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Zanzibar - Tanzania

Who hasn't dreamed of going on a safari? After seeing the lion king, everyone has their own specific image of the African savannah. A unique moment as close as possible to wild animals, in their natural environment, far from the zoos to boycott. Yes, but a safari is expensive, you will tell me. This is what I believed too, until I figured out how to make this dream come true while cutting the budget. I give you my advice and the story of my adventure in Tanzania in this article:

What is a Tanzanian safari?

Tanzania is famous for its huge national parks with different landscapes and which are home to the BIG FIVE : the 5 rarest animals to see . The lion, the African elephant, the black rhino, the African buffalo and the leopard.

The actual safari means "trip" in Swahili. But for us dear Westerners, a safari is a journey into the countryside to discover wild animals in their natural environment . The safari in Tanzania takes place like in other countries: a jeep and we travel through the national parks in silence. The animals are wild, they should not be disturbed . We go at their own pace. If they decide to cross the path or stay right in the middle of it, we have to wait and let them do it. Do not shout, do not make sudden gestures. Let them live and admire them.  

I would like to point out for people who would be disappointed not to have seen this or that species, that the safari is not a zoo. They are wild and free animals. Therefore we are never sure what we are going to see but this is what makes all the magic of the safari too . There are often nice unexpected surprises.  






Which parks to visit? Itinerary, duration, budget ...



In Tanzania it is possible to visit several parks. There are the southern parts and the northern parks, the most famous. The most famous parks in the north are: Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Tarangire, Lake Manyara.  

With this course of the 4 parks, you put all the chances on your side to see as many animals as possible and in various landscapes. I would say this is the winning route, and for testing it, it was fabulous.  

I can't talk about the southern parks as I haven't tested and I don't know their worth. Most of the people that I have met who have been on safari, had gone to the north. I can only say that safaris in the south are a little cheaper.


Ngorongoro crater seen from above, from the road to Serengeti
Serengeti Plain

Lake Madani while traveling the Serengeti 
Lake Manyara Park reminds me of Jurassic Park



Personally, I went on a 5 day 4 night safari. But I would recommend 3 or 4 days is enough because very tiring and it can get boring .. Then you can see everything in one day as you can see exactly the same animals over 5 days .. So in terms of budget, duration and fatigue I Recommend you 3 or 4 days of safari in different parks.

Depending on the duration of your safari, you will be able to see with your guide or the agency through which you pass, which parks are feasible. Indeed, if you join a group in a jeep as many do (divide the costs and pollution in the park) the guide must organize himself in relation to the durations of the stays of the other participants in the jeep. A whole organization!  




For the prices you will find EVERYTHING . There are several criteria to take into account.


First of all, the duration of the safari. But also which accommodation you will choose.

Indeed, there are 3 different types of accommodation:

- basic tents

- luxury tents with a real bed and a bathroom

- luxury lodges, comfortable buildings with swimming pool in the middle of the savannah


You can imagine that the prices are not the same and can go up very quickly depending on the accommodation you choose.

In all cases, transfers from the airport (go and back) are included as well as 3 meals per day + bottle of water.

WARNING  : special note, there are unfortunately a LOT of scams  about these safaris .. There are agencies everywhere, locals improvising as guides and scammers who sell you a package and you will never hear from them again ..  

I therefore advise you to go through an official agency where you can read customer reviews with photos! (because it is possible that fake reviews written by friends) read blogs, and navigate to recommended agencies.  

Once you have chosen you can try to negotiate the price, especially if you travel alone like me. I asked to join a group. There are 6 customer seats in a jeep. Being the 6th I was able to get a slightly reduced rate.  

My experience :   For 5 days and 4 nights all inclusive (basic tent, food, bottled water, airport transfer - hostel then hostel - safari then safari - hostel then hostel - airport) I paid $ 900 or around € 730. A very affordable price when we see for the most part around 2000 € per week.


But once again I insist, do not necessarily seek a discount price it can hide unpleasant surprises. Find out about the agency.


Personally, I had done some research and discovered Great Image Expeditions on a blog.


I then went to see the reviews and then contacted them on  WhatsApp to ask all my questions.

A deposit had been requested from me from France  and I admit that I was not serene about this idea. He reassured me, the link was protected with a small padlock and it was indeed their website which provided for a 25% deposit. When there are so many bookings I can understand that a deposit is a guarantee in case the clients don't come.


