where is the best place to fly to tanzania for safari

When planning for an adventurous safari trip to Tanzania, one of the key decisions to make is choosing the best place to fly in for the ultimate experience. Tanzania is a vast and diverse country, offering a wide range of attractions and safari experiences. In this article, I will guide you through the best places to fly to in Tanzania for an unforgettable safari adventure.

Arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport

For many travelers, Kilimanjaro International Airport is the gateway to Tanzania. Located in northern Tanzania, near the city of Arusha, this airport is the closest to popular safari destinations such as the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, and Mount Kilimanjaro. From Kilimanjaro International Airport, you can easily connect to other domestic airports or take a short drive to start your safari adventure.

Exploring the Northern Circuit

If you choose to fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport, you’ll have easy access to the iconic Northern Circuit safari destinations. The Serengeti National Park, famous for its annual wildebeest migration, is just a short flight or drive away. You can also visit the Ngorongoro Crater, a natural wonder teeming with wildlife, or embark on a trek to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest peak in Africa. The proximity of these attractions makes Kilimanjaro International Airport an ideal starting point for a Northern Circuit safari.

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Arrival at Julius Nyerere International Airport

Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam serves as the main gateway to southern and western Tanzania. This bustling airport provides convenient access to safari destinations such as the Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park, and the remote Katavi National Park. If you’re interested in exploring the less-visited wilderness areas of Tanzania, flying into Julius Nyerere International Airport may be the best option for you.

Discovering the Southern and Western Circuits

From Julius Nyerere International Airport, you can set off on a thrilling safari adventure in the southern and western circuits of Tanzania. The Selous Game Reserve, with its vast river systems and diverse wildlife, offers a unique and secluded safari experience. Ruaha National Park, known for its rugged landscapes and large predator populations, is another must-visit destination in the southern circuit. Additionally, the remote Katavi National Park, with its untouched wilderness and abundant wildlife, is easily accessible from Julius Nyerere International Airport.

Choosing the Best Option for Your Safari

When deciding where to fly into Tanzania for your safari, it’s important to consider the specific destinations you intend to visit and the type of safari experience you desire. Whether you opt for Kilimanjaro International Airport to explore the Northern Circuit or Julius Nyerere International Airport to delve into the Southern and Western Circuits, both options offer unique and unforgettable safari adventures.

Factors to Consider

Factors such as the time of year, the wildlife you want to see, and the activities you wish to engage in can influence your decision. For example, if witnessing the Great Migration in the Serengeti is at the top of your list, flying into Kilimanjaro International Airport would be your best bet. On the other hand, if you’re seeking a more off-the-beaten-path safari experience, flying into Julius Nyerere International Airport and exploring the southern and western circuits may be the perfect choice for you.

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My Personal Recommendation

Having embarked on numerous safari adventures in Tanzania, I highly recommend considering both options based on your interests and preferences. Each region of Tanzania offers its own distinct wildlife, landscapes, and cultural experiences, making it worthwhile to explore multiple circuits if time permits. Whether you choose the Northern, Southern, or Western Circuits, the beauty and diversity of Tanzania’s national parks and reserves are sure to leave a lasting impression.


Choosing the best place to fly to in Tanzania for a safari is a decision that can significantly enhance your overall experience. Whether you opt for Kilimanjaro International Airport to explore the iconic Northern Circuit or Julius Nyerere International Airport to venture into the lesser-explored Southern and Western Circuits, Tanzania’s natural wonders await you. By carefully considering your safari objectives and preferences, you can select the ideal arrival point for an unforgettable journey through the heart of Africa.


Q: When is the best time to visit Tanzania for a safari?

A: The best time to visit Tanzania for a safari largely depends on the specific wildlife experiences you’re seeking. The dry season, from late June to October, is ideal for wildlife viewing, while the wet season, from November to May, offers lush landscapes and baby animal sightings.

Q: What are the visa requirements for traveling to Tanzania?

A: Visitors to Tanzania are required to obtain a tourist visa, which can be obtained upon arrival at the airport or in advance through the Tanzanian embassy or consulate in their home country.

Q: What types of accommodations are available for safari-goers in Tanzania?

A: Tanzania offers a wide range of accommodations, including luxury lodges, tented camps, and budget-friendly options. Whether you prefer a lavish safari lodge or an authentic bush camp, there are accommodation choices to suit every traveler’s needs and preferences.

Q: Are there any health concerns to be aware of when traveling to Tanzania for a safari?

A: Travelers to Tanzania should consult their healthcare provider or a travel medicine specialist to discuss recommended vaccinations and precautions. Malaria is prevalent in certain areas, so it’s essential to take appropriate preventive measures such as anti-malarial medication and mosquito repellent.

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Q: What should I pack for a safari in Tanzania?

A: Essential items to pack for a safari in Tanzania include lightweight and breathable clothing, sturdy walking shoes, a wide-brimmed hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, binoculars, and a camera with plenty of memory cards. It’s important to pack appropriately for the specific activities and environments you’ll encounter during your safari adventure.