Tanzania Safari

Travel to Tanzania to discover green jungles, lush forests, tropical paradise islands with turquoise waters, and safaris in the Serengeti. When someone thinks of Tanzania, they envision an expansive plain teeming with wild animals, but it is, in fact, one of the countries with the greatest diversity of wildlife in the world.

Capital of Tanzania

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Tanzania is located in the eastern region of Africa and has a population of over 58 million inhabitants, composed of more than 120 different tribes. Dar Es Salaam, situated on the coast, is the largest city in Tanzania, with a population of 2.6 million inhabitants.

However, the official capital of Tanzania is Dodoma, a much smaller city located in the country’s center. The highest point is the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, 5895 meters.

Here’s a map I’ve created for you to locate on the map each and every entry or recommendation you’ll see in this post.

Mountainous areas, flatlands, green jungles, lush forests, tropical paradise islands with turquoise blue water and white sandy beaches

However, it is a developing country, which means it may have some things that not everyone is accustomed to. Below, you will find all the information you need to know before visiting this African paradise.

Some of the most popular places include the Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Crater, where you can experience a safari in Tanzania that you will never forget, climb Mount Kilimanjaro, or enjoy the beauty of the idyllic beaches of Zanzibar.

What language is spoken in Tanzania?

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The official language of Tanzania is Swahili, though English is also spoken by the majority of the population. In addition to these two languages, there are hundreds of languages spoken by the various tribes cohabiting in this country.

Ngorongoro Crater Tanzania

Time Difference 

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When it’s noon in the Spanish peninsula, it’s 1:00 PM in Tanzania, meaning Tanzania is one hour ahead.

safari Dibujo
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These are just some of the main attractions in Tanzania, but the country offers much more to explore, such as Lake Manyara National Park, Ruaha National Park, and more. In general, planning a trip of at least 10-14 days is recommended to have enough time to experience the best that Tanzania has to offer.

Land Rover Sonia Safari

Currency 

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The official currency of Tanzania is the Tanzanian Shilling. There are bills of 500, 1000, 5000, and 10,000 shillings. Coins are available in 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 shillings.

The dollar is also a common currency in Tanzania, so you can simply pay in US dollars. Some establishments even prefer it that way. For street shopping or small purchases, it’s most common to use the shilling. Therefore, it’s very practical to always carry shillings with you. 1€ = 2736 Tanzanian shillings* and 1$ = 2318 Tanzanian shillings*

*Note: These values may change by the time you make your trip.

Currency Exchange drawing

If you want to take some money from home, I recommend exchanging currency with RIA as they offer the best commission-free exchange rate and send and collect the currency at your own home.

Cambio de Divisa Dolar

RIA Currency Exchange:

  1. Key Services:
    • Currency Exchange: RIA provides currency exchange services for various currencies, including US dollars, yen, pounds, and many more.
    • Money Transfers: In addition to currency exchange, RIA is known for its international money transfer services.
  2. Exchange Rates:
    • Ria stands out for offering competitive exchange rates. You can compare their rates with other options to ensure you get the best possible exchange rate.
  3. Physical Offices in Spain:
    • RIA has a physical presence through its offices in Spain. You can visit one of their locations if you prefer to conduct transactions in person.
  4. Home Delivery:
Migration Nus Serengeti

Pay with commission-free cards

Credit Cards DRAWING

With the Revolut Card, forget about those extra expenses, because the currency exchange fees that traditional bank cards usually have are around 3% or 4%, no kidding!

TERJETA REVOLUT

Get yours now for free and discover a world of benefits for your travels. Apply here without fees. Don’t miss out! 🌍✈️

It is advisable to carry enough cash for your safari, so you won’t exhaust your limit with Revolut or whichever card you use, as happened to me. In the airports or in large cities like Dar es Salaam and Arusha, there are ATMs, but in smaller towns, it is more challenging to find them.

The withdrawal limit is usually 400,000 Tanzanian shillings, but it is lower in more rural areas. As you probably don’t want to have your pockets full of money, I also advise you to carry a credit card.

To pay on-site without breaking the bank with commissions or when withdrawing money from any overseas ATM, I recommend checking out the post on the Best Cards for Traveling without fees.

Tipping for services is not mandatory, but it is very customary in Tanzania. Your tip is highly appreciated and can make a big difference for your guide and accommodation staff, and of course, you should only tip if you are satisfied with the quality of service.

Beautiful Giraffe Serengeti

Best Time to Travel to Tanzania

Tanzania has two different seasons, which are barely distinguishable from each other. The temperatures are pleasant throughout the year, although it depends on the altitude. For example, in mountainous areas, temperatures are usually much colder than the rest of the country, with a significant difference between day and night. In coastal areas, on the other hand, the climate is usually warmer and more humid, with temperatures reaching up to 35ºC.

The best time to travel to Tanzania will depend on your preferences and the experiences you want to have during your visit, especially considering the climatic conditions and the migration of animals in the Serengeti and other national parks. Tanzania has two main seasons: the dry season and the rainy season, each with unique characteristics.

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Dry Season (June to October)

  • Advantages:
    • Dry and Pleasant Weather: The months from June to October are generally dry and cool, with more moderate temperatures and less humidity.
    • Optimal Wildlife Observation: During this time, the concentration of animals is high, especially in national parks such as Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater.
    • Excellent for Safaris: Weather conditions are ideal for safaris as the vegetation is sparser, facilitating wildlife observation.
  • Disadvantages:
    • High Demand: This is the peak tourist season in Tanzania, meaning parks and accommodations may be busier, and prices may be higher.
    • Advance Booking: It is advisable to book accommodation and activities in advance due to high demand.

