Planning an African safari can be a daunting task. So we’ve put together a complete guide to our 5 Days in Tanzania Safari Itinerary.
Who To Book Your Tanzania Safari With
For our first ever African Safari, we chose to go with Shadows of Africa, and here’s why we highly recommend them.
Over a 4 day period, we explored Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, visited local Maasai and Hadzabe tribes, plus stayed at some unbelievable accommodations.
Seeing the animals up close and personally was obviously incredible, but the organisation and service by the whole team was definitely the cherry on top of the whole experience.
Shadows Of Africa was born in 2010 and consists of a team of like-minded people, who have spent an extensive amount of time living and traveling around Africa.
The guides at Shadows of Africa were our eyes and ears of the experience, and our main driver Moody was such a knowledgeable and likeable guy.
All of the guides speak fluent English and have a real passion for the wildlife of Africa. They were happy to answer any questions we had, and made the trip a memorable one for sure.
Tanzania Safari Prices
All Tanzania safari prices differ, depending on whether you choose to customise your package or which type of experience you’re looking for.
We opted for the Four Day Tanzania Express Safari, where we visited Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, a local Maasai Tribe and the Hadzabe Tribe. As well some insane accommodations!
This tour is usually priced at around $2,275 USD per person based on a two person group, and we cannot recommend it enough!
However, you can send Shadows Of Africa a free enquiry, with exactly what you are looking to do.
Or alternatively, check out their vast range of fully customisable safari packages that they offer on the Shadows Of Africa website.
What’s Included In The Tanzania Safari
- All meals on the safari – When staying at lodges, you will be on full board basis so when you’re budget camping then the accompanying chef will prepare delicious warm meals.
- All park entrance fees & taxes.
- Flying Doctors rescue insurance for the time of the tour with Shadows of Africa.
- Hotel/lodge/camp accommodation for the duration of the safari.
- Private 4×4 wheel drive vehicle with a roof hatch and sliding windows. This allows a 360 degree view of the wildlife surrounding you.
- First aid kit – Every safari vehicle comes standard with a fully stocked first aid kit. Shadows of Africa guides are all trained in providing basic first aid.
- Spare tyres – For any unforeseen issues that may arise in the bumpy African outback
- Charging station – Each car includes a charging station so you can charge your phone, camera battery, or laptop while on the road.
- WIFI – The Tanzanian vehicles come standard with WiFi so that you can stay connected while on the road.
- Tea & Coffee – Every safari departs with a box, which includes coffee and tea that can be enjoyed at any point during your safari.
- Binoculars – 1 pair per car.
- Professional English speaking safari and tour guide/driver.
- Unlimited drinking water.
What To Wear On Safari – Tanzania Safari Packing List
We’ve put together a simple What To Wear On Safari Packing List of them items you will probably want to pack, prior to your 5 day Tanzania safari itinerary.
Day Bag (For Cameras & Personal Items)
Long Sleeve Shirts
Lightweight Rain Jacket
Comfortable Shoes/Walking Boots
Sweatpants (for wearing around camp)
Sandals/Flip Flops (for wearing around camp)
Dress/Jeans (For evening dinners)
Thermals/Leggings (for layering if it’s cold)
Deet (Mosquito Repellant)
Anti Malaria Tablets
First Aid Kit
US Dollars (for local markets/tips)
Day 1 – Arrival
Upon arrival into Tanzania, we were greeted at the airport by our Shadows of Africa driver and taken directly to Olerai Lodge.
The options for pick up were either from Kilimanjaro or Arusha Airport. We flew into Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) from London as it was the cheapest option.
To make things quicker getting through customs, you can apply for an E-Visa online before you travel. However, Tanzania Tourist Visas are also available upon arrival.
Depending on you’re arrival time, you’ll have the evening to relax by the pool, hang out in the bar, and meet the Shadows of Africa team.
After our 22 hour flight from London we slept like babies at Olerai Lodge.
