Things to consider when going on a Safari in Tanzania.
So you are planning to go on a safari. That’s great. Every once in a while we need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city life, and what’s a better place to recover than in nature itself. A safari is one of those activities that make you feel grounded and remind you to appreciate the little things, the cool breeze, the greenery and the living creatures of the wild. But wait a second! Before you put on those safari boots, there are some things you need to think about before embarking yourself on that safari adventure that you’ve been oh so yearning for.
Where are you going?
There are multiple national parks in Tanzania that you can choose from. There are currently 16 national parks and 17 game reserves. Take your time, do your research and do not rush. Trust me, the last thing you want on your safari trip is not knowing what the heck is going on because you didn’t do enough research of your own(believe me, I know).
How long you will stay on the road will pretty much depend on your destination. National parks like Tarangire and Manyara will probably take you around 3 hours on the road. Ngorongoro and Serengeti will definitely demand more time due to the distance. Don’t forget your earphones and books. The good thing about our vehicles is we have wifi services, charging sockets and the four wheel drive is built for the turbulence of the harsh savannah roads,plus the seats are super comfortable. Just don’t get carried away browsing on your phone and forget to take your time to view the beautiful sceneries along the way.
Obviously one of the major issues to consider when planning your trip is where you are going to stay. This may be tricky especially because your decision fully depends on the internet descriptions and other people’s opinions which may not always be a hundred percent truthful. To stay safe I had an operator at Karibu make a lovely customized itinerary for me which included a night at a luxury tent in Gampling camping lodge at Mto wa mbu but also another booking at the Bougainvillae lodge in Karatu (note these were all his ideas not my own, he did his research and found the best destinations for a good price) which is just outside the Ngorongoro conservation area which was convenient for me since this was my final destination. Lodges and hotels outside the national parks tend to be cheaper than those within the national park, so just keep a heads up when booking for an accommodation.
No, this is not jungle book. You need to take extra precautions during your trip. Especially while doing the game drive. Each national park, conservation area or game reserve has its own regulations that are put for your own safety. In no circumstance should you come out of the car during a game drive unless it is deemed acceptable and safe by your safari guide. My guide made sure I understand that from the beginning of the trip. The brutal real life stories my safari guide told me of people who were a little too curious made me more cautious of my actions. Too many accidents have happened to think touching an elephant is a great idea.
You need to be knowledgeable about the rules and regulations of the national park or game reserve you are visiting to avoid any unnecessary troubles. The last thing you want is having to pay a hundred dollars worth of a fine in the park just because you dropped a gum wrapper. Some regulations are similar to all national parks and game reserves such as do not litter(obviously! like why would you do that?) and do not feed the animals for obvious reasons of course. We had lunch at Tarangire national park and our safari guide was so careful to make sure non of us leave any garbage behind. We had to take everything with us. I was very happy to know that as a society we are more serious about the ecological sustainability of our national parks and nature reserves.
The early bird catches the worm
The earlier you start your safari the more animals you are more likely to see. Sadly I wasn’t able to do an early game drive walk due to other itinerary activities I had to do, but If you plan to go on a safari game drive the earlier you are the more chance you have of seeing variety of animals. A night game drive is also another thing I was introduced to. If you have a cat at home then I’m sure you know that cats are more active at night, goes the same for the whole feline family, cheetahs, Leopards, wild cats, savor cats are all very active at night so there’s a greater chance you might see some kitties in action.
Wear multiple layers of clothes
I can not stress this enough man! The best part of getting a review from someone who actually made mistakes while on a safari is to help you not to fall on to the same pit. I ignored the fact of carrying heavy clothings and oh did I pay dearly. Carry a sweater or anything heavy with you regardless whether its the summer season or winter, the weather tends to change super dramatically you wont believe. One minute its cool, another minute its extremely hot and another your blowing smoke. Better be prepared than sorry.
Umm..where are the animals?
News flash! you are not going to a zoo, you wont just start seeing the animals on entrance of the national park gates. These are animals in their natural habitat, so they have a choice whether to show up or not. I actually asked the same question to my safari guide ”like where are the animals?” and he literally answered me the same way. ”This is not a zoo, you need to be a little more patient.” So whether you like it or not, you will need to be a little patient, so don’t bother your safari guide constantly asking him where are the lions.
we will be more than happy to organize a safari itinerary to fit your specific needs. Just contact us and we will get back to you ASAP!
Your rafiki blogger here!