8 Day Tanzania Safari Itinerary

What is your perfect 8 Day Tanzania Safari Itinerary?

Tanzania is greatly known for the Great Migration that happens from May -September in the Serengeti National Park. This make Tanzania the most visited National Park during those months. Also the reason why it would be your perfect 8 Day Tanzania Safari Itinerary.

Also during the Great Migration it is the dry season. The dry season dries up a lot of the water sources for animals. Due to the drying of the water sources and the heat, animals have to travel to get to their water. This provides a high opportunity to see a variety of animals walking about and making their way to water sources. That is why this 8 Day Tanzania Safari Itinerary is best done between the months of June-September. I hope after reading this 8 Day Tanzania Safari Itinerary you will be able to present it to a tour company as a guide.

While looking to book our specific Tanzanian Adventure I wasn’t sure what to expect. What will I see in each park, is visiting a village a good idea, how close will I get to the animals? I had so many questions but after our safari I feel this is the best 8 Day Tanzania Safari Itinerary.

8 Day Tanzania Safari Itinerary

Tour Company vs. Self Drive

Many people do the tour company route while booking their safari. We did African Scenic Safari and felt we got the best safari opportunity. Other people will rent a car and adventure out for a self drive trip.

Tour Company Advantages:

  • Guides communicate with other guides for the best animal spots
  • Passengers can still dictate what they want to do/see
  • Guides know the best spot for certain animals
  • Tour guides will know the distance you can get to animals safely
  • They know the roads like “the back of their hands”
  • Daily 1.5 L water & boxed lunches
  • Book all your stays at reliable places
  • Best cars for the roads

Self Drive Advantages:

  • On your own time
  • Can pick your own lodging
  • Possibly Cheaper

As you can see, there isn’t a ton of advantages to self drive. If you know more advantages please comment below. This safari itinerary will be with a tour company. This will give you an idea of an itinerary you can propose to the tour company, or if you wanted to self drive, to do yourself.

There are hundreds of options for tour companies. I would pick a company that has great reviews, better communication and fits in your specific budget.

Lets get to our 8 Day Tanzania Safari Itinerary. 

Day 1- Arrival

Arrival destination will vary depending on what location you would want to start at. Today we will start at the Kilimanjaro Airport.

This could give you a great opportunity to do the Kilimanjaro Climb before you go onward to your Safari.

This first day is the rest day; take a nap or explore Arusha. I am assuming you would of just gotten off a long plane ride so a day of rest before early mornings and constant game drives will be beneficial.

Day 2- Start of an Adventure, Tarangire National Park 

Today is the start of your 8 Day Tanzania Safari Itinerary. In the morning you will meet your driver who will remain with you for the following days to come. Also, the cool ride you will spend your days in. Get to know your drivers, they will be with you throughout the whole trip.

Tarangire National Park will be your first National Park in your 8 Day Tanzania Safari Itinerary.  Possible animal sightings: a ton of gazelle, plenty of baboon, herds of elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah, ostrich, a ton of different birds, cape buffalo, so many impala, huge amount of zebras, of course a ton of wildebeest, stork, small hyrax, eagle, warthog, black face monkeys, mongoose, jackal, vulture, dik dik, beautiful giraffe, water buck, fox, elan, and pythons.

Day 3- Tarangire National Park

Full day in the Tarangire National Park.

Animal sightings aren’t guaranteed but with a day and a half of game drives through the Tarangire National park, you’re bound to see everything listed above.

Day 4- Lake Manyara

After breakfast, off to Lake Manyara. Lake Manyara is a beautiful park consisting of 7 habitats. With the 7 different habitats it give you the best opportunity to see the most animals in their specific habitats. It is also neat to see the lush greenery, to the savannah to the lake all in one park. This is one area you need the hot weather to get the animals moving to water sources.

Animal potential: a lot of monkeys, hippos, cape buffalo, lions, giraffes, elephant, zebra, wildebeest, warthog and snakes.

After a morning and afternoon of driving Lake Manyara, the afternoon will be spent driving to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

Day 5- Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Ngorongoro Conservation Area will blow you away. In the morning you will cross your fingers the fog moves out quick, but you’ll head down inside the crater. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is also known as a “natural zoo”. This is because there is an abundance of animals all around. There is a few water sources that will be full of animals come mid day. 

In the afternoon around 3pm will be the best time to take the crater walk. This is because the sky will be clear and you will get the best views of this breathtaking area. A lot of the mornings in the crater are foggy and clear up later, making the afternoon be the best time for a crater walk.

The crater walk is something you will have to mention you would like to do ahead of time. This is beacasue they will set you up with a ranger, who will carry a gun, for safety reasons while you walk along the rim. Along the rim people can see elephants, giraffes, wildebeest, water bucks, leopards, and so much more. Did I also mention you’ll see breathtaking views of the crater itself? This is a must item on your 8 Day Tanzania Safari Itinerary.

Day 6- Full day of Adventure

Again, this morning you will go on another crater drive. If you didn’t see the black rhino yesterday, hopefully you can see the black rhino today. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is one of the most likely places to see the black rhino. 

