THE CLASSIC SAFARI DESTINATION
Tanzania hosts some of the Earth’s most wondrous sights, names which quicken the pulse of even the most well-travelled: the towering Mount Kilimanjaro; the pulsing plains of the Serengeti; the primeval Ngorongoro Crater; the vast Selous. Tanzania tends to be split into the Northern and Southern Circuits. The various National Parks and Reserves of these regions are what initially capture the imagination of visitors but combining a safari with a stay on its stunning and exotic coastline or idyllic neighbouring islands really puts the icing on the cake.
The Northern Circuit tends to steal the limelight having the main tourist draw cards and, as a result of its proximity to Kilimanjaro Airport and Arusha, and its infrastructure, it is certainly the most accessible. The Ngorongoro Crater, a World Heritage Site, is a phenomenal natural amphitheatre enclosing an estimated 30,000 animals! It is incredibly impressive and, deservedly, popular.
A stay at one of the crater lodges rewards with incredible sunrises and sunsets. The Serengeti National Park is famed for the migration of massive herds of wildebeest, zebra and antelope, forever stalked by their ubiquitous predators. There are also numerous other parks on the Northern Circuit including Tarangire and Lake Manyara, each with their own particular characteristics.
For the more active the 5,895m (19,340 ft) Mount Kilimanjaro is a great temptation but it is a serious hike to its summit.
The Southern Circuit has little infrastructure and is less frequented. Camps and lodges are separated by great distances and best reached by light aircraft. The experience is one of isolation and harmony with the bush.
The Selous Game Reserve is the second largest in the world and is essentially closed in the wet season (April to June) when its few roads become impassable. Mikumi and the Ruaha are the least accessible parks, while to the west lies Lake Tanganiya – the largest of the Rift Valley lakes teeming with tropical fish and flanked by beaches, mountains and forests.
Tanzania offers a real wilderness experience. A safari here is enriching and game viewing is regarded as some of the best, and least contrived, in Africa. Moving around is less easy and tends to be more expensive but the effort is repaid by the experience many times over.
The climate varies significantly, which is not surprising as its environment includes both the highest and the lowest points on the continent! Whilst the narrow lowland coastal region is consistently hot and humid, the central regions of Tanzania are sufficiently elevated so as to offer much cooler temperatures. The rainy seasons extend from Nov-early Jan (‘short rains’) and Mar-May (‘long rains’).
BEST TIME TO TRAVEL
The peak season for travel to Tanzania is July to September, which is mainly due to two factors – the Great Migration (which normally starts crossing the Mara River into Kenya in late August/ September) and also the school holidays. Outside of these months then you can basically travel to Tanzania at any time, although we do recommend that you avoid the months of April & May as this is when the long rains fall. January to March and October & November are great times with good value and offers available.
Health & Vaccinations
We recommend that you are up to date with all of the usual vaccinations – Typhoid, Polio, Hepatitis A & B, Tetanus and Rabies. In addition a course of malaria prophylaxis is required. You will also need a Yellow Fever vaccination if visiting a Yellow Fever area before entering Tanzania (for example if combining with Kenya or Zanzibar on a two-centre itinerary). Please contact your local GP for full advice at least 3-4 weeks before travel.
Passport & Visa
British passport holders must be in possession of a full 10-year passport and must have at least 6 months validity beyond the date of the return journey. In addition you will need to have a minimum of 2 consecutive blank pages in your passport. British passport holders require a visa that can be obtained upon arrival into Tanzania. The cost of this is currently USD $50 per person. For any clients connecting from Kilimanjaro Airport to the Masai Mara to ensure that they have their visas in advance for both countries, passengers without these requirements will not be allowed to make the connection.
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