Tanzania

Bordering eight other nations, and with immaculate shores upon the Indian Ocean, Tanzania embraces the diversity of the African continent.

The rolling plains of the expansive Serengeti are only the beginning. Tanzania hosts Africa’s highest peak, the majestic, snow-capped Kilimanjaro; the abundant jungles enveloping Lake Tanganyika, brimming with wildlife including chimpanzees; the golden coast of Zanzibar and its secluded tropical islands beyond; and the world’s largest inactive volcano caldera, the expansive Ngorongoro Crater, with its unique microcosm of African fauna.

If you are wishing to capture as much of Africa as possible without having to cross too many borders, Tanzania is the perfect answer and is guaranteed to astound and amaze.

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activities & experiences

From wide, grassy plains to Africa’s largest lake, the depths of Mahale Forest to the secluded white-sand beaches of Pemba island, Tanzania is a land of wonderful contrasts.

There is so much to see and do that it can be tricky to know where to start.There are, however, several iconic experiences that simply must be indulged in.

Tanzania is also a country for everyone. Young families can enjoy plentiful game drives and fascinating explorations, the more adventurous can summit Africa’s highest mountain or explore deep into lush forests and jungles, the more leisurely-inclined can enjoy relaxing tropical beaches and balloon rides over the Serengeti, and so much more.

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The Great Migration journeys through Tanzania for much of the year and, depending on when you arrive, you can witness a million wildebeest and the young calves, life-threatening river crossings, and vast herds of zebra, gazelle and the wildebeests as far as the eye can see.

In the heart of Mahale Forest on the banks of Lake Tanganyika, you can – if you’re lucky – discover troupes of chimpanzees, while in the vast Ngorongoro Crater, an abundant ecosystem thrives separated from the outside world by the steep walls of the long-deceased volcano.

  • Witness the most remarkable of African spectacles, the Great Migration, from the ground, on horseback or from above by balloon
  • Discover the ancient coastal culture of the Spice Islands
  • See herds of elephant, black-maned lions and possibly the elusive and rare black rhino
  • Visit our closest living relatives, the chimpanzees 
  • Wonder at the tree-climbing lions of Manyara National Park
  • Watch the sunset over the second largest freshwater lake in the world, Lake Victoria
Chris Thomas Wan4zxqhqoa Unsplash
Jorge Tung 1pzjqqlgpsy Unsplash

destinations

Snow? In Africa? Yes – the peak of Kilimanjaro, some 19,340 feet (5,895m) above sea level, is capped in snow for much of the year and mountain climbers of all abilities come from around the world to summit the world’s highest freestanding mountain. However, you can also enjoy a glorious beachside sojourn and sail from Tanzania’s shores on the azure waters of the Indian Ocean or enjoy ‘the Greatest Show on Earth’, the vast Serengeti. Diversity abounds in Tanzania.

