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Tanzania Wildlife & Animals

Tanzania wildlife can be viewed all year round. Having been chosen by travelers as the best safari destination country in the world, the animal population and huge parks with different types of plants species means Tanzania cannot be compared to any other country in Africa. This East African country is divided into three major safari regions and each of them is unique in every way. Expect to see rare animals like the resident black rhinos which roam freely in the Ngorongoro crater while other National Parks also have many other animals like the Big Five and Big Cats .
Best Season to visit Tanzania

Best Time for Tanzania Wildlife Viewing

Tanzania has an advantage over other safari countries because wildlife viewing and game watching is suitable throughout the year. The wildebeest migration perhaps is the only safari event that is different. To see the wildebeest migration crossing the Mara River, June and July are the best months and time while wildebeest calving in the Serengeti usually occurs from late January to February. Generally, the best time to see wildlife in Tanzania is the Dry season of (late June to October). The reason why the dry season of June to October is the best to see the wildlife of Tanzania is that the bush is less dense, it is fairly dry so animals move near waterholes. Meanwhile, the Wet season of (November to May) comes with rainfall making the parks and reserves greener and more beautiful but the roads become muddy therefore tourist numbers are less during this season. (March to May) is the long rain season meaning roads are difficult to access especially in the Southern and Western circuit National parks. This long rain season forces many lodges and camps to close down due to a very low turn out of visitors to National parks
The Great Migration

Wildebeest Migration

The wildebeest migration often termed as one of the wonders of the world is truly an amazing experience. Millions of wildebeest accompanied by Zebras and gazelles alternate between the Masai Mara and Serengeti ecosystem. Apart from the wildebeest crossing across the Mara River, the calving season whereby wildebeests give birth to their young ones is a very important event.

During this calving season, predators take this opportunity to hunt for prey making it a great time to see some action.

The Big 5 wildlife of Tanzania

Africa’s Big Five Game refers to the five most difficult animals to hunt while on foot. This big five term was created by big game hunters, back then when hunting was more popular, a practice that is illegal in many countries. The big five game animals are the elephant, rhinoceros, Cape buffalo, leopard and lion.  These animals are commonly spotted in various National Parks in Tanzania although some are not so common like the rhinoceros which can be best spotted at the Ngorongoro crater and conservation area. Some are elusive like the Leopard which means they have to be tracked by professional safari guides.

Wildlife Highlights

Best of Tanzania's Wildlife

Each National park and destination in Tanzania has their own highlights. Arusha national park is famous for being the only destination in Africa to host the black and white colobus Monkey. The Serengeti is more famous for having many big cats in the Serengeti ecosystem while the Selous game reserve and Ruaha national park in Southern Tanzania are more famous for having the greatly endangered African Wild Dog. For the best chimpanzee tracking in Africa, Gombe Stream and Mahale Mountain National Park in the West of Tanzania are their best home.
Big Cats of Tanzania

Big Cats

Big cats of Tanzania include Lion, Leopard and Cheetah

Safari wildlife animals

Safari Wildlife

These are some of the common animals that inhabit the National Parks of Tanzania

Big Five of Tanzania

Big Five

Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Buffalo, Rhino make up the Big Five of Tanzania

Reptiles and Aquatic Animals

Reptiles & Aquatic Animals

From crocodiles to snakes to Whales and Dolphins, these are the aquatic and reptiles of Tanzania

Birds of Tanzania


Tanzania is home to thousands of Resident and migratory birds 

Apes of Tanzania


The most common apes of Tanzania, the chimps, are found in Western Tanzania

Frequently asked questions

Frequent Questions About Tanzania's Wildlife

What animals do you see on a safari in Tanzania?

Expect to see all of the Big Five animals while on safari in Tanzania. All the National parks in the Northern Zone are home to safari big cats. Furthermore while on safari you will spot some very common animals that include:
Leopard, Zebra, Rhinoceros, African Elephant, African Buffalo, Hippopotamus, Cheetah, Wildebeest,Cheetah, Impala, Antelope, Dik Dik, Giraffe, Warthog, Crocodile, Bush Buck, Monkey, Baboon etc

What kind of animals are in Tanzania?

Tanzania has a large population of wild animals in it’s National Parks. These include zebras, giraffes, wildebeests, buffaloes, tortoises, elephants, hyenas, antelopes, snakes, dik-diks, gazelles, elands and kudus. Tanzania is also known for its cats and predators like hyena, jackal, vulture, with Serengeti National Park one of the best places for spotting lions, cheetahs and leopards.

Where do safari animals live?

Since plenty much of Tanzania’s vegetation is Savannah, animals are scattered across the grassland. These animals include the largest land animal – elephant, the giraffe, the black and white striped zebra, the hippopotamus which co-exists with the crocodile, the rhinoceros, the Impala and the leopard not forgetting the King of the jungle, the Lion.

Are there lions in Tanzania?

Tanzania is home to 50% of the world’s surviving free roaming lions, with the Serengeti, Ruaha and the Ngorongoro Crater being to be the best place in the world to watch them particularly in their natural habitat.

Are there giraffes in Tanzania?

The giraffe is the national animal of Tanzania due to its elegance and gentle nature. Giraffes can be found in almost all national parks and game reserves in Tanzania like the Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Serengeti National Park.

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