Tanzania safari vacation

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06 Jan 2017
US $ 3335
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03 Feb 2017
US $ 3405
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17 Feb 2017
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30 Jun 2017
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21 Jul 2017
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18 Aug 2017
US $ 3485
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13 Oct 2017
US $ 3405
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27 Oct 2017
US $ 3405
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12 Jan 2018
US $ 3565
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02 Feb 2018
US $ 3795
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23 Feb 2018
US $ 3565
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22 Jun 2018
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20 Jul 2018
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12 Oct 2018
US $ 3565
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26 Oct 2018
US $ 3565
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Vacation type

Small group vacation

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travelers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your vacation time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travelers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your vacation.

Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travelers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travelers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travelers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Tanzania safari vacation

Environment

Accommodation and Meals:
We will be spending 6 nights in full-service camping and 1 in a hotel (Lodge departures: 3 nights lodges, 4 nights permanent tented camps). By camping for the majority of the trip we make a minimal impact on the environment by saving energy. Our chefs are local people and enthusiastic about sourcing ingredients locally, which keeps money in the area. Where meals are not provided, we recommend eating out at smaller, family-run restaurants rather than large chains wherever possible. This is a way to explore authentic, regional cuisine whilst putting money back in the pockets of local people. Some typical mainland Tanzanian foods include grilled beef with plantain, pilau rice and biryani, chapatti, okra, ugali (maize porridge) and freshly caught seafood on the coast.

Wildlife:
We are lucky enough to visit Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater. Ngorongoro is a special place in that it is a conservation area, not a national park; this means that the whole area is managed for both the animals and the local Masai people who graze their cattle alongside the indigenous wildlife. Entrance fees in each of these areas are an essential form of support which goes towards the preservation and conservation of the remarkable amount of wildlife here (including lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard). By promoting a form of tourism that is against harming animals, yet is successful, we spread the message that there is a mutually beneficial way to co-exist with wildlife. This deters poaching activity and capturing of wild animals to be put in zoos.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Community

A Fair Deal:
We use a locally based operator for this trip and have established a long-term partnership, assisting with local staff training in all aspects of their jobs, thereby investing in the people to help improve their knowledge and future prospects. All our Tanzanian leaders are committed to Responsible Tourism and receive regular updates and training from us and our local partners. The leaders will give a briefing on Responsible Tourism issues to help you understand how you can help reduce your impact and maximise the benefits to the local communities from your visit for instance leaders can advise clients on where to shop, what to buy (and not to buy), how to behave, litter policy and drinking water while reducing plastic bottle consumption.

Campaigning for Change:
Our dedication to local community is not just for those working for us. In Tanzania, we have funded a project which has managed to install 180 smokeless stoves in 9 villages across Geita and to teach over 90 young people how to build and use them. The benefits of this project have been incredible as the new stoves eliminate the myriad of health issues caused by prolonged exposure to smoke and take far less cooking time. There are also environemntal benefits as much less firewood is required to run the new stoves.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

Reviews of Tanzania safari vacation

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.

I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 19 Sep 2011 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


All of the animals - first we saw the 'big five' and many many others! The most astonishing thing was the number of animals and their proximity. Far closer contacts than we had ever considered!!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Go for it!!! Take good binoculars and cameras with decent telephoto lenses! (you can now get very good digital cameras (non SLR) with 135 equivalent lenses from 25mm to 720mm+ at lower prices than for a 'proper' DSLR and the optics are brilliant!!!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


YES! I hope that our camping and Tanzanian helpers should keep our money in the Tanzanian economy.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Absolutely bloody brilliant!!!!!!!!!!

Reviewed on 17 Feb 2009 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Where do I start, there was so much, it was just awesome.
There was an abundance of wildlife to see and we got really close to many of the animals. I went to Tanzania hoping to see elephants and lions in particular and I saw lots of them, plus cheetahs, leopards, hyenas, jackals, baboons, hippos, rhinos (although from a long way away) and so many beautiful birds that I lost count.
We had hyenas visit the camp-site one night and the feeling of lying in your sleeping bag in your tent and listening to the eery sound of the hyena howling just outside is something I will never forget, both terrifying and exciting all at once.
We saw a cheetah chase down and kill a Grants Gazelle. We saw a leopard with her cub, and a cheetah with two cubs. I took hundreds of photos but the most amazing things were the smells and the sounds - unfortunately that doesn't come over in a photo.
We were looked after really well by the guys, we christened them the "J team" (Julius, Japhat, Jackson, Jackson and Joseph). They worked so hard around camp, setting up our tents, getting us hot water for showers and cooking some amazing food - we had a 3 course meal every night! Much better than I was expecting.


2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Absolute essentials are: Torch - preferably head torch and maybe a spare one as well. Mosquito spray and something for the Tetse flies which were a nuisance. Wet wipes and an anti-bac hand gel. Binoculars and a camera with a very good zoom. Didn't need walking boots, sturdy trainers were good enough.
The tents have insect nets on the doors, the beds were OK I slept well every night. Washing, showering and toilet facilities are very basic but adequate, we were only a small group (7 of us).
Travel light, you really don't need too much. You have to pack up all your kit most mornings to move camp so the less you have the easier it is. Your luggage travels with you in the back of the truck (we had Toyota Landcruisers).
Go with an open mind, be flexible, join in and have a laugh - it will be what you make it.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


We had very little contact with local people other than our tour guides and some stall holders in a market where we stopped to buy souvenirs. Our guides assured us that the organisation they worked for employed only local people. I felt the impact on the environment was reasonable as we were camping and when we moved on all rubbish etc was taken with us.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


I loved it, I would go again in a heartbeat - in fact I've already started saving to go back.
If you want lazy and relaxing then this vacation isn't for you. But if you want adventure and excitement and an experience to remember forever then you will love it.

Reviewed on 02 Sep 2009 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


We saw the big 5. The unbelievable amount of times we saw lions, some right at the side of the road seemingly oblivious to our vehicle and not one, but three leopards and two cheetahs. Beautiful.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Be prepared to rough it and never forget your tent is sharing the home of wild animals. You get very dusty and want a shower each evening. The communal shower is warm water dropping through a shower head from a large bucket - simple but effective. The food prepared by your chef is surprisingly tasty, given there is only one fire to cook on. Bring insect repellent 50% Deet minimum and some foaming anti-bacterial hand-wash or alcohol hand gel.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Not totally convinced about the minimal impact on the environment, but the tourism certainly provides jobs for local people.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


For animal lovers, it's paradise.

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