The best itineraries for exploring Tanzania

Tanzania is undeniably big. If you have never been to Tanzania before, planning your route and estimating your travel time might not be an easy task.Our solution? Start planning with one of our suggested Tanzania itineraries! We have developed some beautiful and exciting self-drive routes. These include the well-known Tanzania Northern Safari Circuit and some less-discovered areas of Tanzania, with the 21-day Bush to Beach being the most popular itinerary.

Are you not so keen on driving yourself? Then rent a car with a local driver! 

Extra Tips & Information

We've carefully compiled an overview of our favourite places to stay in Tanzania and Zanzibar, catering to all budgets. This guide, covering 24 towns, National Parks, and 100+ places to stay, results from over 10 years of travel experience in Tanzania. We are happy to share our tips exclusively with you so that, combined with our suggested routes, you can explore Tanzania independently! 

Once you've selected your itinerary and are ready for your self-drive holiday in Tanzania, swing by our practical info sectionwith information, tips and frequently asked questions about self-driving and independent travel in Tanzania.

More questions? Feel free to contact us! Roadtrip Africa is happy to point you in the right direction as you prepare for your self-drive holiday in Tanzania. 

Let our routes guide you

  • Enjoy the freedom of the open road
  • Follow a carefully designed itinerary
  • Hotel Guide: 100+ tips covering 24 towns and National Parks
  • Rely on 24/7 roadside assistance
  • Plan less, enjoy more
  • Driver-Guide on request
Tanzania 8 days 700 km

Taste of Tanzania

The Northern Safari Circuit is the most visited area of Tanzania and is within easy reach from Arusha. The Taste of Tanzania itinerary is ideal for Tanzania first-timers who primarily come for safari, want modest driving hours a day, have limited time, or want to combine their road trip with a Kilimanjaro or Zanzibar add-on. 

You'll get to explore Tarangire, the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater. 

8 days are recommended to follow this Tanzania self-drive itinerary.

Tanzania 9 days 720 km

Northern Circuit - Classic

Tanzania is truly gifted by Mother Nature, but its northern region really is the spoiled kid. You tumble from one legendary safari park to another. The Northern Circuit is the classic safari circuit of Tanzania: you visit Tarangire, Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara.

We recommend 9 days to follow this Tanzania itinerary.

Tanzania 14 days 870 km

Northern Circuit - Off The Beaten Track

This circuit encompasses the top safari parks in Tanzania along with some undiscovered treasures. It involves picturesque drives on lesser-known routes, opportunities for walks and hikes, and cultural experiences. Due to its diversity, this is also a great Tanzania self-drive itinerary for families. This route is among our favourites! 

You'll explore Tarangire, Lake Eyasi, Ngorongoro, Serengeti, Lake Natron and West Kilimanjaro. 

We recommend 2 weeks to follow this Tanzania self-drive itinerary. 

Tanzania 22 days 1950 km

Bush to Beach - Northern Route

The bush-to-beach Tanzania safari is the ultimate one-way road trip and righteously our most popular! Start in Arusha and hand over your car in Dar es Salaam (or vice versa). This Tanzania itinerary is ideal for those looking to combine the classic safari experience with mountain scenery, culture, and a beach road trip, away from the crowds and resorts. Because of the variation, It's also a great itinerary for family holidays. The Usambaras and Swahili coasts are not touristy and easy to explore on a budget.

We recommend 22 days to follow this Tanzania self-drive itinerary. 

Tanzania 13 days 1430 km

The Wild South East

This Tanzania road trip begins and ends in Dar es Salaam and takes you to the less visited national parks of southeast Tanzania. Ideal for those who want to get off the tourist trail at friendly prices. Go on world-class safaris in Ruaha National Park and Selous Game Reserve, experience local village life in traditional Tanzanian highland villages, and go birding and chimp trekking in the Udzungwa Mountains.

We recommend 13 days to follow this travel itinerary covering southeast Tanzania. 

Experiences from fellow Roadtrippers

Great road trip in Tanzania

Janet from the UK

We chose to go with a driver which worked very well for us as our driver Stanley was very knowledgeable about birds, wildlife and the local area. He took us to the best places to see animals and birds and we did not have to worry about driving, fi...
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Self Driving the Tanzanian Game Parks

Andrew from Spain

The vehicle we hired was very reliable and performed well on some challenging roads. The team was always available if you had questions or decided that you would take a driver/guide for a few days! Self drive with Roadtrip Africa gives you the fre...
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My experience with Roadtrip Africa was 5 stars

João from Portugal

Tanzania is incredibly safe and beautiful to self-drive and we loved the experience, being doubtless one of the reasons we enjoyed this trip so much. Can't recommend enough!
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How about other self-drive itineraries in Africa?


Uganda is an up-and-coming safari destination. Beautiful nature, laid-back vibe and friendly people who will make you feel at home. 

Come face to face with mountain gorillas, track the chimpanzees in the forest, catch a sighting of the shoebill stork and spot tree-climbing lions! But there is more than wildlife. Experience culture in a traditional manyatta in Karamoja, hike the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains, go wild water rafting on the Nile, and finish off with a blast in Kampala, the nightlife capital of East Africa. Uganda definitely makes for a great self-drive Africa vacation!

Go to Uganda


There is no better place in the world to watch herds of elephants than in Amboseli National Park, and Masai Mara is home to one of the highest concentrations of wildlife on the planet.

Make sure to include a road trip along the beach in your Kenya travel itinerary. The Swahili coast, a fascinating blend of African, Indian, and Arabic cultures, feels wildly different from the rest of Kenya.

Go to Kenya


For the true 4x4 adventurer. Madagascar is a great self-drive destination. Few places on earth offer such an intense kaleidoscope of nature and cultural heritage, and half the fun is getting to these attractions.

Lemurs, the strangest looking chameleons, avenues of baobabs, the Tsingy dry forest, and endless coastlines - Madagascar is unique. Off-road driving here is one of a kind, and there are national parks that only see 100 visitors a year.

Go to Madagascar