Wildlife Safari FAQs

How safe is it to book a safari with 'Tanzania Wildlife Safaris'?

Tanzania Wildlife Safaris is owned by Gopi Mundkur, a professional living in Bangalore, India He has worked with renowned MNCs such as Heineken International (Nigeria), Serengeti Breweries Limited (Tanzania) and the UB Group of Companies (India) for over 30 years. We have been operating Wildlife Safaris in Tanzania since 1999. We are an accredited member of the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) and are licensed to operate Safaris by the Tanzania Tourism Licensing Board (TTLB) and have what is called a TALA License. Payments to the bank account can be made in full confidence and security. Details of bank transfers to the bank account will be sent on confirmation of a Safari.

When is the best time to go on a Safari?

No hard and fast rule. Tanzania’s northern circuit is usually excellent during the whole year although we don’t recommend late March through to the end of April because of heavy rains. This can make traveling a little slow and vehicles may get stuck. However, this is also an excellent time to see the large herds of wildebeest and zebra in the southern Serengeti. Another benefit is that hotel rates are 10 to 15 percent less at this time (but not including the Easter season).

The two busiest tourist periods are mid-July to end of August and mid-December through to mid-March.

How many days should be spent on a Safari?

Three days will be sufficient to visit Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara or Tarangire. A more realistic period is 7 to 8 days. Don’t try to include the Serengeti in less. If time is limited, fly one way. Don’t rush. Map distances are deceptive in Tanzania as only the main trunk roads are tarred. Allow an average speed of 70 Kph for straight driving. In the National Parks, the speed limit is 50 Kph.

When is the best time to see the migration in the Serengeti?

No hard and fast rule. Tanzania’s northern circuit is usually excellent during the whole year although we don’t recommend late March through to the end of April because of heavy rains. This can make traveling a little slow and vehicles may get stuck. However, this is also an excellent time to see the large herds of wildebeest and zebra in the southern Serengeti. Another benefit is that hotel rates are 10 to 15 percent less at this time (but not including the Easter season).

The two busiest tourist periods are mid-July to end of August and mid-December through to mid-March.

 

Wildlife Safari FAQs

What are the best national parks to visit?

All parks have their ambiance. You’ll invariably find something new every time you visit a park. Some, however, will have a seasonal variation in the number of animals and species to be seen. The times given below will vary quite a bit depending on local weather conditions. Exceptionally, they can be as much as six weeks out.

Tarangire: excellent mid – July to late October - There are lots of elephants.

Serengeti – South: January to May is an excellent time. Big herds on the Plain.

Serengeti – North: July till October - is an ideal time of the year for wildlife safari in Serengeti north 

Serengeti – West: July to October - is a very good time for wildlife safari in Serengeti west.

Serengeti – Central: In June and  July, and November and December - is a really good period for wildlife safari in Serengeti central.

Lake Manyara: Good all year round. Very diverse habitats. Prolific birdlife from April to June. There are lots of elephants.

Ngorongoro Crater: Good to visit all throughout the year. During rainy season vehicle movements may be restricted.

Note: Wildebeest Migration calendar is not perfect always this is because of changing weather conditions, please ask us where the current migration is or where will it be during your safari and we will inform you.

What is Tanzania’s Environmental History?

Tanzania has more than 31% of its land area in national parks, game reserves, forest reserves, and other protected areas. There are 16 National Parks with others yet to be gazetted. The Game Reserves allow the shooting of animals, primarily by foreigners who enjoy shooting them. The Reserves normally act as a buffer zone between National Parks and local communities. The new concept of Wildlife Management / Controlled Areas is being introduced to give local communities more control over the natural resources of their area. These areas are normally rich in wildlife and are adjacent to national parks or game reserves.

Poaching is of paramount concern to the National Parks. Large amounts of revenue devoted to anti-poaching controls. Some of the better hunting companies do a great job in community development and wildlife awareness.

Wildlife Safari FAQs

What is the etiquette of game viewing?

