Uncategorized

The Lions of the Serengeti National Park

Living in the grasslands, scrub, and open woodlands of sub-Saharan Africa, lions persist in a handful of countries across southeastern Africa. Tanzania’s lion population is, by far, the largest in Africa.

Serengeti National Park– at 5,700 square miles – is perhaps the world’s greatest lion sanctuary with some 3,000 lions. The simple truth is that if you want to see lions, Serengeti National Park is the place to be. Nowhere else in Africa supports quite such a concentrated abundance of hoofed meat, amid such open landscape – therefore the Serengeti is a glorious place for lions and an ideal site for a Safari

Serengeti, lion

They say that cats have nine lives, but they don’t say that about the Serengeti lion. Life is hard and precarious on this unforgiving landscape. For the greatest of African predators as well as for their prey, life spans tend to be short, more often terminating abruptly than in graceful decline. An adult male lion, if he’s lucky and tough, might reach the advanced age of 12. Adult females can live longer, even to 19.

Serengeti, lion

©Elias Costopoulos

Unlike other cats, lions are very social animals. They live in groups called prides or coalitions. An intricate balance of evolutionary costs and benefits determines the size of a lion family unit – namely the availability of food and water. In well-placed areas of Serengeti, we’ve seen prides of over 30 lions. Prides usually consists of up to three males, a dozen related females and their young.

Serengeti, lion cubs

Prides require territory to flourish and it’s the job of the males to establish and defend their pride’s territory. A large pride may control a territory of 250 sq. km (100 sq. mi.). Prides communicate a lot – there is nothing more exciting that the roar of a Serengeti lion, heard up to 8 km away.

Serengeti, lion hunting

©Elias Costopoulos

Lions work as a team to survive. The females are the primary hunters, being more agile and smaller than males. Witnessing a lion pride on the hunt is a rare and exciting show of nature’s wonder.

Serengeti, lion eating

After a successful hunt, the pride shares the meal in a very distinct pecking order. It’s the males that eat first (even though they rarely helped in the hunt). Then it’s the lioness’s turn, followed by the cubs. We regularly encounter lions enjoying a meal – the sights and sounds are amazing.

Serengeti, lion eating

What we see the most though, is lions sleeping. They are lazy cats, spending up to 20 hours a day sleeping. They lay on their backs and snooze, oblivious to our viewing. Serengeti’s lions are a sight to behold – we’ve seen dozens of lions in a single day on safari. Always mystical, always incredible, the lions await your visit. Answer the lion’s call!

Please follow and like us:
error

Bush and Beach Safari in East Africa

Safaris equal early mornings – that’s a fact. And after a few days of game drives at dawn and coffee with the proverbial sparrows, a spot of hammock-lounging by the sea might be just the ticket.

Roll up the ‘bush-and-beach combo’, which is exactly what it says on the tin.

With more and more daily flights out to the picture-perfect coastline and the tiny islands of the Indian Ocean, East Africa is one of the easiest destinations to combine bush and beach safaris. Read on for our pick of the bunch…

snorkelling-whale-shark-zanzibar-tanzania-timbuktu-travel east africa safaris

1. Serengeti & Zanzibar Island

Salt & pepper, gin & tonic, Serengeti & Zanzibar. Some combinations shouldn’t be messed with and a safari across the golden-hued plains of the Serengeti followed by some downtime on the Spice Island is one of them. With six flights a day from Arusha to Zanzibar and only one and half hours flying time, the sultry island couldn’t be easier to get to. Wake up to the pastel-hued sunrise of the Serengeti and fall sleep to the languid rhythm of island life – this is flying-and-flopping made easy.

 selous-rufiji-sunset-boat-cruise-timbuktu east africa safaris

2. Selous & Mafia Island

Most people come to Tanzania looking for big cats and maybe an elephant or fifty. But what about rainbow-tinged clownfish, enormous, prehistoric turtles and clouds of tropical rays? Seek out both with a safari in Selous, followed by a quick jaunt to Mafia Island and dive one of the best sites in the world, the Mafia Island Marine Park. If diving’s not your thing, take a visit anyway – in amongst the coral and clownfish you’ll find white sandy beaches of the deserted kind, crying out for cocktail-sipping. With a direct flight from the Selous of just under two hours (and a brief stopover in Dar), it would be rude not to….

3. Samburu & Msambweni Beach

Swap your dusty boots for sandy flip-flops and see a different side to Kenya at Msambweni Beach, just south of Mombassa. Literally worlds apart from the Samburu warriors and dusty savannah-scapes of the north, Msambweni is all about the coconut palms, pristine sands and azure waters. It’s also one of the lesser known spots on the Kenya coast so whilst it might require an extra hour on the road, it’s worth every second for the secluded, blissed-out luxury at the end. Flights from Samburu will all stop briefly in Nairobi before heading down to the coast, but with no border crossings to deal with it’s still a hassle-free combination.

Itinerary: Samburu, Mara & the Sea

east africa safaris kenya-samburu-national-park-special-five-long-necked-gerenuk-timbuktu-travel

4. Masai Mara & the Seychelles

No longer only the preserve of high-spending, yacht-mooring beach aficionados, the glittering islands of the Seychelles can make an excellent addition to a safari in the Mara. Travel does involve an overnight stay in Nairobi but with direct flights out of the city landing on the beach in Mahe three hours later, it’s still an easy journey from the bush. Once in Mahe, hop on a ferry to Praslin; it’s quick and easy on the wallet, leaving you more pennies to enjoy the high-life in this extraordinary paradise.

Itinerary: East Africa Bush and Beach on a Budget

seychelles-north-island-timbuktu-travel east africa safaris

5. Serengeti & Mauritius

For a truly wildlife-centric holiday, try combining a classic Serengeti trip with a marine safari in Mauritius. Yes, it’s got palm fringed beaches and talcum-white sands by the bucket load but there’s a different side to the island too. We’re talking clouds of tropical fish, whale and dolphin in the gin-clear waters and the rare pink pigeon, Mauritian kestrel and giant tortoise on land, as well as some of the richest and mesmerising jungle-scapes of any tropical island. Flights from Dar tend to route through Nairobi so tick off another wildlife-hotspot with a few days in the Mara on the way.

Please follow and like us:
error

Top 10 Tanzania Travel Tips

We firmly believe that planning your Tanzania Safari can be just as much fun as going on the trip itself. But we also know it can be confusing and perhaps a little bit frustrating and that’s where we come in with our top Tanzania travel tips!

Below are our top things to think about when planning a Tanzania safari. From the cheapest airlines to the best time to travel and a few nuggets of knowledge in between, we’ve got you covered. If you’re still debating about where and when to go to Tanzania.

A-view-from-the-sky-Mnemba-Island-Lodge
Mnemba Island, Zanzibar

Low-cost airlines

The cheap and cheerful school of flying has finally made it to Africa and what a difference it makes, both in price and in simply getting around the enormous continent. Johannesburg-based Fastjet have several domestic routes around Tanzania, including Dar es Salaam to Kilimanjaro (for Arusha airport and connections to the Serengeti), Dar and Kili to Mwanza (for Rubondo Island) and even from Dar to Zanzibar, making the beach more accessible than ever.

self-drive-ngorongoro-tanzania
Self-drive through the Ngorongoro Crater

Flying vs Driving

If you’ve been on safari in Southern Africa, you might wonder what we’re talking about. But the Northern Circuit in Tanzania is one of the few places on the continent where driving between parks really is possible. You’ll meet your driver in Arusha and stick with him (and his vehicle) for the rest of the trip. A typical circuit will include Tarangire, Serengeti and Ngorongoro and, as well as often working out cheaper than flying, you’ll get to see some pretty awesome sights as you drive.

green-season-roho-ya-selous-tanzania
Emerald green floodplains in the Selous, South of Tanzania

The Green Season

One of the top Tanzania travel tips to save some pennies is to look at travelling in the off-peak seasons (November and February to May). Whether it’s called the green, shoulder or low, don’t underestimate the highlights of travelling now. You’ll get the same excellent standard of guiding and the same fabulous camps both for much less and the country looks beautiful – think newborn babies springing around emerald-green plains, dust-free landscapes (excellent photographs!) and full-flowing rivers. In fact, this is one of our favourite seasons to travel even if you don’t want to save any pennies.

serengeti-kati-kati-tanganyika-wilderness-camp-serengeti-tanzania
Serengeti Tented Camp

To luxury or not to luxury?

