Unique Safaris
Safaris • Nature & Wildlife Tours
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Arusha, Tanzania
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Travelers' Choice
2022

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Unique Safaris
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(9 reviews)
(5 reviews)
(2 reviews)
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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5.0
88 reviews
Excellent
85
Very good
0
Average
0
Poor
1
Terrible
2

allanwolford
New Braunfels, TX6 contributions
Jan 2020
My wife and I just returned from our safari in the Serengeti with Unique Safaris. Ally, our guide, was fantastic in locating animals and birds during our trip. He was able to drive to locations that other guides would NOT attempt due to it being the wet season and some of the roads (basically dirt tracks through the Serengeti) were covered with water and had terrible holes that you could not see until you hit them. The difference with Unique is they use Mud Terrain tires not All Terrain tires like the other safari companies. Other companies stay on the main roads so you see the animals 100 yards away with 15 vehicles parked on the road while we were able to go to more isolated areas and get up close to the animals. Up close being lunch with a large price of lions and 5 lion brothers s walking by our vehicle and hitting it with their tails. We were able to see everything that we had on our wish list as well as gain a better appreciation for the birds in the Serengeti.

We stayed in tents while we were there so the animals were VERY close. The animals can get noisy at night so be prepared to wake up occasionally. One morning we woke up to the sounds of 8 lions taking down a wildebeest about 50 yards from our tent. Our guide had to pick us up for breakfast that morning in our vehicle since the lions were so close. When you stay in the tents you will need someone from the camp to walk with you when it is dark. Also as a treat Ally arranged for us to meet with a Project Cheetah expert researcher who gave us a much better insight into the amazing animal.

We are recommending Unique to all our friends interested in going to Tanzania. With close to 400 competitors in the Arusha area it was very easy to see the difference with Unique Safaris when you are on safari. Our guide was well prepared everyday with the vehicle cleaned from the previous day and stocked with Diet Coke. Other companies were going through the motions of moving you around in areas with more traffic but we were taken off the main roads to areas with more animals and less of the "tourist" traffic.

I usually do not write reviews but the difference in companies is significant. If you want to see a few animals with the crowds then Unique is not for you. If you do not mind getting bounced around in the vehicle to get to isolated areas and truly experience the Serengeti then Unique is your best option.

Meg did a good job working with us to get within our budget. I would recommend working with her to get within your budget rather than settling for a less expensive nondescript safari.

