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Northern Tanzania

The well-established ‘Northern Circuit' safari of northern Tanzania offers some of the world’s most diverse safari experiences,  consisting of National Parks, game reserves, conservation areas and private concessions. Among these are the world-famous and iconic Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater, and of course their less well-known neighbours, Tarangire National Park and Lake Manyara National Park.
These parks exist for one general purpose and that is to protect the amazing variety and abundance of wildlife in them, both resident and seasonal - and most of all, the world’s largest annual migration of wildebeest and zebra.  Although this part of the world has become increasingly busy as a result of its reputation, it is still possible to escape the crowds and find a quiet corner if you know where to go.

A northern Tanzania safari should be on everyone's travel bucket list.  The Serengeti's Great Migration is one of the most amazing wildlife spectacles in the world, whilst safari on the Crater floor of the extinct volcano at Ngorongoro is a game viewing environment that has no equal. Towering above it all is Kilimanjaro, the worlds highest freestanding mountain and arguably Africa's toughest challenge.  Away from the tourist hotspots, quieter parks such as Tarangire are superb for game viewing yet often overlooked to their more famous neighbours. The Rift Valley Lakes of Eyasi and Natron are the home of Hadzabe tribes and the breeding grounds for the largest flocks of flamingo on earth. For many people, a Northern Tanzanian safari is the very best safari of all.  Show me more >

North or South?

Should you safari in the north or the south of Tanzania, and how long should you spend on safari?  This is the first and most important decision you need to make.  The northern safari parks are very different to those in the South and there are advantages and disadvantages to each:

The parks in southern Tanzania are more remote, however easier to get to with daily flights from Dar and no stopovers required.  The camps in the south are better value for money than those in the north, tend to be more intimate, and offer various activities including walking, boating and fly camping.  Game viewing is in open-sided vehicles, which enhances the viewing experience.  The south favours the shorter safari and beach combination and therefore offers a quick, cheap and very rewarding experience with hardly any other visitors.

By contrast, in the north the majority of parks require closed sided vehicles, do not allow walking (except in select camps) or boating safaris, and in most cases the areas are very crowded and not so ‘wild’.  Most of the camp and lodge options are large and  characterless, but if your budget permits and you know what you are doing, you can find the small tented camps which are tucked away from the busy areas. However, the rewards in the north are the big five, the Great Migration and the spectacular scenery - but do watch out for higher prices generally and poorer value for money at the low- to mid-range.

A northern safari - logistics

Like all travel there are various options here, that essentially boil down to what your budget is.   This is one of those times where you do get what you pay for...

For the high-end traveller there is the &Beyond flying circuit which involves absolutely no driving between camps. A typical such safari  includes two nights at the Lake Manyara Tree Lodge, two nights at the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge and anything upwards from two nights at Serengeti Under Canvas and/or Kleins Camp.  This is a fabulous, high-end trip.  The icing on the cake would be to add on one ore more of Singita’s camps in Grumeti Reserves: Faru Faru, Sasakwa or Sabora.    Show me more >

A northern safari – how much

The northern camps vary enormously in price, and as a general rule, the higher the price, the better your camp and game experience. At the lower end of the spectrum are the large permanent lodges like the Serena and the Sopa which have anything from 70 rooms and cost about $500 pppn including game activities, and this is pretty standard for all the parks. There are smaller tented camps such as Kati Kati in the Serengeti which break into this price bracket but are in equally busy areas.   Show me more >

A northern safari - off the beaten track

With a few exceptions, no walking is allowed in the northern parks and game viewing is in closed-sided vehicles.  However, it is now possible to take good - albeit short - safari walks in the Serengeti with Serian and Nomads from their mobile camps and from Sayari and Serengeti Lamai in the Lamai Wedge.  Show me more >

A northern safari - getting there

The starting point for a northern safari is Arusha, which was once a traditional Maasai village.  International flights arrive either through Dar, a two hour flight from Arusha, or Kilimanjaro which is only a half an hour drive away.  Your northern safari can start with a short flight from Arusha to any of the parks, or even a drive.
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Parks in this Area

Lodges in this Area

We have specialised in tailor-made Tanzania Holidays and Tanzania Safaris since 1998.  Our knowledge and experience will guarantee you the very best possible itinerary for your budget and travel dates, and your money is protected by our ATOL bond.



Map of Tanzania

Tanzania Map Tanzania - Serengeti Tanzania - Ngorongoro Crater Tanzania - Lake Manyara Tanzania - Tarangire Tanzania - Kilimanjaro Tanzania - Selous Game Reserve Tanzania - Ruaha Tanzania - Mahale Mountains Tanzania - Katavi Tanzania - Zanzibar Tanzania - Pemba Island Tanzania - Mafia Island Tanzania - Dar es Salaam Tanzania - Arusha
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