Northern Tanzania vs Southern Tanzania – Which Is the Best for Tanzania Safari?

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African Scenic Safaris

Last updated on February 21st, 2023 at 10:17 am

Tanzania Safari

Thinking of an authentic Tanzania Safari but still feeling puzzled between visiting the northern or southern territories? This article will draw a point-to-point comparison of northern and southern Tanzania.

Tanzania has a prestige that is echoed through its rich and diverse wilderness. This prestige attracts tourists across the globe to dive into a life-changing experience. But covering the entire nation within a Tanzania Safari Package seems difficult for sure. Understanding what northern and southern Tanzania offers in their bowl is better. So, that you will choose the better option for yourself. This flora and fauna-rich country are undeniably unforgettable at each stage. However, choosing your destination for a well-planned trip is equally important.

Comparison Between Northern Tanzania and Southern Tanzania.

 Points  Northern   Tanzania    Southern     Tanzania     Our Suggestions
WildlifeVery Good GoodNorthern Tanzania
BirdlifeVery goodGoodNorthern Tanzania
Wildlife activitiesGoodVery goodSouthern Tanzania
Safari destinationsMore Attractive AttractiveNorthern Tanzania
Safari costLessHighaccommodation
Accommodation facilitiesVery goodGoodNorthern Tanzania
Safari experiencesVery goodGoodNorthern Tanzania
Cultural excursionsMoreLess 
Visiting timeBest time (June-October)Best time (June-October)Both
TransportationVery goodGoodNorthern Tanzania
Scenic beautyVery goodGoodNorthern Tanzania
The day you can spendAs per your choiceAs per your choiceBoth

Wildlife in (Northern vs Southern) Tanzania Safari:

Tanzania Wildlife

Tanzania’s north region is excellent for wildlife viewing while the south region also offers a large number of wildlife experiences. The north circuit is popular for the African Big Five including Lion, Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo, and Leopard.

But at the same time, you can’t see any rhinos besides Ruaha and Selous game reserve. But you get the chance to see all the Big5 in northern circuit national parks like Serengeti and Ngorongoro.

In addition, you will see the Great Wildebeest Migration in the Serengeti national parks in northern Tanzania. But you only can see the wildebeests in southern Tanzania, not the migration.

Birdlife in (Northern vs Southern) Tanzania Safari:

Tanzania Birds

More birdlife is seen in the northern safari circuit in Tanzania as compared to the south region. The northern national parks like Tarangire, and Arusha are home to a large number of bird species around 500 each.

The Lake Manyara National Park also hosts around 450 bird species and is more famous for the pink flamingos.  Serengeti national park is also a perfect destination for over 500 bird species.

At the same time, southern Tanzania destinations are also considered heaven for different bird species. The Ruaha national park is home to more than 550 resident and migratory bird species.

The Lake Manyara national park in northern Tanzania is a popular destination for bird viewing. That’s why the northern region is more popular than the northern region in Tanzania for bird species. 

Things To Do In (Northern vs Southern) Tanzania Safari:

Tanzania Safari Activities

The northern circuit offers varieties of wildlife activities to attract tourists.

  • Game drives in various national parks.
  • Walking safaris that allowed in some destinations like Ngorongoro Crater
  • Hot Air Balloon Safari in Serengeti National Park.
  • Canoe ride in Tarangire National Park

In contrast, southern Tanzania offers more wildlife activities. Because the national parks and the private reserves are less restricted as compared to the northern circuit.

  • Also can enjoy the game drives in every national park.
  • Here you enjoy the guided walking safari for close views of wildlife as well as nature.
  • Boat safari can be easy to experience here.
  • Fly camping is also offered in Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park.

Here we see that both northern and southern regions offer amazing wildlife activities for tourists.

Tanzania Safari Destinations (Northern vs Southern):

Tanzanian National Parks

Northern Tanzania safari destinations are very famous and offer more for tourists.

  • Serengeti National Park (great wildebeest migration)
  • Ngorongoro Conservation Area (Home to Africa’s Big Five)
  • Tarangire National Park (home to herds of elephants)
  • Lake Manyara National Park ( home to tree-climbing lions)
  • Mount Kilimanjaro (the highest peak in Africa)

On the other hand, the South circuit of Tanzania is known for its remote and secluded destinations.

Selous Game Reserve (a remote plain with an abundance of wildlife)

Ruaha National Park (herds of elephants along with other animals)

Mikumi National Park (close to Dar es salam)

Mahale National Park (famous for Chimpanzee safaris)

Tanzania Safari Cost (Northern vs Southern):

Tanzania Safari Cost

Honestly saying, the safari costs of the Northern Tanzania Safari are less expensive than the south circuit. Because the northern circuit is easy to access than the south.

The remote area of the south region is generally accessed by flying. So it costs high compared to northern Tanzania. But currently, many southern parks can be accessed by road transport.

The accommodation cost in Northern Tanzania is more costly than in southern Tanzania. Because most tourists come to northern Tanzania and it is usually crowded.

The park entry fees in northern Tanzania are a bit high compared to Southern Tanzania.

Accommodation Facilities (Northern vs Southern):

Tanzania Accommodations

As the northern region is more crowded, the available Tanzania Accommodation facilities are more expensive than in the south. But here you can find different types of luxury, budget, and mid-range lodges and camps.

In the contrast, the southern region offers the same level of service but at a cheaper price. So, it’s a positive point for tourists who want to visit southern Tanzania.

Tanzania Safari Experiences (Northern vs. Southern):

Tanzania Safari Activities

The safari experiences in Tanzania’s northern and southern regions are breathtaking.

To see all the members of Big5, you should go to northern Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Northern Tanzania usually remains more crowded as it offers an abundance of wildlife experiences.

