Tanzania general information and map
Capital: Dar es Salaam
Getting there: There are regular flights with major airlines to Dar es Salaam international airport. British Airways fly direct to Dar es Salaam on several times a week (approximately 9 hours 40 minutes duration). You can also arrive to Dar es Salaam via Nairobi. The flying time from London to Nairobi is approximately 9 hours and from Nairobi to Dar es Salaam is approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes. From Nairobi to Kilimanjaro is approximately 50 minutes duration.
Time: GMT plus three hours
Try not to miss: The fabulous Serengeti plains in northern Tanzania where we offer permanent tented safari camps and lodges, as well as wilderness mobile camps that move location every two or three days, shadowing herds of game and attendant predators as they migrate across the plains in search of fresh grazing. The Ngorongoro crater in the north east of the Serengeti offers some of the best game viewing opportunities in the world.
Katavi National Park In the western region, where herds of buffalo roam the pristine wilderness and huge pods of hippos gather at shrinking waterholes at the end of the dry season. Guests at Chada Camp explore the untamed wilderness by vehicle and on foot, and also have the opportunity to spend nights fly-camping beneath the stars. A short charter flight away lies Mahale Mountains National Park, one of the most romantic destinations in all Africa and the best place on the continent to observe wild chimpanzees. Rooms at Greystoke Camp stand on the beach overlooking the crystal clear waters of Lake Tanganyika with lush green mountains rising steeply behind. Other activities here include swimming, snorkelling, fishing, or exploring the lake on a hand built Arabic dhow.
Ruaha National Park and a stay at our selected camp beside the Mwagusi River to see packs of African wild dog, and the 52,000 square kilometre Selous game reserve to the south east, famous for walking safaris in the southern region where we favour a lovely and remote lodge on the banks of the Rufiji River.
The Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar as an exotic setting in which to relax after an inland safari – escape to the best beaches on the north east tip, or ask us to organise your stay at the exclusive Mnemba Island or Fundu Lagoon on the larger but equally attractive Pemba Island.
Visas: All UK visitors require a visa, which can be purchased easily on arrival for US$70 or £38, or organised in advance through the Tanzanian Embassy.
Why Tanzania: Tanzania is an expensive safari destination, but it is also one of the best, with a range of landscapes and wildlife only equalled by Kenya. Her huge National Parks receive comparatively few visitors, making Tanzania the perfect location for those seeking a wilderness east African safari.
Wild and Exotic Best of Tanzania
Wild and Exotic have identified many remote and exclusive camps in different regions of Tanzania, as one of the best safari destinations, with a range of landscapes and wildlife only equalled by Kenya. Her huge National Parks receive comparatively few visitors, making Tanzania the perfect location for those seeking a wilderness east African safari. Though the Serengeti park boundaries officially define the Serengeti, the ecosystem goes way beyond these limits; we call this the Greater Serengeti. It’s a giant picture of wild Tanzania – masses of animals, contrasting landforms and tribal people.. The Katavi National Park is one of the great wildlife experiences of the world. Miles from anywhere, it has almost a mythical status, and it’s thought a greater density of mammals than any other Tanzanian reserve. The Mahale Mountains National Park is one of the most romantic destinations in all Africa and the best place on the continent to observe wild chimpanzees. The Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar is an exotic setting in which to relax after an inland safari – escape to the best beaches on the north east tip, or ask us to organise your stay at the exclusive Mnemba Island or Fundu Lagoon on the larger but equally attractive Pemba Island.
Serengeti Safari Camp is semi-nomadic – it won’t move while you’re there, but it is actually on a wide orbit moving 4 or 5 times a year to keep close to the migration, meaning that you are as close to a million plus wildebeest as possible. Whilst you can head off from dawn to dusk on your own expeditions, the small wandering camp is so sociable because it is shared with guests staying in classic bush style. Each of the six luxury bend tents sit alone on a beautiful patch of Africa; light in their footprint but with all the comforts anyone could need, and only a stroll away from the candlelit mess tent form some safari bonhomie. Serengeti Safari Camp travels within the Serengeti National Park and surrounding area, where densities of animals are mostly higher, and the chance of seeing large predators is much greater. It’s the base for exciting game drives – conquering the landscapes and absorbing the sheer hugeness of it all. Daily adventures are yours to plan with your own private guide to take you into it midst.
