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Guide to Planning an African Safari

Africa,map,illustration

Photo: Kyungduk Kim

A Classic, with a Twist: Tanzania

Highlights: The Serengeti, site of the Great Migration; Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak; the volcanic, game-rich Ngorongoro Crater basin; the UNESCO-listed Stone Town on Zanzibar island.

As with the Mara in Kenya, the Serengeti has been plagued with mass tourism and overcrowding. But innovative operators are taking travelers to the country’s less visited corners. Last June luxe lodging company Singita Grumeti Reserves unveiled its first mobile safaris in its 340,000-acre concession near the Serengeti. Eco-camping outfitter Wayo Africa visits remote Lake Eyasi, a salt lake south of the park. In the undeveloped north, the government has chosen a few companies to build small lodges, including Nomad Tanzania’s Lamai Serengeti, whose 12 rooms blend into rocky hills. Even farther-flung regions are coming to the fore: In the jungle-covered Mahale chimp habitat, Nomad’s Greystoke Mahale has six thatched-roof huts on Lake Tanganyika. In 2010, Amara Selous opened with 12 suites (all with private plunge pools) in southern Tanzania’s untamed Selous Game Reserve.

When to Go: June–Oct.

Top Operators:
Aardvark Safaris 7 days from $5,500.
George Mavroudis Safaris 11 days from $11,000.
Nomad Tanzania 7 days from $5,400.
Rothschild Safaris 7 days from $2,380.
Wayo Africa 7 days from $2,400.

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