Ngorongoro Conservation Area potiential animals seen: hippos, lion, black rhino, gazelle, jackal, elephant, flamingos, hyenas, wildebeest, zebra, baboons, black rhino, serval cat, tons of birds, baboons, cape buffalo, thompson gazelle, grant gazelle, water buck and antelope.

After your morning ride you have options to fill in your itinerary or can head right to the Serengeti National Park.

8 Day Tanzania Safari Itinerary

I highly suggest the fill in option:

Olduvai Gorge is a beautiful museum recognizing Louis and Mary Leakey’s famous discoveries of early humans and magnificent antiquities documenting the evolutionary history of our stone tool-using ancestors, vertebrate fauna, and the environments over the last two million years. Add on cost.

The Maasai Village Tour could be put here if that is what interests you, but unfortunately the tours are now geared towards tourists and doesn’t feel as authentic. They will put on a show for you, take you around and at the end try and sell you their items. It also costs money to go here as well.

Day 7- Full day in the Serengeti

Serengeti National Park is huge. Miles of square footage of the savannah or “bush” make up a long day of game drives. Because of the vast landscape the frequency of seeing animals is different. This is where the guides really get to show off their skills and take you to all the ‘known’ animal spots. Serengeti is known for see a ton of lions. If you didn’t get to see enough in the first two parks, here you will see plenty. This park is much more popular for spotting the cats; lions, leopards and cheetahs.

Day 8- Serengeti with a side of Hot Air Balloon Ride

Serengeti Balloon Safaris will be the highlight of your 8 Day Tanzania Safari Itinerary. This smooth ride will take you up at sunrise on a game drive throughout the Serengeti National Park. After the ride everyone gets champagne and breakfast. This is an extra cost and can be set up through your tour company. 

After your early morning game drive, enjoy another game drive through Serengeti. Today hopefully you can see lions hunting gazelles or more leopards in the trees.

Potential animals to be seen:  hartebeest, thompson & grant gazelle, jackal, ostrich, topi, giraffe, zebra, warthog, elephant, lion, baboons, leopards, crocodiles, hippos , klipspringer, hyenas, cheetah, steenbuck, lots of birds, tree & rock hyrax, bat-eared fox, common genet, serval cat, monitor lizard and the python.

Day 9- Time to say goodbye

This morning you can end with a farewell game drive or head right to the Serengeti Airport. Flying out of the Serengeti Airport is vital if you want to save time. It would be a 7-8 hour, bumpy, dusty ride back to Arusha, the starting point.

If the 8 Day Tanzania Safari Itinerary was your one objective than taking a flight to Serengeti to Kilimanjaro then Kilimanjaro home will be perfect for you. But keep in mind, Zanzibar is small islands off the coast that will top off your safari with some rest and relaxation.

Accommodation

Accommodation is one item in your 8 Day Tanzania Safari Itinerary that you may choose budget, moderate and luxury spending.

Budget lodging is wilderness camps. Once you get to the campsites, you will have to set up your tent, share showers and have no electricity.

Moderate lodging is big tented campsites. The tents are already set up with a running water toilet, either a bucket shower or a full function shower, a sink with running water or a bucket sink, but always a large room. There is also a big dining area that is tented in as well for dinners and breakfast. Electricity is common but during certain times.

Luxury lodging is lodges/hotels. These are the buildings and structures that give you a room, bathroom and electricity. Most electricity is solar.

There is no bad or good choice to choose. This is something that is your personal preference and to be worked out with your tour company.

Transportation

The cars taken into the National Parks have the best shocks of any car I would find in the United States. These jeeps vary in size depending on the size of your party. Some jeeps have wifi, some of electric coolers, most have unlimited water and, of course, charging capabilities.

The roads are very rough and bumpy. But with the experienced drivers they know how to control the cars and the pot holes. The roads and parks are also very dusty. Don’t be surprised if you’re blowing dust from your nose for weeks.

Food

The meals of your safari itinerary vary per your lodge and your choice.

Each and every day your party could decide on doing box lunches and game drive all day. This saves you time from going back and forth to your lodge. The box lunches are cold lunches, a lot of bread, and can accommodate food allergies.

If your party decides on hot meals, your guide will take you back to your lodge or tented camp where lunches can be made. This usually is a quick meal and sometimes the meal from the night before, but hot nonetheless.

Dinner and breakfast is made by your moderate or luxury accommodation. Budget accommodation is dependent on your guide and yourself making it yourself.

Dinner is usually started with a soup and salad. The soup is pureed and the salad is usually cucumber and tomato mixed together. The main entree is usually a carb and meat. Rice and spaghetti noodle was very common, as well as a red sauce with a meat. Of course, a lot of veggies that were grown nearby. Don’t worry, you also were gifted with a nice dessert.

Animals

The best thing about the 8 Day Tanzania Safari Itinerary. There will be so many different animals. These animals will be meters away or just a meter away. Yes, lions, leopards, zebra, everything will be a meter from you. You will be in your car, of course, but seeing the animals this close is breathtaking.

8 Day Tanzania Safari Itinerary

Excited yet? If this doesn’t make you want to book a trip, then maybe a safari isn’t for you. 8 day Safari also might not be the time you have allowed, in that case work out with the tour company what will best fit your time.

I strongly suggest African Scenic Safari. Their communication wasn’t delayed, they were accommodating and also spoiled us by planning our Zanzibar Holiday.