Chada Katavi, massed on the plains are the last great herds of buffalo in East Africa, with up to 1000 head. Rivers groan with hippopotamus and crocodile. Almost everywhere you look, there’s something grazing, bellowing, fighting, mating or hunting. Days on the hoof in Katavi can be beyond belief. In this mega – beast land (surely there are dinosaurs hiding somewhere), all animals need a really good place to hole up, and for a decade Man’s retreat has been Chada Katavi, hidden on a shady spit of acacias and tamarinds on the edge of the Chada grasslands. Since the guy ropes were first hammered in ten years ago – the only camp in a million acres – it has evolved into a rather civilised campaign HQ. Come dinnertime, the mess tent is nothing short of splendid, silverware gleaming and glasses shining in the lamplight. Hidden in the trees that flank it, are just six guest tents with find wooden furniture, woven rugs and beds spread with crisp white Egyptian cottons. The tents are large, romantic and airy, the bathrooms are bush-deluxe and the thoroughly good white wine sitting on your porch table is perfectly chilled. Happily indulged, watching the elephants head out to water as dusk falls, you feel like one of the last great pioneers, binoculars in your hand and Africa filling your head.
Greystoke Mahale, on a far flung beach along the eastern shores of Lake Tanganyika, below a huge story-book tropical forest lies this tiny sanctuary. The water is clear as gin, the air scented and the living very easy. The forested slopes of the Mahale Mountains rise behind the camp, home to the world’s largest known population of chimpanzees, and a group of 60 live within hiking distance of the camp. Each day you can venture out into the forest to observe and commune with these, our closest relatives, as they groom, wrestle and forage across the leafy floor. Your home at Greystoke Mahale is in wildly exotic wooden bandas looking out across the soft sand beach, with interiors fashioned from seasoned dhow timber. The suites are open-fronted, with dressing rooms, adjoining bathrooms and upstairs chill out decks; designed with flair, generosity and passion for the most demanding castaway. With no roads for miles and miles everything is done by foot or boat. As if a day’s “chimping” wasn’t enough, you can kayak along the lakeshore, fish, have a private barefoot dinner on the beach or get friendly in the wildly thatched mess tent. For some evening pizzazz, there’s the bar of all bars, on the rocks of the headland, with twinkley mirrors, fresh sashimi and iced vodka, looking way our west across the mighty waters of the lake.
Wild and Exotic Best of Tanzania sample itinerary
We have outlined our recommend “Best of Tanzania” itinerary below, which incorporates stays at all three camps described. This itinerary is a sample only, and can be varied to suit your requirements.
Day 1: On arrival into Dar Es Salaam you will be met and transferred to the domestic airport for your flight to Arusha. On arrival in Arusha you will be met and assisted with the check in for your flight to Kogatende. On arrival into Kogatende you will be met and transferred to Serengeti Safari camp for a stay of 3 nights.
Every day, one of Tanzania’s finest safari guides will take you out into the midst of this incredible wilderness. Our guides have traveled the length and breadth of the Serengeti eco-system and they take pride in finding the more remote areas that are off the beaten track, the out of the way special spots that others often miss. As every couple, or group, have their own private 4WD vehicle and guide, the days are yours to plan, with lunch in camp, or ‘on the hoof’ if you prefer.
As well as the migration, the Serengeti is teeming with resident game. The Serengeti ecosystem has a vast array of amazing habitats, ranging from open grassland plains to acacia strewn savannahs and rocky outcrops. It sustains more than thirty species of large herbivores and over five hundred varieties of birds. And it is said that the annual wildebeest migration is the largest movement of animals on the planet.
Day 4: Today you will be transferred to Kogatende in time for the charter flight to Katavi. On arrival into Katavi you will be met and transferred to Chada Katavi camp for a 4 night stay.