One of the biggest myths surrounding safari is that you either have to stay in a lodge that costs an arm and leg, or camp with only a sheet of canvas for comfort. Happily, neither of those is true and Tanzania has an astonishing array of camps for all styles, tastes and budgets. And you don’t have to stick to just one design either – another of our clever Tanzania travel tips is to mix it up with a couple of nights in a traditional tented camp before ending in a luxury retreat, complete with infinity pool and all the creature comforts.

dar-es-salaam-tanzania
Dar es Salaam at night

Check your airports!

Don’t assume that the only option is to fly into the capital city of a country (in Tanzania’s case, Dar es Salaam). KLM have just launched a direct flight from Europe to Kilimanjaro, which is 30 minutes outside Arusha and the perfect connection for anyone heading to the Serengeti. Also look at ‘open-jaw’ tickets – for example flying in to Kilimanjaro, but flying out of Dar es Salaam, if you’re looking at spending some time in Zanzibar.

manta-resort-sandbank-snorkelling-pemba-island-tanzania
Sandbank snorkelling on Pemba Island

The beach

With an exotic array of tropical islands, a stunning coastline and more postcard-perfect beaches than sunbathing time, Tanzania ticks all the boxes for a classic ‘safari-and-beach’ holiday. From Dar es Salaam, drive down the coast to the Ras Kutani area on the Indian Ocean, hop over to Zanzibar for some Swahili culture or indulge in some serious barefoot luxury on Pemba and Mafia Islands. Flight connections are so easy, adding a few days at the beach is almost compulsory…

elephants-ruaha-tanzania-timbuktu-travel
Elephants in Ruaha National Park

Internal flights

As you’ve probably realised, internal flights are expensive. Very expensive in fact, and the more you take, the more you spend and the longer they are, the more you spend (again). To get around this, one of our Tanzania travel tips is to consider visiting parks that are close together and that fit well together, for example the Northern Circuit (Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Tarangire) or the South (Ruaha & Selous). Tried and tested routes make for a cheaper and hassle-free trip.

olivers-camp-tarangire-tanzania
Morning coffee at Oliver’s Camp, Tarangire

How long should I go for?

The golden question and one that we get asked a lot. Our most common answer? It’s totally up to you. Seven nights for a multi-park or multi-country safari is a good starting point, with two nights minimum in each camp. Less than that and you’re in and out before you can say, ‘There’s a lion in that bush.’ But if you’ve only got four nights then we can make it work – stay in one place with a variety of activities and make the most of your time. And if you want to stay for seven nights in one place and make the most of the swimming pool and the down time then that’s fine too.

chimpanzee-mahale-mountains-tanzania
Chimpanzees of the Mahale Mountains

Head off the beaten track

We’re not denying that some areas in Tanzania can get a little busy at times, so what better excuse to try something different? Head to Rubondo Island in Lake Victoria for a real Robinson Crusoe adventure, the Mahale Mountains for chimp trekking or hike with the Maasai through the Rift Valley to Lake Natron. If you’ve got your heart set on the Serengeti but aren’t so keen on the crowds, check out the Grumeti concession to the west where tourists and lodges are few but wildlife is plentiful.

elephant-pepper-camp-kenya
Combine with a trip to Masai Mara in Kenya

Something extra…

Tanzania is a great all-encompassing destination but if wanderlust has got the better of you, it’s easy to combine a safari here with a few days in a different country. The last of our Tanzania travel tips is to have a look at adding some extra days in Kenyatrekking gorillas in Rwanda or spoil yourself with a spot of downtime in Mauritius or Mozambique. Flight connections are usually quite easy, journey times are short and you get to maximise your trip of a lifetime. A win-win situation.

Please follow and like us:
error

Planning Serengeti Safari Tanzania

A safari to the broad plains of the Serengeti is the ultimate goal of every true safari fan. One of the world’s largest and most unspoiled tracts of wilderness, the savannah of Tanzania’s most famous park is home to some of the world’s best game-viewing.

From the big cat playground of Seronera to the calving grounds of Ndutu to the high drama of river crossings in Kogatende and Grumeti, the Serengeti offers a year-round safari worthy of inclusion in any African safari itinerary.

You can’t go wrong when you choose to spend a few days of your safari on the Serengeti, but we’ve compiled ten things you should know to plan the perfect Serengeti safari.

lion cub serengeti

#10 – Spotting the Big Five on the Serengeti Safari

The Big Five comprise Africa’s five most iconic animals: the leopard, lion, elephant, rhinoceros, and buffalo.

While originally grouped by the difficulty in hunting them, today avid tourists ‘hunt’ these gorgeous animals with binoculars and loaded cameras.

The Serengeti is home to all five of the Big Five, although rhinoceros are a rare sight on the open plains.

The Seronera Region of the park is where you’ll have your best chance of spotting leopards and lions (and cheetahs), while buffalo can be spotted across the width and breadth of the park.

During the Wildebeest Migration, you’ll find elephants wherever the herd isn’t. They typically avoid the noisy crowds of wildebeest and zebras.

tanzania safari lunch

#9 – Picnic Lunches

While on your Serengeti safari, you’ll often travel with a delicious packed lunch. This allows you to continue your game drive for the whole day, rather than returning to your lodge.

Of course, the option is always there to head back for a hot lunch if you’re feeling fatigued.

Picnic lunches vary from lodge to lodge, but you can expect to find some combination of the following in any good packed lunch:

  • Fruit juice
  • Water
  • Fresh fruit
  • Sandwiches or wraps
  • Chicken drumsticks
  • Pasta or rice
  • Boiled eggs with salt
  • Biscuits, cakes, or muffins

Picnic lunches are usually more food than you’ll be able to eat, but keep the leftovers in the car with you. It is illegal to feed the animals.

Picnic lunches can be made to cater to all dietary requirements. Just let your safari expert, your driver, or the kitchen staff know!

safari tanzania

#8 – Camping on a Serengeti Safari

For those on a budget or those with a sense of adventure, camping out on the open plains of the Serengeti is a once in a lifetime experience.

Shadows of Africa provides all camping equipment for those wishing to have a Serengeti camping safari.

All camping safaris are also accompanied by a private chef who will prepare hot breakfasts and dinners, as well as tasty picnic lunches.

The Serengeti has two primary campsites: Seronera and Lobo. Both are serviced by public restrooms and have basic facilities on site.

Read more about camping safaris with Shadows of Africa.

tanzania-luxury-grumeti

#7 – Tented Camps on the Serengeti

Roughing it out in the wilderness isn’t for everybody, and it’s not an option if you’re traveling with young kids.

Thankfully, tented camps are abundant on the Serengeti, and they offer a fantastic blend between being out in the wilderness and having the comforts of a hotel.

A tented camp is a perfect addition to a Serengeti safari. You’ll have your own private bathroom and bedroom, but the canvas of your tent lets you hear every rustle in the tall grass and every distant trumpeting of the elephants.

While some tented camps are fixed year round, others follow the movements of the Wildebeest Migration from Ndutu to Lobo. Ask your safari expert about which camp location is best for your trip.

Read more about tented camps.

serengeti-four-seasons-safari

#6 – Serengeti Lodges

For those who want some comforts from home, the Serengeti is home to a number of brick and mortar lodges with the conveniences of hot water, windows, reliable WiFi, and other creature comforts.

Lodges can be a great choice if you are traveling with children.

They not only offer kid-friendly distractions such as televisions, kids clubs, and pools; they’re also a safer option.

From the humble Lobo Wildlife Lodge to decadent properties like the Four Seasons Safari Lodge, there’s something for all budgets and tastes.

—–

Having a hard time choosing? We’ve written at length about all of the different Serengeti accommodation options!

tanzania what to pack

#5 – Packing for a Serengeti Safari

We’ve written before about what to pack for a safari, but do you need anything special for the Serengeti?

Nights can be quite cool out under the open skies. Likewise, dawn game drives on the Serengeti can be chilly. Be sure to pack some long pants and a comfortable sweater for those cold mornings and nights.

Many tented camps and lodges have outdoor fire pits to sit around, but you may still feel the chill in the air if you don’t pack correctly.

Some tented camps and lodges offer you the opportunity to take guided nature walks. You’ll want comfortable hiking shoes or sneakers for this.

As tented camps do not often have 24-hour electricity, it’s a good idea to pack extra batteries for your camera or to bring an external battery pack for your phone.

Staying Connected

Aside from a few permanent lodges, WiFi is almost non-existent out on the Serengeti. Tented camps and campsites may not have WiFi.

Many Tanzanian phone providers do offer limited coverage on the Serengeti but don’t expect it to be reliable or especially fast.

