Roam Serengeti Safaris


Planning an African Safari: 5 Tips

Of all the destinations and experiences around the world, an African safari through the Serengeti National Park is the ultimate travel bucket list item. No trip to Africa would be complete without a safari of some kind, and for those looking for a truly legendary experience, going through the Serengeti is a must.

Whether you’re a safari tour veteran or looking for tips for planning an African safari for the first time, preparation is key. You’ll need to know when to go, what to pack, and logistics, like how you’ll get around, for example. The African safari planning process and knowing what to expect can be overwhelming, but with proper research and a top-notch tour company, a life-changing experience is possible. Check out these five tips for planning a Serengeti safari.

1. Choose a time to go based on what you want to see

Regardless of when you decide to take your safari through the Serengeti, you’re sure to see some wildlife. But if you have something specific in mind that you want to see, like the famous Great Migration of over 1.5 million white bearded wildebeest and 250,000 zebra, then the season you plan your trip to Africa will make a difference. The safari tour company you book through will likely break down the Serengeti National Park into three areas and seasonal windows:

The Serengeti plains – this vast grassland devoid of trees is where the wildebeest breed from December through May. Something to keep in mind is that the wet season of the Serengeti generally lasts October through April, but with that comes an added benefit: an abundance of waterbuck, buffalo and other hooved animals. Of course, with all these animals you can expect to see plenty of predators, too.

The Western corridor – you can think of this as the swampy region, where the Nile crocodiles are found. A highly sought-after time to visit this area is between June and September, when the wildebeests will make the Grumeti and Mara river crossings through the crocodile infested waters. Because this happens during the dry season, safari tours are more likely to fill faster.

Northern Serengeti – this bushy savannah area is where you’re most likely to spot giraffes, dik dik, and elephants.

Arusha is the entry point for safaris to the Serengeti, Lake Manyara, Arusha National Park, and Tarangire National Parks. No trip to Arusha (or Tanzania in general) would be complete without some sort of safari experience, and lucky for you, Arusha is the place to find a world-class safari company.

The length of your trip will determine how much of the park you’re able to see, so a safari company with different types of safaris at varying lengths can help choose the best option. Remember, these safaris book up fast and well in advance, so the sooner you can start Africa safari planning, the better.

2. Research your tour operator

The company you choose to safari with can make or break your trip and is important in ensuring you have a safe safari experience. You can research lists of safari companies by country, but checking reviews on SafariBookings is the best way to get first-hand accounts of what its like on safari with different companies.

3. Prepare for vaccines and a visa.

A trip to a new part of the world often requires vaccinations and visas. For travel to Africa, the recommended vaccinations are for hepatitis A, malaria (pill form), meningitis, rabies, typhoid, yellow fever, and covid-19. You may be asked for proof of vaccination for any of these prior to or during your trip, or upon arrival.

Currently, Tanzania is not requiring Covid-19 vaccination for entry to the country. Visitors to Tanzania are required to take a negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival in the country.

Regarding visas, requirements are different for different countries within Africa. For Tanzania, there are some countries that do not require a visa to travel, but if you’re an American, Canadian, or British traveler, you’ll need to have one. Visas can be purchased upon arrival in a Tanzanian airport for the cost of $100 or a similar price for Canadian and British travelers.

4. Pack the essentials.

What you wear on a safari is critically important to your comfort and enjoyment of the trip overall. It’s recommended that tourists pack khaki, white, or beige layers for a safari. The reason behind the colors is that it blends in with the landscape and is known to avoid attracting tsetse flies. Packing breathable layers (ex: cotton) is essential because while it can get very hot during the day, it can also cool off significantly at night. Layers also play an important part in sun protection, as some of the vast landscapes will offer little respite from the sun (other than the Jeep you will travel in). Other proper sun protection should also be packed, including but not limited to sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses.

Another must-have item for your safari is a camera, preferably one with a zoom lens. An iPhone is great, but as some of the wildlife will be at a considerable range, a camera meant for photography would do well. It’s worth noting that drones are prohibited inside the Serengeti or any of Tanzania’s national parks, so don’t bother packing one.

5. Know how you’ll be getting around.

Being in a foreign country can be exciting but stressful, and knowing how you’ll be getting from place to place can help put your mind at ease significantly. For most people planning an African safari in the Serengeti, the journey begins by flying into Kilimanjaro International Airport. From there, it’s likely that you’ll go to the town of Arusha, which serves as the jump off point for most safaris to the Serengeti. Once there, it takes time to get to the Serengeti, so expect to spend a day’s journey in the car getting there.

