User Reviews – Tanzania
Email JerseyMolly | 35-50 years of age | Experience level: first safari
It was an amazing trip, I only wish that it was longer, I would've liked to spend more time at the Ngorongoro crater. It was definitely the highlight of this trip, a unique ecosystem that's been preserved in it's present state for many years. We were fortunate to see a pack of hyenas hunt wildebeest, that's not something I'd ever expected to see. At Lake Manyara we were able to observe several families of elephants, they walked right alongside our jeep, so close that we could see their eyelashes. Lake Manyara is also a birder's paradise and a home of great many baboons. One word of caution - it was very dusty, bring a mask or a bandanna to tie around your face, and drink lots of water.
Selous Game Reserve: less crowded= much more natural experience
Plan your safari very early- possibly before you leave but definitely in your first week. The more people in your group, the cheaper the safari (4 day safari in Serengeti/north circuit will run $600-700 plus flights/bus if you have >2 people in your group, whereas it will be >$1200 if you are alone). I tried for 3 weeks to join groups but couldn’t find any companies that had groups to join, so couldn’t go to the northern circuit.
Instead I went on safari to the southern circuit in Selous. This was an awesome experience and we got to see tons of wildlife in the comfort of luxury tents (true 5 star experience with excellent food and service). You are truly immersed in wildlife 24 hours each day with giraffe walking by your showers. I woke to fresh morning tea just to see a herd of elephants walk right by my tent. Each day you're there you have a choice between a boat, walking or truck safari (2 total per day). The stars at night are the most brilliant I have ever seen (zero light pollution). There is a guard that patrols the camp for lions at all times and you are always escorted at night from the dinning tent back to your own tent (big cats will roam the camp site at times). I always felt comfortable and protected, although the animal sounds at night were pretty exciting. If you want to see pictures you can look at my flickr site at:
Contact for Selous Safari is: Festus Njogoro, 0774735693 or 0222128485, firstname.lastname@example.org.
My friends previously went on safari at Serengeti with Sunny’s Safari, and they said they enjoyed that company.
Email Eleanore Avery | 65+ years of age | Experience level: over 5 safaris
After 25 safaris, Tanzania is the best.
My first safari was to South Africa in 1998. I have made 25 safaris since then and now visit only Tanzania and the Serengeti. I have traveled to West, South and North in Tanzania. I would not return to Katavi and Mahale. I would certainly recommend all the parks in southern (Selous, Ruaha, etc.). Tarangire is great for Elephant lovers in particular and one must visit the Ngorogoro crater at least once. The Serengeti has a year round perpetual migration of Zebras and Wildebeest. In the south one can see the birthing of about 5000 calves a DAY in February...and all the big cats are drawn to this supermarket. The 'middle' of the Serengeti is home to all the cats year round as well as elephants, and very busy, but not to be missed. The north holds my favorite camp...Sayari. This is where I go to witness big migration crossing Mara River in August/Sept., but this area has wildlife all year. Tanzania has everything....all the cats: Lions, Leopards, Cheetahs, Servals and others. I have been to Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Ruanda and Tanzania. My favorite wonderful safari experience is still Tanzania, and I am returning for my 26th safari (and 10th arranged by Vuriva safari company) in August 2017.
20-35 years of age | Experience level: 2-5 safaris
A great place to experience your first safari.
The national parks in Tanzania have a stunning amount of animals (significantly more so than Ugandan parks), and this makes game drives easier there. We visited 5 parks/reserves there, but by far our favorite resort was the Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge at the rim of the crater. The views from the hotel were stunning, and the dining room was very luxurious, so I highly recommend this lodge.
The Serengeti is a must for any safari to Tanzania. If you can be there during the Great Migration (Jan-Mar) you'll see some awe-inspiring wildlife. Unfortunately we went during the summer, so we missed that, but still had an amazing journey.
35-50 years of age | Experience level: 2-5 safaris
Exceptional wildlife and expansive landscapes.
It's hard to beat the wildlife, biodiversity, and expansive landscapes of Tanzania. From the highest peak on the continent to Ngorongoro wildlife rich crater, from the expansive Serengeti to vibrant alleyways of Stonetown on Zanzibar, Tanzania has it all and then some. If you're short on time and want to see big game, head straight to Ngorongoro. You'll see everything but giraffes here - they can't climb down/up the steep crater walls. There's so much wildlife it almost feels like a zoo. If you're more into the search and discovery style safari, and have the time, the Serengeti is for you. Better yet, do both. Climb Mt Killy to brag that you bagged the continent's summit, but for my time and money, I'd climb Mt Kenya - more beautiful and fewer traffic jams on the trail. Finally, the rich swahili culture, white sand beaches, and the alluring alleyways of Stone Town on Zanzibar are not to be missed.