But pay attention to the amount of the deposit, how it is requested and if the page is secure. Take more information on the agency and do not make a transfer via western union or other !!

My personal experience 

I had dreamed of a safari for a long time like many people. Find yourself in the middle of the African fauna and see its wild animals in FREEDOM. 

After a lot of research I started!  

And what an adventure! It was incredible. See the lion king you looked at as a kid? You are right in it. It took me several times to take 2 minutes to realize where I was in order to be aware and thankful for it. Diverse landscapes according to the parks, many animals, the chance to have had the BIG FIVE even if I could see the leopard and the rhino from afar, with binoculars, it's always seen! Good weather over the 5 days.

IMG_1984 2.JPG

I was also lucky enough to run into some great people in my jeep . The guide, Joseph , was very professional and lovely, with a lot of humor. He had this talent for spotting animals even from a great distance and without binoculars. By his side, our chef Ramadhani who prepared all our meals. I have heard people complain about their food, I have to admit it was excellent and filling all the time!

For my fellow travelers I had Tanya a Bulgarian almost the age of my mom who was traveling to fulfill her dreams after the sudden death of her husband. Enrico, an Italian in his thirties who traveled the world, Nikolai and his wife Natacha, two Russian designers in their forties, and finally Abubakar, a young Libyan who wanted to travel

It was a nice atmosphere in the group, lot of laughs and we talked about deep subject with the point of view of the difference nationalities. I am grateful to have crossed their path.




As for the nights in a basic tent, it was basic .

A tent canvas, a tiny foam mattress, a pillow and a duvet. Common cold shower and a closed room to have dinner. But used to road trips and getting out of my comfort zone, it was ok for me.

A little less for Tanya who lived the first campsite of all her life!


We were in the middle of the park, without a fence, and the Maasai were on guard at night for the animals . It is true that I was surprised by this but everything went well.

I could hear a hyena not far from my tent the first night, then saw the photo of a buffalo right next to my head the third night haha!

It can be scary like that, but they know what they are doing and there has never been an accident.  Avoid going out at night to go to the bathroom or with a flashlight, and do not put food in the tent.


You should also plan to cover up because it is cold in these parks at night! My coat, jogging from France and my little blanket have served me well! 

How to get to Arusha for a safari in the north?

Departures for the northern safaris are all from Arusha. 

It all depends on your itinerary. Do you plan to stay in Tanzania on the mainland, to visit Moshi and Kilimanjaro or are you coming from Zanzibar?

From France or elsewhere: land in Arusha or Kilimanjaro 

You can do Paris - Arusha very well by plane. Then take an internal flight to Zanzibar if you ever plan to go there afterwards.

You can also do the reverse if you prefer to see Zanzibar first and the safari before returning to France - or elsewhere.

For me, it was cheaper to take a Paris-Zanzibar round trip then add an internal round trip by plane like the one below (Flight Link or Precision air):


By comparing all the flights, at the cheapest I did Zanzibar - Arusha 40 € with checked baggage then on the return Kilimanjaro - Zanzibar 70 € . Always compare, the price of flights varies all the time.

Between Arusha and Kilimanjaro airport it is approximately 1 hour - 1 hour 30 minutes drive.  

So to go on a safari in the northern parks in Tanzania you can arrive at these two airports.

From Moshi: dala dala (local bus) to Arusha (2000 tsh) or taxi (I would say about $ 40)

From Dar Es Salaam:  airplane  to Arusha or train, or bus (15h journey around 40,000 tsh)

Where to stay before and after the safari, before flying

Obviously, there are plenty of places to spend the night in Arusha, before and after your safari. 

Here I recommend the two places where I have stayed personally, because they are worth it!  

1) Banana Farm Eco Hostel - 11 € per night in single room and private bathroom + breakfast included 

An exceptional place, in the middle of banana trees, filled with good  vibes. A family of locals runs this inn. You can find positive thoughts written all over the place, hammocks to relax, a campfire in the evening to meet up. $ 5 for a meal which is very decent. I loved my afternoon and my night there, I wish I could have stayed longer!


2) Utamaduni House B&B - private double room shared bathroom breakfast included

A mixed couple created this little haven of peace. Very comfortable and relaxing, it is possible to have food delivered, to share a drink in the garden with the hosts.


I hope this article has reassured you when it comes to the possibility of going on a safari even if you are not a rothchild. That it will help you to plan an incredible moment that you will remember for life !

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