Not All Safaris are Created Equally

Embarking on a safari adventure is a dream for many travelers, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness the majestic beauty of the storied African landscapes and unique (and often endangered) wildlife up close. Yet, amidst the array of safari companies promising extraordinary experiences, it’s essential to recognize that not all are created equally. Sometimes you truly do get what you pay for! 

In Tanzania, and the rest of Africa, cookie-cutter safari companies abound! These safari mills prioritize quantity over quality, cramming thousands of budget-conscious travelers into overcrowded trucks helmed by less experienced drivers/guides, and cut corners regarding food, accommodations, and even vehicle maintenance to maximize profits each year.

Additionally, these big-box operators have been known to restrict the distance their vehicles can drive during each day of the safari, while others limit the amount of time their trucks can stay at each sighting. These limitations force most of the trucks on safari each day to limit their range, thus increasing the likelihood that a crush of vehicles will pile up in specific areas of the park, placing undue stress on the wildlife and ecology in those regions of the park. Ultimately this drastically diminishes the quality of the safari experience for their guests.

Conversely, there are a handful of elite safari outfitters with big name recognition, and sky-high price tags to match! These companies roll out the red carpet for guests, but can be a bit overblown to the point of taking the authenticity out of the journey. For example, these companies typically stop game viewing for 30 minutes mid-morning to offer a full roadside tea service to their guests. Another full-blown production takes place during the lunch stop, then stop yet again on the way back to camp in the evening for a “sundowner.” A bit of pampering always sounds delightful, but realize that each stop for tea and crumpets will significantly reduce the time you spend on game driving and wildlife viewing.

And then there are a select few safari outfitters that have found the perfect balance of adding some refinement and fine touches to the mix, without detracting from an authentic safari experience! Wanderful Tanzania begins our high-touch assistance and refined attention to detail long before you board the plane for Africa. And we do it without breaking the bank! We have worked hard to blend the perfect mix of exploration and relaxation. We intentionally blaze our own trails to remove ourselves from the pack of safari vehicles whenever possible. We hand-pick every one of our guides, focusing on their professionalism, experience, knowledge, personality, and driving skills. Other than following park rules, we do not restrict our guides concerning range or time, so they can create customized daily itineraries intended to deliver the best overall safari experience to our guests every single day of the safari!   

While it is tempting to increase profits by filling each truck with 7-9 people, we would never dream of doing that to our guests! Instead, we do all we can to limit each truck to just 4-5 guests, whenever possible. Our dedication to limiting the capacity in each of our trucks ensures our guests have plenty of room to keep their belongings at hand, and that everyone can freely move around the truck to have a front-row view during our wildlife encounters. Limiting the capacity of each truck also allows guests to more easily and deeply engage with the guides so they can learn about the animals, flora, and fauna throughout the day.

Safaris tend to draw a lot of photographers to the mix as well. If you are a photographer, you can feel very confident booking with Wanderful Tanzania, as all our guides have a thorough understanding of safari photography. They will work with you as much as possible to position the truck in such a way as to provide you with the best possible lighting, angle, background, composition, action, etc. And it’s not unusual for them to allow photographers to capture the scene from more than one perspective, whenever possible.

Top Photo Spots in Tanzania

Guest comfort and safety should be non-negotiable priorities for any reputable safari company. From well-appointed camps and safari lodges offering unparalleled luxury to stringent safety protocols, every aspect of our guest experience is meticulously curated to provide peace of mind and unforgettable moments.

The driving skills of guides also play a pivotal role in shaping your safari experience. Navigating rugged terrain and tracking elusive wildlife requires not just expertise but a keen understanding of the land and animal behavior. Our seasoned guides possess this innate ability, ensuring every game drive is an adventure filled with excitement and discovery.

Furthermore, the ability to find wildlife away from the crowds sets exceptional safari companies apart from the crowd! By venturing off the beaten path, you’re granted intimate encounters with nature, free from the hustle and bustle of other safari groups—a truly elevated wildlife viewing experience.

But beyond the thrill of the safari itself, it’s crucial to travel with a company that understands the importance of traveling with intention. This means leaving a minimal footprint, supporting local communities, and contributing to conservation efforts that ensure the preservation of these precious ecosystems for generations to come.

In essence, choosing the right safari company is not just about embarking on a journey—it’s about fostering a deep connection with nature, immersing yourself in the wonders of the wild, and leaving a positive impact on the places you visit. So, as you plan your next safari adventure, remember that not all safari companies are created equally. If you choose wisely, you can unlock the authentic safari experience of your dreams, and memories to last a lifetime!


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