Great Destination Guide | Pathfinder Safaris

Great Destination Guide

Welcome to East Africa: The land of beauty and adventure

The opportunities and beauties are endless, from the open savannah of the world-renowned national parks like Masai Mara and the Serengeti to the wild coastlines of Tanzania and Kenya, visitors are definitely sure of an encounter with nature and its wonderful creatures and features such as the Mount Kilimanjaro and the Stone Town. You will get the chance to see some of the largest land animals in the world, living in the vast open space of this magnificent continent.

It is quite easy to fall in love with Africa, we know this because every year, millions of tourists experience adventure and beauty beyond their wildest imagination and vow to return again. We are determined to share the beauty and adventure that surrounds us in Africa with you which covers all the areas of East Africa and this includes Tanzanie, Uganda, Rwanda, Eastern DRC and Kenya. You will find some of the standard tours and Safaris that we offer for travels around Tanzania and do not hesitate to contact us to find out how we can customize your trip based on what you will like to see.

As a tourist, what are the best things that you would like to do when you are on vacation in Africa? Great Activities exists such as trekking, safari or lazing on the beach. Come and discover culinary tours, backpacking, volunteering, extreme adventure, seeing the active volcanic mountain in Eastern DRC, Gorilla trek in Rwanda, chimpanzees in Tanzania and several other side attractions. Whatever you decide, always ensure that you travel responsibly. Read on to discover the top 10 list of things to do while on vacation in Africa.

Tanzania Adventure Activities

Tanzania is a country with abundant wildlife and natural beauty, every part of Tanzania has so much to offer visitors, if you stay in lodges near the rural area where people grow their own food, you will enjoy the meals processed with foodstuffs from near farms. Beside the mountain, there is a diverse mix of lifestyle and a wide range of wildlife and vegetation. Over 32,000 visitors come to Tanzania for trekking, and trekking is an adventure that appeals to different people for several reasons, one of the commonest benefits of trekking is the ability to enjoy the green vegetation and get closer to nature, appreciating the beauties nature has to offer.

Pathfinder Safaris organizes packages for people to experience the fun and thrill of trekking, making trekking hassle free and enjoyable. These adventure vacations also give you the chance to penetrate the less accessible areas of Tanzania on foot and also camp in the wilderness. Definitely, your tents and the most important equipment needed will be provided for you, you will also get the opportunity to spend nights in huts and hotels and the accommodation is shared with other members of the group.

The best way to have an in-depth view of Tanzania’s unbeatable combination of authentic natural beauty and culture is by trekking, allowing your rhythm to blend in with your surroundings. You will need a daypack to enable you to enjoy the trek, the daypack contains a camera, water bottle, and few personal items. The rest of the equipment, the foodstuffs, and the camping gear will be carried by locally hired pack animals or porters which also provides them with income. You will need to be basically physically fit in order to enjoy the trek since you will be walking for about 5-7 hours. Good cardiovascular conditioning is a very important aspect of having an enjoyable trek. You can improve your fitness by running or walking with backpack and boots on and also use the Stairmaster or similar equipment that will improve your fitness.

Tanzania Safari Holidays

Tanzania has so much to offer you while you are in holidays, whether you desire to be challenged, you want to embark on an exciting wildlife safari or you simply want to chill out, there is never a dull moment. Home to some of the most concentrated populations of wildlife, Tanzania is renowned as a great safaris destination with great locations like Mount Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire, the Serengeti and Lake Manyara.

Tanzania will offer you the most exciting wildlife experiences that you will ever have. You can experience the thrill of seeing the chimpanzees in the remote parks on the edge of Lake Tanganyika while Southern Tanzania provides a more remote and untouched wildlife safari experience with fewer visitors and quiet neighborhood. You will get the chance to enjoy an amazing variety of wildlife and scenery, the boat safari is a popular option in Selous but if you desire a location with wildlife and if you need the most scenically stunning and ecologically diverse wildlife, then the Ruaha National Park will provide you with such experience.

Saadani National Park on the Indian Ocean will offer you a perfect combination of bush and beach experience. Apart from wildlife watching, you can take up a challenge and climb Mount Kilimanjaro which is Africa’s highest mountain and see the world from an elevated point. It is most likely that you have heard of a place called the “cradle of Mankind”, Olduvai Gorge, well if not then you better add this wonderful location to your list on your vacation, this is where the Leakeys unearthed the secrets of man’s early evolutionary heritage.

The native people like the Iraqw and Maasi contribute to make Tanzania safari holidays and trek successful and exciting as they guide you through the land providing you with a unique dimension to your safari in Tanzania. All over the map of Tanzania, you will always have locations with untold beauties and history. Tanzania Zanzibar, the legendary Spice Island in the Indian ocean has enormous tourist potentials for every visitors and also other lesser known Islands such as Chumbe and Mafia that offers you the exciting spots where you can relax on white coral beaches. You can also add a magical stay on any of these Islands and have a perfect holiday experience.