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Rainy Season (November to May)

  • Advantages:
    • Lush Landscapes: After the rains, the vegetation is lush, and the landscapes are beautiful and green.
    • Fewer Tourists: This is the low season, so there are fewer tourists, and it’s possible to find deals on accommodation and excursions.
    • Births of Offspring: It’s a good time to witness the births of animal offspring in the Serengeti.
  • Disadvantages:
    • Rainy Weather: During this time, there are intermittent rains, and roads may be in poor condition in some areas.
    • Challenges in Wildlife Observation: Dense vegetation can make wildlife observation more challenging compared to the dry season.

There are two rainy seasons, the short rains from mid-October to late November and the long rains, which go from late March to late May. Nevertheless, this does not mean you cannot visit the country during these times.

Most of the roads are passable, the vegetation in the parks becomes more lush and dense, and there are far fewer tourists, so going on a safari in Tanzania during any season has its special charm.

In addition, mornings are usually very sunny, and it only starts raining in the afternoons. Some dirt roads in the parks may become impassable if the rains are very heavy, but guides always find an alternative route.

What are the plugs like in Tanzania?

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The voltage in Tanzania is not the same as in Europe. Hotels in Tanzania have very unstable voltage of 220-240 volts. It is recommended to bring an adapter, and something to consider is that electricity in many accommodations and camps is not available 24 hours a day.

  • Voltage: 230 V
  • Frequency: 50 Hz
  • Plugs: Type D / G
Las clavijas a utilizar En Tanzania son del tipo G. África TAnzania
Las clavijas a utilizar En Tanzania son del tipo D. África Tanzania

I personally buy power plug adapters on Amazon; there you can find a wide selection of Travel Adapters.

The need for a power plug adapter also depends on the country you live in. For more information on plugs from any part of the world, you can visit the Plugs of the World website.

Religion in Tanzania

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Tanzania is a country in East Africa with religious diversity. Approximately, half of the population is Christian, while Islam also has a significant presence. Additionally, there are communities practicing African traditional religions and other religious minorities.

It’s important to note that Tanzania has generally been known for its religious tolerance, and religious communities have coexisted peacefully to a large extent. The Tanzanian government has also promoted religious harmony and nondiscrimination based on religious grounds.

Hire the Best Tours in Tanzania

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It’s an ideal place to engage in a multitude of activities, as mentioned, and here you can hire them directly, without complications, even Free Tours that are completely free.

The best Tours in Tanzania. You can also hire door-to-door transportation, as well as transportation from the airport to the hotel or to your final destination.

Sonia in Tanzania

Vaccines for Safari Travel in Tanzania

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The quality of healthcare in Tanzania varies greatly depending on the area. In large cities, medical facilities can be good, but wait times are always long, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Here, I will detail the necessary vaccines for traveling to Tanzania.

VACCINE

Sometimes it’s advisable to get vaccinated before traveling to Tanzania, so I recommend consulting your doctor well in advance of your trip to get the latest information on vaccines as it may change.

YELLOW FEVER: Information regarding the yellow fever vaccine can be very confusing.  Do you need a yellow fever vaccine if you’re traveling directly from Europe or the U.S. to Tanzania? The Tanzanian government only requires proof of yellow fever vaccination for tourists coming from a country at risk of yellow fever. Check here for the LIST OF HIGH-RISK COUNTRIES.

However, if you have a layover or pass through one of the high-risk countries within 12 hours before your entry into Tanzania, you will be required to get vaccinated. But it’s best to consult your doctor; if they advise against vaccination, you can enter Tanzania even if you’ve visited a high-risk country as long as you present an official letter from your doctor. If you show it to the immigration officer upon arrival, you will be exempt from this requirement, and your journey will continue as planned.

Hotel Tanzania entrance

According to the World Health Organization classification, Tanzania is free from yellow fever, but don’t forget your vaccination card and first aid kit. If you don’t have one yet, you can request it from your doctor. Remember to take it with you.

Customs may ask for it upon your arrival. Also, it provides important information in case you need to see a doctor during your stay. I also advise you to carry a first aid kit with band-aids, gauze, blister treatment, iodine, and medications for common ailments such as headaches and digestive issues, among other things. Feminine hygiene products can be quite challenging to find in some areas of the country, so I recommend bringing them from home. If you don’t want to forget anything, visit the post Organize your luggage.

Sonia by a campfire

Requirements for Traveling on Safari in Tanzania

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If you plan to visit Tanzania, you should know that you will need a visa and a passport with a minimum validity of six months after your return.

In Tanzania, it costs 50 dollars or 50 euros, which is quite surprising because 50 euros are worth more than 50 dollars. That’s how it is! Therefore, when applying for your visa upon arrival in Tanzania, make sure to bring dollars, and it will cost you less.

You can also apply for your electronic visa here  on the Official Electronic VISA Page or through other websites or by scheduling an appointment at a consulate, embassy, or visa-specialized agency.

