Tanzania Safari asked questions
- What are the vehicles like?
Vehicles used are generally open roof 4WD Toyota Land Cruiser or Land Rovers, as they are most suitable to the terrain. For larger groups we use 4WD buses as it is more convenient for clients to be all together in one vehicle only, and it is also more economic and better for the environment. Drivers have been trained in customer relations, tourism-related topics, environmental issues and vehicle maintenance. They are very familiar with the routes we take.
- Where is the best place to go on safari?
Safari in Kiswahili, the language of East Africa, simply means a journey. Today it is synonymous in English with a wildlife viewing adventure in the African Bush. If your primary reason for traveling to Africa is to experience an abundance of African wildlife in unspoiled wilderness, then Tanzania should be your destination of choice. Tanzania protects over 25% of its land through national parks and reserves, more than any other country on the continent. You simply cannot beat the wildlife concentrations found in Tanzania. The parks and wildlife reserves of Tanzania are inhabited by vast herds of wildebeest spread across the Serengeti savanna, huge populations of elephant and buffalo, as well as plains game and their predators. All these animals interact and roam freely, as they have for thousands of years. Here you’ll witness an incredible diversity of ecology and will find the vegetation and bird life as fascinating as the big game. This is the home to 90% of the film series produced on African animals. Tanzania also boasts a remarkable number of World Heritage Sites including Serengeti National Park, Kilimanjaro National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Selous Game Reserve (this reserve alone is the size of Denmark), Kilwa Kisiwani and the Songo Mnara Ruins.
- When is the best time of year to go on safari in Tanzania?
Anytime is a wonderful time to be on safari. April tends to be rainy, but for the more adventurous travelers, we can arrange a private trip for you during that time. At Bujo Tours, we adjust our safari itineraries to take advantage of the best possible game viewing in accordance with the seasonal concentrations of wildlife.
- Where is the best place to go for wildlife viewing in Africa?
You simply can’t beat northern Tanzania for wildlife concentrations. Most people have heard of the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater and the wide array of wildlife dwelling on the crater floor. Most have heard of the vast Serengeti savanna, which hosts the annual migration of wildebeest and the predators that follow in its wake. This is only the beginning of the natural phenomena awaiting your discovery on a safari to Tanzania. Guests of Bujo Tours consistently tell us the wildlife they experienced far surpassed their most optimistic expectations.
- What kinds of animals will I see on safari in Tanzania?
Tanzania is home to over 35 species of large four-legged mammals and has over 1000 species of birds. On a typical safari in northern Tanzania you can expect to see elephant, buffalo, giraffe, hippo, baboons, monkeys and a variety of plains game such as wildebeest, hartebeest, zebra, impala and gazelle. Most people see lions and hyenas, and possibly a cheetah or leopard. In Ngorongoro Crater you may see one of the few remaining black rhino to be found in Tanzania. You’ll undoubtedly see several different species of mongoose and some hyrax and other small mammals. If you’re lucky, you’ll see one or more of the smaller cats, foxes, wild dog or the more reticent antelope like lesser kudu, bushbuck, oryx or eland.
- What is the Migration?
Every year, over one million wildebeest move through the Serengeti plains in search of food and water. The phenomenon of these animals moving en mass through the African savanna is known as the Migration. Their movement is driven by the seasonal rains that water their grazing pastures. It is impossible to predict in advance exactly how or when this progression will take place, but there is a pattern. Generally from mid-December through May the herds feed in the southern Serengeti. During February thousands of calves appear on the plains. Between June and July, the wildebeest begin their annual migration north reaching the Mara River that marks the Kenyan border sometime between the end of July and beginning of August. After the first short rains, usually in the beginning of November, the herds move back into Tanzania’s Serengeti and make their way to the southern pastures where they rest and feed through the rains until their search for better grazing leads them to begin their annual migration once again. Even when the “migration” moves into Kenya for the summer months, there are many resident herds in the Serengeti and there is always an incredible array of wildlife to experience there. Also, in the summer months, this is the height of the dry season thousands of elephant congregate around the Tarangire River. This park is at its prime during these months and we adjust our itineraries to take advantage of the prime wildlife viewing there. Each time of year offers the visitor to Tanzania a special opportunity for wildlife viewing.
- Will I have a chance to interact with the local people of Tanzania?
The vast majority of Tanzanians still live a lifestyle very close to their traditional lifestyles. Most people are subsistence farmers. The Masai people, favored by photographers for their strikingly colorful décor, live a pastoral existence following their herds of cattle to better grazing areas, still adhering to the traditions and ceremonies of their ancestors. Their villages are located throughout northern Tanzania. Other small tribes of hunter-gatherers, living according to their ancient customs and traditions can also be found in this area.
