Tips for a successful safari are simple; many tips miss the basic points. Much advice is offered for the successful safari forgets about the essential truths.
By far the most luxurious, convent and most relaxing way to participate in a safari is by air. The flying safari is the easiest and the most expensive way to go on safari. To simply fly into the Serengeti and have the car waiting for you, to be whisked away to you luxury tented camp, is what safari dreams are made from.
The alternative is to be rocked and bounced around in your safari 4×4 for hours on end whilst [at times] fighting off hard biting tsetse flies. Going on a safari can be hard and uncomfortable work. It is tiring to sit and bounce through the heat and dust. Does this put you off taking a safari? It shouldn’t; the euphoria far outweighs the discomfort endured through the long day.
A much kept secret to the successful safari is to do everything slowly. To avoid ‘safari fatigue’ [where by day four you can’t wait for it all to be over] take things slowly. Spending two or three days at each camp or lodge in the National Parks. To shoehorn what you can into a short time frame is counter productive unless your aim is simply to say I have been there and done that. The slower you go on safari the more your see, the closer you get to experiencing what the first explorers must have felt. Itineraries I see now seem to be a whirlwind tour of camps scattered across the national parks.
Try to go for camps that are out of the way, off the beaten track and are intimate. The larger lodges are not really adding to the safari experience. The small tented camps are ideal although usually expensive. If you look around there are small camps that do not empty the bank account. If you spend a few nights at a single camp or use several camps belonging to one organization they will usually give you a discount.
Low season is a great time to have a safari; with few tourists in the parks and accommodation. Low season in Tanzania is through the rainy season; however it has been known to rain more in the so called dry season than it has in the long rains. Low season is an opportunity to have a luxury safari at a relatively low cost. Single room supplements are often waved in low season.
The budget safari is not a good way to see the parks. With the operators who specialize in this be prepared for over crowded safari vehicles that often break down. The budget lodge safari should be avoided at all costs.
The two-man tent camping [budget] safari is also a good way to experience Africa. It is not as comfortable as the lodges but there are campsites in all areas of the park. You can get away from the madding crowd and not have to pay the heavy charges of the tented camps that usually are in the secret areas of the parks. If you are not prepared to pay the heavy cost of the luxury safari then the best alternative is at the other end of the scale; basic camping. Try to avoid joining a group and set departures; this is the soulless mass produced safari. Get your own group together and plan an exciting itinerary with the help of a good, established tour operator.
The more work you put into your safari, as in planning and researching, the more of a success the whole experience will be. Do not rush into anything, think, plan and then go on your adventure. It is not a time to be lazy when organizing your safari; the time to be lazy is whilst you are on safari.