Understand your preferred destination

Tanzania offers a lot of safari destinations. There are four safari zones, each with its own unique qualities.

Starting with the northern circuit of Tanzania, you will find the most iconic parks with luxurious accommodations and stunning views. Serengeti, the biggest award-winning park, is an amazing park to visit. The park has everything that a luxury safari is known for. The most luxurious hotels are located inside Serengeti National Park — Singita, Sayari, Lemala Kuria Hills, and Four Seasons, to mention just a few.

Nothing but breathing the air of Africa, and actually walking through it, can communicate the indescribable sensations.
William Burchell

Other parks to visit in the northern circuit for a brilliant luxury safari are Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, and Lake Manyara. These parks also offer access to domestic flights due to the availability of airstrips. You can do an exclusive game drive with open or covered safari jeeps before heading to a high-end property equipped with a swimming pool and veranda overlooking the wilderness. Enjoy Wi-Fi access, a comfy king-size bed, and big smiles from the elegant hotel staff. You can visit all these parks using a combination of vehicles and flights since the longer route from Ngorongoro to Serengeti is around a 4-hour drive, and the road is really bumpy. That’s why we usually suggest a “fly in, fly out” program to maximize your comfort.

The northern circuit is the ideal destination to visit, but you can also opt for the southern course since, from June to October, there are many tourists. Apart from luxury lodges, you can also enjoy luxury game drives. Luxury safaris are accompanied by exclusive game drives… Imagine you are all alone with your expert guide in an open safari jeep, enjoying every moment observed with a rare pride of three brother lions of Ruaha or a herd of giant elephants in Nyerere National Park. This is the true definition of a luxury safari in Tanzania.

The western and coastal regions are best for your Luxury-styled safari also. Mikumi National Park, Saadan National Park, Bagamoyo, Pangani, and Zanzibar will give you a fantastic taste of both the safari and beach experiences. The Indian Ocean is located on the eastern side of the country and so you can spend your vacation wisely in elegant hotels with waterfront access after a memorable safari. Do you want to experience chimpanzee treks? Then, Gombe National Park, found in the western area of Tanzania, is an ideal option. Cruising on the Nile or Lake Victoria and overnight at Rubondo Island will be the best decision you have ever made. Tanzania has everything for your luxury adventure; it is a matter of when and where you want to go. Select your preferred destination accordingly to enjoy the best of Tanzania.

Children playing at Manor in Ngorongoro, photo by Elewana Collections.

Book your trip in advance. The earlier the better!

As the seasons in Tanzania can really affect your trip to Tanzania, we advise booking your trip at least six months or a year before departure. The long dry season starts from June to early October. During this period, Tanzania receives tons of tourists, the best accommodations are fully booked, and dusty roads are bustling. Booking earlier gives a more comfortable, relaxing trip with plenty of available accommodations, domestic flights, and safari jeeps. Last-minute bookings can be done from February to late May since this time is considered the low season. Even though there’s often a lot of rain, you can have a fantastic time as there are fewer visitors, and sights and accommodations are usually less expensive. Stay stress-free by planning and booking in advance.

Choose a reputable safari company

Unlike other inbound travel you have done, this is a long international trip, and your safari insurance matters. Make sure to book with a company whose workers are accountable from the first email you send until you say the final goodbye at the airport. When you book a luxury safari, leaving everything in the hands of the company’s staff, from reservations to choosing your guides, is the best decision. A company should have a financial protection policy in place since you pay a lot of money and need to be protected from any disappointment.

It’s important to note that your travel insurance is one thing and your financial protection policy from the company is another thing. Imagine after paying 80% of your trip, the company goes bankrupt — how are your funds protected? The Tanzanian government established the Tourism Police Department to deal with any issues tourists encounter while in Tanzania. Make sure to ask for the Tanzania Tourism License business number when booking if you are not using an agent to ensure that the company is fully registered and you pay an official company bank account and not a personal bank account.

Choose high-end accommodation

With luxury accommodation, after your amazing safari game drive, you can relax by a beautiful swimming pool in the heart of the Tanzanian wilderness. Watch the sunset with your glass of white wine from South Africa before having a delicious three-course dinner, creating lifelong memories. High-end accommodation enjoys the most stunning views, making your stay priceless. Service is everything when it comes to luxury safari. The level of service found in most high-end properties is very different from mid-range accommodations. “Client-first” is the common motto for all high-end accommodations, you will be treated incredibly well. Spending your safari time in this type of accommodation will make your African adventure incredibly memorable.

Consider choosing the “fly-in fly-out” option

Getting from one destination to another can take a while if you’re driving; some destinations take 2–3 hours but it can take up to 7 hours in certain instances. For example, driving from Arusha to Serengeti National Park, or vice versa, takes up to 7 hours if you don’t make any rest stops. For a luxury safari, spending 7 hours on the road is not an ideal option. Fortunately, every destination has got more than one airstrip to make it easier to quickly fly in and fly out. After your arrival, depending on the time, you can fly directly into the park to make the most of your vacation. Or, after your first night in Arusha, if your preferred destinations are in the northern circuit, you can opt to fly to Serengeti in just 45 minutes and start exploring nature instead of wasting 7 hours on the road.

Maximize your safari days

Only having a few days for your safari plus transfers is not a good idea, especially for a luxury safari as you’ll find yourself spending half your trip on the road. Having such a short trip will make the experience very rushed, your driver guide also will be tired and will be concentrating too much on the time, instead of the game drive and maximizing your enjoyment.

Set aside enough days that you can spend your safari time wisely and also enjoy your evenings by adding extras like cocktails, bush dinners, spa retreats, and swimming. A luxury trip should be relaxed not rushed. A transfer of 3 hours from Ngorongoro to Serengeti should not be followed by a game drive but instead, you should be taken to the lodge to rest, have a good lunch, and then later in the evening, you can opt to go for a short game drive of 2 hours or relax until the next full day spent on an exciting game drive. It is better to have a minimum of 6 or 7 nights if your tour extends up to Serengeti National Park. A reputable company that cares about your vacation experience will advise you well on where to spend time and relax to make the most of your trip but not push yourself too hard. A company that cares only about your money will tell you that “anything is possible”, even a day trip to Serengeti, so beware and be careful who you book with.

Invite your closest friends

Private safari is the perfect complement to luxury travel. Private safari means a private safari vehicle, tailoring your trip and choosing your priorities. Let’s say you are tired on a game drive and it is really sunny. Instead of having to stay in the vehicle with the sun beating down, you can go back to the lodge and relax.

Travel with your family members or close friends — people who match your vibes. Plus, safari vehicles are a cost-shared item so if it is 400$ per day with your group of 5 people, you can share 80$ each per day and still travel luxuriously. You can also take private charted flights, which cost up to 350$ per person with a minimum of 4 people, to make the most of your vacation time.