How to plan a safari in Tanzania

How to plan a safari in Tanzania

When you think of going on an African safari, the first country that usually comes to mind is Tanzania. This beautiful East African nation is home to an incredible array of wildlife, including lions, elephants, and gorillas. If you’re looking to plan a safari in Tanzania, there are some valuable tips you need to know. And luckily, you’re in the right place! 

Wild Root Safaris has extensive experience and knowledge about all things Tanzania and we have prepared a detailed guide to help you plan the safari vacation of your dreams.

Why plan your safari in Tanzania?

Tanzania is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Africa. The country is home to some of the most iconic animals on the continent, including the famous Big Five: lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, and buffalo. Tanzania is also home to Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa. 

Contrary to popular belief, a safari vacation to Tanzania can be quite affordable with the right guidance and planning. Wild Root Safaris has various safari packages for every budget and our knowledgeable guides can help you every step of the way, making for a stress-free and memorable experience. 

Things to keep in mind

If you’re thinking about planning a safari trip to Tanzania, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Most importantly, you’ll need to decide what kind of safari experience you’re looking for. Is your top priority seeing the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhino)? Do you want to focus on bird watching? Do you prefer a walking or hiking safari experience? Are you interested in learning about the local culture? Or, are you perhaps into active activities like a Kilimanjaro trek

Once you know what you want to do and see on your trip, Wild Root Safaris can help you start planning the logistics. If you’re not sure where to start, we are ready and willing to help. We can advise you on every element of your Tanzania vacation, from selecting the right flights and choosing the perfect safari package to fit your needs. Reach out to our staff at with any questions and start planning your safari adventure today!

How much does a safari in Tanzania cost?

This is probably the number one question on most people’s minds when thinking about planning a safari in Tanzania. The answer is… it all depends. There are several factors that will affect the cost of your trip, including the time of year you travel, the length of your stay, and the type of safari you choose.

Since a safari in Tanzania can quickly add up, we have various pre-packaged and budget-friendly options available. Of course, we also provide custom safari options that may include much more lavish options for those who desire a more upscale experience. Anything is possible with Wild Root Safaris. Our safari guides can help you choose or customize the perfect safari vacation to fit your particular needs. There is something for everyone and every budget in Tanzania!

It is also important to note that you must factor in the cost of vaccinations, travel insurance, and visas. These are all required for entry into Tanzania and can add a significant amount of money to the cost of your trip. Also, the regulations put in place by the Tanzanian government now charge per person for entrance to the national parks. Most park entry fees are included in your safari package, but it is important to note especially if you plan to travel beyond your guided safari.

The best way to save money on a safari in Tanzania is to plan your trip with a group. A group trip helps cut the cost down significantly since more people are often sharing the cost of vehicles and accommodations. 

Another way to save money is to plan your trip during the “shoulder season.” The shoulder season is the period between high season and low season. Traveling during shoulder season can save you up to 30% on the cost of your trip. Also, some of the best game viewings can be witnessed during this period. So, that’s a win/win situation!

Tanzania visa information

You have two options for obtaining a visa for Tanzania: you can apply online in advance or obtain it upon arrival. The visa fee for USA citizens is $100 USD, while for non-USA residents, it is $50 USD.

Average safari prices

Luxury safari: A luxury safari can cost upwards of $500 per person, per day. This usually includes high-end accommodations, meals, private guides, private transportation, and optional extras like hot air ballooning or exclusive dinners complete with wine.

Mid-range safari: A mid-range safari often costs anywhere between $200 and $450 per person, per day. This includes moderate accommodations, most meals, shared guides and vehicles, and some activities.

Budget safari: A budget safari can cost as little as $150 per person, per day. This includes basic accommodations (sometimes camping is a great way to save money, and get a full wilderness experience!), most meals, shared guides and vehicles, and a couple of activities.

Prices always vary depending on the time of year you travel, the length of your safari, the number of people in your group, and the type of safari you choose. Wild Root Safaris has various pre-packaged options to fit every budget and need, you can view some of our most popular options here.

Our guides can also plan a fully customized safari to fit your unique needs, reach out to our skilled guides at to start planning your custom Tanzania safari today!

