Tanzania is not known for its specialist guiding, but there are many superb guides and some good options for private guiding.
Whilst sharing your safari experiences with a few other guests is normal and often great fun, it is usually possible to pay extra for ‘exclusive use’ of a vehicle for all or part of your safari. A private vehicle naturally comes with a private guide and tends to be very appealing to more experienced travellers who have very specific interests such as birding or photography.
Northern Tanzania is one of the few destinations in Africa where it is quite normal, and appropriate, for you to take a private safari vehicle for the duration of your safari, hosted by a private driver guide. This is because the distances between the main areas are relatively small and there are many lodges which operate as hotels, providing accommodation but not any activities or guiding services.
However, if you would prefer to fly between the areas, there is a range of upmarket safari camps and lodges which offer a fully hosted experience with guided activities. Game drives will usually be shared with other guests (usually between 4 and 7 guests on a vehicle) unless you decide to take exclusive use, which is usually possible.
The southern and western safari areas of Tanzania are more normally accessed by air and camps are set up to fully host and offer shared guided activities. Most of the time it is possible to pay extra for ‘exclusive use’ of a vehicle, but sometimes logistical factors make this impossible.
Taking things one step further, it is possible to hire specialist ‘private guides’ in Tanzania. Historically, the safari industry in East Africa developed from privately guided safaris, and today there are several good companies offering luxury mobile tented safaris which are hosted by recognised private guides. Of course, even if you do not wish to stay in a mobile tented camp, you can still hire these guides to host you in various permanent camps and lodges.
With many years experience as a leading Africa specialist we know personally and have worked with a wide range of specialist and professional guides. Whilst we do not often promote ‘hand holding’ just for the sake of it, the benefits of travelling with a top quality private guide are not limited to just their guiding qualities, but extend to encompass your whole safari experience. Hosting at meal times, smoothing your way through transfer arrangements and telling entertaining stories of Africa around the camp fire all fall under the remit of a top private guide.
If you feel that you would appreciate a private vehicle and/or a specialist private guide for all or part of your safari, please advise us when you speak to us. We are very flexible and different regions present different opportunities, so we will simply work with you to include the level of exclusivity and guiding that you desire.