Some practical questions on booking a safari
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Jan 11, 2013 5:08 AM Last Post By: dewbs
Sep 27, 2012 4:49 PM
Some practical questions on booking a safariI am trying to plan a safari in the northern circuit of Tanzania in januray.
Our budget is the most limiting factor. Originaly we (my husband and I) had $500 per person in mind to a max of $750 a person.
SO we thought we could maybe do a 5 day safari. First quotes came back and it doesnt look like it..we might have to drop a day.Is our budget too low?
I have been reading on what parks to go to, and it seems that less is more.Top on my list are Serengeti and the Crater. Should we just visit these two, on a 4 to 5 day safari? Or add another park? It seems that Lake Manyara is the way to go? I keep reading that Tarangire is great in dry season, but if Im not mistaken January is wet season. How does Taragnire compare to Lake Manyara in January?
Basically the animals we would like to see are zebra, lions, giraffes and elephants. We prefer to be with the two of us, but dont mind sharing our safari with 2 others.
Would it be worthed to book upon arrival? we do have some flexibility of a day or two.
And finally, do you negotiate the price of a safari when you book in advance?
Edited by: Travellab
Sep 27, 2012 11:39 PM
1I did my Safari from Nairobi, Kenya. I booked on arrival at the HI YHA.
You need a day or two to settle into Africa before embarking on a Safari.
Cost of USD100 per person per day seem reasonable. This should include park fees, accommodation. Breakfast. lunch and dinner.
From my point of view. One 3 day 2 night Safari will be great. From my recollection, the third day (of a 4D 3N safari) may be a repeat of the second day. So if you can start your trip in Kenya, then a 3D 2N Trip to Masai Mara followed by another to Lake Nakuru and Lake Navisha will be ideal.
My Safari ranks as the most enjoyable holiday, ALL expectations met.
Sep 28, 2012 2:19 AM
I've lived in Arusha for awhile and have some experience with safaris. I'll try to answer your questions in order of appearance.
Just to be totally honest, $750 is on the lower side for a 5 day safari including Serengeti and the Crater. The entrance fees for those two parks are the most expensive, so it is likely that a local tour operator might go higher. Also, cost of fuel and food (if you are camping) are both high right now. I would say not to compromise on those two parks, because they have the most number of animals and the environment is spectacular.
Manyara vs. Tarangire
For a 4-5 day safari, I think adding 1 other park is nice - especially since the scenery changes from park to park. January is the end of the short wet season (Nov-Dec) so I don't think rain will be a problem. It is, however, one of the warmer months of the year. I also think that post rainfall, everything is a little greener, which makes it nice and less dusty. I've had good experiences in both Manyara and Tarangire. Lake Manyara is beautiful and relaxing. Tarangire usually involves some good sleuthing from an experienced guide to track down all the animals. Last little secret - depending on who you book with, you can even decide last minute which park you want to go to. Both parks cost the same for entrance fees.
Booking in Advance or Upon Arrival
This really depends on your style of travel. Booking in advance may not get you the absolute cheapest deal (close), but it is considerably less stressful. I think it is worth it to book in advance, because you can negotiate price over the phone or e-mail. All you have to do is state your final offer, and see if the company rep will take it.
Hope this helps!
Sep 29, 2012 10:05 AM
3the vehicle entrance fee for Ngorongoro Crater is $200, plus park entry fees, which are $50 per person per 24 hours.
Serengeti - $50 per person per 24 hours
Lake Manyara or Tarangire - $35 per person per 24 hours
plus you have even just basic camping fees (per park), assuming you are going to rough it. Cannot imagine doing it for what you want to pay.
Having spent time in the wonderful country of Tanzania, and I did love my time there and am going back this December/January, I would NEVER risk booking a safari when I arrived. I cannot imagine just booking a tour without researching the companies first and getting various estimates, but some people do travel that way. And January is a peak season, one during which places book more than a year in advance. I just would not risk it myself.
Contact several TOs, give them your budget, where you want to go, and get prices, that is my best advice. Don't miss the leopard and cheetahs! You'll see more zebra (everywhere) and elephants (especially at Tarangire and Lake Manyara) than you"ll know what to do with!
Sep 29, 2012 11:08 PM
4If you prefer eating sandwich day and night on safari without changing the meals pay 750$ per person. Remember you will be not less than 5 people in a jeep when paying less!. I advice you pay 800$ per person in a 5 days 4 nights Safari and make sure you only be 4 people in a 4 x 4 Land Cruiser. Once in your life time try to be comfortable.
Edited by: WORLDS
Oct 4, 2012 11:50 PM
I also think $750 is on the low side, however, I have just come back from safari in Tanzania last week and I would 100% recommend at least contacting the following 100% Tanzanian owned safari company:
Tanzania Adventure Travel at firstname.lastname@example.org
This was one of the best experiences of my life and Dearson (the owner and guide) one of the most amazing and knowledgable people I've ever met. Although we did a more top end and longer safari, he caters for all price ranges and lengths. If you email him and let him know what you want to do and how much you want to spend he will try and work within your budget or be brutally honest and tell you he can't do what you want for the price. He is focused on customer service and ensuring you see and do everything you want to do and would prefer to turn down a safari than deliver less than perfection.
We learnt so much about not just the animals and landscape but Tanzania and the people. It just made the safari so much more than it already was. He is also an excellent driver and we felt totally safe with him all the time.
Finally, don't worry about seeing the animals you want to see, they are EVERYWHERE :)
Enjoy your trip!
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