Tips to cut down the cost of your Tanzania safari

Group tours

One way to make your Safari more affordable is by booking a group tour. This option usually costs much less since everyone shares the cost equally. 

Avoid high season

Another way to keep costs down is by avoiding the high season, which generally runs from mid-June to mid-September. If possible, plan your Safari during Tanzania’s low season to save on costs.

Flexible travel

You can also save money by being flexible with your travel dates and times. For example, flying during the week is generally cheaper than flying on weekends. 

Discount options

Be sure to compare prices for everything from accommodations to safari activities. There are often deals and discounts available throughout various seasons and Wild Root Safaris can help you pick the best accommodations within your budget. You are not on your own! Our Wild Root Safaris staff can help you plan every detail of your vacation and can often save you money with our local insights and knowledge. No one knows Tanzania as the locals do!

Choosing the best safari tour guide or operator

Your choice of safari operator can greatly affect the outcome of your trip. From overall costs to safari knowledge and safety, you want to make sure you make the right choice for your once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. At Wild Root Safaris, our main priority is making sure our guests have a safe and truly memorable safari experience. Our staff is made up of local guides with local knowledge and we are 100% Tanzanian-owned and operated. We would love the opportunity to show you our home!

Of course, when visiting a foreign country, you want to choose the most reputable and trustworthy companies. Unfortunately, many operators will promise you the moon, but if you don’t ask the right questions or do your research, you may not get what you expect. 

At Wild Root Safaris, we understand your top concerns and your main priorities in choosing the best company to fit your travel needs. Rest assured, our main priority is to make sure you have the smoothest safari experience available.  

Some factors to consider when choosing a safari operator

How long has your safari company been in business?

A company’s experience can tell you a lot about its reliability and the quality of its service. Wild Root Safaris was established in 2005 by born-and-raised Tanzanian resident, Mathew Mollel. We have a strong safety and tour record and our main goal is to give our customers the best experience. We make it our mission to give back to the local community through employment and volunteer/donation efforts. A portion of every safari we do goes right back into the local community. 

What is included in the price of a safari?

Every package has different items included. Make sure you understand what is included in the price of the tour and what, if anything, you will need to pay for separately. Our safari packages are very detailed with what is/isn’t included, and if you have any questions, we would be more than happy to answer them!

What is Wild Root Safaris cancellation policy?

Make sure you are aware of all cancellation policies in case you need to cancel or postpone your trip. Currently, we have cancellation policies specifically in place during COVID-19 travel.

Do you offer binoculars for safari?

Many of our safaris provide binoculars for use, however, if you have special or high-end binoculars, you may want to bring your own for the best viewing experience!

What kind of safari cars does Wild Root Safaris use?

You will be spending a lot of time in a car during safari game drives. Fortunately, Wild Root Safaris has some of the most comfortable and best game viewing cars in Tanzania. You will get the most picturesque safari experience in one of our custom Land Rover vehicles. Every Wild Root Safaris vehicle has been designed for the best wildlife viewing experience. Not every safari company in Tanzania has this option, so choose accordingly! 

Does Wild Root Safaris have a good safety record?

This is probably the most important factor to consider when choosing a safari operator. Wild Root Safaris has a superb safety record and is fully insured. We take safety very seriously and make sure to take all the right precautions to guarantee you have a smooth trip. You are more than welcome to ask for any details and/or read reviews from other guests for additional assurance. Also, be sure to check out our Tripadvisor profile!

Choosing the best safari Itinerary

Choosing the best Itinerary for your safari in Tanzania can be a daunting task. With so many safari options and things to see, it’s hard to know where to start. The best routes are often dictated by the time of year and what you want to see.

For first-timers, we often suggest routes that include a mix of experiences and landscapes, such as the world-famous Serengeti plains for a classic wildlife experience or Ngorongoro Crater for a more intimate safari. We have various safari options to choose from and we’d love to help you pick the right one!

How many days do you need for a safari in Tanzania?

