Tips for Planning Your First Safari

The pressure is on when it comes to booking your first safari. After all, for many, it might be the only safari you ever go on. Therefore, making sure you adequately plan is of the utmost importance if you want to make your safari a trip of a lifetime! Read on to discover the main considerations you should make when planning your first safari.

Start simple

When you sit down with your computer and begin searching, there is a daunting amount of information (of varying quality) to wade through. This can quickly become overwhelming, so I would urge you to start by putting the kettle on and just having a think.

Close your eyes and think about the word ‘safari’. What are the images that come to mind? Lions, elephants, the open plains, and vast savannahs? Maybe azure blue ocean, flamingos, conservation projects, chimpanzees, and lively artisan markets. Adventure, luxury, family memories, digging for water with your hands in the riverbed. It’s different for everyone. These are the images your mind has built up from wildlife documentaries, magazine articles, conversations with friends and social media posts over the years. They are the foundations of your safari and it’s where we can start to put the pieces together.

If your picture is an eclectic mix (as it should be), then a package tour is not going to work – you need a safari tailor made for you. The better you can tap into and articulate these expectations and dreams, the easier and more satisfying it is for someone like me to take you on the journey. Planning your safari should be almost as exciting as going on your safari!

Think about who will be joining you

The next step is to decide who you would like to share your safari experience with. This will determine what kind of trip to design. If you’re on your honeymoon, you’ll want some privacy and romance. Plenty of activities in camp is a must for the children. A wine cellar for grandad. Cheetah cubs for Auntie Gertrude. For bigger family groups, why not have your own private camp in the Selous? Or a mobile one chasing the wildebeest migration in the Serengeti? Group dynamics must be carefully managed, a privately guided safari can help you do that.

Decide what time of year you want to travel

When can you go? Are you limited to school holidays only? How much time off work can you get? For safaris in Tanzania, and Africa more generally, time of year is important regarding whether it’s raining or not. The common consensus is that the dry season is better for game viewing. However, it also tends to coincide with western holidays and is therefore the most expensive time of year. You can save yourself a serious amount of money and enjoy some seriously beautiful landscapes full of wildlife (not people) in the green rainy season.

Pick your destination

Where do you want to go? Have to see the Ngorongoro Crater? Is Zanzibar an absolute must? These are some of Tanzania’s most iconic destinations. We specialise in her most unknown and untrammelled destinations too. Don’t want to go where everyone else is going? Want some serious frontier wilderness with wildlife to match? Then southern Tanzania, the Selous (Nyerere National Park), Ruaha and Katavi are for you. Tanzania has some natural combinations that work together logistically and experientially. There are plenty more you might not have considered. Tanzania has it all (well, almost!). If you want to take your safari beyond East Africa, we can help with that too.

Follow your passion

Perhaps there are some unique activities that you’ve wanted to tick off your bucket list for a long time – things that aren’t possible with traditional safaris. Are you a serious wildlife photographer? Are you willing to go to the most far-flung corners in search of the Udzungwa Partridge? Do you have an itch to climb Mount Kilimanjaro? Do you want to see what life is really like for people who live with elephants and lions? Whatever is on your mind, don’t be afraid to ask. We have extensive experience in designing tailor made safaris to suit the needs of all individuals, couples, families, and groups. Contact us today to start your journey to the safari holiday you've always wanted.

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