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What is the best safari in Tanzania

Posted in: Tanzania


What is the best safari in Tanzania?

A simple question, with a very complicated answer. We use our scientific understanding of animal movements, climate change models and apex predator densities, to give you a VIP safari seat in one of the best safari destinations in the world. We break down the Tanzania safari experience into 3 distinct safaris, two based on the seasonal animal migrations and one based on leaving north Tanzania for the undiscovered south; where African wild dogs and leopard are waiting for you. Photo Credit: C Butterworth

Wildebeest calving Serengeti – timing is everything

Many wildlife guides in Tanzania regard this as the best time to see big cats and other apex predators in Tanzania and organise bespoke Tanzania safaris for photographers and wildlife enthusiasts to stay at seasonal camps; which have been perfectly positioned to maximise wildlife encounters and see one of the greatest wildlife shows on the planet. So, it makes perfect sense to utilise their expert knowledge and experiences to create a perfectly timed Tanzania migration safari which focuses on the incredible calving period which only lasts for 6 weeks each year.

The natural world existed a long time before humans could put their own labels on what it means to see nature up front and personal. What some observers can see as cruel and offensive, others see simply as nature and evolution. No successful predator would look the other way when such a potential feast of prey appears on the horizon and indeed the great Wildebeest Migration is tracked by Lions, Leopards, Cheetahs and African Wild Dogs throughout its annual cycle. However, there the Wildebeest Calving is the true ‘high point’ for predator activity and therefore a fascinating and raw time for wildlife photographers searching for the classic big cat hunt.

Follow the Wildebeest migration through Tanzania and Kenya

How exciting is it for a wildlife photographer to follow one of the most amazing animal migrations on the planet and for this we need to focus on expert planning of the route and choosing the best wildlife lodges and camps in Tanzania.

During the months of July and August, we may have huge herds in both the northern Serengeti in Tanzania and in the Mara in Kenya. This allows us to see vast herds on the plains and maybe the chance of witnessing the first epic Wildebeest river crossings on the Kenya side of the migration – so thrilling if you get lucky with your timings and choice of camps. At this time of year, you should consider linking up with a company that has lodges and camps in both the Serengeti and Mara and designing your Tanzania migration safari between two camps. Using bush flights this can be planned from either Arusha or Nairobi, linking a mobile camp in the northern Serengeti in Tanzania, with a static tented camp or lodge in the Mara; close to one of the rivers famous for the big river crossings. I think it is only fair to point out, that predicting where the largest herds are going to cross within a one to two week safari holiday period is very difficult; if not impossible – no matter, what other so called ‘African experts’ may say. We have sent clients during what is considered to be ‘peak season’ for migration river crossing and they have not witnessed the big crossings. Whereas, some of our clients adding on one week extension in the Mara in late October have enjoyed incredible river crossings in late October.

Leave the busy north for an enthralling southern Tanzania safari?

Wildlife Trails has always prided itself on seeking out the path less travelled, so when some of our regular clients were looking to follow up with us after Indian tiger safaris, or North American bear safaris, by dipping a toe in the huge African safari market, we were more than happy to introduce themselves to the south of Tanzania.

Several good quality airlines fly from Europe to Dar and after a night to relax in a beautiful hotel facing the Indian Ocean; you will be met by your own private driver and naturalist and he will drive you to the world famous, Selous game reserve. Known as one of the best locations in Africa to see African Wild Dogs (or African Painted Dogs!) and with some beautiful wildlife lodges and camps to stay in. A lot of our clients who take a safari in southern Tanzania want to combine Selous with Ruaha – Tanzania’s largest national park, with an area of 13,000 sq km. Ruaha has always been famous for its healthy leopard population, but you are also likely to see wild dogs, lions, cheetah, giraffes, zebras, elands, impala, bat eared foxes and jackals.

Because it is a long drive from Selous to Ruaha, most visitors include a stop in Mikumi national park en route. The vast grasslands of Mikumi support good herds of zebra, wildebeest, buffalo and impala. Giraffe and elephant are also common. Predators, such as lion and spotted hyena, are present but sightings are rarer than in some of the more popular parks. Troops of yellow baboon and Vervet monkey can be found throughout the park.

Does the idea of a spectacular big cat or wild dog safari of Tanzania appeal? Then please check out our Wildebeest Calving Serengeti safari, or our bespoke southern Tanzania safaris, visiting Selous, Ruaha and Sadaani.

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