How to Plan & Book A Tanzania Safari in 8 Easy Steps (2024)

How to Plan & Book A Tanzania Safari in 8 Easy Steps (2024). There is no getting around the fact that a safari is a costly excursion, and Tanzania is one of the more expensive safari locations. You’ll want everything to be perfect while traveling this far and spending this much money. But planning and making reservations for a safari can seem a little overwhelming with so many factors to consider (and with so much dubious advice available online). Prior to getting into the specifics, decide where and when you wish to travel.

Safari camping or a hotel? private versus group tours? Private versus public reserves? The answers to many of these questions will depend on your budget, so don’t worry; continue reading for more information.

Tanzania Safari Tips – How To Have An Incredible Safari In Tanzania!

How to Plan And Book a Tanzania Safari

1. How many days do you need for a Tanzania safari

Aim for at least a week if you’re coming from Europe or another far-off place. Three nights in the Serengeti and three nights in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area could make up a typical two-stop safari tour; three nights tend to be more leisurely than two, which only allow you one full day at a camp. Depending on your international flights, plan for the possibility of spending the night in Nairobi or Dar es Salaam.

If you want to combine a beach vacation in Zanzibar and travel further afield in the country, such as by combining the north and south or adding chimp trekking, ten days to two weeks is a decent amount of time.

You’ll need at least a week to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, taking into account your arrival and departure days, and up to 12 days, depending on the route you choose. Bear in mind that the quickest routes may be riskier because you won’t have enough time to acclimate to the altitude. If you include a two- or three-night safari, it will take you close to two weeks. For the complete Kili climb, safari, and Zanzibar beach package, allow three weeks.

2. How much does a Tanzania safari cost?

Consider starting at USD $4,000 per person for an all-inclusive Tanzania safari that lasts seven days, and go higher from there for longer trips or more opulent accommodations. If you don’t mind lengthier commutes and budget to moderate lodging, you might be able to reduce it to $2,000.

Your Tanzania safari experience will likely be more exclusive and varied the more money you spend on it. Although posh lodging is not required, the more expensive properties frequently provide a wider range of activities, excursions, and excursions like community visits if they are in a private reserve as opposed to a national park. This also means less other tourists.

Keep in mind that reservations for campgrounds and lodges fill up rapidly, especially in July and August, when the majority of people cross rivers. If you wish to view the river crossings, it is recommended to make your hotel reservations a year in advance.

3. Where to stay on a Tanzania safari

Park or reserve?

Unlike private reserves, which are privately owned and maintained, national parks are controlled and owned by the government. A private reserve will typically cost more to stay at. From a tourism perspective, exclusivity is one of the primary differences because private reserves are typically closed to day visitors.

A maximum of three cars are typically allowed to be present around an animal sighting in private areas. A glimpse of an animal in a park like the Serengeti might draw hundreds of vehicles. National parks, on the other hand, are typically more bigger with a wider variety of topography, and you can frequently self-drive.

National parks have stricter restrictions, such as no walking safaris frequently and access only between sunrise and sunset. In contrast, a private reserve sets its own restrictions, allowing you to engage in activities like bush hikes and night drives as well as maybe driving off-road to get closer to a sighting.

Although a game reserve, like the Selous, may be maintained by the government as well, it has less regulations than national parks because it is designed for preserving game. This is frequently due to hunting activity.

Camping safari or lodge?

In general, tents are referred to as camps while permanent constructions are referred to as lodges. Fly camps, which are used on multi-day walking safaris, can be very simple or luxurious, with four-poster mattresses, spacious en-suite bathrooms, and private plunge. pools. Meals are often served in a main mess tent or facility, maybe with a shared sitting space.

Mobile camps that follow the wildebeest migration are widespread in the Serengeti; while they will be a little simpler without any permanent structures, such as pools, many of the top-end ones are still remarkably opulent, they will be a little simpler.

