TOP DESTINATIONS

  • Kruger Park
  • Okavango Delta
  • Serengeti National Park
  • Victoria Falls

TOP COUNTRIES

  • South Africa

TRAVEL DEALS

View All Travel Deals

SOUTHERN AFRICA

East africa, indian ocean islands, top experiences.

  • Beach Holidays
  • Family Safaris
  • Honeymoon Safaris
  • Desert Safaris
  • Luxury Rail Safaris
  • Multi-Generational Safaris
  • Positive Impact Safaris
  • Photographic Safaris
  • Walking Safaris

WILDLIFE SAFARI

  • Big Five Safaris
  • Birding Safaris
  • Gorilla Trekking Safaris
  • Migration Safaris
  • Mobile Camping Safaris
  • Horseback Safaris

FEATURED EXPERIENCES

Comfort levels, property types.

  • Tented Camps
  • Boutique Hotels

Featured Safari Collections

  • Red Carnation
  • Ker & Downey Botswana
  • African Bush Camps

GET TO KNOW US

  • Meet The Team
  • Pricing Explained
  • Traveller Reviews
  • Traveller Stories
  • Why Book With Us?
  • HerdTracker
  • Safari Cost Calculator
  • South Africa In 360
  • Trusted Safari Partners

What are you looking for?

  • Safaris & Tours
  • Destinations
  • Experiences
  • Accommodations
  • Why book with us?

Hello traveller!

It's in Cape Town now.

We're sorry. Our safari planners aren't available now. Our office hours are 08:00 - 19:00 (GMT+2).

Call us to speak to an experienced safari planner.

Alternatively, we recommend...

Schedule a phone or Zoom call with one of our safari planners

Complete our travel enquiry form to connect with a safari planner

big 5 tansania safari

  • Big Five Safaris in Tanzania

Africa's best authentic tailor-made safaris

Team Member Headshot

By Diane Du Plessis

Safari Travel Planner

Seeing the Big Five up close and personal is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, regardless of how many instances you will get to experience it. Luxury safaris in Tanzania are an experience to savour and a number of camps will make for an unforgettable experience. In this case here are nine unforget table camps to see the Big Five in Tanzania.

One of the best camps in Tanzania found in central Serengeti is Dunia Camp. What makes it stand out is its remoteness, which is enticing for the Big Five. However, with the freedom the animals have, it’s best to be with a guide or tour group.

Dunia Camp

Strategically located in the remote plains of the eastern Serengeti, Namiri Camp is the best place to see the Big Five, especially the cats. In fact, since the camp banned poaching, the big cat numbers have increased, so chances of spotting them will be very good.

Namiri Camp

Ten percent of the world’s population of lion is in Kwihala. This means that when you visit Tanzania, it’s not surprising to see prides consisting of more than 20. The best part is that Kwihala is full of life with many other species of animals such as jackal, hyena and wild dog.

Elephant in a distance

Jabali ridge is a goldmine, teeming with wildlife, where predators and prey roam freely in the wild. Action packed days are guaranteed – elephant and rhino are so close, that you’ll be sure to feel their power.

Located in northern Serengeti, Kimondo Camp is full of buffalo and rhino. With the help of a guide, adrenaline-filled campers get the unique opportunity for an up-close and personal Big Five experience.

The award-winning Sayari Camp is revered for extraordinary wildlife sightings, including the Big Five. Set on the unspoiled plains of the northern Serengeti, close to the famous Lamai Wedge, Sayari gives you easy access to the Mara River and multiple river crossing points.

When looking for a great wildebeest migration meeting with the bonus of a Big Five encounter, Olakira camp in Northern Serengeti is the place to be. With the action-packed scenes so prolific, the experience will stay with you for a lifetime.

How it Works

View our recommended safaris for inspiration and get ready to plan your dream safari

Contact us or fill out an enquiry form and one of our travel experts will help you tailor make your perfect safari

Enjoy an authentic African experience.

Travel with Confidence

With over 20 years of experience, our team will help you tailor your itinerary to your perfect adventure., 24/7 support, personalized, popular tanzania safaris, these recommended tours for tanzania can be tailor-made to match your budget..

big 5 tansania safari

Kilimanjaro Climb with the Machame Route

East Africa Tanzania Arusha Kilimanjaro

From $ 4490 /USD

big 5 tansania safari

Luxury Great Migration Safari from June to Octo...

Tanzania Arusha Tarangire Lake Manyara Ngorongoro Crater Serengeti

From $ 16900 /USD

big 5 tansania safari

Affordable Calving Season Safari

East Africa Tanzania Tarangire Lake Manyara Serengeti Ngorongoro Crater

From $ 4950 /USD

big 5 tansania safari

Masai Mara and Serengeti Combo

East Africa Kenya Maasai Mara Tanzania Serengeti

From $ 11850 /USD

big 5 tansania safari

Classic Tanzania with North Serengeti Migration...

East Africa Tanzania Tarangire Ngorongoro Crater Lake Manyara Serengeti

From $ 12650 /USD

big 5 tansania safari

Highlights of Tanzania Group safari

East Africa Tanzania Lake Manyara Serengeti Ngorongoro Crater

From $ 2600 /USD

big 5 tansania safari

47 Tanzania Safaris to choose from

Stay for 4 - 17 days

Experience our Tailor-made Tours in Tanzania

Our recommended tours in tanzania.

big 5 tansania safari

Herdtracker Migration in Central and North Sere...

East Africa Tanzania Serengeti

From $ 8390 /USD

big 5 tansania safari

Best of Africa

Botswana Okavango Delta South Africa Johannesburg Kenya Nairobi

From $ 19690 /USD

What Our Guests Have to Say?

Read recent reviews from travellers who have planned and booked their trips with us, great itinerary and excellent customer support..

14 Day South Africa Tour Review

Simon, United Kingdom 01 Nov 2023

10 Day Cape Town, Winelands & Kruger Park Journey

Melody , United States 19 Jun 2023

Professional, knowledgeable, met all of our expectations resulting in a memorable experience.

4 Day Okavango Delta Safari Review

Brian Evans, South Africa 27 Mar 2023

Left us with lasting memories and a bucketload of amazing pictures..

Cape Town, Sabi Sands, Victoria Falls & Botswana Safari Review

Nancy Loos, United States 05 Sep 2022

You can book your african holiday in full confidence with discover africa.

9-Day Safari Trip in Africa

Family Olivier, Belgium 10 Oct 2018

Worked very hard to fulfill all my requirements and more.

