This is Soulful Travels’ second guest post, this time the author is Brian Temu from Dahlia Tours. Thanks Brian for such an informative piece about safaris!

Tanzania is full of incredible places. Destinations that are so diverse, it’s impossible to say that one place or another is the ‘best’. Yet, sometimes when travelling to Tanzania, you come across a magical destination. A place that speaks to your soul and rejuvenates your spirit.

Tanzanian safaris can mean multiple things. It’s not just about the physical beauty and location, but also the culture, the climate, the food, and the people. There are times in life where you find a charming destination that has the perfect balance of all of these elements. A place where the universe just seems in sync and it creates a truly unique and memorable travel experience. One such place is Tanzania.

There has never been a better time to consider going on safari in this, Africa’s most famous destination, with its abundance of fascinating wildlife, people, culture, and landscapes. The big question is how to best explore this amazing country?

To help you choose, this article gives you the lowdown on SIX different ways to explore Tanzania by safari.

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If you need travel advice, request a free 30 minute coaching session. In the chat Annie will help you choose a destination, create your itinerary and review safety precautions. Or she can discuss how you can incorporate more travel into your life by saving, making money, travelling for free or being paid to travel.

a male lion with a lovely mane

  1. WILDLIFE SAFARI:

Tanzanian Safaris Offer the Widest and Wildest Animal Experiences

With more than 450 unique species and subspecies and millions of wild animals, Tanzania’s safari gives thousands of travelers each year once-in-a-lifetime chances to spot their favorite animals at every stage in life.

Game Drive: The most Classic way to explore Tanzania

The romance and magic of Tanzania’s safaris is unlike any other in the world – rolling hills, expansive plains and home to wildlife including elephants, zebras, rhino, lions, buffalo and more. It’s remarkable diversity can be seen up close in the stunning all National Parks but mostly in;

  • Ngorongoro Crater The mixture of forest, canyons, grassland plains, Lakes and marshes provide habitats for a wide range of bird life. The wet months see the arrival of the Eurasian migrants at the pools. White storks, yellow wagtails and swallows mingle with the local inhabitants: stilts, saddle-bill storks, ibis, ruff and various species of duck. Lesser flamingos fly in to feed from their breeding grounds at Lake Natron. Distinctive grassland birds – ostrich, kori bustards and crowned cranes-abound. The rest of the NCA also has areas which will reward the keen ornithologist. Visitors are welcomed at two designated to Know about Tanzania culture within Maasai cultural boma and The Datoga and Hudzabe, Nilo-Hamitic-speaking pastoralists.
  • Serengeti National Park, renowned for its annual migration of nearly two million wildebeest and attracting visitors from around the world to witness the phenomenon;
  • Lake Manyara National Park, the famous tree-climbing lions make the ancient mahogany and elegant acacias their home during the rainy season and are a well-known but rather rare feature of the northern parks.
  • Tarangire National Park, teeming with roughly 6,000 elephants navigate the terrain over large distances, in big numbers of Six hundred strong herds in which every member is as crucial and looked after as the rest. River Tarangire is the life support of Tarangire national park, Bird-watchers will as well discover a paradise inside Tarangire National Park. Over Five hundred bird species have so far been recorded in this park and are at this point waiting to be identified by you.

There are several types of Standard Game Drives, which are listed below. With a tailor-made safari and your own vehicle, you are able to choose the types and durations of the game drives you go on. If you are on a group safari, the types and durations of excursions are usually predefined and fixed. Game drives can be long, hot, dusty and bumpy, but are great fun!

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If you need travel advice, request a free 30 minute coaching session. In the chat Annie will help you choose a destination, create your itinerary and review safety precautions. Or she can discuss how you can incorporate more travel into your life by saving, making money, travelling for free or being paid to travel.

an adult and juvenile zebra looking straight at the cameraEarly Morning Game Drive

This adventure starts just before breakfast around 5:30 am and normally finishes by 8:30 am when you return for breakfast, it is a very important time to get out and explore the big cats returning from hunting.

Morning Game Drive

The Morning Game Drive is usually scheduled to set off after breakfast, at around 7:30 am.

Late Morning Game Drive

A Late Morning Game Drive is most often done in tandem with an Early Morning Game Drive and starts between 10 and 11 am, returning for lunch at around 12:30.

