8 Best Parks in Tanzania for Unforgettable Safari Holidays


If you are looking for the most iconic wildlife in Africa, you are sure to find it in the famed reserves of Tanzania. Plan a safari holiday to embark on an unforgettable adventure and discover the wildlife-rich country with breathtaking landscapes and diverse wildlife.

Lions during a safari in a jeep at Ngorongoro Crater conservation area in Tanzania

Tanzania, a jewel of East Africa, boasts some of the most breathtaking landscapes and a diverse collection of wildlife that has fascinated adventurers for generations. The country stretches out in splendor along the Indian Ocean coastline, surrounded by a tapestry of nations, such as Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique.

Maasai tribe in Ngorongoro Crater national park in Tanzania, Africa

Beyond its iconic Mount Kilimanjaro and the enchanting island of Zanzibar, the country is home to numerous national parks and reserves that offer immersive safari experiences. For those seeking a truly unforgettable encounter with Africa’s majestic creatures and pristine wilderness, Tanzania never disappoints. In this post, we’ll journey through the 8 best parks in Tanzania that guarantee an unparalleled safari holiday.

Zebras crossing spotted during a safari at Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania, Africa

Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania

Tanzania safari holidays provide you with the opportunity to enjoy the wonders of the African wilderness. Pick from the national parks and game reserves in the country for the African “big five.” Each park is known for its distinct ecosystem and unique experience. Let us take a look at some of the best parks in Tanzania for safari enthusiasts for unforgettable safari holidays.

1. Lake Manyara National Park

Manyara National Park may be small in size, but it is the most stunning. The glittering alkaline pool of the lake is surrounded by enchanting evergreen forest and acacia woodland dotted with groundwater springs. Visit the Mto wa Mbu village to meet the diverse tribal groups, explore the local markets, the artisans, and their workshops, and enjoy a lunch with a local family. Plan a safari drive in the Lake Manyara National Park in search of Africa’s legendary wildlife.

What is special about the park – Spot hippos, giraffes, elephants, hippos, and a variety of bird species, including flamingoes. Enjoy canoeing, community visits, and nature walks.

Lake Manyara national park in Tanzania

2. Serengeti National Park

Serengeti is indeed one of Africa’s most celebrated wildlife reserves, with the golden grasslands where you can spot all of Africa’s “big five”. The world-famous park, with miles and miles of area, offers the most shining game-viewing in Africa. You will come across savannah in the center, grass plains in the south, and extensive woodland towards the west. Explore the vast open plains under a guided safari expert and witness millions of wildebeest migrating across in search of fresh grazing lands.

Lion at Sunrise at Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area in Tanzania

What is special about the park – Spot the “big five” and witness the annual Great Migration. Enjoy hot air balloon safaris and get a panoramic view of the diverse habitats.

Sunrise during a safari in Serengeti national park, Tanzania

3. Nyerere National Park

Although it is the largest game reserve filled with wildlife, Nyerere National Park has yet to be discovered. However, one can expect authentic safari adventures here with game drives and river cruises. Nothing can beat the thrill of exploring the phenomenally wild game country on foot and under the guidance of armed rangers. This massive conservation area is home to large numbers and healthy populations of diverse wildlife.

What is special about the park – Spot crocs in the riverbanks, elephants in the swampy islands, and top predators such as cheetah, leopard, lion, and spotted hyena. Additionally, there are hundreds of bird species for the birders.

4. Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Ngorongoro Crater is like a natural amphitheater, and one can look down on the circular expanse of grassland at the world’s largest unbroken caldera. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ngorongoro is referred to as the “Garden of Eden”.

Sunrise at Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area in Tanzania

It is no wonder that the Ngorongoro Crater is also known as the ‘World’s Largest Open Aired Zoo’, which is like an enclosed bowl that comprises lakes, forests, and grasslands with a rich diversity of species. Ngorongoro Conservation Area is home to not just the Big Five but crocodiles, antelopes, hippos, and birdlife. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ngorongoro is also known as the “Garden of Eden”.

What is special about the park – Spot cheetahs, hippos, lions, and endangered black rhinos and engage with Maasai tribes.

Maasai tribe in Ngorongoro Crater national park in Tanzania, Africa

5. Tarangire National Park

As the sixth biggest National Park in Tanzania, Tarangire National Park is famous for its picturesque landscapes and high elephant population. Spread across miles and miles, the Tarangire River attracts a myriad of birds and animals. Take guided walking safaris and enjoy camping experiences to connect with the wilderness. Enjoy night game drives and balloon safaris to enjoy the exceptional views and a unique perspective of wildlife.

What is special about the park – Spot elephants, wildebeest, giraffes, zebras, and the dramatic wildlife migration. Birding enthusiasts can spot stunning yellow-collared lovebirds and some more wildlife, such as Thompson’s gazelle, Coke’s hartebeest, and Bohor reedbuck.

Giraffes during a safari at Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, Africa

6. Ruaha National Park

Ruaha National Park is an excellent choice for those looking for an offbeat safari experience. The park, with a rugged landscape with meandering rivers, boasts a stunning diversity of wildlife. It is immensely popular among wildlife enthusiasts and birdwatchers because of the stunning Mdonya woodlands and the Mbage-Mwagusi circuit in the Ruaha River area. Enjoy some exciting game drives in the varying landscapes of the park that contains Ngalambulwa Mountain and large riverbeds that offer an excellent game viewing area.

What is special about the park- Spot predator species such as cheetahs, spotted hyenas, lions, leopards, and thousands of birds, including the rare Eleonora’s Falcon. You can also find Great Kudu and sable antelope, along with the largest collection of elephants.

Elephants spotted during a safari at Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, Africa

7. Selous Game Reserve

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Selous Game Reserve is the prime protected area in Africa. Well known for its untouched wilderness with pristine landscapes, safari enthusiasts can explore the unique wildlife and cruise on the Rufiji River. Visitors can explore the reserve on boat safaris along the Rufiji River, offering a unique perspective on Tanzania’s wildlife. There is plenty to see and do in the dense thickets and open wooded grasslands in the variety of vegetation zones in the park. Game viewing chances are excellent because of the park’s higher density and diversity of species.

What is special about the park – Spot elephants, crocodiles, buffaloes, black rhinoceros, hippopotamus, and the endangered African wild dog. In addition, one can spot Nile crocodiles and a huge variety of species.

8. Mahale Mountains National Park

Mahale Mountains National Park, situated on the shoreline of Lake Tanganyika, offers something truly unique. As the nature reserve is exceedingly remote, it is relatively difficult to access and lesser known. However, it is the best location for traditional game drives and opportunities for hiking, swimming, and snorkeling. The lakeshore with powder-white sand is totally magical. The park is spectacularly beautiful, what with its lush, tropical flora against the backdrop of the Mahale Mountains. It is a paradise for birdwatchers and boast of plenty of primates and a prolific flora.

What is special about the park – Spot chimpanzees and the different primate species such as red colobus, blue, red-tailed, yellow baboon, red colobus, and vervet monkeys. Snorkel in Lake Tanganyika or hike up to the Mount Nkugwe and make cultural visits to local villages.

Lake Tanganyika, Tanzania, Africa

Photo by Guy Basabose


Try to visit each of the above-listed national parks and sanctuaries in Tanzania for unforgettable safari experience. You can pick from a range of safari experiences based on your preferences and interests. Tanzania continues to be a dream destination for wildlife enthusiasts and safari lovers because of its great national parks, stunning landscapes, and rich biodiversity.

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