Tanzania is a large country with many national parks, some well known such as the Serengeti and Ngorongoro and others less well known but still remarkable. To the north of the country and near Arusha are the most well known and most travelled parks.

We have a number of itineries that have proved popular in the past but are completely flexible. If you do not have a particular safari in mind our suggestion would be to plan on 7 days staying at 4 different high quality lodges. The location of lodges will depend on the rain, grass and animal movements amongst other things.

For those who would like to combine their safari experience with a relaxing beach side holiday in Zanzibar please see our longer budget, mid range and luxury safari options.

Don't hesitate to call us +255 765 41 0007 or +255 783 09 0294 or email us enquiries@livingstonesafrica.com if you would like some suggestions, want to find out where the migration is or where it might be during a certain month etc.

Tanzania game reserves
Map of Tanzanian game reserves

When to come?

Normally the migration is active in Tanzania's Serengeti for 9 months, from November to July. The migration involves over a million wildebeest, gazelle and zebra on the move. Resident game (predators and other mammals) are generally fixed to territorial areas and don't follow the migration much beyond their own ranges.

The migration is driven by the rains, which determine when the animals start moving, although the timimg of the rains may vary from year to year so the migration doesn't operate on a set schedule.

The short light rains fall in November and December (sometimes as early as October) and draw the migration rapidly south from Kenya's Maasai Mara down the eastern side of Tanzania's Serengeti into the sweet short-grass plains.

The wildebeest settle in the southern plains between about January and April. This is usually the best time to see the migration in Tanzania.

In April and May the long heavy rains set in and the depleted southern plains are less attractive than the long grass plains up in the western corridor and the migration moves north westerly again.

In June/July Large river crossings on the Grumeti and Mara Rivers occur as the migration heads back into Kenya's Maasai Mara where fresh grazing and water can be found in the far north around August, September and October.

Parts of the Serengeti can get very busy at certain times. So when the migration is in full swing, space is at a premium, prices are relatively high and advance bookings are essential. If you're too late to get available space when you originally intended it's better to postpone your safari plans to get the right space.

If you're interested in seeing specific resident game species (eg elephant, wild dog, leopard etc) then destinations other than the Mara or Serengeti could be better.

Lodges or luxury tented camps?

Lodge safaris
For visitors who want the amenities of home and the adventure of a safari experience, lodge safaris are a popular choice, and make up the majority of safaris to Tanzania. Lodges offer traditional hotel-style rooms in a comfortable and controlled environment, and allow hesitant visitors to feel secure during their stay in and around game parks and nature reserves. All of the national parks and most of the game reserves have numerous lodges based in and around their boundaries for visitors to choose from, and the variety caters for every budget and taste. Options include everything on the spectrum, from high-end luxury lodges -- tree house rooms high in the forest canopies, highland cottages with feather beds and fireplaces, all-natural beach bungalows on hidden island retreats -- to more lower-budget options like fully furnished safari tents, equipped with hot showers, comfortable beds, and a breathtaking view.

When staying at lodges, all meals and services are provided for guests by the lodge property, and extra additions to the safari can be arranged. Breakfast and often lunch is served as a buffet, with dinner a more formal, sit-down occasion. Traditional tribal dances, called ngomas, may take place on certain nights, and live music, theme nights, or other entertainment is often provided during the week. During the morning and afternoons, visitors set off on game drives with their safari guide and driver, returning for tea, drinks, and dinner when the sun begins to set. Extras such as hot-air ballooning, night game drives, nature walks, sunset drinks, and other activities are also on offer at various properties.

Luxury camping safaris
Luxury camping safaris mixes the best of the African bush with an exclusive and luxurious atmosphere. Tented camps are stationary and set up before your arrival, with a group of cooks, tent staff, waiters, drivers, and your guide, all there to make sure you experience the best in service, food, and high-end accommodation. Tents are equipped with running water and electricity, fully furnished in safari chic comfort and style. At night, sundowners around the fire leads to chats about the game viewing and events of the day. Private guides and an entire camp to yourself make luxury camping safaris one of the more romantic safari options on offer in Tanzania -- rustic adventure, with no comfort sacrificed.

Reputable luxury safari companies in Tanzania have made a name for themselves over the years, with camps set up around the northern circuit and also in the more remote parts of the country. Cuisine is tailored to meet clients needs, and the service of the camping staff, plus the experience of the drivers and guides, means that the experience has become a popular option over the years. With campfires under the African stars and the best in personalised service, it's not surprising that luxury tented safaris have become a mainstay of the safari business in Tanzania.

Lake Manyara birds
Lake Manyara National Park Private day trip
This is a one day private safari through the Lake Manyara National Park......
Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro Crater Park Private day trip
This is a one day private safari through the Ngorongoro Crater......
Hyena pup
Tarangire, Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro Crater - 5 days / 4 nights
This Tanzanian safari travels through the Tarangire National park, Lake Manyara and the Ngorongoro Crater......
Hippo yawn
Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater - 7 days/6 nights
This Tanzanian safari travels through the Tarangire National park, Lake Manyara, the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater......
Vervet monkey
Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater - 10 days/9 nights
This Tanzanian safari travels through the Tarangire National park, Lake Manyara, the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater......