Top Ten Africa Vacations
Serengeti National Park
The Serengeti National Park covers almost 15,000 sq km of Tanzania.
It is home to over 3 million large mammals, including Elephant, Lion, Zebra, Giraffe and Widebeest.
It is the finest place in the world for a wildlife safari.
In May or June the greatest migration of large mammals anywhere the world can be witnessed here, as thousands of wildebeest, gazelle and
zebra cross the Serengeti in search of water - closely followed by their predators!
The migration is a stunning and awesome sight - and everybody should try to see it at least once. The migration can also be seen in Kenya's
Masai-Mara, but the Serengeti is a far better choice. The Masai-Mara gets crowded camper vans during the migration - which spoils the effect!
The migration is the main event here - but there is plenty more to attract the visitor.
Antelope, lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, fox, hunting dog and jackal live in the Serengeti all year round.
As do giraffe, rhino, elephant, hippopotamus, porcupine, warthog, baboons and around 500 species of bird.
You will see vultures, storks, flamingoes, ostrich and eagles aplenty here.
You will also see crocodiles, and numerous species of snakes and lizards.
The best way to see the wildlife in Serengeti is with an experienced guide.
See our Serengeti Tour Operators for suggestions.
You can fly to Tanzania from most parts of the world. The best airport to arrive at for Serengeti is Kilimanjaro International Airport at Arusha.
This is much closer than Dar Es Salaam.
Entry Requirements & Visas
All visitors to Tanzania need entry visas. These can be obtained in your own country, or on arrival at Dar Es Salaam or Kilimanjaro Airport.
You will also need proof of enough money for your intended length of stay, and a return ticket.
A Yellow-Fever vaccination certificate is also required to enter Tanzania.
The local currency is the Tanzanian Shilling (TSh) and it can be used for all transactions and local purchases. US Dollars are also widely accepted.
Credit cards are only OK at large hotels and restaurants. Cash Points (ATMs) allow cash advances - but at a poor rate and with additional charges.
Travellers Cheques are accepted at large hotels and can be exchanged for local currency at Bureaux de Change - you'll need your passport as ID.
As well as the obligatory Yellow-Fever vaccination, it is a good idea to take precautions against Malaria.
Consult your doctor about the best malaria prevention tablets. Make sure you have sufficient medical insurance.
Take plenty of mosquito-repellent and use it - especially at night.
We would also recommend that you consider getting the following immunisations: * Hepatitis A & B, * Typhoid, * Cholera, * Tetanus
Check with your local doctor for the latest recommendations.
Top Ten Tips For A Successful Safari
One: Know The Migration Route.
The migration follows roughly the same circular route at roughly the same time every year.
The route covers thousands of miles, and if you are in the wrong place - you will miss the migration.
Knowing the route and the timetable will give you some idea where to be and when to be there. But the timetable is not written in stone - it varies
from year to year. Even if you know where the animals will be - you must be flexible about your arrangements.
Two: Choose The Right Vehicle.
The best tours are in 4-wheel drive vehicles rather than mini-buses. Mini buses tend to be confined to roads and well made tracks.
4-wheel drive vehicles have more scope and can get you closer to the animals. This especially applies if you are in the Serengeti during the rainy
season. Remember, the animals are following the water - So you will probably encounter rains if you want to see the migration.
Three: Travel In A Small Group.
Small groups are better than large groups. Large groups can spook the animals. Large groups can also get in each others way - obscuring the
view from the vehicle. On the down side - small group safaris are more expensive. But you get what you pay for!
Four: Check Your Tour's Priorities.
Ensure that your tour is focused on what you are interested in. If you want to see lions and elephants, it's no good joining a group that is more
interested in birds. Ensure that your tour guide understands what you want to see - and agrees with your aims.
Five: Never Take A Self-Drive Tour.
Unless you are very experienced, self-drive tours are dangerous - and usually a waste of time.
You need the expertise of an experienced off-road driver and wildlife guide.
Six: Check Your Accommodation in advance.
Not all camps are the same. Some are very comfortable, some are terrible. Make sure you know where you will be sleeping - and what facilities will
be available. Know what kind of food to expect - and if you have to prepare it yourself.
Get it all in writing - and ask to see pictures of the camps!
Seven: Book Your Tour Well In Advance.
The good tour-guides are booked well ahead of the migration. If you leave it too late, you may find that there are no good guides available.
Eight: Choose The Right Tour Company.
The good ones are totally reliable.
The problem is - the bad companies outnumber the good ones by around ten to one!
Choose the wrong company and you could have an idiot for a guide. You could be travelling in a crowded, rickety old vehicle that breaks down in
the middle of nowhere. Your campsite may have no facilities, and you may be charged extra for everything the tour-guide can think of - including
food! Even worse, you could book and pay for a tour with a company that goes bankrupt before you arrive!
Nine: Be Prepared To Get Up Early And Stay Out Late.
Many of the animals hide from the heat of the day - under trees and in the long grass. If you want to see them in action - you need to be around in
the early morning and late evening. Don't linger over breakfast, and don't rush back to the camp for dinner.
Ten: Wear The Right Clothes.
Don't skimp! Buy good quality clothing. Plain beige or khaki is the best colour.
Blue, apparently, attracts tsetse flies - and you don't want to attract those! Bright colours can warn the animals of your presence.
Camouflage gear could get you shot as a poacher!
Exposing too much skin will get you sunburned during the day - and eaten alive by mosquitoes at night.
Be prepared for very hot days and very chilly nights - and take sunscreen and sunglasses.
A waterproof jacket is a good idea during the rainy season!
Booking with one of our Recommended Serengeti Tour Companies will ensure you do not get ripped off.
We have no connection with these companies - but we have either used them ourselves, or they have been recommended to us by experienced
travellers whose opinions we trust completely.
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