Southern African Adventure

Cassie, Canada 16 Oct 2017

Ready to plan your tailor-made safari.

big 5 tansania safari

Susan Swanepoel, Safari Travel Planner

Free safari planning advice from destination experts

  • Why Tanzania
  • Tanzania in January
  • Tanzania in February
  • Tanzania in March
  • Tanzania in April
  • Tanzania in May
  • Tanzania in June
  • Tanzania in July
  • Tanzania in August
  • Tanzania in September
  • Tanzania in October
  • Tanzania in November
  • Tanzania in December
  • Beaches of mainland Tanzania
  • Northern Safari Circuit in Tanzania
  • Serengeti to Ngorongoro Crater
  • Southern Safari Circuit in Tanzania
  • Zanzibar and the Indian Ocean Islands
  • Hot air ballooning
  • A Relaxing Safari in Tanzania
  • Adventure Safari in Tanzania
  • An Active Tanzania Adventure
  • Birding Safari in Tanzania
  • Photographic Safari in Tanzania
  • Walking Safaris in Tanzania
  • A Couple Safari in Tanzania
  • Family Safaris in Tanzania
  • Honeymoon in Tanzania
  • LGBT Safaris in Tanzania
  • Solo Travel in Tanzania
  • A Budget Safari in Tanzania
  • Affordable Safaris in Tanzania
  • Luxury Safaris in Tanzania
  • Culture in Tanzania
  • Dining in Tanzania
  • Emergencies in Tanzania
  • Health Care in Tanzania
  • Languages Spoken in Tanzania
  • Lodges in Tanzania
  • Money Tips in Tanzania
  • Packing List for Tanzania
  • Safety in Tanzania
  • Shopping in Tanzania
  • Tanzania Health Insurance
  • Tanzania Visa Requirements
  • Tanzania vs Kenya
  • Tanzania vs Rwanda
  • Travel Advice for Tanzania
  • Travelling to Tanzania
  • Vaccinations for Tanzania
  • Welcome to Tanzania
  • Where to go in Tanzania
  • Why go to Tanzania
  • Wildlife in Tanzania
  • Tanzania Safari

Registered Members of these Organizations

iglta-icon

USEFUL LINKS

  • Safari Tours
  • Accommodation
  • Why Book with us?
  • Safari Cost Estimator Tool
  • Wildebeest Migration
  • Privacy Policy
  • Website Terms of Use

POPULAR COUNTRIES

  • View All Countries

POPULAR DESTINATIONS

  • View All Destinations
  • Cape Town Holidays
  • Kruger National Park
  • Etosha National Park
  • Chobe National Park

TRAVEL BLOGS

  • Travel News Digest, May 24: AU Passport Call Intensifies, Fuel Price Cuts expected in June
  • Great Migration Floods Impact: What Guests Travelling in High Season Need to Know
  • Travel News Digest, 17 May: Brits Flock to SA, Maasai Mara Flood Impact, Africa’s Tourism Potential
  • Tanzania and Kenya’s Top Great Migration River Crossings With all the Action
  • HerdTracker Heroes: Celebrating Our Top Contributors

OUR LOCATION

2nd floor, Tygervalley Chambers One, 27 Willie van Schoor Avenue, Bellville, Cape Town , 7530

  • All Adventures
  • Safaris in Africa
  • Hiking in Tanzania
  • Beach Adventures
  • Wellness Trips in Africa
  • Arctic Expeditions

Big Five Safari in Tanzania

Prepare for an unforgettable journey where you’ll witness the biggest stars of the East African savanna; the mighty Lion, the majestic Elephant, the rare Black Rhino, the graceful Leopard, and the stoic Cape Buffalo. This classic safari adventure that spans for 7 days, takes you through Tanzania’s most celebrated national parks in the Northern Circuit – ensuring dreamlike views of the wildlife and breathtaking landscapes of Africa. Join us on our big five safari in Tanzania, the adventure of a lifetime!

Rates vary due to seasons and availability - request a quote for precise, favorable pricing and tailored travel planning.

Customize Your Trip

Best Price Guarantee

Flight Booking Assistance

Multilingual Guides

Certified Travelife Partner

A herd of elephants walking through the savannah

What documents do I need to travel to Tanzania?

A visa is required when traveling to Tanzania. Currently, this can be obtained online,  on arrival at airports and border crossings, and is valid for 90 days. A valid passport is mandatory. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Tanzania.

Do lodges and camps have mosquito nets?

We carefully select the accommodation on safari so that you are comfortable and relaxed and can experience a one-of-a-kind atmosphere during your safari. All rooms/tents during your safari are fitted with mosquito nets or are insect-proofed to protect you against bites. You are also advised to use insect repellent to further protect yourself, especially outdoors in the evenings.

Is Tanzania safe to travel to?

Tanzania is generally considered a safe destination for safari-goers. Visitors should follow the safety guidelines provided and take necessary precautions, such as avoiding walking alone at night or leaving valuables unattended.

When does the wildebeest migration take place?

The wildebeest migration takes place in Tanzania typically between the months of November to August, although the timing can vary slightly depending on the weather patterns each year. The migration is a continuous movement of around 1.5 million wildebeest and large numbers of zebras and gazelles across the Serengeti plains in Tanzania in search of fresh grazing land and water. In November and December, the herds of wildebeest can be found in the northern Serengeti near the Kenyan border, where they start calving. As the rains stop and the dry season sets in, the herds begin to move south in search of water and fresh grazing. By April and May, the herds are usually in the central Serengeti. By June, the wildebeest and other herbivores gather at the Grumeti River, where they must cross to continue their journey south. By July, the herds are usually in the eastern Serengeti; by August, they move into the northern region of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

Is it safe to drink water in Tanzania?

Drinking tap water in Tanzania is generally unsafe, as it may contain harmful bacteria and parasites that can cause illnesses such as typhoid, cholera, and hepatitis A. Drinking only bottled or filtered water is important to avoid getting sick. You can buy bottled water at most shops, hotels, and restaurants in Tanzania. When traveling in Tanzania, it’s also important to avoid drinking water from sources such as lakes, rivers, and streams, which may also contain harmful bacteria and parasites. Instead, use bottled or filtered water to brush your teeth and rinse your mouth after brushing. Additionally, avoiding ice in drinks and peeling fruits and vegetables before eating them is a good idea to reduce the risk of ingesting contaminated water.

What are the best national parks to visit in Tanzania for a safari?

Tanzania is home to many national parks, but the most popular ones for safaris are Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire National Park, and Lake Manyara National Park.

What kind of wildlife can I expect to see on a Tanzania safari?

Tanzania is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including lions, elephants, giraffes, zebras, wildebeest, hippos, buffalo, leopards, cheetahs, and many species of birds.

What is the best time of year to go on a Tanzania safari?

The best time to go on a Tanzania safari depends on your preferences. The dry season from June to October is the best time for game viewing, but it can be crowded and more expensive. The wet season from November to May offers lush landscapes, fewer crowds, and lower prices, but some parks may be closed due to flooding.

What kind of transportation will be used during my safari?

Our safaris are in 4×4 vehicles, which are ideal for navigating the rugged terrain of the national parks. Some safaris may also include flights to remote areas or walking safaris.

What should I wear on my safari?

It’s important to dress in layers and pack versatile, easy-to-wash, and dry clothing. Don’t forget also to bring sunscreen, insect repellent, and a small backpack to carry your essentials while on safari. Choose comfortable, practical, and appropriate clothing for the weather conditions. Lightweight, breathable clothing such as cotton or linen shirts, pants, and shorts. Long-sleeved shirts and pants can also help protect you from the sun, insects, and thorny bushes. Neutral-colored clothing such as khaki, beige, or olive green. Avoid bright colors or patterns, as they can scare off wildlife or attract insects. Closed-toe shoes such as sneakers or hiking boots for walking safaris or nature walks. Sandals or flip-flops can be worn around camp but may not provide enough protection for outdoor activities. A hat or cap to protect your head and face from the sun. Sunglasses protect your eyes from the bright sunlight. A light jacket or sweater for cooler mornings and evenings. Swimwear if you plan to visit a lodge or camp with a swimming pool. A rain jacket or poncho if you’re traveling during the rainy season.

What is the tipping etiquette for safari guides and mountain crews on trips like this?

Tipping is highly appreciated at the end of safari/mountain climb. The size of tips will vary depending on the length and complexity of the trip, the number of staff on the trip and the number of clients on the trip. Generally, groups like to meet together before the end of the trek to discuss how much they would like to tip each staff member based on their individual trek experience. You should prepare an envelope after your trek for your tip money at the Hotel. You can use US dollars, Euros, TZ Shillings or a combination of these. Please ask the Safari/Climbing coordinator at the Hotel for advice.