Email Ian Moore | 50-65 years of age
The place to visit for wold life safaris.
Simply put it was out of this world.
We travelled with Access2Tanzania who helped us plan the trip, where to go, where to stay, meeting our budget, etc, they were simply delightful to work with and I can not thank them enough for their help and patience as we worked on different agendas and pricing.
When we arrived in Arusha (we flew from Dulles on Ethiopian Airlines directly into Addis Ababa and then onto Arusha to arrive by early afternoon) we were met by our guide, Fulgence, and our personal vehicle. He was an excellent guide I would highly recommend him and A2Z. Instead of stopping for a night in Arusha, as is typical when flights arrive in via Amsterdam, we drove directly down to our first stop near Tarangire National Park. This allowed us to start seeing the animals early on the second day.
I have a web site where you can see where we stayed and which parks we visited (http://www.moorecs.com/Tanzania or my photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ian_moore/) and that should give you some ideas as to accommodations, places to see and, of course, the main attraction, the animals.
The tented camps are excellent and provide safe, clean and beautiful accommodations. We stayed two of our ten nights in a wilderness camp where you literally stay in a large tent and your hot water for a shower is brought to you in a bag - it is hoisted above the bathroom end of the tent. Toilets are chemical and at night you fall asleep to the sounds of lions in the distance, hyenas surrounding the camp and the night sounds of Africa - truly a great experience.
We would recommend the tented camps over the lodges which tend to be more European in nature, large dining areas and like a normal hotel anywhere in the world.
As for the animals - you will never go back to the zoo with the same excitement again. Our guide was brilliant in finding the animals and would sit as long as we wanted - you are not limited by the wants of others, simply what your group in your vehicle wants to do. We could stay out as late as we wanted and get up at times that suited us - but don't be lazy, the dawn rides out into the Serengeti for breakfast are worth the early rise. Getting up close to a prides of lions when it is only your vehicle anywhere to be seen is tremendous and our guide found remote locations where we sat for hours watching families of lions with their cubs (right beside our vehicle), a lion stalking a warthog, or a Leopard and her cub hauling their dinner, a gazelle, high into a tree - simply spectacular.
We would recommend that you take some time to visit the local villages or Masai boma. They really enjoy your visit and if you plan on doing this you may want to bring some small books or pencils for the children in the school. There are some pictures on my web sites of the children in the Masai school. You will find the Tanzanians to be a very welcoming people and happy to have visitors.
This is one of those bucket list of adventures and Tanzania has it all - wonderful people, great and varied accommodations and of course an unbelievable range and number of animals. Not to be missed.
Email Sandi | 35-50 years of age
Tanzania... best travel experience of my life!
I had the great pleasure to spend about a week and a half in Tanzania in early November, 2009. This was a trip that I had spent hours and hours researching, reading about, asking questions about on various travel forums, and then finally planning with my safari tour operator (Good Earth Tours). I had very high expectations, and they were all exceeded. Everything from the weather, the low number of other tourists (and bugs/mosquitos!), the wildlife viewing, the services and care given by my safari outfitter and private guide, the warm welcomes from the good people of Tanzania, the quality of the food and lodging, the amazing natural beauty of the various parks we visited, all varied and different from one another... just made for the most magnificent trip I have ever taken. And I have taken quite a few. I love to take photos, purely amateur, but some of the photos I came back with stunned my friends and family, they couldn't believe the beautiful sights that I was able to see.
I feel like my itinerary was perfect, I wouldn't have changed a thing about it. Flew into Kilimanjaro Airport, and planned to spend two nights in the town of Arusha pre-safari, just to get acclimated to the time change, and to have a buffer day in case of flight delays or other problems like that. And it was a very good thing that we did that. ("We" was just myself, and one friend... party of two for this entire trip.) My friend had a mishap with her passport as we were preparing to fly out of St. Louis, it was current, but did not have more than six months validity left on it, which we did not know was necessary. What a day that turned out to be...after some scrambling to find out our options, my friend flew ahead to Chicago with hopes of getting her passport renewed on the spot. Thankfully, we had a long layover there before the international flight. Long story short, my friend did make it on the plane to Amsterdam, with only minutes to spare. The door was closing. I was already on the plane, planning to go ahead to Tanzania, knowing that we had the buffer day built in and that my friend could at least make it by the second day, and we would not miss our safari. So, just a word of advice, check your passport date! And do try to have an extra day to recoup when you arrive, or just relax, or to save yourself a whole lot of worry in case something like this happens to you.
