Tanzania – One of the best countries in Africa to visit
Key reasons why Tanzania should be your next safari destination
An African safari is a definite must do, but very often guests ask, which is the best country in Africa to visit? Tanzania is a strong contender for this prestigious title. Visitors flock here annually to witness the epic Great Migration pass through the legendary Serengeti – a natural spectacle with wildebeest herds so large they can be seen from space.
The neighbouring Ngorongoro Conservation Area offers the most remarkable game drive location within the walls of an unbroken caldera. Further south, the national parks of Ruaha and Nyerere (formerly Selous) offer wild, off-the-beaten-track game viewing in spectacular settings. Add to this the exotic island of Zanzibar and its palm-fringed beaches, Kilimanjaro – Africa’s highest mountain – and the shores of Lake Victoria, and you have one of the most beautiful, vibrant and diverse countries in Africa.
The Great Migration
Few lifetime experiences can beat that of watching over a million wildebeest plus hundreds of thousands of gazelles and zebra – closely followed by hungry predators – embark on a never ending 800-kilometre-long circular trek through the unfenced Masai Mara and Serengeti in search of seasonal pasture and water. This natural spectacle is both thrilling and profoundly moving.
Strictly speaking, there is no ‘migration season’ as the Great Migration is, in fact, an eternal annual cycle from place to place, year in and year out, however there are times when the herds are more condensed and impressive in their numbers. For details on where to stay when, check out our month-by-month migration breakdown here.
The wildebeest travel in a continuous annual cycle in search of pasture and water.
Game drive in a crater
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that takes its name from the Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest inactive, intact, and unfilled volcanic caldera, formed two to three million years ago. Approximately 25’000 large animals live in the natural enclosure formed by the 300km² crater, while the greater conservancy surroundings are home to buffalo, elephant cheetah and leopard. The unique experience of game driving across the floor of an inactive volcano makes an Ngorongoro safari one for the books.
Guests at The Highlands can enjoy a half day excursion to hike in the beautiful Empakaai Crater
Where to stay: The Highlands
Experience the rolling highlands of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area surrounding the camp, home to leopard, buffalo and elephant. An Ngorongoro Crater safari is a remarkable experience, but the exclusivity of The Highlands is what makes this experience unique. Follow ancient Maasai trails to the summit of the Olmoti Crater, or down to the flamingo-lined soda lake on the floor of the Empakaai Crater. Visit local communities to gain insight into the traditional Maasai way of life that has defined this corner of East Africa for centuries. The famous Ngorongoro Crater is easily accessible from camp, while the setting ensures maximum privacy, a rich adventure and a range of activities not possible elsewhere in Ngorongoro.
The lions of Ruaha
Ruaha is one of Tanzania’s largest national parks yet is still relatively unknown to many safari enthusiasts. Roughly 40% larger than the Serengeti, Ruaha National Park plays home to approximately 10% of the world’s lion population – making it the perfect destination for those with a keen interest in seeing lion, instead of people, whilst on safari. The banks of the Ruaha River are a permanent hunting ground for lion, leopard, cheetah, jackal, hyena and the rare and endangered African wild dog, who prey on the waterbuck, impala, and gazelle that come to the river to drink. This is a remote wilderness area that offers an authentic and profound safari experience for those who know the value of exclusivity whilst on safari.
Where to stay :Jabali Ridge, Jabali Private House, Kwihala Camp, Usangu Expedition Camp
Boating and walking in Nyerere
This wild and unspoiled national park in southern Tanzania boasts an enticing mix of abundant wildlife and varied terrain. Game-viewing here is rewarding, often featuring wild dog, lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and more than 400 bird species. A real highlight of Nyerere is the variety of safari activities available, making every day entirely different from the next. Choose from traditional game drives, boat safaris to get up close to the hippos and crocodiles, or walking safaris to take a slower approach to understanding the flora and fauna of Nyerere National Park. The park is larger than Switzerland and is home to just a handful of small safari camps, ensuring an exclusive and immersive safari experience.
Where to stay: Roho ya Selous
Set on a peninsula jutting into Lake Nzerakera, Roho ya Selous occupies the heart of the prime game viewing area within Nyerere National Park. Explore this vast wilderness, home to one of Africa’s largest populations of wild dog, with our expert safari guides. Whether you’re exploring on a game drive in search of leopard lurking in the shady boughs of a fig tree, or out on foot tracking wildlife that’s ventured close to camp during the night, this park is full of surprises. With just eight canvas tented rooms, each with air-cooling systems over your bed to ensure a peaceful night’s sleep in the hotter months, Roho ya Selous strikes the perfect balance between comfort and adventure. Nyerere is larger than Switzerland and is home to just a handful of small safari camps, ensuring an exclusive and immersive safari experience.
Set close to the water’s edge, guest tents at Roho ya Selous frequently have wildlife passing by in close proximity.
On the northeast coast of Zanzibar Island, framed by coconut palms and white sand, is Matemwe village and beach, home to Asilia’s Matemwe properties. Privacy and exclusivity rule at this tropical paradise. Matemwe Beach is one of the most peaceful places on this lush tropical island. With a shallow, coral-fringed lagoon, it is the perfect place for a tropical beach holiday or to relax and unwind after a busy game-viewing safari. Just off the coast is the world-famous Mnemba Atoll, said to provide some of the best diving and snorkelling on the continent. The waters of these mesmerising coral reefs provide brilliant sightings of colourful fish, turtles and sometimes even dolphin, while the deeper Indian Ocean gives you the chance to see humpback whales on their annual migration route between July to November.
The view from Matemwe Retreat, over the lagoon to the reef wall and the Indian Ocean beyond.
Where to stay: Matemwe
The Matemwe properties are perched on an outcrop overlooking a shallow coral-fringed lagoon, with the Indian Ocean glittering ahead. The long stretch of beach has not been noticeably altered by tourism and it remains an important thoroughfare for locals. Fishing and seaweed harvesting are still key to the local economy, and, at high tide, fishermen can be seen sailing across the lagoon in their dhows. The lodge has a close relationship with the local fishing village, Matemwe Village, situated under the palm trees on the far side of the beach.
The chimpanzee of Rubondo Island
In the southwest corner of Lake Victoria lies Rubondo Island, Africa’s largest island national park. Over three-quarters of its 25’000 hectares are blanketed in pristine equatorial forest – home to a thriving population of chimpanzee, the rare sitatunga, bushbuck, forest elephant and giraffe. The waters of Lake Victoria teem with Nile Perch, making for exciting catch and release fishing opportunities. The bird life is prolific, offering a diverse mix of predators, forest dwellers and aquatic species. The variety of activities and experiences available on Rubondo Island, coupled with the unique exclusivity of the location, allows the island to add plenty of weight towards Tanzania’s claim on the title of being the best country in Africa to visit.
A chimpanzee rest its eyes for moment amongst the treetops on Rubondo Island.
Where to stay: Rubundo Island Camp
Rubondo Island Camp is the only lodge on Rubondo Island. From its lakefront location to the eco-friendly design of the eight fabulous chalets, the camp offers unrivalled access to this one-of-a-kind destination. Elephant roam wild in the forest, chimpanzee chase through the trees, colourful birds and butterflies flit amongst the pristine canopy, and hippo emerge from the lake waters at sunset to casually stroll across the beach and graze on the lush grass around camp.
Journey with us on a safari that takes you into the heart of East Africa. Witness nature’s greatest wildlife spectacles from our intimate camps, situated to deliver the very best experiences. Our expert guides reveal to you the secrets of the wild, and our sensitive approach helps crucial wilderness areas to thrive.
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