimanjaro, this place has a lot to offer. If you’re really planning to go to Tanzania, you’ll revel in the experience and come home with fond memories and stories galore.
Planning an adventure trip to Tanzania and making the most out of that trip can sometimes be tricky, primarily because this country has so much to offer that its many options leave you indecisive. But hey, fret not – as this article will cover all the necessary information you need to know to plan a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Tanzania. From budgeting tips and packing advice to the best time of year to travel, this shall help you in every possible way!
Best Time to Visit Tanzania
Before deciding what to explore in Tanzania, it is essential to know the best time to visit Tanzania. It depends a lot on what the best season is and what you want to explore.
Every month has its own charm as well as highs and lows, but this is what you can expect in the following months.
- June to October – Dry Season
If your intention to visit Tanzania is to witness the Great Migration, then the best months to travel in the Serengeti is during its dry season. (October, to be more precise).
From June to October, the vegetation is low, and all the migrating animals are more concentrated around rivers and watering-holes. This means that the migrating animals are easier to track, and you get to see the most wildlife!
Another great benefit of traveling to Tanzania from June to October is fewer pesky insects, like mosquitoes, which automatically lessens the risk of malaria and related infections.
- November to May – Wet Season
November to May is the season when it rains there, so, during this season, quite a few migrating animals stay in the southern Serengeti for calving season, which attracts many predators including tigers, lions, and cheetahs.
Also, if there is a budget constraint, November to May is an ideal time to visit Tanzania. Although there will be too much rain for your liking, still there are perks for traveling in this season. You’ll find minimum rates for everything. Also, it won’t be that crowded.
So, when and where should you travel in Tanzania?
- July to March
If visiting during July to March, make sure you visit the northern circuit parks, but be ready to rub your shoulders with fellow adventurers too as it can get overly crowded.
- July to October
If visiting in July to October, make sure to visit the western and southern circuit parks as they are great destinations for viewing wildlife. Moreover, it tends to be less crowded during this time.
- April and May
If visiting from April to May, the main attraction are the northern circuit parks. They receive many visitors as compared to western and southern parks, which are usually quieter.
Serengeti National Park
The vast and wide plains up to over 1.5 million hectares of savanna, also known as the Serengeti, are the reason why adventurers from all over the world are head over heels for this place. It’s a heaven for animal enthusiasts and adventure seekers. The Serengeti is widespread, beautifully located between Kenya and Tanzania. The park that is in the outskirts of Tanzania is famously called the Serengeti National Park.
Every year, it witnesses the Great Migration – which happens to be the most massive mammal migration in the world, where more than two million wildebeests cross over to Kenya from Tanzania in quest of water and food.
The best time to visit Serengeti National Park is during the dry season, which means you can visit from late June till October when wildlife is at its peak. And for those who wish to witness the advent of wildebeest should plan their trip from January to February.
The one of its kind Ngorongoro Crater happens to be the world’s largest intact, inactivate, volcanic caldera. This place is also famous around the world because both animals and humans coexist here in complete harmony.
According to the world heritage website of UNESCO, words don’t do justice to its majestic and magnificent beauty. The highlight of the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area is a large crater itself. The world’s famous Great Migration occurs in this area, which begins in December when the zebras and wildebeest move towards the south. While in June, they travel to the north.
You also get to spot zebras, elands, hyenas, jackals and of course the magnificent Big Five in the crater: the lion, the leopard, the elephant, the rhino and the buffalo. Giraffes can be located outside, mainly due to a steep descent.
Although this crater can be visited all year long, for witnessing the best wildlife, plan a trip anywhere from June to September.
Another most excellent feature of Tanzania is Mount Kilimanjaro, which also happens to be the world’s largest freestanding volcano. At 5,895m (19,341 feet), Mount Kilimanjaro stands as the tallest mountain in the continent of Africa. No wonder thousands of people from around the world visit Mount Kilimanjaro to satisfy their hiking cravings.
If you plan on climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, make sure to memorize the trek, especially when you ascend the mountain because it is imperative to get familiar with the altitude to avoid any chances of mountain altitude sickness.
Is Tanzania Suitable for a Family Vacation?
Featuring exquisite beaches, fantastic wildlife, and an excellent transportation network, Tanzania is definitely a great choice for a perfect family trip.
However, due to the high risk of malaria, it is not suggested to bring along young kids and toddlers to Tanzania. While older kids and adults can take malaria pills or vaccination as per their physician’s advice, the tablets are not recommended for kids under 5-6 years old.
On the contrary, Tanzania can be an excellent adventure spot for kids 9 and above. Some cottages are appropriately secured and fenced, so there is very little chance of wild animals intruding onto the premises. Between boat rides, campfires at night, and game drives, your young ones won’t get bored at all.
What to Pack for a Trip to Tanzania?
Knowing which items to carry on a Tanzanian adventure trip is very important and must not be taken casually. Here is a handy checklist:
- Converter plugs: If you are traveling from America to Tanzania, you need not worry because they have the same electrical sockets as the US.
- Travel backpack: Ensure that you are carrying your travel insurance information, passport, a light jacket or sweater in case the weather changes. If you’re choosing a good African travel company, your journey may become more pleasant because you wouldn’t have to fret about making travel arrangements. However, if you’re planning to explore Tanzania on your own, you do need to make special preparations.
- Lightweight hiking boots: Whether you plan on hiking mountains or not, carrying a pair of comfortable hiking boots can be excellent for safari game drives.
- A rain jacket: Do carry a raincoat or two if you are planning a trip during monsoon season.
- Insect and mosquito repellent: Malaria is a widespread infection in Tanzania; therefore, don’t forget to carry enough insect and mosquito repellents.
- Sunscreen: See your dermatologist and get yourself prescribed with a strong SPF 30+ sunscreen to avoid sunburns.
- A sarong: As a conservative country, it is necessary to cover your shoulders and thighs in Tanzania. So, don’t forget to get a sarong or two.