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What to Expect in a Safari in Tanzania

Almost everyone dreams of going to a safari in Tanzania, arguably the best safari destination in the world. To some, it’s another tick off the bucket list; to others, it’s a dream wildlife experience; and to some others, it’s passion. Whatever the reason for traveling, there is always that inner anxiety on what to expect in a safari in Tanzania. Well, to ease up the suspense, here are the 9 things you can look forward to:

#1 DIVERSE LANDSCAPES

Tanzania is blessed with a widely diverse ecosystem that ranges from golden savannas and plains to mountains and forests to waterfalls and walled cities to islands that offer a tropical paradise of exquisite proportions. In a typical safari, you will be able to witness a glorious display of these landscapes. You will be able to drive through rough roads, some almost impassable during certain times, and you will be able to enjoy a striking natural scenery all throughout.

One of the most visited parks that offers a unique landscape is the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Its main highlight is the UNESCO World Heritage Site and Africa’s “Garden of Eden”, Ngorongoro Crater, which is a massive volcanic caldera that provides a safe haven to 25,000 large animals including 26 black rhinoceros and about 62 strong lions. Water is never scarce in the area and its gorgeous vistas just make it impossible not to be included in any African destinations checklist.
Another iconic attraction that boasts of a majestic landscape is Mount Kilimanjaro. It is Africa’s highest peak and the world’s tallest free-standing mountain. So if you are on a safari in Tanzania, it is wise to expect many different landscapes.

#2 AMAZING WILDLIFE

Tanzania has always been popular for its impressive concentration and diversity of wildlife (and birdlife as well). It is normal to find a herd of zebras along with wildebeests in one corner and then a pride of lions or hyenas on another. In fact, many visitors have attested that the number of animals they saw on other safari destinations like South Africa in, say, 2 weeks is the number of animals they saw on a safari in Tanzania in merely 5 days!
You have to remember that a good guide is essential for a successful safari. Even though Tanzania is teeming with wildlife, the animals can still be hard to spot especially if you don’t know where and how to look. Thanks to the drivers/guides/rangers, you will be able to go to “where the action happens.”
One iconic wildlife event in Tanzania is the Great Wildebeest Migration, where millions of wildebeests, zebras, gazelles, and kudus move in a clockwise manner around the East African plains in anticipation of the rains and better grazing. This event happens all year-round so whatever month you visit the Serengeti, you will surely be able to experience this said migration as long as you have an experienced guide to navigate your tour.

#3 LONG DRIVES AN EARLY START

Since each park is huge and you’ll need some time to find a multitude of animals, you’re going to be inside the safari vehicle for up to 4 to 5 hours. Most animals are super active early in the morning just before sunrise and so typically, your safari starts that early in the morning. 

You will be basked under the hot African sun for hours and because of the road’s conditions, there will be a lot of bumping and bouncing around. Unlike in the zoo where animals are contained in one area, animals in Africa are free to roam anywhere. This means that if you are set to see lions, giraffes, zebras, cheetahs, and other animals, it might take some time. No worries, though, because the wilderness will always make you go wow. Also, there are so many bird species around Tanzania.

#4 CHANGING WEATHER

Tanzania is just near the equator so it only has two seasons: wet and dry. However, weather can be pretty much unpredictable, too. It is mostly sunny, yes, but some days, it’s rainy. Sometimes rains can go as short as 5 minutes or a few hours, other times it can rain all day. Some days it’s cold, other times it’s hot and humid and some other days it’s a blend of these temperatures. So prepare comfortable clothes, sunblock, a hat/cap and consider bringing a rainy gear.

#5 MINIMAL PHONE AND INTERNET COVERAGE

You cannot expect a marvelous phone coverage on a safari. Most areas, especially remote camps, offer zero mobile phone coverage. When it comes to internet connectivity, almost all camps and lodges (even the remote ones) have WiFi so you can still go online, check e-mails and post photos on social media platforms. However, internet connection can sometimes be intermittent or patchy so don’t keep your hopes up if you want to stream a movie, play an online game or do something that requires loads of internet bandwidth.

