Sick of Winter? Here Are 7 Warm Winter Vacation Ideas

Written by Thomson Safaris

eastern serengeti view tanzania - a great warm winter vacation ideaLook out at the Eastern Serengeti, where the land seems to go on forever.

The beginning of the year is a popular time to think about your next getaway, especially for people in the colder parts of the world where winter is in full force. If you’re considering planning a warm winter vacation, or you’re just experiencing some wanderlust, follow this guide to the most beautiful places in Tanzania.

1. Serengeti National Park

Want to see a lion up close? You’ll want to visit the Serengeti National Park, which has a few claims to fame. It’s the largest, best known park in Tanzania, and it’s the setting for Disney’s “The Lion King.” It’s also known for the Great Migration, the annual movement of millions of wildebeest, zebras, and gazelles in search of food and water. You could stay home and watch it on a screen – or you could hop in a Land Rover and witness it all firsthand in Tanzania.

serengeti national park lionsSee these lions up close and personal in the Serengeti.

2. Mount Kilimanjaro

This could be you standing above the clouds, looking down at all of Tanzania. Mount Kilimanjaro, lovingly referred to as “Kili,” is Africa’s tallest mountain. Although it’s not exactly a warm winter vacation, trekkers pass through five different ecosystems, each one more beautiful than the last. Thomson Safaris’ most popular route, the Western Approach, is a 9-day trek that provides trekkers with some of the most beautiful views on the mountain, including this one. The best part? There’s no technical climbing equipment or experience necessary to summit.

mount kilimanjaro tanzaniaStand above the clouds on Mount Kilimanjaro.

3. Lake Manyara

Have you ever seen a group of giraffe walk just yards in front of you? This is a common sight in Lake Manyara, famously known for being Ernest Hemingway’s favorite park in all of Africa. Visitors can witness some of the greatest wildlife viewing here, as animals love gathering around watering holes. You’ll see hippos cooling off, lions taking a break, and flamingoes flocking together.

lake manyara national park tanzaniaCount how many giraffes you’re able to spot in Lake Manyara.

4. Ngorongoro Crater

Speaking of amazing wildlife viewing, the Ngorongoro Crater is home to the densest mammal populations in the world. It holds 30,000 mammals in just 102 square miles, making it your best chance to see the Big Five in all their glory. In case you didn’t know, these are the animals that make up the Big Five: lions, African buffalo, leopards, elephants, and endangered black rhinos – and witnessing just one of these creatures up close will take your breath away.

ngorongoro crater tanzaniaSpot the Big Five in the Ngorongoro Crater.

5. Ruaha National Park

Picture this: you’re in a Land Rover with a small group of friends, traveling down an open road, when you spot this lone leopard slowly walking toward you. In Ruaha National Park, that happens a lot. One of the more remote parts of Tanzania, it’s one of the least explored parks in East Africa. By visiting Ruaha, you can experience Tanzania in its most natural form.

ruaha national park tanzaniaSit in a vehicle just feet away from a leopard in Ruaha.

6. Tarangire National Park

If elephants are your favorite animal, Tarangire would likely be your favorite park. It’s known as an elephant haven because of how common it is to spot herds of 100+ animals at a time. Elephants aside, there are also more than 300 different species of birds that have been recorded in the park, making it a birder’s paradise as well. If you love seeing animals in remote settings, you need to visit Tarangire.

tarangire national park tanzaniaHang out with herds of elephants in Tarangire.

7. Zanzibar

There are beaches in Africa, and they’re some of the most gorgeous, serene oases in the world. Zanzibar not only provides visitors with the softest, whitest sands on the earth, it also holds a great deal of history and culture. It’s home to the centuries-old spice trade, making it a historical trip as much as it is a warm winter vacation.

zanzibar tanzaniaTake a dip in the clear waters of Zanzibar.