Shadows of Africa vehicles have WiFi hotspots as standard, but these are also at the mercy of Tanzanian cell service.

serengeti safari

#4 – Safety on the Serengeti

You’re perfectly safe while on safari, but there are some common sense rules you should follow to ensure you have the best possible safari experience.

Don’t feed the animals. Feeding the animals can not only introduce them to unhealthy foods, but it can also lead animals to approach tourist vehicles as a source of food. All food scraps should be kept in the car.

Keep your arms and head inside the car. While it’s perfectly fine to have your windows open to snap photos and to stand with to look out of the pop-top roof, never have your arms sticking out of the car.

Never walk unaccompanied. You’ll rarely leave your vehicle during your safari, but if you do need to make use of the ‘bush toilet’, follow your guide’s instructions and don’t wander off. When walking around your camp or lodge at night, be sure to stay within the boundaries you learned in your briefing and don’t walk alone after dark.

For those traveling with children, it is especially important to stay with your child at all times. Many larger predators can confuse children with small primates that they view as prey animals. Never let a child wander unattended in a national park.

Don’t shout. Animals have keener hearing than people. Shouting or talking loudly at animals will only agitate them and drive them away. It’s also disrespectful to other people on safari in the area.

Drones are forbidden in Tanzanian parks. You won’t be permitted to launch a drone while on the Serengeti. If you do, it will be confiscated.

Please follow and like us:
error

Planning Tanzania Safari

Planning a Tanzanian safari can be a daunting prospect at first glance.

Figuring out when to visit, which parks to include, where to stay, and how long to spend in each location can be a stressful task, but we’re here to help!

This guide to planning your safari in Tanzania should give you plenty of inspiration for planning your dream trip, and you can always contact one of our safari experts to help make your plans a reality.

Pin Me!

When to Plan a Tanzania Safari

Deciding which time of year to visit Tanzania can have a huge impact on not only which parks you should visit and what you will see on safari, but also on pricing.

Calving Season – December to March

Named for the calving season of the annual Wildebeest Migration, calving season extends from December through until March and is most notable for the presence of the Wildebeest Migration in the Ndutu region of the Serengeti.

At this time of year, tens of thousands of baby Wildebeest take their first steps and the herd remains in Ndutu to feed until it is time to head north.

While hotels can be hard to find over Christmas and New Year’s, calving season is nonetheless a fantastic time to visit Tanzania.

Crowds are not as high as they are in peak season, but the weather is good and the guarantee of seeing the Wildebeest Migration in Ndutu makes it a great time to visit.

Highlights: Seeing the Wildebeest Migration calving season in Ndutu.

Drawbacks: Expensive lodges around Christmas and New Year’s.

lions tanzania babies

Green Season – April and May

The rainy season might not seem like a great time to go on a Tanzanian safari, but the lower crowds mean you’ll have access to luxury lodges at a greatly reduced rate.

While tented camps and camping are not ideal in the wet conditions, luxury lodges such as Serena, Sopa, and the Four Seasons are all much more affordable in the rainy season.

Highlights: Staying in luxury lodges in Ngorongoro and the Serengeti.

Drawbacks: Rain means tented camps are less than ideal.

migration safari

Peak Season – June to September

Without a doubt the most popular time of year to visit Tanzania, June through September is characterised by the movements of the Wildebeest Migration from the Southern Serengeti to the Maasai Mara in Kenya.

For those wanting to see the herd in motion and have the chance to witness a river crossing at Grumeti or the Mara River, this is the best time to visit.

Of course, peak season also means higher prices and more crowds to contend with – but many find that the extra cost and crowds are worth it for the chance to see a Mara River crossing.

Highlights: Chasing the Wildebeest Migration across the Central and Northern Serengeti.

Drawbacks: Larger crowds and more expensive lodges.

Shoulder Season – October and November

Sometimes known as the short rainy season, October and November are another quiet time of year in Tanzania.

With the Wildebeest Migration in the Maasai Mara at this time of year, your chances of seeing the herd are slim.

While lodges aren’t as cheap as they are in the rainy season, there are less crowds in the parks.

The weather is also better than in the long rainy season, making it a good time to avoid the crowds without having to deal with the rain.

Highlights: Exploring parks such as Lake Manyara, Tarangire, and the Serengeti without the crowds.

Drawbacks: The only time of year where the Wildebeest Migration is not likely to be in Tanzania.

ngorongoro tanzania

Where to Visit on Your Tanzania Safari

Once you have figured out what time of year you’d like to have your safari in Tanzania, it’s time to figure out which parks to include in your trip.

The Must See

No safari to Tanzania would be complete without visiting its two crown jewels: Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

tanzania serenget

Serengeti National Park

The Serengeti is one of the world’s most famous wildernesses, and plays host to the Wildebeest Migration for much of the year.

The Ndutu region is home to the annual calving season, while the Seronera region of the Central Serengeti is one of the most visited corners of the park due to its big cat population.

The Grumeti Region in the park’s west is home to the often overlooked Grumeti River crossing each year.

From July through to August, the Northern Serengeti is home to the high drama of Mara River crossings. This area of the park is hugely popular at this time of year.

rhino ngorogoro

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Descending to the floor of Ngorongoro Crater is every bit as iconic as a game drive out on the plains of the Serengeti.

Home to Tanzania’s largest rhinoceros population, Ngorongoro Crater is also a fantastic place to spot lions, elephants, buffalo, hyenas, hippos, and much more.

While it is Tanzania’s most expensive park, its amazing game viewing and its strategic location between the Serengeti and Arusha make it a must see in any Tanzania itinerary.

The Worthwhile

Ngorongoro and the Serengeti are undoubtedly Tanzania’s most popular parks, but the twin parks of Lake Manyaraand Tarangire are also worthwhile additions to your Tanzania safari.

In addition, nearby Lake Eyasi offers an unforgettable cultural experience.

manyara lake park lion

Lake Manyara National Park

Famous for its tree-climbing lions and its variety of bird life, Lake Manyara National Park is an especially charming park during the rainy season, when its waters are home to wallowing hippos and colourful flamingos.

One of the few places in Tanzania where you can embark on a canoe safari or a night game drive, Lake Manyara is a great stop off between Arusha and Ngorongoro.

tarangire tanzania

Tarangire National Park

With its distinctive baobab trees and Tanzania’s largest elephant population, Tarangire National Park is one of Tanzania’s most unique parks.

Especially good during the dry season when its population gathers along the banks of the Tarangire River, the park is an excellent place to spot lions, elephants, baboons, giraffes, and zebra.

hadzabe tribe lake eyasi

Lake Eyasi

While it is not a national park, Lake Eyasi is nonetheless a popular addition to Tanzanian safari itineraries.

Home to the Hadzabe people, Lake Eyasi offers visitors to Tanzania a unique opportunity to interact with one of Tanzania’s most ancient and fascinating cultures.

The Hadzabe maintain their hunter-gatherer lifestyle despite Tanzania’s rapid development, and visitors can embark on a hunting expedition with the Hadzabe as well as experiencing village life.

If You Have Time

Many visitors to Tanzania only have 5 – 7 days to spend on safari, but for those with a little extra time, there is certainly plenty to hold your attention.

tanzania arusha national park

Arusha National Park

While Arusha National Park cannot boast the large mammals such as elephants or predators such as leopards and lions, the park is nonetheless a popular addition to Tanzanian safaris.

The only place in Tanzania where it is possible to have a game drive, a walking safari, or a canoe safari in the same place – Arusha National Park’s lack of predators makes it a charming prospect.

Bird-watchers and fans of primates are in for a treat, as the park is home to birds and monkeys found nowhere else in Tanzania.

tanzania natron

Lake Natron

Famous for its volcanic landscape, Lake Natron is also a popular option for those wishing to see Africa’s brightly coloured flamingos.

While the area has less wildlife and fewer lodges than other areas of the country, Lake Natron’s proximity to the Serengeti and its unique landscape make it a popular choice.

kilimanjaro tanzania africa

Mount Kilimanjaro

Not everybody who visits Tanzania aspires to climb Africa’s highest mountain, but it’s perfectly possible to visit the ‘Roof of Africa’ without having to climb it.

Tours of the nearby town of Marangu offer a nice change of pace for those with an interest in Tanzanian culture, while the more athletic can enjoy a one day guided hike on the mountain.

empakai crater tanzania

Empaakai Crater

For those wishing to get out of the car and stretch their legs, Empaakai Crater within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a popular choice.

Accompanied by an armed ranger, you’ll wander to the rim of Empaakai Crater before descending to the shores of Lake Empaakai.

