Seeing the Big Five up close and personal is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, regardless of how many instances you will get to experience it. With Tanzania offering the best safari tours, a number of camps will make for an unforgettable safari experience. In this case here are nine unforgettable camps to see the Big Five in Tanzania.
Tanzania is renowned the world over for some of the best wildlife sightings.
One of the best camps in Tanzania found in central Serengeti is Dunia Camp. What makes it stand out is its remoteness, which is enticing for the Big Five. However, with the freedom the animals have, it’s best to be with a guide or tour group.
Strategically located in the remote plains of the eastern Serengeti, Namiri Camp is the best place to see the Big Five, especially the cats. In fact since the camp banned poaching, the big cat numbers have increased, so chances of spotting them will be very good.
Ten percent of the world’s population of lion, is in Kwihala. This means that when you visit Tanzania, it’s not surprising to see prides consisting of more than 20. The best part is that Kwihala is full of life with many other species of animals such as jackal, hyena and wild dog.
Jabali ridge is a goldmine, teeming with wildlife, where predators and prey roam freely in the wild. Action packed days are guaranteed – elephant and rhino are so close, that you’ll be sure to feel their power.
Located in northern Serengeti, Kimondo camp is full of buffalo and rhino. With the help of a guide, adrenaline-filled campers get the unique opportunity for an up-close and personal Big Five experience.
Oliver’s Camp and Little Oliver’s
Boasting a remarkable number of big cats and huge herds of elephant and buffalo, Oliver’s Camp and Little Oliver’s offers high adventure experiences. By use of a guide, walking safaris and fly camping is possible in this game-rich wilderness.
When looking for a great wildebeest migration meeting with the bonus of a Big Five encounter, Olakira camp in Northern Serengeti is the place to be. With the action-packed scenes so prolific, the experience will stay with you for a lifetime.
The people are great. There are over 100 ethnic groups in Tanzania, making the local cuisine fascinating and cultural activities intriguing.
Mount Kilimanjari is massive. At 5895m high and 40km wide, it’s little wonder why this is Africa’s highest peak.
The road infrastructure is not as good as it used to be.
Drink bottled water.
Get vaccinated, especially against malaria.
Go during the dry season because all the animals will be comfortable to be out in the open. Also, it is the best season because the weather is mild. Stay hydrated and drink a lot of water whenever you get the chance.
Binoculars are great for sightseeing, sunscreen, water bottles, trekking clothes, insect repellant, comfortable and conservative clothes, sunglasses, digestive pills and ice packs. Tanzanian shillings, camera, appropriate chargers, eye drops, hand sanitizer and basic medical kit. Also, personal toiletries, flashlight, and rain gear.
Tanzania has an extremely pleasant tropical climate, although the variations are influenced by a multitude of factors, including altitude. The hot (more humid) part of Tanzania is on the coast, near Zanzibar. Other low lying areas, such as the west and parks in the south, are also hot but far less humid than the north. Due to Tanzania being close to the equator, there isn’t really a dramatic change in temperatur – but there are definite dry and wet seasons.
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There are plenty of different options for accommodation in Ruaha National Park, from hotels to luxury safari camps and lodges. Some examples of this are; Kichaka Camp, Jabali Ridge, Ruaha River Lodge and much more.
The Selous Game Reserve is a protected area in southern Tanzania.
Safari lodges have guest rooms similar to a hotel with en-suite bathrooms. They are comfortably furnished with facilities normally associated with a hotel rooms, except your rooms are normally set in beautiful wilderness settings, with nature and wildlife around.
Tented lodges have rooms which are tents on a platform and with a roof and also have en-suite facilities with showers, flush toilets and hot water. Basically all the amenities of a hotel room, except canvas walls and roof.
The boutique lodges and camps can be very stylish and smart in terms of design and decor, often with very spacious rooms and even going so far in some cases as having plunge pools for each room.
Eco-camps and smaller tented camps have insect-proof tents with en-suite facilities including a safari shower and flush toilet. They give a more authentic safari experience but the tents are comfortably furnished with proper beds and you don’t need to bring your own sleeping bag! The emphasis is usually on having excellent guides and great wildlife viewing away from the crowds. Guests often eat together and people travelling alone usually say that they found the atmosphere friendly and enjoyed meeting other like-minded travellers around the campfire in the evening or at dinner.
The Adventure Camps are a budget option with guests bringing their own sleeping bags and towels. Accommodation is in small dome tented with a mattress on the floor. Each tent has its own nearby cubicle with a flush toilet, safari shower, and wash basin. The Adventure Camps are suitable only for those who don’t mind “real camping” and can put with some degree of “roughing it”. Apart from the accommodation in simple dome tents, the meals and the guiding are the same standards as the higher quality camps and game drives are in 4x4 safari vehicles. For those on a limited budget, the Adventure Camps are a good alternative to the big tourist lodges and minibus tours for those for whom the safari experience is more important than hotel accommodation.
The official language in Tanzania is Swahili but there are hundreds of other local dialects.
English is the second official language and the country's commercial language. It is also the main teaching language used for all higher education institutions.
You will find that the majority of the people that you come in contact with are fluent in English and have a surprisingly good command of the language.
June to October is the best time to visit Mikumi National Park. During the dry season, the wildlife concentrate around waterholes and rivers - making it easier to spot them.
January and February and from June to August after the rains. The wildlife stays within the park since there is still plenty of water - making it easier to spot the animals as well as the migratory birds are present.
For optimal wildlife viewing opportunities, Tanzania is best visited during the dry season months of June - October. However, if you'd like to see the wildebeest migration, a visit during the months of January and February puts you in the middle of the calving season, a period where the herds give birth to their newborn calves.
The dry season months of June through to November are the best times to visit the Tarangire National Park, as most of the animals will head towards the Tarangire River to remain hydrated, providing travellers with excellent game viewing opportunities.
In Dar es Salaam it’s advised that one sticks to a budget of around 150 US dollars per person per night or upwards to ensure suitable accommodation is arranged. Anything below this mark can become a bit below average. It’s also advised to book well in advance or online to avoid disappointment during peak periods.