Tanzania is in many ways a natural extension of Kenya. The Serengeti-Masai Mara Ecosystems (supporting the most diverse migration of grazing mammals on earth) stretches over 24,000km² of land with the Serengeti in Tanzania in the south and the Masai Mara in Kenya to the north.
Tanzania includes the spice islands of Zanzibar, Pemba, and Mafia and contains Africa’s highest point—Kilimanjaro, at 5,895 meters (19,340 feet). Tanganyika, a British-controlled UN trust territory, gained independence in 1961; and Zanzibar, a British protectorate with an Arab population, became independent in 1963. Tanganyika and Zanzibar united to form Tanzania in 1964.
Tanzania lies 12 degrees South of the Equator and the safari areas have two distinct regional climates –
The northern highlands, close to Kenya have a similar climate to the Kenyan highlands, with warm dry sunny days, and chilly evenings. And with short rains in October and November, and the longer rains between April and May.
The rest of the country, southern, central and western areas, ie Ruaha, Selous, and the great lakes, rarely experiences temperatures lower than 20°C (68 °F). Similar to Southern African they experience one rainy season that continues from October through to April or May.
The coastal region can reach a dry and comfortable 35°C (95°F) during the day, with cool and pleasant evenings.
Click here for more information on month to month climate in Tanzania.
Western Tanzania is one of the best places where to get close to the animals that share 98% of our genes. Mahale Mountains National Park (on the shores of Lake Tanganyika) is a chimpanzee sanctuary, with an estimated 1000 chimps in residence.
Zanzibar is the evocation of the exotic, an archipelago nestled in the Indian Ocean, legendary and mysterious as well. Zanzibar retains the imprint of the historic legacy in the tumbling streets of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Stone Town, in the Arabic – influenced Swahili language and the rare antiques of the bazaars and markets.
The mighty Mara River snakes across the northern tip of the Serengeti National Park on its westward flow into Lake Victoria. Nearly half of the Mara River (30 miles in length) is situated in the North Serengeti.
This area is dominated by the vast and seemingly endless short grass plains. The southern plains are at their best between mid December and late May when this whole area comes alive as millions of wildebeest move onto the plains in search of the fresh green grass after the first rains.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Northwest Tanzania is considered the cradle of civilisation and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Ngorongoro Crater is the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera and is commonly referred to as the 8th wonder of the world. The crater is home to some 30 000 animals, and surprisingly diverse habitats.
Remote, raw and filled with wildlife, the Selous is Africa’s largest game reserve. Yet unlike the iconic destinations of Tanzania’s Northern Safari Circuit, it remains relatively unknown to outsiders. The defining feature of the Selous Game Reserve is the great Rufiji River which creates a series of interconnected lakes and palm-fringed channels and teems with wildlife.
Tanzania offers lots of small private boutique camps in lovely locations e.g. in the Ngorongoro area you can stay away from the crowds by staying in one of the renovated nearby colonial farm houses or baroque opulence of Crater Lodge.
Southern Tanzania has a different climate and some camps are closed between February and May. Child policies may differ from camp to camp
With a prime office location in Arusha at Arusha Coffee Lodge, our Nairobi and Arusha offices will be working closely together, offering dedicated Tanzania FIT itineraries and combined Kenya & Tanzania FIT itineraries.