Tanzania safari northern circuit - best time of year

May 9th, 2006, 07:33 AM
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Tanzania safari northern circuit - best time of year

We won a safari at our school's auction and when I asked the organizer the BEST time to go for viewing game the guy said either Jan/Feb or May/June. Do you guys have a preference or recommendation? I know some people have said that if you go when the grasses are high, it's difficult to see some game. Is migration the best time? I don't particularly want to go when it's real hot or very wet. Any help will be appreciated.
jill_h is online now  
May 9th, 2006, 07:55 AM
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Wow, Jill, congratulations!!! I haven't been in the time frames you mention; I will return this June. However, if I had my druthers I'd probably go late Feb/early March.

Take a look at Eben's migration maps for the Serengeti at go-safari.com. They'll give you a good idea of what goes on when and where *historically.* Of course, any given year could be different.

I don't think there's a bad time to go on safari in Tanzania.
Leely is offline  
May 9th, 2006, 08:31 AM
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Thanks Leely. My husband and son will go in early June on their way to Rwanda. They have to go before Rwanda, so they didn't have much choice. I want to be able to optimize my time as I'm leery about going so it may be my once-in-a-lifetime trip.
jill_h is online now  
May 9th, 2006, 10:11 AM
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First of all, congrats!

Do you know the itinerary of the auction package you won? If so, can you post it? The question of best time may be better answered if we know your specific itinerary.
Patty is online now  
May 9th, 2006, 10:52 AM
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the info is at home, but what I remember is Ngorongoro crater, Lake Manyara, Serengeti, and I think one more location, but don't remember for sure. 6 days, 5 nights.
jill_h is online now  
May 9th, 2006, 12:58 PM
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here are some quick bullet points:

Jan - crowds are less. Average high of about 85F and low of about 65F. Late January the wildebeest typically begin the calving season.

Feb - wildebeest calving season is typically in high swing. Considered 'high season' by outfitters.

May - early may can be wet, but not many tourists. Weather can be quite cool.

June - kids are out of school. Weather is usually quite comfortable. migration is usually in the middle of the Serengeti, and usually don't require a long drive to see large herds.

Overall, I am a huge fan of January and February. Things are drier, so we have shorter grass for easier viewing. May and June are also wonderful for weather reasons. I like green grass for more vivid photographs, but it can sometimes be an issue for wildlife that are lying in the grass. They don't normally make for great photographs, anyway, so I consider it a net/net of zero.

I am also a huge fan of September and October at Tarangire, if this is an option for you. Not many travelers, and the dry season helps congregate the wildlife near water. Awesome time to see elephants at Tarangire. Sept and Oct are also wonderful months in the southern parks like Ruaha and Selous.

I hope this helps!

andybiggs is offline  
May 9th, 2006, 04:02 PM
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If we are able to include Tarangire and go in Sept/Oct, would that be a good time for the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater? Our schedule will permit us to go at any time, and I think the operator will work with us, as i said, I just want to maximize my time there. The itinerary is: Ngorongo Crater, Serengeti, Lake Manyara and Olduvai Gorge (not specifically in that order). Would/should Tarangire replace one of those sites?
jill_h is online now  
May 24th, 2006, 11:18 AM
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topping for more info.
jill_h is online now  
May 24th, 2006, 06:47 PM
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Jill H,

Congratulations on the auction!

Here is a link on the best times in different parks with best meaning most wildlife concentration and easiest wildlife viewing.


It coincides with what the organizer told you.

As to whether Tarangire should replace your exisiting parks, Tarangire is best in July-Oct. Manyara may be a little better than Tarangire in the months you are interested in.

atravelynn is offline  
May 25th, 2006, 06:32 AM
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thanks atravelynn - exactly the type of info I am looking for.
jill_h is online now  
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