Be considerate of both the animals you are watching and of people who are watching them. Do not make hasty movements in the vehicle and do not get out of the car when animals are within 100 meters. If you do get out of the vehicle, look very carefully for hidden animals in the long grass. You do not want to surprise a lion or a hyena.

Is there any danger from wild animals?

Very little. Do not be out of your car if within 100 meters of an animal. It is extremely unlikely that you will be confronted with a dangerous situation but if you are it will be entirely unexpected. Animals can move incredibly quickly – do not try to race a lion back to the car and do not go close to the water’s edge if there are crocodiles around. If you are on a walk, follow the instructions of your guide or ranger. Buffalos are perhaps the most dangerous. Hippos are also dangerous, especially if you happen to be between them and the river. Lions seldom a threat, but a lioness will not tolerate any threat to her cubs. Hyenas eat anyone and anything – do not leave any clothes or belongings outside your tent, especially shoes.

In some of the permanent camps, animals will be roaming around at night. There is no danger from them providing you stay in your tent. Do not disturb them as other people may be watching them.

How safe is Tanzania?

Tanzania has enjoyed political stability since Independence in 1961. The U.S. Embassy bombing in Dar es Salaam was a terrorist attack directed against U.S. policy in the Middle East. There were a few incidents of robbery in 1998 from Somali bandits in northern Tanzania. However, the government stepped in quickly and there have been no Somali incidents since. In some of the larger towns robberies occur. Take the normal precautions for your safety. Travel Advisories are available. Some of them, particularly those issued by the USA, seem paranoid to the locals.

Wildlife Safari FAQs

What is the difference between fly, budget, deluxe and luxury camping?

Camping is borne out of necessity. If no accommodation is available, one must camp.

  • Fly Camps: Very basic and suitable in remote areas where vehicle access is difficult such as the walking safaris in Ngorongoro Highlands.
  • Budget camping: basic. Probably the cheapest way to go: you – pay – for – what – you – get. Not recommended for the fastidious. It takes time to pitch and strike camp. The vehicle is limited to space. Public campsites are crowded and there are limited toilet facilities.
  • De Luxe / Classic Camping: The serviced camp of a high standard. Spacious tents, camp beds, shower, toilet. Good food. Support vehicle and camp crew.

What is the standard of lodges and permanent camps like in Tanzania?

Lodges: Some large hotel groups are operating in the national parks. We recommended booking through us so as to get the best rates.

Serena Lodges: Located in Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Manyara, Arusha and Zanzibar.

Sopa Lodges: In Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Tarangire and Masai Mara.

Hotels & Lodges: Lobo, Seronera, Ngorongoro, Lake Manyara, and Zanzibar.

Permanent Camps: Some retain the traditional camp ambiance others are more like tented lodges. They are comfortable, affordable and eco-friendly. Good value. Large self – contained tents with a small bar and dining room. The Tanganyika Wilderness Camps, Ang’ata Camps, Nasikia Camps, Kuhama Camps, and Lemala Camps Groups are examples.

Tented Lodges: Large self – contained tents with Bar and dining room.

Wildlife Safari FAQs

Is there malaria and sleeping sickness in Tanzania?

Unfortunately, yes for both. Zanzibar and the mainland coast can have a rather virulent strain of malaria. Take prophylactics before and after your visit. See your doctor for advice and the latest medicines. Symptoms of malaria are flu-like – aches, chills, fever, high temperature. Sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. if you should go down with these symptoms after having visited a malaria area, inform your doctor.

Sleeping sickness, or Trypanosomiasis, is uncommon. Most national parks have tsetse flies and it is very rare for anyone to contract sleeping sickness. The National Parks have introduced tsetse fly traps along the main roads. The traps have no ill-effects on birds or other wildlife that may prey on insects killed by the traps.

What is the standard of the driver - guides?

Very good. The driver-guides have a sound knowledge of animals, birds, and plant life, and they are knowledgeable about the various tribes of Tanzania. They will be happy to discuss politics and social matters. Tanzanians tend to be quite clued – up politically and will tell you about the politics of their country. All drivers have a basic knowledge of mechanics.