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Privately guided safaris

Privately guided safaris

Privately guided safaris in Tanzania

Tanzania's northern parks – including the Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Tarangire – are relatively close together, so are well-suited to safaris where you are driven between them. And on a privately guided safari, with your own guide and vehicle, you have the added advantage of real flexibility: this is very much your trip.

A private safari guide

You will have your own safari guide, who will have a huge role in your trip. Rather than starting afresh with a new guide in each camp, as you would on a fly-around trip, you will have the chance to build up a relationship with your guide. Not only will they get to know you, your interests and preferences, they will also know what you have already enjoyed on your trip. So if you have seen hundreds of elephants in Tarangire, for example, maybe you will not focus on elephants in the Serengeti – unless of course you would like to! In this way, they will be able to come up with a safari plan specifically for you.

A private vehicle

You will have exclusive use of a private 4WD vehicle, driven by your guide. This is usually a Land Rover or Land Cruiser, with a “poptop” roof for unobstructed game viewing.

Your safari, your choices

With your own vehicle and safari guide, the options for your safari are exceptionally flexible: where and when you want to go, and for how long, is largely up to you. Focus on the species that are important to you, whether it be birds or cats or something more specific. Wait as long as you like for the “perfect” photo. This is your trip – and it’s unique to you.

A day on safari

With your own guide, how you spend your day is very much in your hands. Typically you’ll discuss your plans in camp the night before, from timings and meals to – most important – your focus for the day. Obviously some journeys are longer than others, so you’ll need to take that into account, but there’s usually no need to be up at the crack of dawn if you don’t want to (though your guide may well point out that that is the best time of day to be out and about!).

Breakfast in camp is the norm, but you may be able to take a packed breakfast if you want an early start. Your guide will certainly have coffee, tea and cold, soft drinks on board, as well as plenty of snacks. If you’ve agreed on a whole day out in the bush, then there’ll be a picnic lunch, too, usually set up somewhere scenic out of the sun. But if you prefer to arrive in the next camp reasonably early, that can be accommodated too, with the option of an afternoon activity once you’ve settled in, returning around sunset in time for dinner.

Of course, plans can only be an outline: the ultimate joy of a safari is the chance encounter. If you come across a lioness with her cubs, or a cheetah hunting, or an unexpected flock of waterbirds, then on a private guided safari you have the flexibility to stop and watch – for almost as long as you like.

Where you’ll stay

The location of the camps on our private guided safaris is very important. You can expect to be somewhere with a real feel for the destination, perhaps on the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater, or with open views across the plains. In terms of style, options range from the simple and even quirky to larger, more upmarket lodges, with accommodation and service to match. When you are in camp, you will of course have access to the facilities they offer, from swimming pools and sundowner spots to cultural excursions (these are sometimes at extra cost); the only difference between you and the other guests is that you will have your own private guide.

Get a feel for the country

Travelling by road, you will experience areas of Tanzania that you would not see by plane, getting a feel for the landscape as a whole. Pass farms and small Maasai villages; drive through forests, past lakes and across the open plains around Olduvai Gorge. If you want to stop and explore a local village, and go to local shops, perhaps in Karatu, then – time permitting – you can. As you drive through these different areas, you can often pick up on more of the local culture than by flying into individual camps, too.

About your private guide

All the guides on our private guided safaris have been selected for their ability to work with individual guests, and to help each member of a party make the most of their safari. Training – usually over a period of several years – is rigorous, backed up by a high level of experience.

Along with detailed coverage of wildlife and the environment, each guide will have attended courses in topics ranging from first aid to guest relations. Annual development programmes allow the guides to expand their knowledge in specialist areas such as astronomy or photography.

As well as speaking conversational English, they will be able to identify almost all species of animals and most birds, and will have some knowledge of their behaviour; when they are not able to answer a question, they will use references to try and find out. The guides have a good understanding of local cultures, too, and will almost always speak some of the local languages.