Afternoon Game Drive

An Afternoon Game Drive typically starts around 4 pm, returning before dark between 6 pm and 6:30 pm.

En-Route Game Drive

An En-Route Game Drive usually takes place in the morning or late afternoon and as the name suggests, is performed en-route to a lodge or camp etc. The duration can vary wildly depending upon the journey undertaken and can even be just the short drive from the lodge or camp to the park exit and vice versa. There’s always an opportunity to spot game!

All Day Game Drive

An All-Day Game Drive lives up to it’s moniker and effectively lasts all day! They normally start after breakfast at around 7:30 am and return before dark between 6 pm and 6:30 pm, and a packed lunch is provided. They are most often conducted in large parks/reserves to cover long distances, or in the case of the Ngorongoro Crater, to avoid dual entry fees.

Night Game Drive:

This can only be conducted at Lake Manyara National Park, it is a exceptional safari on which you will see nocturnal animals such as hippos, lions, leopards, genets, porcupines, civet cats, white-tailed mongoose, aardvarks and cape hares. Night game drive is one of the most popular and exciting activities on safari.

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If you need travel advice, request a free 30 minute coaching session. In the chat Annie will help you choose a destination, create your itinerary and review safety precautions. Or she can discuss how you can incorporate more travel into your life by saving, making money, travelling for free or being paid to travel.

hot air balloon over the serengeti plains

  1. HOT AIR BALLOON SAFARI:

Romantic and evocative way of experiencing the wilderness of Serengeti, hot air balloon rides are only practiced at Serengeti National park. It is conceivably the most thrilling way to experience a Tanzanian safari, offering a supreme view of the vast Serengeti National Park. This is an early morning departure and the ride lasts for a hour, followed by a champagne breakfast in the bush, a fitting end to your memorable flight in the wild.

Balloons are built to ‘custom safari specifications’ the baskets are high walled for comfort and security and divided into passenger compartments each providing an outside view. There are seat squabs to sit on for launch and landing. Arguably the best time to experience the Serengeti from a balloon is during the annual wildebeest migration.

  1. WALKING AND HIKING SAFARI:

Walking safaris are, for many that regularly return to Africa, the ultimate way to experience the bush, it is ideal way to get close to nature and ingenious wildlife in their natural habitat. Tanzania’s safaris offer incredibly varied landscapes of mountains, highlands, forestry, lakes and valleys, and they are best enjoyed on foot. For those with a passion for walking or nature hiking holidays, or simply those with an extra taste for adventure, Tanzanian walking safaris are the perfect choice. If you ask most of travelers to name their favourite activity on tour, the walks and hikes in the National Parks and wilderness areas invariably rank first.

Tanzania walking holidays are designed for active individuals and offer a well-paced mix of walks for all levels of fitness. Most walks are of moderate to strenuous difficulty and range from 3 to 5 hours in length. For the less adventurous, there are often shorter, easy to moderate hikes up to 2 hours in some Tanzania destinations.

Travelers enjoy spending as much time as possible on the trail. As interests and capabilities vary, your safari organizer will typically guide day hikes according to traveler’s needs and the difficulty of particular hikes. If you’re serious about walking and up for a challenge, Tanzanian safaris offer a specialist walking holidays on Ngorongoro highlands. Safety is not an issue – armed, experienced guides and game rangers accompany all walks. Your camp is packed up and transported to the next location by different methods: pick-up truck, porters or donkeys. The camping style tends to be lightweight and extremely mobile. You will walk for several days, travelling like nomads across the African bush, often miles from any roads or tracks.

For simple walking safaris, Tanzanian Parks Authorities have permitted walking safaris in its parks. It is now possible to walk in such parks as Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara National Park and in some of the fringe concessions that border the Serengeti. With great game viewing and a high level of guiding, it may not be for days on end, but it can still add to the overall experience. On walking safari visitors can observe the nature and surroundings in the kind of detail that might otherwise be missed in safari vehicle.

