I recently had an interesting conversation with a businessman who faced a challenge in deciding between private or group Tanzania safari.
This gentleman was keen to embark a group Tanzania safari, but his wife couldn’t agree with him!
The husband didn’t see the reason to have all safari vehicle their own ending paying some extra bucks while they could simply join a few folks out there and do a group/shared Tanzania safari.
On the other hand, his wife remarked ‘this is one of the most awaited experiences by us, we have planned to do this for more than 3 years so we must enjoy it to the fullest and all on our own’
Between this lovely couple, everyone had a valid reason that sounds logical but at the end, one conclusion had to be reached.
Does it sound familiar to you?
It should be because it’s among common scenarios I hear when talking to customers the moment they start to plan their safari.
Deciding between private or group Tanzania safari always brings some confusion and important debate.
The logic goes something like this: Private Tanzania safaris are a way expensive than group Tanzania safaris, on the other hand in a group Tanzania safari you’re going to join other travelers who are might end up being good fellas.
Well, all the above sounds logical but they are not necessarily true.
First of all many of those private tours aren’t expensive as it is usually said, and with group tours, while you’re going to meet strangers who may end up being friends, it is important that you consider the worst-case scenario.
Having said so, group tours will enhance your networking by bringing new people in your life. Again just because you’re taking a group tour doesn’t mean you are going to share everything with these new groupies you have just met.
But something should be the base before jumping into any conclusions yet.
And that thing is, what is your goal towards doing a Tanzania safari?
Are going to do a Tanzania safari simply because you desire to build your network? Or are you traveling all the way to Tanzania for the sake of making new friends?
What is your primary goal in doing a Tanzania safari?
If you’re familiar with group tours, (well a lot of us have done them in our younger ages at schools) then you know it’s kind of an experience where you don’t have the access to dictate how your experience should be consumed.
However, have you ever thought of doing a tour trip of your lifetime and having the safari jeep all to you and the person(s) you choose to plan your safari with?
Not only having a jeep to yourself (ves)
How about doing things at your own pace? Telling your driver-guide that you fancy watching a herd of elephants for another hour without an unnecessary objection?
In other words, think about having the ability to dictate what you do and experience in safari, and not only what you do, but also how you do them.
It may sound a little crazy, but it’s actually that way!
In this article, I’m going to walk you through 6 benefits of private Tanzania safari. When you’re done, you’ll be in a good position to choose between private or group Tanzania safari.
Let’s dive in
Oops, before getting ahead of ourselves, let’s first see what exactly a group Tanzania safari is.
Group Tanzania Safari
Group safari or you can simply say group tours are the holiday packages designed to cater for a wider range of interests from different travelers consuming the service together at a one time.
Here is what I mean,
Well, those are just names that came on top of my mind, I hope there’s no couple with such names unless otherwise, I might end up in jail for using them without permission :)
Ok, both Dimmy and Joanne have the same interests that are to viewing the big 5. Although, they are extremely obsessed to have enough time with lions among all.
This couple decides that they don’t have to pay some extra bucks to have the safari on their own and decide to join other holidaymakers who appear to be a group of 3 baby boomers.
Now the journey starts and this group of 5 safari lovers is beginning to experience their long-awaited Tanzania safari.
However, as the safari keeps on, it becomes evident that these elders consume safari experiences shockingly different than Dimmy and Joanne.
They are all doing the same destinations but;
- With their age, they are no longer much flexible
- They take things at a low pace
- They won’t get up until its 9 AM
- They like to spend at least 2 hours taking their lunch
- They are too old for a 7+ hours game drive
- Above all, their trip will be complete if they will see rhinos in the wilderness. (Now it becomes Rhino lovers vs Lion lovers)
On the other hand, Dimmy and Joanne are extremely obsessed with lions. They can spend decades viewing them and stud their lives.
In such respect, they are even eager to start their daily game drive at early 7 AM which of course is the time their new folks are still sleeping!
There is where the going gets tough, but the tough don’t get going, unfortunately!
And I have not mentioned the seemed small things like having a whole jeep for yourself, sit where you like, stand when you want to, talk when want and of course remaining silent when you want.
And many others like starting and finishing a day as it suits you.
With that preview of the group tour, you may already see how group safari may have you end up having a tour to forget which was actually supposed to be of a lifetime experience.
Let me wind up the group Tanzania safari by quoting one TripAdvisor contributor;
“Always consider the worst-case scenario. Group safari could put you with people you don’t get on with. You’ll have to listen to their constant chatter. You’ll be at the mercy of what the group wants to see and do (not everyone wants to stop for birds, small mammals, or wait an hour to see if a kill will occur). There may also be arguments over start times, and time spent for lunch (perhaps some people don’t like being up before 9 and like a 1 or 2-hour lunch break or want to have a shower at lunch?).