At Bujo Tours, we consider the cultural component of any safari to be subtle yet essential. All of our guides are Tanzanian born. They are an excellent resource to help you gain greater insight into the local culture. We don’t promote specially staged dances and tourist oriented presentations. Instead, on most of our trips, we begin with a visit to a traditional village where you are welcomed as friends of Bujo Tours and Safaris into their lives and invited to get to know them as they get to know you. As we drive between parks, we pass many villages and Masai Bomas giving you further glimpses into the lives of the Tanzanian people. We also offer a special trip in which our guests travel well off the beaten path to spend time among the Wahadza people and observe their ancient hunter-gatherer ways.
- What if I want a custom safari?
We would be delighted to work with you to help you and your family, friends or organization plan the best possible safari to match your interests and budget. We organize custom safaris for individuals, professional photographers, honeymooning couples, and families.
- Can I take my children on safari?
YES! Bujo Tours and Safaris have a personal understanding and deep commitment to meeting the special needs of families. We have designed our unique family safari programs to allow you and your children to experience the wonders of Africa together. Special options for children ages 6 – 16 include pen pals with whom kids will correspond and then meet in Tanzania, Young Adventurers Serengeti Workshop, 40 pages Safari Logbook including a journal, bird lists, mammal lists, games, sketchpads, and address lists of safari guides who enjoy and relate to children. You’ll have a chance to deepen your understanding of cultural diversity, discover the many miracles of nature, and at the same time play, laugh, and enjoy the pleasure of each other’s company. Our trips are well suited for children six years and older.
- Will I stay in tents or lodges?
Our safaris offer a wide array of safari styles to suit your interests and budget. You can choose the standard accommodation. The cheapest and simplest option is basic camping. If you expect 5-star luxury accommodation, it is best for you to choose luxury lodges. Please see our brochure or the accommodations section of this site for a description of the different types of accommodations we use on our trips.
- How big are your safari groups?
Our scheduled safaris vary in size depending on the nature of the safari. We typically keep our groups small to allow a more intimate connection with the African bush.
- What’s the food like on safari?
You will be pleasantly surprised by both the quality and the variety of the food available on safari. In most lodges, meals are served buffet-style so you can choose what you like. The food is prepared according to western tastes, with some curries and local cuisine included. Fresh meat and produce is procured locally and then prepared by expert chefs to the highest standards. Returning guests are consistently amazed by the meals we are able to prepare out in the bush.
- Are safaris in Tanzania safe?
Today’s modern safari is a far cry from the rugged safaris of the past and the images we see in old movies. After a stimulating day of wildlife viewing, you can relax at comfortable, attractive lodges, with amenities like swimming pools, full service restaurants and en-suite bathrooms. Located right in the heart of scenic settings within wildlife reserves, the lodges and Safaris are close to nature, but not too close for comfort. Askari (night watchmen) patrol the grounds at night, just to make sure that all is well. Tanzania is one of Africa’s most stable countries, where you’ll receive a warm welcome from its gracious people. Every care is taken to ensure your health and safety on safari.
- What clothes should I bring on safari?
Safari dress is comfortable and casual –layers are recommended. Keep it simple and bring things you don’t mind getting dusty. After you have booked your safari, we will send you a pre-departure information booklet including a detailed packing list to help you prepare for your safari.
- Who will be my guide?
All groups and individual travelers will be provided with an English speaking Tanzanian guide. Some of the guides also speak Spanish or German. They are trained and experienced in leading trips and knowledgeable about the fauna, flora and many more aspects of their country. Often they become lifelong friends with the travelers. Interactions with staff are often the highlight of people’s trips. It is a great way to get knows the real life of Tanzania.
- What luggage should I pack?
It is important to keep luggage to the barest minimum on the safari, as this will ease the burden of the drivers and vehicles. Baggage should be of the round squashy type rather than hard suitcases that are difficult to fit in to jeeps. Try to use something that is both lockable and water proof as luggage can often end up sitting on the roof of the vehicle. It is good idea to bring another smaller bag so that unwanted clothes can be kept in it at the hotel or our office when you go on safari. This also helps to keep city clothes clean and free from dust. You should also bring a small day pack which can be carried while riding or can be readily accessible when you are traveling in the vehicles on long drives. On camping trips all equipment will be provided except sleeping bags. You do not need to provide any other camping gears, only personal belongings.