There are 56 sovereign countries on the continent of Africa. Tanzania has a different model than most of the southern African countries where you fly into private game reserves. In Tanzania you game drive between locations especially in the Serengeti National Park. In general, there are greater volumes of wildlife in Tanzania than in other countries. There is no other African country that has a wildebeest and zebra herd numbering 2 million individuals. Tanzania also does not allow any private reserves inside any national parks so you remain with the same vehicle and safari guide throughout your safari.
There is no “best” time of the year. There is a green season and a dry season and it depends upon what you want to experience and the type of weather you might prefer and your budget range. Since the wildebeest and zebra herds are always in the Serengeti anytime is a good time.
The wildebeest and zebra herds are always in the Serengeti; they are just in different locations doing different things at different times of the year. The herds cross back and forth over the Mara River in the Serengeti in the dry season months and only 30% of the herds continue moving north into the Maasai Mara. The reason for this dramatic change is the shrinking habitat of the Maasai Mara and the quality of grass being more nutritious in the Serengeti due to the practice of controlled burning. So, 70% of the herds remain in the Serengeti all year round and the remaining 30% return to the Serengeti when the short rains begin again in November. Ask your safari specialist for more information.
One of the best things about a private safari is the flexibility to plan each day with your guide based on what you want to see and how you feel. You can spend the entire day (6 am to 6 pm) on game drives or you can return to your accommodation for lunch. We encourage you to be in the vehicle by 6 am so you can enjoy one of the more active times for the big cats. But you can return to your accommodation for a hot lunch and to relax before going out again in the late afternoon. There is a curfew in each park and your vehicle needs to be back at the accommodations by 6 pm. There are a few exceptions for various areas in the Serengeti where the curfew is 7 pm.
The cost is totally dependent upon how many people are in your private group, how many days you want to be on safari and the accommodations you choose. Tanzania is unfortunately not a budget destination because of the cost of daily park fees and the cost of fuel. There is no electrical gird in any of the national parks so everything runs from generators and stored solar power. Fuel is required to adequately provide electricity and for the vehicles on game drives. All our vehicles are 4-wheel drive heavy duty Land Cruisers and our costs includes the high expense of fuel in all these situations. It is very hard to plan a successful safari for less than $6,500 per person land cost unless you are coming for a very short period of time. Please refer to our Request an Itinerary Form for additional budget ranges we suggest.
Daily park fees are charged per person per day and currently range between $60-85 per person per day in 2022 and 2023. In addition, every safari and accommodation operates with fuel and the cost of fuel is very high in Tanzania, not only because of the raw price per barrel but also because of Tanzania government taxes. Some companies highly restrict the amount of mileage their guides can use each day to minimize the cost of fuel and maximize profits. Unique Safaris is not one of those companies and we game drive the best remote areas for your wildlife experiences.
Unique Safaris specializes only in Tanzania. However, we book all of Tanzania (north, Zanzibar, south) and we do have the ability to coordinate an extension to Rwanda or Uganda if you would like to include gorillas or chimps in your experience.
There are a variety of international carriers you can select from depending upon your point of origin. Carriers that fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) include Delta/KLM; Qatar Air; Turkish Air; Ethiopia Air. There are new carriers that are just beginning service that a travel agent can help you to explore. Emirates Air flies to Dar es Salaam but there is a connecting flight to get you to Arusha on the same day. Unique Safaris is not a travel agency; we are the wholesaler in Tanzania. We do not book international air but we can refer you to an excellent agency for your flight reservations.
Unique Safaris has no age restrictions on either end of the spectrum. There are various discounts for children up to the age of 16 (15.99 years) and your safari specialists can provide more information.
A safari is physical not strenuous as you are pretty much walking to and from your vehicle. However, the overwhelming majority of our guests take our recommendations to start your game drives at 6 am so the days are long and in the equatorial sun they can be tiring.
Yes and no. This is somewhat up to you and how you want to plan each day with your guide to optimize wildlife experiences. You can do full day game drives or two half day game drives and you can mix and match depending upon how you feel. Most people who do not think they want to be in a vehicle for a full day are surprised at how the day progresses as you are focused on seeing so many interesting interactions.
No; Unique Safaris itself does not take guests on bush walks. Game walking is rather restricted in the northern parks because of the density of wildlife and the potential risk to people and wildlife. There are some accommodations we use that will do a nature walk but there should be an armed game ranger escorting the group at all times. The goal of these nature walks is to look for “the small things” and better understand the importance of even the tiniest animals in the eco-system. You do get to stretch your legs but it is far from a fat-burning exercise.
Unique Safaris is not able to process credit cards outside of Tanzania so payments need to be made by wire transfer instead.