On most all safari tours, your guide will drive you around in a large Land Cruiser or Jeep. This vehicle will be your home away from home during the day, driving you from your lodging accommodations through the park for the duration of your safari. Because you’ll be spending so much time with your guide, you should be prepared to tip generously (especially for exceptional service). Some people prefer to tip every day at a rate of $25-$50, whereas others tip all at once at the end. Keep in mind that there are no banks or ATMs in the park, so come prepared with plenty of cash beforehand. Tipping is really the only expense you’ll have to worry about during your safari, as your accommodations and meals will be covered through the booking process.

Don’t panic about how you’ll go to the bathroom.

Long days in the car, in the middle of an enormous national park in a foreign country – how could you not at least wonder where you’ll do your bathroom business? When you enter the park, there may be a visitor center with restrooms. When you’re at your camp, you’ll have access to a restroom. Accommodations vary, so what you’ll have access to depends on the type of safari you book. Luxury safaris often come with a lodge-like experience inclusive of private toilets, whereas with camping safaris you may be walking to a shared toilet shack. During the day, there will be no wondering off behind a shrub or in a field, as you could easily have an unfortunate wildlife encounter. Should you find yourself in need during the day, simply notify your guide, and you’ll be able to go right next to or behind the vehicle.

Need help planning your African safari?

We can answer any questions, plus help you choose from a preplanned safari or help you create a custom itinerary. Contact us today.


Adventure in Arusha: Top Things to do in Arusha, Tanzania

From pristine beaches to challenging hikes, Tanzania is known for its wide array of must-see features. Crowds by the thousands are drawn each year to this exquisite country, visiting well-known spots like Mount Kilimanjaro or the beaches of Zanzibar. But an often-overlooked gem stands proud in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro’s ‘little’ sister mountain, Mount Meru, waiting for lovers of off the beaten path adventures to explore.

Enter: Arusha. This cultural hub serves as the jumping off point for most safaris, but while most people only pass through briefly, the array of things to do in Arusha is worthy of an extended stay. Bustling with history, culture, and plenty of adventure, this city has much to offer any traveler looking for an authentic Tanzanian experience. Make the most of your time in Arusha with these can’t-miss adventures.

Start with a safari

Arusha is the entry point for safaris to the Serengeti, Lake Manyara, Arusha National Park, and Tarangire National Parks. No trip to Arusha (or Tanzania in general) would be complete without some sort of safari experience, and lucky for you, Arusha is the place to find a world-class safari company.

For a day trip length safari, consider Arusha National Park, which is the closest safari experience to Arusha. Home to a large population of giraffes, there’s plenty of wildlife to see, and the absence of lions in this area makes it an ideal place to walk around a bit. Scenic views of Mount Meru abound (more on Mount Meru later) and the park also includes the seven Momela lakes. These lakes (Big Momela, Small Momela, El Kekhotoito, Kusare, Rishateni, Lekandiro and Tulusia) are home to a wide variety of waterfowl – flamingos galore– and attract other wildlife, such as zebras and waterbucks. Depending on the safari company you book through, you can opt for a canoe tour for a more immersive experience.

Another must-see is the Ngurdoto Crater, a basin shaped caldera of an extinct volcano. Surrounded by dense rainforest, this 3km wide grassland plays host to elephants, monkeys, leopards and more. While you can’t enter the Crater because its ecosystem is protected, there’s a rim around it where you can observe the wildlife and take in the sweeping landscapes around. On a clear day, you can even see Mount Kilimanjaro!

For a longer, multi day safari, the possibilities are endless – the Seregenti obviously draws thousands of tourists annually, as does the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which also happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These classic destinations will have you on the edge of your seat watching wildlife – yes, lions! – and taking in the world around you. Which safari you decide to go with will depend on how much time you have, as safaris can be anywhere from one day long to over one week. A reputable safari company can help you decide which tour is right for you, so make sure you do your research into the booking process, offerings, and most importantly, reviews.

For the Adventurer: Hike Mount Meru

Tanzania attracts hikers far and wide looking to experience one of the world’s greatest climbs: Mount Kilimanjaro. If you’re the type of adventurer looking to hit the trails, then you might also consider hiking Kilimanjaro’s aforementioned ‘little’ sister, Mount Meru. As the fifth highest mountain in Africa and the second highest mountain in Tanzania, there are many reasons you might want to work Mount Meru into your trip. First and foremost, it has much less trail traffic than Mount Kilimanjaro, but without compromising the scenic views and full hiking experience. Another reason is that hiking Mount Meru is considered great acclimatization for Mount Kilimanjaro – a warm up, if you will. Plus, the views of Mount Kilimanjaro from Mount Meru are said to be unbeatable, so if you’re looking for the perfect camera shot to memorialize your trip, this is the place to get it.