#6 FOOD QUALITY VARIES

food during safari

Food in safaris is glorious! It’s either you eat on your lodge/camp or dine among the animals in a picnic mat, a picnic table or even on your safari vehicle! You will have the schedule/itinerary beforehand so you would know what time your meals and snacks will be served. You also don’t have to worry because chefs prepare your meals special and you can also ask for any diet restrictions you may have.
Food in the lodges are great but when you go on a safari, you bring a “lunchbox” where options can be limited as it has to last several hrs before being consumed. Typical options include sandwiches often white bread, fried foods (chicken), boiled egg and some fruits. But expect breakfast and dinner to make up for it as lodges often prepare both local and international cuisine and it is normally served buffet style so you’re sure to have lots of options.

#7 EXCITING ACTIVITIES FOR ALL TYPES OF TRAVELERS

Going in a safari doesn’t only mean you only do the game driving and game viewing. There are other activities you can certainly enjoy as well, whether you travel solo, as a couple, or as a family/group! Unique add-ons include hot air balloon rides where you can float around iconic parks and spot incredible wildlife peppered across the plains; bonfires in the wild where you can chill and exchange stories with other fellow travelers; mountain trekking; and even an escape to the beach to cap off your African vacation!

#8 RAW SENSE OF ADVENTURE

Being away from the city and in the heart of the wild, you will be surrounded by the amazing sounds of nature and at night, you will be able to experience “being close to the stars” as those twinkling lights appear to be just within your reach. Being here might have you exposed to tsetse flies and mosquitoes but that comes with the authentic experience.
When you’re out on the road during your safari and nature suddenly calls, you can’t expect a luxurious restroom in the middle of the wild, can you? Since there are no toilets around, you’ll have to “do it in the bush.” When you’re in small charter flights, there will be no onboard toilet either. So, bring lots of toilet paper and a hand sanitizer!
Another thing that’ll make you experience the wild is waking up to animal sounds. Most camps are strategically located near waterholes where animals congregate or around areas where herds gather around. Since animals are most active in the early part of the day, it is totally normal to experience waking up to some zebras by your terrace or hippos snorting by your window or even birds chirping.
During your game drives, you will be aboard a customized safari vehicle. Depending on your tour operator, you will be in closed safari vehicles which feature large windows and a pop-up roof; or in an open-sided safari vehicle which features a non-walled vehicle.

#9 UNIQUE ACCOMMODATIONS

Accommodations in Tanzania range from budget camping tents that are famous for backpackers and travelers who want to rough it out to standard lodges or tented camps that feature basic facilities, to luxurious hotel-style lodges and extravagant tented camps that are just exquisite in every corner. 
Depending on the type of accommodation you choose, you will be staying in an exclusive area in the wilderness where you will be surrounded by stunning vistas and freely roaming animals or you will be staying in camps/lodges that are strategically located along areas very accessible to wildlife encounters or attractions.

REMINDER: SOUTHERN VS NORTHERN SAFARI CIRCUITS

When we talk about safaris in Tanzania, we are usually referring to the safari parks in the northern part of the country and the ones in the southern region. The northern safari park is the more popular area which covers world-famous parks like Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, Tarangire, and Mount Kilimanjaro.
Southern safari circuit, on the other hand, is the more remote area of Tanzania which usually offers a more raw and untouched landscape. Parks in this side of Tanzania include the renowned Selous Game Reserve as well as other huge parks like Ruaha National Park and Mikumi National Park.

TYPICAL SAFARI DAY

This is how a typical safari goes…

You wake up early in the morning and hear an interesting choir of animal sounds. Breakfast will be served at your chalet or at the common dining area of your camp/lodge. Sometimes, you will also have breakfast on the road (all food preparations will be handled by your tour operator). Then, you will start your day by driving to a wildlife sanctuary or park, enjoying a gorgeous sunrise slowly touching the savannah with the sun’s golden rays.

Your guide/driver will take you to the most amazing spots to see beautiful vistas and spectacular animal sightings. If you’re lucky, you can even catch predator-prey or predator-predator interactions. Come lunchtime, you will have a picnic in the bush. Food will again be prepared by a chef and you will be able to enjoy a hearty meal right in the heart of the wild.

After lunch, you will continue with your game drive to see more animals and beautiful sights and then finally arrive at your lodge/camp usually just before dinner. Dinner will then be served at the lodge and then you can either sojourn at your own room/chalet or you can join other travelers for a bonfire, a small gathering or a few drinks at the bar.
On other times, safaris can also end after lunch time and you can go back to your lodge early in the afternoon for your own leisure time. You can go biking, hiking, do some add-on activities or even just go to sleep!

