10 Reasons Why Tanzania is Perfect for First-Time Safari

If you can do only one safari in your life, where would it be?

Most people choose South Africa or Kenya for their virgin safari trip, and while both countries are spectacular in their own rights, Tanzania embodies the quintessential safari experience like no other. Here are Top 10 reasons why Tanzania is perfect for first-time safari-goers:

1. Classic Safari Experience

If you are looking for the classic romance of rolling savannas and acacia trees, with large numbers of wildlife on the open plains stretching as far as eyes can see, look no further than Tanzania. After all, East Africa is where the concept of safari was originally born in.

Balloon Safari, Serengeti, Tanzania

[Image Credit: Harvey Barrison]

2. Unrivaled, Spectacular Wildlife

It’s no surprise that most Discovery Channel scenes are shot in Tanzania, with iconic names such as Serengeti and Ngorongoro (both UNESCO World Heritage Sites). Home to over 25,000 mammals, Ngorongoro has the highest density of predators in Africa. Serengeti had been voted as #1 best safari park by experts for its breathtaking spectacles, most notably on #3 below.

Hippos, Ruaha National Park, Tanzania

[Image Credit: AfricaPoint.com]

3. The Great Migration

Serengeti boasts the world’s single biggest wildlife migration, with two million wildebeests, gazelles and zebras roaming across the plains while opportunist predators await—a phenomenon so surreal it has been dubbed the Eight Wonder of the World.

Wildebeest Migration, Serengeti, Tanzania

[Image Credit: Daniel Rosengren]

4. Herds of Animals, Not Humans

Sadly, the abundance of jeeps in South Africa and Kenya’s national parks can sometimes makes you feel like you are in a zoo. In contrast to that, we were the ONLY vehicle for most of my times in Tanzania. The most “crowded” it has ever gotten was a minuscule grand total of six jeeps.

Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

[Image Credit: &Beyond]

P.S. There will be more vehicles expected in the river crossing site during the migration season, but compared to the neighboring Masai Mara in Kenya and Kruger in South Africa, it is still less crowded considering the priceless spectacle that you get.

5. Off-the-Beaten Walking & River Safari

If Serengeti is still too “mainstream” for you, there are remote national parks such as Ruaha and Selous to fill your quest for rugged, unspoiled beauty. There’s also a chance to finally hop off your 4WD for the thrill of authentic wilderness exploration on a boat and on your own feet!

Walking Safari, Ruaha National Park, Tanzania

[Image Credit: Timbuktu Travel]

6. Mingle with Our Closest Relatives

Chimpanzees share more than 98% of their DNAs with us, and they are incredibly smart they have been known to make use of tools to hunt. Meeting eye-to-eye with these intelligent creatures in Mahale or Gombe National Parks is a profound wildlife encounter unlike any other. Those with extra budget can also easily charter a flight to neighboring Rwanda for a gorilla trekking experience.

Chimpanzee, Primate Safari, Tanzania

[Image Credit: Max Pixel]

7. Postcard-Perfect Kilimanjaro

“I do not want this snow-capped giant volcano in the backdrop ruining my photos!” said no one ever.

Elephant Herds, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

[Image Credit: Encyclopaedia Britannica]

8. Cultural Immersion

Tanzania is home to over 120 distinct ethnic groups, including the now-iconic images of friendly Maasai people with red garments and a spear over their shoulder. It is easy to combine your safari trip with a night or two at Maasai cultural villages.

Maasai Adumu Dance, Tanzania

[Image Credit: Brutere]

9. Idyllic Coastline

Honeymooners and couples will be glad to hear that one of the world’s most picturesque beaches, Zanzibar, is located in Tanzania. Just a short flight away for a good R&R after all the game drives.

The Rock, Zanzibar, Tanzania

[Image Credit: Eric Lafforgue]

10. Luxury is Still an Option

Many people shrug the idea of looking beyond South Africa, mistakenly assuming that the rest of Africa is dangerous and you have to rough it up. That couldn’t be further from the truth! Standard of accommodation, food and service in Tanzania can be as luxurious (or as budget-conscious) as you’d like.

&Beyond Crater Lodge, Ngorongoro, Tanzania

[Image Credit: &Beyond]

If you can do only one safari in your life, where would it be?

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