Everything You Need To Know About Your Safari

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2014 Safari Prices

Should I do the Safari before or after my Kilimanjaro Climb?

One of the routine questions we get is when is the best time to do a safari…before or after my climb?  While the best answer depends on you travel schedule and several other factors, generally speaking we would tell you that a safari before the climb is best for several reasons.

If you gear is misplaced by your airline carrier and you climb right away, that is a HUGE problem!  By taking the safari, you give your gear time to “catch up” with you.

The plains of the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater are at altitudes in excess of 5,500 ft/1,675 m which provides for additional acclimatization for those clients living at lower altitudes.

The last reason is simple…after you climb Kilimanjaro you will be emotionally elated, but most likely physically spent and you will be thrilled to board a plane and go home to rest.

By doing the safari first you get the benefits above and you will have the strength and mental aptitude to capture some great photos.

Safari Guides

All of our safari guides are highly specialized and experienced in both their knowledge of the terrain and indigenous animals.  They are also skilled in spotting and tracking wildlife so that your time spent will be full of excitement.  We only used Land Rover and Land Cruisers that have been specially fitted with removable tops so that you can get up and personal with all of the wildlife and capture magical photographs of your experience.

Many of the locations visited during a safari, like the Serengeti, are vast and unless you have a strong network of drivers, the chance that you happen to be at the right place at the right time is diminished.  You will be amazed how well our safari guides communicate with others during your safari and when that radio goes off and your vehicle speeds off into the distance, you will know that something exciting is about to occur.

Wildlife Expectations

From the baby booming Spring to the Wildebeest migration in December, there is plenty to get excited about in Tanzania.  The goal of most of our safari clientele is to capture the “Big Five” during their safari.  The big five consists of the Elephant, Water Buffalo, Lion, Rhinoceros, and Leopard.  These animals are in different parks at different times of the year and as a result we recommend a several day safari add-on to your trip so that you can be sure to capture each species in all of its glory.

Check out the National Park Descriptions below to get a better idea of what wildlife you might find in each park.


Tanzania Safari Park Descriptions

Arusha National Park

Arusha National Park Poster

Arusha National Park Poster

Park Size: 212 sq miles (552 sq km)
Location: Northern Tanzania, just Northeast of Arusha town
Description: Named Ngurdoto Crater Highland National Park until the late 60’s, when it was renamed to Arusha National Park, the park and town derive their name from the Wa-Arusha people who inhabit this area. On this one-day safari leaving from Moshi you will explore the Ngurdoto Crater, Momella Lakes, highland montane forest, and the jagged Mount Meru (14,977 ft/4,565 m). The park has an abundance of wildlife.
Wildlife: Colobus Monkeys, Velvet Monkeys, Warthogs, Bushbucks, Buffalos, Red Forest Duikers, Hippos, Giraffes, and Zebras.  Waterfowl, including Flamingos, are of abundance.  Elephants, Leopards, and Hyenas are less common, but can be spotted.

For more information on Arusha National Park, visit the official Tanzania National Parks Arusha page.

Lake Manyara National Park

Manyara National Park Poster

Manyara National Park Poster

Park Size: 127 sq miles (330 sq km)
Location: Northern Tanzania, Entrance is 1.5 hours West of Arusha
Description: 70% of Manyara National Park is covered by Lake Manyara during the wet season, which is when the waters are filled with thousands of Pink Flamingos.  This park is perfect for bird lovers as it is permanent home to nearly 400 species of birds.  Lake Manyara is also famous for its elephant population and the hippo pond where you can get out of your vehicle and observe from a safe distance.
Wildlife: Leopards, Lions, Elephants, Blue Monkeys, Dik-dik, Gazelle, Hippo, Giraffe, Impala, and a plethora of bird-life.

For more information on Lake Manyara National Park, visit the official Tanzania National Parks Lake Manyara page.


Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Park Size: 3,200 sq miles (8,288 sq km)
Location: Northern Tanzania, Arusha Region – 110 mi West of Arusha town.
Description: Ngorongoro Conservation Area has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979.  It includes popular landmarks like Olduvai Gorge and the unforgettable Ngorongoro Crater.  Olduvai Gorge is an archaeologist’s dream.  Many ancient fossils have been unearth in the gorge including remains of the earliest known humans.  The Ngorongoro Crater will certainly be one of the highlights of your safari.  The crater is actually a volcanic caldera which imploded upon itself over 2 million years ago.  The drive to the floor of the crater is an adventure on its own, descending 2,000 ft (610 m) from the rim.  The floor covers 100 sq miles (260 sq km).
Wildlife: Black Rhinos, Leopards, Cheetahs, Lions, Hyenas, Serval Cats, Jackals, Bushbucks, Elands, Waterbucks, Wildebeest, Antelopes, Elephants, and an abundance of bird-life.

For more information on Ngorongoro Conservation Area, visit the official Ngorongoro Conservation Area UNESCO page.

Serengeti National Park

Park Size: 5,700 sq miles (14,763 sq km)
Location: Northern Tanzania, 208 mi Arusha town.
Description: Serengeti National Park is impressive in size and impressive in beauty.  It stretches north all the way to Kenya and west to the border of Lake Victoria.  Many prefer the Serengeti during the wildebeest migration when over 1 million wildebeest, 300,000 gazelle, and 200,000 zebras make their 600 mile pilgrimage.  Montana, USA is considered the “Big Sky State”, but is easily dwarfed by the spectacular and endless sky of the Serengeti plains.  Stay in the permanent-tented camps and you are almost guaranteed one of the most beautiful sunsets any person has ever seen.  The park is so vast, it is recommended to spend at least 2 days here to maximize your safari enjoyment.  If you have a little bit of luck and a lot of patience, you may get the opportunity to witness a pride of lions working together to bring down their next meal.
Wildlife: Small groups of Elephants and Giraffes, Jackals, Hyennas, Leopards, Cheetahs, Lions, Elands, Wildebeest, Zebra, Water Buffalo, Impala, Gazelle, Antelopes, Warthogs, and a plethora of bird-life.

For more information on Serengeti National Park, visit the official Tanzania National Parks Tarangire page.


Safari Accommodations

We leverage both lodges and a permanent-tented camp for our safaris.  While some operators exclusively use lodges, we feel that the ability to be in the Serengeti under the majestic skies is a wonderful experience.  It allows you to get in touch with nature and see millions of stars each and every night.  This is a welcomed part of the experience for many of our city based clients who normally do not get the opportunity to see such sights.  The tents are fully furnished with comfortable beds, hot water and the like so even though you are “camping” you still have most of the luxuries of home at your fingertips.  There is electricity at the camp, so you will be able to charge your phone and camera batteries every day.

Safari Packing List

On the safari you do not need to bring special equipment but if you bring a few items from your Kilimanjaro gear bag and a few others, you will have a greater experience.

  • Lip Balm
  • Sunscreen
  • Bandana
  • Brimmed Hat
  • Water Resistant Binoculars
  • Point and Shoot Camera with ability to stabilize the image or SLR Camera
  • Digital Video Camera
  • Extra Batteries for Cameras
  • Battery Charger for Phone and Cameras
  • Additional snacks

There is no need to take all of your luggage/climb gear on the safari.  You can leave extra luggage in a locked storage room at the hotel for no charge.  You can leave valuables in a safe deposit box at the hotel for $1/day per box.

Likewise, once you are finished with your safari, you will be able to store any gear that will not traveling up the mountain in secure storage and you will retrieve it when you get back to the hotel after the climb.