RECOMMENDED TIP:

Mountain Climbs : $25-50 USD per Day per Climber to be shared between guides, chefs and porters.

Safaris : Driver/Guide: $35-50 USD per Day per Car. If it is a camping safari there will be a tip for the cook $10 USD per Day.

THESE ARE JUST GUIDELINES AND TIPS CAN BE GIVEN TO SAFARI STAFF/MOUNTAIN CREW ACCORDING TO SERVICES PROVIDED.

A huge tree in the savannah

Springlands Hotel

Springlands Hotel in Moshi, 29 km from Kilimanjaro, offers accommodation with amenities like an outdoor pool, complimentary parking, a bar, 24-hour reception, and free WiFi. Continental or à la carte breakfast is served at the hotel.

Rooms are equipped with air conditioning, a seating area, satellite TV, a kitchenette, dining area, and private bathroom with all essentials, including a kettle. Enjoy a hiking around Moshi, with a mini-supermarket just 3 km away.

Upgrade to Chanya Lodge or Gran Melia Hotel.

highview-hotel-exterior

Highview Hotel

The hotel offers dining in its restaurant or in the serene garden, with a mix of local and international dishes served à la carte or buffet style. Packed lunches are available for day trips. In the lounge, relax with a drink, enjoy board games, internet access, or cultural shows. The gardens provide shaded seating and house an organic vegetable and fruit garden.

Guests can enjoy hiking around Moshi, with a mini-supermarket just 3 km away.

Upgrade to Highview Coffee Lodge or Endoro Lodge or Tarangire Kuro Treetop Lodge.

ssl-shyre

Serengeti Safari Lodge

Located in the Seronera Tana Spring Area of Serengeti National Park, Serengeti Safari Lodge offers 15 luxury self-contained tents with private facilites.

Enjoy a luxurious experience with amenities as a swimming pool, spa services, a restaurant with local and continental dishes, a bar with a fireplace, internet access and a gift shop.

Upgrade to Ole Serai Luxury Camp, Moru Kopjes .

swb-tents

Serengeti Wild/Wildebeest Camp

The Serengeti Wild Camp features 20 spacious, self-contained tents, offers a close-to-nature experience including hearing distant elephant trumpeting at night.

Nearby, the Serengeti Wildebeest Camps – an extra area with 10 similar tents, providing comfortable wildlife encounters in the heart of Serengeti National Park.

Both camps offer modern amenities like internet, bars, a multi-cuisine restaurant and special dining experiences, including bush meals.

Upgrade to Serengeti Safari Lodge or Ole Serai Luxury Camp, Moru Kopjes .

Accommodation Upgrades

Please note that accommodation upgrades are exclusively available with our Big 5 PRIVATE option . Should you choose the group adventure, the standard – yet comfortable – accommodation will be provided.

cl-front

Chanya Lodge

Chanya Lodge is licated at the foothills of the majestiv Mount Kilimanjaro, juat outaide Moshi in Tanzania. A convenitently drive from the airport it’s perfect for trekkers, tourists, families and business visitors.

The residence offers 32 en-suite rooms, a large pool, a diverse cuisine restaurant and beautiful grassy gardens.

endoro-balcony

Endoro Lodge

Luxury accommodations with elegant chalet-themed rooms with fireplaces and immersion tubs, a swimming pool, a well-stocked bar and conference facilites with a P.A system for over 40 people.

Welcome to privacy, tranquility and elegance.

arusha-facade-pool

Gran Melia Hotel, Arusha

This magnificent hotel Is located between the majestic Serengeti and Kilimanjaro National Parks, unveiling the natural beauty of Tanzania’s wilderness.

Enjoy an oasis of five-star luxury and comfort with unbeatable facilities, exclusive suites, international cuisine, spa, an infinity pool and a gym – it’s the ideal retreat for an exciting safari adventure or a luxurious business meeting.

hcl-houses

Highview Coffee Lodge

This 8 cottage lodge comes with beautiful views over local hills and farmland, and is a gateway to Tanzania’s Northern circuit and local cultures, including Mbulu, Iraqw, Bushmen and Maasai tribes.

The lodge features 12 rooms, a pool, internet, a lounge with a bar and a fireplace, local and continental dinig, gardens, spa services and a gift shop.

ole-serau-lxuryacmp-bungalow

Ole Serai Luxury Camp, Moru Kopjes

Ideally located in the Central Seronera region of Serengeti National Park, near Moru Kopjes and Lake Magadi, this luxury camp is surrounded by hills and close to the Mbalageti/Seronera River and its diverse array of wildlife and a nearby hippo pool.

It features 20 well-appointed luxury tents, all en-suite with modern amenities, providing guests with panoramic views of nature and wildlife from the comfort of their beds or verandas.

treetops-lodge-giraffes

Tarangire Kuro Treetop Lodge

Luxury tents perched along the Baobab tree line, each tent designed with luxury beddings, en-suite bathroom with an indoor and outdoor shower and a private veranda with the perfect vantage point.

Strategically located on a towering Kopje hill it offers a breathtaking view of the Tarangire River and the path to the Silale swamp in the west—famous for attracting diverse wildlife all year round, thanks to its perennial water sources.

Included in the price:

  • Full board (breakfast, lunch & dinner) accommodation while on safari
  • Bed and breakfast accommodation in Moshi
  • Transfer to and from the airport
  • Accommodation on arrival and departure day at Springlands Hotel or Similar.
  • Sundowner drink at Highview Hotel
  • Bush lunch in the Serengeti
  • All game drives viewing in a custom built 4×4 Safari Land Cruiser
  • All park and entrance fees
  • Transportation with 4×4 vehicles with viewing roofs
  • A professional English-speaking driver/guide during the safari.
  • Bottled water in safari vehicles
  • Ngorongoro Crater car supplement fee
  • Current Government taxes and levies
  • 24-Hour support during the safari from our office in Moshi

Price does not cover:

  • Domestic or International flights
  • Entry visa to Tanzania
  • Travel and health insurance
  • Gratuities to your guide, hotel staff, and porters – Find guidelines in the FAQ
  • Meals, drinks, and excursions not described in the itinerary
  • Any other items of a personal nature, laundry, telephone, and postage
  • Masaai village tour & Olduvai Gorge Tour
  • Balloon excursion in Tanzania

Rest assured, we’re here to  assist with anything  not covered in the price. Your convenience is our priority.

Request A Free Quote!

  • Best price guarantee
  • Without any obligation to book
  • Your request will be sent directly to the operator

" * " indicates required fields

African Safari Tours

Photo Safari in Tanzania | Incredible Tanzania Photographic Safari Packages, What To Know Before Going For Big Five Safari In Tanzania, Best All-Inclusive African Safari Vacations, big five in Tanzania, 4-Days Serengeti Migration Safari, 10-Days Student Safari Tanzania, Simple Tips to Improve Your Safari Photographs, Responsible Travel, Ngorongoro Crater, Is the Ngorongoro Crater Worth Visiting?, 8 things that should be on your Tanzania itinerary, why you should visit the Ngorongoro Crater, What Camera should i bring for Tanzania Safari? How to Photograph Animals on the Move, Wildlife Photography Tips for Your Next Tanzania Safari, 10 Best African Photographic Safaris 2024/2025, How to Take Fabulous Smartphone Photos on Safari, Lake Eyasi Safari

Where to See the Big Five in Tanzania – A Detailed Guide

Where to see the “big five” in tanzania - a detailed guide.

