Sunset in Savannah

The Best Safari Itinerary: A comprehensive guide

May 24, 2020
Safaris

An African safari is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see some of the world’s most incredible animals, experience a different way of life and get closer to nature than you ever have before. With such a vast range of tours and safaris on offer, it can be hard to know which to choose to get the most out of your trip. But there are certain elements that every excellent safari itinerary should have. Here are some that you should keep in mind when planning your African safari adventure.

 

A Chance To Spot The Big Five

A lion, one of the big five, rests on the grass
A lion, one of the big five, rests on the grass

Seeing the big five first-hand is the main draw for many visitor’s trips to Africa, and most safari itineraries consider this. Comprising the leopard, lion, elephant, rhino, and buffalo, seeing the big five is a wildlife experience you’ll never forget. They have become the focal point of most safari camps.

 

Though there is no guarantee of seeing all of these magnificent creatures on your trip, there are certain things that will increase your chances. One of these is having a great guide along with you for the ride. 

The best African safari tour operators will only work with the most experienced and knowledgeable teams who know the behaviors and habits of these animals like the back of their hand. If seeing the big five is at the top of your bucket list, ask your travel agent if there are any tours explicitly curated with this goal in mind.

 

Even if you don’t manage to spot all five, that’s not to say there aren’t plenty of other animals to admire in the bush. Travel agents specializing in African safaris offer tours to see a wide range of species, including hippos, gazelles, giraffes, and more. No matter what you find on your African safari, you’re sure to be captivated by the continent’s weird and wonderful creatures.

 

Experience The Sunset From The Savanna

Sunset in Savannah
Picturesque sunsets

Though your African safari will be full of magical moments, there’s something extra special about seeing the vibrant orange sky as the sun sets over the savanna. We often hear that Africa has some of the best sunrises and sunsets in the world. 

The unspoiled horizons of the plains of the savanna offer the perfect canvas for the sun to cast its warm glow, occasionally silhouetted by the distinct forms of some of Africa’s most awe-inspiring animals.

 

Take a quiet evening to sit and watch the sunset. You will be left in awe by this gorgeous natural spectacle. The best African safari tour operators include some incredible accommodation in their itineraries, where you can best experience the spellbinding sunsets as you relax at the end of an adventure-packed day. 

Don’t forget to pack your camera – this is one snapshot you won’t want to miss. The tented camps provide excellent protection not only from wild animals but also from the sun’s glare, which will ruin quality shots.

 

See The Highest Mountain In Africa

Mount Kilimanjaro
Tallest Freestanding Mountain in the Wolrd

Getting a glimpse of the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro should be high on every safari-goers bucket list. One of the seven summits, this impressive peak, is located in northeast Tanzania, serving as a backdrop to some of Africa’s most beautiful safari parks. 

It stands at an astonishing 5,895 meters above sea level, also making it the highest free-standing mountain in the world. Mount Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcano formed by three volcanic cones, with its last eruption occurring almost 200,000 years ago.

 

Mount Kilimanjaro is a famous peak for both experienced climbers first-time adventurers thanks to its relative ease. Scaling the mountain requires no specialist equipment like ropes or crampons and doesn’t involve any actual climbing. Instead, visitors can simply hike to the top with the help of an experienced guide. 

That’s not to say it is a feat to be taken lightly – up to half of the 30,000 people who attempt the summit every year fail to reach its peak. This mostly comes down to altitude sickness, usually affecting those who choose to take Kilimanjaro’s shorter route.

 

If climbing one of the seven summits is on your list of to-dos, there are plenty of options for specialist tours that will significantly improve your chance of success. With meticulously planned and well thought out itineraries, its just another measure that will best prepare you for its dizzying heights. 

Even if you prefer to admire it from a distance, don’t miss the chance to take in Mount Kilimanjaro in all its glory. A real natural wonder, this remarkable snow-covered peak is truly a sight to behold.

