Find a credible list of Tanzania safari companies or tour operators taking you to Ngorongoro crater, Serengeti National Park, Lake Manyara and Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
Ways of choosing a safari company in Tanzania.
Having a safari in Tanzania should be a success of a lifetime, however it can also go wrong in many ways. By choosing a reliable company will allow you get the best out of the many national parks that are found in Tanzania. There are also many tour companies in Arusha town and many of these will promise you the best, but not all can deliver well. In making the matter complicated, it’s not even enough to do the back ground check, since there are many questions that you should address. You are advised to always stay on the safe side and look through our checklist for choosing the best safari company in Tanzania.
- Comparing the price quality Ratio
The prices between tour companies are different, even on the same itinerary. Of course the cheapest quote won’t be the best but not also the most expensive since some companies are just good at taking big profits than others. That’s why it’s really good to look at what you are to get out of the quoted price. More so, comparing prices won’t give you the big picture, so instead concentrate on the price quality ratio otherwise.
Once you have found the best reliable company, and you have told them your requirements, these will usually send you an itinerary that is tailored to what you need. Feel free to ask for a detailed itinerary, were you can view all the activities to engage in and the time you are to spend on each of the activity. About the lodge location either inside the park or outside. This also means that you might be late for the gam drive since some lodges are located far from the park gate which means that their prices are cheaper, with very early calls as well as less game sightings. You can also check the reviews as well as the price level of the lodges online or from trip advisor.
You should also check out what is included in the price, since some companies offer two game drives in the park on a daily basis while others offer only few game drive during the whole safari. The park entrance fees are so high as well as fuel so these factors affect the price tag. Is the accommodation facility given to you based on Full board or half board? Is every activity been listed in the itinerary and included like the maasai village visits is at $50 per group, the hot balloon ride in Serengeti national park is at $499 per person, as well as the walking safari fees.
In case any other necessity, being a member of flying doctors is so essential and in case of an emergency, flying doctors picks you up even from the remote areas and takes you quickly to a location with good medical facilities, where your travel insurance will come in. in case the tour company is a member, the service are given at a free cost.
- Looking at the resources and setting
It’s also known that a private trip is a real treat and it comes with a heavy price. However, a group size matters on a safari. A small group tour delivers better than general group safari in terms of wildlife watching and comfort. In case you take part of a group safari, you will have to follow group’s interests and follow and have to follow a fixed itinerary at all times.
Always be sure to ask the number of people to join the safari and how many people are to travel in each of the vehicle as well as which type of vehicle to be used. More so, in case you want to enjoy wildlife watching, don’t accept any other car apart from a 4x4 land cruiser with a pop up safari roof. Choosing this type of car guarantees that you will have a window seat all the time and you don’t have to compete for scenery viewing with each other or the strangers. This car can also favour you with a good opportunity of photographing wildlife.
Comfort levels really matter since you will be spending half of your day in the car. Here ask if the car has got air conditioner, newest technology for charging the phones and the cameras on the road. The other items to look out for include; the fridge full of drinking water and beers as well as warm lunch boxes.
You can also ask if the safari company owns its jeep or it’s just rented, and their manufacturer date and year. Some tour companies rent cheap vehicles to save money and it’s not a good formula. Having own fleet is always maintained better than a rented car. More so, the car must be official and fully registered in the country it operates
You also have to consider the guide’s skills in a way of navigating the parks as well as spotting wildlife, these may be the most important factor in the whole of the safari experience. Know how the guides are trained or if they graduated from any wildlife college. Go on and check the online reviews of the company and their guides as you also ask the previous customers whether they have been contented with that particular guide.
In case of hiking or night tours, ask if the tour company is licensed for them. This is because, it’s not allowed to walk in the park without a license as well as paying separately for the ranger’s accompaniment. More so, if you are visiting the parks during the low season, the animals tend to be far which means it takes time and fuel to reach them. You should also make sure that tour operator is willing and ready to drive as far as needed to find the annual great migration.
- Drawing on the local Knowledge
It’s known that 60% of the tour companies operating in Tanzania are not locally owned. This is the main reason tourists support local companies, and the money profits the visited country. From the common knowledge, foreigners have got difficulties in finding good resources with in Tanzania, and they rather be more affiliated with other foreigners, and the local operators suffer more. The locally owned companies understand better the roots, indigenous people and wildlife. The local companies also cut out the middle agents meaning lower costs of operation. Both the international and local companies have got their merits and demerits and both companies can professionally hold.
In case you chose to visit United States Companies, just make sure that they know the destination, by this, you will have to ask them straight questions like; when was the last time you visited Africa? How many times have they been in Africa, which tour operators they used, how they control the quality, how are their guides trained and they hire local guides?
The government of Tanzania only allows Tanzanian registered vehicles as well as licensed drivers which means that all the overseas companies have to use local sub-contractors. Some of the companies don’t inform the customers before that the ground operators are not of the same company that they have booked, so be sure to ask. Therefore it’s important to choose the local company to travel with and also get all the back ground information about the company.
- Always double check the reputation
This is most important when sending the tour money to the company chosen. Always remember the risk when sending the money to a tour company and then double check their reputation before any transactions is made. You should make sure that the tour company is well recognised by the Tanzanian government. You will also face problems with your travel insurance in case the company is not registered. Registration protects your money against any problems either with government or company will reimburse back in case of any bankruptcy.
Look out for the memberships of the safari associations. These also don’t guarantee reputation but indicate something. Trust worthy companies should have an address in Tanzania as well as stable ownership. Answering of the questions actively and profoundly gives proof of their own level of customer service.
Trip advisor is usually used in comparing hotels and tours. This is a good tool for checking the back ground of the tour company as well. Also put in mind that new, small and middle sized companies might not have those many reviews as the older companies, but it doesn’t mean that they are less suitable. The smaller companies might even be more affordable and flexible to deal with. You can check their company profile for the experience.
You can also ask for many contactable references in case to be sure. So if the company denies giving you any contacts, that’s a bad picture, and also ask about their payment, refund and cancellation policies.
- Giving Back
By this, many tour companies in Tanzania have ascertained that the tourists need to give back to the community. Many of these companies say that they are involved in humanitarian work and this might not be correct. Remember to ask them to specify what has been done already and what kind of ongoing projects they have, in case you want to be secure. Some of the companies donate a certain percentage of the payment or their revenue to the charity and other keep their projects separately. More so choosing a company with the ethical operating principles is also the easiest way to give back.