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Eastern Africa News Network

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Here are the ‘Best’ Tour Operators and Lodges in Tanzania


Winners of the third round of TANAPA Tourism Awards have just been announced in Arusha.

The year 2022 trophies are being issued in, well, 22 Categories as well.

Some of the category winners, according to observers, were predictably expected to win.

For instance, when the award for the Best Mountaineering Company was announced during the award giving gala night, most people in attendance were heard to murmur, ‘Ah that goes to Zara!’

And it did. The Moshi-based ZARA TANZANIA ADVENTURE got the prize.

Then comes the award for Best Hot Air Balloon Tourism. Where visitors enjoy aerial game viewing in a giant basket suspended from a hot air floated balloon.

Definitely the Serengeti Balloon Safaris is the only company currently burning helium in the endless plains.

Therefore, with little, if any, competition, the SERENGETI BALLOON SAFARI automatically got the award in this category. Thanks to the monopoly.

Now with those two out of the way, here are the 2022 TANAPA Tourism Awards Winners…

Mawenzi Technical Climbing Award

Mawenzi is the other peak on Kilimanjaro standing on the other end of the mountain’s saddle elevating at 5149 meters.

Mawenzi may be shorter than Kibo, but it is a very difficult peak to scale not to mention the dangers.

It takes professional climbers and technical gears to accomplish the climb.

Which means the task may also require an even more professional company to take the daredevils up the sharp peak of Mawenzi.

The winner in this category was KWESA TOURS.

Horseback Riding Safari

Trust KASKAZI HORSE SAFARIS to win this one. The privately guided horseback game riding operating mostly within the Arusha National Park, takes visitors on Safaris off the beaten path. 

Paragliding Tourism

Paragliding may yet to go mainstream in Tanzania’s tourism offering, but the niche product remains popular to its fans. The winner in this category is ALIKA AFRICA LIMITED

Canopy Walkway Safari Award

An exclusive product of Lake Manyara and the winner in this type of tour operation is WAYO AFRICA

Walking Safaris Award

Okay some people hate being confined in bumpy vehicles while enjoying their safaris in National Park that is why this walking tour package is gaining popularity enough to merit the second award to WAYO AFRICA

Canoeing Safari Award

I suppose this also takes place on Lake Manyara, Burunge, as well as at Momella Lake inside Arusha National Park, no wonder WAYO AFRICA also won this other ‘third,’ award.

Chimpanzee Tracking Safaris Award

Jane Goodall opinion could have come in handy here, except she is already retired.

From Gombe and Mahale National Parks along Lake Tanganyika to the Rubondo Island floating on Lake Victoria chimps tracking is handing well in Tanzania.

And the Chimpanzees tracking tourism award this year goes to ASILIA LODGES AND CAMPS.

There was a Tour Company which won more than its fair share of TANAPA Awards

It is important to note that massing the highest number of accolades does not necessarily mean that the holder becomes the overall winner. With that in mind, here goes…

These are the five categories that were won by a single tour company

  1. Best Tour Operator in Sports Fishing

2. Best Tour Operator in providing Fresh and Hot Meals in the Bush (outdoor bush catering)

3. Best Tour Operator to sail with in boat safaris

4. Best Tour Operator in Kayaking adventure

5. Best Tour Operator in conducting Night Game Drive

And all these five awards go to NOMAD TANZANIA (Safari Company).

Best Company in Tourism Transportation Award

Well, for some reason, COASTAL AVIATION won this category award.

Fair enough, the company boasts more than 30 years of experience‚ plus a rather extensive flying safari network‚ nearly 45 destinations.

Coastal recently came under new management, fingers are thus crossed if the company will maintain quality in the next year TANAPA Tourism Awards 2023.

However, when it comes to tourism in Tanzania, over 80 percent of movements are done on ground using four wheeled SUVs.


After game drives in parks, walking safari in wilderness, boating and Mountain Climbing visitors eventually may need to hit the sack, this is where hotels, lodges and camps come in.

Best Seasonal Camp

There are more than 56 campsites operating in Tanzania National Parks.

But only one manages to win the award, this is the SOUND OF SILENCE TENTED RESORT. Now, this is a luxurious safari resort operating in Serengeti.

Best Permanent Tented Camp

There are a total of 62 Permanent Tented Camps in the parks and among them one emerged the winner in TANAPA awards.

The winning camp is KUBUKUBU TENTED LODGE which operates from Seronera parts of Serengeti.

Best Lodge Award

Wildlife Filming Award

After the breath-taking tours one may need to keep the memories through documentary flicks.

That is why wildlife filming remains as important today as was during the shooting of Serengeti Shall Not Die by Bernhard Grzimek.

The Wildlife Filming Award 2022 goes to AFRICAN ENVIRONMENT LIMITED.

Innovation and Creativity Awards

This is a new Category in the TANAPA Awards 2022.

The prizes to this effect go to

  1. Miracle Experience Balloon Safaris

2. Goshen Safaris (Goshen Safaris did win the 2020 World Tourism Awards)

3. African Queen Adventure (Which was praised for promoting domestic tourism)


This coveted award once more goes to LEOPARDS TOURS of Arusha.

As previously stated, there are tour firms that won various awards in different categories, but Leopard Tours manages to get the last laugh.

Leopards Tours, founded in 1985 runs two type of Safari packages, the usual ‘Wildlife Safaris’ and high-end ‘Signature Safaris.’

That could have easily also slotted the company in the ‘Innovation award category.’

Leopard Tours at the moment is also the safari company with the largest fleet of vehicles in the country.

But as far as TANAPA awards are concerned, Leopard Tours seems to be the goose which lays the golden eggs.

Leopard Tours: Size does matter

… And the Head of State also got Something!

The awards were presented to the winners by the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Ambassador Pindi Chana during the night gala held at the Tanzania National Parks Headquarters in Arusha.

Later, the Chairperson of the TANAPA Board of Trustees, Retired General George Waitara walked up the podium with a special award.

It was presented to President Samia Suluhu Hassan for what was described to be her contribution in the promotional of Tourism attractions in Tanzania and supporting the industry.

This time the award was handed to the tourism minister, on behalf of President Samia.