Hiking Mount Meru consists of hiking 6-8 hours every day for 3-4 days. Everyone takes the same route up the mountain, which begins at Momella Gate. There are a number of adventure companies you can book a hike up Mount Meru through, through which you can expect “basic but comfortable” accommodations at a few campsites up the mountain. Expect to pay a pretty penny for this hike, as booking a trek up the mountain will usually start at around $650 per person, which includes food, accommodations, and guide fees (guides are mandatory for all hikers). Once again, make sure you vet the businesses you’re coordinating your hike through to secure the most comfortable, safe, and fun experience possible.

Immerse yourself in Arusha’s culture

One of the best parts of traveling is getting to see how people in cultures different from your own live, and with the abundance of nationalities in Arusha, it’s the perfect place to explore. Yes, there are museums, but beyond that, there are people and experiences you can tap into.

For example, an Adept guide can take you to a traditional Maasai village and show you’re their storied way of life, or join in on a hunting excursion with the Hadzabe bushmen of Lake Eyasi. For the souvenir enthusiast, visit a market where you can find handmade goods from the many cultures that reside in Arusha. And of course, no trip to Tanzania would be complete without mention of one of their main exports, coffee. Why not take a coffee tour, where you can see, taste, and smell this world-renowned product? When it comes to immersing yourself in Arusha’s culture, there’s no shortage of experiences. Whether you’re a foodie looking to try out the local cuisine or a history buff eager to learn about cultural traditions, Arusha awaits.

Before you go

As is the case with any international travel, it’s best to research customs and practices before you go. The benefit of an experienced tour company is that they can brief you with travel and safety tips as well as cultural norms to observe, so consider picking a Tanzania/Arusha native as your guide.



Which Type of Safari is Right for You: Preplanned vs Customized Safaris

Taking an African safari is on many people’s to do list – in fact, 45% of those represented in a recent survey said going an African safari was on their bucket list. But with so many options, how do you choose which type of safari to take?

Preplanned Safari Itineraries

Preplanned safaris take all the hassle out of planning your African safari, because the stops and routes are predetermined. Your experienced guide will know when to be where, and it keeps you from having to do a ton of front-end research to create a plan yourself.

In addition to these things, preplanned safaris are perfect if you:

  • Have only a few days and want to maximize your time in Africa
    • Preplanned safaris are created to be the optimal itineraries, geared at showing you all of the top sites and animals in an efficient way.
  • Are a solo traveler
    • While you can opt for a private safari, a preplanned classic safari with Roam is a great way to meet new people and share your experience with others.
  • Have a set budget
    • Pricing is usually lower for preplanned safaris than it is for a customized itinerary.

Customized Safaris

Customized safaris allow you to see and do whatever you choose. If you want to spend more or less time in one location or do something less traditional, customizing your safari will allow you to check all the boxes. These are also great if:

  • You want to do more than just visit Tanzania’s parks
    • If you are as interested in checking out the local food scene or learning about the culture of the indigenous tribes as you are seeing the Serengeti and all its wildlife, a custom safari will allow you to spend more time on those unique things to do in Tanzania along with the traditional safari activities
  • Have a large group with a variety of interests
    • If getting your whole travel party on board with one plan sounds challenging, a custom safari that allows everyone to have their wants represented can make a good option.
  • Have plenty of time to explore
    • Setting your own pace is one advantage of a customized itinerary, whether you want a jam packed adventure or a relaxing safari experience.

Other Types of Safaris

In addition to choosing your safari itinerary, there are different types of safaris relating to your accommodations and your overall experience.

Lux vs Economical

We get it – not everyone wants to rough it. We also know that traveling to Africa is a big trip, and not everyone has the budget for extra frills.

A luxury safari is perfect for special occasions like a honeymoon, and can offer you tailored service and more privacy. An economical safari provides the same great wildlife viewing and adventure, with less of the high-end touches.

Camping vs Hotel 

If camping while apex predators are close by isn’t up your alley, a safari with hotel or game lodge accommodations may be your best bet. If you’re looking for an all out adventure, a camping safari will allow you to be fully immersed in your experience.

Our Safaris

At Roam, we offer three types of safaris, with options from luxury safaris to economical trips: Classic, Private Classic, and Private Custom. Our classic options are all preplanned itineraries, ranging from 2 day Serengeti safaris to full weeks in Tanzania’s parks, some even with cultural experiences already included. Our custom option allows you to choose – anywhere you want to go and anything you want to see, we’ll take you there.