Tanzania, located in East Africa, is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, diverse wildlife , and the opportunity to witness the famous “Big Five” in their natural habitat. Where To See The Big Five In Tanzania – A Detailed Guide the Big Five, consisting of the lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhinoceros, are some of the most iconic and sought-after animals for wildlife enthusiasts and safari-goers. In this detailed guide, we will explore the top destinations in Tanzania where you can have the best chances of spotting these magnificent creatures.

1. Serengeti National Park

The Serengeti National Park is arguably Tanzania’s most famous wildlife destination and is often considered one of the best places on Earth to see the Big Five. Big Five Game Viewing In Serengeti National Park. This vast savannah ecosystem is home to an abundance of wildlife, making it a top choice for safaris.

  • Lion : The Serengeti is known for its healthy lion population, and you’re almost guaranteed to spot these majestic creatures here. The Seronera Valley is particularly famous for lion sightings.
  • Leopard : Leopards are more elusive, but they can still be spotted in the Serengeti. Keep your eyes peeled for these elusive cats lounging in trees or hidden in the tall grass.
  • Elephant: Herds of elephants can often be seen wandering the plains, especially in the northern parts of the park. The Serengeti’s elephants are a breathtaking sight against the backdrop of the vast savannah.
  • Buffalo: Large herds of Cape buffalo roam the Serengeti, and you can often find them near watering holes.
  • Rhino: While rhinos are rare in the Serengeti due to poaching, there are still a few individuals in the Moru Kopjes area. Spotting a rhino here would be a remarkable and rare experience

2. Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Where can you see the Big Five in Tanzania? The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a unique destination for Big Five enthusiasts. The highlight of this area is the Ngorongoro Crater, a massive volcanic caldera that provides a natural enclosure for wildlife.

  • Lion : The Ngorongoro Crater is an excellent place to see lions, and they are often spotted lounging on the crater floor or near the abundant prey.
  • Leopard : Leopards are also present in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and you may spot them in the surrounding highlands.
  • Elephan t: While the Ngorongoro Crater is not known for its elephant population, you can still encounter these magnificent creatures in the surrounding forests and plains.
  • Buffalo: The crater floor is home to large herds of buffalo, providing excellent opportunities for sightings.
  • Rhino : The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is one of the few places in Tanzania where you have a decent chance of spotting both black and white rhinos. These endangered animals are closely monitored and protected here.

3. Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park is often overshadowed by its more famous neighbors, but it is a hidden gem for Big Five enthusiasts. It is particularly known for its large elephant population and diverse birdlife.

  • Lion : Lions are commonly seen in Tarangire, and the park’s open grasslands make for great lion viewing opportunities.
  • Leopard : Leopards are present but somewhat elusive in Tarangire. They tend to hide in the riverine forests.
  • Elephant : Tarangire is renowned for its massive herds of elephants, making it one of the best places in Tanzania to see these gentle giants.
  • Buffalo : Buffalo can also be found in Tarangire, often mingling with the elephants around watering holes.
  • Rhino : While not as common as in some other areas, rhinos have been sighted in Tarangire National Park. Keep a keen eye out for these rare creatures.

4. Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara National Park is known for its diverse ecosystem, which includes a soda lake, dense forests, and open plains. This park offers a unique opportunity to see the Big Five in a varied landscape.

  • Lion: Tree-climbing lions are a highlight in Lake Manyara National Park. These lions have developed a unique behavior of resting in the branches of acacia trees.
  • Leopard: Leopards can be found in the forests of Lake Manyara, but spotting them requires patience and a bit of luck.
  • Elephant: Elephant sightings are common in the park, especially in the woodlands surrounding the lake.
  • Buffalo: Buffalo herds are also present, and you may come across them while exploring the park.
  • Rhino: While rhinos are rarely seen in Lake Manyara, there have been occasional sightings. However, this is not a reliable location for rhino spotting.

10 Unforgettable camps to see the Big Five in Tanzania

In this case here are nine unforgettable camps to see the Big Five in Tanzania. Embark on an safari adventure in Tanzania with nine exceptional camps offering luxurious accommodations and unparalleled Big Five viewing opportunities. Nine Unforgettable camps to see the Big Five in Tanzania. Top 10 the big five luxury safari camps in Tanzania prices. Book now online top 10 Luxury Big Five Tours in Tanzania. 

  • Dunia Camp. One of the best camps in Tanzania found in central Serengeti is Dunia Camp. …
  • Namiri Camp
  • Kwihala Camp Jabali Ridge Kimondo Camp Oliver’s Camp and Little Oliver’s. Olakira Camp Sayari Camp
  • Mara Mara Tented
  • Serengeti Migration Camp

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When is the best time to visit tanzania for a big five safari.

The best time for a Big Five safari in Tanzania is during the dry season, which typically runs from June to October. During this period, the vegetation is less dense, and wildlife gathers around water sources, making it easier to spot the animals. However, wildlife viewing is still excellent throughout the year, and each season offers its own unique experiences.

How can I book a safari in Tanzania?

You can book a safari in Tanzania through reputable tour operators or travel agencies that specialize in African safaris. Ensure that the operator is licensed, has experienced guides, and follows ethical and sustainable practices.

Are there any ethical concerns regarding wildlife safaris in Tanzania?

Yes, there are ethical concerns related to wildlife safaris in Tanzania, particularly related to responsible tourism. Ensure that your safari operator follows ethical practices such as respecting wildlife and their habitats, adhering to park rules and regulations, and supporting conservation efforts.

What should I pack for a safari in Tanzania?

When packing for a safari in Tanzania, essentials include lightweight and neutral-colored clothing, sturdy walking shoes, a wide-brimmed hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, binoculars, a camera with a good zoom lens, and any required medications. Be sure to check the specific requirements with your safari operator.

Conclusion Big Five  in Tanzania

Tanzania offers an incredible opportunity to witness the Big Five in their natural habitat, and each of the mentioned destinations has its unique charm and wildlife experiences. Whether you choose the iconic Serengeti, the dramatic Ngorongoro Crater, the diverse Tarangire, or the varied landscapes of Lake Manyara, you’re bound to create unforgettable memories of your Tanzanian safari. Remember to prioritize responsibl e and ethical tourism to help preserve these remarkable ecosystems for generations to come.

Comments are closed.

African Budget Safaris Logo

  • Find Your Tour
  • Heavy Discount
  • Enquire / Contact Us
  • Send an Inquiry
  • Map of Africa
  • Contact Details
  • African Safari Cost
  • Travel Insurance
  • Custom Safaris
  • All Budget Safaris
  • Africa Camping Safaris
  • African Safaris for Seniors
  • Exclusive Small Group Camping Safaris
  • Gorilla Trekking Safaris & Tours
  • Lodge Safaris
  • Short Stay Tours
  • All Overland Tours
  • Camping Overland Tours
  • Exclusive Overland Safaris
  • Lodge Africa Overland Tours
  • All Family Safaris
  • Family Camping Safaris
  • Family Lodge Safaris
  • Family Safaris in East Africa
  • Family Safaris in Southern Africa
  • All Adventure Travel
  • Great White Shark Diving
  • Walking Safaris & Hiking Tours
  • Chobe National Park
  • Etosha National Park
  • Garden Route
  • Kilimanjaro
  • Kruger National Park
  • Ngorongoro Crater
  • Okavango Delta
  • Sabi Sands Game Reserve
  • Serengeti National Park
  • South Luangwa National Park
  • Victoria Falls
  • Zanzibar Island
  • Masai Mara Conservancies
  • Namib Desert
  • Pilanesberg National Park
  • South Africa
  • Kingdom of eSwatini
  • Dar es Salaam
  • Johannesburg
  • Livingstone
  • Antananarivo
  • Port Elizabeth (Gqeberha)
  • Adventure Travel & Activities
  • Africa Beaches & Islands
  • African Animals & Conservation
  • African Culture
  • Best Things to Do
  • Big 5 Safari
  • Bucket List Ideas
  • Family Safari
  • Overland Africa & Budget Safaris
  • Places in Africa
  • Safari Costs & Budgeting
  • Travel Tips & Planning
  • Where to See
  • Botswana (Okavango Delta +)
  • Cape Town + Garden Route
  • East Africa
  • Kenya (Masai Mara +)
  • Kruger + Sabi Sands
  • Morocco + Ethiopia
  • Namibia (Etosha +)
  • Rwanda + Uganda
  • South Africa, Lesotho + Eswatini
  • Southern Africa
  • Tanzania (Zanzibar, Serengeti +)
  • Zambia, Zimbabwe + Malawi
  • Safari Costs
  • Client Reviews