When planning your trip with us, do tell us about any particular interests that you have (butterflies, geology, snakes, rock art: we’ve had them all), then we’ll try hard to match your interests to those of your guide. Should you be looking for an even greater depth of guiding experience for your safari, we may well be able to accommodate this, so do talk to us about the options and the possible costs involved.

Safari routes & suggested itineraries

Most of our privately guided safaris in northern Tanzania will start from Kilimanjaro Airport and all will give you the flexibility to do what you want, when you want. Aside from the option of visiting the region’s iconic wildlife destinations, such as the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti, they’re the best way of reaching the most offbeat areas, like Lake Natron or even Lake Eyasi – which are not easy to access even by private plane.

Possible routes for these trips are limited only by your imagination and available time. To give you some ideas, we have included a few costed examples of privately guides safaris around northern Tanzania on this website:

More great ideas for safaris in Tanzania

Here are some safari ideas covering all areas of Tanzania - some are privately guided, others are fly-in.

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Marabou Stork Fly-in Safari

13 days • 5 locations

Four luxurious camps enable exploration of Tanzania’s north and southern regions. With a range of land- and water-based activities available throughout, decidedly comfortable accommodation and applicable long-stay discounts, this adventurous safari is excellent value.

US$17,280 - US$25,560 per person

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Flufftail Guided Safari

10 days • 3 locations

Stay in three unique camps as you safari across the Ngorongoro Crater and the iconic Serengeti Plains with your private guide and 4WD vehicle: a trip of comfort and autonomy, with excellent wildlife.

US$12,970 - US$18,460 per person

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Firefinch Drive-Fly Safari

9 days • 3 locations

Enjoy a combination of privately guided and shared game drives during this good-value exploration of northern Tanzania. Explore game-dense regions from three comfortable bases which offer a variety of activities.

US$8,190 - US$10,760 per person

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Jackal Fly-in Safari

8 days • 2 locations

Enjoy a range of activities on this luxury fly-in safari. Explore the remoter regions of Ruaha National Park and Nyerere National Park with phenomenal guides during stays at two impressively comfortable camps that remain perfectly in keeping with their surroundings.

US$9,060 - US$12,080 per person

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Chimpanzee Fly-in Safari

8 days • 3 locations

Combining two of the remotest parks in Tanzania, this safari can deliver extraordinary wildlife viewing in Katavi, and East Africa's best chimp treks, on the shores of Lake Tanganyika.

US$12,730 - US$14,920 per person

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Tinkerbird Fly-in Safari

8 days • 4 locations

Explore Tanzania’s famous northern circuit in Tarangire National Park, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Serengeti National Park. Four smart sister camps offer a high level of care, first-class guiding and a wide range of activities.

US$9,100 - US$14,140 per person

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Secretary Bird Fly-in Safari

8 days • 4 locations

Chosen for comfort and relaxation as much as for its range of activities, this safari makes for a leisurely trip featuring stunning accommodation and swift access to many of northern Tanzania’s best wildlife regions.

US$12,110 - US$16,740 per person

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Topi Fly-in Safari

7 days • 2 locations

Explore Nyerere National Park and Ruaha National Park from two luxurious, colonially styled camps. Chosen for their access to good game viewing and thrilling remoteness, these camps also offer a range of varied safari activities.

US$6,540 - US$6,870 per person

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Yellow Baboon Fly-In Safari

7 days • 2 locations

Two authentic bushcamps offer access to Ruaha’s remote wildernesses through walking safaris, day and night 4WD drives and fly-camping. Explore in almost utter isolation, with superb guiding to heighten your immersion in nature.

US$7,950 - US$9,220 per person

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Spotted Hyena Fly-in Safari

7 days • 2 locations

Stay in one of Nyerere National Park's best safari camps before experiencing a truly authentic tented camp in Ruaha. Remote locations, superb guiding and a range of activities await guests during this comfortable fly-in safari.

US$7,400 - US$10,300 per person

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