What To Know Before You Go For Big Five Safaris In Tanzania?

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Last updated on February 21st, 2023 at 06:17 pm

Big Five Safaris In Tanzania

African Big Five are the superstars of Tanzania Safari Tours! East African country- Tanzania is the best destination to see the Big 5 animals from close. Big Five Safaris In Tanzania draw wildlife lovers and visitors to see the animals in their natural habitat. The African Big Five includes lions, elephants, rhinos, Cape buffalo, and leopards. 

Why Choose Tanzania For A Big Five Safari?

Compared to other African countries, Tanzania offers incredible views of the big five animals. It has the largest population of each of the big five animals. You can see the African big five in various Tanzania National Parks and reserves like Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, and Tarangire national park. 

Tanzania is arguably one of the best East African destinations for a Big 5 Safari experience. It has the largest protected game reserves and national parks in East Africa. 

Tanzania is blessed with a dense wildlife population and spectacles like The Wildebeest Migration. There are many things for visitors to explore during Tanzania Safari

How Does The Big Five-Term Come Into Existence?

Big Five Safaris

In the 19th century, the BIG 5 term came into existence by the big game hunters. They listed the African lion, elephant, Cape buffalo, rhinoceros, and leopard as dangerous creatures to hunt in Africa. In the past, the big five were the most sought animals for hunting! 

Thanks to the regulations to protect the big five and other animals from getting hurt. There are private game reserves and national parks where the big five and other animals live in their natural habitat. 

The big 5 are the most dangerous and deadliest dangerous animals! You can see the iconic Five in their natural habitat during a Safari In Tanzania. 

When Is The Best Time For Big Five Safaris In Tanzania?

Big Five Safaris In Tanzania

Peak safari season in Tanzania is between June and October. During this time of the year, the Tanzania weather is dry and comfortable so enjoy an adventurous game drive to spot the big five. 

Dry vegetation helps spot the heavyweights like an elephant, buffalo, and rhinos. You can find stealthier leopards and lions at the available water sources. Choose the best tour operator to get the assistance of highly skilled professional guides. The knowledgeable guides can help you spot animals and track down the Big 5

What Animals To Spot On Big Five Safaris In Tanzania?

Big Five Safaris In Tanzania

1. African Lion

Tanzania is home to around sixteen thousand lions. African lions are social animals. You can spot the lions together in a pride roaming freely in their natural habitat. A lion pride has about six to twelve female lionesses, three male lions, and lion cubs. The lionesses are the ones that go hunting to feed the cubs. Lions stay protected in the vast protected reserves and National Parks In Tanzania.

2. The African Leopard 

You have to be lucky to spot the elusive African cat- leopard! The most beautiful cats- leopards hunt at night. During the daytime, you may spot one by checking the surrounding trees. Leopards use a tree as their bed and dining table to keep their prey away from scavengers. Excellent safari guides can help you spot leopards effortlessly! 

3. The African Elephant

Elephants- the largest mammal on Earth, thrive in East African countries like Tanzania after conservation efforts. Most national parks and reserves in Tanzania have a dense concentration of elephants. You can spot large herds of elephants at Tarangire National Park on the big five Tanzania Safaris

During the dry season, elephants from the surrounding areas migrate to the life-giving waters of the Tarangire River and swampland. You can enjoy the best elephant sightings in most of Tanzania’s game reserves and parks. 

4. The Cape Buffalo

Cape buffalo have a unique look! The African or Cape Buffalo look timid but are incredibly strong and can be ferocious if provoked. They are the most dangerous African animal to hunt!

The aggressive and unpredictable Cape buffalos spend their days lying in mud wallows. You can enjoy incredible wildlife sightings when the buffalos congregate in large herds. Cape Buffalos are present in numerous reserves across Tanzania.

5. Rhinoceros

African rhinos are of two types-black white rhinos! The fun fact is both types of rhinos have gray bodies. The shape of the rhino’s lips sets them apart! The white rhino has a square lip. The black rhino has a pointed upper lip! Years of poaching in the past had made the rhinoceros a critically endangered species.  

The Best National Parks For Big Five Safaris In Tanzania

Big Five Safaris In Tanzania

1. Ngorongoro Crater

Location- Northern Tanzania Safari Circuit

The Ngorongoro Crater is the best place to spot the big 5 animals in Tanzania. It is one of the Tanzanian wildlife safari destinations to spot rhinos. 

  • Ngorongoro Crater has a large population of lions in Africa. 
  • Elephants are a common sight in Ngorongoro Crater.
  • The Ngorongoro Crater is home to black rhinos. Unlike in other Tanzanian parks, you can spot rhinos easily at Ngorongoro Crater.
  • The crater has a healthy population of leopards, although they are difficult to spot.
  • You can easily see the large buffalo herds in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Big Five Safaris In Tanzania at Ngorongoro Crater help you see elephants, lions, rhinos, and buffalos. With some extra time and luckily, you may see leopards.

