The best game areas in Tanzania

Date: 07 Jul 2011

Tanzania can rightly lay claim to some of the very best game areas in Africa.  For the best game areas within Northern Tanzania we'd recommend that you beging by looking at Serengeti, Tarangire, Ngorongoro and Loliondo, although Lake Manyara and even Arusha National Park also deserve consideration.  When it comes to sheer volume and variety of game, the Serengeti is extremely hard to beat. Host to the wildebeest migration it has much more besides with varied landscapes. It excels year round but to ensure the best possible experience you have to understand the dynamics of the broader area.

Ngorongoro Crater offers amazing landscapes and phenomenal concentrations and diversity of both game and birdlife within a fascinating mini ecosystem. It offers wonderful flowers in late April and May but it can be cold in June and July. The area is hugely popular so it's worth timing your visit carefully and seriously considering the off season (mid March to late May) to best appreciate this area in some semblance of privacy.

Tarangire is renowned for its elephant herds and is particularly good through the dry season, between July and late October, when the Tarangire river is one of the few sources of permanent water in the area and attracts sizeable herds of zebra and wildebeest as well as buffalo. The Piaya area of Loliondo, the Gol Mountains and Salei Plain are at their very best from February through to early May. You can expect rain at this time, sporadic but sometimes heavy but this brings crystal clear air and when Angata Kiti and the Salei Plains are green and game rich its a very tough game experience to beat. There are usually very few people around at this time and some great walking opportunities.

Manyara is small, can be busy in parts but with a wonderful diversity and great opportunities for up close game action. We often suggest Arusha National Park for a day or two at the start of a safari - wonderful for its forest species (including surprisingly relaxed colobus) as well as lots of giraffe and good birds around its many lakes.

Southern Tanzania offers a very different sort of game experience from the North, generally less rewarding in sheer volume of game yet richer in terms of overall experience and the opportunity to enjoy a more diverse range of activities. Selous and Ruaha are the key areas although Mikumi, Udzungwa and Saadani areas shouldn't be overlooked.

The Selous offers a heady mix of good game, diverse terrain and lots to do, whether it be walking, boating, fishing or flycamping as well as game driving. We always choose the area and the camp carefully to match the time of year and clients particular areas of interest.  Ruaha is a perfect compliment to a Selous safari with excellent and reliable game, particularly in the dry months from June to late October.

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