Along the way, you’ll have the chance to spot a variety of bird and animal life.

Where Can I See This Animal?

We understand that everyone has their favourite animal that they’re dying to see and we can help make that happen!

большая миграция гну

The Wildebeest Migration

The Wildebeest Migration is an annual movement of more than 1,000,000 Wildebeest and zebras from the Ndutu region of the Serengeti to the Maasai Mara and back.

A hugely popular event each year, the Migration moves across the Serengeti and can be seen throughout the year.

The best place to see this huge herd of animals is the Serengeti, with the herd being in different parts of the park at different times. While it’s impossible to predict exactly where the herd will be on any given day, a rough guideline would be:

  • December – March: Ndutu, Southern Serengeti
  • April – May: Grumeti, Western Serengeti
  • June – July: Seronera, Central Serengeti
  • July – September/October: Lobo/Kogatende, Northern Serengeti

big 5 tanzania safari

The Big Five

The Big Five are Africa’s most iconic animals – the elephant, lion, leopard, rhinoceros, and cape buffalo.

Named for how difficult they were to hunt, these days people prefer to hunt these majestic animals with their cameras instead.

The Serengeti and Ngorongoro can both boast the entirety of the Big Five, but there are parks where you’re more likely to spot certain animals.

  • Lions: The Seronera region of the Serengeti, the Ngorongoro Crater, and Lake Manyara are the best areas to spot lions.
  • Leopards: The Seronera region of the Serengeti is your best chance to see leopards.
  • Elephants: Tarangire National Park is home to Tanzania’s largest elephant population. Ngorongoro Crater also has plenty of elephants.
  • Cape Buffalo: The most common of the Big Five is best spotted in Ngorongoro Conservation Area, but can be seen in most of Tanzania’s parks.
  • Rhinoceros: Ngorongoro Crater offers the best opportunity to see the most endangered of the Big Five.

ngorongoro flamingoes

Flamingos

The brightly coloured flocks of flamingos are difficult to find, as their movements are both seasonal and affected by water levels and water salinity.

Lake Natron is the most popular place to spot flamingos in Tanzania, but they can also be seen in Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara at certain times of the year.

Lake Bogoria in Kenya is generally the best place in East Africa to see flamingos.

hippo tanzania

Hippos

Wallowing hippos are a popular (and pungent) sight on safari.

The best places to see hippos are the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, and Lake Manyara during the wet season.

giraffes tanzania safari

Giraffes & Zebras

Giraffes and zebras can be seen virtually everywhere in Tanzania.

Arusha National Park is home to Tanzania’s largest giraffe population.

tanzania safari birds

Birdwatching

Bird-watching is fantastic across all of Tanzania’s national parks, but Lake Manyara and Arusha National Park are generally considered to be the best destinations for birders.

baboons tanzania

Primates

While many of Tanzania’s national parks are home to baboons, the best place to see a variety of primates is undoubtedly Arusha National Park where black and white colobus monkeys are an especially popular sight.

Where to Stay on a Tanzanian Safari

There are accommodation options for all budgets in Tanzania.

From roughing it out on the plains of the Serengeti in a public campsite to living in the lap of luxury, there’s something for all walks of life.

camp tanzania safari

Camping

For those on a budget or with a thirst for adventure, Shadows of Africa can arrange camping safaris in all of Tanzania’s major parks.

Camping in the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area are especially popular options, and we’ll provide all of the camping equipment as well as a private chef to ensure you’re eating well.

You’ll set up camp in a public area with communal kitchen and bathroom facilities and camp out under the stars.

hotel budget nice arusha

Budget Lodges

While budget lodges are rarely within the park boundaries, towns such as Arusha and Karatu offer a number of options for those on a tight budget.

Budget lodges offer a comfortable place to sleep without fancy frills.

Some of our most popular budget lodges include McElly’s in Arusha and Eileen’s Trees Inn in Karatu.

tented camp tanzania serengeti

Tented Camps

For the true Tanzanian safari experience, you can’t look past a traditional tented camp.

Seamlessly blending the comforts of a lodge with the rustic charm of camping, tented camps are an affordable way to live right at the heart of the action.

A tented camp features things such as private bathrooms with hot showers, comfortable double beds, and delicious food.

Our most popular tented camps include Sangaiwe in Tarangire, Kati Kati in the Central Serengeti, and Kenzan Tented Camp in the Northern Serengeti.

tanzania medium accommodation

Standard Lodges

Offering something a bit more unique than you’ll find in budget lodges, standard lodges offer a memorable night’s stay without breaking the bank.

Usually located on the fringes of the park, they offer a quick way to enter and exit the park without having to pay park fees.

Popular standard lodge options include Country Lodge in Karatu, Moivaro in Arusha, Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge, Lake Manyara Wildlife Lodge, and Sopa Serengeti.

four seasons accomodation

Luxury Lodges

For those wanting something truly memorable from their safari, it’s hard to look past some of Tanzania’s luxury lodges.

From affordable luxury properties such as Serena to exclusive properties like the Four Seasons Safari Lodge or &Beyond’s Crater Lodge, there are luxury lodges for all walks of life.

singita

Luxury Tented Camps

Similar to a tented camp, a luxury tented camp has all of the trimmings you’d expect in a luxury lodge but with the added charm of being closer to nature.

From the affordable luxury of Angata to more extravagent properties such as Lemala and Mbuzi Mawe, a luxury tented camp is a fantastic way to make your stay in Tanzania a memorable one.

What activities can you include in a Tanzanian Safari?

There is more to a safari in Tanzania than just game drives. While there are few things that can match the thrill of driving across the open plains and spotting your favourite African wildlife, there are a number of ways to take a break from the car.

tanzania arusha

Canoe Safaris

Trading the car for a canoe out under the open air can be a great way to see Tanzania from a unique perspective.

Available in Lake Manyara National Park and Arusha National Park (when water level allows), a canoe safari gets you up close and personal with hippos, buffalo, and a huge variety of bird life.

arusha safari

Walking Safaris

The image of walking out on the open plains of the Serengeti is a nice one, but walking safaris are only possible in a few select locations in Tanzania.

With large predators and large herbivores being unpredictable and potentially dangerous, it is rarely safe to walk in Tanzania’s national parks.

However, it is possible to take guided walks in Arusha National Park, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (but not Ngorongoro Crater), and on the properties of certain camps and lodges within the parks.

biking in Africa

Cycling

While cycling is not allowed within Tanzania’s national parks, there are a number of places in Tanzania where you can supplement your game driving with some fascinating cycling tours.

The most popular of these tend to be near Lake Manyara National Park and in the villages surrounding Mount Kilimanjaro.

Cultural Tours

Experiencing some of Tanzania’s unique tribal culture is a great way to add something distinct to your Tanzanian safari.

There are a number of ways you can include a cultural tour in your safari in Tanzania.

tanzania masai tribe

Maasai

The most famous of Africa’s tribes, the Maasai are a common sight when driving between Tanzania’s national parks.

While it is possible to pay for a photo with a Maasai child or warrior at the entrance to some national parks, a better way to experience Maasai culture would be to arrange a visit to a Maasai village or spend a night at the Africa Amini Maasai Lodge.

tanzania hadzabe

Hadzabe & Datoga

The Hadzabe hunter-gatherers are one of the most fascinating cultures in Tanzania and many of our safari itineraries include a visit to Lake Eyasi to learn more about their culture.

The nearby Datoga Tribe are also a unique element in Tanzania’s cultural tapestry.

Chaga

While not as famous as the Hadzabe or Maasai, the Chaga tribe from the Kilimanjaro foothills have an intriguing history all of their own.

A tour of Marangu town can include a visit to the Chaga Cultural Museum and the Chaga tunnels where Chaga Warriors used to elude Maasai raiding parties.

Night Game Drives

Night game drives are not usually permitted within Tanzania’s national parks, but it is possible to include a night game drive when overnighting at Lake Manyara National Park.

While night game drives present the opportunity to see nocturnal animals and predators on the hunt, the darkness does make it difficult to spot things.

tanzania ballon safari africa

Hot Air Balloon Safari

Without a doubt the most memorable safari addition you could choose,

Soaring above the Serengeti at dawn is an unforgettable experience and it’s all capped off with a delicious champagne breakfast in the heart of the wilderness.

what to pack tanzania

What to pack for your Tanzania Safari

So, you’ve designed your dream Tanzania safari itinerary and you’re all ready to go – but what do you need to pack?

Packing for your first safari can be a bit daunting. What do you bring? What don’t you need? Below you’ll find our recommended list of things to bring along with you when you’re on safari.

