A guided safari would be the most common and most recognisable form of safari. The vast majority of camps and safari lodges across Tanzania operate guided safaris. These involve largely game drives (although other activities are often provided such as walks, boat trips etc) whereby a specialist driver guide will ‘guide’ you through the wildlife experience.
The drives are either privately operated or shared with other guests from the camp or lodge. Various countries and camps operate differently but by in large these guided drives are offered in the early morning and late afternoon / evening, providing the best opportunities for game viewing. Some camps and lodges will also offer night drives.
The advantage of this type of safari is that you can rely on the guide’s specialist knowledge and tracking skills to locate the animals you wish to see, describe their behaviour and provide you with specific information on the fauna and flora which you will encounter.
First timers to Tanzania or those looking for a hassle free and exclusive experience should always consider a guided safari to make the most of their experience.
It is important to understand the difference between a safari in a National Park and a safari in a Private Game Reserve. In the majority of cases national parks in Tanzania are government owned and arguably allow more traffic into the park. This can in peak season mean that game drives are shared with a large number of vehicles including self drive safari goers.
Whilst many people view this as a disadvantage please do remember that the national parks often offer the prime game viewing areas. It is important to understand that in the likes of the Serengeti National Park to experience game viewing on this scale and to witness a natural wonder such as the wildebeest migration, one must be prepared to share!
A private game reserve operates differently. It is private land where the vehicles being driven in that area belong to the camps and lodges situated on that property. The advantage being that the safari experience is quieter and more exclusive. In many cases these private reserves border national parks.