Tanzania Safari: 5 Things You Must Consider

lake manyara girafe serengeti african tours

Thinking of going on a Tanzania safari? You’re not alone! We understand that choosing from such a vast selection can be more than overwhelming. In this article, we highlighted the most important things to be factored into your travel, such as your budget, what you want to see (and do), your preferred type of accommodation, and your mode of transportation.

1. Tanzania safari destinations:(where which parks to go & what you can see)

Tanzania safari destinations are simply divided into circuits, the northern, southern & western circuits which combine attractions you can visit in a region, these circuits are far from each other would require a flight in between or at least 10hours drive, so with the short time, you will have to decide the destinations you want to visit so below is a brief elaboration of the circuits & what they are famous for.

  • Northern circuit, this is the most popular home to famous parks, Serengeti, Ngorongoro crater, great acidic lakes (home to flamingoes), Mount Kilimanjaro (highest in Africa), Native tribes (Masai & bushmen) & other minor attractions like Tarangire, Lake Manyara, mount Oldonyo le Ngai “the mountain of God” still volcanic active, Mount Meru, waterfalls & chemka hot springs

Tip: if you want to focus on the great wildebeest migration or migratory birds like flamingoes the northern circuit is your option

Note: this circuit is popular also the most accessible you can fly directly to Kilimanjaro international airport only needing a local flight to Zanzibar for the beach stay J

  • Southern circuit, with parks such as mikumi, selous, ruaha (largest park, also home to over 10% of the world population of lions & highest number of elephants in Tanzania), these parks are great but with accessibility not as easy in comparison to the northern circuit, these parks will require you to fly to dar es salaam international airport & take a second flight to the region
  • Western circuit, having chimpanzee treks in Gombe national park & kitulo national park which was primarily established to protect its fauna “the Serengeti of Flowers” these parks provide a unique experience however like the southern circuit it is less accessible would require a second flight after you land into dar es salaam international airport

2. Tanzania safari:  comfort “your safari-style”

You need to know which safari suits you best & of course your budget, below are different Tanzania safari styles

  • Private or shared tour

A private Tanzania safari is one you do yourself or with your group with our guides while a shared safari is one you get mixed with other travellers and be in a group (mostly a group of 6)

Why a private safari or a group safari?

Private safariGroup safari
-very comfortable– can be slightly uncomfortable as there is more luggage, persons but same space
-guaranteed departure at any chosen dates-fixed departures or need to request a guarantee on departure
-can be customized, you can tailor your trip   to your requirement-limited customization (you chose one of the packages)
-A slightly expensive option-slightly cheaper option
-same schedule, same accommodation, the same program-slight changes can be made in schedule, timings to fit group set up e.g. an itinerary set to start to park a, then b & lastly c  can start with park c, then b & lastly an (if  some clients opt for 2 parks but on the same date)
-organized & operated by Makini Tanzania Safari– in some circumstances as unbearable number of cancellations tour can be operated as a joint operation with affiliate companies (been strategic to survive post covid 19 early travels)
-the luxury of your own space-pros & cons of sharing space with other travellers
-for lodging tours, we can quote lodges of your choice & you can get back to the lodge for rest during the day-for lodging, we quote comfort lodges of our choice as each client can have a different recommendation & you can’t go back to lodge during the day unless all group stays at the same lodge & decides too
clients on a private tour have an overall better experience.

Accommodation place, are you going to sleep inside the park or outside the parks

Sleeping inside the parks provide a better experience as animals are more active when it is cooler thus in the early mornings & late evenings which is almost not possible to experience while sleeping outside the parks as game drives are done on park regulated time frame (can’t check in the parks or out beyond a certain time)

Note: only 1 of our packages has zero nights in the parks, all packages going to Serengeti will camp or lodge inside the parks

Sleeping inside parksSleeping outside parks
Better experience enjoying early & late eveningsLimited experience with early morning & late evenings
High costs (camping fees is 35usd, lowest lodging cost 150usd in Serengeti, 200usd in Ngorongoro,120usd  in other parks with concession fee 59usd (concession fees is the equivalent of camping fees for those staying in lodges)Costs are relatively lower as lodgings & camping outside is cheaper & no park camping or concession fees
Tanzania safari ‘inside or outside the parks’