The Best Time for a Safari in Tanzania

One of the most important considerations when planning a safari is choosing the best time to go. The best time to go on a safari in Tanzania will heavily depend on the experience you’d like to have and animals you hope to see.

Is avoiding crowds important to you? An off season trip in January or February will be best. Is seeing the Great Migration the reason for your trip? June and July are your best options.

When is the best time for a safari in Tanzania?

The dry season in Tanzania is generally from June to October. Rainfall is minimal during these months, even on the islands and Zanzibar. Temperatures vary with altitude, but generally sunny skies and warm weather can be expected. There are also fewer mosquitos since there is little rain. 

January and February are not technically in the dry season, but are historically a good time to visit Tanzania. Rain chances are higher and weather is slightly cooler, but these months are good options for off-season travelers.

March and April are part of the rainy season in Tanzania, along with November and December. During these months, intermittent showers ranging from light rain to downpours can be expected. These rains don’t drastically impact game drives, the weather is just more unpredictable.

There are also benefits to the wet season – it boasts lush greenery, some of the best viewing of migratory birds, lower rates, and less crowded parks. 

What is the best time to go on a safari in Tanzania for animal watching?

The best time for a safari in Tanzania depends on more than just the weather, but also what type of wildlife you want to see.

Generally speaking, you will see more wildlife during the dry months of June, July, August, September, and October. But there are advantages to visiting earlier in the year during the brief dry season in January and February, like the ability to see animals with their young.

If you have your heart set on seeing migration, you should consider that when planning your Tanzanian safari.

What month is the Serengeti Great Migration?

The Great Migration in the Serengeti occurs, in a sense, year round. The wildebeest herds migrate to specific parts of Serengeti National Park during certain times of the year.

The famous wildebeest migration is typically during the driest months of June and July. During this time, you can see sprawling herds crossing the Mara River and traveling through the heart of the park. This is also a great time to spot lions, cheetahs, and hyenas. Prime hunting season is when the wildebeests are out in the open and their calves are easy targets.

In January and February, visitors will be able to see wildebeests with their calves. Wildebeests are usually near Ngorongoro Conservation Area at this time, before traveling to the west side of the park in Spring.

Visiting During High vs Low Season

If seeing the famous Great Migration isn’t at the top of your “to-do” list, a safari during Tanzania’s off season months might be best for you. During these months you can still see wildlife, but you can also expect reduced crowds in the parks and less expensive accommodations.

How long should you plan to stay in Tanzania?

Your trip to Tanzania can be quick, just enough time for a 2 day safari, or you can spend an extended period of time and do it all: a week long safari, a visit to the beautiful island of Zanzibar located off the coast of Tanzania, or even summit Mount Kilimanjaro.

  • If you’re planning to spend an extended period of time, traveling during the driest (and thus busiest) months becomes less important.
  • If you are only reserving a few days for your safari experience, booking during the dry months will help ensure you get the maximum time viewing the parks and wildlife without interruption.

Ready to book your safari? Contact us today!


What to Wear On a Safari in Tanzania

You’ve booked your safari, and now it’s time to pack – but what should you wear on a safari? If you’re wondering exactly what to wear for your Serengeti safari in Tanzania, we’ve got you covered.

What Colors to Wear on a Safari

Choosing what colors to wear on a safari all comes down to blending in with your surroundings as best as you can. Especially when wildlife viewing is a goal, you don’t want to stand out. Matching your safari environment helps to ensure that bright colors don’t spook the animals. For this reason, classic safari clothing is generally neutral.

Light colors like beige, khaki, light brown, and olive green are all good choices for your safari attire. Denim can be a great option too. 

Protecting Your Skin During Safari

Long sleeves and pants are your best bet to protect your skin from critters. It also adds added protection from being out in the sun.

You may initially think that wearing short sleeves and shorts would be your best option to stay cool on a safari, but there’s more to consider. While these options are fine, they expose your skin to the elements. The weather in Tanzania is fairly comfortable most of the year, with temperatures typically ranging from 50° to 80°, so don’t worry too much about getting hot. Instead, opt for mid-weight clothes that are fitted enough to keep flies and mosquitos out while still being comfortable enough for you to move around in.

Dress for Your Specific Safari Itinerary

If you are taking a camping safari, you may want to wear clothes more suitable for layering to keep you warm during cool nights.

If you’re taking your trip during Tanzania’s off season in the months of March, April, or May, make sure to pack a light rain jacket – these three months make up the rainy season.