Tanzania safari lion, Ruaha Park

6 Best Tanzania Safari Parks to See the Big 5 of Africa

Which are the best tanzania safari parks to see the big 5 of africa.

This will help you decide where to go on safari in Tanzania if you want to see the famous Big Five safari animals of Africa - lion, elephant, rhino, leopard, and buffalo.

Lake Manyara safari elephants

Best Tanzania Safari Parks to see Africa's Big 5

Let's start with the Tanzania wildlife parks where you can see all five of Africa's Big Five. Namely Serengeti, Ngorongoro & Selous (now Nyerere).

1. Ngorongoro Crater - Northern Tanzania Safari Circuit

Home to all 5 of africa's big 5 animals.

Rhino in Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania Safari

The Ngorongoro Crater is the best place to see all five of Africa's Big 5 animals on safari in Tanzania. It is also, arguably, the best wildlife park for seeing rhinos in Tanzania.

Lions: Ngorongoro Crater hosts the densest population of lions in Africa. 

Elephants: Elephants are common in Ngorongoro Crater, including bulls with large tusks.

Rhinos: The crater is home to a sizeable population of black rhinos. Rhinos are commonly sighted here, unlike rhinos in other African and Tanzanian parks.

Leopards: There are healthy populations of leopards in the Ngorongoro Crater, although these elusive cats are more difficult to spot.

Buffaloes: Buffaloes are regularly seen in the Ngorongoro Crater.

Ngorongoro Crater Big 5 in Summary

On Tanzania safaris in Ngorongoro Crater, you are highly likely to see lions, elephants, rhinos, and buffalos. With some luck and extra time, you may also see leopards.

Other Highlights of Ngorongoro Crater Safaris in Tanzania

Another highlight of exploring Ngorongoro Crater on your Tanzania Safari is the high concentration of wildlife found here. It is a small caldera (unflooded crater) hosting one of the highest concentrations of African animals that are almost all easy to see on game drives.

  • See our Ngorongoro Crater Safaris in Tanzania.

2. Serengeti Park - Northern Tanzania Safari Circuit

Leopard in Seronera Valley, Serengeti Safari

The Serengeti National Park is not only home to the great migration but also to all five of the Big 5 of Africa. Another reason why the Serengeti Park in Tanzania is one of the very best safari destinations in the world. 

Lions: Serengeti is said to host Africa's largest population of lions, commonly sighted on safaris here.

Elephants: Elephants are commonly seen roaming the Serengeti Plains, especially in the northern part of the park.

Rhinos: There are a few rhinos in Serengeti, mainly found in the central region of the wildlife park.

Leopards: Serengeti boasts excellent leopard sightings in the central region (Seronera Valley) of the park. Leopards are found in other parts of Serengeti but are less often seen.

Buffaloes: Serengeti is home to large herds of buffaloes that are regularly sighted.

Serengeti Big 5 in Summary

You are highly likely to see buffaloes, lions, and elephants on safari in Serengeti. If you visit the central part of Serengeti then you may also see rhinos and are likely to see leopards too.

Other Highlights of Serengeti Safaris in Tanzania

The great migration, aka the wildebeest migration, takes place in Serengeti Park. One of the most thrilling wildlife spectacles on earth, the great migration is more than enough reason to go on safari in Serengeti. If your Tanzania safari takes you to Serengeti in the right season (around June and July), you may just catch this spectacular wildlife trek in action.

Other highlights of Serengeti Safaris include excellent cheetah sightings and quintessential African safari scenery (endless open savannahs dotted with thorn trees).

  • See our affordable Serengeti Safaris  

3. Nyerere National Park (Selous) - Southern Tanzania Safari Circuit

Home to all 5 of africa's big 5 animals.

Selous safari, Tanzania lions

Formerly Selous Game Reserve, Nyerere National Park is home to all five of the Big 5 animals of Africa. But, rhinos are very rare and only found in certain parts of the park. Leopards are rarely seen and elephants only occasionally. 

Due to the massive size of this Tanzania national park (it's one of the largest wildlife areas in the world), the animals are very widely dispersed. This makes wildlife more difficult to track down and observe, resulting in less predictable wildlife sightings.

Lions: Lions are commonly sighted in Nyerere which hosts a large lion population.

Elephants: The once large elephant populations in Nyerere have shrunk due to poaching. Elephants are still sighted on occasion.

Rhinos: Due to poaching rhino sightings are very rare and usually limited to the southern section of Nyerere Park. 

Leopards: There are leopards in Nyerere Park but these shy cats are rarely sighted.

Buffaloes: Nyerere is home to huge herds of buffaloes that are commonly sighted on safaris here.

Nyerere Big 5 in Summary

You are very likely to see buffaloes and lions in Nyerere National Park. Don't count on seeing elephants. It is highly unlikely that you will see black rhinos and chances are you won't see leopards either. 

Other Highlights of Nyerere Safaris in Tanzania

Nyerere National Park is the largest national park in Africa. It covers over 30,000 square kilometres of wilderness in southern Tanzania. This is a truly wild and remote African safari destination. It's a great place to escape the crowds and experience an authentic African wildlife adventure. Nyerere is also a stronghold for endangered African wild dogs and rare antelope species.

  • See our Nyerere / Selous Safaris in Tanzania

4. Lake Manyara Park - Northern Tanzania Safari Circuit

Home to 4 of africa's big 5 animals.

Lake Manyara tree-climbing lions

Lake Manyara National Park is a compact wildlife park, home to four of Africa's Big Five, the exception being the rhino.

Lions: Lake Manyara Park is famous for its tree-climbing lions, often sighted here.

Elephants: The national park (established to protect elephants) is home to large herds of elephants that are commonly sighted, including large bull elephants with impressive tusks.

Rhinos: Absent.

Leopards: A healthy population of leopards inhabits Lake Manyara National Park but these shy cats are rarely sighted in the thick vegetation.

Buffaloes: Lake Manyara Park is home to large herds of buffaloes that are commonly sighted.

Lake Manyara Big 5 in Summary

On Lake Manyara Safaris, you are highly likely to see elephants and buffaloes, quite likely to see lions (in the trees), and unlikely to see leopards. You won't find rhinos here.

Other Highlights of Lake Manyara Safaris in Tanzania

You can often get up close to the resident wildlife and birds in this relatively small national park of Tanzania . Lake Mayara Park is a birding hotspot, one of the finest in Africa. It hosts a high diversity of bird species with over 1,130 bird species recorded here. Sightings include seasonal flocks of flamingoes as well as flocks of pelicans. The park is home to the largest concentration of baboons in Africa, hosting huge troops of baboons numbering in the hundreds.

