- What is the wildebeest migration?
The wildebeest migration is the annual movement of 1.2 million wildebeest and zebra from Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park to Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Park. The migration offers excellent opportunities to view animal behavior. The wildebeest migration is usually in the Serengeti from December through September. During the dry months of December, January and February, it is common to see the migration as a mass of several hundred thousand animals. During the long rains in March, April and May, the migration often splits up into several sub-groups and roams in different areas of the Serengeti following the fresh grasses. The migration remains in these smaller groups throughout much of the remaining season until it returns to Kenya in October.
- What is a bush walk?
A bush walk is a nature walk or walking safari inside or near a national park. A bush walk can be a leisurely stroll or strenuous hike and ranges in length from thirty minutes to six hours. We can tailor a bush walk to your interests. If you are a bird lover, we will take you to excellent bird-viewing areas. If you want to be near big game on foot, we will arrange a bush walk in a national park (these walks require an armed guard). If you are interested in Tanzanian culture, we will arrange a cultural tour. SENE is proud to offer a cultural experience in which you stay in cottages on SENE owner Simon Mtuy’s family farm in Mbahe Village and get to know the village intimately.
- Who travels with us during safari?
You will be accompanied by a trained wildlife guide and expert in Tanzania ecology. All of our guides are fluent in English and have many years of experience on safari and have taken several wildlife courses. If you choose a camping safari, you will also travel with a SENE chef, who will prepare all of your delicious meals while in the bush. As with any SENE arranged trip, we only combine groups with the clients’ approval. SENE is not a wholesale safari company, but rather offers customized trips throughout Tanzania’s beautiful national parks and countryside.
- What type of safari vehicles does SENE use?
We use exclusively safari-ready four-wheel drive Land Rovers and Toyota Land Cruisers with pop-up roofs for better game-viewing. A comfortable window seat is guaranteed for each client.
- What are road conditions like in Tanzania?
The road from Moshi/Arusha to the Ngorongoro Crater is tarmac. Although the roads between cities and the national parks are well-maintained, the roads inside the national parks are rough and can be muddy during the rainy season. During game drives we drive slowly to ensure a comfortable ride. During the dry season it may be dusty, so bring some moist cleansing cloths to clean up before meal times. The road to Mbahe Village and the Kilimanjaro National Park entrance gates are dirt and may have some bumpy spots.
- What clothing and equipment do I need on safari?
Please see our safari packing list for items you should bring with you. On a camping safari we provide camping equipment including tents, sleeping bags/blankets, sleeping mattresses, tables and chairs. Hammocks are provided on some safaris. We also provide all cooking equipment. All of SENE’s equipment is less than 2 years old and has been highly rated by many of our past clients.
- What are the Big Five?
The Big Five were originally the animals most sought after by hunters. They were the fiercest animals – those that hunted the hunters. They include the lion, leopard. rhinoceros, elephant, and African cape buffalo. Today these are the animals that tourists most want to see when visiting Tanzania’s national parks. You can see all five of these animals on a safari in northern Tanzania.
Lodging & Food
- How does SENE choose guest accommodations on safari?
We match the type of safari experience you desire with the most appropriate accommodations. Lodges range from exclusive luxury to very comfortable standard lodges to meet any budget. The high end luxury tented camps are generally more costly than lodges. For those on a stricter budget we find that a combination of basic camping and standard lodges provides an excellent compromise of cost and comfort. We make it a priority to learn and meet individual clients’ needs and interests.
- What is the food like on safari?
Safari lodges and tented camps offer a wide assortment of excellent western and traditional African dishes with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. If you are camping you can expect the same nutritious and delicious meals that we serve on our climbs.
- Are vegetarian or vegan meals available?
YES and any other dietary requirements! Please make your request in advance so we can make necessary arrangements.
- Do I need to bring a water filter?
No, we provide bottled water on all safaris.
- What is the difference between lodges, luxury tented camps, mobile tented safaris, and basic camping safaris?
Tourist lodges in Tanzania are similar to those you might encounter in the U.S. They are full service facilities with private rooms or cottages with private baths and have restaurants and lounges. Some have swimming pools. Many lodges are architecturally stunning made with local materials and inspired by local designs and the environment. Some lodges can accommodate up to 200 guests.
Luxury tented camps are permanent or semi-permanent camps sited in areas of excellent game viewing. These provide all the comforts of a lodge within private spacious canvas tents on a solid permanent base with beds and private baths, and gourmet meals. Tented camps are more intimate than lodges as they generally accommodate 12 to 20 guests.
Mobile tented safaris are private camps set up only for your group. Because they are mobile we can establish a camp in areas of high wildlife concentration in the middle of the bush. Tents are large private canvas tents with comfortable portable cots for sleeping. Meals are prepared by our own experienced safari chef.
On a basic camping safari guests sleep in private tents in designated campsites in or near national parks. Our safari crew sets up the camp and prepares all the meals. Whenever possible, we use more remote campsites to make your camping experience more private. There are permanent toilet and shower facilities at almost all the campsites. We heat water for showers at more remote sites.
Animal Safari: Photography
- I’m planning to use a film camera. How much and what type of film should I bring?
It really depends on the passion you have for photography. As a general guideline, plan on shooting three to four rolls with 24 exposures per day, which is sufficient for most people. Remember also that animals don’t pose for you and often move just when you want to shoot, so you may waste some pictures. Much of the time you will be photographing in bright sunlight so ISO 100 speed will give you the best quality. However, some of the best times to see animals are in the early morning or late afternoon when the light may be low. At these times ISO 200 or ISO 400 works better.
- What lenses should I bring for my camera?
This will depend on the type of photography you do. If you are interested in vegetation, you may want a macro lens. For animals, because you will be photographing from a distance, you will definitely want a long lens, at minimum 300 mm and up to 500 mm if possible. A zoom lens will provide you with the best flexibility.