African stork

MAEC Safari in Tanzania – Ministry of Foreign Affairs 

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Here is the direct page of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Tanzania, where you can obtain all the most relevant information about Tanzania so that alongside the information from this blog, you won’t miss a single detail. Travel Recommendations (Exteriores.gob.es)

  • Country Code: 255
  • Dar es Salaam Code: 22
  • Arusha Code: 27
Emergency Police Phone 24h: 112
Emergency Health Phone: 199
Diplomatic and Tourism Police: +255 769 528 997
Firefighters: 114
 
Julius Nyerere International Airport: +255 22 284 4371
Kilimanjaro International Airport:+255 27 255 4252
 
Swiss Airlines Airport: +255 757 724 243
KLM: +255 22 216 391
Turkish airlines:  +255 (22) 2116681/82/83/84
Qatar Airways: +255 24 223 9177
Emirates: +255 22 211 6100 / 1/2
 
SPANISH EMBASSY IN DAR-ES-SALAAM
Chancellery:
99B Kinondoni Road. P.O. BOX: 842.
Phone/s: +255 222 666 936, +255 222 666 018, and +255 222 666 019 19
Consular emergency phone, from Spain: +255 754 042 123
Consular emergency phone, from Tanzania: 0754 042 123
Fax: +255 222 666 938.
Email address: emb.daressalaam@maec.es
  ​

Flights for a Safari trip in Tanzania

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To start your Safari, you first need to arrive in Arusha, for which I recommend you purchase affordable tickets with the Tanzanian flight company called PRECISION AIR

If you want to compare other airlines, you can visit the post where you will find the best flight search engines, with the best deals on CHEAP FLIGHTS there you can compare prices and choose the one that interests you the most.

Kilimanjaro Plane

We flew from Zanzibar to Arusha which is the closest airport to the Serengeti National Park, where we started our safari. To give you an idea of the price of a round-trip ticket, in our case, it was 172 euros per person and included:

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1 personal accessory that you’ll need to store under the seat in front of you.

1 piece of carry-on luggage, maximum weight: 7 kg, and 1 piece of checked luggage, maximum weight: 23 kg

Birds in Serengeti Tanzania

The King of the Jungle

The King of the Jungle and his powerful lionesses! In this video, we will embark on a fascinating journey through one of the most impressive and biodiverse ecosystems on the planet.

Leonas y leon en Serengueti

Our first stop is the majestic land of lions, the true monarchs of these vast plains. We will observe these felines in their full splendor, but not only lions reign in the Serengeti; their lionesses are also a fundamental part of the hierarchy of this wild land.

We will see how they work together to ensure the survival of their pride, hunting with skill and caring for their cubs with unwavering love. Venturing into the territory of the felines, we witness the lions and lionesses in their most intimate moments, revealing their playful and affectionate side. Their social dynamics are a reflection of teamwork and the family bond that makes them truly formidable.

Driving in Tanzania?

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Tanzania follows the left-hand driving system. Always remember to exercise caution, adapt to local conditions, and drive safely during your Tanzania experience.

Roads in different conditions: Roads vary in quality, from main roads in better conditions to dirt roads and bumpy stretches in rural areas.

  • Chaotic traffic: In larger cities, such as Dar es Salaam, traffic can be congested and chaotic, with aggressive drivers and dangerous overtaking.
  • Animals on the road: In rural areas and wildlife reserves, be cautious of animals that may cross the road, including many cows that may cross the road.
  • Police checkpoints: Police checkpoints may be encountered on the roads; make sure to have the necessary documents, such as a driver’s license and vehicle papers.
  • Safety: Keep doors and windows closed, especially in urban areas, and avoid leaving valuables in plain sight in the vehicle.

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coche de alquiler entre montañas y pinar
logo rentcars

Some of the advantages of renting with Rentcars include taking advantage of their incredible offers and discounts of up to 30% and bookings with up to 10% cash back.

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Safari 4x4 Car

Calling from Tanzania

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With your mobile phone, you will have coverage in many places, but not everywhere. Some accommodations within national parks have a handheld radio that you can use to contact staff in case of emergency. However, you won’t be able to make calls home. The telephone prefix for Tanzania is +255.

Remember to check rates and conditions with your phone provider and consider time zone differences. I recommend that you learn about E-SIM cards in the post where I explain how to have internet from the moment you get off the plane and throughout your stay to make calls without cost and without surprises on your bill upon your return from your vacation.

SIM Card or E-SIM for Internet During Your Trip

Holafly Descuento por ser lector de Viajeraporelmundo
wifi dibujo

I recommend that you learn about E-SIM cards; they are virtual cards. You download a QR code, install it on your phone, and you can have internet from the moment you get off the plane and throughout your stay, allowing you to make calls without cost and without surprises on your bill upon your return from your vacation.

These cards cover practically the entire world, including Argentina, Australia, Cambodia, Colombia, Egypt, the Philippines, India, Israel, Montenegro, Oman, Peru, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Vietnam, among many others.

The physical and the virtual, known as ESIM Cards with Holafly, with activation that is faster because you don’t have to wait for it to be sent to you by mail. Sign up in advance and make sure to stay connected on your trip!

Serengeti Hippos

Is it dangerous to travel to Tanzania?

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Tanzania has been named the safest country in Africa and the country with the most political stability on the continent. However, the country’s poverty level remains relatively high. Therefore, it is advisable to follow the following advice, which you should actually follow on any of your travels, regardless of the destination.

Never leave your passport, money, or valuable items in plain sight in your hotel room. Instead, use the safe provided by your accommodation or the reception’s storage service. Do not leave anything of value (money, backpack, etc.) unsupervised in your safari vehicle, even for a short period.

Do not wear flashy jewelry. It’s okay to wear a simple pendant, a regular watch, or a wedding ring, but avoid anything too ostentatious. Do not go out at night, and be aware of pickpockets during the day. Use only registered taxi companies or ask your accommodation to arrange any necessary transfers.

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Serengueti giraffe

Travel Insurance for Traveling to Tanzania

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We recommend our clients to purchase good travel insurance. Travel insurance usually covers not only medical expenses but also damage or loss of luggage. We also recommend getting trip cancellation insurance. Sometimes, insurance only reimburses up to a certain amount in case of cancellation, so you should check this carefully.