  • A backpack;
  • Comfortable clothing for daily wear;
  • A warm sweater or light fleece;
  • A windbreaker or waterproof jacket;
  • Walking shoes or boots;
  • A dress shirt and trousers or dress for wearing to dinner;
  • Sunglasses;
  • Hat;
  • Sunscreen and lip balm;
  • Insect repellent;
  • Camera and charger;
  • Binoculars;
  • A flashlight or headlamp;
  • Guide books;
  • Phone and charger.

You may also wish to bring your own first aid kit. While all of our Shadows of Africa vehicles have their own on board first aid kit, it never hurts to be prepared.

  • Anti-malarial medication;
  • Painkillers;
  • Antihistamines for allergies and insect bites;
  • Cold and flu medication;
  • Anti-Diarrheal medication;
  • Medicines for rehydration after diarrhea or sunstroke;
  • Sunscreen and lip balm;
  • Eye drops;
  • Moisturiser for treating sunburn;
  • Antiseptic lotion;
  • Rubbing alcohol;
  • Bandages and plasters;
  • Scissors.

You may also wish to bring along water purification tablets and any medications you take for any existing medical conditions.

Don’t let the above list daunt you. Many of these items are only necessary in extreme cases, but it’s better to have something and not need it than it is to need something and not have it!

Read more about what to pack for a safari.

Money on Safari in Tanzania

While all of our Shadows of Africa safari itineraries cover the important things such as accommodation, meals, park entry fees, and game drives – there are always additional costs that might pop up.

Things such as alcoholic beverages, souvenirs, snacks, laundry, and tips for your driver are examples of a few additional costs that might arise during your safari.

Tanzania uses the US Dollar for tourism. We recommend budgeting around $30 – $50 USD per day for incidental expenses and tips.

Tipping in Tanzania

Tipping is customary in Tanzania.

We recommend tipping $20 USD per day to your safari driver (per group, not per person), $10 – $15 USD per day to your safari cook (when camping), $20 USD per day to your Kilimanjaro climbing guide, and $10 – $15 USD per day to your Kilimanjaro climbing porters.

You can pay this all at once at the conclusion of your safari or Kilimanjaro climb.

What do do ahead of your Safari to Tanzania

Preparing to depart for your safari needn’t be a stressful affair.

In addition to ensuring you’re packed and ready to go, there are a few other things you’ll want to arrange ahead of your trip.

Travel Insurance

While all Shadows of Africa safaris include complimentary Flying Doctors Insurance, this only covers emergency evacuations.

Medical expenses, lost luggage etc. are all things that you’ll want a comprehensive travel insurance plan to cover.

visa

Visas

Tanzania provides visas on arrival for most nationalities at a cost of $50 USD per person.

You’ll need to bring along two passport sized photos, $50 USD, and fill out the paperwork upon arrival at the border or airport.

Alternatively, you can get your visa ahead of time by sending your passport to the consulate or embassy in your home country.

Read more about how to get a Tanzanian visa.

Vaccinations

Tanzania is a safe country and health risks are relatively low, but there are still a number of vaccinations you should get ahead of your trip.

We’ve written a long post in the past about vaccinations for Tanzania, but the important ones are:

  • Typhoid
  • Hepatitis A & B
  • Meningitis
  • Rabies
  • Cholera

If you are entering Tanzania from a country with Yellow Fever, you’ll also need a Yellow Fever vaccination card in order to enter Tanzania.

Extending Your Trip

If time allows, why not extend your Tanzanian safari by visiting one of East Africa’s other popular attractions?

zanzibar tanzania

Zanzibar

East Africa’s premier playground is just a short flight from Arusha. It’s even possible to fly directly from the Serengeti to the white sand beaches of Zanzibar.

Adding on a few days to explore historic Stone Town and experience the beaches of Zanzibar is a great way to finish your safari.

amboseli

Please follow and like us:
error

WHAT A LUXURY SAFARI IS LIKE, IS IT REALLY WORTH IT?

luxury safari

The words “African safari” conjure up images of lions roaring from a distance, trumpeting elephants, giraffes browsing the trees and pop-up roofed vehicles hurtling down the African bushveld. While all these create one of the most exciting and most memorable experiences a traveler can have, did you know there is one more thing that could hoist that experience? Imagine five-star luxury in one of the wildest, remote places in the world — posh accommodation with topnotch facilities, guaranteed stunning vista and world-class personalized service among all other things. Sounds perfect right? That’s because it is.

So what is it really like in a luxury safari?

DECADENT ACCOMMODATIONS

With luxury accommodations – either extravagant lodges or lavish tented camps – guaranteed to be set on the best spots of the park, you will be right in the heart of the African wilderness where the action is. Of course, you will have that tasteful sense of exclusivity, too. But you know what else? Fine amenities – comfortable beds that are huge and adorned with plush linens; an ensuite bath that features Western-style toilets, hot showers, and bathtubs; huge vanities and complete toiletry paraphernalia; and a private veranda that looks out into a stunning view of the iconic African bush. You can even enjoy wifi connection, round-the-clock electricity, and even have your own butler to serve your every need!

EXCEPTIONAL DINING EXPERIENCE

luxury safari
There are superb dining options when in a luxury safari. Welcome drinks and complimentary champagne are typical but apart from those are other unique dining options including bush dinners or breakfasts, picnics in the wild and even barbecue. If you’re on a romantic getaway, say perhaps a honeymoon, you can also let the crew arrange an intimate candlelight dinner for you and your loved one! Depending on your request, fine wines, liquor or champagne may also be served.

Luxury Safaris include meals of your entire stay, from breakfast to lunch to tea time to dinner. Food selection may range from local to international cuisine, all prepared by expert chefs ready to provide delectable gastronomic feasts. If you have any special dietary restrictions, you may inform the facility ahead of time so they could accommodate your needs, if available.

Typically, breakfasts and dinners are served buffet style. Lunches, on the other hand, are done as picnics between your game drives. Pancakes, pasta, chicken, fruits, salads, stews and white bread sandwiches are staple food choices.

UNTAMED AFRICA AT YOUR DOORSTEP

African safari parks are vast and mostly unfenced. Animals, big and small, roam freely across the land and so, it’s not surprising to see a few of them visit your lodge/tent. You can also hear lions roaring from a distance or birds chirping and humming a few songs.

Early mornings are usually a very active time for the animals. So while you stretch your arms out in the veranda or grab a cup of coffee to jumpstart your day, expect to see animals doing their thing in their natural habitat. Some of them wander through your camp, some of them may just flaunt their tails while they pass by, and some of them may even allow you to witness their fierce interactions with other animals!

MEMORABLE EXPERIENCES THAT MAKE FOR UNFORGETTABLE STORIES

luxury safari
There are a lot of activities you can enjoy while in your “wild adventure.” This includes hot air balloon rides (sometimes it starts before sunrise and ends with a bush breakfast when you step back on land), Maasai tribe visits, night bonfires and more. And with the spine-tingling game drives, the five-star accommodation experience, the iconic landscapes, the stupendous wildlife, and everything in between, it is almost impossible to just have a mediocre experience. Truly, you will have one of the most unforgettable experiences of your life.

AMAZING RIDES

Being in a luxury safari means your custom-designed private safari vehicles are armed with superlative amenities and features. From huge windows and pop-up roofs to huge leg space and charging ports to complete emergency kits and comfortable seats, these customized 4WDs are designed to endure rugged or dust-ridden landscapes while ensuring utmost comfort, safety and superb wilderness experience.

EXPERT GUIDES

Did you know that guides/drivers make an important factor in creating an absolutely splendid African adventure? In a luxury safari, you will be guaranteed to have the best of the best, the cream of the crop guides/drivers. They will be the one to track animals and beautiful sights, and they may even take you to the “secret spots” of the place. The abler they are, the more you will be able to see and experience Africa.

Going on a luxury safari is indeed an exceptional experience that you will remember for a lifetime. An adventure beyond your wildest dreams, so to speak. So, is it worth it? Indubitably YES. Not only will you be able to enjoy the perfect balance of comfort, exclusivity and wildlife encounters, you will also have ample of opportunities to explore iconic lands such as UNESCO sites and world-record sights.

Please follow and like us:
error

HOW TO PLAN A SAFARI TRIP FOR YOUR FAMILY

What could be more exciting than seeing your kids encounter animals in the wild and not in a zoo? Family safaris in Africa SHOULD be a trip of a lifetime – one that each of you can remember and share stories forever. However, before being able to tick off this item on your bucket list, you need to know certain things like when are where to go, where to stay, what’s best for the kids, etc. This guide will tell you all about how to plan a safari trip for your family.

