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Tanzania Private Safari Tours

There is a lot to consider when booking a Tanzanian private safari. When deciding on your safari, some of the choices and terminology might be unfamiliar and slightly confusing. First of all, you have the choice between a group or a private safari. Private safaris are very popular in Tanzania. There are, however, two types of private safari; a road safari and a fly-in safari. On a private road safari, your party will be privately guided by one guide throughout your holiday. Your party could be you alone, a couple, a family or a group of friends. On a private fly-in safari, your party will fly from destination to destination. Guided game drives are then conducted by the lodges, and you will probably share game drives with other guests staying at the lodge.

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5 Questions About Tanzania Private Safaris


5 Questions About Tanzania Private Safaris

Answered by Ariadne van Zandbergen

What are the pros and cons of a private safari in Tanzania?

“When deciding on a private safari in Tanzania, it’s good to weigh up the pros and cons to see what’s right for you. A private safari is generally more flexible than a group safari. You don’t have to fit around group dates, and a private safari can be tailor-made according to your interests and preferences. This means, for example, that there will be some flexibility on game-drive times as you can discuss the program with your guide as you go along. If the very early mornings aren’t your thing, you can leave a bit later. The guide only has to cater to your party’s interests, without having to consider other travelers. Another advantage of a private safari is that you can book into very small, intimate Tanzanian bush lodges. These special venues have limited rooms and don’t always cater to tour groups. On the other hand, if you’re very sociable or a single traveler, you might enjoy being part of a group. Many people make lifelong friends on group tours. Of course, there is the price difference to consider as well (see question 2, below).”


Is a private safari more expensive than a group safari in Tanzania?

“A private safari is generally more expensive than a group safari in Tanzania. This makes sense as some of the costs of a group safari are shared. In Tanzania, however, these shared costs (vehicle and driver-guide) are relatively small compared to other individual costs, such as park fees and accommodation. So, the price difference isn’t always as great as you might expect. The price difference also depends on the size of your party. If you’re a single traveler, it will be a lot more expensive to book a private safari as opposed to a group safari, but that difference decreases as your party gets bigger. For a family of five, the price difference will probably be marginal. In any case, group tours in Tanzania are usually limited to a relatively small size. This is mainly because bus tours are not suitable for Tanzanian safaris, and groups are usually split up in six- to eight-seater vehicles.”


Will our guide have meals with us on a private safari?

“Whether your guide will have meals with you on your private safari is dependent on the directives of the tour operator and your own preferences. Dinners are an important part of a safari. Aside from the pleasures of sampling the local dishes, it is a time we can reflect on the day’s activities. When on a road safari in Tanzania, your guide will be your companion throughout the trip. On a group safari, your guide will usually eat with you. This is less clear-cut on private safaris and it depends hugely on the directions of the operator. Most visitors love to use the meal times to get to know their guide better, learn about his/her culture and views on life. However, if you’re traveling as a couple, newlywed or not, or even as a family, this might not be what you had in mind when you booked the safari. Therefore, it is advisable to make the operator aware of your preferences on this matter before commencing the trip.”


Is a private safari recommended for families in Tanzania?

“Yes, I do recommend a private safari for families in Tanzania. Private safaris are very popular because of the way safaris are conducted in Tanzania and the limitation of the vehicle sizes in the parks and reserves. Some people might prefer to book a group tour, either because of their sociable nature or to save some money. However, for family groups, a private tour is particularly recommended. If the family group consists of four or more members, the price difference between a private tour or joining a group tour shouldn’t be very big anyway. The flexibility of a private tour works well for families with younger children, who might, for example, want to avoid very long game drives. It is generally more relaxing to know your kids can’t intrude with the other guests’ safari, and the guide can indulge their needs.”


Is a private safari recommended for bird-watchers in Tanzania?

“If you are a dedicated bird-watcher wanting to book a tour to Tanzania, you should consider joining a specialized birding tour or booking a private tour. Bird-watchers should avoid booking general-interest group safari. Most visitors are mainly interested in big safari animals, and although they love seeing a few colorful birds, they won’t enjoy putting much effort and time into identifying less-glamorous species. Bird-watchers and non-bird-watchers quickly become frustrated with each other when put together on tours, which places the guide in the impossible position of trying to please everybody. There are birding tours catering to avid birders. These tours are usually led by an ornithologist or professional birder who will make sure you use every opportunity to find a lot of the species. Birding tours are particularly designed to take in all the best birding places. These packages only make sense for very serious birders, and they tend to come at an added price. Many casual birders’ needs can also be met on a private safari. If you discuss your interest with the operator, they can select an appropriate guide for you, and suggest an itinerary to suit your birding interest.”


Tanzania Reviews

4.8/5 1229 Reviews
Sue Watt  –  
United Kingdom UK

Sue is an award-winning writer who specializes in African travel and conservation. She writes for national newspapers, magazines, Rough Guides and Lonely Planet.

The perfect safari destination

With almost a quarter of this vast country dedicated to wildlife reserves and national parks, Tanzania is justifiably regarded as Africa’s premier safari destination. It’s one of my favourite countries, not just for the bush, beaches...

Full Review

Anthony Ham  –  
Australia AU

Anthony is a photographer and writer for travel magazines and Lonely Planet, including the guides to Kenya and Botswana & Namibia.

Tanzania: The Great Abundance

Tanzania belongs among the elite of African safari destinations, and its northern safari circuit in particular is one of the best places on the planet to see wildlife. The northern parks are rich in everything there is to love about Africa...

Full Review

Gunnar B. Ólason  –  
Iceland IS
Reviewed: Feb 5, 2023
Fantastic experience and unforgettable!

Went with Colours of Africa on a special private trip which started in Arusha. From there we went to the Serengeti and camped there for one night and saw two of the big one. It was a bit airy to know that the eyes we saw in the night at...

Full Review

Aradi Károly  –  
Hungary HU
Reviewed: Feb 4, 2023
First Safari in my life was very good

We were in Tarangire, Ngorongoro crater and Lake Manyara. We enjoyed all. Our tour guider and the driver were really skilfull, friendly and helpful. They did a professional work for us! The foods were very good, healthy and taste, and in...

Full Review

Agne Skverniene  –  
Lithuania LT
Reviewed: Jan 31, 2023
Green scenery, colorful wildlife. Great experience to remember!

We have visited two different spots for safari (Ngorongoro and Tarangire) and we loved them both. The Ngorongoro crater was very different experience than any other safari. The wildlife, atmosphere and calmness is magic. We have used...

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Prashant Mirje  –  
India IN
Reviewed: Jan 30, 2023
Big Five High Five

First off all excellent experience with safaribookings site for entire tour booking. I traveled SOLO from Mumbai to Arusha. Before reaching Aursha I spent few hours in Dar Es Salam to visit city. I took airport registered taxi to visit...

Full Review