Flying Doctors Insurance This medical insurance is the only air ambulance with its own doctors and pilots, available 24/7. Flying Doctors insurance is a supplement to your regular travel insurance and is not mandatory. However, in case of an emergency, they arrange immediate evacuation from remote areas to the Nairobi hospital. The insurance costs 25 euros per person for a safari of a maximum of fourteen days in Kenya and Tanzania. You can inquire with Intermundial Travel Insurance

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Seguro Intermundial Ingles

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African food

What to Eat in Tanzania?

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Food and drinks in hostels, camps, and resorts in Tanzania are mostly of European style, but with a selection of Tanzanian dishes. In the mornings, a full English breakfast with eggs, bacon, tomatoes, cereals, and delicious tropical fruits is served. Lunch usually consists of hot dishes, and dinner is a three or more-course meal.

In smaller hostels and camps, meals are usually served à la carte or on a menu. Larger accommodations often offer buffets for lunch and dinner. For drinks, you can choose from local beers (the most famous being “Kilimanjaro,” “Serengeti,” and “Safari”) and wines, as well as all kinds of soft drinks.

Bebidas típicas de Tanzania y Zanzíbar

Tap water is not drinkable. In accommodations, you will always find a bottle or jug of drinking water in your room and a service for purchasing potable water. Make sure to drink enough water during the day; the heat in Tanzania can cause you to lose a lot of fluids without realizing it. During your safaris, you will be provided with takeaway food that you can enjoy at various points along the route. Here are some typical drinks from Tanzania and Zanzibar.

Tanzania:

Zanzíbar:


These are just some of the typical beverage options in Tanzania and Zanzibar. The variety may depend on the specific region and local preferences.

Enjoy exploring the culinary and beverage diversity of these beautiful regions!

Buffaloes

Accommodation in Tanzania

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I recommend that you book, as I did, through the website BOOKING.COM. I have always used this website and have not had any problems with them. The reasons that lead me to book with them are mainly pay later and free cancellation. I look for accommodations with a rating above 7 or 8, check the location with Google Maps, and the customer service is very good.

This time, I stayed at HOTEL RIVER TREES COUNTRY INN, a fantastic hotel with all kinds of amenities and a huge pool, excellent facilities, delicious and very authentic food with a wide variety on the menu, and breakfast included with many options.

African Hut Tanzania

In this hotel, you can rest and spend a night, and in the morning, you will be picked up to begin the adventure of your Safari in the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater, as was our case.

We stayed 2 days in Arusha before starting our safari. And it was a great choice. The hotel is nestled in a spectacular setting, surrounded by a lush forest and a river. Monkeys inhabit the area, including the endangered white-tailed monkeys.

The rooms are very spacious, beautifully decorated, everything you need, very clean, very comfortable bed. The food is very good, the breakfasts very complete. The staff is very friendly and helpful. If you plan to stay in Arusha, this accommodation will surprise you.

Hotel Dining Room Tanzania

We were picked up at the airport and taken to the hotel. In this hotel, you can also delight in a wonderful evening at its restaurant and end by the fire of a bonfire while stargazing; it’s a magical atmosphere.

Hotel Rivertrees Country Inn

Address: River Trees Road, Usa River Tanzania. Phone: +255 743 600 202

Camera drawing

Capture your memories, everyone enjoys taking photos of their travels to have memories that last forever. When you witness the nature and wildlife of Tanzania, you won’t be able to resist wanting to capture everything around you.

Bring enough memory cards and extra camera batteries. It’s very difficult to buy these types of products in Tanzania.

Keep in mind that many accommodations only run on a generator for a few hours a day, and voltage fluctuates significantly when charging your electronic devices.

Drone usage is not permitted. When taking photos of locals or their homes, always ask for permission, although people are accustomed to cameras these days, not everyone likes them, so asking for permission is a sign of respect.

Lanterns on the beach

What to visit in Tanzania?

These are just a few of the many excursions and activities available in Tanzania. The country offers a great diversity of landscapes, wildlife, and cultural experiences for you to explore during your visit. Remember to plan ahead and choose the activities that interest you the most.

Mount Kilimanjaro, the Roof of Africa

Located in the Northeast of Tanzania, Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa.

Kilimanjaro consists of three craters:

  • The Shira in the West with its 3,962m
  • The Mawenzi in the East with its 5,149m
  • The Kibo with the Uhuru Peak dominating Africa from its 5,895m

We also know Kilimanjaro for the famous “Kilimanjaro snow.” In fact, the ice cap at the top decreases year after year. Some even say that by 2030/2050, there will be no more snow on the summit of Kilimanjaro. Some may be familiar with the popular song by Pascal Daniel titled “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” released in 1989, which obviously drew inspiration from this mountain.

The ascent to Kilimanjaro can be done at any time of the year. However, some months are preferable, and others should be “avoided.” Tanzania, benefiting from an equatorial climate, is pleasant all year round. We encounter two rainy seasons:

  • March to June
  • October to December

Overall, some people may tend to advise against embarking on the Kilimanjaro ascent during these two seasons. However, keep in mind that it depends on how much time you have. With climate deregulation, you can have a wonderful week during the rainy season or, conversely, have a week of rain during the “best periods.”

Kilimanjaro

Masai Mara Tribe A Journey to the Heart of Africa

The most famous tribe is probably the Masai Mara tribe, a nomadic people who live off gathering and livestock. The Masai are known for their beautiful bead jewelry, hunting weapons, spears, and their red Shukkas, blankets they use for clothing.