THINGS TO CONSIDER

Before anything else, you need to take into account the following things in order for you to create the best safari for the entire bunch:

  • How old are your children?
  • What things do you want to experience?
  • What animals do you want to see?
  • Does the tour operator cater to children?

QUESTION 1: WHICH COUNTRY IS BEST FOR A FAMILY SAFARI?

For Family, we will focus on the top 3 safari destinations in Africa: South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya. If you want a more authentic African experience, Tanzania and Kenya are the best places to go. These countries are poorer when it comes to infrastructure and its parks remain “wild” despite the tourism surge each year. Between the two, Kenya’s major international airport (Jomo Kenyatta, NBO) caters more international flights from across the globe compared to Tanzania which is relatively more difficult and expensive to go to. However, even though Tanzania is generally more expensive, the country is endowed with more super activities for the entire family — even with kids in tow.

Most families, especially those with younger kids, opt to travel to South Africa. Thanks to its multitude of things to do and places to see which can be enjoyed before and/or after a wildlife safari, it is often the first choice for family safaris. Aside from a more modern/advanced infrastructure and an endless variety of activities including a visit to waterparks, swimming with the whales and dolphins and several city as well as coastal tours, South Africais also very accessible from other parts of the world – UK and Europe, America, Middle East, Asia and even Oceania. Plus, South Africa is also home to many malaria-free parks as well as a lot of excellent hospitals and healthcare professionals. The downside here, though, is because the country’s infrastructure is more advanced, the “real Africa” feels is toned down. So if you’re after the authentic African experience with your brood, Tanzania is best, followed by Kenya. If you’re looking into doing other activities like visiting vineyards, seeing penguins and whales, and you don’t mind losing the touch of “real Africa”, South Africa is your best choice.

QUESTION 2: WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT?

Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa are all year-round destinations but the best time to visit these countries for game viewing is during a dry season. In Kenya and Tanzania, it’s best to visit between June and October and for South Africa is between July and November.  December to February is also an excellent time to visit these countries. In Tanzania for the action-packed calving season during the iconic Great Wildebeest Migration, in South Africa for its dry, summer months in the Cape, and in Kenya for the migratory birds, newborn animals and lush scenery.

QUESTION 3: WHAT FAMILY-FRIENDLY PLACES SHOULD WE VISIT?

There are a lot of places to visit in each country. Here are the top 10 attractions that are recommended for families:

SOUTH AFRICA TANZANIA KENYA
  • Kruger National Park
  • Table Mountain
  • Kirstenbosch, Cape Town
  • Chapman’s Peak
  • Sun City, Northwest Province
  • De Waal Park
  • Cape Town beaches
  • V&A Waterfront
  • Serengeti National Park
  • Ngorongoro Conservation
  • Lake Manyara National Park
  • Mount Kilimanjaro
  • Arusha National Park
  • Zanzibar
  • Tarangire National Park
  • Mto Wa Mbu banana plantations
  • Tinga Tinga Arks Cooperative Society
  • Dar es Salaam
  • Masai Mara National Reserve
  • Nairobi National Park
  • The Crocodile Farm and Snake Park, Malindi
  • Giraffe Center
  • Splash Water World
  • Nairobi City playgrounds and attractions
  • Karen Blixed Museum
  • Elephant Orphanage(David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust)
  • Mount Kenya Safari Club
  • Fort Jesus, Mombasa

 

QUESTION 4: ANY OTHER ACTIVITIES WE CAN ENJOY AS A FAMILY?

There are lots of activities that you can enjoy as a family or each of you can enjoy yourselves. Depending on your interests, travel style, budget and country to visit, these are the activities we recommend:

ACTIVITIES SOUTH AFRICA TANZANIA KENYA
Hot air balloon ride
Helicopter tours
Beach
Open air cinema
Karting
Indoor trampoline park
Snorkeling
Water/Amusement Park
Painting a Masai masterpiece
Conoeing/ boating
Cycling
Horseback Riding
Dolphin watching or swimming
Whale watching

 

QUESTION 5: HOW CAN WE GET THERE?

There are plenty of flights from all over the world to South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania but among the three, Tanzania is the most expensive to fly to and flights, although plenty, isn’t as much available compared to the other two countries. What other people do to visit this ultimate safari paradise is they book a flight via Nairobi or Johannesburg and then take a connecting flight to Tanzania, which is usually cheaper than a direct flight. Kenya and South Africa are the biggest hubs in the continent as both international airports are linked to the rest of the world by a plethora of major airlines like KLM, Delta, Emirates and Turkish Airlines. Due to competition, airfares to either Kenya or South Africa are relatively cheaper.

When it comes to flight duration, travel to East Africa (Tanzania and Kenya) is shorter., which takes about 8 hours from Europe. Traveling to South Africa, on the other hand, is roughly 11 to 12 hours on average. Most families take an overnight flight or make a short stopover to acclimate to the time difference and avoid any jet lags.

QUESTION 6: CAN WE SELF-DRIVE?

Self-driving is the most ideal way to go on a family safari because of the freedom when it comes to the needs of each family member. However, this option is not available nor advisable in East Africa including Tanzania and Kenya. If you want to self-drive, South Africa is the place to go. It has excellent roads with good signs or posts for directions and there are many vehicles you can rent.

QUESTION 7: WHAT TO PACK FOR THE KIDS?

There really is nothing special to pack for the kids unless they have special needs or restrictions or personal preferences. These are the usual stuff for any kid on a safari:

  • comfortable clothes and lots of extras
  • comfortable closed shoes
  • sun hat/cap
  • sunscreen
  • light jacket
  • binoculars
  • mosquito repellant or bug spray
  • malaria tablets
  • interesting books or African wildlife guide
  • sunglassess

 

TIPS ON PLANNING A FAMILY SAFARI:

Serengeti National Park

  • Plan ahead and brainstorm with the entire family for ideas and preferences. Is there anything specific you want to see as a family, like perhaps a variety of birds, a large pride of lions or an adventure up a mountain? One member might want a toilet or loo that flushes, the other might want to stay in a camp with a swimming pool and your spouse might want to have a bottle of champagne at night. List all the wants and needs and tailor your safari as well as picking of tour operator from there.
  • Decide on what kind of accommodation you would like to stay in…and make sure the lodge/camp allows children. Would you prefer connecting rooms, a family suite or a private villa? Or maybe you want to try roughing it out in a budget camping tent for a few days?
  • Do not hesitate to give the tour operator/specialist a brief of what you want on your safari. Each operator offers different tried-and-tested tours and frankly, most of them offer more or less the same itineraries. The difference comes in with the level of service they provide. If you can’t find a perfect ready-made itinerary, always confide in the tour operator and find out what they can offer. Contact as many operators as you can and when you find an operator you’re comfortable with, work with them and refine your tour with them until you have the perfect family holiday of your dreams.
  • Get details. Don’t be shy to ask for all the details from your chosen tour operator regarding your trip. You can call them, send them an e-mail or even talk to them in person.
  • When happy with the plan, book. Prices may increase or accommodations may become unavailable in time. If you are already confident with the tour operator and the tailor-made itinerary you’ve created with them, book it right away and relax in the knowledge that probably the best family vacation you’ll have awaits you and your family.
  • Keep your kids interested when you’re already in the safari. Let them use the binoculars and camera, give them a checklist of animals to watch out for, and stay with family-oriented lodges particularly in those with kid-friendly programs and childminders/babysitters.
  • Make sure that safari activities are age-appropriate. This way, you can be sure that everyone in the family gets to enjoy the vacation.
Please follow and like us:
error

WHY TANZANIA SAFARI HOLIDAYS AREN’T CHEAP

tanzania safari

Tanzania is an ultimate adventure destination for many travelers across the globe. For many reasons including wildlife that’s beyond compare to any other country in the world, more and more tourists have been drawn to Tanzania. What sets other travelers back is the price. Yes, Tanzania safaris are generally pricey compared to other holiday destinations. The question is, why? To give you a clearer understanding on why Tanzania safari holidays aren’t cheap, here’s a quick rundown:

✓ MOTHER NATURE IN HER BEST FORM

tanzania safari
Tanzania offers unique experiences unlike other countries in the world. Its perfectly mapped out, diverse landscapes make up some of the most glorifying sceneries on the planet; its mind-blowing wildlife is unparalleled and so exquisite — something you can never find elsewhere.