You can witness a dense concentration of wildlife found at Ngorongoro Crater on a safari or during game drives!

2. Serengeti National Park 

Location- Northern Tanzania Safari Circuit

The most famous Serengeti National Park is not only a host of the Great Migration but also home to all five of the Big 5 of Africa. It makes the Tanzania national park the best safari destination in the world. 

  • Lions are easy to spot on a Serengeti safari or Big Five safari! Serengeti Park has the largest population of lions in Africa.
  • Elephants roam in the Serengeti Plains, which makes it easy to spot them. 
  • You may find rhinos in the moru region of the wildlife park.
  • Serengeti Park is excellent for leopard sightings, especially in the central region or Seronera Valley. 
  • Large herds of buffalos are found in Serengeti!  

On a Tanzania Big 5 Safari, you can see lions, buffalos, and elephants in Serengeti National Park. You can see rhinos and leopards by visiting the central part of Serengeti.

A thrilling wildlife spectacle, Wildebeest Migration, takes place in Serengeti Park. You may catch the spectacular wildlife event in action on a Tanzania Safari to Serengeti during June and July

3. Nyerere National Park

Location – Southern Tanzania Safari Circuit

Nyerere National Park or Selous Game Reserve is the perfect place to spot the big-5 animals in Tanzania. The massive size of the Tanzanian park has the animals widely dispersed. You can rely on a local, experienced guide who can help you observe and track the wildlife. 

  • Nyerere National Park hosts a large lion population.
  • You can occasionally spot elephants. 
  •  Limited sightings of rhinos are available in the southern section of Nyerere Park. 
  • The shy cats- leopards are rarely sighted here! 
  • You can see large herds of buffalos at Nyerere National Park.

Nyerere National Park is the largest Tanzanian national park in Africa. It is a remote and wild African Safari destination to spot the big five. To experience authentic Big Five tours in Tanzania by escaping the crowds, consider visiting Nyerere! The park has endangered rare antelope species and African wild dogs

4. Lake Manyara National Park 

Location- Northern Tanzania Safari Circuit

Witness compact wildlife at Lake Manyara National Park

  • Lake Manyara Park is the best place to see tree-climbing lions.
  • At Lake Manyara National Park, you can find large herds of elephants. You can also spot the impressive giant bull elephants here.
  • The only Big 5 animal that eludes Lake Manyara is the Rhino! 
  • You can find a healthy leopard population. The thick vegetation of Lake Manyara National Park makes it difficult to spot shy cats. 
  • Buffaloes are seen in large herds at Lake Manyara Park. 

You can see buffalos, lions, leopards, and elephants at Lake Manyara National Park. 

This Tanzania National Park allows you to get close to the resident wildlife and birds. You can find diverse bird species at the Tanzanian national park-Lake Manyara, a paradise for bird lovers. The Lake Manyara National Park is home to a dense concentration of baboons in Africa

5. Tarangire National Park 

Location- Northern Tanzania Safari Circuit

Tarangire National Park is perfect for spotting the big five on a game-viewing drive. The park offers the best game viewing opportunities during the dry season. 

  • Along the Tarangire River at the park, you can spot lions. 
  • Tarangire National Park is famous for having the largest elephant concentration. Here you can spot elephants guaranteed. 
  • The only Big 5 animal that eludes Tarangire is the Rhino! 
  • Tarangire Park has a good number of Leopards. 
  • You can spot large herds of buffalos all year round at Tarangire National Parl. 

The Tarangire National Park is less crowded and offers an authentic Tanzania safari experience during peak season. 


Fantastic Experience – Could Not Ask For More!

We had a great experience with African Scenic Safaris. I found them through this site and turned over almost all the planning for our one-week family (2 parents + 2 college kids) safari to them. They did a fantastic job in planning and communicating pre-trip and executed flawlessly during our visit. Our diver/guide (Grayson) was so kind, personable, and professional. He could spot animals that we clearly would have missed. He also tailored our days based on our interests. So glad we found this tour company and I’ve already recommended it to friends in the few days we have been home. I did not research pricing but it seemed very fair once you understand all the park fees.


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Duration And Cost Of Big Five Safaris In Tanzania

Tanzania Safari Cost

The Tanzania Big Five Safaris can be long or short! It depends on your choice and requirements to book a safari to spot the big five animals in Tanzania. You need at least eight days of Tanzania safari to explore the wilderness and see the big five. It can help you engage in game drives at different times. It increases the chance of Big five sightings at Tanzania parks or game reserves! 

The cost of the Big five safari depends on the location and number of people! A Big Five Safari in Tanzania can cost about $300 to $500 per individual/per day! 


You might have seen the big five in Nat Geo. But seeing them on a Tanzania safari is a surreal experience. Come and experience an exceptional big safari in Tanzania.

Regardless of your budget and travel style, we can provide a tailor-made Tanzania Safari that proves perfect for you! You can contact us at the following details-

Call at +255 (0) 784 413 801 or Email: [email protected]

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