The Best Places for Walking Safaris in Tanzania
Tanzania has a huge variety of options for walking safaris and mountain hiking, whether you’re looking for short walks from camp / lodge your staying or longer immersive multi day tour.
Whether you’re thinking of travelling to northern Tanzania or the lesser visited south circuit and west circuit of the country there are excellent options for walking safaris in big game country.
If you’re looking for proper immersive walking safaris and adventures then in our view there are many areas to begin by looking at in Tanzania country, but we have select this two after our clients who give 5 star and enjoy most.
In this part of the world the time of year radically affects where we’d recommend walking – from the northern wilderness zones close to where the great wildebeest migration crosses the Mara River between July and October, to the gorgeous landscapes around the Gol Mountains that come into themselves between December and May.
Take a look at our walking safaris in the Serengeti plain.
The second is Ruaha National Park in Southern Tanzania circuit; this beautiful park comes into its own between June and October and during this time offers game viewing that rivals appealing much anywhere in East and all part Africa.
Head off on a multi-day walking safaris and you’re in the best possible place to experience the enchanted of this park.
Anticipate few other tourists and surprising variety of wildlife, big and small.
Top 5 Walking Safaris in Tanzania
Incursion out from the 4×4 and experience the African bush on foot. Below are our pick of the gathering.
SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK
Everyone knows that the Serengeti national park, with its world famous wildebeest migration, offers some of the best wildlife viewing in the world. Few people realise that it’s possible to do proper walking at Serengeti national park using a light mobile camp too.
We are the one of companies who allowed to do walking safaris in the Serengeti, but there are extensive wilderness zones where game driving vehicles aren’t allowed to visit. The experience of striking out on foot couldn’t be more different to game viewing from a vehicle. The pace is quiet and the terrain varied.
Low acacia woodland provides shelter, the rolling terrain slowly reveals its secrets. And scattered kopjes rocks make wonderful lookouts or campsites. Sit in the shade of a fig tree high up on a rocky bluff with views for fifty miles. At night sleep under the stars after drinks and dinner round the camp fire.
BEST TIME FOR WALKING AFARIS IN THE SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK
The Serengeti offers a number of different walking areas that can be selected at different times throughout the year depending on the headline act at the time. During the dry season of July to October, head to the far north of the park and catch the drama of millions of wildebeest chancing their luck across crocodile infested waters of the Mara River.
Then later in the season as herds head south into rolling hills and valleys of central Serengeti – a stunning location for incredible game viewing.
RUAHA NATIONAL PARK
There aren’t many places where it’s possible to explore game-rich wilderness on foot. Kichaka in Ruaha national park is one of those best places; operating in the entirely eastern end of the park, the base camp is located in a glade on the banks of the Ruaha River. Even before you leave camp you’re in superlative game country.
Elephant feed along the river banks in search of fruits from the large shady acacia trees and game is drawn to the water in the heat of the day to drink. Sable, greater and lesser kudu, roan, waterbuck among others are common sights. Lion and leopard frequent the Ruaha river banks and flood plains.
The walks are anything from day-walks from camp, to multi-day safaris supported by a mobile camp. You can expect to encounter all the major species in this part of the world and there’s a good chance of doing so on foot.
BEST TIME WALKING SAFARIS IN RUAHA
The game in Ruaha follows a predictable pattern of dispersing during the wet season and congregating around the remaining water courses between the months of June and October as things get more and more parched. This makes walking safaris in June – October the best time for game viewing, so if you haven’t experienced Ruaha in the dry season, you have a treat in store.
SELOUS GAME RESERVE
Massive rivers, tributaries, lakes and woodland. The Selous is a wild environment hatching with mega fauna. The landscape is defined by hippo and elephant in particular. Much of the Selous game reserve is thick riverine bush, but the elephants and hippos have created an extensive network of paths in the soft sandy soil that conveniently link the river to all the lakes around the reserve.
These not only make the going under foot easy, but also reveal myriad tracks of other travellers – lion, leopard and civets among many others take these same routes. Quite apart from the big game viewing here, the Selous’ waterways are what makes it special.
Walk quietly up to a lake shore, sit in the shade with a drink and a bite of lunch as wildlife comes and goes throughout the day. Or meet a boat and drift silently downstream to a fly camp on an island in mid-stream.
BEST TIME TO WALK IN SELOUS
As with other parks the Selous flourishes in the dry season from July to October as game gathers around remaining water sources and also the vegetation begins to thin out making for easier game viewing. However, if you are motivated by more than animal numbers don’t rule out visiting the Selous outside the dry season to experience the green glow and experience a quality of game viewing that will be hard to beat.
KATAVI NATIONAL PARK
Katavi’s a long way from anywhere, so gets only a fraction of the number of visitors a park of this quality would normally expect. Walks here are nothing if not exciting. Narrow seasonal rivers at the centre of Katavi’s flood plains look at first glance unremarkable.
But the quantity of wildlife that seeks refuge here during the dry season – whether predator or prey – has to be seen to be believed. Pods of hippo can number in the hundreds crammed cheek-by-jowl into shrinking pools.
Lion and other predators use the natural cover provided and crocodiles aestivate in tangled heaps in the caves in the mud river banks. Walking here is usually for a night or two as part of a stay at Chada Camp, although longer walks of several days can be arranged.
Sleep on bedrolls laid out under the fronds of a Borassus palm with good simple food and plenty of cold drinks. Katavi national park is a thrillingly wild place; you can expect your share of excitement and the odd sleepless night, but the experience is one serious wilderness enthusiasts will relish.
BEST TIME FOR WALKING SAFARIS IN KATAVI
Remote, under-developed and at certain times of the year bristling with wildlife. Head to Katavi in the dry season; July to September – to catch a glimpse of unimaginable concentration of hippos and buffalo. In the green season, the walking can be quite tricky with vegetation hampering efforts to spot game – big and small.
This park can be overlooked in comparison to its more famous neighbour, the Serengeti national park. As a result many people dip into Tarangire for a couple of nights before moving on all too quickly. Though, Tarangire national park more than justifies an in-depth visit, both in terms of it’s size and diversity and because it offers some of the best walking safaris in northern Tanzania.
The southern end of the Tarangire is the wilder region and, with its springs and river lines lends itself well to walking tour, whether for a night from a campsite or for part of an extended walking adventure and tour. Wildlife during the dry season comes into park from the surrounding Maasai Steppe, lured by the Tarangire River, the region’s most robust source of permanent water through the dry season. All the major species abound here and there is an excellent chance of encountering many of them on a walking safaris.
BEST TIME FOR WALKING SAFARIS IN TARANGIRE
Particularly great walking safaris in the dry season on late July to late October, when the last remaining source of moisture is the Tarangire River – guaranteed to attract a significant amount of animals including notable attendees of elephant, wildebeest and zebra. In the green season from December to May, Tarangire’s birdlife comes alive in all its plumage
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