Safari Circuits

An in-depth analysis of over 3,061 reviews from 53 nationalities of safaris tourists and also acclaimed experts revealed that they have voted Tanzania as indeed the best safari country in Africa. Tanzania has four safari circuits and definitely each of these circuits will make Tanzania a top wildlife destination. These tourism circuits are in perfect consonance with the Tanzania national tourism development drive.

Northern Circuit

The northern circuit is actually the most popular circuit of Tanzania, taking you to great locations on the Tanzania map, it could last up to five weeks and it includes:

  • Arusha NP
  • Lake Manyara NP
  • Tarangire NP
  • Ngorongoro CA
  • The Serengeti NP
  • Mount Kilimanjaro NP
  • Mkomazi NP.

Often times, you may travel to the Kilimanjaro International Airport or you can take a flight to Arusha local airport and locate Arusha town which is the location where the northern circuit is explored.

If the safari also includes a flight back to Arusha from Serengeti, then Tarangire and/or Lake Manyara, may likely be the first location that you will visit ( this depends also on the season because Tarangire is only seasonally good). The next location is the Ngorongoro Crater which is one of the world’s largest intact volcanic calderas that is full of wildlife. However, if your safari does not have a flight back to Arusha, then you may likely skip either Tarangire/Lake Manyara or Ngorongoro Crater on your way to the Serengeti and then visit them when you are coming back.

If you are physically fit, then remember to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, we recommend that you take at least seven or eight days on hiking and can go up to 14 days considering the fact that it is a tough hike with great altitude challenges. Remember to visit Mkomazi NP which is located within two regions of Kilimanjaro and Tanga, there is a large population of small and big mammals, birdlife, reptiles and also endangered species especially the Black Rhino and wild dogs.

Take a look at a summary of the locations and some of the striking features you will enjoy:

  • Arusha NP- You will enjoy a classic safari, hiking, you will see black-and-white colobus
  • Lake Manyara NP- A classic safari where you will see four of the big 5 (no rhino), you can see the big cats that are difficult to spot
  • Tarangire NP- Classic safari, four of the Big 5 (no rhino), abundant wildlife in the dry season
  • Ngorongoro CA- Classic safari with abundant wildlife in the volcanic crater and includes the Big 5
  • The Serengeti NP- Classic safari experience, the Big 5 is present though rhino is rare. You will see many big cats and also witness the wildebeest migration
  • Mountain Kilimanjaro NP- Classic hiking, biking and several bird species, blue monkeys and few mammals
  • Mkomazi NP- Hiking (up hills), birds watching, game viewing, site seeing, camping and walking safaris, the Big 5 is present, endangered species especially black rhino and wild dogs

You can also add the following to the excitement:

  • A visit to Lake Chala which is outside Mount Kilimanjaro NP, cultural sites like Kifinika which is within Mount Kilimanjaro and cultural camps in the village ground located within the Kilimanjaro region.
  • To relax on gorgeous beaches or for scuba diving, Zanzibar Island is the ideal location, although it is less popular, it is a good alternative to Pemba Island, Mafia Island or Pangani
  • Mahale Mountains NP or Gombe NP will be suitable for chimpanzee tracking and most likely, you will get there through a chartered flight from Arusha Airport
  • You can make full use of this opportunity and visit neighboring game reserves and get entertained with several cultural activities, day trips, sightseeing and lots of attractions.

Southern Circuit

It actually takes between 1-3 weeks to explore the Southern circuit, key areas to watch out for include: Ruaha NP, Selous, Udzungwa Mountain NP, Mikumi NP and Kitulo NP. The Southern circuit is adorned with a wide range of attractions that will provide lots of excitement for you within the shortest possible time. Although it may not be compared to the Northern circuit in terms of wildlife densities and ease of viewing but it provides you with a more holistic wilderness experience.

Camps tend to be more exclusive and tourist densities are much lower, it is a great choice for a second safari when there is less concern for the big five. It serves as a popular add-on to a beach holiday in Zanzibar or Dar-es-Salaam. In most cases, you may take a flight to Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dare-es-Salaam and then fly on a chartered plane to Ruaha or Selous. The most popular game reserve within this circuit is the Selous Game Reserve, mainly because it is closer to Dar-es-Salaam.

You can also drive here and enjoy the less impressive Mikumi National Park on the way. You will find Selous on the Rufiji River and apart from the usual boat trips and game drives, walking safari is also offered here. One of Africa’s best kept secret with excellent game viewing is the Ruaha National Park, it also includes animals that are not easily seen in the North such as several unusual antelope species and wild dog. Take a look at a brief summary of the striking things to enjoy while on tour the Southern circuit:

  • Selous GR- You will enjoy walking boat and classic safari, the Big 5 is present and there is a healthy population of wild dogs
  • Ruaha NP- Offers great walking and classic safari and four of the Big 5 excluding rhino. You will also see cheetah and wild dogs
  • Mikumi NP- You will enjoy walking and classic safari, four of the Big 5 excluding rhino, predators are not easily seen too
  • Udzungwa Mountain NP- Walking, waterfall, hiking, and safari, you will enjoy African Galapagos which has its treasure trove of endemic plants and animals
  • KItulo NP- There is the availability of wildflowers, hiker’s paradise and classic tour, a multitude of orchids, great bird watching, and stunning yellow-orange red-hot poker.