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  • The Ngrorongoro Crater. Some 2,000 feet (610m) from summit to floor, the long-extinct volcano caldera is its own hidden world of unspoiled nature. While animals can traverse the high crater walls, many choose instead to remain within this wonderfully balanced ecosystem, including lion, leopard and cheetah, elephant, flamingos, zebra and antelope. Interestingly, you won’t find any giraffe within the crater itself, some hypothesizing that the steep escarpments are too challenging for the long-limbed animals.
  • The Spice Islands. As wonderful as ‘Zanzibar’ sounds, the archipelago’s former moniker of the Spice Islands sounds so wonderfully romantic, and the experience more than lives up to the title. Comprising over 40 individual islands, most uninhabited, you can quite literally find yourself alone on a desert island. Unguja or Zanzibar Island, and Pemba are the two largest, offering a wide range of accommodation and facilities, but the outer islands, such as Mnemba, offer complete escapism and a wonderfully romantic retreat. Stone Town, on the main island, is also highly worth a visit and a living journey back through time.
  • Serengeti National Park. Ranging across 5,700 square miles (14,763 square km) of grasslands, the Serengeti is one of the most abundant wildlife habitats of Africa. Hosting the ever-wandering Great Migration for at least nine months of the year, it is a wondrous spectacle whenever you visit. Such is this abundance of life that, no matter where or when you go, you are sure to spot a great many animals. Choose the right time and place though and your experience will be akin to the very best of nature documentaries. Lion and cheetah prowl behind the vast herds, searching for their quarry to feed their hungry cubs, crocodile wait in the depths of the Mara River as the wildebeest congregate in their tens of thousands on the bank, and adorable calves and foals take their first steps upon the migration that will consume the rest of their lives.
  • Tarangire National Park. Home to the densest population of elephant in Africa, Tarangire is a vastly different facet of Tanzania’s many faces. The broad canopy of acacia trees and voluptuous outline of baobabs stipple the wide horizon, while the large herds of elephant can be readily found alongside cheetah, African wild dogs, kudu, oryx and many more stunning creatures. Though elephant do give birth all year round, wet season – from March until June – is often the best time to witness the infants comically investigating the purpose and use of their long trunks!
  • Mahale National Park. Though Mahale National Park is remarkably diverse, one of its most iconic and endearing lures is the colony of over 1,000 chimpanzees that reside on the forested slopes of the Mahale mountain range. Though famous primatologist and chimp expert Jane Goodall performed most of her studies in the far smaller Gombe National Park to the north, Mahale offers a far wider experience with an equally liberal opportunity to see mankind’s closest living relatives in their natural surroundings.

accommodations

Though the country may be vast and diversely experiential, the accommodation across Tanzania is wonderfully intimate. Smaller fly camps and permanent camps are remotely located across the Serengeti, while even the more significant lodges still offer a smaller, more personal experience.

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Lake Tanganyika, on Tanzania’s western border, is teeming with life and the perfect waterside venue to begin your exploration of Mahale National Park. Only a handful of lodges are within the park itself, but Tanganyika offers the opportunity to enjoy luxuriously rustic accommodation on the water.

While Zanzibar itself has a wealth of luxurious accommodation from opulent hotels to boutique, African-style lodges, several of the smaller islands offer exclusive properties. Sometimes with just a single property on the entire island, these destinations are about as perfect a honeymoon venue as anyone could wish for.

While exclusivity is a running theme through many of Tanzania’s wonderful options, several lodges can also accommodate larger parties, multi-generational family groups or a wider clientele. However, wherever you go you are very likely to be amongst the few, rather than jostling with crowds on game drives and breakfast buffets alike.

The Serengeti is certainly one of Tanzania’s primary reasons for drawing visitors from across the globe and there are few better ways to truly indulge the senses than at a temporary or established camp. Several of our favorite venues grace the Serengeti plains and are amongst the most celebrated experiences of our many guests.

Singita Sabora

TANZANIA ESSENTIALS

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BEST TIME: Jul – Oct coincides with the Great Migration, though Tanzania is excellent for most of the year

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CLIMATE: LOW: 54-73ºF (12-23ºC) May – Aug / HIGH: 55-82ºF (13-28ºC)Oct – Mar

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SEASONS: DRY: Jun – Sep & Nov – Feb / WET: Oct & Mar – May

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BEST FOR: Adventurers, families, honeymooners, wildlife enthusiasts, photographers

There is so much on offer in Tanzania, so it is worth taking some time to consider what you wish to achieve of your African safari experience. With this in mind, your Travel Designer will be able to craft an ideal itinerary while suggesting numerous additional short trips or experiences alongside your bucket list.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

HOW LONG SHOULD I SPEND IN TANZANIA?

Taking any less than one week to explore Tanzania simply won’t do the country justice, and even in that time you will leave so much unseen. Tanzania’s diversity is such that you can spend your entire extended vacation here and yet still see a wonderfully disparate array of fauna, landscapes and sights. Even if there is only one specific aspect of Tanzania you wish to explore, we still recommend no less than four days.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT?

Tanzania benefits from a very even annual climate with very little change in temperature. If you plan to ascend any of the heights – the peaks of the Ngorongoro, Mount Kilimanjaro and so on – you will need thermal wear whatever time of year you visit. With two rainy seasons and two dry seasons, there are few months to be readily avoided.