They live in semi-permanent huts constructed with grass and dung. Their traditional dance involves jumping as high as possible. Later on, you will have all the detailed information about this tribe.

Masai Mara Tribe

The Hadzabe tribe, on the other hand, is the oldest tribe in Tanzania. They live around Lake Eyasi and, until recently, remained isolated. Currently, they welcome tourist visits. They are another tribe that maintains a traditional lifestyle and primarily lives off hunting. Like the San and Xhosa tribes in the south, they communicate with a language characterized by tongue clicks.

An ancestral tribe in Tanzania, with over 120 ethnicities living, making it one of the countries with the most cultural diversity in the world, each with its own languages, traditions, and culture. Some examples are the Masai, known as the warrior tribe; the Hadzabe or bushmen of the Hadza tribe; the Chaga, a farming people, or the Nyamwezi.

Masai Mara Tribe Village
Translation Drawing

Masai Mara Language

The official languages of Tanzania are Swahili and English. Try to learn some basic expressions to connect with the locals, expressions like Jambo (hello) or Karibu (welcome). If you learn responses like Nzuri Sana (very well) or Asante Sana (thank you), they will welcome you with open arms.

Sonia and Masai Mara Children

The Masai people are a semi-nomadic tribe; they do not live in one place but migrate with their homes and belongings in search of food and land. It is made up of more than 880,000 people who inhabit Africa, especially in Kenya and Tanzania. Currently, they continue to be governed by the sunrise and sunset and the seasons.

Why Do the Masai Mara Jump?

It is a ceremony for warriors of majority age for young people of the Masai tribe that includes jumps. To perform the Adumu (jumps in the dance), the warriors form a circle and start jumping while maintaining a narrow and rigid posture.

It is very important never to let their heels touch the ground. Group members will raise the pitch of their voices based on the height of the performers’ jumps. The warriors’ brides parade with the most spectacular and intricate costumes to participate in the celebration.

Masai Mara Attire and Accessories

The members of this tribe are usually slim and tall, their attire features bright colors, primarily in reddish tones, but also blue and yellow.

Masai Mara Attire (TANZANIA AFRICA)

The Masai often decorate the lobes of their ears with earrings and elongating ornaments. Additionally, they sometimes wrap their arms and ankles with thick copper threads. Another way to adorn their bodies is by creating drawings with fat and ochre.

Women craft necklaces, earrings, headbands, and other accessories with colorful beads, arranging them in different patterns. If you decide to travel to Tanzania, you’ll have the opportunity to purchase this craftsmanship.

Masai Mara Tribe Girl

Africa is beauty, wild nature, and wildlife, but it is also the land of fascinating tribes with ancient cultures. The Masai tribe has been living for centuries in the lands of Kenya and Tanzania, in Masai Mara, and arouses great admiration for its customs, organization, and way of life.

Masai Mara Man in Hut

It is a must-visit on any safari in Masai Mara that you wish to undertake.

This ancient people have adapted their customs over time; they have transitioned to become semi-nomadic herders who seek the best pastures and let the lands regenerate on their own. It is estimated that there are around 850,000 members.

Masai Mara Tribe Organization: There is no tribe chief, but there is a strong age and men’s group hierarchy. Thus, they are governed according to life stages: childhood – junior warrior – senior warrior – adults. Masai organize themselves into clans, reaching adulthood at 16 years old. At that moment, they are circumcised and are responsible for carrying out the most complex tasks, such as hunting.

Masai Mara Childhood

A man’s life stages are childhood, junior warrior, senior warrior, and elder. The older they get, the more rights and duties they acquire. For example, elders are usually responsible for religion and politics, always gathered in a council.

Sonia school Masai Mara

As they grow, children gain rights such as smoking, marrying, and expressing their opinions to society. Men reach adulthood at 16, marked by a ritual, where circumcision takes place. From that moment on, they will carry out more complex tasks, such as hunting, and share many parts of their lives with their ritual companions.

On the other hand, Masai girls are also circumcised in a ceremony. However, although not well-received by all Masai, in recent years several tribe members have opposed it, and many girls have not had to undergo that mutilation to be considered adults.

Masai Mara School

There is a community-based organization (CBO), non-profit, working locally to improve the lives of residents. Their goal is to advocate for the rights of Masai women and the right to education for Masai youth.

In this video, you can see children singing the English alphabet, and they know it phenomenally well! It was a genuine privilege to share those moments with them, which is why I recommend this visit 100%. You don’t have to pay anything, but usually, a contribution is given to the tribe. In our case, we arranged it with our driver, and for 50 euros (2 people), he took us to visit the tribe, and we were delighted. It’s nothing for us, but for them, it’s an immeasurable help.

Polygamy: The practice of polygamy is common and accepted within the tribe. Having many wives is, in fact, a symbol of power. Additionally, marriages are arranged from a young age, although relationships with young warriors are allowed before marriage.

Masai Mara Traditions

According to the Masai tribe’s tradition, for a young man to officially become an adult, they must hunt a lion. It is one of the most well-known initiation rites to become a true warrior. Today, due to their respect for nature, it has become a simulated ritual. In fact, the Masai are one of the great protectors of these animals.

Lions

Settlements: A village of the Masai tribe is easily recognizable by its circular shape. The boma will consist of a number of huts (manyatas) made of mud and dung. Additionally, as a protective measure for both them and their livestock, a fence will be placed around the settlement, thus preventing attacks by wild animals.

