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Safari General Info

General information and things (not) to do in the National parks or in the presence of animals

Safari you will discover a variety of wild animals which live in and outside of protected areas. As the animals are wild and not used to the presence of humans, we give you information on how to behave and how to respect your environment.

We usually share the following information for people on safari with us, parts of it as requested by the Tanzania National Parks Authorities (TANAPA):

Driving in the parks is allowed between 06:00am and 18:00pm except for night game drives if the proper permit has been obtained. You should allow for plenty of time to be out of the park before the gate closures.

Vehicles should not exceed the speed limit of 50Km/h (or 25km/h inside of the Ngorongoro Crater). The recommended speed for game viewing is 25km/h.

Animals always have the right of way

Do not approach too close and disturb birds or animals. Do not make noise, blow your horn, play music, clap, rev engines, imitate animal sounds, pound on vehicles or throw objects to get animals attention.
Do not feed animals.

Vehicles should only follow authorized roads and tracks. Taking vehicles off road without authorization incurs fines and could lead to the guides license being suspended. TANAPA and NCAA have aerial surveillance in place for this.

Be considerate to fellow visitors and do not disturb them or the animals they are watching. It is recommended that a minimum of 25 meters distance should be between any animal and the vehicle.
Pets or guns are not allowed inside of parks

Please do not uproot, pick, cut or damage any plant or be in possession of any part of a plant indigenous to the park. The same goes for eggs, bones, trophies and rocks. No animate or inanimate objects should ever be removed.

Should not be more than 25 meters away from your car or exit your vehicle within 200 meters of any wild animal. Leaving the vehicle inside of parks is not permitted unless at a designated stopping point or picnic site.
Drones are not permitted inside of any park or conservation area.

Best period of the year for a safari and expected weather

The best period of the year to go on safari is commonly from April to November. Nonetheless, Tanzania has different seasons, each one special and different. You can schedule your safari depending on what you would like to observe and experience.

January, February, March: Beautiful weather however, some slightly windy weather possible at the end of the day; still green and fresh due to the small rainy season in November. Good climate to visit the parks of northern Tanzania. In addition, not as many tourists as during high-season July and August.

April, May: Rainy season, thus often windy and rainy but also beautiful sunny days are possible; very few tourists, lower prices. We personally love this time of the year. However, the parks in the south are not very appealing during that time of the year and many lodges are not open to tourists.

June: Beginning of dry season, often blue skies. The nature becomes green again, still not too many tourists around. However, the observation of animals can be slightly tricky due to lush green and thus more scattered food-sources and hiding possibilities. It is also the beginning of the touristy season for the national parks in the south of Tanzania, northern parks are welcoming tourists throughout the year.

July, August: These months are clearly high season and some national parks count ten times more vehicles than during low season. If you decide to travel during this time of the year, you need to reserve your places very early. Overall, nature is drier than during other times of the year, but good time to observe animals which often come together at some of the remaining water spots.

September, October: End of the dry season, and only little water remaining, mostly brownish colors. Best period to clearly see the animals, however, generally fewer animals during dry season in Central Serengeti.

November, December: Calm period across most national parks, beautiful landscape with beautiful colors, mostly greener than the months before due to the small rainy season in November. The highest temperatures are between December and February.

Clothing / Luggage

Casual, comfortable and easy to wash clothes are recommended. The goal is to pack lightly as most lodges and camps will launder clothes for a small fee. Safaris are informal, and there is no need to dress up. Do plan to dress in layers so you can adjust to temperature changes as early morning game drives can be quite cold depending on the time of year while daytime temperatures can get quite warm.

Stick to neutral or khaki colors and avoid wearing dark blue or black clothes as these colors tend to attract tsetse flies. Wide brimmed hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellent are a necessity. After sunset, we recommend that you wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and socks and spray insect repellent to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

Recommended safari clothing:

  • T-shirts and tank tops
  • Long-sleeved shirts (for protection from sunburns)
  • Shorts
  • Light long pants or convertible long-short pants
  • Warm fleece pullover or jacket
  • One swimsuit
  • Cotton socks and underwear
  • Pajamas
  • One pair of comfortable walking shoes
  • One pair of sandals or flip-flops
  • Wide-brimmed hat
  • Bandana (for dust)
  • Heavy sweater, gloves, and toque if traveling in the cold season (June – August)

Clothing for Zanzibar – Please dress modestly when sightseeing in Stone Town or visiting anywhere outside of the beach resorts in Zanzibar. Women should not wear sleeveless or revealing tops and short skirts or thigh-high shorts (Capri trousers or at least knee-length shorts are fine). Men should wear shirts, pants or knee-length shorts.

Photography
A safari is a great occasion to take original and unique pictures. If you want to take professional photos, you should bring a professional camera with a minimum zoom of 300mm, several flash cards and batteries. A tripod or selfie-stick can also be useful if you plan to use your smartphone.

Types of animals you can expect to see
Animals across all northern national parks of Tanzania are relatively similar, however, landscapes change considerably, and you are more likely to spot some animals in one park than the other. In any case, you will spot the “big five”, i.e. lion, elephant, rhinoceros, leopard and buffalo. The different types and species of animals you are likely to discover are predators and herbivores, mammals, birds and reptiles.

Find out more about four of the most famous national parks in Tanzania simply take a look here.

Transportation
During your safari you will move in a Jeep and a driver will drive you and guide you. We have written more about what a safari is and what to expect here.

Tipping
As for other touristy activities, tipping after safaris is very common. We recommend the following tips per person and day of the safari, from the whole group:

Safari driver-guide: 20-35 USD per day

Safari-cook (for camping safaris only): 15-20 USD per day

Park Ranger or Maasai Guide For Walking Safaris: $20 per vehicle per walk

Maasai Village Visit: $20 per vehicle

Transfer driver in Arusha: $10 per vehicle

Porters/Baggage Handlers: $1 to $2 per bag

Lodge/Camp Staff: $10 per group per day using

 

Lodges and camps, a tip box will be located in the reception area, and we recommend that you use the gratuity boxes rather than providing individual tips to the staff that directly assist you.

There are many behind the scenes staff ensuring your pleasant stay (cooks, room attendants, housekeepers, security guards, etc.) and by using the gratuity box, your tip will be shared equally among all staff.

 

For more details about Safari please click this link