GAME DRIVE IN TANZANIA
Game drive is the major tourist activity in Tanzania and is done in almost all the savannah national parks and game reserves in the country. Game drives can be done in the early morning (6-10am) and the late afternoon (3-7pm), animals are most active during those hours. On a typical safari day you get up around 5:30, have some tea or coffee and a small snack at your lodge or camp, and then set off on your drive. Some national parks and reserves are so big and the game drive will take you almost a full day like Serengeti national park and Selous game reserve. You will drive through the tracks in the park to look for the animals. Tanzania conservation areas are rich in fauna and flora. Tanzania has over 430 animal species, 60, 000 insect species, about 25 types of reptiles or amphibians, 100 species of snakes and numerous fish species.
Mammals: Three hundred species of mammals have been reported in Tanzania. Some of the species reported are: African bush elephant, Burchell’s zebra, Thomson’s gazelle, hartebeest, woodland dormouse, kipunji, Thomas’s bushbaby, Prince Demidoff’s bushbaby, puku, gerenuk, common warthog, pygmy scaly-tailed flying squirrel, and North African crested porcupine.
Predators: A few predators’ species are: lion, spotted hyena, leopard, cheetah, wild dogs, black-backed jackal and serval cat.
Primates: Some of the primate species reported are: chimpanzee, monkeys and baboons
Birds: The number of bird species in Tanzania were reported as 1112 species, 23 endemic species, 35 globally threatened species and 3 introduced species. The conservation status of grey crowned cranes found in wetland-grassland habitats of eastern and southern Africa including Tanzania is listed as vulnerable.
Endemic species: Endemic species are: yellow-collared lovebird, Pemba green pigeon, Pemba scops owl, Usambara eagle-owl, Beesley’s lark, Mrs. Moreau’s warbler, banded sunbird, Moreau’s sunbird, rufous-winged sunbird, Tanzania seedeater, rufous-tailed weaver, Kilombero weaver, Tanganyika masked weaver and Usambara weaver.
As you drive through the park, you will expect to see these animals. As the sun goes down, you might choose to have a sundowner, you can sip a gin or whiskey as you watch the sunset before heading back to the camp for dinner and overnight.
Game drives in Tanzania can be done in Serengeti national park, Lake manyara national park, Ngorongoro national park, Selous national park, Tarangire national park, Ruaha national park, Arusha national park, Katavi national park.
Things to know while on game drives
- Off tracking while doing the game drive is not allowed in some national parks. You can be allowed to off track while in private concessions. These same rules apply to night drives and bush walks as well.
- Evening game drives are a good way to spot nocturnal animals like genets, aardvarks and owls among others.
- The amount of people allowed in a safari vehicle at a time varies from camp to camp and it can impact your game-viewing experience. We recommend using properties that limit the number of people in a vehicle to a maximum of 6. More than 6 people can hinder your ability to see and photograph animals.
- Many properties provide sandbags to steady a camera, but serious photographers should bring their own.
- Wear layers! You are out as the sun is rising and setting so temperatures can drop quite a bit during a game drive. Most properties provide blankets but wearing layers will ensure your comfort.