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General Safari FAQ

What is the climate like?
Because Tanzania is such a large country the climate varies widely. Temperatures can go up to 30 degrees celcius during the day with 15 degree nights. Most people expect it to be hot all the time, and are surprised by the cool nights. Also, in the morning when on safari it can be quite cool with the vehicle windows open.

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When is the best time to go to Tanzania?
Tanzania is a great destination year-round. The wildlife is always around and with our partner, Wayo Africa, we can offer you a safari itinerary that’s best for the time of year you’ll be travelling.

December - March is the short rains season. This means the odd thunder shower in the afternoon, which is helpful because it keeps the dust down. Safaris generally visit the Southern short-grass plains of the Serengeti & Ngorongoro, where the wildebeest & zebra migration is arriving, congregating and giving birth to thousands of calves in February / March. This is a great time to travel because of the great wildlife viewing.

April - June is the long rains season, which means a daily afternoon tropical downpour. While the thundershowers can be spectacular, sometimes turning a dry area into nearly flooded within no time at all, this is considered low season, so rates are less expensive, and things aren’t as crowded. The wildlife viewing is still outstanding, and safari routes are adjusted to follow the wildebeest migration. Also, some parks (ie. Ngorongoro Crater) are good year-round for wildlife viewing. (Dec/Jan and Jul/Aug can be busy with other tourists there)

July - November is the dry season. The sky is usually blue and this is when the wildebeest migration moves north to mate. Many people travel during August if they want to see the hundreds of thousands of wildebeest try to cross the Mara river, while all around are crocodiles waiting to attack.
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Isn’t it cheaper to book direct rather than use a Safari Agent?
No, it isn’t. The commission paid on your Tanzania safari or Kilimanjaro climb either goes 100% to the safari company in Tanzania, or is split with the Safari Agent (ie. Serengeti Safari Co)
But the personalized advice you get from a Safari Agent like Serengeti Safari Co can make the difference between a good safari and a great one.

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What clothes and other items should I bring with me?
It’s best to layer your clothes as it can be cool in the morning/evening and hot during the day and sometimes rainy though this depends on where you are and when you travel.

In general here’s what you should bring for an 8 day safari:

A flashlight or headlamp with 100 - 200 lumens
Binoculars (make a *huge* difference!)
Sun hat (note: it can be windy in the safari vehicle, so sunscreen is often best)
Re-usable water bottle*
A book (or other entertainment) & any other personal items like medication

1 rain coat
1 - 2 pairs of pants
2 - 3 pairs of shorts
4 - 5 pairs of socks (we wear flip flops all day in the vehicle, so need fewer socks)
5 - 8 short sleeved shirts
2 long sleeved shirts
1 - 2 sweaters (we bring 1 warmer fleece + 1 other)
5 pairs of underware, and ladies may want to bring a sports bra as the roads can be bumpy(!)
Boots or sturdy shoes for water (esp. important if you do a walking safari)
Sandals or flip flops (good for when you’re in the safari vehicle - easier to slip off flip flops to stand on the seats)
Bathing suit - if you go to Zanzibar for a beach holiday.
Important tip: Clothes should be neutral colours so you don’t scare the wildlife away. ie. khaki, grey, brown or beige.
*Wayo provides you with: soap, towels, all linens, an umbrella and drinking water
Bug nets are provided for the beds in areas where necessary. Mosquitos are rare while on safari.

Please contact us for a list of what to bring if you climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.

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What is there to do and see in Tanzania?
You may not know what there IS to see in Tanzania, but don’t want to miss out on something amazing
Some of Tanzania's treasures you can experience on a Tanzania safari include the Serengeti, the Ngorongoro Crater, the wildebeest migration, the Big Five (buffalo, elephant, lion, rhino & leopard) and scores of other stunning wildlife, Mt Kilimanjaro (whether you climb Mt. Kilimanjaro or not, it's spectacular!), Tarangire National Park and it's climbing lions and baobab trees, hot air balloon rides in the Serengeti, Zanzibar and it's beaches and main city Stone Town (and the spice market), Mahale mountains and the world-famous chimps who live there, Arusha National Park (did you know you can hike there and canoe?) and the Masaai and other indiginous cultures.