The best part about our "extra" day in Arusha, though, was that we did get to have the most lovely lunch at Hatari Lodge, and a half-day visit to Arusha National Park. It was something I had debated back and forth, whether or not to include Arusha National Park in our safari. I am so glad we did. My very favorite photo from the whole trip was from there. And the way we did it was very cost effective... we asked to have lunch at Hatari Lodge, which is inside the park. So it was sort of a bonus to see the park, while we were just driving thru on our way to lunch! And our guide was so wonderful (Prosper was his name, with Good Earth Tours). We were getting to know each other during the drive, and I was just asking casual questions, making conversation. I asked about whether we would likely see Flamingos at Lake Manyara later in the week. Prosper said if we wanted to see Flamingos, he would make it happen. Turns out, the flamingos were actually in Arusha. lol LOTS and LOTS of them. He didn't have to do it, because it wasn't on our itinerary, but Prosper took at least two extra hours of his personal time, and took us to see the flamingos in Arusha National Park after our lunch. It was so beautiful, and such a pleasant surprise. Just a fantastic way to start our journey together.
Sorry for the long story there... but I felt it was important to share. Back to our itinerary:
Two nights in Arusha at the Kibo Palace Hotel
Two nights at Tarangire Sopa Lodge
One night at Lake Manyara Hotel (A Wildlife Lodge property)
Lunch at Gibbs Farm
One night at Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge
Two nights at Seronera Wildlife Lodge
One night at Lobo Wildlife Lodge
Two nights at Migration Camp (including a full-day game drive to the Mara River)
Flight to Zanzibar
Stayed four nights at Imani Villa Beach Resort
Flight back to Arusha, picked up by Good Earth representative, who took us to some local places for last-minute shopping, lunch, etc. They kept our luggage for us during the day, and then drove us back to Kilimanjaro Airport for our flight home.
Good Earth took such good care of us, and so did the good people working at all the different lodges and camps. The food was so good everywhere we went. At least that is my most humble opinion.
I was especially impressed with the Wildlife Lodge properties. They are extremely budget friendly, and I thought they would be a little more rustic than they were, but was willing to save a few bucks by staying with them, in order to better afford the luxury of Migration Camp as the grand finale of our safari at the end. The Wildlife properties are Very, VERY well located, you are in the heart of all the beauty and wildlife. They are truly great lodges, the architecture of the common areas especially pleased me. And the food here was just as good as the Sopa lodges.
Migration Camp, well, what can I say, but DON'T MISS IT! Just an amazing experience to treat yourself extra special for a night or two. It's expensive, but I think it is worth it for at least one night.
I guess that is the basics, please feel free to contact me for more details! I love to talk about it and reminisce! :)
Email Tamela | 35-50 years of age | Experience level: 2-5 safaris
Life changing experience
We used Awaken to Africa on both of our trips to Tanzania. Our guide David is one of the best we have ever used. He ensures we see the all the wildlife and Grace makes sure our accommodations are top notch. Once you go to Tanzania to see the migration you will want to go back every year.
50-65 years of age | Experience level: first safari
A beautiful country with many contrast including people, wildlife and scenery!
This was our first trip to Africa and it lived up to all expectations. The wildlife in the Serenghetti was tremendous. We had to keep telling ourselves that it was real and not a Disney ride. We travelled with an American company, Overseas Adventure Travel, and their constant attention to detail was exceptional. Certainly seeing the major groups of wild animals was a highlight, elephants, giraffes, lions, rhinocerous, hippos, and all other animals was exceptional. The weather was perfect during our trip with little to no rain. Visiting the Masai was another exceptional experience as we had the opportunity to enter their modest homes and learn of their daily lives. As a lover of elephants I had the opportunity to spend a great deal of time photographing them and studying their interactions individually and as a group. Food was excellent and the experience of staying on the Serenghetti in tents for several days and nights was one that was a highlight. Seeing a sunset on the Serenghetti whil you are eating a gourmet meal cooked inside a field tent kitchen was amazing. Our guides were knowledgable as well as friendly and attentive. Overall I would recommend everyone to take a trip to Africa and experience the vast, beautiful continent that it is. If you can add a hot air balloon ride over the Serenghetti at dawn don't miss it.
Email Senal | under20 years of age | Experience level: 2-5 safaris
An underrated diamond in the rough.
I cannot compare the experience of the safari to that of others I have been to because Tanzania has surpassed all my previous adventures tenfold. A lot of this owes to the brilliant effort given by our safari guide who ensured we witnessed the already impressive wildlife in the most exciting fashion.
Thanks to him, we didn't just see the Big 5 and the other magnificent beasts, but experienced them.
The accommodation and staff were spectacularly suited to our needs and the food was another experience that cannot be found anywhere else.
Finally, I am obliged to implore future Tanzanian travellers to take a moment at night and look up. You won't regret it!