The dry seasons are the best time for safari in Tanzania. January to March is great for seeing baby animals and lush landscapes. June to October is ideal for seeing LOTS of animals! But there will be crowds. Here's a breakdown of Tanzania's safari seasons.
Why the Northern Circuit offers Tanzania's best safari
Tanzania offers visitors three safari options:
A Northern Circuit safari
A Southern Circuit safari
A Western Circuit safari
While there are wonderful parks and game experiences to be had in the south and west of the country, the out-and-out frontrunner for big-game safaris is the north. This is because the Northern Circuit has:
Serengeti National Park
The Great Wildlife Migration
A marvellous density of the Big Five
One of the highest predator concentrations in Africa
For these reasons, in this post about the best times for safari in Tanzania, we share the best times for heading to the parks of the Northern Circuit.
What game parks are in the Northern Circuit?
The four main game parks of the Northern Circuit are:
Serengeti National Park
Ngorongoro Conservation Area (which encompasses Ngorongoro Crater)
Tarangire National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
There are also other great game parks in northern Tanzania, like Arusha National Park. There are also other wonderful places to see wildlife, like Lake Natron Game Controlled Area, Maswa Game Reserve, and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA). But in this post we focus on just the above-mentioned four national parks, as these are the most popular in the region.
When is the best time for a Northern Circuit safari?
So when it comes to determining the best time for safari in Tanzania – or, in our case, a Northern Circuit safari – we need to consider the best times for visiting each park. We discuss what to expect month by month at each park to help you determine when you'd like to plan your Tanzania safari.
You can enjoy an amazing Northern Circuit safari at any time of the year. There's such a staggering density of large animals in the region that you never have to worry about 'missing' the animals!
Which of the Northern Circuit parks should I visit?
Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater are the stars of the Northern Circuit, receiving by far the bulk of visitors each year.
Lake Manyara National Park and Tarangire National Park are the lesser-known parks, and so offer quieter safaris. Safari guides love these quieter parks as they offer different landscapes, habitats and animal concentrations to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro.
We highly recommend visiting the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater as well as at least one of the quieter parks during your Northern Circuit safari. The Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater are worthy of all of the hype, but the quieter parks are also complete gems!