Staying At Olerai Lodge
Olerai Lodge is Shadows Of Africa’s signature lodge located in Arusha, and is the starting point for many of their memorable safaris.
Rooted in the heart of Arusha’s savanna and set among a patchwork of local farm fields, Olerai Lodge combines the sublime serenity of the African wilderness with the comfort of home.
The accommodation features a range of room types for guests to choose from. Olerai Lodge boasts a variety of activities to excite and entertain, including a swimming pool, spa room, cycling, nature walks, and tours around Arusha.
Other facilities include Wi-Fi, laundry service and a gift shop.
Day 2 – Tarangire National Park
Up and at ’em for our first ever African safari experience!
After a delicious breakfast at Olerai Lodge, we departed from Arusha for the two hour drive to Tarangire National Park.
On the way to Tarangire we passed Maasai villages and got our first look at the vast, open plains that you think of when you picture Africa.
We also had time to become accustomed to the open-top jeep we’d be spending the next few days in.
Upon arrival at Tarangire National Park, it was everything we expected and more!
Let’s just say, be prepared to see a lot of elephants!! The park is famous for its high density of elephants and baobab trees.
Day 2 will probably be the most special of your 5 day Tanzania safari itinerary, as it’s the first time you get to see all the animals!
From zebra to lions, and giraffes to wildebeest, it was insane.
Honestly, words, photos and video will never do the feeling justice of being so close to these incredible wild animals.
As with each day on safari, lunch was prepared by the lodge we’d slept at the previous night, and it was packed up and carried with us in the jeep that day.
We stopped at designated lunch areas to enjoy our food. Every meal was ridiculously good, ranging from chickpea curries, to veggie wraps and rice and noodle dishes. There was also wine, juice and cakes!!
A picnic lunch with a view of the river is a great way to take it all in, but you’ll have to keep on your toes as the local monkeys do their best to separate you from your lunch!
After lunch and the afternoon drive in Tarangire National Park, we retired to our accommodation for the evening – Ang’ata Tarangire Camp.
Staying At Ang’ata Tarangire Camp
Ang’ata Tarangire Camp is located in the very heart of Tarangire National Park. That’s right, you sleep IN the park!
The camp features 8 guest tents, including a 2 tent family unit, a lounge and a dining tent.
Each guest tent has an en suite bathroom with shower and vanity desk.
The camp lounge is the place to meet other travelers and share safari stories while enjoying a complimentary cup of Tanzanian coffee or tea.
Breakfasts, lunches and dinners are served in the dining tent, freshly prepared on a daily basis. Bush TV, the local name for campfire, is lit when the weather permits.
Day 3 – Maasai School & Village
Day 3 of your 5 day Tanzania safari itinerary, and it’s time to head out of Tarangire.
We entered at 12pm on day 2 with a 24 hour pass, so spent the morning taking a slow ride towards the exit. Seeing what animals we could spot along the way!
After spending the previous day sat on our bums in the jeep, it was time to get out and interact with the locals.
We headed out towards a village called Selela, and had the opportunity to visit a Maasai village.
Not a traditional tourist village, Selela is a planned partner with whom Shadows of Africa are beginning to develop cultural activities.
Firstly, we had the opportunity to visit a local school, where kids were learning English.
Shy at first, the children soon came out of their shells, and were fascinated by our camera gear. It didn’t take long before we were chasing each other around the playground, laughing and joking.
It was great to experience their way of life, and eye opening to say the least.
After the school, we visited a village run by 1 chief, who had 8 wives, and together they had 50 children!
Although the language barrier was tough, our guide done his best to translate our questions, and they gave us a tour around their impressive mud huts.
The way of living was surreal to see, and once they’d shown us around, they insisted on us getting involved in their tribal dances.
Day 3 of our 5 day Tanzania safari itinerary was a day we’ll remember forever. For completely different reasons to day 2, the Maasai people certainly left us with huge smiles on our faces.
We then drove an hour South, and retired to Lake Manyara Kilimamoja Lodge for the evening.
