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Published On: Thu, Apr 18th, 2019

3 Things to Consider When Planning a Tanzanian Safari

If you are planning a safari in Tanzania, this will certainly be the best trip of your life, since the country abounds in exotic wildlife that you only get to see in glossy magazines or on the wildlife channels. Viewing these animals in the flesh and blood is a truly fulfilling experience.

The kind of safari you want to undertake will dictate the time of the year to visit, which parks to be visited and the budget of your stay.

Things to consider for Tanzanian Safari

#1 When to visit?

June to September is the peak season when tourists throng to see and chase the migrating wildebeest from Southern Serengeti in Tanzania to Maasai Mara in Kenya. Of course, at this time of the year, safaris are jam-packed and accommodation expensive.

During October to November, the country experiences a short rainy season. Although you will not be able to witness wildebeest migration at this time of the year, exploring national parks, such as Serengeti, Lake Manyara, and Tarangire are as exciting. Also, the tourist influx is comparatively low and the lodges comparatively cheaper.

The period between December to March is the wildebeest migration calving season in Ndutu. During this time, you will be able to see thousands of baby wildebeests suckling their mothers in the herd. Accommodation is expensive during this time of the year.

April to May is the rainy season in Tanzania and is not an ideal time for visiting, since staying in tented camps is out of the question. Crowds are the lowest during this period and this ups the chances of getting the luxury lodges cheap.

photo/Brandon Jones

#2 What to see?

There are two must-see parks in Tanzania – the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. However, some other national parks, such as Lake Manyara and Taragire, Lake Eyasi are also unique in their own ways.

  • Serengeti National Park: The Serengeti National Park comprises four main regions. The Ndutu region is home to the annual calving season where you can see baby wildebeests accompanying the herd. The Seronera region, located in the Central Serengeti, showcases the big cats. The Grumeti region, lying to the west of the park, is home to Grumeti River crossing that occurs every year, and the Northern Serengeti witnesses the Mara River crossings from July to August.
  • Ngorongoro Conservation Area: This area boasts of Tanzania’s largest population of rhinoceros and also abounds in elephants, buffalos, hippopotamuses, lions, hyenas and much more. With such a variety of fauna, it is not surprising that it is the most expensive park in Tanzania.
  • Lake Manyara National Park: It is known for its tree-climbing lions and exotic birds. What’s more, this park is ideal for a visit in the rainy season, when you can witness the wallowing hippos and colorful flamingos.
  • Tarangire National Park: This park holds Tanzania’s largest elephant population and is famous for its distinctive baobab trees. In addition to the elephants, you can also spot giraffes, zebras, lions, and baboons.
  • Lake Eyasi: Although not a national park, it is a part of the Tanzanian safari cultural circuit, since it showcases the ancient ethnic cultures of the region. You can interact with Hadzabe people who have not changed with times and remain hunter-gatherers.    

Baobab trees (upside-down tree) at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom photo/ Brandon Jones

#3 Where to stay

Tanzania offers accommodation for all budget types.

  • Camping: Ideal for the budget conscious and those with an adventurous spirit. It entails camping in the public area with communal kitchen and bathroom facilities.  
  • Budget lodges: Suitable for those on a tight budget, these lodges are located outside the park boundaries in nearby towns. You get a comfortable place to sleep in without any fancy frills.
  • Tented camps: The traditional tented camps have a rustic charm of their own. They are not only affordable but offer private bathrooms with hot showers, double beds, and good food.
  • Standard lodges: Usually located on the park fringes, these lodges are near enough to get in and out of the park without paying the park fees. These are also not very expensive.

Of course, if you have the money, you can opt for either the luxury lodges or luxury tented camps and get five-star treatment, while remaining in the lap of nature.

Conclusion

Going well prepared for a Tanzanian safari will help you enjoy the trip to the hilt. And it is not only the chance to see exotic wild animals that are so thrilling but also indulging in other adventure activities to explore the country and its people.   

Author: Merin Mathew

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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