Serengeti without tour operator
I find tour operators to be extremely expensive. Is it possible to do a 3 or 4 day safari in Serengeti without a tour operator? I will travel with a group of 4 and will come from Zanzibar to Arusha.
I need detailed explanation of prices and where to book if possible:
- #1. Private car.
- #2. Private guide
- #3. Accommodation
- #4. Best routes for that number of days
- #5. All costs that I need to bear in mind.
I would really appreciate your help as the information I find online is very confusing!
Thanks in advance
Answer ( 1 )
Serengeti is a size of a country and there iss no tarmac roads inside the park, a big reliable vehicle or 4×4 vehicle is essential (for dry and wet muddy roads), spare vehicle fuel and excellent day to day planning of food, water and travelling distances for self drive, also own toilet paper/brown paper bags/matchstick to burn your poo,
Most NPs in TZ are open to self drive visitors, its up to you to go with or without a guide, but a guide or guide/driver can be private or certified, both are acceptable, but guides are a comfort to have and it wont cost you a fortune,
But do watch youtube videos on serengeti to get idea of driving challenges and possible vehicle incidents,
Just drive around on your own and if after a day or so you feel you would see more with a guide, then hire one,
NP opening hours are 6am to 6pm daily, you must reach your lodge or camp site before 6pm in the evening, otherwise park rangers will find out and fine you, also offroad driving is not permitted unless its a private conservancy, also speeding and other offences can be fined by park rangers,
So every 24 hours you have to pay Per Person for Park fee Usd 60 or 20+18% VAT, Concession fee Usd 50+18% VAT, Camping fee Usd 50 or 10+18% VAT, Camping site/Lodge fee Usd (Varies)+18% VAT,
Also, every 24 hours, one vehicle fee about Usd 30+18% VAT,
The Campsite/Lodge or NP Gate office will provide more info on how to sort out your daiky fees in one payment for your stay in the park,
Children (under 5 years is free and) from 5-15 years pay lesser of the two mentioned fees above,
All TZ park gates accept Visa/Mastercard, cash is not accepted anymore,
Always pay by Credit Card for your safari with TourOp, otherwise your fraudelent claims later will not be successful,
Some Tour Op will not accept Credit Card payment and insist on bank transfer or cash, so be careful you pick old and succesfull TourOp who are registered with http://www.tatotz.org,
More details about park fees for all National parks in Tanzania,
Just to read about Lodges or other info, Use booking.com, to search for Serengeti national park or Ngorongoro national park, it will list various lodges, then sort by prices,
But TourOp will always give you much better prices for Lodges, unless you stay at cheaper camping sites,
Some TourOp cotacts or Park info is also availableb on Facebook,
Popular Ndutu area is shared between Ngorongoro and Serengeti,
Big part of Ndutu plain is in ngorongoro conservation area and small part in the Serengeti side. Most of visitors pay ngorongoro to spend much of their time in the Ndutu plain which is in the ngorongoro side. You dont pay 2 separate park fees unless you need to spend your time in ndutu plain which is the ngorongoro side and sleep in ndutu area in the Serengeti park side.
For Ngorongoro you need advanced Quote before arriving at gate, you must obtain Quote from official office then make your journey to the ngorongoro gate,
The payment method to enter the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Ngorongoro Crater has changed as from February 2017. You can now pay for your entrance fees at the entrance gate using a credit card (visa/mastercard). However you need to visit the Ngorongoro office in either Arusha or Karatu before proceeding to the gate to receive a quote. You will take this quote with you to the gate for payment. Kindly note that the Ngorongoro offices are closed on Saturday and Sundays.
For Ngoro Ngoro you need a guide to enter the Crater,
The TANAPA certified guide is available at the Gate Office in Ngorongoro NP,
For Ngorongoro if you don’t enter the Crater Floor you don’t pay Crater service fee of USD (250*18% vat=) 295 per vehicle,
Obtain “NGORONGORO Quote” from the following centres known as Point Of Issue/Point of Sale:
NCAA Arusha information Centre located opposite Air Tanzania Corporation and near Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) Arusha Office.
Lodoare Main Entrance Gate to Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
Tourism Office at NCAA HQ – Ngorongoro Crater.
Naabi Hill Gate located in Serengeti National Park.