Masai Mara Village

Cattle: The last curiosity about the Masai tribe involves the amount of livestock they own, related to higher status, power, and wealth. It is a very relevant aspect of their culture and facilitates marriages.

Just like with the number of wives, the more livestock a family head has, the more powerful they are considered. A family’s wealth is measured based on the quantity of their animals, making it easier to arrange marriages by offering a larger dowry.

The cattle provide various essential aspects for the tribe’s survival. They consume the milk and use their dung to build their huts. They usually do not kill their animals for meat, but when they do, they also utilize the blood, horns for containers, bones, and skin for clothing.

Safari through the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania

Have you always dreamed of going on a safari in Tanzania? I can assure you it’s an unparalleled experience and something everyone should do at least once in their life.

4x4 off-road vehicles

If you want to create memories that will last a lifetime, step out of your comfort zone and travel to places that will leave you speechless, then going on an African safari should definitely be on your wishlist, and for that, you need to consider what you should know before going on a safari.

Things to Do in Tanzania

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What to Wear on a Safari in Tanzania

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In Tanzania, dressing is very casual, and it is customary for everyone to cover their shoulders and legs below the knees. In Zanzibar, most women also cover their hair, but for tourists, hotels do not enforce any strict dress code either.

Tanzania is located south of the equator, so the sun can be quite strong. I remind you that exposing yourself to too much sun can cause dehydration, nausea, dizziness, or headaches—I experienced it myself on my last day; I was in bed with fever and a severe sunburn. Therefore, bring a hat, dark sunglasses, and sunscreen it’s essential!

After sunset, it’s advisable to wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts because mosquitoes come out during that time. Also, bring a sweater or jacket for the early morning and nights, as temperatures can drop considerably, especially in mountainous areas.

Another very important thing is footwear; you’ll be walking a lot during your trip if you plan on hiking, climbing, or strolling through cities and towns. Bring shoes that you have worn before and know are very comfortable for long hours. If you book accommodation with a pool, don’t forget swimwear. During the safari, it’s common to wear casual and comfortable clothing, preferably made of cotton and with colors that blend with the landscape.

I do not recommend wearing dark or bright colors (black, blue, red) during the safari, as this will attract flies and insects; it’s better to choose colors that don’t stand out, like khaki or olive green, and dark in the sun will be unbearable.

I’ve prepared a list of all the things to bring on your trip, with the goal of facilitating the preparation of your suitcase. If you want, you can also print or view the list of everything you need to take when you travel so you don’t forget anything and can review it as many times as necessary, for that, visit the post  ORGANIZE YOUR LUGGAGE, I assure you it will be very helpful!

Leones árbol Tanzania

I recommend organizing a private safari, which means you won’t have to share the car with anyone. You decide when your safari starts and ends, something you can’t do if you go on a group safari.

In my case, I chose  Seven Wonders Safari Tanzania, for me, the best professionals; they know the parks like the back of their hand and offer excellent service, all the staff is the best of the best, from the driver to the private chef we hired—it was a marvel, making the experience a dream trip.

They have an office in Tanzania, in Arusha, where you can make the payment and where they can offer you the best value for money and assistance throughout your trip, from start to finish, as they picked us up at the airport, and we hired it directly upon arrival.

All this for a very affordable price; keep in mind that you will have to pay in dollars, and when paying by card, you incur a 4 or 5% surcharge, so if you want to save a good amount, my advice is to bring cash in dollars for the safari. If you have any questions about currency exchange or how to withdraw money abroad, without being charged a commission, visit the post on the best Cards for Traveling Without Fees.

Zebra in the Serengeti

You should know that the times of day when animals are most active are at sunrise and sunset because they take advantage of the more pleasant temperatures to search for food. However, you will also find a lot of wildlife in the parks throughout the day.

What should I know before going on a safari in Tanzania?

There are many reasons why one would want to fly across the world to Africa. First and foremost, it’s an opportunity to explore a completely different culture. When you travel a lot, all places seem the same, and even people are similar. But that’s not the case in Africa: it’s a whole new world with its own traditions, languages, and mindsets.

What does the word “safari” mean?

It comes from Swahili and means a long journey. A safari involves exploring the savanna or jungle, accompanied by a local expert. In the past, a safari used to be about big-game hunting. Fortunately, today they have an educational purpose and involve taking a drive through the African natural parks. Big-game hunting is a thing of the past, making way for the capture of stunning photos.

What can you expect from your safari?

Get ready to immerse yourself in The Lion King movie. You’ll visit unprecedented landscapes where you can observe the Big Five in complete freedom from an open-top jeep. You’ll learn a lot about elephants, the ancient baobabs of Tarangire, the Big Five, and the most important savannas and rivers of the Serengeti, and you can go to one of the star locations, the Ngorongoro Crater, the place with the highest concentration of wild animals in the world.

Sonia Ngorongoro Crater

Ngorongoro Crater

The Ngorongoro Crater is a natural wonder and also the place with the highest concentration of wild animals in the world and one of the largest and best-preserved craters.

Located in northern Tanzania, it is actually a volcanic caldera that formed approximately 2-3 million years ago when a massive volcano erupted and collapsed on itself. The result was a massive depression with a diameter of approximately 20 kilometers and a depth of 610 meters, making it one of the largest and best-preserved craters in the world.

What makes the Ngorongoro Crater so special is its ecological diversity. Within its boundaries, you’ll find a wide variety of habitats, such as grasslands, forests, lakes, and swamps, which host over 25,000 animals, including lions, elephants, black rhinos, buffaloes, leopards, hyenas, and a plethora of bird species. It’s also home to the massive population of wildebeests, zebras, and gazelles, who undertake the famous annual migration to and from the nearby Serengeti.

