Holidays & Sabbaticals to Tanzania & Zanzibar – In a Nutshell
The iconic and powerful highlights of Tanzania inspire conceptions of ‘quintessential Africa’. The vast Serengeti, with the phenomenon of the annual migration of the wildebeest; the Ngorongoro crater, the largest caldera in the world; and the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, have all long been enormous draws to Africa.
However, the country also boasts less celebrated areas with equally rich ecosystems and dense wildlife… and fewer guests. The lesser-known parks and reserves in south of the country offer a more remote safari experience; and the diverse range of wildlife encounters extends to the best chimp viewing in Africa in the west of the country.
Finally, the turquoise seas of the Indian Ocean beckon for some incredible marine experiences, notably from some of the islands, famed for their beauty, coral reefs and rich sea-life. A glistening, multi-toned cerulean ocean meets an exquisite archipelago of soft, white shorelines fringed by palms on Tanzania’s Spice Islands.
Zanzibar’s capital, the important former trading-post of Stone Town, reveals cultural and historic riches. Zanzibar’s verdant forests host the endemic rare red colobus monkeys. Calm seas benefit its array of water-based activities. Local culinary delicacies fuse exotic spices with island cultures. Zanzibar is a worthy destination in its own right and warrants a decent amount of time properly to explore.
The islands of Mafia and Pemba are entirely undeveloped. The intrepid can enjoy unspoilt nature on land; dive and snorkel in some of the best coral reefs in East Africa; and swim with resident, friendly whale sharks.
The iconic African savannahs of Tanzania are home to the famed Big Five: elephants, lions, leopards, buffalos, and rhinoceros. Herds of wildebeest roam, towers of giraffes saunter and bloats of hippos wallow. Clans of bristling hyenas trot and prowls of cheetah stalk and spring. Tanzania’s coastal areas teem with marine life, with turtles sauntering through vibrant coral reefs alive with tropical fish. Dolphins, whales and whale sharks are plentiful.
Tanzania is also home to a fascinating array of lesser-known species. In the forests of the Mahale Mountains reside chimpanzees, our closest living relatives, who flourish as a result of a rehabilitation programme. Ruaha National Park is inhabited by elusive predators such as African wild dogs, often referred to as ‘painted wolves’, known for their distinctive coat patterns and cooperative hunting strategies. The remote Katavi National Park is home to the elusive and rarely spotted sable antelope, with its impressive curved horns and striking black coat.
The coastal regions of Tanzania are also a treasure trove of lesser-known species, including the red colobus monkeys on Zanzibar Island.
Off The Beaten Path
- The intrepid can enjoy unspoilt wilderness on Pemba and Mafia islands, with fantastic diving, snorkelling, and swimming with whale sharks
- For the active, take a longer trail up Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest free-standing mountain in the world. A team will accompany you to ensure your safety and comfort
- Fly in a hot air balloon for an aerial view of the great migration
- Visit the ground water forests, bush plains, baobab strewn cliffs, and algae-streaked hot springs of Lake Manyara
- Grind coffee the old-fashioned way at Gibbs Farm
- Safari in the most remote and least-visited National Park, Katavi, accessible only by charter plane. Tanzania’s densest population of hippos and crocodiles live here. Huge herds of buffalos and elephants come into conflict with the numerous prides of lions and hyena making it an action-packed spot. (min 12 yrs for children)
Tanzania Experiences you shouldn’t miss:
- Safari in the iconic Serengeti. Over 1.5 million wilderbeast and zebra migrate clockwise around the park as part of the Great Migration. Predatory big cats provide many opportunities for seeing the circle of life in action
- The vast landscape of the Ngorongoro Crater, the largest unflooded and unbroken caldera in the world, is said to have the highest density of wildlife in Africa. The rim of the crater is over 2,200m high offering amazing views. Arrive early to avoid an influx of safari vehicles
- See the huge herds of elephants in Tarangire National Park. Composed of granitic ridges, river valley, and swamps, Tarangire is also home to rarer animals including long-necked generuk and oryx
- Hear the call to prayer resonating over the awaking, twisting alleys of Zanzibar’s Omanistyle Stone Town
- Trek to see chimpanzees in the Mahale Mountains National Park, where a successful rehabilitation program has made this the best place to see these playful primates, each of which has been named
- In Ruaha National Park, look up to spot among over 570 bird species, displaying a kaleidoscope of plumage. Game is prolific here and it is less visited than the North. Mix up boating, driving and walking safari in Nyere National Park, and jump into the hot springs here
- View immense fuchsia flocks of flamingos at Lake Natron, a mineral-rich lake which is the world’s most important breeding ground for these vibrant birds
- See where the earliest human remains have been found at Olduvai Gorge, the ‘Cradle of Mankind‘. The relatively new museum here is a highlight
How to Get to Tanzania
Direct flights to the capital, Dar Es Salaam, and to Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar are approximately 11h20m from London. Flights are 17h40m from New York.
When & Weather – Tanzania
Temperatures range from 18°C at night to 29°C in daytime, with humidity rising during the dry period July – October.
Peak season is Jan-Feb for vehicle safaris. Walking safaris are best outside of Jan & Feb, when shorter grasses increase visibility.
April to June sees rainfall. This is the best time of the year for safari in the North, with the backdrop of nature awash with blooming flowers. Elsewhere, safaris tend to wind down during these months.
July to October is the dry season with superb opportunities for sightings as long grass is eaten away and wildlife congregates around permanent water sources. Herds splash across the Mara River as they migrate to seek fresh grass. Humidity builds during this period.
November and December see rain returning, bringing colour back to the landscape. Wildlife is less concentrated yet still abundant. This is low season and a great time to avoid other tourists while enjoying fantastic sightings.
Who will Tanzania Appeal To?
This land of epic safaris, towering mountains and idyllic beaches will appeal to:
- Active travellers
- Solo travellers
- Families. Min age is: 12 for walking safari; 8 for driving safari. Most lodges have a min age of 8
- Wildlife enthusiasts
Stay in a luxury, mobile tented camp, which moves to follow the migration; go ‘fly camping’ for a couple of nights, with just a mosquito net (and armed guard) between you, nature and the stars; relax in the luxury of a fixed safari lodge; or cool off on a coffee plantation on the hillsides. Accommodation aims not to leave a footprint and has sustainability built in.
By travelling with LiNGER to Tanzania, you will automatically be contributing to the Kiliamatembo School project. This supports a hygiene and water management program, sporting facilities and a library, conservation and soil erosion prevention, and tree planting.
Our experienced team will guide you through a number of ideas based on how you would like to experience Tanzania.
No matter how long you have to travel, we will ensure your trip is carefully pieced together to suit your interests, pace of travel and budget.
Browse our gallery for inspiration and contact us to find out more.