Staying At Lake Manyara Kilimamoja Lodge
Lake Manyara Kilimamoja Lodge is nestled on the rim of the Great African Rift Valley with stunning views of Lake Manyara.
The lodge is situated in lush green gardens and local vegetation with over 130 species of bird.
The Ngorongoro Crater, Oldeani, Lake Eyasi, Lake Manyara and the Ngorongoro Highlands are just a short drive away from the lodge.
Sitting around the outside fireplace watching the sun setting over the Great Rift Valley and listening to the humming of the birds in the background is a fitting way to end the day, and preparing for a sumptuous dinner feast.
Day 4 – Ngorongoro Crater
Back on the safari run and it was time to try and spot a rhino!
Day 4 of our 5 day Tanzania safari itinerary began bright and early, after breakfast of course, as we hit the road and departed for Ngorongoro Crater.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area is home to the Big Five, and is also densely populated with other wildlife, including an estimated 6,000 wildebeest.
It’s a particularly good place to see the endangered black rhinoceros though. The reason many tourists flock to Ngorongoro each year.
The area is named after Ngorongoro Crater, a large volcanic caldera, measuring between 10 and 12 miles (16 and 19 km).
After Tarangire National Park we were naive to think it would be another similar safari experience. In fact couldn’t have been anymore different!
A drive up and over the crater rim, followed by a 30 minute decent into the volcanic plains, and it was almost like we were on a mission. A mission to find a rhino!
Driving through the park we saw a large population of wildebeest, as well as hyenas, zebras, antelope, cape buffalo, and more. It was easy to see why Ngorongoro Crater is one of Africa’s premier safari destinations.
So, after speeding through the plains, and a lot of walkie talkie action in Swahili, we pulled up to find a mother and baby rhino in the distance.
A once in a lifetime moment that we’ll treasure forever, and that completed our Big Five!
We headed for another amazing lunch stop, and Moody (our driver) was waiting on hand and foot to make sure we were satisfied by the amount of animals we encountered.
Before finally exiting the crater and heading to our Lake Eyasi accommodation.
Staying At Ziwani Lodge
Ziwani Lodge is located in northern Tanzania, overlooking Lake Eyasi, and offers sweeping views of the Rift Valley.
The property boasts 7 sophisticated cottages all with beautiful views and a natural cooling system.
Guests will also have access to a swimming pool for cooling off in the heat of the day and a small library.
Day 5 – Hadzabe Tribe & Departure
The final day on our 5 day Tanzania safari itinerary began like most. By waking up and taking in the incredible Tanzanian landscape!
After breakfast, we had another cultural adventure planned, meeting members of the Hadzabe tribe!
The Hadzabe are one of the last true bushman tribes in Africa, and live very much as they always have – despite the rapid development of Tanzania.
You can head out as early as 5am to join the Hadzabe bushmen as they hunt for food. Then head back to watch the local hunters demonstrate how they prepare their daily catch to feed their families.
It was an extremely raw, yet interesting experience. Although not for the faint hearted, that’s for sure!
In the afternoon, we had a 3 hour drive back towards Arusha.
From here we spent our final night at Olerai Lodge. Where we showered, freshened up and reflected with the team (over a farewell dinner) on what we’d all just experienced together.
It was a nice feeling of familiarity, to spend the last evening of our 5 day Tanzania safari itinerary back where it all began!
Last but not least, the Shadows Of Africa team arranged airport transfers and we said our goodbyes to the group.
More Tanzania Blogs
What To Wear On Safari – A Complete Safari Packing List
Tarangire National Park Tanzania – A Complete Safari Guide
The Ultimate Ngorongoro Safari Guide – All You Need To Know
Saturday 9th of May 2020
I can't wait to be able to travel again, but with this post I went to Tanzania without planes in just one click. The Lake Manyara Kilimamoja Lodge seems amazing.
Monday 18th of May 2020
Ah thanks so much Martina! Agreed, we're getting a little cabin fever now haha.