Sonia Ngorongoro Crater

The Ngorongoro Crater has been designated as UNESCO World Heritage. In addition to its exceptional wildlife, the Ngorongoro Crater is also home to the Maasai tribe, one of Africa’s most well-known indigenous communities. The Maasai have lived in the region for centuries and still maintain their traditional way of life, herding cattle in the lands near the crater.

To visit the Ngorongoro Crater, tourists usually stay in lodges and camps located on the crater’s edge. From there, full-day or half-day safaris can be undertaken to explore the abundant wildlife and enjoy stunning panoramic views of the crater.

Accommodation during the safari in Tanzania

The vast majority of accommodations have rooms with impressive views, as they are usually located in the center of the national parks. Another option is camping in the middle of the Serengeti Park, as I did, which is highly recommended. Imagine waking up in the morning, stepping out of your tent, and seeing a group of elephants just meters away. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Tents in Serengeti

At night, you will enjoy the best music that exists: the sound of nature. The breeze through the trees, the sounds of wild animals, the singing of birds… You have never heard anything like it.

Moreover, you will discover what true darkness is, as the lights are turned off at night in the national parks, and the stars take over. It’s a magical and unique atmosphere where you can enjoy a walk among wild animals under the night sky in complete safety.

Giraffe family in Serengeti

100% Private and Custom Safaris

They offer private safaris, and if you choose this option, during your safari, you and your travel companions will have a guide and a safari jeep exclusively for you. The guide will answer all your questions about wildlife, flora, inhabitants, or culture and will be with you throughout the day. Ask him anything; he will be happy to help.

They have private vehicles because when sharing a jeep, each person wants to see something different, and there is always someone who misses out on visiting or doing something specific.

Lioness

The good thing about taking a private safari is that you will have the possibility to change the route to your liking, whether staying to observe a lion for an hour or going to the Ngorongoro Crater to see rhinos all day, it’s up to you. Your guide is there to take you wherever you need and to make your trip an unforgettable experience.

If you’re lucky or if you go during the wildebeest migration, you can enjoy a unique spectacle of nature, undoubtedly one of the fascinating natural phenomena.

The fact that the Serengeti wildebeests continue to roam in millions today as they have for years is a phenomenon. A journey of about 3,000 kilometers.

Wildebeest Migration

The hyenas

Hyenas are social predators and highly adaptable with a unique matriarchal social structure. Their behavior, vocal skills, and adaptability make them interesting and essential animals for African ecosystems.

Hyenas have been associated with myths and negative stereotypes due to their peculiar appearance and behavior. However, they are fascinating animals and play a vital role in African ecosystems as scavengers and predators that help maintain the balance of prey populations.

In hyena clans, the dominant female, or matriarch, plays a crucial role in reproduction. She is the only female in the clan that will mate with males and give birth to offspring.

When the dominant female is in heat, males from the clan will show interest and compete for the opportunity to mate with her. The duration of heat in hyenas can be around a week. During this period, there may be repeated mating with different males in the clan.

Subordinate females in the clan generally do not reproduce, as the matriarch controls access to males and can prevent other females from mating. We were fortunate to see some of the animals in full mating.

Mating Hyenas

Hyenas mating in the midst of a safari through the Ngorongoro Crater.

Welcome to an exhilarating encounter with the zebras of the Serengeti as they veer off the path for the passage of our safari vehicle! In this video, we will witness a breathtaking natural spectacle that showcases the caution and cunning of these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat. Zebras, with their distinctive black and white stripes, are one of the most iconic and emblematic species of the Serengeti.

Over the years, they have developed incredible adaptations to survive in the vast African plains, where survival largely depends on the quickness of their reflexes and the ability to recognize and avoid potential dangers. As we venture into the African savannah, zebras and wildebeests are peacefully grazing in their natural environment.

As the safari vehicle approaches, their survival instinct kicks in. With astonishing coordination, zebras engage in a synchronized dance to move away from the path, allowing the vehicle to pass without disturbing their daily routine. It’s incredible to watch as, in a matter of seconds, these majestic creatures form an impeccable line while gracefully moving to the sides.

This action not only showcases their intelligence but also their sense of community and cooperation, allowing them to live in harmony with their surroundings and stay safe from predators lurking in the area. Throughout the video, we’ll enjoy captivating moments as the zebras move away and return to their daily activities once the apparent danger has passed. Their graceful movements and natural beauty remind us of the wonderful and diverse wildlife in the Serengeti.

Zebras Mating in Ngorongoro Crater Tanzania

Hyenas are famous for their distinctive vocalizations, including laughter often associated with them. They are known for their ability to tear and consume bones, giving them an advantage by utilizing resources that other predators cannot consume. They are also excellent runners with endurance to chase their prey over long distances.

Hyenas live in clans, which can consist of up to 80 individuals. Clans are led by a dominant female called the matriarch.

Hyena Family

Lions Mating – Serengeti

In most cases, lionesses do not actively “seek” lions for sexual relations, but lion reproduction is based on a specific social system, making this video extraordinary! as it shows the lioness actively seeking the lion until they mate on several occasions. Lions live in groups called prides, with several adult lionesses and their cubs, as well as one or more adult male lions.

Male lions also compete with each other for the right to mate with the lionesses. Dominant lions, usually leaders of the pride, have priority for mating and protecting their territory from other males attempting to do so.

Once mating occurs, the lioness will become pregnant and give birth to her cubs after a gestation period of approximately 100 days.