A TANZANIAN SAFARI IS AN ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME

No two adventures in Tanzania can ever be the same. In fact, even avid safari goers still find something surprising each time. So, while you can prepare for the basic essentials like what clothing, medicine, gear, and other paraphernalia to bring, you can never be fully prepared for whatever surprises will be coming your way during a safari. Nevertheless, a safari in Tanzania is truly one for the books and certainly something each person should experience.

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LoveTravel259094
LoveTravel259094
August 8, 2023
Asante Gosheni and espacially Hassan Nous tenons à recommander Hassan car nous venons de passer un séjour mémorable avec lui. Grâce à son expérience, sa connaissance parfaite du monde animal et des parcs, Hassan nous a permis de voir de nombreux animaux en étant extrêmement bien placé.
Bien évidemment les big five (même le rhinocéros!), la traversée de la rivière par les gnous et bien d'autres animaux.
En faisant un safari avec Hassan vous trouverez tout ce que vous êtes venus chercher.
A l'avenir si nous décidons de refaire un safari, nous voudrions repartir avec Hassan.
Myriam D
Myriam D
August 8, 2023
Hassan is the best guide !!!! Nous avons eu la chance de faire un safari de 8 jours dans les parcs nationaux du nord de la Tanzanie avec Hassan comme guide. Hassan est un guide très expérimenté.
Grâce à lui et sa grande expérience nous avons découvert et appris énormément de choses sur la Tanzanie, les animaux, les végétaux etc. Hassan est un véritable passionné qui aime transmettre son savoir.
En plus de ses connaissances, Hassan a un véritable œil de lynx et sais débusquer le moindre animal caché.
Grâce à Hassan nous avons eu la chance de voir beaucoup d’animaux et tous ceux du « Big Five ».
Parmi tous les véhicules présents lors des safaris, Hassan sait se frayer un chemin pour nous permettre d’avoir toujours le meilleur point de vue.
Hassan sait où se placer pour nous permettre d’avoir une vue sans égal sur les animaux, en les observant de très près.
Hassan est également un excellent conducteur. La route n’a aucun secret pour lui.
C’est également un guide très attentionné, toujours aux petits soins pour nous et d’une extrême gentillesse.
Nous recommandons Hassan les yeux fermés et si nous devions refaire un safari, nous demanderons d’être guidés par Hassan sans hésitation.
Merci encore à Hassan pour ces merveilleux moments qui resterons gravés dans notre mémoire !!
bonny l
bonny l
August 6, 2023
amazing Safari experience wiz gosheni nice trip wiz our amazing guide Samir We saw all the wild animals during Safari
thx a lot for the thoughtful and excellent service
highly recommend
FENG Y
FENG Y
August 6, 2023
愉快的非洲之旅 幸运的选择了gosheni Safari,我们的向导samir服务非常好,小朋友们都很喜欢他,非洲五霸除了犀牛没有看到外,其他都替我们找到了,寻找动物经验丰富,在超远的地方就能看到目标。可以在众多的车子中抢到一个很好的观赏位,办事灵活。
Vladimir T
Vladimir T
August 6, 2023
Great experience! Great experience! Starting from the trip planning the communications were very clear and smooth to organize the tour and select itinerary. In the end we opted for 5 days/4 nights route including the Tarangire, Serengeti and Lake Manyara nations parks as well as a visit to the Ngorongoro crater. The tour itself was excellent and very punctual, here kudos to our guide Wilson who is very experienced and knowledgeable about his job and also went well beyond his duty and gave us a nice summary of country’s history. It was really a pleasure to spend time with him and we managed to see the big 5:) Accommodations were superb: great camps, an amazing farmhouse close to Ngorongoro, meals were also good and picnic lunches well organized.
In summary the experience was highly satisfying, I sincerely recommend Gosheni Safaris and to ask for Wilson as a guide.
Allison B
Allison B
August 5, 2023
Great Taste of Tanzania Had a great 5-day tour. Our guide James was very dedicated to making sure we saw amazing sights. He asked us our favorite animals to see and made it his mission to help us spot them. The food was good, the lodging was very pleasant, and enjoying a glass of wine on lunches was a nice touch. Favorite lodging was definitely the Farmhouse by Ngorongoro. Beautiful landscapes along the entire tour, covered a lot of ground and got a great introduction to Tanzania.
Sukhraj S
Sukhraj S
August 5, 2023
Gosheni number 1 What an unforgettable 6 days, courtesy of Gosheni Safari and our guide/driver Zadock!!!
I booked this holiday back in 2020 but then had to cancel due to Covid. That was after a lot of research of tour companies and finally picking Ghosheni. The time was right to get this once in a lifetime trip set up again, so working via email with William at Gosheni we compiled the agenda…he was so helpful and we settled on one day in Tarangire, one day in Lake Manyara, three days in Serengeti and one day in Ngorongoro Crater…I’m now on the way to Zanzibar after an amazing experience, Gosheni took care of the whole package for my wife, three teenage sons and I.

