If you are looking at booking a safari for the first time you may be bewildered at how many different types of safari are available. There are many different grades and types of safaris, but it is not so difficult it is really a case of budget; in other words how much are you willing to pay for your safari. When planning with a tour operator it will help if you know what you want from your safari. The more information you arm yourself with the better the whole safari experience will be.There is the budget safari which is generally camping in two-man tents this is the cheapest type of safari. An advantage with this safari is that you are able to go into remote areas away from the throngs of tourists.
The tour operator will generally provide all the camping equipment, cook and food unless you make other arrangements. Some operators will allow you to cook for yourself and buy your own food from a local supermarket before you head out of town and into the bush. All you need to bring is a sleeping bag. These can be hired but it is better to use your own bag ? even if you leave it with someone as a tip when you leave.There are also budget lodges, which may appear to be wonderful if you have limited funds. These lodges can be quite large and should generally be avoided at all costs.
If you are prepared to go on a safari out of season then it is possible to get some good deals even taking a luxury safari at a budget price.The top end hotels are very nice. However I would also say they do not really give a full safari experience. However nice they may be when on safari you should aim to get as close to nature as possible and these lodges are not the best way to do this.The tented camp, now this is the ideal way to take a safari; the disadvantage is they are very expensive. They are usually a hotel room under canvas; in other words a tent with beds, furniture and bathrooms ensuite.
Some even boast private butlers. They are luxurious, in exclusive areas of the park and small in size. In these camps you get a true out of African experience.A variation on the above is the semi-permanent tented camp. They are exactly the same as above but sacrifice just a little luxury to be semi mobile. Meaning they move location several times of year in order to follow animal movements around the huge parks and will always to be in the best positions for game spotting.
This is especially useful for the great migration in Tanzania.The luxury mobile camp is your own private luxury tented camp but the whole camp moves with you. These tend to be for the very rich, if you have to ask the price you can't afford it ? this is the price range here.Then there is a matter of what do you want from your safari is it big game only or birds maybe some walking/hiking and do you want to involve some cultural interaction. Tanzania does not allow walking safaris in the National Parks as a general rule with some exceptions. The wonderful wilderness area of Tarangire allows walking; Arusha National Park also allows walking with an armed ranger.
Some privet concessions next to the National Parks have private camps and walking safaris are a part of the culture.Then there are National Parks such as Udzungwa, a park without roads so to walk is the only way to explore. This park was created primarily for the protection of flora rather than fauna.
This park offers hiking safaris over several days is for the adventurous only. These safaris must be done in dry season as they become quite impassable when the rains start.There are opportunities to canoe in Lake Manyara and Arusha National Parks and this is a great way to see Africa from a different perspective.Remember too that a safari vehicle will take either five or six people and this is the most cost affective way to go on safari as the numbers decrease in a vehicle so the price of a safari increase quite drastically.
Many lodges seem to penalise the lone travellers, single rooms are expensive in high season.A good operator will be able to advise you step by step and give you a brief and a detailed itinerary. If they cannot the simple rule is to look around and find someone who can help you with what you want..For more information on Tanzania see http://www.betheladventure.co.
uk or for more comprehensive advice and comments go to http://www.tanzania-info.co.uk ? responsible tourism can change lives.
By: Ian Williamson