  • See our Lake Manyara Safaris

5. Ruaha National Park - Southern Tanzania Safari Circuit

Ruaha safari buffalos, Tanzania

Four of the Big 5 are present in  Ruaha National Park , famous for its massive elephant population.

Lions: Lions are commonly sighted in Ruaha Park which hosts large prides of lions.

Elephants: Ruaha National Park is one of the best places in Africa to see wild elephants. It hosts large herds of elephants that you are sure to see.

Leopards: In Ruaha National Park, your chances of seeing a leopard are relatively high (at almost 70%), especially along the river. 

Buffaloes: Ruaha is home to sizeable buffalo herds commonly sighted on game drives.

Ruaha Big 5 in Summary

In Ruaha National Park you will see elephants and you are almost sure to see lions too. The likelihood of seeing buffalos is also high and your chances of laying eyes on a leopard are good. There are no rhinos here.

Other Highlights of Ruaha Safaris in Tanzania

Dubbed the 'best-kept safari secret' in Tanzania, Ruaha is a wild and unspoiled game park. Like Nyerere Park, Ruaha is a massive national park, incorporating over 20,000 square kilometres of southern Tanzania. It is a favourite amongst safari aficionados because of its dramatic scenery, ruggedness, and reliable wildlife sightings along the Ruaha River. Due to its remoteness and the low number of safari camps found here, it is an uncrowded place for an adventurous Tanzania safari.

  • Affordable  Ruaha Safaris in Tanzania

6. Tarangire National Park - Northern Tanzania Safari Circuit

Home to 4 of africa's big 5 animals.

Tarangire elephants, Tanzania safari

Tarangire National Park  hosts four of the Big 5 of Africa (elephants, buffalos, lions, and leopards) with rhinos being absent. It offers exceptional game viewing in the dry season (June to October).

Lions: Tarangire National Park is an excellent place to see lions, especially along the Tarangire River in winter.

Elephants: Elephant sightings are pretty much guaranteed in this Tanzania safari park which is famous for its huge elephant herds.

Leopards: There are a fair number of leopards in Tarangire Park and your chances of seeing them are about 50-50.

Buffaloes: Tarangire National Park attracts large herds of buffaloes in the dry season with buffalo present year-round, so you are almost sure to see these dangerous herbivores here.

Tarangire Big 5 in Summary

On safari in Tarangire Park, you are sure to see lions and elephants and are extremely likely to see buffaloes. You may or may not spot a leopard, depending on your luck and there are no rhinos here. 

Other Highlights of Tarangire Safaris in Tanzania

Of the wildlife parks on the popular Northern Tanzania Safari Circuit, Tarangire is the least-visited and most under-explored. The southern part of the national park offers a less crowded Tanzania safari experience during busy times and still has a wild feel to it. 

  • Affordable Tarangire Safaris in Tanzania

Best Tanzania Safari Parks to See Africa's Big 5 - In Summary

Ngorongoro Crater takes first prize overall as the best Tanzania safari park to see all five of Africa's Big 5 animals. You are most likely to spot all five of these iconic safari animals here, although leopards are not seen often. The main reason Ngorongoro Crater comes out tops is that black rhinos are commonly sighted. Whereas rhinos are absent from most of the other Tanzania wildlife parks, or rare and seldomly seen.

Leopard, Serengeti safari in Tanzania

Second place goes to  Serengeti Park . Here you can see rhinos and you are far more likely to see leopards if you visit the central Seronera Valley area. So, you're chances of seeing all five, or four out of five, are pretty high.

Ruaha and Tarangire are the best Tanzania parks for seeing elephants, whilst Nyerere Park comes in last (with only occasional elephant sightings). Nyerere (Selous) is however one of the best Tanzania safari destinations for seeing large herds of buffaloes. But, you can see buffaloes in all 6 of these Tanzania parks. Lake Manyara Park is a good all-around choice for seeing the Big 5, except for rhinos, and offers excellent elephant sightings as well as the novelty of seeing tree-climbing lions.

For the best Tanzania safaris to see leopards go to Serengeti (central), Tarangire, Ruaha, and then Ngorongoro Crater.

Find out more in...

  • How to Spot a Leopard on Safari in Africa
  • The Best Places to See Lions in Africa, in the wild
  • 11 Best Places to See Elephants in Africa
  • The Big 5 of Africa & where to see these safari animals

Big 5 Tanzania Safaris

The best way to increase your chances of seeing all of Africa's Big Five is to visit both Serengeti Park and Ngorongoro Crater on your Tanzania Safari. Luckily, these two wildlife parks are close to each other and often combined on guided safaris.

Serengeti lions, Tanzania safari

In fact, many of the private and group safaris in Tanzania visit several of the best parks to see Africa's Big 5. Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, and Tarangire are the most frequently combined Tanzania safari parks. They are all located on the Northern Tanzania Safari Circuit which makes them easy to combine on one affordable Tanzania Safari. It is, however, worth noting that the high season for safaris in this part of Tanzania can get very busy and the prices go up too.

  • Compare budget safaris to the  Northern Tanzania Safari Circuit

To avoid the crowds, some safari goers prefer to head to the more wild and remote wildlife parks of the Southern Tanzania Safari Circuit (including Ruaha and Nyerere/Selous).

  • See our affordable  Southern Tanzania Safaris  or browse all of our Budget Tanzania Safaris

For help planning your Big 5 Tanzania Safari or the ultimate Big 5 African Safari on a budget, talk to one of our friendly travel advisors. Whether you are looking for a private Tanzania Safari or an affordable camping safari, they are happy to help.

Our safari travel consultants know the ropes and have been on safaris across the continent. Plus, their help is free. So, get in touch .

Landia Davies Content Manager & Sculptor

Landia Davies

Related Destinations

Explore these destinations mentioned in this post.

Ruaha National Park lion

Ruaha National Park

Wildebeest Migration in Serengeti

Tarangire National Park

Northern Safari Circuit, Tanzania

Lake Manyara

Lions, Tanzania Safari in Selous

Nyerere (Selous Game Reserve)

Private Group?

A private, tailor-made safari is within your reach. Experience all of your bucket-list safari related items on a budget now.

Similar & Related Blog Posts

Below you'll find further reading and articles related or similar to this post.

Wildebeest migration in Tanzania

How much does a Tanzania Safari cost? (and top budget-saving tips)

From $200 per day for an overland safari in Tanzania which visits Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater. That’s the cost of a no-frills…

Lion watching wildebeest migration in Serengeti

When is the best time to take a budget Serengeti Safari in Tanzania?

The best time for a Serengeti Safari in Tanzania is from late June to August, or January to March.  That is during the peak of the great wildebeest…

Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania safari

Ngorongoro Conservation Area: Guide to the Best Tanzania Safari on a Budget

This post covers all you need to know about Ngorongoro Conservation Area to have the best Tanzania safari on a budget. Because the Ngorongoro Crater…

Mikumi Park elephants, south Tanzania Safari

Why South Tanzania Safaris are Some of the Best in Africa

Are south Tanzania Safaris really some of the best safaris in Africa? We say yes! From Ruaha to Nyerere and beyond, the less-visited south of Tanzania…

Great migration serengeti

What makes a Great Migration Safari in Tanzania so remarkable?