Our guide and driver was Zadock, a humble, honest, genuine, proud and generous man. He did absolutely everything for us, answered every question and took us to all the places to see the big five up close, hunts and more.

The food was served every lunch time as a picnic, with plates, blanket, wtc whilst others had lunch boxes. The Jeep was cleaned daily, and was extremely comfortable along the difficult rough terrain…a credit to Zadock.

Zadock had so much knowledge not only of the animal kingdom’s hundreds of species but also the history of Tanzania, Africa, politics, and social customs, we felt as though he was part of our family.

Thankyou Zadock and Gosheni, I very rarely write reviews after holidays and I have travelled extensively around the world, but these guys are special and have made this so memorable for my family and I….I recommend to everyone if you are unsure about who, how, what, these guys will sort out the whole trip and at a very reasonable price.

Well done William, Gosheni and Zadock, and I really hope you get to be recognised as the number one tour company in Tanzania!
Eric W
Eric W
August 4, 2023
Extraordinary Safari with Gosheni I am so glad to have Gosheni as our tour operator. They provide excellent service starting from arranging the tour till the end of our safari.
As our city had quarantine arrangement due to COVID-19, we were so worry about our trip. Luckily, Gosheni is so considerate and try their best endeavors to rearrange our scedule. With their assistance, everything is set and we feel comfortable for all of their kind arrangements.

During the safari, we have a terrific tour guide, Edward! He takes care of all the stuff and administration including liaison with hotels, lunch packing, other add-on safaris so that we can fully enjoy the trip.

Not only Edward spots a lot a lot of animals and birds for us, including the top 5 in the trip, he also introduces us the habitat and features of the animals and birds. We are very impressed by his rich knowledge and do enjoy listening the "stories" of the animals.

Edwward is definitely experienced and propose the best programme during the safari, e.g. he tries to maximise our time for the game drive in different locations and tribe visit. We fully trust his expertise and professionalism.

We are very happy with Edward and Gosheni. We will absolutely consider them in our next Africam safari.
Priyank S
Priyank S
August 4, 2023
Amazing Safari with Gosheni and Ombeni Our guide, Ombeni, was the best part of our trip. He is really knowledgeable, friendly, and we trusted his expertise for the whole 9 days across Tarangire, Serengeti, and Ngorongoro. We were lucky to see some amazing things on our game drives. Having grown up in Kenya, I have been lucky to go on many safaris, and this is one of the best I've been on.
The food was excellent, and even on the all-day game drives we had a cooked, sit-down meal for lunch which was a big plus point. All the accommodation was excellent as well.

We had a bespoke itinerary which we planned in advance with William from Gosheni, and he was extremely helpful in answering our questions and accommodating our requests.

I would highly recommend Gosheni and especially Ombeni for future travels.
Banu
Banu
August 4, 2023
Dreams come true!!! Thanks to best guide Hassani I have been dreaming Serengeti Safari tour for a long time and Gosheni Safaris made my dreams come true. We completed our 5 days safari at the end of July and it was wonderful. We visited Central Serengeti, North Serengeti and Ngorongoro.
The company is very professional from beginning to end. Peter the owner of Gosheni Safaris helped us a lot about planning our itinary. I asked too many questions and he replied all of them everytime. Sometimes he can be in the bush and has no internet connection but be sure he always will reply your questions. Just be sure that you are in safe hands and Hakuna Matata☺️

Our guide was Hassani who is a perfect guide, safari driver, friend and everything. He always did his best to show us as much as possible. We always felt safe and witnessed lots of amazing moments by help of Hassani. Beside being a perfect safari guide, he prepared very nice lunch tables every afternoon. He is very funny person and makes lots of jokes during the safari. I higly recommend Gosheni Safaris which is best one and Hassani who is a very good guide. I want to thank Hassani in person for making our safari perfect and looking forward to meet again🙏🏻

Tips: I recommend ‘Morning Hot air Balloon safari’.

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