Whether you visit its iconic parks like the Serengeti, explore its gorgeous white sand beaches in Zanzibar, discover best-kept secrets on off-the-beaten paths, or tour around the UNESCO sites, Tanzania will surely amaze you.

Tanzania is also often called “the land that stayed on after God created the world.” Its natural beauty is so surreal and being able to see such iconic sights is just a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

✓ LACK OF INFRASTRUCTURE

Let’s face it. Tanzania’s infrastructure is not that advanced yet. Compared to other touristy countries like the US, Europe, and even other African countries, Tanzania lacks infrastructure such as highways, railway lines, and airports. This means transportation from one place to another would be pricier as some places require charter flights instead of road travel which is usually a cheaper option.

Also, a myriad of companies in the developed parts of the world is competing for Euros, dollars, and pounds. This competition keeps the prices down.

✓ FLIGHTS

Flights to Tanzania, although ample and available in most major cities in the world, are still scarce compared to flights heading to other touristy places. For this reason, flights to Tanzania are more expensive. Of course, the more competition, the lower the price.

Local flights are also small flights (around 12 pax only). This includes flights from Arusha to Zanzibar as well as those from Dar or Arusha to Serengeti.

✓ EXCLUSIVITY

tanzania safari

Tanzania’s parks value exclusivity as well as the authenticity of the wild. Hence, the number of visitors, as well as the number of vehicles and lodges in particular parks, are limited despite its incredible vastness. This, again, contributes to the higher expense.

✓ PRICY PERMITS

Permits to build structures in Tanzania, like lodges and tented camps, are expensive. Hence, this is passed on and reflected in the price usually ranging from 200 USD, more or less, per person per night.

✓ FULL BOARD

Camps and lodges in Tanzania are usually full-board. This is because you usually have no access to restaurants outside the camp, which is very remote and exclusive. Since you have no other choice, you really have to go full-board. The advantage to this is that you won’t have to worry about food. Everything will be prepared and dietary restrictions may even be accommodated (just let the property management know before booking with them).

✓ PARK FEES AND REGULATIONS

In Tanzania, park fees are generally steeper for Non-African residents. This price difference is dictated by the government as a tourism ** and as a privilege for the locals as well. In Serengeti, for example, tourist adults aged 16 years and above are priced $60 each while expats/residents are priced 30 USD and East African residents only pay 10000 TZs (about 4.37 USD).

For Ngorongoro Conservation area, non-residents pay $50 for the entry permit while East African residents only pay TZs 1500 (about 0.65 USD). Complete NCAA (Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority) fees can be found here.

If you want to learn more on park fees, here’s a complete list of TANAPA Tariffs from July 2017 to June 2018.

There are also park regulations that could mp the cost of your safari. In Kilimanjaro, for example, trekkers are not allowed to hike the mountain without a guide, no matter how experienced he/she is. Guides and porters are a must for any Kilimanjaro trek and so, this entails additional costs although these expenses are already included in Kilimanjaro tours packages most of the time.

TOTALLY WORTH EVERY CENT.

The experience in Tanzania is always worth the price. Sure it would cost a couple bucks more but with the kind of exclusivity and ethereal experience you would have, which is in no way attainable in other countries, every cent is definitely worth it. Here are some Tanzania fun facts that would really show how amazing a Tanzania safari holiday is:

  • Tanzania boasts almost 20% of Africa’s large mammal population so this is your chance to witness the mighty elephants and lions right in front of your eyes.

 

  • The country is home to the iconic Great Wildebeest Migration, one of the Seven Natural Wonders and regarded to as “the world’s greatest show.”

 

  • It is known to host the world’s largest animal population per square meter.

 

  • It is home to Africa’s highest peak, the world’s highest free-standing mountain and one of the Seven Summits, Mount Kilimanjaro.

 

  • Tanzania also includes three of Africa’s greatest lakes including Lake Tanganyika which is known for its unique species of fishes.

 

  • Tanzania is home to over 120 ethnic groups.

 

  • Tanzania served as an inspiration to the settings of the classic films The Lion King and Tarzan.

 

  • Tanzania also boasts of a thriving primate population in the western circuit.

 

  • Whether you are after for some bush adventures or beach escapades, Tanzania will never disappoint you.

Experience a remarkable safari and know why it’s worth every cent with these top tours:

Please follow and like us:
error

WHY NGORONGORO CONSERVATION AREA IS A MUST-VISIT IN TANZANIA

rhino in ngorongoro

When people plan for their bucket-list adventure in Tanzania, Serengeti National Park always comes to mind first. Sure, there’s the great migrationand the Lion King setting — both fantastic reasons that make ditching the Serengeti impossible. But Tanzania has so much more to offer and it would be a total bummer to miss out on them. Particularly the renowned Ngorongoro Conservation Area. So why is Ngorongoro Conservation Area a must-visit in Tanzania? Here are 10 reasons why:

WORLD HERITAGE SITE

Any avid traveler would want to tick off as many World Heritage Sites as possible — especially if the site promises an experience beyond your wildest dreams. Ngorongoro Conservation Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979, is that kind of site. Its main feature is the astounding Ngorongoro Crater which is famous for being the largest inactive and intact volcanic caldera in the whole world. A result of a major explosion and collapse about 2 to 3 million years ago, the Crater was officially hailed as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa in 2015. Some also refer to it as “the cradle of humanity.” An expanse that is truly more than meets the eye, Ngorongoro Conservation Area harbors a wide range of globally threatened species and incredibly dense wildlife. It is also one of the centers for extensive archaeological research for more than 80 years as it shows crucial evidence of human evolution and human-environment dynamics.

(c) Tanzania Safari Supremacy

AFRICA’S GARDEN OF EDEN

When people say “Ngorongoro Conservation Area,” what most human brain automatically pictures is the world-renowned Ngorongoro Crater. And we really can’t blame you for that. Ngorongoro Crater, the Garden of Eden of Africa, has a glorious landscape that’s teeming with about 25,000 animals including ungulates, four of the Big Five and other large mammals. It is also one of the best places to spot critically endangered animals like black rhinos, golden cats and wild hunting dogs. Home to one of the densest known population of Masai lions, Ngorongoro Crater guarantees an action-packed, heart-pounding game. In fact, it also supports the largest animal migration on earth, the Great Migration. You see, the Ngorongoro Crater area and Ndutu area are settings of the wildebeest calving season. During this time, you will be able to witness thousands of baby wildebeests being born and a plethora of opportunistic predators on stealth and killing modes. The splendor of this world wonder makes people say this is like “mini Africa in a bowl.” As one traveler would put it, “Imagine a bowl of an incredible landscape filled with just about every African animal you can think of.”

UNIQUE SETTING

Think of another place in the world where you can see such a unique setting with diverse scenery, prolific wildlife and birdlife, and an ecosystem like no other. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area covers mountain forests, woodlands, grasslands, lakes, swamps and two major rivers. Not to mention Ngorongoro Crater, Oldupai Gorge and Laetoli.

tanzania tribes

Masai Tribe (c) Campi ya Kanzi

MAASAI VILLAGE

The Maasai tribe is the original inhabitants of this area. In fact, they named the place “Ngorongoro” which means “gift of life.” They are probably the most famous indigenous tribe if the east and a visit to their village is definitely an experience worthy of taking. During the visit, you will be able to meet Maasai men and women, enjoy dancing and listening to their native melodies, be entertained with a dramatic enactment, and maybe even try on their red cloaks! What makes this experience enriching is that you get to see an authentic social side of Africa and a glimpse of the rich Maasai culture.

OLDUVAI GORGE

If you love archaeology or you even if you just want to see important paleontological records related to human evolution, Olduvai Gorge is the place to go. It is one of the most important paleoanthropological sites in the world and gives us a good understanding of early human evolution.

A DAY-TOUR

The main attraction, which is the Crater, is pretty small. It stretches at 8,292 km2 (3,202 sq mi) and goes for about 610 metres (2,000 feet) deep.  The great thing is, animals are just in plain sight with nowhere to hide. Hence, you can see it one day. You can even make a quick side trip to Olduvai Gorge if you wish! If you think about it, you get to see A LOT in even just half a day. Every direction you look, you can spot zebras, lions, elephants, wildebeests and if you’re lucky, black rhinos, too! So if you are on a tight schedule, it would definitely be very easy (and wise) to squeeze a Ngorongoro Crater safari in your itinerary.