Not only that but with 6-8 of you in a jeep, you are stuck to whatever seat you are in, you don’t have the freedom to move around.
Private, you get the jeep to yourselves. Sit where you like, stand where you like, talk when you want, silence when you want, stop when you want, for what you want, and however long you want, start and finish each day as suits you and your driver.
I couldn’t help but feel sorry for groups crammed into jeeps as we had the full length of our jeep to change seats and walk around in to get the best possible viewing angles, and of course, didn’t have to share our wonderful guide with anyone!”
Sasilverman’s; source: TripAdvisor
We may take Sasilverman’s words with a grain of salt but hey, whether we like it or not, those are the kind of truths we must face when deciding between private or group Tanzania safari.
5 Reasons You Need Private over Group Tanzania Safari
Having dived into the ocean of group safaris, let’s now see exactly what Private Tanzania safari is and why you should choose it any day.
Private Tanzania safari
In a private safari, apart from yourself and the people you decide to travel with + your safari driver-guide, there will be no one else within your tour.
In many occasions, maximum tourists in a jeep are 7.
In my opinion, this is right although some low budget operators tend to suffocate more than 7 customers in a single jeep.
Nvertheless, without further ado, let’s now dive deep into the reasons why private Tanzania safari are the best
1: More flexibility to take things at your own pace or even making changes
When your Tanzania safari is private, it’s just you and colleagues you booked with who are going to be in that particular tour, plus a safari guide of course.
Now, I don’t mean that you are going to be only you (and your friends) in the whole plains of Serengeti for example!
What I mean is the travellers under one safari company, under a one safari guide and of course doing the same itinerary in the given time (day or days)
This way, it’s clear that you are going to have more freedom to choose things or even sometimes changing the timetable and adjust it to something which stuns you most.
Unfortunately, you won’t be that much flexible with a group Tanzania safari.
2: Focus is on Your Specific Needs
Let me put it this way.
You have your big 5 and Zanzibar package booked, but among all big 5 animals you happen to have most of your interests on leopards.
You can then simply tell your safari guide to spend a lion’s share time whenever you encounter your beloved leopard. The same can’t be said when it is a shared safari due to the conflict of interests between group travellers.
3: Ability to dictate what you do
The most thing I like about private Tanzania safari is that you have the ability to dictate what you consume in a safari and how you consume it.
That really strikes me most when it comes to private or group Tanzania safari.
Look, if you feel beginning a game drive at 8 am will be fantastic to you, no one will say no because they want to sleep up to 10 am!
You have all the decision on your own, the most important thing is you share what you feel with your safari guide.
4: No risk for bad chemistry with Strangers
When having a debate on private or group Tanzania safari, think for a second on a scenario where you get staked with folks with bad chemistry and who for some natural reasons you appear not to click!
Take it from me, best safari is experienced when you have a collective piece of mind and when nothing bothers you so you are all into the trip.
It is important to avoid things that might be a recipe for a bad experience.
You may be one of the best fellas out there who everyone will love to travel with, however, I can bet my father’s house that the same thing cannot be said about a few friends out there looking to join a certain group safari.
5: Make the most out of your safari.
C’mon, it is a lifetime experience for God sake!
So why would you risk something you have been waiting for years in an attempt to save some money? (sometimes a couple of hundreds) I promise you, it isn’t worth it.
You should enjoy your Tanzania safari to the maximum, and to do so, you need all the mentioned above in place.
You need the ability to be flexible to take things as they delight you, focusing on your specific interests, and also,
Avoiding incompatible chemistry with new folks and of course, you should be able to dictate what you do and how you do it as long as your safari guide is willing to help you achieve the most out of your safari.
Choosing private over a group Tanzania safari can help you realize your Tanzania dream with excellence.
But if you’ve never planned a Tanzania safari, choosing between these two may seem a bit overwhelming.
Plus there is a misconception that private travel is for rich tycoons out there!
But if you’d ask me I will tell you that is completely wrong. People have it all wrong.
Everyone who can afford a group Tanzania safari can, without doubt, afford a private safari.
There are two main things it takes to have a perfect private Tanzania safari;
First, you need to have a full clue on how a private safari experience differs from a group safari, something I believe you got now since you have taken this article this far.
And second, you really need to consider your Tanzania safari as among your lifetime experiences, that way when you think of planning it you won’t try to save a few euros which in return might well end up haunting your whole experience.
So after reading this article, how will you change your attitude toward private or group Tanzania safari?
I will be glad to hear from you here