The Big Five In Tanzania Safari

Tanzania Safari

The Big Five In Tanzania is the most iconic animal to be found in Africa-the elephant, lion, leopard, rhinoceros, and cape buffalo.

Named for how hard they were to hunt, people these days prefer to hunt those majestic animals with their cameras instead.

  • Lions: Serengeti’s Seronera area, Ngorongoro Crater and Manyara Lake are the best spots to spot lions.
  • Leopards: The Serengeti Seronera area is your best opportunity to see the leopards.
  • Elephants: Tarangire National Park is the home of the largest population of elephants in Tanzania. There are plenty of elephants in Ngorongoro Crater too.
  • Cape Buffalo: First seen in Ngorongoro Conservation Area is the most famous of the Big Five but can be seen in most parks in Tanzania.
  • Rhinoceros: Ngorongoro Crater offers the best chance of seeing the Big Five’s most at risk.


It is difficult to find the brightly colored flocks of flamingos, as their movements are both seasonal and affected by water levels and salinity.

Lake Natron is Tanzania’s most popular place to spot flamingos, but at certain times of the year, they can also be seen at Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara.

In Kenya, Lake Bogoria is generally the best spot to see flamingos in East Africa.

  • Wallowing hippos on a Tanzania safari are a common (and pungent) sight.
  • During the wet season the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, and Lake Manyara are the best places to see hippos.
Giraffes & Zebras
  • Giraffes and zebras are visible almost everywhere in Tanzania.
  • Arusha National Park has the largest population of giraffes in Tanzania.

Bird-watching is fantastic throughout Tanzania’s national parks, but Lake Manyara and Arusha National Park are generally considered the best bird-watching destinations.


While many of Tanzania’s national parks are home to baboons, Arusha National Park is undoubtedly the best place to see a variety of primates, where black and white colobus monkeys are a particularly popular sight.

Where to Stay on a Tanzania Safari

In Tanzania, there are accommodation options for all budgets. There is something for all walks of life, from roughing it out on the plains of the Serengeti in a public campsite to living in the lap of luxury.

Particularly popular options are camping in the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and we will provide all the camping equipment as well as a private chef to ensure that you are eating well.

You will set up camp under the stars in a public area with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities, and camp out.

Budget Lodges
  • While budget lodges are seldom within the boundaries of the park, towns like Arusha and Karatu offer many options for those on a tight budget.
  • Budget lodges offer comfortable sleeping accommodations without fancy frills.
  • Some of our most famous budget lodges include McElly’s in Arusha and Trees Inn in Karatu with Eileen.
Tented Camps
  • You can’t look past a traditional tented camp to experience true Tanzania safari.
  • Tented camps are an inexpensive way to live right at the heart of the action, effortlessly combining the comforts of a lodge with the rustic charm of camping.
  • A tented camp features things like private hot shower baths, comfortable double beds, and delicious food.
  • Our most popular tent camps include Tarangire’s Sangaiwe, Central Serengeti’s Kati Kati and Northern Serengeti’s Kenzan Tented Camps.
  • They are usually located on the park’s fringes and offer a quick way to enter and exit the park without having to pay park fees.

Popular standard lodging options include Karatu Country Lodge, Arusha Moivaro, Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge, Manyara Lake Wildlife Lodge, and Sopa Serengeti.

Luxury Lodges
  • For those who want something truly memorable from their Tanzania safari, it is difficult to look past some of the luxury lodges in Tanzania.
  • There are luxury lodges for all walks of life, from affordable luxury properties such as Serena to exclusive properties such as the Four Seasons Safari Lodge or Crater Lodge & Beyond.
  • Similar to a tented camp, a luxury tented camp has all the trimmings you would expect in a luxury lodge but with the added charm of being closer to nature.
  • A luxury tented camp is a fantastic way to make your stay in Tanzania a memorable one, from Angata’s affordable luxury to more extravagant properties like Lemala and Mbuzi Mawe.
What activities can you include in a Safari in Tanzania?

In Tanzania, there is more to a Tanzania safari than only game drives. Although few things can match the excitement of driving across the open plains and spotting your favorite African wildlife, there are several ways to take a break from the car.

Canoe Safaris

It can be a great way to see Tanzania from a unique perspective to trade the car for a canoe out in the open.

Available in Lake Manyara National Park and Arusha National Park (when water level allows), a canoe Tanzania safari with hippos, buffalo and a vast array of birdlife gets you up close and personal.

Walking Safaris

The image of walking out on the open Serengeti plains is a nice one, but walking safaris are only possible in a few selected locations in Tanzania.

Walking in Tanzania’s national parks is seldom safe, with large predators and large herbivores being unpredictable and potentially dangerous.


While cycling is not permitted inside Tanzania’s national parks, there are several places in Tanzania where you can add some fascinating cycling tours to your game driving.

These tend to be the most popular near Lake Manyara National Park and in the villages surrounding Mount Kilimanjaro.

Cultural Tours Experiencing

Some of the unique tribal culture in Tanzania is a great way to add to your Tanzania safari something different.

There are several ways you can include a cultural tour in your Tanzania safari.


The most famous of African tribes, the Maasai, is a common sight when driving between national parks in Tanzania.

Hadzabe & Datoga

The Hadzabe hunter-gatherers are one of Tanzania’s most fascinating cultures and many of our safari itineraries include a tour of Lake Eyasi to learn more about their culture.

Another unique element in Tanzania’s cultural tapestry is the nearby Datoga Tribe.


The Chaga tribe from the Kilimanjaro foothills, while not as famous as the Hadzabe or Maasai, has an intriguing history of its own.

A tour of Marangu town may include a visit to the Chaga Cultural Museum and the Chaga Tunnels where Maasai raiding parties were eluded by Chaga Warriors.

Night Game Drives

Night game drives are usually not allowed inside Tanzania’s national parks, but a night game drive can be included during overnight stays at Lake Manyara National Park.

Although night game drives offer the opportunity on the hunt to see nocturnal animals and predators, the darkness makes things difficult to see.

Hot Air Balloon Safari

Undoubtedly the most memorable addition to Tanzania safari you could choose from, Soaring above the Serengeti at dawn is an unforgettable experience and it’s all capped off with a delicious champagne breakfast in the heart of the wild.