The optimal number of days for a safari in Tanzania is at least six to seven, but we would recommend staying as long as you possibly can. The more time you have, the more time we have to visit all of the main national parks and reserves, including the world-famous Serengeti. For those limited on time, you can still see a couple of locations and just enough wildlife on our shorter safaris, such as our Discover Safari, which is only three days. However, the more time you have in Tanzania, the better!

When should you go on safari in Tanzania?

The best time to visit Tanzania for a safari is between June and September when the weather is dry and cool. October and November are also good months to visit, but the rain can disrupt game viewing in some areas. December to February is the wet season and many lodges and camps are closed. March and April are hotter months with the possibility of rain, but game-viewing is excellent as the animals tend to congregate around water holes. May is cooler and dryer. 

The popular Great Migration happens in Tanzania from July through October. So, if you want to see herds of animals as they migrate to find water sources, this is the best time to visit Tanzania. If the Great Migration is on your list, we recommend booking our 9-day Northern Serengeti River Safari, which will get you up close and personal to this spectacular event!

What are the different types of safaris in Tanzania?

There are two main types of safari in Tanzania: classic wildlife safaris and the cultural safaris. The classic wildlife safari is what most people think of when they imagine a safari. This type of safari focuses on game drives and viewing the Big Five animals: lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, and buffalo.

A cultural safari, on the other hand, allows travelers to learn about the local culture and their way of life. Many cultural safaris include visits to Maasai villages, where you can witness traditional dances and learn about their culture. Our most popular option is the Adventure Safari, which takes you deep into the Tanzanian landscape and introduces you to the Maasai tribe, one of the oldest surviving tribes in Africa. 

If you’re interested in seeing the Big Five, then a classic wildlife safari is for you. If you’d like to learn about the local culture and see some of the less-visited parts of Tanzania, then a cultural safari is a great option. If time is not an issue, you can even do both!

What should you pack for a safari in Tanzania?

There are many items that are helpful to bring on safari, however, space can often be an issue so it is important to pack efficiently and wisely. We have some great tips on what is most important to bring and we also have a more in-depth list on What to pack for Tanzania that will help make sure you’re ready for your trip of a lifetime!

Clothes and shoes

Light jacket: A light jacket serves many purposes throughout the trip and it’s handy to have extra pockets for easy-to-grab items.

Warmer jacket: A warm jacket for the evening game drives.

Hat: A hat is a must since the sun is very harsh in Tanzania, and you don’t want to get sunburned.

Hiking boots: Closed shoes that you can walk in for long distances, and comfortable clothes that won’t make you too hot during the day.

Convertible pants/shorts: Tanzania can be hot, so it’s wise to have a pair of shorts on hand during safari. Oftentimes, people bring along convertible pants, which include zip-off legs that easily become shorts. This can be handy if you leave for safari in the early morning and need various options throughout the day.

Gear and accessories

Fanny pack: This helps to carry easily accessible items in one place since the jeep is often shaky when moving. You can put extra batteries, lip balm, and other small items in a fanny pack.

Day pack: Great option for carrying light items you need on safari and storing things like sunblock or your jacket or camera when not in use. 

Binoculars: You will be doing a lot of game viewing, and binoculars will help you see wildlife better. Although most of our safaris have binoculars included, if you have your own, feel free to bring them along!

Camera: Of course, you will want to take pictures of your safari experience. A DSLR camera is best and doesn’t forget to bring enough storage space for all of those pictures!

With the advancement of phone cameras, many people have also started to rely on this option to save space. Just make sure to bring a portable charger in case you need to charge up during the day.

Insect spray: You will be in the bush, and there are lots of insects that call this place home. Be sure to pack bug spray with DEET to keep unwanted insects away.

Sunscreen: The sun is very strong in Tanzania, and you will be exposed to it for long periods of time while on safari. Be sure to pack sunscreen with high SPF.

First aid kit: You will often be in remote locations, and it’s always better to be safe and prepared. Be sure to pack a first aid kit with bandages, antiseptic, and pain relievers in case of emergency. Our Wild Root Safaris vehicles and guides are equipped to handle all types of emergencies and we can guarantee that you are in good hands. 

What if you don’t see animals on safari?

