Dry season
Wet season

Tanzania is regularly voted as one of the best safari destinations in Africa and is a year-round safari destination. There is no bad time to travel as each season offers something special with both the dry season and the wet season offering vastly different experiences.

During the dry season the skies are clear, the days are sunny and you will see the harsh sun suck the moisture from the landscape, baking the earth a dusty red while the wet season brings dense bush, high grasses and luscious scenery. This is also when the migratory birds are present and bird watching is at its best.

The best chance of seeing the wildebeest migration in the Central Serengeti is from December to April with February being the calving season and an excellent time to see predator action. During the month of August you are likely to see the migration in the Northern Serengeti near the Mara River.

Overall, the best wildlife viewing months are during the dry season from January to February and June to October as there is less vegetation and the animals concentrate around the waterholes and rivers. There are also fewer mosquitoes as there is little to no rain.

The northern safari circuit is the most popular safari circuit in Tanzania and in most cases you will fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport with alternatives being Arusha Airport, Dar es Salaam International Airport or Nairobi International Airport in Kenya and we are able to book internal flights on your behalf. Our safaris range from 4 to 10 days in duration and we can also create a tailor-made itinerary, just for you.

AN OVERVIEW OF THE NORTHERN SAFARI CIRCUIT’S NATIONAL PARKS AND RESERVES

 

ARUSHA NATIONAL PARK:

Arusha National Park

The Arusha National Park is located just a short drive from the Arusha city centre and is perfect for a day trip. Game viewing here is more low-key than at the other national parks and it is the scenery, rather than the wildlife, that is the attraction. The park offers a diverse habitat spanning from montane rainforest to moist savannah to alpine moorland with scenic lakes and views of Mount Meru. Animals that call the park home include the black and white colobus monkey, buffalo, giraffe and several antelope species as well as a large bird population. What makes the Arusha National Park unique is that is one of the only few parks in Tanzania that allows guided walking safaris and canoeing on the lake. 

LAKE EYASI:

Lake Eyasi

Lake Eyasi offers an adventure filled day and a true cultural experience. It is home to the Hadazbe bush people and Dotoga tribe and you will join them as they go about their daily activities including hunting and gathering. It is a great day for the whole family. 

LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK:

Lake Manyara

Lake Manyara National Park stretches along the base of the Rift Valley escarpment and the contrasts of the area are simply breathtaking. Ernest Hemingway once described it as “the loveliest I had seen in Africa”. The park is small in size and is home to the famous tree-climbing lions as well as over 400 bird species.

LAKE NATRON:

Lake Natron

Lake Natron is wild, remote and hauntingly beautiful and is located at the base of Africa’s only active volcano, Oldoinyo Lengai. It is known as the Mountain of God by the local Maasai people and is only visited by a few who dare to travel off the beaten path. The area around Lake Natron contains some of the most harsh and amazing scenery in Africa and is utterly breathtaking.

THE NGORONGORO CRATER:

Ngorongoro Crater

The Ngorongoro Crater offers some of the best game viewing in Africa. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979 and is one of the only places on earth where mankind and wild animals co-exist is harmony. It offers superb wildlife viewing year-round due to the permanent water supply on the crater floor. It is home to the Big 5 as well as the endangered black rhino and it is great for bird lovers with over 500 species recorded within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. We recommend upgrading your accommodation to one of the lodges or tented camps located on the Crater Rim for an accommodation experience of a lifetime. 

SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK:

Serengeti

The Serengeti is Tanzania’s oldest and most popular national park and also a UNESCO World Heritage site. Home to the ‘Big 5’, it is most famous for the spectacular great wildebeest migration which is a once in a lifetime experience. The best time to witness the migration is from July to October in the Northern Serengeti near the Mara River. Alternatively, join us for the calving season in Ndutu from December to March. 

TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK:

Tarangire

Tarangire is one of Africa’s little known gems and should be on the itinerary of all lovers of wilderness and solitude. Famous for its large elephant population, the landscape is incredibly diverse with a mix that is not found anywhere else on the northern safari circuit. It is dotted with ancient baobab trees, large termite mounds and the Tarangire River is the only source of water during the dry season. It is a personal favourite for those of us in the Benson Safaris Tanzania office.