Fly-in Vs Driving Safaris—Tanzania

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Many travelers to Tanzania often wonder whether they should take a driving safari or a fly-in safari. And the majority of these choose a driving safari mainly because its easy to think that a flying safari is much more expensive. The truth is however, there is very little in costs between the two.

Think of a driving safari for example, you will need to hire a private vehicle from the local companies to take you on the well-established routes, covering vast distances.

The next question has to do with the quality of experience. Granted, a driving safari will get you close to the wildlife and local culture but since some of the most beautiful areas of Tanzania to spot wildlife have underdeveloped roads, you can spend a lot of time just getting there. With a fly in safari however, you can access these remote areas more efficiently as well as be able to view the vastness of the area from above.

And then there are the guides. The driver who is often the guide will drive you close to the animals and tell you what you need to know about them. Guides servicing the fly-in market are based within the National Park, usually part of the crew of the hotel / lodge / camp where you are staying. They therefore have more local knowledge. With flying, the guide doesn’t have to go through the hassle of being on air for hours which often translates to a better-quality experience.

You will be using a closed vehicle when going on a driving safari in Tanzania. This means a pop-up roof and solid sides. There is noting wrong with closed vehicles when doing short term game drives. For longer periods of game viewing however, an open vehicle is best. The benefit of these is that they don’t make you feel cramped and you can view the wildlife without obstruction. The downside is that such open vehicles can be accessed only in the camps and some areas in the northern circuit do not permit them.

One of the main benefits of a fly-in safari is that the scenes from the air are unlike any other. Think of being above the great rift as you look down to extinct volcanoes and to the endless plains of the Serengeti. A driving safari doesn’t quite allow you to observe all the different geographical features at a go. Not only are you able to view the wildlife from the air but the geographical landscape as well.

A fly-in safari lets you see the winding rivers, lakes, and the diversity of the land and provides a breathtaking and awe-inspiring experience that will last in your memories for a long time.  

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