Here's why my Great Migration Safari in Tanzania was so unforgettable. Come along and I'll tell you all about it. When the boss asks if you…

Remote Places, Selous - Tanzania Safari

5 Remote places for crowd-free Tanzania & Kenya Safaris

Escape the crowds in these 5 remote places for secluded Tanzania & Kenya Safaris. These remote wildlife parks are ideal places to get away…

Best Tanzania Safaris Tours - Ngorongoro Crater

Where to Go for the Best Tanzania Safaris and Tours

Find out where to go on the best Tanzania Safari Tours this year. And see why these are the best destinations for an African safari in Tanzania.  …

Best African country for safaris

Is the best African country for safaris Kenya or Tanzania?

'Is Kenya or Tanzania the best African country for safaris?' This is one of the big questions people ask when planning an African safari.…

Serengeti vs Masai Mara

Serengeti vs Masai Mara: which top wildlife park is best for your safari in Africa?

Serengeti vs Masai Mara: which park to visit for the best safari in Africa?  In this guide, we compare the similarities and differences between…

Lake Manyara lions, Tanzania Safari

The Budget Tanzania Safari Experience: Photos of Lake Manyara and More

An African Travel update from the ground sent from two US clients (Chris and Kayla Anderson) who did our 12-Day Tanzania Safari & Zanzibar Holiday and…

Giraffe on Tarangire safari in Tanzania

African Safari Update: What’s a safari in Tanzania like right now?

African Safari Update: Find out what to expect on an African Safari in Tanzania during the Covid-19 pandemic. This is the story of three of our clients who…

Cape buffalos, Kruger Big 5 safari

The Big 5 of Africa & Where to See These Famous Big 5 Animals

The Big 5 of Africa are the most often-mentioned, relentlessly searched-for and much-loved five big African animals. Spotting the Big 5 is a…

Elephants in Tarangire National Park Tanzania

Why is Tarangire National Park Tanzania, worth a visit? (Tarangire Safari Guide)

Find out why Tarangire National Park in Tanzania is totally worth a visit.  This lesser-known Tanzania national park attracts fewer tourists…

The Great Migration, Serengeti Safari

How to enjoy the ultimate Serengeti Safari in Tanzania on a budget

The Serengeti National Park, with its vast open spaces and incredible wildlife, is one of the best destinations for an African safari vacation. The good…

Ngorongoro Crater Tanzania Safaris

9 of the Best Places to Visit on Safari in Tanzania

Tanzania is one of the most popular destinations for wildlife safaris in Africa. Home to some of the most diverse, and abundant wildlife in East Africa,…

These trips cover similar ground…

Serengeti Safari in Tanzania

Tanzania Safari to Serengeti & Beyond - Wildlife Lodge Tour

The Tanzania Safari to Serengeti & Beyond is an affordable wildlife lodge safari tour offering the ultimate African safari experience. Explore Serengeti…

Tanzania Safari, Ngorongoro elephants

5 Day Tanzania Safari - Serengeti, Ngorongoro & Tarangire

A budget 5 Day Tanzania Safari to Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater & Tarangire, on the famous Northern Tanzania Safari Circuit. An affordable yet comfortable…

Tanzania-experience animals 25 longer

7 Day Private Tanzania Safari - Lodge & Camping Tour

A Private Tanzania Safari to Serengeti Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire & Lake Manyara. Travel in a small group, staying at private safari camps and…

Lioness on Serengeti Safari, Tanzania

12 Day Tanzania Safari & Zanzibar Holiday Package

The budget Tanzania Safari Tour & Zanzibar Holiday Package includes a Serengeti Safari, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara Park & Zanzibar holiday package.

Lions in Nyerere National Park

9 Day Tanzania Private Safari to Southern National Parks

This Tanzania Private Safari takes you to four less-crowded southern Tanzania national parks - Nyerere, Mikumi, Ruaha & Udzungwas on a private small group…

Tanzania Safari wildlife

Budget Tanzania Safari - Serengeti, Ngorongoro & Manyara Camping

A short Budget Tanzania Safari to Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater & Lake Manyara on the Northern Tanzania Safari Circuit. Great affordable Tanzania…

African Budget Safaris Logo

Connect with us

Useful resources.

  • Get Travel Insurance
  • Book Flights
  • Get Car Hire
  • Signup for our newsletter

Popular Destinations

Latest blogs.

  • How to plan an African safari on a very tight budget: the 8-step guide to safari planning
  • The 10 Safest Countries in Africa to Visit (2022 Global Peace Index Rankings)
  • Best Countries to Visit in Africa? Here are 15 Amazing African Countries
  • South Africa Tipping Etiquette: 8 Top Tips for Tipping in South Africa
  • How Much Does an African Safari Cost? Your Budget Africa Safari Guide

ATTA Member

Call us toll free from US/Canada on 1-888-414-6513 , or from the UK on 0-808-189-1052 . All other countries can contact us on +27 21 791 0878 .

© 2024 African Budget Safaris | Privacy | Terms

You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

For a unique adventure check out our Trans-Serengeti Balloon Safari!

Where to see the big five in tanzania.

Want to have the best chances of seeing the Big Five in Tanzania, then read our helpful guide

Alistair

04 Dec 2020

03 jan 2024.

Where To See Big Five Tanzania

What is the Big Five?

Africa’s Big 5 – lion, elephant, rhino, leopard, buffalo – is many people’s reason for a wildlife safari holiday. The term originally came from these animals being the most dangerous to hunt and hence sought after as trophies. Happily, these magnificent creatures are now more commonly celebrated by visitors eager to capture them on camera, as part of a photographic safari.

Leopard

Why Tanzania for your Big 5 safari?

Serengeti Safari

A Tanzania safari holiday is arguably one of Africa’s greatest destinations for a Big 5 safari experience, whether it is your first safari or you are a seasoned safari goer, it offers something for everyone. It boasts the world-renowned Serengeti , the Ngorongoro Crater, and the vast Selous Game Reserve - all names synonymous with some of the best safari experiences Africa has to offer.

Tanzania is East Africa's largest country and more than a quarter of its surface area is protected in national parks and game reserves. These areas collectively conserve around 20% of Africa's large mammal biomass, including a lion population that is 3 or 4 times greater than any other African country. Whilst where and when to find these 5 special animals is the focus of this article, Tanzania is also blessed with one of the most dazzling wildlife spectacles on the planet, The Wildebeest Migration . This year-round event sees 1.5 million wildebeest, 200,000 zebra and attendant predators traverse the vast plains of the Serengeti.

Ngorongoro Crater

To top it all off, Tanzania has so much more to offer visitors other than a wildlife safari. From the dizzying heights of the snow-capped peaks of Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain , to the depths of Lake Victoria, the second largest freshwater lake in the world. After your safari adventure the country has some of the most idyllic Indian Ocean coastline and beaches on which to relax, including the distinguished islands of Zanzibar, Mafia, and Pemba.

Top safari to see the Big 5 in Tanzania

Canoeing Arusha Np With Buffaloes

There are some exceptional Tanzania safari itineraries that will offer you a great opportunity of seeing the Big 5 in just a few days. For the best chance, I would recommend a tailored trip that includes the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti, such as our Northern Tanzania Family Safari Adventure .

12 Days exploring Tanzania

Price: From £4,670pp (adult). From £2,509pp (child)

This itinerary includes a full day on the crater floor of Ngorongoro. Make sure you get an early start to be one of the first vehicles descending into the crater, as it can get busy. However, this impressive geological feature comprises a unique variety of ecosystems in a relatively small area and, as a result, an extraordinary diversity of wildlife. This is probably one of the best places in Africa where you may spot the Big Five in one day – of course there are never any guarantees!