Tanzania safari accommodation type, where you want to sleep

Camping: this is an adventurous & budget accommodation style you will be provided with equipment such as tents, sleeping bags, and mattresses on the park grounds

Things to know about camping

-bathrooms are shared and under park authorities, so like any other shared bathrooms it can lack toiletries, warm water & have less sanitary conditions

-campgrounds are not fenced meaning animals may come really close or just out of your tent at night “yes, adventure”, best to visit washrooms just after dinner before everyone sets in his/her tent

-safe, campgrounds may not be fenced but it is safe unless you go provoking animals who will then attack when feeling threatened but park rangers are also available & armed.

Tanzania safari lodges:
high-end lodge view (four-season Serengeti)

these options are present in the parks, with brick walls its different to the tented lodges but with running costs & licenses it will cost at least 220usd a night for single room & about 400usd double room at this price just basic facilities lodge, you will have to pay up to 350usd for single room & about 600usd for a double room to have lodged with swimming pools & other none basic facilities. Also, some luxury lodges can have facilities priced to over 10000usd per night e.g. The Serengeti four-season lodge

Tanzania safari tented lodges:

these lodges are made up of tents (large tents) so you have the luxury of the lodge (private bathroom & beds) but the adventure of camping (hearing animal’s sounds).  A common misconception is that there is a massive difference between tented camps and non-tented options. The assumption is that tented lodges are “basic” whilst wooden structured, solid lodges are more luxurious. In truth, some of the most luxurious camps in the country can have a canvas covering… As well as a pool, amazing food and all the amenities in the world.

Aerial view for tented lodges
interior view
Dining Area

Budget tented lodges from 170usd single & 300usd for double rooms these with limited amenities. Luxury tented lodges from 400usd single & 700usd for double rooms will have more facilities

Seasonal/mobile tented lodges: like tented lodges but they are specially used or stationed seasonally to follow the migration in the Serengeti & Ngorongoro conservation area (locations Ndutu & Lobo). As a result of being stationed up seasonally, these tented lodges don’t have facilities like swimming pools & electricity is limited to their solar panels.

budget from 250usd single & 400usd for double rooms

3. Tanzania safari: tour length

How long is it enough for the Tanzania safari? this is dependent on what you want to see & the season but a minimum of 4days & maximum of 8days is usually a great time, the exact difference on days will depend on what you want to see (great wildebeest migration), how many parks, go to the flamingoes or archaeological sites, you will surely need to discuss this with us

Tip: tours heading for 1 night in Serengeti will stay not more than 24 hours in the park, 100% of travellers who opted for these tours say if they could have changed anything they would have opted for an additional day.

you can get by the parks by either flying, driving, or a combination of both. Example: drive into Tarangire, Ngorongoro & Serengeti then fly out to Zanzibar from Serengeti instead of taking the long drive back to Arusha & then fly to Zanzibar (fly safaris & their flights cost more)

What should I add to my Tanzania safari experience, what ad on I should know of, With options such as

  • Tanzania walking safaris
  • archaeological sites
  • horseback safaris (see options)
  • night game drives (200usd)
  • Tanzania balloon safaris (570usd)
  • Masai village stop (10-20usd)
  • bush lunch
  • canoeing safari

Note: Most ad on can only be possible with private trips as matching these particular interests & of course involve spending more will be difficult for us

5. Tanzania safari: Budget

After knowing the options lets me know the costs so you can match what you really want with the amount you are willing to spend, these figures are not very precise but can help to understand the range

  • Group & camping safaris – 200usd to 250usd
  • Private & camping safaris – 250usd to 450usd
  • Private & lodging safaris – 350usd to 700usd
  • Tanzania Luxury safaris – over 1200usd
  • Tanzania Balloon safaris – 570usd (per person per session)
  • Tipping – 15usd – 20usd per day, per person on a group tour
  •                –  25usd – 50usd per day, per person on a private tour

Prices above are per person per day (so to get actual range just do price * number of days needed)

Note: Prices above are in range meaning the lowest range is if many people & high range if solo

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