 

Witness The Spectacle Of The Great Migration

Wildebeest Migrating
Thousands of Wildebeest moving with one purpose

When it comes to game viewing, this is the single event that defines the safari experience. Undoubtedly the most excellent wildlife show on earth, every year, more than one million animals travel almost 2,000 miles from the Serengeti to the Masai Mara and back. 

It is the most significant mass movement of animals on earth, creating a breathtaking vision as the wildebeests, zebras, and antelopes stretch across the African plains as far as the eye can see. 

 

Naturally, to get a chance to witness this incredible spectacle, you need to plan your visit for just the right time. Serengeti great migration tours tend to take place between July and September each year, though sometimes it can even be seen as late as October. 

This ancient natural process is somewhat unpredictable. It is dependent on the weather, the environment, and the animals themselves. However, a rough pattern can usually be determined as the herd follows the rains to lush grass and plentiful freshwater supply.

 

Good tour operators gear Serengeti’s great migration tours towards maximizing your chances of seeing this incredible feat in action, usually with several days at the Serengeti National Park. The park is so large that even then, it’s possible to miss it, so guides are on hand every step of the way to point you in the right direction. Wildlife camping in the Serengeti will put you at the heart of the action, while pleasant facilities and the watchful eye of a ranger will help you feel at home.

 

Immerse Yourself In The Local Culture

African Natives
African Natives are very friendly towards visitors

One of the greatest things about traveling is the chance to broaden our horizons and immerse ourselves in cultures vastly different from our own. Travel agents specializing in African safaris offer incredible opportunities to come face-to-face with the locals, experiencing life in their villages and tribes first-hand.

Take the Hadzabe Bushmen, for example, one of the last surviving hunter-gatherer tribes in the world. A well-planned safari itinerary can give you time to get acquainted with their culture and their daily rituals, even joining them on their regular search for food. Or how about the iconic pastoralists of the Masai?

 This ethnic group is instantly recognizable thanks to their bright scarlet robes and beads and are known for their traditional customs and ceremonies. Make a cultural exchange part of your trip to African, and you can get an authentic glimpse into other people’s everyday lives, maybe even learning something about yourself along the way.

 

Don’t Forget Some Downtime.

 

Early starts and hours in jeeps can undoubtedly take a toll, so it’s important to fit some downtime into your itinerary. Africa has some breathtaking beaches, but those in Zanzibar are among the most beautiful. 

A night or two in Zanzibar is a rejuvenating way to round off your trip and reflect on all the amazing sights you have seen on your safari. The palm-speckled sands of Nungwi Beach are the perfect spot to kick back and relax, while also offering their animal encounters. The Mnarani Marine Turtle Conservation Pond shelters sea turtles in a tidal lagoon, while the colorful coral reefs are home to a whole host of tropical fish.

 

If sandy beaches aren’t your thing, you could always unwind in one of East Africa’s many resorts. Though there are plenty of expansive, luxury retreats to choose from, you needn’t spend a lot of money to get a five-star experience. There is also a wide selection of small, independent resorts where you can have a restorative stay at the end of your trip.

 

Conclusion

Ultimately, the best Tanzania safari is the one that experienced tour operators will customize for you. Travel agents specializing in African safaris should be able to advise you what kinds of tours will best suit your needs, ensuring that you don’t go home feeling like you’ve missed out. 

 

There is a safari for all demographics. A walking safari is usually the choice of senior citizens, while most young people prefer to see a million wildebeest brave their river crossings. Ngorongoro Crater is generally considered a must-see for all.

 

Nature Tours In Africa, specializes in unique safaris in Tanzania and works closely with companies throughout the Eastern Africa area. We take care of every last detail and can perfectly tailor your trip to make it the vacation of your dreams. Nature Tours In Africa takes care of every last detail – including the hotel lodging, meals, tour guides, and transportation. Whether it’s a Tanzania family safari or a Serengeti great migration tour, we can help make your trip to Africa genuinely unforgettable.

 

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