While canvas tents are absolutely safe because it’s exceedingly unlikely for any large animal to attempt to enter a zipped-up tent, many tourists choose camps for a more “authentic” safari experience and the ability to hear hyenas whooping or lions roaring in the night. A lodge with adequate walls can make those who might be a little uneasy feel more comfortable. In addition, lodges may have additional amenities like a spa, gym, or swimming pool, however there are also many modest, mid-range lodges available.

Private safari vs group tours

Depending on your travel preferences and price range, there are a variety of group excursions and private safaris available in Tanzania. In some parks, you can also self-drive, but without a guide, you might lose out on a lot of details and insider knowledge.

The exclusivity of a private safari is what sets it apart from a group excursion. You occasionally have to compete for space and take into consideration the needs and interests of other safari travelers in a group safari vehicle, especially the less comfortable and more crowded minibuses. However, it is substantially less expensive, and you’ll be traveling with others who share your interests so you can talk about your safari.

You can create your own itinerary and stop wherever you wish for whatever long when traveling in a private safari vehicle, either on your own or with a guide. Your guide will be able to provide you with a much more personalized experience by responding to your inquiries and making an effort to accommodate any special requests you may have, such as spending extra time at a certain viewpoint or searching for a particular species. There is a lot to see and do, so you might decide it’s worth the extra money.

4. How to choose a safari operator and accommodation

It can be difficult to choose a safari operator or camp with so many businesses out there.

You have the option of booking everything alone or using a tour operator or travel agent to arrange everything for you, including transfers and flights. With their service costs, it can end up costing you more, but for many, it will be worthwhile because safaris with many camps can be logistically challenging.

Booking with a tour operator or travel agent who has been to the camps and can provide first-hand information on the properties will undoubtedly make it simpler for you to decide on your lodging. But if you do your own research and know what to look for, you may also find a wealth of information online.

A lot of people prefer suggestions from others. There are plenty of websites that publish reviews of safari trips, but you should also ask your family and friends for an objective opinion. Glossy magazine award lists shouldn’t be taken too seriously because they frequently depend on the owner’s connections or PR money.

Try to learn more about an operator or camp by visiting their website. For instance, do they value sustainability and responsible travel? If they do, it ought to be disclosed on their website along with a justification. Do operators only partner with environmentally conscious camps and lodges (and how do they gauge that? ); do they donate a portion of their earnings to the local areas surrounding national parks? Do camps employ locals and use solar power? To help Tanzanian business owners and entrepreneurs, you might wish to think about if the camp is locally owned.

Next, some useful considerations: Find out how many other individuals you’ll be traveling with if you’re planning a group vacation. Ask if the safari cars are private or if you’ll be sharing with other camp visitors if you’re staying there (if you have kids, you might need to reserve a private vehicle). Is the car enclosed (Tanzania frequently uses these) or open-sided? Do they have WiFi if you need to work or if connectivity is essential?

The final word is then: Find out exactly what is included; some camps may need you to pay for all drinks, while others may only include top-shelf booze and tips. Learn about the terms and conditions of their deposit, cancellation, and refund policies. Be sure to account for tips, which are best made in cash (most mid- to high-end camps recommend giving your guide $10–20 per person per day, and the camp staff as a whole $5–10 per person per day).

What to expect on Tanzania safari


On a Tanzania safari, a typical day will begin before sunrise. You’ll go for the morning game drive after having coffee or perhaps breakfast. There are two game drives each day, one in the morning and one in the late afternoon when animals are more active. Typically, a drive takes three hours or longer. Some campgrounds even pack lunches for visitors so they can spend the entire day outdoors. In the wilderness, stopping for a coffee break is typical and a good opportunity to get some fresh air.

After breakfast or brunch, you’ll have some downtime back at camp until afternoon tea at 4 PM and the evening game drive. During this time, you can read a book, swim in the pool if one is available, take a sleep, or just rest.

In the bush, sundowners are frequently enjoyed when the sun is setting (a gin and tonic being the standard). Then it’s back to camp for dinner and cocktails by the fire. In many camps, meals are shared by all campers, who frequently sit next to a host or guide. The majority of individuals often go to bed early in anticipation of another sunrise start.

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