Katavi is a pristine wilderness extending to a million acres, and a Mecca for game of every description, ranging from huge herds of hippos to vast concentrations of Cape buffalo and elephant that are drawn to spring lines, rivers and waterholes at this very special time of year. Lion and leopard stalk the shadows waiting their opportunity to feed, and you may also see the rare sable and roan antelope out on the plains.
During your 4 night stay at Chada Camp you will walk, stalk and bush-wack in landrovers, following game for as far and as long as you like – there are no restrictions in this land that time forgot, and very few other tourists. On the third or fourth night of your four-night stay you may fly camp beneath the stars and rustling doulm palms overlooking freshwater springs that are home to hundreds of grunting hippos, and a drinking place for thousands of other wild animals.
Day 8: Today you will be transferred to Katavi in time for your flight to the Mahale Mountains National Park. On arrival you will be transferred to Isabella, an Arabic dhow docked close by on the shores of Lake Tanganyika for the journey to Greystoke Camp, where you will spend the next three nights.
Mahale National Park is an evolutionary triumph, where the clock seems to have stopped early, and at just the right time. Part man, part fish, part forest animal, it would be hard to uncover a more sublime location anywhere in Africa. During your stay in paradise you divide your time between hiking in the stunning tropical rainforest – home to nine different species of primates including a large group of wild chimpanzees – and relaxing besides the pristine shoreline of Lake Tanganyika. Choose between stretching out on long sandy beaches, fishing and snorkelling in water as clear as crystal. Greystoke is immersed in its own unique brand of wild opulence – you will feast on fresh sashimi and freshwater mussels, drink exotic cocktails, and marvel at the green mountains that overlook the sparkling tropical lake.
Day 11: Today you will be transferred by boat to Mahale airstrip with a picnic lunch. On arrival into to Mahale airstrip you will catch your shared charter flight to Arusha. On arrival into Arusha you will be met and transferred to the international airport for your flight home.
The price of this itinerary is based on two people sharing accommodation and is inclusive of all activities described, together with full board and lodging, drinks, laundry and unlimited activities including one chimp trek per full / non-transfer day
The price does not include international or domestic airfares, items of a personal nature, visa fees, gratuities, etc.
Please note that it is the responsibility of the client to ensure they obtain the correct visa prior to travel. Wild and Exotic will assist with visa applications if instructed but cannot be held responsible for a client’s failure to obtain a visa for whatever reason. A valid visa is required for this holiday, and information regarding visa applications to Tanzania can be obtained by visiting the following website http://www.tanzania-online.gov.uk/
Neither Wild and Exotic nor the operators or suppliers can accept any responsibility for changes to itineraries or dates that may arise due to weather or unforeseen circumstances such as changes, disruptions or delays to airline flights for whatever reason. This holiday is subject to Wild and Exotic’s terms and conditions, a copy of which is available on this website under the general info tab.
“Everything exceeded our expectations. Ras Kutani was great and we were really well looked after. Sand Rivers is superbly located and we had a couple of mornings out on the river bank which was a great location for breakfast. The snorkelling at Kinasi was fantastic, with were coral gardens and an amazing variety of beautiful coloured fish. Mafia is a very remote but it all worked perfectly. The meet and greet service at the airport was fantastic. We can’t recommend it highly enough and the staff were charming everywhere. Thanks so much for organising such a wonderful holiday.”
“What an absolutely beautiful, perfect and truly exciting trip you and your Wild crew put together for us. Every single detail melded seamlessly into the next meaning that we, the clients, had not one moment of anxiety ever! You may not be aware of this but we were always “assigned” the ultimate best accommodation in each camp! I think it’s your good reputation that precedes you. Thank-you so much for creating such a wonderful trip for us—our best ever. I’ve “gone-on” enough. Thank-you, Adrian, for all your efficient, hard work.”
“The trip was absolutely brilliant. Thank you for helping make it such a perfect honeymoon.”
“I think “stunning success” would not be an overstatement in describing our trip. Maysie and I totally agree that this was the best vacation we have ever taken. You did a superb job assembling the trip and complex itinerary. We have nothing but the highest praise for your recommendations and detail work and are most grateful for all you did. We loved the four lodges where we stayed and would have no hesitation in recommending them to other travellers.”