Thursday, June 16, 2011

How Do I Choose My Safari?

There are many ways to choose, plan, and arrange your safari. Africa is large and complex. There are many people and places to see and visit. The mammal and bird life is stunningly diverse and captivating. A two-week period will allow for at least eleven nights out on safari. This is long enough to see the major features of the great Serengeti plains of northern Tanzania.

Lodging can be in tented camps (quite royal actually), in smallish camps like Ndutu pictured here, in larger hotel-like facilities with all the trappings that you are used to or in elegant upscale facilities with gourmet food and very private tree-house rooms. It is also possible to have a totally remote safari with your own tented camp moved each day from one remote spot to another. Of course camp staff, hot showers, good beds, excellent food, and South African wines accompany you throughout.

If you are joining a group you should read their itinerary and be sure that it offers the things you want to see and do. How much time is spent driving? How many picnic lunches? Can I photograph as much as I want? Will I be in with birders, strangers, people speaking another language, photographers, children, or families? In some cases you may want to be with certain types and in other cases you may want to avoid certain types. Planning will help you arrive at both an itinerary and traveling group suited to your needs.

The easiest way is to create your own group and tour your own itinerary. If you have to be with families and children they might as well be your own or your grandkids or some other relatives. If you are an avid and hard-core photographer you will quickly become a nuisance among people interested in looking and moving on. Photographers are best with other photographers or spouses resigned to the behavior and needs of a photographer. The same can be said for birders.

Many of the lodges are operated by local residents trained in hotel services. I have never met an African  who is not multilingual. Swahili and English are the two most common languages found in Tanzania.

If you want to see the great apes, local cultures, focus on cats, or start early every day to photograph animals at sunrise you may need to create a group with similar desires. Some things, like the great apes, special lecturers, or special meals may require planning (and payment) well in advance of the visit. Think about your interests and needs and see if they can be met by advertised safaris; then determine if you have enough people to create your own group and specialize the itinerary. 

Nasera Safaris can accommodate you, your group, and your interests as we have experience, knowledge, and contacts throughout Tanzania.

Most of the northern Tanzanian wildlife areas are in land owned by the Maasai people.

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