In contrast, the south area is more remote and because of the huge size of reserves and parks, you can get the chance for a longer game drive.

In northern, there are close vehicles are used for a safari while in southern Tanzania, open-sided vehicles are available. You can go for game drives, walking safaris, and canoe safaris in both regions.

Cultural Excursions: (Northern vs Southern):

Tanzania Culture

Tanzania has over 120 local tribes with their own culture. But Tanzania’s north circuit is more famous for its ancient culture than southern Tanzania. The famous Maasai tribes are seen in plenty of numbers in northern Tanzania, especially in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Northern Tanzania destinations that are popular for cultural excursions–

  • Mto wa Mbu, village near Lake Manyara National Park.
  • Maasai Boma and villages in Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
  • Ng’ireshi village 7 km from Arusha town.
  • Mulala village of Waarusha and Wameru tribes, 30 km from Arusha town.

Cultural excursions in the southern circuit of Tanzania are not more popular like the northern region. Because southern Tanzania is a remote place and to the lack of transportation facilities cultural excursions are not that popular here.

Visiting Time (Northern vs Southern):

Best Time To Visit Tanzania

The Best Time To Visit Tanzania is between June and October, whether it is a northern or southern safari.

Best Time For Northern Tanzania Safari Most tourists come to visit northern Tanzania to watch the Great Wildebeest Migration. This is a yearly journey from Serengeti to Masai Mara.

The famous Mara and Grumeti river crossing is held in June and July otherwise you can see the great migration in Serengeti National Park every time of the Year, especially from November to June.

Best time for Southern Tanzania safariThe best time to travel to Southern Tanzania is between June to October, the dry season. At this time of the year, there is little rainfall and the temperature is a bit cooler.

But you can go to experience the south at any time of the year except April and May as they consider the heavy wet season.

Transportation (Northern vs Southern):

Tanzania Transporation

Tanzania has easy access for international tourists. Tanzania’s international airports are connected with many biggest cities in Asia, Europe, the USA, and Africa also.

The Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) is the best international airport in the northern circuit and connected with all big cities.

  • From the US Ethiopia, Qatar, swiss And Kenya Airlines connect Kilimanjaro international airport in one transit.
  • From AsiaFly from any big city in Asia via Qatar to Kilimanjaro international airport.
  • From Europe You can fly from Amsterdam via KLM to Kilimanjaro or you can choose other big cities like London or Frankfurt via Qatar, KLM, and Kenya with one transit.

In the contrast, the Julius Nyerere international airport (DAR), Dar es Salam is a famous gateway to Tanzania located in the southern region.

  • Kenya Airways
  • KLM airways
  • Qatar Airways

But the northern Tanzania airport, Kilimanjaro International Airport is more famous for tourists.

Scenic Beauty (Northern vs Southern):

Tanzania Safari

The natural beauty of Tanzania is awe-inspiring and this is one of the reasons why people love to visit this African country. The Serengeti ecosystem in Tanzania is a very beautiful destination in the northern region.

  • The Ngorongoro Crater is known as the last African Garden of Eden.
  • Mount Kilimanjaro is a fully scenic destination in northern Tanzania.

In contrast, southern Tanzania has also spectacular views of nature.

The Selous Game Reserve and the Ruaha National Park are full of Scenic nature and wildlife.

The Day you Can spend (Northern vs Southern):

Tanzania Safari Tour

In general, it depends upon you, how many days you want to spend in both regions. But usually, travelers like to spend more days in northern Tanzania.

The northern circuit is easy to access and offers more to experience in Tanzania Safari. It hosts diverse wildlife in many national parks and game reserves.

On the other hand, Southern Tanzania offers a lot in remote areas. Road transportation facility is and tourists have to fly more to get to any destination in Southern. Safari to the southern part is more costly than the northern. That’s why people don’t want to spend more time in the southern region.

Tanzania Safari Safety (Northern vs Southern):

Tanzania Safety

Tanzania is one of the safest countries in Africa. You can travel in this country without any fear whether as a group or solo traveler. So, both the northern and south circuits of Tanzania are safe for tourists across the world.

Which one is better Tanzania Safari –Northern or Southern?

Both the northern and southern part of Tanzania is their own special offers to tourists. You only have to choose according to your budget, time and liking.

  • If you love to travel by road, then we recommend the northern circuit to visit.
  • If you love to travel calmly and with fewer crowds, then plan for the southern Tanzania safari.
  • The Selous and Ruaha get fewer tourists as compared to northern Tanzania because of the geographical location and connectivity.
  • The enormous beauty of the northern circuit will amaze you while the boat safari and nature walk in Selous capture your heart.

Tourists must have their own liking ness and as per this, you can choose your safari destination in Tanzania.

Scoring both regions based on the comparison table:

Tanzania Safari

Our Recommendation:

Both Northern and Tanzania have the best wildlife and wilderness. Still, from the above table, it looks clear that the northern circuit of Tanzania got more points than the southern part. So, as a responsible Tanzania travel guide, our recommendation will be the northern circuit of Tanzania. To learn more about northern Tanzania destinations and other blogs, click the links below –

But it doesn’t mean that we deny visiting southern Tanzania. If you want to visit Southern Tanzania as per your choice then you are most welcome to our southern region!

Northern or Southern –Tanzania safari is Awesome

With this most discussed debate, we learn many amazing facts about Tanzania’s northern and southern safari regions. We got clear that the Tanzania safari tour will leave you with unforgettable memories no doubt whether it is northern or southern.

To know more about Tanzania safari destinations and other travel guides, visit our website Our Tanzania travel experts are there to help you 24/7. We offer our tourist guests wonderful Tanzania safari packages at affordable prices. For all booking and inquiries, contact us – +255 (0) 784 413 801 | [email protected].

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