9 Things You Must Know Before You Go on a Safari in Tanzania

April 29, 2020
Tanzania Safari Guide

Planning to go on a safari in Tanzania? No worries! You’re not alone – Afterall, a wildlife safari to Tanzania is an experience like no other. African safari has become increasingly popular in recent years and this trend is predicted to continue in the years to come. Interestingly enough, the growth in demand for Tanzania safaris is no longer restricted to visitors from the western world. More and more travelers across the globe, particularly those from newly advanced economic development such as the Republic of Russia, China as well as the Middle East, are traveling to Tanzania to experience its authentic wildlife and nature.

As you may expect, before going on safari in Tanzania, there’s much for you to know and prepare to ensure that your first Tanzania safari holiday will live up to expectations. Lucky for you, we are here to help!

1. How to Plan A Tanzania Safari

If you’ve already begun doing some research on types of safari holidays you ought to consider, it may dawn on you the abundance of options that are on offer.

We understand that choosing from such a vast selection can be more than overwhelming. So, to help narrow down your choices, we recommend for you to create a list of aspects of your five safari tour ‘must haves’. This list should highlight the most important things to be factored into your Tanzanian vacation, such as your Tanzania safari budget, what you want to see-and-do, your preferred type of accommodation and mode of transportation.

You may start creating the list by asking yourself the main reasons why you want to go on a Tanzanian safari. Is it because you’d like to see certain animal species? Would you like to catch a glimpse of the great migration of animals? Or are you looking to be involved in a conservation safari project?

By having a clear understanding your reasons for going on a Tanzania safari as well as your priority aspects, you will be able to better focus your search and easily eliminate options that don’t fit your list needs and preferences.

2. What to See On Safari

Knowing what you expect to see on your Tanzania safari holiday is a crucial part of planning your very own version of the perfect African safari. Though Tanzania destinations has a vast collection of wildlife, it’s worth to note that many of its species are unique only to certain ares.

For example, the ‘Big Five’ safaris are popular amongst first-time safari goers. These Tanzania safaris are tailored specifically for visitors whose main intention is to see the (Big Five) animals: lions, leopard, rhinos, elephants and the cape buffalos. If you too are interested in seeing these five species during your safari, you will only be able to do so by Ernest Magic Tours & Safaris prior to arranging your Tanzania safari holiday.

3. When to Go on Safari

When it comes to Tanzania safaris, the best time to visit is always during the dry season as water is scarce and the animals would usually gather around the few water resources that haven’t dried up. Dirt roads are also easier to navigate this time of year (during the rainy season, some areas may be flooded, making it more difficult to get around). This is why you can expect to see a lot more animals you hope to spot during your safari Tanzania. Note that since the dry season is considered the peak season for Tanzania safaris it’ll likely to come with a heftier price tag.

If you’re expecting to observe the great wildlife migration, be sure to also take the time of the year into consideration. At the Serengeti National Park, for example, the great wildebeest migration is also at its best for viewing during the dry season (late-June-to-September).

4. Where to Stay on Safari

Thanks to the popularity of safari holidays, when it comes to accommodation, there are plenty of choices to choose from. If you are looking to be pampered, luxury safaris in Tanzania offer accommodations such as five star resort hotels or tented luxury camps. Alternatively, should you prefer a more wallet-friendly yet comfortable lodging options, treehouses, and campsites are great choices to consider.

5. How to Get Around

Most first-time Tanzania safari goers opt for guided tours where along with professional safari guides, will be driven around in a 4WD vehicle like a toyota landcruiser with other travelers to the best (and safest) spots for observing the wildlife in their natural habitat.

If you’re feeling more active and adventurous, you can opt for alternative options such as going on horse-back. You can even choose walking safari tours and self-driving safaris where you can explore Tanzania’s vast grounds on your own and at your own pace.

6. What to Pack

First things first – as you will likely to be exposed to the sun A LOT throughout your trip, be sure to pack sunscreen (SPF 15 and above).  Remember that you will need to re-apply often (every few hours) in order to minimize the chance of sunburn as Africa’s sun can be brutal. Be sure to also bring polarized sunglasses and a hat – preferably one that has a cord so it won’t get easily lost.

When it comes to clothing, it’s highly advisable to pack comfortable, loose layered clothing that will protect you from the sun. Choose those that can be worn multiple times and are olive, green or khaki. Bring a windbreaker and long pants as mornings and evenings can be chilly. For shoes, if you are taking a walking adventure, be sure to bring heavy hiking boots. However, if you are going on a guided 4WD safari, sports sandals or sneakers would suffice.

As your main intention is to observe the wildlife in their natural habitat, in addition to a sturdy binocular, be sure to also bring along a camera, digital memory cards, and extra batteries or a power back so you can make sure you’d be able to capture all the unforgettable moments you experienced as well as share them with your loved ones at home.

7. What to Prepare

  • Visas

In addition to a valid passport,  a visa is required for entry. These can be obtained in advance in your home country or at the airport on arrival. The line of people buying their visa on arrival can be long and so I recommend getting one before you travel.

To check if you will need a visa visit your local Tanzanian Embassy site or check using the Travvisa.com site at www.travisa.com/Visa_Search There are some key requirements when applying for a Tanzanian visa:

  • Passport must have at least three consecutive blank visa pages.
  • Be valid for six months beyond entry date.
  • Two (2) passport size photos taken on a white background within the last six months.
  • Vaccines

Since some diseases such as yellow fever are commonly found in Africa, you will need to get immunized before you travel. Other than yellow fever, vaccinations that you would need include hepatitis A & B,Malaria and typhoid. Since some vaccinations do take time (up to several weeks) to take into full effect, get your shots done way in advance prior to your departure. If you need more information on vaccines that are destination-specific, check out the website of the Centers for Disease Control.

  • Insurance           

We believe that it’s ‘better to be safe than sorry’ and highly recommend for you to purchase a policy – for your own protection, because emergencies do happen right.

It is essential to take out comprehensive travel insurance, especially for medical issues.Your policy should include coverage for air evacuation to a hospital and back home if required. If you are injured, or have a serious medical incident, you will need to be evacuated from the park or lodge to a main centre, or even out to a neighbouring country like Kenya, mostly likely by plane.

A relatively inexpensive option, if your policy does not cover evacuation, is to take out an evacuation policy with Flying Doctors. They provide air evacuation by bush plane out of the wilds of Tanzania to Nairobi, Kenya. More details at http://flydoc.org

8. How to Stay Safe on Safari

Though you’ll be surrounded by wild animals during your safari holiday in Tanzania, African safari tours are generally safe. As long as you follow the safari etiquettes and the instructions of your tour guide, you will be in good hands.

To avoid getting ill during your Tanzanian safari trip, it’s crucial to stay hydrated (drink only bottled water) and to use insect repellant often. Be sure to also pack prescription and over the counter medications that you may need.

9. How to Give Back

Signing up for a  conservation safari tour is one of the best ways you can directly give back to Tanzania’s wildlife. If you’re looking for other ways to contribute that will last long after you’ve returned home, donating to a surrounding poor community will be just as rewarding.

If you’re also keen to give back to Tanzania’s wonderful people, one of the simplest and kindest ways is to generously tip your safari guide and staff as a way to thank them for their assistance and hospitality. Unemployment is still very much high across Tanzania and every amount will help towards building a more prosperous and thriving Tanzanian community!

Thank you for visiting our blog, and we encourage you to book your Tanzania safari tours with us for the wonderful and safe African safari vacation.