How to Plan a Safari in East Africa – A Detailed Guide

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Going on an East African safari is the perfect way to explore the wilderness and beauty that Mother Earth has to offer! With beautiful national parks, stunning sceneries, exotic wildlife and breath-taking landscapes, East Africa makes for a perfect safari destination.

Keep reading to find out more about how to plan a safari in East Africa!

When to Go

When planning a safari in East Africa, the first thing you need to consider is when to go to East Africa.

The best time to go for a safari in East Africa is from June to October/November. This marks the peak tourist season because it is the best time for wildlife viewing because it marks the dry season and the wildlife is usually concentrated around bodies of water, making them easier to spot.

However, there are a few downsides to planning a safari during these months. You’ll need a significantly higher budget than if you were to go during the off-peak season and you’ll face a lot of crowds at popular tourist destinations.

If you want to stay away from the crowds, you can choose the off-peak season or you can choose destinations that aren’t as popular but provide just as great an experience, if not better. For example, in Tanzania, the less frequented tourist spots include Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park, Mikumi National Park and the Usambara Mountains.

If budget is a concern, you should go during the off-peak season. However, try to avoid April and May because these are the wettest months and long showers of rain might disrupt your travel plans during these months. If you’re going during the off-peak season, prefer going to places that have excellent wildlife viewing year-round like the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

Calculating Your Expenses

When it comes to calculating your expenses, many factors come into play. Here are a few of them:

  • Time of travel

Like we discussed earlier, traveling during the peak season is a lot more expensive than traveling during the off-peak season. You’ll find accommodation and flights for about half the price!

  • Duration of Stay

4 days to a week is enough if you’re just looking for a small safari vacation. You can explore a few national parks in this time frame! If you stay for less than 3-4 days, you won’t be able to explore a lot and you’ll still be paying the same amount for your flights so it’s not worth taking a 2 or 3-day safari. Stay for at least 4 days.

  • Type of accommodation

You’ll find all sorts of accommodation options in East Africa ranging from fly camping options where you won’t even have bathrooms to luxurious private island resorts. Choose your type of accommodation according to your budget and comfort!

  • Group travel vs Solo travel

If you take a group tour, you’ll save on accommodation expenses and many other expenses that will be divided among the whole group! If you’re traveling solo and don’t want to share your rooms or your car rides with anyone, your budget will significantly increase.

If you’re traveling solo, you can still hang out with big groups to divide the cost. If you’re traveling solo, don’t forget to check out why a safari in Tanzania is perfect for solo travelers.

After keeping all of these factors in mind, calculate your expenses in advance so that you can choose the best option for yourself. Always carry your ATM card and extra money in case of any emergency!

Don’t Forget Your Essentials!

No matter how great of a memory you’re blessed with, always make a packing list so that you don’t leave anything out! There’s no bigger vacation bummer than forgetting your camera at home.

Here’s a basic packing list that we’ve made for East Africa to help you out:


  • A jacket that’s comfortable
  • Long-sleeved t-shirts
  • A few pairs of pants
  • Trousers
  • Undergarments


You need sturdy safari shoes! Take an extra pair with you too just in case. Take about 3 pairs of socks too.



  • Extra memory cards and batteries
  • Power bank
  • Chargers
  • An adapter that’s universal
  • A headlamp


  • Sanitizer
  • Face mask
  • Wipes
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat/cap
  • Mosquito repellant
  • Sunblock

These are the basic items you’ll need. Of course, you can add to the list!


Lastly, you need to choose a suitable destination for your East African safari. Do your research and explore the national parks you like best!

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