Picking The Best Tour Operator For Your Safari Adventure
If a safari is in your future, consider planning an adventure in Tanzania. Tanzania is one of the top African safari destinations, seeing hundreds of thousands of visitors each year! Serengeti safari tours are very popular with travelers, but it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the logistics of such a complicated trip. Finding the right African tour operators or travel agents is almost essential to make sure your adventure goes smoothly.
A good tour operator can help you create a well-planned adventure that checks off the items on your bucket list and sticks to your budget. But what should you look for in a tour guide? Here is a list of questions you will want to have answered before you book with any tour company!
- Experience – has your tour operator been in business for a while? If your guide has been around for a long time, there’s a good chance that they have the experience and knowledge to help you plan your safari adventure. Hiring an experienced tour operator is crucial to the success of any safari. An experienced guide will be able to tell you the following: where and when to travel; how to avoid crowds; what you should see; how to get around; what are the best places to stay; and how to plan for the weather.
- Insurance – does the tour company have insurance? Most travelers are content with getting travel insurance for themselves, but a company that offers public liability, professional indemnity, or cyber insurance is truly going above and beyond for its clients.
- Reviews – what types of reviews have other clients left? Check out the testimonials on the travel operator’s website, as well as reviews left on TripAdvisor or Facebook. This will help you decide if the guide you are considering is one of the top tour operators in Africa.
- Personalized experiences – does the tour company you are looking at offer customizable or personalized safari options? To get the most out of your trip, look for an operator who is willing to tailor a safari to your needs and interests.
- Responsible tourism – does your tour operator support local businesses and contribute positively to the community you are visiting? If you are interested in leaving no trace and making a positive contribution to your travels, check to make sure your tour operator is aligned with your ethics.
- Secure payment options – does your tour operator offer reputable and secure payment options like PayPal or Stripe? These options allow you to pre-book your accommodations, travel, and other expenses.
- Accreditation – is your tour operator a member of a recognized tour operator association? Make sure they are! Many associations have certain criteria that businesses must meet in order to be a member, so if your operator belongs to one or more of these organizations, you can rest easy knowing they are safe and responsible.
Watch Out For Red Flags!
A safari is a big investment. Before you book with a tour company, make sure you pay attention to anything that seems unprofessional or makes you uncomfortable. If a tour company is not forthcoming about what is included or excluded with your tour package or is not registered as a tourism provider, you should find a tour operator that is! It’s also a good idea to be suspicious of pricing that is too cheap – you may get hit with entrance fees to national parks or permit fees when you least expect it! Just remember, if you’re worried about the credibility of your tour operator, ask them to provide you with a copy of their accreditation. If they do not, move on! There are plenty of reputable African tour operators who can guide you on a Tanzanian safari.
Where Should I Go On Safari?
Tanzania is a vast country, with 22 national parks and game preserves. That is part of what makes it a top African safari destination. Each park and preserve offers visitors the opportunity to see a wonderful diversity of wildlife, as well as experience the quintessential landscape. If you are going on your first safari to Tanzania, however, your tour operator will most likely recommend a Serengeti safari tour. The Serengeti National Park is the crown jewel of Tanzania and is very popular with visitors. The sweeping, vast plains are home to Africa’s Big 5 as well as a diversity of flora and fauna. Here are the three top reasons the Serengeti is a good starting point for a safari:
- The Serengeti is home to Africa’s Big 5 – lions, leopards, rhinoceros, elephants, and Cape buffalo. If you want to see traditional safari wildlife, there’s no better place than this park!
- The Serengeti is home to The Great Migration. This annual event starts in the northern plains, as more than 2,000 wildebeest move southward searching for water as well as grasslands. Gazelles, zebra, and antelope migrate along with the wildebeest – which are trailed by predators, too. Along the way, the great herd must ford raging rivers to get to their destination. Serengeti safari tours often coincide with this annual event, which offers tourists a dramatic introduction to life on the plains.
- The Serengeti is home to Ngorongoro Crater. This massive volcanic caldera is home to more than 25,000 large mammals and ungulates, who live within the crater itself. The Ngorongoro Crater is a remarkable landscape feature and acts as a form of natural enclosure for much of its wildlife. This wildlife includes lions, elephants, buffaloes, wildebeest, zebra, hippos, rhinos, hyenas, cheetahs, and others. In the forests on the crater rim, away from the floor, are other animals like leopards, reedbuck, and warthogs. Visiting the Ngorongoro Crater is like visiting a natural zoo!
The Best Safari Experience In All of Africa
Tanzania is truly a top African safari destination. The country has some of the best wildlife and parks and offers visitors rare encounters with even rarer animals. With so many national parks and preserves to choose from, Tanzania is a bucket list destination for adventurers who dream of creating a once-in-a-lifetime safari experience.