Therefore, in the social system of lions, lionesses do not actively seek out lions for sexual encounters; instead, they emit signals of their availability, and male lions within their group have the opportunity to mate with them.

The Big 5 of Africa in Tanzania

The most popular animals you can observe during a safari in Tanzania are the Big Five: lions, elephants, buffaloes, leopards, and rhinoceroses. Your private guide will explain everything about the fauna and flora you encounter along the way.

LION The King of the Big Five

Powerful, charismatic, ruthless, and beautiful, the lion is synonymous with a Photographic Safari; and the most sought-after animal by cameras. Lions live on the African savannah, in groups of 5 to 15 members, organized by lionesses of the same clan and dominated by an adult male, a true “King of the Jungle.”

Serengueti Lioness

The only exception is young males who have not yet formed their own pride and live in groups of two or three, often brothers. Lionesses typically handle hunting within the pride’s territory.

Their prey is usually zebras, gazelles, or wildebeests, but in times of drought, they hunt anything, including elephants. They have no natural predators, but cubs are at risk of being attacked by non-pride males.

ELEPHANT The Most Intelligent

The largest and heaviest terrestrial animal on the planet, the African elephant, is a social animal that lives in herds of up to 100 members. The matriarch of the group is the dominant female, endowed with extensive experience and knowledge, keeping the herd united and controlled within its territory, deciding daily the speed and pace of the constant search for food and water.

Elephant in Ngorongoro Crater

The main task of adult females is feeding and protecting the young. The elephant’s memory is prodigious; they undoubtedly understand the concept of death and go through a mourning period. Adolescent males leave the herd and live either alone or with another male.

We sometimes hear elephants warning with trumpet calls, but what we don’t hear is their primary vocal communication in the infrasound range (too low for the human ear to detect) that an elephant can hear for kilometers, recently discovered. They are poached for their ivory.

BUFFALO The Most Unpredictable

The docile appearance of the African Buffalo should not deceive us. This animal, with its ever-changing and unstable mood, can be the most dangerous of the Big Five if it catches you outside the vehicle. Its charge is equivalent to a car crashing into a wall at 60 km/h, and they are not afraid to confront lionesses on the hunt.

It is a social and non-territorial herbivore that lives in large herds, sometimes hundreds of members. Its most developed sense is hearing. Their horns are one of the favorite trophies of poachers.

Buffalo

RHINOCEROS The Most Dangerous 

This iconic animal, pushed to the brink of extinction due to poaching, is cursed by its impressive horn, which it uses for both combat and defense. In some national parks, rangers protect rhinos by preemptively cutting off their horns, reducing their value on the black market, ultimately saving their lives.

Rhinos are herbivores that live in very small groups of just a few animals. Their hearing is remarkable, and they can live up to 40 years. In the African savannah, you can find the white rhinoceros, often covered in mud for sun protection, and the black rhinoceros, even closer to extinction, smaller and considered more dangerous due to its unpredictable temperament.

LEOPARD The Most Beautiful 

As elusive as it is beautiful, the leopard is the animal we all want to see in the wild. Its usual prey is gazelles, but there is documented evidence of them hunting zebras and antelopes as well. A true master of stalking and surprise, capable of approaching its prey without being noticed up to five meters away.

The leopard is the African predator with the best success rate in hunting attempts. Solitary and territorial, it usually hunts at night, taking advantage of its sharp nocturnal vision. Its legendary climbing ability allows it to hide its prey among the branches of a baobab or another old tree, safe from lions and hyenas.

Leopard

It often spends a significant part of the day resting and observing, and that’s where you should look for them with your camera. The secure life among branches ends for a female when she has cubs, moving them from one den to another daily to outsmart lions and hyenas that mercilessly kill them. It is the most adaptable and distrustful of the big cats, making it the only one not endangered. Poachers target it for its skin.

Off-road vehicles

Migration of Wildebeests and Zebras

calendar drawing

Their migration is one of the largest on Earth, and they are not alone. Around 400,000 antelopes and 200,000 zebras join them. Wildebeests and zebras rely on each other during migration: wildebeests are good at finding water sources, and zebras know the migration route.

Wildebeests almost exclusively eat grass, and when they consume one patch, they move, following an eternal cycle. Altogether, more than two million animals move during the wildebeest migration in the Serengeti.

Between January and February, more than 500,000 wildebeest are born, about 8,000 per day.

Wildebeest Migration Map (AFRICA TANZANIA)

Wildebeests and zebras can travel together peacefully because they both eat different parts of the same grass. Each animal travels a thousand kilometers during migration.

Every year, almost 250,000 wildebeests and 30,000 zebras die during the exhausting and perilous migration.

Wildebeest Group

When is the Wildebeest Migration?

In February and partly in March, wildebeests find rest and give birth to their calves on the grassy plains of the highlands of Tanzania. Around half a million calves are born in a few weeks.

In April, the animals follow the rain and move west of the Serengeti, then migrate step by step north through the center of the Serengeti to the lush land in Masai Mara in southern Kenya.

At the end of the year, with the start of the rainy season, they return to the highlands of Tanzania.

Each wildebeest migration is different: The animals’ route varies each year, making it impossible to predict. The Serengeti is also a vast area, so herds are sometimes challenging to locate.

So witnessing the Great Migration is partly a matter of luck. A good safari guide is also essential; we traveled in November and were fortunate to experience it.

Nus Group

National Holidays in Tanzania

In addition to the well-known Christian holidays, Tanzania has the following national holidays:

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I hope I’ve been able to help with any questions you may have had about this destination, and you know that if you have any other questions I haven’t answered, you can ask me here, and I’ll be happy to try to help you!

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