What to Expect on Safari in Tanzania?

Tanzania is one of the most naturally beautiful countries in Africa, and so it’s no surprise that it’s home to some of the best safaris on the continent. But with so many types of safari experiences to choose from, what can you really expect on your trip? Here are three things you can expect to experience when going on safari in Tanzania!

 

The Game Drives


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The primary activity of a safari trip is to go on game drives, during which you’ll see animals. Though different parks have different philosophies and rules, there are a few commonalities. In most cases, all vehicles will travel in a convoy with an armed escort vehicle (usually four-wheel drive) leading and following. Most drivers do not allow passengers to use their cameras while driving—so be sure your tour company specifies how much time you’ll spend driving versus how much time you’ll spend observing animals at rest stops or water holes (and whether you can use your camera). It’s also important to know what is expected of guests during drives: Do they get out at each stop, or stay seated? Are binoculars supplied?

 

Accommodation


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There are many accommodation options ranging from one and two star hotels, lodges and camping sites. Many safari companies can help you find a room that suits your needs. Do take time to do some research online before you arrive so you have a few solid places in mind when you arrive. As with all things, you get what you pay for so be prepared to spend money if it means getting a great experience.

 

Facilities


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A good lodge will provide comfortable, spacious rooms. While you’ll be too busy enjoying safari activities and exploring game parks to spend a lot of time indoors, rooms should have private bathrooms, mosquito nets and free toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrush and so on). Guests should also expect bedside lamps for reading. Safaris can be long and arduous (it’s not uncommon for guests to awake at 3:00am), so it’s best if lodges provide coffee-making facilities – guests should even receive a welcome coffee kit with paper cups, sugar packets and plastic stirrers when they check in. Additional must-haves include TV or radio, clock/alarm clock, safari guidebook and hairdryer. In terms of safety, all lodges should meet local fire safety regulations and offer smoke detectors as well as fire extinguishers.

 

Best Time To Go


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The best time to go on safari in Tanzania is from October through May. Generally, during those months, it’s sunny and dry with clear skies for excellent viewing. The rainy season is from June through September, so any travels during that time should be postponed until October or November at least. There’s a very real chance of being caught in a rainstorm when you travel during these months as well, which can make your trip less enjoyable if you aren’t prepared.

 

Flying over Mount Kilimanjaro


Mount Kilimanjaro, Mountain, Tanzania, Landscape

The world’s highest free-standing mountain, Kilimanjaro is an impressive sight. And flying over it is an even more impressive experience! The combination of altitude and endless sea of clouds make for a stunning vista. It really isn’t hard to see why Kilimanjaro is one of Tanzania’s most recognizable landmarks. But that’s not all you can expect from your flight over Mount Kilimanjaro—you can also expect clear views of Mount Meru (Africa’s second-highest peak) and some fascinating wildlife, including herds of elephants roaming around or snoozing at various stops along your route. If you want to take photos like these with your own camera or phone, keep in mind that due to their high altitudes, both Mt. Meru and Mt.

 

Tips and Tricks For Visiting the National Parks


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The animals are beautiful, and there is just no way around it. But not all safaris are created equal. So here are some tips for visiting Arusha National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti National Park and Tarangire National Park to make your visit a true safari experience. Most of these tips will apply more broadly across all national parks in Tanzania. For example, you can find most of these suggestions on how to avoid disappointment by reading How To Avoid Disappointment When Visiting National Parks.

 

Facts About Animals & Plants


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As a general rule, Tanzanian wildlife is not aggressive. The animals are out at daybreak and return home when it gets dark. Lions, cheetahs, leopards and hyenas hunt at night. They’re active throughout most of the year except during heavy rains or very dry seasons when food is scarce. There are two rainy seasons in east Africa: one from March to May and another from November to January.

 

Wildlife Safari


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Getting an up-close view of animals is why people pay thousands of dollars for safari tours. When visiting Africa, you have a very good chance of seeing all sorts of amazing wildlife. It’s not uncommon to see lions, elephants, giraffes and hippos just by driving around! The best way to experience wildlife is to go on a game drive. A game drive is when you get into an open-air vehicle (usually with other tourists) and drive around looking for animals. You may also spot birds or even reptiles along your journey. Game drives are often led by knowledgeable guides who will point out different species and give insight into their behavior.

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