However, April and May are particularly wet and best avoided. The latter part of the rainy seasons does often coincide with elephant birthing, so even those wetter months can provide significant benefit.

WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM ACCOMMODATION IN TANZANIA?

First and foremost, intimacy. Many camps and lodges will only host a handful of guests, so even if you are sharing them with strangers, you will likely become firm friends by the end of your stay. Numerous camps and some of the smaller lodges offer near-exclusivity, so you may well be the only ones staying there.

Camp venues are still wondrously luxurious, with a rich flavor of colonial days to transport you to a time of early explorations and romantic 1900s travel.

OTHER DETAILS:

Visas are required for most visitors, and inoculations may be recommended. We suggest you contact your travel designer or a travel medicine specialist for advice.Internal flights are widely used in Tanzania, so whether visiting a national park, Kilimanjaro or journeying to your accommodation, smaller aircraft may be required. However, roads are reasonable and many camps will transfer you from regional airports by land.

Like neighbouring Kenya, Swahili is the national language of Tanzania. A little goes a long way, and simple phrases such as ‘jambo rafiki’ (hello friend) and ‘asante sana’ (thank you very much) can help to gaining additional respect and kinship. However, English is spoken abundantly and you will rarely, if ever, require a Swahili phrase book to converse.

Tanzania offer exceptional tourism standards, from exquisite national and international cuisine to expert guides and trackers. Your accommodation staff will almost certainly be highly trained and professional, chefs well-versed in all dietary requirements and guides able to give you an abundance of knowledge and information in English.

TANZANIA SAFARIS


WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY

Wow, wow, wow!! We are back in LA now, recovering from jet lag and still in shock and awe regarding our experience. From the moment we landed in South Africa to the moment we touched down in LA, our experience was seamless and amazing. 

- Amy Lundberg

We were thrilled with the trip. It was as good as or better than described at every turn. The prep, attention to detail, willingness to make changes and ensure we were ready and prepared was outstanding. Our Travel Designer was awesome! 

- Betsy Robertson

Choosing a safari expert is never easy given the choice and lists upon lists of "top suppliers"....but we made the BEST choice for us....why....because above all, Rothschild listened ....really listened to what we wanted to experience.

- Dawn Jacobs

It was a well organized trip. It was easy to get around since we were guided through all of our itinerary. Everyone was pleasant and very helpful. This is an excellent way to travel. Rothschild Safari did very well and brought a fantastic African experience to us.

- George Kowalski

My trip was beyond AMAZING! I truly enjoyed every moment. The itinerary allowed me to experience a variety of different activities all of which I enjoyed! When I originally thought of going to Africa I was just thinking of safaris. This trip opened my eyes (and my family/friend's) to so much more Africa has to offer.

- Jackie Smith

Trip was PERFECT!! Every single detail was planned out and the accommodations and people were wonderful. This trip exceeded all of our wildest expectations. Every place we stayed was just lovely and each each camp had a different vibe, which was really neat. Everyone we worked with was outstanding. 

Jamie Scarlett

On behalf of the Moravec’s and the Stone’s……thank you for arranging a trip of a lifetime. Every detail was accounted for and all the recommendations were perfect. It honestly could not have gone any better.

Joe Moravec

Meggan Woody and Kim Killick were extraordinary at crafting THE PERFECT safari for our family of 8. They both listened (actually 'read' my email) to EXACTLY what we wanted, within the budget that we needed, and miraculously pulled off miracles in obtaining the properties that we wanted! 

Kim Mather

Every aspect of my trip went according to plan and the plan Rothschild's help me to orchestrate was magnificent! I loved every lodge that I was blessed to be in! They were all very different yet all high end and very accommodating.

Lisa Anderson

It was the most exciting, scenic, inspiring trip we've ever taken. To say it was a trip of a lifetime doesn't begin to capture our experience. Pam Langhoff and the Rothschild team did an outstanding job of helping us plan this trip.

Mary & Rob Johannigman (& family)