This is an extremely rare occurrence but we have to be transparent, sometimes the animals just do not show up. Especially when guests choose a shorter safari, time is often a limitation. Our Wild Root Safaris guides are skilled in where animals tend to be at which times and will help you plan your safari appropriately.

At Wild Root Safaris, you can rest assured that we always have a backup plan. For example, on your first day, we may go on a game drive in the morning and then again in the afternoon. If you do not see any animals in the morning, chances are you will see some in the afternoon. And if not, there is always tomorrow! We do our best to make sure that you get the full viewing experience you desire. 

However, you must keep in mind that going on a safari is unpredictable. You might see certain animals or you might not. And, you may see more animals that you bargained for! But, that is part of the fun and the adventure. It is important to approach a safari with an open mindset; you are viewing animals in their natural habitat and nature is quite unpredictable. 

Outside of game viewing, Tanzania is an amazing country with so much to offer. The landscapes alone are quite breathtaking, the people are very friendly, and there is always something new to explore.

Is it possible to organize a self-drive safari in Tanzania?

Some national parks in Tanzania allow self-drive safaris, but we do not recommend this option for first-time visitors. The roads are sometimes in poor condition and signage is often inconsistent. It can also be very difficult to find reliable information about which roads are drivable and when. For these reasons, we recommend that first-time visitors use the services of a reputable safari company like Wild Root Safaris. We can make sure you have a safe and memorable safari experience. 


This is one of the most important aspects to consider when planning a safari in Tanzania. There are many types of accommodations available, from luxury lodges and tented camps to even more basic options, such as traditional tent camping. It is important to choose a place and amenities that are comfortable for you and suit your budget.

Some of the best accomodations in Tanzania include the Serengeti Safari Lodge, Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, and Manyara Tree Lodge. These places offer luxurious accommodations and stunning views of wildlife.

When choosing a place to stay, it is also important to consider the available activities. Some lodges and camps offer game drives, walks, and other safari activities. Others are more focused on relaxation and provide swimming pools, spa treatments, and other amenities. 

It is also important to consider the location of accommodations. Some lodges and camps are located in remote areas, while others are close to towns and villages. If you are planning to visit multiple national parks or game reserves, it is important to choose a place that is centrally located. 

Most safari lodges and camps are located in national parks or game reserves. These places usually have strict regulations regarding maximum occupancy, so it is important to book early.

When you book with Wild Root Safaris, we will take the stress of choosing the right lodging off of your plate. Most of our packages already have the perfect accommodations included. If you would like to customize, you can let us know your budget and taste and we can suggest the perfect accommodations for you! There will be no surprises on your end either because no one knows Tanzania like our local guides!

Safari rules and etiquette

When on safari in Tanzania, there are a few rules and etiquette one should keep in mind. For example, it is polite to ask permission before taking photos of locals and to always be respectful of animals in their natural habitat.

When driving anywhere in Tanzania, you should remain aware and always be on the lookout for animals. If you see an animal on the side of the road, do not stop to take a photo or get out of the car to get closer. This can be dangerous for both you and the animal. Instead, enjoy the sighting from a safe distance and move on.

If you are staying in a lodge or camp during your safari, be sure to follow the rules and regulations of the property. For example, some lodges have strict curfews in place to protect guests from wildlife. Make sure you know the rules before arrival and follow them during your stay.

When out on a game drive or walking safari, always stick to the designated routes and paths. Do not go off-road or wander away from the group. This is not only for your safety, but also to protect the delicate ecosystem you are visiting.

As a guest in Tanzania, we want to make sure you have the most sure you have the most seamless and safe trip possible. 

Choose Wild Root Safaris for your Tanzania adventure 

Overall, Tanzania is a great destination for those who love adventure and nature. With its many national parks, reserves, and conservation areas, there is plenty to see and do. When planning your safari, our guides will help you determine the best time of year to visit Tanzania, which vaccinations you need, and what to pack

Our team at Wild Root Safaris is ready to help you plan your Tanzania safari adventure! There is no reason that planning such a beautiful vacation should be stressful for you or your guests – let us guide you on making your most memorable safari dreams come true! We recommend watching this awesome guest video to help you get excited about your Tanzanian vacation of a lifetime!