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Things to consider for Tanzania Safari

Updated: May 30

Tanzania Safari Destinations

Things to consider for Tanzania Safari - Tanzania offers a diverse range of safari destinations, and it's important to choose the right ones for your trip. The country is divided into three main circuits: the Northern, Southern, and Western circuits. Each circuit has its own unique attractions and requires different travel arrangements.

Tanzania safari

- Northern Circuit: The Northern circuit is the most popular and well-known. It is home to iconic parks such as Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire National Park, and Lake Manyara National Park. The Serengeti is famous for the annual wildebeest migration, while the Ngorongoro Crater offers stunning wildlife viewing opportunities. This circuit is easily accessible, with direct flights to Kilimanjaro International Airport.

- Southern Circuit: The Southern circuit is less crowded and offers a more remote and off-the-beaten-path experience. It includes parks like Selous Game Reserve, Mikumi National Park, and Ruaha National Park. Selous is known for its diverse wildlife and boat safaris along the Rufiji River. However, reaching the Southern circuit usually requires a flight to Dar es Salaam International Airport and a subsequent domestic flight.

- Western Circuit: The Western circuit is the least visited but offers unique experiences. It includes parks such as Gombe Stream National Park, known for its chimpanzee treks, and Katavi National Park, with its vast herds of buffalo and other wildlife. Kitulo National Park, also part of the Western circuit, is known as the "Serengeti of Flowers." Accessing the Western circuit typically involves flying into Dar es Salaam and then taking a domestic flight.

Choosing Your Safari Style

Your safari style will greatly influence your overall experience. Here are some considerations to keep in mind:

- Private or Shared Tour: A private safari allows you to have a personalized experience tailored to your preferences. You can choose your own itinerary, accommodation, and pace. On the other hand, a shared tour allows you to join a group of fellow travelers, which can be a more cost-effective option. It's important to consider your comfort level, flexibility, and budget when deciding between private and shared tours.

- Accommodation Type: Another aspect to consider is your preferred type of accommodation. You can choose between staying inside or outside the national parks. Sleeping inside the parks offers a more immersive experience, as you can witness the wildlife during the early mornings and late evenings. It also comes with higher costs, as there are camping fees or higher-priced lodges. Staying outside the parks is usually more affordable, but it limits your wildlife viewing opportunities to the regulated game drive times.

- Camping Safaris: Camping safaris provide an adventurous and budget-friendly accommodation option. You will be provided with tents, sleeping bags, and mattresses at designated campgrounds. It's important to note that shared bathroom facilities may lack certain amenities, warm water, or optimal sanitary conditions. While campgrounds are generally safe, it's essential to follow the guidance of park rangers and exercise caution.

- Lodge Safaris: Lodge safaris offer more comfort and luxury. Mid-range lodges provide basic facilities, while high-end lodges offer additional amenities such as swimming pools and premium services. Tented lodges are also a popular choice, combining the adventure of camping with the comfort of a lodge. Some tented lodges are exceptionally luxurious, with canvas coverings and all the amenities you'd expect from a high-end lodge.

Determining the Tour Length

The ideal duration for your Tanzania safari depends on your preferences, available time, and the sights you want to see. A minimum of four days is recommended to experience the highlights

of any circuit, but extending your trip allows for a more comprehensive exploration.

- Northern Circuit: To explore the Northern circuit, including Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, and other parks, a suggested duration would be around 7 to 10 days. This timeframe allows for wildlife viewing, witnessing the wildebeest migration (depending on the season), and taking in the breathtaking landscapes.

- Southern Circuit: The Southern circuit requires more time due to its remote nature and vast areas to cover. A recommended duration for this circuit would be around 10 to 14 days, allowing you to visit Selous Game Reserve, Mikumi National Park, Ruaha National Park, and other attractions. This longer timeframe ensures ample wildlife sightings and the chance to explore the region's unique ecosystems.

- Western Circuit: The Western circuit can be explored in approximately 5 to 7 days, depending on the specific parks you wish to visit. This duration allows for chimpanzee trekking in Gombe Stream National Park, game drives in Katavi National Park, and enjoying the floral wonders of Kitulo National Park.

Add-Ons and Transportation Options

In addition to the safari experience itself, there are various add-ons and transportation options to consider for your Tanzania trip:

- Hot Air Balloon Safaris: Hot air balloon safaris are a fantastic way to gain a unique perspective of the landscapes and wildlife. These experiences typically take place in the Serengeti National Park, allowing you to witness the vast plains and wildlife from above. It's an unforgettable adventure but requires an additional budget.

- Cultural Experiences: Tanzania is rich in cultural diversity, and exploring local communities can be a rewarding addition to your safari. Consider visiting Maasai villages, engaging in cultural exchanges, and learning about traditional customs. These experiences provide insights into the local way of life and contribute to sustainable tourism.

- Beach Extensions: After your safari, you might want to unwind and relax on Tanzania's beautiful beaches. Zanzibar Island, with its turquoise waters and pristine white sand, is a popular choice. Other options include the secluded Mafia Island, Pemba Island, and the mainland coast, including Dar es Salaam. Adding a beach extension to your safari allows you to experience the best of both worlds.

- Transportation Options: Getting around Tanzania can involve various modes of transportation. For longer distances, domestic flights are convenient, saving time and offering stunning aerial views. For shorter distances, road transfers are common, either in private vehicles or shared shuttles. In some cases, you may also embark on boat transfers or river cruises, especially when exploring parks in the Southern and Western circuits.

Budgeting for Your Safari

Budgeting for your Tanzania safari involves considering several factors:

- Accommodation Costs: The price of accommodation can vary greatly depending on the level of luxury, location, and time of year. Basic camping safaris are the most budget-friendly option, while high-end lodges and tented camps are more expensive. Consider your comfort requirements and budget constraints when selecting your accommodation.

- Park Fees: National park fees are a significant part of the safari budget. These fees vary depending on the park and the duration of your stay. It's essential to research the current park fees and factor them into your budget planning.

- Transportation Costs: The cost of transportation depends on the mode chosen. Domestic flights are more expensive but save time and offer convenience. Road transfers, whether private or shared, are generally more affordable but can be time-consuming, especially for long distances.

- Seasonal Considerations: The cost of a Tanzania safari can also vary depending on the season. Peak season, from June to October, and the Christmas/New Year period tend to have higher prices due to increased demand. Shoulder

seasons, such as April to May and November, often offer lower rates and fewer crowds.

- Additional Expenses: Don't forget to budget for additional expenses such as meals, drinks, tips, and optional activities or excursions. It's a good idea to have some extra funds for souvenirs and personal expenses.

By considering these factors and estimating costs in advance, you can plan a Tanzania safari that aligns with your budget and preferences.

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