You continue to the beautiful grassland plains of the Serengeti, with a couple of days discovering its incredible nature on foot. This puts you in some of the more remote areas, well away from the crowds and exploring the rhino conservation zones. The Serengeti is also home to the Big 5, although rhino can be a challenge in this vast area, plus undoubtedly one of the best places in Africa to find cheetah, due to the perfect open habitat.

This Tanzania family safari holiday , is always a huge hit with our clients and is sure to create memories that last a lifetime!

Wayo Walking In Serengeti

You round off your Serengeti experience at a premium camp in the Ndutu sector in the south, for a truly luxury Tanzania safari . I’d recommend this itinerary in January and February, when the Great Wildebeest Migration will be in this area, with its attendant predators and to coincide with the calving season. However, this region is well known for its abundant resident predators year-round. If you are travelling outside December to March, your trip can be easily tweaked to follow the migrating herds to the north.

I particularly love this itinerary, as it’s not all about chasing around ticking off the Big 5! It takes you to a variety of protected areas - Arusha and Lake Manyara National Parks , in addition to Ngorongoro and the Serengeti. You will also enjoy a range of activities, giving you a unique perspective on the wildlife that you will see.

Serengeti Wildebeest Migration

North or South Tanzania safari circuit

My suggested trip takes you to Tanzania’s northern circuit, which is home to several excellent parks for spotting members of the Big 5. As well as those mentioned above, Tarangire National Park , although not the most famous, has the largest elephant population in northern Tanzania. Here they enjoy the baobab trees and sometimes gather in herds of several hundred individuals.

Whilst the south does not boast the same chance of finding all the Big 5, as rhino are rarely seen here, it should not be overlooked. Less well known and hence far less visited, its distinct advantage is the ease with which you can avoid the crowds. You are also spoiled for safari options, including Selous and Ruaha, which combine perfectly to form a southern safari circuit. Further west and even more remote is the wild Katavi National Park.

These southern parks are gems for predator sightings, including a higher chance of spotting African wild dogs than in the north. Ruaha is reputed to support almost ten per cent of Africa’s total lion population, making it a key park for lion conservation efforts and its huge prides a great draw for visitors.

Little Chem Chem Game Drive

Best time of year to see the Big 5

Tanzania’s peak safari season runs between June and October, when the weather is a little cooler, but it remains warm and is dry. The wildlife viewing tends to be at its best during this period for two main reasons.

Firstly, the vegetation is dry and sparser, basically making it easier to spot animals, especially the heavyweights, such as rhino, elephant and buffalo. Even the stealthier leopard is afforded a little less undergrowth in which to camouflage itself and hide. Secondly, the available water sources dwindle, as smaller ponds and streams dry up. Animals, such as elephant and buffalo must drink every day, making them particularly dependent on water. Most of the larger mammals cannot survive for long without it, hence they congregate more around the remaining sources and are easier to find.

However, accommodation in popular areas fills up quickly and rates are higher over these months. The animals are still around the rest of the year, but you may have to work a little harder to find them. This is when it really pays off to choose the right camp or tour operator, with highly skilled professional guides, who know the area like the backs of their hands. They will spot animals and clues to help track down the Big 5 that you would likely have otherwise been completely oblivious to.

The months that it may be worth considering avoiding, unless you are particularly adventurous or in search of the best deals possible, are April and May. Whilst it seldom rains all day every day, heavy rains can make roads in many of the parks inaccessible at this time of year and some camps and lodges close.

Check out our helpful; Where to go when - a safari calendar

A final piece of advice for enjoying the Big 5 in Tanzania

Tree Climbing Lions

Tanzania is a destination that offers a great chance of seeing the Big 5 in a single safari holiday. However, there are no guarantees. My best piece of advice is don’t put too much emphasis on having to tick them off your list. Relax, enjoy the spectacular scenery and the other abundant wildlife that you will discover. Its behaviour can often be far more fascinating, when you take the time to appreciate it, than a lion snoozing under a tree!

If you have a particular animal that you have always wanted to see, above all others, then get in touch with one of our experts. We will tailor an itinerary that will deliver the best chance of your dream coming true.

Enquire-Button.png#asset:116423

OUR FAVOURITE TAILOR-MADE TANZANIA TRIPS

Popular Tanzania Safari Holiday Ideas

Wayo  Walking In  Serengeti

Walk, Mountain Bike & Drive Northern Tanzania

  • £5,495 £4,995 pp.

Sundowners On A Walking Safari In The Serengeti

Honeymoon Adventure Safari in Tanzania

Marang Forest Walking Safari

Northern Tanzania Family Adventure Safari

  • Lake Manyara

Balloon

Trans-Serengeti Balloon Expedition

  • Lake Victoria

Tree Climbing Lions

Selous and Fanjove Island

  • Selous Safari
  • Fanjove Island

Siwandu Safari

Luxury Southern Tanzania Safari and Beach

  • Swahili Coast Beach

Dreaming of seeing the Big Five

Speak with our Tanzania travel experts

Marc

Tanzania Specialist

Alistair

Call an expert on

01768 603 715

Far & Wild Customer Reviews

See what our customers have to say about us...

I didn't realise my high expectations could be so easily exceeded

Hannah and Elaine travelled to Kenya in November 2023 on a trip organised by .

A dream to visit Mum's birth place!

Christine travelled to St Helena Holidays and South Africa in December 2023 on a trip organised by .

Adventure of a Lifetime in Kenya

Maria travelled to Masai Mara Safari in October 2023 on a trip organised by Ben .

I've already recommended Far and Wild to a couple of friends

Paula travelled to South Africa in December 2023 on a trip organised by Alistair .

It was SO NICE to have someone else do it for me.

Cathy travelled to Tanzania and Zanzibar in December 2023 on a trip organised by Alistair .

Amazing Experience in Tanzania!

Michelle travelled to Tanzania in November 2023 on a trip organised by Alistair .

Plan with an expert

Have a look at our original holiday experiences and then contact us with your brief, or call 01768 603 715

A tailor-made itinerary just for you

Our experts will send you a detailed holiday itinerary specified to your desires. It's our service promise to you.

Value guarantee

Tailor-made doesn't mean expensive! Ask about our price promise and book with financial security.

Thank you for making an enquiry

Our travel experts will be in touch soon. Feel free to call us on 01768 603 715.

Start planning your next holiday

Give us a call on 01768 603 715 or fill in the form below and we’ll be in touch.

Tell us about you...

Tell us about your trip….

Please enter your comments.

Logo

  • Tailor Made Safari In Tanzania

Why African Scenic Safaris

  • Travel In Tanzania
  • Booking Policy
  • Family Bush & Beach Safari
  • Classic Tanzania
  • Short & Sweet
  • Closer to Nature
  • Big 5 Explorer
  • Ultimate South
  • Southern Highlights
  • Western Highlights
  • Cultural, Wildlife, Hiking
  • Serengeti National Park
  • Tarangire National Park
  • Lake Manyara National Park
  • Ngorongoro Conservation Area
  • Wildebeest Migration
  • Honeymooners
  • Cultural Tours
  • Accommodations
  • Kilimanjaro
  • Ngorongoro Highlands

Travel Life

Rated 5 Star By 500 Travellers

  • Tailor-Made Kilimanjaro Experiences
  • --> --> Enquire Online --> --> National Parks --> Lemosho Route --> Machame Route --> Rongai Route --> Northern Circuit Route --> Quest From The West --> Above The African Plains --> Without The Whiskey --> Orbit Kilimanjaro --> Twin Peaks --> Mount Meru Climbing --> Ngorongoro Highlands --> Route Comparison -->