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Game Drives & Guides

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CA
posts: 490
reviews: 2
Game Drives & Guides

I read camps outside the parks can do night drives but ones inside can't. I think SUC is inside the park offers evening drives, so are evening drives different than night drives?

Another question - guides make or break a safari, I've seen mentions of excellent guides at different camps. Does requesting a specific guide work when booking? What's the best way to avoid getting assigned an inexperienced guide? Thanks!

Stanley, Falkland...
posts: 29,068
reviews: 57
1. Re: Game Drives & Guides

Parks will have times when driving is either not allowed or expensive (so not offered). EG - 'no driving after 7pm', might still allow "evening" drives.

Or, the camp may drive outside the park. I don't know in this case, so why not ask SUC or your agent?

I'm not sure I can answer your other questions. Possibly make it clear when booking that you won't accept an inexperienced guide? How will you tell they are inexperienced?

I think it fairly unlikely you will get a poor guide at a top camp - it's not in their interests.

Findlay, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
posts: 12,293
reviews: 8
2. Re: Game Drives & Guides

Book with a safari operator rather than booking at the lodges. They will assign you an experienced driver/guide and they will be with you the entire trip. Many lodges will use a guide on a pick up basis, there are posts on here about this and the disappointment they brought.

If the driver/guide you get with a safari operator who lays out your entire safari is not satisfactory, call the safari operator and ask for another driver/guide. Of course you will want to make certain you know how to contact them before you leave for the safari.

I am making some assumptions in these answers, and the major one is that you are not booking with a safari operator for your safari, but rather are booking with different lodges and using their guides and vehicles for a group safari from each of the lodges.

If you want to find some safari operators go to the Tanzania forum and look on the right side of the web page, there is a list of Top questions about Tanzania, and the 4th down will have links to some recommended safari operators.

nyc
posts: 13,837
3. Re: Game Drives & Guides

Night game drives can be a misnomer, as many camps realized that actually going out after dinner was detrimental to game hunting. So when it comes to camps inside park boundaries they'll advertise night game drives that are actually from sunset till you arrive back at camp for dinner, around 7:30pm... believe me it's dark. It's also not unusual to see game close to camp while enjoying dinner, rather then if on a drive. They're always about... you'll see the 'eyes' or the camp has their own pet genet who entertains guests.

Your other thread asks about camps at Tarangire and Manyara so assume you'd be driving between locations, and with SUC* being in the Serengeti will have your own guide/vehicle that started out at Arusha who will conduct your game drives. Should you prefer a camp guide, you'll have to pay for this.

*you do realize the price at SUC is easily double any others you are considering; for that price their guides better darn well know their business... they do!

Ottawa, Canada
posts: 7,440
reviews: 108
4. Re: Game Drives & Guides

SUC charges per person, and many tented camps charge per tent, based on 2 persons.

nyc
posts: 13,837
5. Re: Game Drives & Guides

Yes, some lodge/camps charge/indicate per room/tent vs per person, but when receiving prices from operator/outfitter... you get a per person price.

SUC could just indicate $1600+/per nt/tent or simply $800+/person nt. Guess the latter more easily accepted... ha! ha!

6. Re: Game Drives & Guides

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