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Epic 5-Day Safari In Tanzania Guide

A 5-day safari in Tanzania is one of the best ways to see the best wildlife in the country and this is my guide on where to go and what to see. I have visited Tanzania 2 times and each time have spent several days on safari there.

This itinerary provides an epic overview of Tanzania’s wildlife and landscapes, showcasing some of the country’s most iconic safari destinations.

5-Day Safari In Tanzania

This is an extraordinary journey through the heart of Africa’s most iconic wilderness set against the backdrop of vast savannah plains, towering acacia trees, and dramatic sunsets, this adventure promises unparalleled encounters with the continent’s most majestic wildlife.

The 3 safari destinations mentioned here are Tarangire, Serengeti, and Ngorongoro Crater. 3 of the best places for a safari in Tanzania, if not most of Africa.

The word ‘safari’ is Swahili and means a ‘journey‘.

Note: All photos taken are my own.

Top tip: get the Bradt Zambia Safari Guide to help plan your trip. It’s the best guide I have used for Zambia and Bradt Travel Guides in general are some of the best to use for Africa.

Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park is a renowned wildlife sanctuary located in northern Tanzania. It is famous for its large concentration of elephants, which is one of the highest in Africa.

The park is named after the Tarangire River that crosses through it, providing a vital water source for the diverse array of wildlife that inhabits the region.

This makes for a great 1st-day safari on the way between Arusha and the Serengeti. If you decided to do a 4-day safari instead of a 5-day safari in Tanzania then I would suggest missing Tarangire, because as much as I love elephants, it’s better to spend more time in the Serengeti.

Having said that, Tangier National Park is less busy with tourists than the Serengeti s0 you can have a more quiet wildlife experience, although still expect other people on safari there.

In addition to elephants, Tarangire National Park is home to a variety of other animals, including lions, leopards, cheetahs, giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, and numerous bird species.

The park’s landscape is characterized by vast grasslands, acacia woodlands, and seasonal swamps, offering a unique ecosystem for both predators and herbivores.

Tarangire is often overshadowed by its more famous neighbour, the Serengeti, but it offers a quieter and more intimate safari experience. You can enjoy game drives, walking safaris, and birdwatching tours in the park, which is less crowded compared to other destinations in Tanzania.

Serengeti National Park

Here we go… this is the big one!

The Serengeti National Park is one of the most iconic and celebrated wildlife reserves in Africa, located in northern Tanzania. It spans approximately 14,750 square kilometres (5,700 square miles) and is renowned for its vast plains, stunning landscapes, and incredible biodiversity.

Serengeti National Park is home to an impressive array of wildlife year-round. This includes the “Big Five” (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhinoceros), as well as numerous other species such as giraffes, hippos, crocodiles, hyenas, and various antelope species.

I have to say that after doing around 30 safaris across East Africa and Southern Africa, I saw more leopards in the Serengeti in 2 days than I did in all other places combined.

But then with wildlife you just never know, sometimes you have to get lucky.

The most impressive thing about the Serengeti is the vast savannah that allows for the great wildlife-watching opportunities that some other safari destinations don’t have, being more covered by bush.

Serengeti National Park is a must-visit destination for wildlife enthusiasts, offering unforgettable safari experiences and the opportunity to witness some of the most incredible natural phenomena in the world.

Camping in the Serengeti is an experience unto itself as, especially if you choose a more budget safari like I mostly do, you will end up camping in a simple tent with no fences. You will be open to any wildlife that may happen to wander through.

But don’t worry, there will always be a ranger(s) by the main campsite keeping an eye on things all night. Just don’t think of going for a piss in the bushes from your tent at night!

Ngorongoro Crater

The Ngorongoro Crater is a breathtaking natural wonder located within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in northern Tanzania.

It is often referred to as the “Eighth Wonder of the World” due to its stunning beauty and remarkable biodiversity and is one of my favourite safari destinations in Africa.

Formed by the collapse of a large volcano millions of years ago, the Ngorongoro Crater is the world’s largest intact caldera, with a diameter of approximately 20 kilometres (12 miles) and a depth of over 600 meters (1,970 feet).

The crater floor is a self-contained ecosystem, providing a habitat for a wide variety of wildlife.

The Ngorongoro Crater is home to an extraordinary concentration of wildlife, including all of the “Big Five”. Other species found within the crater, much like the Serengeti, include wildebeests, zebras, hyenas, cheetahs, hippos, and bird species such as flamingoes.

The crater’s unique geography and abundant water sources make it an ideal habitat for such diverse wildlife.

In addition to wildlife viewing, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area offers cultural experiences, including visits to Maasai villages where you can learn about traditional Maasai culture and customs.

Camping at the Ngorongoro Crater is an experience in itself as, like in the Serengeti, you can camp out with nothing between you and the wildlife. But not just that, as you will camp on the top of the crater rim, you will get an incredible sunrise opportunity.

Safari Practicalities

If you have the time and are on a budget then you could just show up in Arusha, the main city in the north of the country that is the main jumping-off point into these main places for your 5-day safari in Tanzania.

In Arusha, you will be able to find a safari company to take you on your trip. There are numerous safari companies operating in Arusha. Research online reviews, ask for recommendations from fellow travellers, or consult with travel agents to find a reputable company that suits your budget and preferences.

It’s important to have comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies just in case. I use Safety Wing Travel Insurance when backpacking and can highly recommend them to you.

Have a read of my in-depth guide to safaris in east and southern Africa where I go into a lot of detail about other great safari destinations there along with a safari packing list, etc.

Tanzania Wildlife Safari

That’s the best 5-Day Safari In Tanzania that you can do as far as I’m concerned. Yes, the country has so much to offer in the way of national parks and wildlife viewing, but the places mentioned here are world-class especially if it’s your first time in Tanzania and you want the best wildlife and safari experience this is it.

Top tip: get the Bradt Zambia Safari Guide to help plan your trip. It’s the best guide I have used for Zambia and Bradt Travel Guides in general are some of the best to use for Africa.

Have a look at the 10 best documentaries about elephants.

And the 10 best documentaries about lions.

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