(c) Tena Connection

AMAZING SUNRISE AND SUNSET

Transitions between day and night are often spectacular times go view wildlife and observe their behavior. Aside from this, have we mentioned beautiful sunsets and sunrises? Ngorongoro Crater boasts of a lush landscape with jungles along its crater rim. If you stand or stay at a lodge by the crater rim early in the morning, you will be able to witness the breathtaking movement of the sun as it rises and slowly touches the green grasses of the savannah. If you stay in the middle of the afternoon before the sun sets, you can watch the golden hour and witness one of the most glorious sunsets of your life.

VERY NEAR SERENGETI

The northern region of Ngorongoro Crater shares borders with the eastern area of Serengeti National Park. In fact, Ngorongoro Conservation Area is one of the places where the must-see wildebeest calving season ensues. Most tourists in Tanzania targets to visit the Serengeti. As a matter of fact, most of them aim to stay around the area. If you want a cheaper accommodation option, Ngorongoro Conservation Area could be your most ideal solution. Aside from being incredibly close to the Serengeti, Ngorongoro promises a Tanzanian view that’s just as majestic as the Serengeti. If accommodation is not an issue, well, then a visit to the conservation area is just really very convenient and timesaving.

SELF-DRIVING IS OKAY

If self-driving is tour thing, Ngorongoro Conservation Area allows this (unlike most parks in Tanzania). The advantage of this is that you get to manage your own time and have the tour at your own pace. The downsides, however, can be quite plenty. One, vehicles for rent can be costly and don’t have pop-up roofs that give you 360-degree views. Two, roads are not really very good at all. Three, you might not be able to catch the best game and best views. BUT, if you have an excellent Ngorongoro Crater safari operator, you will be able to experience the best of the area in a superbly comfortable, educational and entertaining way.

BREAKFASTS AND LUNCHES LIKE NO OTHER

 

(c) Timbuktu Travel

How do you feel about a picnic in the wild? In Ngorongoro Crater, designated picnic areas await you! Whether you are going to have breakfast or lunch or eating at the hood of the car, splendid views are guaranteed. Plus, wild animals are walking freely around. You might even share that breakfast spread with an elephant!

HIGHLY ACCESSIBLE

Ngorongoro Conservation Area is reasonably close to Arusha, the main safari hub of Tanzania’s northern safari circuits. If you want to drive down to Ngorongoro, it will only take you 3 hours from Arusha so anyone who is tight for time may find this seriously convenient. It is also close to major attractions like Serengeti National Park and Lake Manyara National Park. If you wish to have a seamless vacation, check these remarkable Ngorongoro Crater Safari tours. You’ll never regret it.

NGORONGORO CRATER SAFARI

A safari in Tanzania usually includes a visit to Ngorongoro along with the top parks and reserves such as Serengeti Park, Lake Manyara, Tarangire, etc… Check out our Ngorongoro Crater Safari Tours to get you started in your planning. We also customize trips and can offer all levels of accommodation to suit your budget and preference.

Please follow and like us:
error

8 REASONS WHY TANZANIA IS THE BEST SAFARI COUNTRY

Frequently voted as the best country to visit when searching for wildlife, there are many reasons to choose a Tanzani safari over other African nations. Not only does the country boast one of the broadest ranges of wildlife on the continent, many of the parks still exist without any boundary fences, rare in the modern world and delivering a much more authentic safari. Wildlife that is truly – wild. In the latest analysis by Safari Booking, from over 2,500 reviews written by safari goers and African travel experts alike, Tanzania was declared the overall winner. It is Africa’s leading country for a safari. The reviews used in the analysis are 1,721 user reviews gathered between July 1, 2016, and July 1, 2017, and 969 reviews from 22 reputable guidebook authors – working for Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Frommer’s, Bradt and Footprint. Tanzania is also markedly safer than other African nations, with a stable government and less political turmoil than besets other parts of the region. As such, it is easily accessible for international tourists with direct flights to both the north and south and is the ideal stop off for those in search of safari adventure.

1. THE BEST WILDLIFE AND THE BEST PARKS

Two of Tanzania’s Unesco World Heritage sites also happen to be bountiful with wildlife, providing habitats for the Big 5 as well as a number of other hard-to-find, and equally sought-after, animals. Many safari enthusiasts will speak fondly of the Serengeti. It should come as no surprise then that this is one of the most diverse parks in the country offering up plentiful opportunities for wildlife spotting. From  the early parts of the year to predator stalking throughout the rest of the wilderness, this has to be one of the wildest areas left on the planet. Serengeti also boasts a selection of exotic accommodation – from  to more traditional lodges and chalets – so you’re sure to find an option to suit your needs. Selous Game Reserve is further south but no less spectacular. Best during the drier months, your chances of seeing the lion here are as high as anywhere on the continent as they amble towards the waters’ edge for their daily drink.

2. RARE ENCOUNTERS WITH RARER ANIMALS

There aren’t many parts of the world where you can actually track chimpanzees but Gombe – on the country’s eastern border – is one of those. Given its remote nature, you can escape the crowds when venturing here and are guaranteed to have the pick of the accommodation on the edge of Lake Tanganyika – which itself is a sight to behold, surrounded on all edges by thick forest.

3. SCENIC LANDSCAPES AND TOPOGRAPHY

Many safari destinations offer one thing of absolute beauty. Tanzania has a breadth of topographical splendour that sets it apart from other destinations, such as the sheer variety of landscapes on offer. The Ngorongoro crater is understandably loved by tourists and locals alike. This is the largest and deepest unflooded caldera (a feature formed by the collapse of a volcano into itself) in the world. The hills here give way to an unbelievable stretch of savannah shrouded by surrounding peaks and this all protects a range of wildlife who live within the natural bounds. Then up in the Serengeti, we witness open plains to the south; mountainous rifts to the north; and veins of waterways that snake their way through the rest of the region. You cannot fail to be mesmerised by at every turn.

4. LAND, ON-FOOT AND EVEN SKY SAFARI OPTIONS AVAILABLE

Safaris these days are no longer restricted to four wheels. Tanzania must be one of the most advanced countries when it comes to safari and, as such, has a variety of options for stalking the animals. One of the more popular approaches is taking to the skies aboard a hot air balloon, silently drifting for an undisturbed birds’ eye view of the most breath-taking surrounds imaginable. Or, if you prefer more personal encounters, walking tours are a great option. There’s no better way of getting down with nature than heading out on foot to discover what lurks behind the head-high grasses – all under the protection of a fully-trained (and well-armed) guide.

5. A SAFARI FOR ALL SEASONS

Much of Africa experiences dry and wet seasons that can affect the availability of wildlife but Tanzania has multiple safari options, no matter the time of year. March to April is typically the wettest season with rains falling in short, sharp bursts throughout the afternoons, but this doesn’t necessarily remove the option of a safari. Head to the northern regions and you are guaranteed to see all the wildlife you could hope to find.

6. OPTIONS TO SUIT ALL BUDGETS

One of the limiting factors of safari is often the cost but thankfully Tanzania offers more affordable, as well as high end, safari options. 3-day tented safaris start from as little as GBP £651 / USD $850 and will guide you through some of the most densely inhabited areas, whilst those looking for a more luxurious stay can easily find options that span 8-days of safari through the Selous and Saadani reserves – each offering their own unique experiences, but they will set you back up to GBP £7000 / USD $ 9000.

7. INCLUDE SOME TIME ON THE BEACH

Stone TownTanzania is as famous amongst safari-goers as it is amongst those who chase the beach scene. This is for good reason and the island of Zanzibar has evolved over the years into one of the most well-served beach holiday destinations on the planet. As well as pristine sand, the area has become a kitesurfing mecca and many who venture out into the outback will then choose to end their holidays with a bit of R&R at one of the many beach resorts of the island.

8. DIRECT ACCESS FROM THE WORLD’S LARGEST AIRPORTS

Tanzania has several airports and many of them are served by direct flights operated by major global airlines. Kilimanjaro Airport greets those heading to the north of the country, whilst Julius Nyerere is a better option for those headed central or south. The number of domestic airports is the testament to how well-traveled the area is and, with such a strong infrastructure, you can be sure to reach almost any part of the country at an affordable price. Investing in a safari is a big decision so it is important to do your research before making a commitment. Choosing a destination that offers a variety of wildlife, whilst also having a certain level of security and infrastructure, is as important as anything in ensuring you have the holiday experience you dream of. With so many now heading to Tanzania, the country has established itself as one of the best developed for handling such an influx of visitors yet it still maintains its sense of remoteness. There must be a balance of comfort while maintaining this natural feel and Tanzania has arguably achieved this better than any other country in the world.

These tours will let you experience the beauty of Tanzania! www.tanzaniaexclusive.com

Please follow and like us:
error