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If you need travel advice, request a free 30 minute coaching session. In the chat Annie will help you choose a destination, create your itinerary and review safety precautions. Or she can discuss how you can incorporate more travel into your life by saving, making money, travelling for free or being paid to travel.

a safari guest using their binoculars to spot game

  1. FLY-IN SAFARI:

This is one kind of luxury safari operation by moving park to park using a light aircraft to fly-in safari rather than driving overland. It certainly means that you’ll be travelling in style. This scenic way to travel between destinations offers a bird’s eye view of the national parks below, and the reduced travelling times leave more time for wildlife viewing or relaxing in your luxury accommodation. Light aircraft flights land at airstrips right in the heart of the national parks and you’ll spot wildlife from the outset. At your chosen camps or lodges, you’ll then head out on wildlife viewing adventures in 4x4s, river boats or traditional mokoro canoes accompanied by expert guides and trackers.

wildebeest, thousands of them

  1. BOATING AND CANOEING SAFARI:

The Tanzanian canoeing safari has been rated by many travellers as one of the best safari experiences in Africa. Boating safaris are fast becoming a popular alternative for safari-goers adventurous enough to venture off the beaten track. Water based safaris are on offer as a break from longer game-viewing and give visitors the opportunity to get out in the open and see tremendous amounts of bird-life and water species up close. At present, boating safaris for game-viewing are only permitted in the Selous Game Reserve, where the Rufiji River, the Great Ruaha River, and numerous lakes give visitors a choice of many expeditions to choose from. Despite the proximity of crocodiles and hippos during water safaris, the expeditions are extremely safe and the animals react with puzzled curiosity to the sight of boats on water!

Canoeing excursions in Tanzania are an active option for visitors with a few days to spend exploring the northern lakes. Adventure excursions on the soda coloured shores of Lake Manyara involve canoeing past thousands of pink flamingos in the shallow waters. In Arusha National Park, the freshwater crater lakes of the Momela Lakes make a spectacular canoeing trip, with the forests, highland games, and the imposing crater of Mt. Meru looming nearby. Canoeing excursions allow visitors to get out and explore their surroundings, and getting exercise in some of the most beautiful locations in the country.

Boating on the Tanzanian coast, whether on the mainland’s quiet bays or the palm-spotted islands of Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia, is a fun-filled adventure for visitors who want to encounter the vibrant underwater life of the Swahili Coast. Day trips to small deserted islands, swimming off sandbars at low-tide, sailing to nearby reefs, or even just tacking back and forth across the bay are all pleasurable options for visitors who want to experience life on the Indian Ocean, and get another perspective on the Swahili Coast.

Like this post? Subscribe to the Soulful Travel newsletter for Annie’s packing checklist plus travel related advice, news, competitions and more. Sign up here.

If you need travel advice, request a free 30 minute coaching session. In the chat Annie will help you choose a destination, create your itinerary and review safety precautions. Or she can discuss how you can incorporate more travel into your life by saving, making money, travelling for free or being paid to travel.

finding a turtle on a marine safari

  1. HORSE RIDING SAFARI:

Exploring the National parks on horseback can be challenging but very rewarding adventure, often lasting several days, visitors can be sure of getting close to wild game but owning the nature of riding in Tanzania wilderness, the rider will generally be expected to have some riding experience before taking to the saddle. For the capable rider this will be truly remarkable experience. Your safari operator offering horse riding safari in the Serengeti National park and Arusha national park usually in the outskirts to minimize the risk of disturbing large numbers of game animals but still providing riders with an opportunity to explore terrain and spot the animals. As most riding safaris last for few days, safari operator will usually arrange the accommodation.

Tanzanian safaris focus on exploring the great outdoors and getting close to the indigenous wildlife of Africa. Most of the wildlife tours have been developed to maximise the chances of seeing as much wildlife as possible and will include activities or specific locations with this aim in mind. Whether it’s tracking the ‘big five’, spotting the wildebeest migration or a cruising for dolphins, Tanzania offers some of the most amazing safari experiences in the world.

Fancy going on one of these types of safari? Then visit Dahlia Tours for more information.

Like this post? Subscribe to the Soulful Travel newsletter for Annie’s packing checklist plus travel related advice, news, competitions and more. Sign up here.

If you need travel advice, request a free 30 minute coaching session. In the chat Annie will help you choose a destination, create your itinerary and review safety precautions. Or she can discuss how you can incorporate more travel into your life by saving, making money, travelling for free or being paid to travel.