Info on locals providing Safari and treks (Tanzania+Uganda)

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East Info on locals providing Safari and treks (Tanzania+Uganda)

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Last Post This thread is marked as being about Tanzania/Safari
1. Posted by I.W. Lane (Budding Member 8 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Hey guys,

I'm wondering does anyone have any experience organising safaris or Gorilla treks with locals in Tanzania or Uganda? Just trying to budget for a trip, so I'd like to get a rough idea of what price points and quality are available to me!



2. Posted by BeateR (Full Member 193 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

We did Safaris in all of southeast Africa, twice in Tansania. But every time we did it by our own. We rented a 4x4 with roof tent and drove ourselfes. Its no problem and much cheaper.


3. Posted by I.W. Lane (Budding Member 8 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Very cool friend,

Can you tell me more about that? What did you pay roughly for hire and park entry, if you don't mind me asking? What was the situation with supplies, i.e. water, food. Did you stock up prior or was there areas to access these in the reservations? Is there a route set to take or did you freeball it?
Looking forward to having a chat.


4. Posted by BeateR (Full Member 193 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

We rented a fully equiped Defender with roof tent and camping outfit, out of Arusha. It costs 1,10 $ per KM, 100 KM minimum per day, plus Tax.
Park entrance is very expensive:

Prices per person/24 hours.

We stocked up in Arusha and had our meals and drinks for 3 weeks in the car. Because you don't get anything in the nationalparks and we stayed 2 weeks in Serengeti and the other days in Ngorongoro, Tarangire, Arusha NP.

We drove from Arusha first to Arusha NP, and then via Lake Natron to Serengeti, back via Ngorongoro and Tarangire. The second trip the other way round but the same parks.

We stayed at Public campsites and at Special campsites. You cannot prebook the public campsites, but you have to prebook special campsites. The rental company did it for us to help us.

But I don't know anything about Uganda.

Beate from Munich/Germany

5. Posted by I.W. Lane (Budding Member 8 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!


That sounds amazing! With the vehicle rental did you have to return it to the place which it was rented from or was there an option to return it to another destination on the other side of the park? If that makes sense?
Thank you for taking the time to reply. I am going to do some research with this new information at hand.


6. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1481 posts) 1y 1 Star this if you like it!

If this is your introduction to Africa, suggest you book some adventure tours, perhaps including some back to back. For example, you can take a tour from South Africa to Namibia to Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Then you might proceed from Zimbabwe/Zambia to Malawi, Tanzania (including Zanzibar) to Kenya. From there, take a tour to Uganda to see mountain gorillas. Return to Kenya, then travel independently to Rwanda. From there fly to Ethiopia and travel around there. Know that flights between countries in Africa can be expensive.

For my initial trip to Africa, I used this company:

There are similar companies. I prefer accommodated trips instead of the camping ones. You don't have to join a tour from the start; but can join from places en route. Inquire.

Joining an adventure tour will give you the lay of the land, so to speak; and give you some idea of how difficult or easy it is to travel around Africa. You won't have to worry about accommodations or transportation; and the cost of these adventure tours is reasonable. They are geared to the young and the young at heart.

I know people who have traveled solo extensively throughout Africa; and they have many tales to tell. If you do travel independently, know that you must be flexible. Public transport, if you can find it, often doesn't leave on set schedules. I've had to take motorcycle taxis in Uganda, for example (care to share a motorbike with a pig?). Car rentals are a good option in countries such as South Africa and Namibia. But be careful on gravel roads; speeding can result in overturns, evidenced by several that I saw in and around Etosha National Park.

Tip: When entering villages, ask to see the chief or head man and ask his permission to enter. You'll find that it opens doors. You might even be able to stay with a family.

Before you go, consult your doctor about taking antimalarials, such as atovaquone/proguanil. The disease is prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa. Don't wear dark blue or black clothing, especially in areas prone to sleeping sickness. The tsetse fly traps are blue and black. Neutral colors, such as khaki, are preferable.