Like any trip, when booking a Tanzania safari it’s best if the person you book through has gone on safari. (AllSerengeti Safari Co staff have gone on safari, climbed Kilimanjaro, or both)

If you have specific things you’d like to see or do (ie. go on a walking safari in the Serengeti) be careful of tour operators that have only packaged tours. If you can’t customize your trip you may miss out on something really glorious because the itinerary is already set, or you’re in the car with 2-4 other strangers who want to see something else.

With our partner, Wayo Africa, each safari is custom-built. We help you figure out what you’d most like to see, and create the best safari for you. Also, you do not share your vehicle with anyone else, so you are able to look for animals you’d really like to see, or stay out longer watching something you find fascinating.
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Will I have to share the car with other people?

No you won’t! All Wayo Africa vehicles are private 4X4 vehicles. With most other safari outfitters you will be in a car with other people, which means that as a group you have to agree upon things -- ie. if you’d like to stay longer to watch lions eating a kill but the rest of the group wants to go you might be out of luck.
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What is a good age to take kids on safari?

In general we recommend going on safari with kids once they’re at least 6 years old. A lot of time is spent in a car while on safari, sometimes looking for animals, sometimes sitting and watching animals, and younger children may find this difficult, especially if they haven’t been on any longer road trips.
The itineraries we’ve put together for families are generally shorter for this reason, so you can add on a Zanzibar holiday at the end. We also include the Lake Manyara Wayo Green Camp, where there is a waterfall and rocks where the kids can play.
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Will I see the migration and/or the Big Five?
While there is no guarantee you will see the migration or a specific animal including the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino & buffalo) our partner Wayo Africa and their safari guides have an excellent knowledge of which area you should visit at each time of the year in order to maximize your chances of seeing animals that interest you.

The wildcard is weather, which influences the wildlife’s movement. Climate change has brought some atypical rain patterns to Tanzania, which means the wildlife is not always in the same place at the same time.

That said, your safari guide will provide you with excellent animal sightings, and if you’re serious about seeing a particular animal you might want to think about a longer safari to increase your chances.
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What kind of power adapter is necessary?
Tanzania uses the “Type D” or “Type G” electrical outlet. (230V / 50Hz)
All safari vehicles are equipped with power chargers for electronic devices (ie. camera, laptop, cell phone, iPod) though in hotels/lodges you’ll need your own adapter plug.
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What are accommodations like while on safari?
Accommodations vary greatly while on safari and in Tanzania. Most accommodations are smaller lodges and camps and they vary in services and cost. At Serengeti Safari Co we do not send clients to any budget lodges or camps but rather look for something that is comfortable, clean and interesting.

One of the most interesting and fun types of accommodation are the Wayo Green Camps. These are intimate and funky camps in which you can stay while on safari. They’re located directly in parks such as Lake Manyara and the Serengeti. While they are tents, they include proper beds with proper linens, and the bathroom is attached (not a flush toilet), so you don’t have to leave your tent at night.

We highly recommend trying these camps because they allow you to continue the safari experience at night; to hear the sounds of nature, eat outdoors, enjoy a glass of wine by the fire, delicious meals, and more. These are moved to keep you close to the animals and the migration.

There are also high end tented camps, which are similar to the Wayo Green camp but more luxurious.
Lodges are usually smaller and more intimate than big hotel chains. The biggest difference to many people is that these have flush toilets and are in one permanent location.
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Do I have to go outside to go to the bathroom while camping?
No. The Wayo green camps have washrooms that are attached to your tent. Only at the portable Wayo walking camps are bathrooms located outside the tent.
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Do we need to bring mosquito nets?
No. Almost every lodge and camp has mosquito nets. Some lodges & camps where nights are colder (because of their higher altitude) do not have nets as they have very little mosquito activity during the night. If you are concerned you may ask for the room to be sprayed. (though you’re asking for your room to be sprayed with an insecticide!) Because mosquitos are most active in early evening you can take precautions by using mosquito repellant on your skin and wearing long pants, long sleeves and socks.

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What are the Wayo Afria Green Camps like?
The Wayo Green Camps are amazing! They're set in some of the best locations in Tanzania's National Parks, and really allow your safari to continue all night. They're safe, and tents are spacious, clean and comfortable. Read more about Wayo Africa's Green Camps.

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Please contact us if we haven't answered any of your questions, or if you'd like us to help create a spectacular safari for you!.