Safari Vehicles Frequently Asked Questions
Every guest would like to have the most reliable and comfortable vehicles on safari. In response to the clients’ needs, It is good for tour operators to have very strict vehicle replacement policy that ensures a young fleet at all times. Tour operators must have enough vehicles depending with the number of clients they have. This will solve a problem of sub-contracting vehicles and driver-guides, which may compromise the quality of services.
Remember that a Safari Vehicle and a driver are the main important part of your Safari that must be taken very seriously. You must make sure you have right Questions to tour operator about the Safari Vehicle that will be used for your Safari, and this must be documented in your Travel Journal so that you know what you are real paying for, I know this article (Safari Vehicles Frequently Asked Questions), will be of great help to you!
Below are Compilation of Safari Vehicles Questions – FAQ
1. From what I see on the web; the Safari vehicles (for budget to mid-range travellers) seem to be relatively older vehicles. Is it safe to assume that they are refurbished vehicles from Europe and Asia? Also, how about the safety of these vehicles?
The bigger companies in Tanzania have modern vehicles with comfortable seats, 3 point seat belts, a/c, fridges, fully comprehensive insurance, new tires, etc. They have their own mechanics to fix the vehicles, trained drivers, and a big enough fleet to ensure that in the case of a breakdown they can send a relief vehicle. This is one of the reasons that bigger companies are more expensive.
With the more budget oriented companies you can start removing items from the list; because they have to cut the budget somewhere. As with most things in life; you get exactly what you pay for.
If you want a good vehicle then ask the company to email you photos and to list what is included. Be prepared to pay for quality. There are few small and budget companies also with excellent vehicle and so if you do research well. Pricey things should not always give you comfort, a little more time of research and normal price can give you the best also.
2.Which is the best? Closed VS Open Safari Vehicles for Wildlife Viewing.
Going on Tanzania Safari holidays, one realizes in no time that how wide open a space Tanzania really is. Like when you go out on a Serengeti tour, you’ll end up spending a lot of time covering miles and miles of land by your car. So, the whatever vehicle you opt for will have a great part in determining how successful your overall trip turns out to be. Almost every expert driver, safari specialist, and even people who’ve travelled there before will tell you that nothing’s better than private close-sided vehicles, and they have good enough reasons to give that recommendation.
There are various Tanzania safari companies that will offer you a variety of things; so, it’s important you keep your facts right before you opt for something as important as the vehicle. You’d be spending a good amount of money, to go on a wildlife safari and if you don’t get to enjoy it because of a terrible ride – that’d be extremely sad! On your trip to one of the most magical and utterly beautiful places on the planet, make sure you ask every question in your book to the tour operators, without any hesitation. After all, this will be a trip of a lifetime, and you would want to get every single thing just right!
3. How many people can/will be in one Vehicle?: There are two Types of Safari Vehicles, one is with 4 Window seat. apart from the driver and his side seat, and the second one is a 6 window seat as above. All reputable companies that know what they are doing they must only sell the window seats, and so be sure to ask your tour operators and confirm about this seats arrangement. Some tour operators will accommodate 8 guests (Only 6 will have window seats and in that case this car will not have a fridge) If you are in a group of more than the number of people, I would recommend you to pay more for another Vehicle so that you can enjoy your tour.
4. Is there a difference in the standard of vehicles with different safari companies? I know they are mainly Land Cruisers, but how do different companies compare as far as safety, comfort, age of vehicles and reliability?
Most of the safari vehicles are not new vehicles. Most are brought into the country as used vehicles and sent off to be refurbished by a company there that does excellent work in refurbishing and rebuilding a Land Cruiser into a safari vehicle. The reason for this is that a new Land Cruiser there will cost a lot of money, but these use safari Vehicles are like new when they come out of refurbishment.
If you are 6 you can perfectly fit and be comfortable in the extend Land Cruiser. Some vehicles may not be as new as some others that you may see, but it are well maintained, and handled the rough roads just fine. You must ask and get an excellent driver, which is perhaps more important than the vehicle itself.
You can certainly pay a lot more money to go with a company that offers newer vehicles, but there are small and good companies that offers terrific value with its comparatively reasonable rates and wonderful staff.
5. What should be my expectations on Safari Vehicle?
Your safety and comfort are extremely important and this should be reflected to the tour operator. The tour operator must have access to fleet of safari vehicles that has been specifically designed to handle the rigours of a true African safari while still affording you the maximum possible comfort on Africa’s dusty and often bumpy roads (See the Photos)
Your safari vehicles NEED to be equipped with comfortable seats, 4×4 drive for handling rough terrain, a first aid kit, a HF radio, slide windows, and plenty of storage space so you can bring all of your luggage along for the ride. In addition to every passenger having their own window seat, the vehicle’s pop top roof allows for 360 degree game viewing on the move (Ask THESE details to your tour operator, Photos and contact previous Customers for confirmation.
Each safari vehicle should also be equipped with multiple electrical outlets so you can charge your electronics while on the move. The safari vehicles must go through regular maintenance checks that include oil checks, fluid checks, electronics checking, new tires (if necessary), and any additional maintenance necessitated by Africa’s often unforgiving roads.
It may surprise some people that the secret to a great safari lies not in your specific itinerary, lodge selection, or season of travel. On the contrary, the key to success lies in the skills, passion, hard work, and competency of your driver-guide and the Vehicle.
6. What does it take for an automobile to endure weeks on the road in Tanzania?
A lot. It requires a fully-loaded, fully-maintained four-wheel drive SUV with all the extra bells and whistles. That’s precisely what every Tanzania safari comes with. Some specs:
- 4×4 Custom-built Land Cruisers
- Heavy-duty wheels
- Extra fuel tanks
- Opening, sliding windows
- Power sockets for cameras, smartphones, etc.
- Pop-up hatch
- Sits 7 individual chairs plus a driver
- Refrigerator full of cold waters and soft drinks.
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