Finally, if you go it alone, expect to pay "cadeaux" here and there. It's expected. Safety and security should be your top priority. But don't be cowed. Since you're from Ireland, consult the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for entry requirements to the countries you plan to visit, including visa fees.

If you join an adventure tour, ask your guide about the ins and outs of traveling in Africa. You'll gain valuable insights. I used for my initial foray into West and Central Africa. The guides provided a wealth of information that helped me to travel solo there.

I've hired guides and drivers in Africa and elsewhere. The cost varies. But it won't be inexpensive as hiring guides and drivers in India and Southeast Asia, for example. I hired a guide/driver for two one-month trips in Ethiopia. Five years ago, I paid $130 per day, plus fuel. I suspect you'd have to pay more these days. especially in popular countries such as Kenya and Tanzania, where the Serengeti attracts hordes of visitors wanting to see its abundance of wildlife, including lions, leopards and cheetahs, to name a few.

You'll find that many national parks in Africa charge foreigners hefty fees to visit. For example, Uganda currently charges US$600 for a gorilla trekking permit; and Rwanda charges US$1,500. Keep that it mind when you do your planning. You might be able to get a break by joining on an adventure tour instead of traveling independently.

As for food and water, you'll have to buy the latter (not expensive). Generally, it's not advisable to drink water from the tap, except perhaps in South Africa. I had no problem buying food in shops and markets. From my experience food and water will consume only a small fraction of your travel budget, unless you like to party hard. In some places, beer will be less expensive than bottled water.

I don't recommend that you "freeball" your travel. You don't want to find yourself in a pickle. Consult the tour itineraries. These are well-traveled routes; and there may be safety in numbers. I rue the day that I didn't buy a tour to the Danakil Depression and Erte Ale volcano. Getting there independently with a guide and driver required the hiring of four armed soldiers plus a local guide; and the payment of bribes (corrupt police in the lawless area threatened to jail my driver if I didn't pay).

So there's lots to consider. Sorry I can't be of further help as I leave tomorrow on a six-week overseas trip, followed by another one of 10 weeks.

[ Edit: Edited on 17-Jun-2019, at 20:20 by berner256 ]

7. Posted by I.W. Lane (Budding Member 8 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Again, wow

thank you so much for that info, it will go a long way in the planning of our trip. You have made some really good points that we hadn't considered.

Enjoy your travels

SlĂ inte,


8. Posted by BeateR (Full Member 193 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Answer to # 5:

Hi Irwin,
as I've seen above that it is allowed to post a link to a company, I can give you the company we rented the car from. It was:

They only have a sit in Arusha, so you'll have to give back the car there. But you also can rent the car with driver/guide. But this is more expensive.

If hotel/room or tent is alsways a matter of expectation and of money. I would not be happy in a lodge where black man dance around me to serve me. I'd have moral problems with that.
And I'd have problems with a driver, because I've seen how fast and rude they drive. And they don't see so much as everyone tells you. We often stayed and watch an animal and the tourdriver rushed on without seeing anything. Some times they stopped and asked us what we see!!!!

But it is your trip, only you can decide.


9. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 1584 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

I.W. Lane - I've just pm'd you with some details of our trip in East Africa three years ago - hope it's useful.

10. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 2247 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Quoting BeateR

as I've seen above that it is allowed to post a link to a company,

Hi Beate

Yes I can see that our links policy could be confusing!

As an established member you are welcome to post links to help other members. Where possible we like Travellerspoint to be the useful resource in itself but there are certainly times when a link is useful, so don't worry about linking.

Our problem comes with spammers. Sometimes they write a first post including links, this is obviously promotional and easy for us to decide to delete. Other times they are more sneaky and set up a couple of accounts, one asks a question and the other replies with a link, so it seems like a genuine reply to a member looking for help. This is harder for the moderators to get right, and sometimes we make a mistake and delete the links given by someone who is genuine but just new.

Our test is normally "is this helping a traveller?". So your links helping a traveller are fine. It's just when newbies post them that it causes us problems to figure out what's legitimate and what's fake.