What to expect on safari in Tanzania? – first timer guide
What to expect on safari in Tanzania? – Many travelers dream of going on a safari in Tanzania one of the East African countries and one of the best safari destinations in the world. It’s another tick off the bucket and it’s a dream wildlife safari experience to many of them, and to others, it’s a passion. To ease up the suspense, here is what to expect on safari in Tanzania.
Tanzania as a tourist destination is blessed with a wide diverse ecosystem that ranges from golden savannahs plains, mountains, forests, waterfalls, and walled cities to islands that offer a tropical paradise of exquisite proportions. On a safari in Tanzania, you will be able to witness a glorious display of these landscapes and be able to drive through rough roads, some almost impassable during certain times, and you will be able to enjoy striking natural scenery throughout.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area is one of the most visited places and it offers a unique landscape. It is the UNESCO World Heritage Site and Africa’s “Garden of Eden”, and Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a massive volcanic caldera that provides a haven to 25,000 large animals including 26 black rhinoceros and about 62 lions.
Water is never scarce in Ngorongoro Conservation Area and its gorgeous visitors 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 mountain 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.
Tanzania as a tourist destination has always been popular for its impressive concentration and diversity of wildlife. It is normal to find a herd of zebras along with wildebeests in one corner and then pride of lions or hyenas on another. Many visitors have attested that the number of animals they saw on other safari destinations is the number of animals they saw on a safari in Tanzania. You have to remember that a good safari guide is essential for a successful safari.
Tanzania is teeming with wildlife, and animals can be hard to spot especially if you don’t know where and how to look. The drivers/ranger guides/will be able to go to “where the action happens.” One iconic wildlife event in Tanzania is the Great Wildebeest Migration, where over 2 million 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 Serengeti National Park, you will surely be able to experience this said migration as long as you have an experienced guide to navigate your tour.
Early morning starts and long drives
Each National Park is huge and you will need some time to find several animals, and you are going to be inside the safari vehicle for most of the time. 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.
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. This is great though; the wilderness will always make you go wow. Also, there are so many bird species around Tanzania.
Tanzania is near the Equator line so it only has two seasons: the wet season and the dry season. However, the weather can be pretty unpredictable. It is mostly sunny, 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, and a hat/cap and consider bringing rainy gear.
Amazing Safari day
On this day you will wake up early in the morning and hear the interesting sounds of animals. Breakfast will be served at your chalet or the common dining area of your camp/lodge. Sometimes, you may 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 driver-guide will take you to the most amazing spots to see beautiful vistas and spectacular animal sightings. If you are lucky, you can even catch predator-prey or predator-predator interactions. You will have a picnic lunch 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.
You will continue with your game safari after lunch 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 campfire, a small gathering, or a few drinks at the bar. At other times, safaris can also end after lunchtime and you can go back to your lodge early in the afternoon for your own leisure time. You can also go biking, hiking, do some add-on activities, or even just go to sleep.
Adventure for a lifetime safari experience
Safari adventures in Tanzania can never be the same. Even avid safari-goers still find something surprising each time. While you can prepare for the 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 Tanzanian safari is truly one for the books and certainly, you should experience it.
Best time to visit Tanzania
Tanzania’s National Parks are easy to visit and safaris are easy to arrange. The best time to visit and for seeing wildlife in Tanzania is in the dry season from May to October. The dry weather makes game viewing easy as the lack of water brings animals to sources of water. The wildebeest migration arrives in Ngorongoro Conservation Area in late February and early March, and it passes through Serengeti National Park between July and October. Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area are highly popular, so if you want to have a quieter safari holiday, choose one of the smaller parks like Tarangire, Katavi, Selous, or the little-known Ruaha National Park.
Some of the safari companies in Tanzania are based out of Arusha. Arusha is one of Tanzania’s largest cities and you will most likely spend a night there before or after your safari. The closest airport to Arusha is Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA), which is located about 45 km away. If you are traveling a long distance, though, Great Adventure Safaris would advise arriving in Arusha the day before your safari so you will be well-rested for your adventure.
Our Great Adventure Safaris representative will happily pick you up from your hotel in Arusha. You will then drive to the National Park, which is a long but beautiful drive. It will take a little over three hours but the scenery is gorgeous and you will enjoy seeing what life is like in the towns you will pass through.