Tanzania’s international airports are Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro International Airport and Zanzibar International Airport. To begin safaris in Northern Tanzania most travellers are advised to book with airlines whose arrivals and departures are at Kilimanjaro International Airport. Kilimanjaro International Airport should not be confused with Arusha Airport which is a 45 minute drive from Arusha town and handles some domestic flights. The departure tax for regional and international flights is US$40. It is usually included in the ticket price for departures from the mainland, but on Zanzibar it is usually levied separately at the airport – payable in either US dollars or Tanzania shillings.
There are over 50 local airports and airstrips in Tanzania as it is very large country with a scattered population. Small planes and charter companies fly to towns and bush airstrips. Arusha is the main hub for airlines servicing the Northern Tanzania parks – Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Tarangire and Manyara. While Dar es Salaam services the Southern Tanzania parks of Selous, Mikumi, Ruaha, Katavi and Mahale. Zanzibar is easily accessible with flights from the mainland.
PLANNING YOUR TANZANIA SAFARI
When planning your safari, there are a few points to take into consideration:
- When would you like to go on safari and for how long?
- What type of activities are you interested in?
- What animals would you like to see?
- What areas are you interested in?
- What is your budget?
- Do you prefer comfortable, luxury or premier accommodation?
- What ages and level of fitness are the people travelling?
Which accommodation do I chose?
The activities that you are interested in most will usually determine your choice and location of accommodation e.g. Big game, birding, walking, water activities or small game. It is always advisable to choose accommodation which can offer you a combination of activities. Tanzania has a lot to offer with its varied ecosystem and a safari combining different elements of these are ideal e.g. the plains of the Serengeti, the game rich Ngorongoro Crater and the exotic spice island of Zanzibar.
How to get the most of your safari?
We recommend a minimum of two nights in any particular Lodges / Camps. Three nights is ideal. Anything less and you will spend more time travelling than on safari. Try to get a mix of accommodation that will give you a variety of game, landscape, location, guides and camp decor.
Plan your route carefully so you reduce your commuting times to a minimum. Flight and road transfer schedules are not as frequent and sophisticated as Europe or North America. This means flights do not always connect efficiently. MIGO AFRICAN SAFARI & TOURS LIMITED will ensure your route makes practical sense.
Location of lodges or camps
Lodges and Camps generally fall into two categories – those in the National Parks and Reserves, and those outside the reserves in private concessions or ranches. The advantage of being within the National Reserves is that the quantity of game is often better than in the private concessions. Also, you will not find any communal villages in the reserves.
But, the same advantages apply to the better private concessions too. In additional, private concessions allow more exclusive access to game as the area is reserved for a small number of guests. In other words, the quality of the game viewing is often better. The other advantage of private concessions is the ability to go off-road, do walking safaris with Maasai warriors and get out of the vehicle (e.g. to enjoy sundowners). None of these activities are allowed in the National Parks.
Other factors that should be considered in choosing the location of your accommodation are:
- What animals you want to see. Some locations are better for cats, others for rhino, and others for the migration, etc.
- Do you wish to stay in a tent or lodge?
Make sure that the camps and lodges you will be visiting are small and intimate in order to provide you with a unique and personal safari experience. You do not want to be surrounded by loads of safari vehicles and noisy tourists.
This is a very personal choice. Some guests prefer to stay in lodges that accommodate up to 100 guests, but in our opinion, guests whose prime objective is wildlife experience with peace and tranquility will normally opt for the smaller more intimate accommodation that offer a personalized service and safari experience.
Possibly one of the most important aspects to a successful and rewarding safari experience is the quality of your guide. They will be able to interpret and show you many of the amazing secrets that nature has hidden. Guides that are in tune with their environment often have a sixth sense and know how to see out and present various wildlife experiences. They will often know their area intimately and the various habitats that animals frequent.
An enthusiastic guide will share knowledge of the many uses of plants, the amazing life of insects, snakes and soils. A good guide will be your host, field guide, teacher, chauffeur, medic, navigator, conservationist, chaperone, protector, counsel, interpreter and friend. Your whole safari experience can be heightened by your guide! It can also be destroyed if you end up with a disinterested and boring guide, seeking only a tip at the end.
When booking your safari, ask questions as to the standards of guide that you will have. Some guests may opt for their own private guide and vehicle for the duration of a safari. This type of guide normally comes highly recommended and will often be very professional in the treatment of guests, their needs and aspirations.
- A simple rules is the more times you go out on safari activities the more you will see
- Carry your binoculars with you at all times and use them
- Ask questions and communicate with your guide, they are extremely knowledgeable on the wildlife
- Observe and appreciate the multitude of sights that Africa has to offer
- Listen to the constant diversity of noise, especially at dawn and during the night
- Don’t be in a rush to dash off to the next wildlife sighting, enjoy the moment
- Take time to relax and enjoy the scenes around you
- Don’t observe the whole of your African safari through the lens of a camera