Choose a Sturdy, Closed Toe Shoe

This will also somewhat depend on your specific itinerary, but a good rule of thumb is to choose a supportive and closed toe shoe. Even If you are planning to remain in the land cruiser most of the time, wearing a sturdy shoe will allow you the option to get out and explore if you choose to.

If your safari includes hiking or trekking, you’ll want a closed toe, supportive shoe that is broken in and comfortable for you to move around in. Additionally, a boot that comes higher on your ankle can provide added protection when you’re navigating brush.

Don’t Forget Good Socks

Whether you’re wearing a hiking boot or a lower-top shoe, good socks make a big difference. Wool socks are a great choice because they help to regulate your temperature, so on hot days they will wick sweat but will also keep you warm on cooler days or nights.

What Not to Wear on a Safari

  • Bright colors and busy patterns
    • Skip the neons and bold colors
  • Dark clothing
    • Dark clothing can actually attract some insects that you may encounter during your safari
  • Camouflage clothing
    • In Tanzania and many other African countries, camo clothing is reserved for the military only

Now that you know what to wear on your safari, read about what to expect on your first safari with Roam.


Safari Safety: Everything You Need to Know

Seeing lions, cheetahs, elephants, and giraffes on a safari is on a lot of people’s bucket lists. But understandably, safari safety is a concern for many. With a reputable, local tour guide, basic guidelines for wildlife viewing, and a general understanding of the area you are traveling to, an African safari through Tanzania can be a completely safe and once in a lifetime experience.

Are African safaris safe?

In short, yes, African safaris are safe. But that does not mean there are no risks. 

Any time you are in a foreign land and surrounded by wild animals, some of which are predators, there are dangers involved. This makes choosing a reputable safari company and understanding wildlife safety incredibly important.

Choosing a safe safari company with reputable guides

When traveling to a new country, it can be hard to trust what you see online. But reviews are one of the best ways to determine the trustworthiness and reputation of a potential safari company. Here are a few things to look for when choosing a reputable safari tour guide:

  • Reviews from real people on multiple different platforms
    • Don’t just trust testimonials on a website, look at sites like TripAdvisor and Safari Bookings.
    • Look for reviews that help identify authenticity, like a personal story or mentioning guides by name.
  • Look for a local
    • Local knowledge is imperative to keeping you safe. A lifetime spent in the northern Tanzanian parks gives local guides a leg up on others. Locals can also help provide additional experiences, like add-ons to your safari that let you experience culture and recommendations on other things to do in the area. All of Roam Serengeti Safari’s guides are local to Tanzania and have years of experience leading safaris through the country’s parks and conservation areas.
  • Search for a company with emergency resources
    • Most safari excursions take you to remote areas of the parks and conservation areas, and emergency resources that allow safe exit from these remote areas can be the difference between minor and major incidents. Roam Serengeti Safaris is a part of Flying Doctors of Africa. This program aids with emergency medical evacuations, in addition to raising funds specifically to finance medical outreach work in Africa. With Roam’s partnership with Flying Doctors, you can feel safe experiencing the remote parks of Tanzania.

Safety around wildlife

If you’ve got a good and knowledgeable safari guide, they will make sure to give you tips and guidelines for animal encounters. It’s important to listen to their instructions. Some of these could include:

  • Always stay in the vehicle unless you are on a camping safari or are otherwise told it is ok to get out
  • If you are on a camping safari, make sure to zip up your tent at night, stay in your camp, and dispose of food properly

Is Tanzania dangerous for tourists?

Tanzania is generally regarded as a safe country for tourists, but there are some helpful things to know before you take off for your Tanzanian safari.

Before visiting Tanzania, the country requires that all visitors be vaccinated against hepatitis and yellow fever. This is more about keeping you safe as a precaution.

Other than potential dangers related to your health, there are no dangers present for tourists in Tanzania that you would not also find in other countries.

General travel safety tips like securing your belongings in a bag or purse that closes, not getting into taxis that already have people in them, and carrying your passport or a copy with you all apply for Tanzania tourist safety as well.

Covid-19 Safety Protocols in Tanzania

Updated March 31, 2022: All travelers entering the United Republic of Tanzania are required to present a negative Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test carried out within 96 hours of arrival. All tourists will also be subjected to a COVID-19 a Rapid Test, the cost of which is ~$25 per person per test upon arrival. Travelers will also be required to submit a Traveler Surveillance Form via 24 hours prior to arrival and will undergo a temperature screening. You are not required to quarantine upon entry if the above criteria is met. 

Requirements for travelers departing Tanzania will be in line with the requirements issued by the travelers’ respective airline or destination country

Ready to inquire about a safe Tanzanian safari with Roam? Contact us today.