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Travel Africa

Luxury Lodge Safaris In Tanzania

Lodge Safaris in Tanzania - I will try to avoid the travel clichés of 'unique', 'off the beaten track' and 'renowned for...' These tired expressions are used over and over again for almost every destination in Africa! The lodge safari in Tanzania is by far the best way to see this lovely country. Tanzania has so much to offer, including many parks that have few visitors and high concentrations of game animals. Some National Parks boast just one lodge in a million hectares. Your Lodge safari in Tanzania can truly offer a taste of what the early explorers experienced.

When choosing your lodge safari, do so with care. Many visitors want to see the great migration and the Serengeti. Some lodges are in fact hotels and although very nice; they do not contribute to that 'out of Africa' experience. What is called for is a camp experience and the private camp is ideal for a special experience. When you look to plan your trip try not to go for the 'lodge safari' but the private camp safari. Your choice of lodge or camp is a very important part of the whole safari picture.

These camps are usually made up of a small number of tents. Not the two man tent with no standing room and sleeping on the hard and sometimes damp ground, nor is there the cooking over a stove and eating grass and sand with your tinned food. No, these private camps have tents that have large comfortable beds, a bathroom en suite and some even boast a butler service. The cuisine is of the highest quality and you dine from bone china and drink champagne [or beer] from crystal glasses.

If you want to listen at night to the song of the African bush with the occasional distant [or sometimes close] roar of a lion; if you want to open your tent in a morning to be greeted by Impala and Zebra grazing so close to your tent that you could almost touch them, then choose one of the tented camps. If you want to be in a remote part of the park but close to the animals; if you want to stand in the open plains of the Serengeti and not be joined by a caravan of twenty other safari vehicles, then the private camp is your option above the mere mass-market tourist lodge.

There are several such camps scattered throughout the Serengeti. Your choice of camp will depend on what time of year you visit Tanzania. A good camp is Kusini Camp in the Southern Serengeti. It is small, luxurious, and in the ideal spot from the end of December until March, as the great migration is in this area at this time. However, the rest of the year this camp is a little isolated and animals may be harder to see.

A problem with planning a safari round the migration is that the migration follows the rains and the rains are notoriously unpredictable. Your camp may end up being in the wrong area of the Serengeti. At times of little rain the migration can remain in the Northern Serengeti at a time of year when normally the animals have crossed into Kenya. Many safari expeditions in a season of little rain may find themselves in the wrong country!

This is a headache for safari operators, as a disappointed client is not good for business. However, this can be solved with a 'mobile camp' and this is not only the best option but also by far, the most expensive option.

To get around the high costs of the mobile camp there is a new breed of camp emerging, a semi-permanent camp. This is a tented camp that moves perhaps three or four times per year. It will follow the migration, ensuring that whilst the migration is in the Serengeti, the camp will also be in the mist of the animals. One such camp I have heard good reports about is EMC [Exclusive Mobile Camp - Serengeti]. It is friendly, knowledgeable, embraces fair trade tourism and best of all, the camp is very good value for money. They have a web site and an office in Arusha which will give out details of the migration and the position of their camp. This is great, both for tour operators and for people wanting to plan a safari.

This is where the internet can help in a positive way, to help you plan a safari that will truly be a holiday of a life time. There is no need to hope your travel agent will do a good job in planning your vacation. Take some of the responsibility your self and plan your safari; check out your destination and accommodation. If your travel agent or tour operator is not cooperative or flexible, ask around and go to someone who is willing to earn their commission.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bethel Adventure cares about responsible tourism; we use tourism to improve lives. http://www.betheladventure.co.uk - We believe responsible tourism should give back to the communities that tourism relies upon. see http://www.thejumapage.co.uk for information on Tanzania.
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