Basic Safari Q&A

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Where is the best place to go on safari?

Safari in Kiswahili, the language of East Africa, simply means a journey. Today it is synonymous in English with a wildlife viewing adventure in the African Bush. If your primary reason for traveling to Africa is to experience an abundance of African wildlife in unspoiled wilderness, then Tanzania should be your destination of choice. Tanzania protects over 25% of its land through national parks and reserves, more than any other country on the continent. You simply cannot beat the wildlife concentrations found in Tanzania. The parks and wildlife reserves of Tanzania are inhabited by vast herds of wildebeest spread out across the Serengeti savanna, huge populations of elephant and buffalo, as well as plains game and their predators. All these animals interact and roam freely, the same as they have for thousands of years. Here you’ll witness an incredible diversity of ecology and will find the vegetation and bird life as fascinating as the big game. This is the home to 90% of the film series produced on African animals. Tanzania also boasts a remarkable number of World Heritage Sites including, Serengeti National Park, Kilimanjaro National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Selous Game Reserve, (this reserve alone is the size of Denmark), Kilwa Kisiwani and the Songo Mnara Ruins and Mafia Marine park.

Where is the best place to go for wildlife viewing in Tanzania?
You simply can’t beat northern Tanzania for wildlife concentrations, although this is were most people tend to travel. Most people have heard of the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater and the wide array of wildlife dwelling on the crater floor. Most have heard of the vast Serengeti savanna, which hosts the annual Migration of Wildebeest and the predators that follow in its wake. This is only the beginning of the natural phenomena awaiting your discovery on a safari to Tanzania.

What kinds of animals will I see on safari in Tanzania?
Tanzania is home to over 35 species of large four-legged mammals and has over 1000 species of birds listed. On a typical safari in northern Tanzania you can expect to see elephant, buffalo, giraffe, hippo, baboon, monkeys and a variety of plains game such as wildebeest, hartebeest, zebra, impala and gazelle. Most people see lion and hyena, and possibly cheetah or leopard. In Ngorongoro Crater you may see one of the few remaining black rhino to be found in Tanzania. You’ll undoubtedly see several different species of mongoose and some hyrax and other small mammals. If you’re lucky you’ll see one or more of the smaller cats, foxes, wild dog or the more reticent antelope like lesser kudu, bushbuck, oryx or eland.

What is the migration?
Every year, over one million wildebeest move through the Serengeti plains in search of food and water. The phenomenon of these animals moving en mass through the African savanna is known as the Migration. The seasonal rains that water the grazing pastures drive their movement. It is impossible to predict in advance exactly how or when this progression will take place, but there is a pattern. Generally from mid-December through May the herds are feeding in the southern Serengeti. During February thousands of calves appear on the plains. Between June and July, the wildebeest begin their annual migration north reaching the Mara River that marks the Kenyan border sometime between the end of July and beginning of August. After the first short rains, usually in the beginning of November, the herds move back into Tanzania’s Serengeti and make their way to the southern pastures where they rest and feed through the rains until their search for better grazing leads them to begin their annual migration once again. Even when the “migration” moves into Kenya for the summer months, there are many resident herds in the Serengeti and there is always an incredible array of wildlife to experience there. Also, in the summer months, which are the height of the dry season, thousands of elephant congregate around the Tarangire River. This park is at it’s prime during these months.

What’s the weather like in Tanzania?
Located at an altitude of 5,000 to 7,600 feet, northern Tanzania’s dry sunny climate is nothing like the steamy African jungle of Tarzan movies. The weather is spring-like year round, with daytime temperatures in the 70s and 80s, evenings in the 60s. From June until August, temperatures are slightly cooler, ranging from the 50s to the mid-70s. The coastal and lowland areas tend to be more tropical in temperature.

What clothes should I bring on safari?
Safari dress is comfortable and casual – layers are recommended. Keep it simple and bring things you don’t mind getting dusty. After you have booked your safari, we send you a pre-departure information through emails to help you prepare for your safari.

Are safaris in Tanzania safe?
Today’s modern safari is a far cry from the rugged safaris of the past. After a stimulating day of game viewing, you can relax at comfortable, attractive lodges, with amenities like swimming pools, full service restaurants and en-suite bathrooms. Located right in the scenic settings of the wildlife reserves, the lodges are close to nature… but not too close for comfort. Tanzania is one of Africa’s most stable countries, where you’ll receive a warm welcome from its gracious people. Every care is taken to ensure your health and safety on safari.

How far in advance should I book my safari?
It is better to book as far in advance as possible to ensure availability at the time you wish to travel, especially during the peak seasons (July & August and Christmas time). This is especially important for those wishing to travel on private custom safaris and those adding extensions to the scheduled trips.

What is the best time of the year to go on safari?
In general the month from June to September and from December through February tend to be the ideal months, with the least amount of rain and most amount of animals.





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