What do the professionals do on safari? A 7 day Tanzania travel plan

I recently attended a lecture by Kim Jung Man, a famous Korean photographer. Some of the photos he was showing off were from a safari in Africa and I remember thinking that getting a good shot of a lion or something must be mostly about patience and hoping your auto focus works when you finally get an opportunity. As I was thinking that he actually said something fairly similar – that anyone can buy a camera and take pictures. What makes him a professional is that he takes lots of pictures and can pick out some good ones from among them.

Anyhow, the pictures got me thinking about safaris. I like the idea of walking on a Kenya safari. The pictures of the tents look amazing by the way – I’ve never been in a tent like that!

Actually, the main site has all kinds of luxury holidays in fancy camps and lodges around Africa. In Kenya they have Masai warriors you can walk with, in Zambia you canoe with hippos and crocodiles (sounds a bit scary actually), in Uganda you might see gorillas, in Tanzania it’s the Serengeti, and in Botswana it’s walking with elephants.

I found a lot of great-sounding safari itineraries on this site. I’m not quite sure how to decide between them but I’m going to outline one that I thought sounded especially good (but really they all do). Because the safari itinerary windows open in javascript there is no way for me to link to it directly. This is as close as I can get.

7 day Tanzania travel plan

Day 1:

Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport and you’re on your way to Arusha where you stay at a coffee plantation and are on your own for the remainder of the day. I guess most people head for the coffee shop and the pool.

Day 2:

Leave Arusha and head to the Serengeti, a 90 minute flight. They drive you to the camp and you eat lunch. You stay in one of those very fancy tents with your own personal attendant (is that too much luxury for a safari? I don’t think my wife would mind…).

This afternoon game drive is best from mid December to April when the migration is happening and zebra and wildebeest drop their young. After dinner back at the camp, spend the night looking at the stars.

Day 3:

A full day game drive with picnic lunch out on the plains (or work on the Serengeti cheetah project but I want to get away from the camp). In the evening, climb to a stunning 360 degree view of the Serengeti and watch the sunset.

Day 4:

A quick morning game drive and then a flight to Lake Manyara. This area is famous for flamingos, long-crested eagle and grey-headed kingfisher, hippos, impala, elephants, buffalo and baboons. Hopefully you see most of these during the afternoon game drive. Then drive to the village of Karatu for dinner and your next hotel.

Day 5:

Descend into the Ngorongoro crater floor by 4WD vehicle for a day of game viewing. The area has a high concentration of predators including black-maned lion. Rhino can be seen with calves at heel and eland and waterbuck appear not to notice the human visitors, enabling photographers to shoot with ease. Zebra and wildebeest account for almost half the animals with plenty of gazelle, buffalo, hartebeest, wart hog and bull elephants. On the lake in the middle of the crater you may see thousands of flamingos fluttering and shimmering like a pink heat haze. Lunch is a picnic by the hippo pool on the floor of the crater.

Day 6:

Drive to Tarangire National Park where they have another luxury tented camp, Sanctuary Swala, with game viewing en route. Tarangire is renowned for its elephant population. Animals come right up to the camp to drink at the water hole, in front of camp, and leopard may be spotted among the baobabs nearby.

There’s an afternoon game drive where you hope to see herds of elephant, greater kudu, Impala and zebra whilst leopard lurk in the trees. Due to the camp’s secluded location you are unlikely to see many vehicles as you venture out into the national park.

Day 7: Head back to Kilimanjaro International airport and fly away.

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