You can also have the following add-on for extra pleasure:

  • Zanzibar Island- Provides a conducive atmosphere for relaxing on gorgeous beaches and scuba diving, Although it is less popular but it is a great alternative to Mafia Island, Pangani or Pemba Island
  • You will be entertained with Tanzania Music, and cultural activities while visiting the neighboring game reserve, day trips and sightseeing tour are some of the side attractions you will enjoy

The Western Circuit

This circuit takes about 1-3 weeks and it encompasses the following areas:

  • Katavi NP
  • Mahale Mountain NP
  • Rubondo Island NP
  • Gombe NP

One of the most prominent reasons why people visit the Western circuit is to track chimpanzees in Gombe or Mahale Mountains National Park. These two chimpanzee reserves located on the shore of Lake Tanganyika provides the best chimp tracking in Africa. Accessing this part of Tanzania is expensive and time-consuming and usually, such trips are done through chartered plane from Arusha.

Rather than just visiting one of the chimp reserves as an add-on to safari in the north, you can actually combine it with a safari in Katavi which is the savannah reserve in the Western circuit and also the least visited park in Tanzania though not because of lack of wildlife. You will enjoy excellent game viewing during the dry season with an excellent wilderness appeal. Highlights of the Western circuit include:

  • Mahale Mountains NP- Chimpanzee tracking and several major safari animals are present too but rarely seen
  • Katavi NP- You will enjoy classic safari, four of the Big 5 excluding rhino and there is abundant wildlife in the dry season
  • Gombe NP- You will enjoy chimpanzee tracking and other primate species can be found too
  • Rubondo Island NP- Enjoy walking safari, sports fishing, boat excursions, chimpanzee trek and also plans for canoe trips

As add-ons, you can also enjoy the following services:

  • A visit to Kalambo falls which is the second highest fall in Africa
  • Zanzibar Island that provides you with gorgeous beaches for relaxation and scuba diving
  • You can also enjoy sightseeing tour, Tanzania music, cultural activities and several other attractions

Coastal Circuit

This circuit takes about 1 to 2 weeks: Mkomazi and Saadani National Parks and visiting Zanzibar. It is popularly known as the Swahili coast, its coastal regions and environment attract world attention particularly Zanzibar. It is a tourist destination with increasing popularity and it has rapidly grown over the last few years to become one of the foremost island destinations in the world. Zanzibar has various attractions to offer for international and local travelers.

The Swahili coast is the most popular circuit in Tanzania, especially for beach holiday destination. In most cases, you will fly to Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam and travel onwards to Zanzibar or along the east coast of Tanzania such as Bagamoyo, Pangani, Tanga and even Mafia where the coastal circuit is explored. Upon an early arrival, you could start by visiting Saadani National Park where the beach meets the bush and Mkomazi National Park where the north marries the coastal region, site seeing and walking safaris can be done.

Zanzibar is becoming a bit overwhelming when it comes to choices of where to see and what to do. It is packed with activities that will keep you smiling throughout your stay, regardless of your interest. From cultural and historical tours to magical forests and pristine reefs, including Tanzania music, Zanzibar can provide it all.

Highlights of the Coastal circuit includes:

  • Mkomazi NP- Enjoy classic safari, although Big 5 is available but it is difficult to spot. The wildlife is thinly populated
  • Saadani NP- Walking, boat and classic safari, bush and beach are also available. The wildlife here is thinly populated

Add-ons include:

  • Relaxation opportunity in Zanzibar Island on gorgeous beaches and scuba diving.
  • You will also enjoy the best of cultural activities, day trips, sightseeing tours and several other attractions

We are an Arusha-based tour operator, Tanzania Safari Company and ground handler with a difference. And we are proud to be different when it comes to your tailored Tanzania safari experience, we are Pathfinder Safaris Inc.

We offer incentives, unique and unbeaten itineraries within the Southern and Western Tanzania, and the Spice Islands of Zanzibar, Pemba, and Mafia. We offer camping and walking safaris, providing you also with beach breaks or a mix of all, we can design the Tanzania safari that you are searching for.

All our Tanzania safari services or operations, whether camping or walking safaris, are overseen by our Managing Director– Jehovaness Naiman, a native Tanzanian. Jehovaness Naiman was born and raised in Tanzania and is a professional safari guide with qualifications from College of African Wildlife Management – Mweka. Fluent in English and Swahili, she trains all of the Pathfinder Safaris guides to the best standards, with her first-hand experience and in-depth unrivaled knowledge of Tanzania and Tanzania Safaris. This implies that when you travel with us, you are in safe hands. We know where to go, how to get there when to go, all accommodation options and new or upcoming developments in the Tanzania Safari industry.

We do not believe in taking our customers around the major sights and taking the already established Tanzania safari path.

We do not run tight itineraries where you have to hurry through your Tanzania safari to try and catch a foretaste of a lion through the trees. And we do not believe in continually bumping into other tourists and following everyone else around.

Please contact us for more Facts & Booking. Asante Sana!