This was truly an exceptional once in a lifetime experience and Unique Safaris made all the difference. We also met the owner while on safari, and Ali was engaging and made us feel very welcome.
Written January 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Wow, thank you for a fabulous review. You captured our essence in your own words and that is worth a million dollars to us! January has been really wet and in fact we have an unusually wet Nov, Dec and Jan so while the wildlife is fantastic and the park is lush, green and healthy, it is a challenge to drive through this very large park. Thank you for appreciating the differences with our company. "If it is Unique, the difference is clear"
Written January 27, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Charlotte M
1 contribution
Sep 2022
A friend referred me to Unique and from the start, I knew we made the right choice. Lynn helped so much by taking the time to ask what we wanted and made suggestions on “must see/do” item and she was correct! Plus she provided packing info and always answered our questions promptly. We had flight problems and thought we would miss our connection in Amsterdam. Lynn, Meg and Larissa were there for us. Plus they arranged someone to help us navigate Tanzanian customs. Then we met Pokea our driver/guide who was phenomenal. Every day he was enthusiastic, had the eyes of an Eagle and a knowledge base that was amazing. He pointed out animals, birds and vegetation and gave us so much info on each. Plus he was an expert driver, a great sense of humor and a true gentleman. Lynn, Meg, Larissa, Pokea and Esther epitomize customer service. The whole trip exceeded my expectations.
Written September 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Pokea had sent some videos of your safari to us when you were in the bush and you did have a great time! I know this was a bucket list trip for you so knowing it exceeded your high expectations makes us all very happy and very proud.
Written September 27, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Jaime Y
1 contribution
Aug 2022
I am still pinching myself. I have been home from safari for almost a month now and can't stop taking about it. Everybody asks if I'm sick of telling stories from the trip. Not at all. There were so many memorable moments on our safari from our driver's wonderful personality to the absolute beauty of the Serengeti. We had a 6 day safari, which is tight timing. Lynn did all of the work for us. She put together the most efficient itinerary possible. We didn't have to research or make special phone calls. Lynn did everything from tell us when to apply for visas, what to pack and how to ask to go to the "bathroom" on safari. She set us up with the best guide for my friend and I. Fazal was our driver/guide for the 6 days. He made all of our dreams come true. That guy worked his tail off from 5am to 8-9pm making sure we had a world class experience on safari. We were in the vehicle every morning at 6am. Fazal arranged to have the camp staff pack our breakfast & lunch so we could be out all day observing the animals. He was even kind enough to eat dinner with us at night. We loved his company. I highly recommend Unique Safaris, Lynn and Fazal for your next trip.
Written September 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Jamie- your review makes us very happy! And I think you captured perfectly what sets Unique Safaris apart from other companies in Tanzania. Our extraordinary sense of customer service from the first inquiry to the end of the safari is a reflection of our appreciation for your business and our pride in our country. And the passion which our guides have for wildlife (not just for your tip) is evident everyday. Fazal is a gem and he loves being in the bush and finding "unique" interactions. Once again thank you so much for your kind words and future referrals; you are also always welcome to return to Tanzania!
Written September 28, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Karen P
Grand Forks, ND7 contributions
Jun 2022
WE DID NOT ACTUALLY USE THEIR SERVICES: we reached out and tried to book a couple of days photo tour with Unique Safaris and almost immediately received a phone call. The agent asked for my itinerary with another company that we were working with and after receiving it picked apart item after item. She criticized and pointed out all the faults and flaws and extensively put down the other company. She was very high pressure and in the end, because we wouldn't spend enough (almost $6,000 for 2 days, 3 nights) she informed me they couldn't help me because they don't do day tours--we were discussing overnight so she had to know that we were flexible that way. I explained we were on a budget and she responded with an arbitrary price of a lodge in Botswana that was almost $5,000 a night which had nothing to do with anything. It was pretty obvious from our second conversation that this company wasn't someone we wanted to work with. Now I will qualify this review with the fact that it might be this agent and not the company! My main reason for writing this review is how much she bad-mouthed the other company.
Written June 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
As the Director of Sales and Marketing I have reviewed all of the email communications between you and my sales specialist. You are certainly entitled to your opinion but I must push back on your statement since it does not fully and accurately portray the emails that went back and forth. Since your most serious concern was the conversation about another company I see nothing at all in your emails that indicate she spoke negatively about your tour operator. In fact we know not only the company that you booked through but also the local tour operator who handles their Tanzania business and we have nothing but respect for the company you are traveling with. I am sure you will have a wonderful safari. Unique Safaris does not conduct day trips and our reputation and expertise is in the bush with our fabulous guides and knowledge of all the remote areas of the national parks to maximize your photography. The only reason I asked my colleague to try to work something out with you was because you were referred from one of our excellent agents in the US but learned that our agent did not work with you previously and just thought you might benefit from speaking with a Tanzania exclusive expert . As a courtesy to that company we considered your request but we do need to know your itinerary and budget to see what you might want to supplement it and the costs we should aim for. We never work without receiving a budget range from any prospective client. There are so many options and possibilities that knowing the range want to work within is critical and also helps to determine if we are the right company for you. In this case we designed a 3-day/2-night extension to an area we thought you might not be visiting. I am so sorry your interactions left you feeling this way and gave an impression contrary to our company values. I am happy to speak with you in person on the phone if you would like to raise any other points. Have a wonderful safari in Tanzania and hoping you will want to return many times.
Written June 18, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

cowanderlust11
rome23 contributions
Nov 2021
Before you get taken in by some of the dazzling photos posted by other reviewers of this company, think about how they got them!!! This company, or at least the guides we were subjected to, were terribly unethical and harassing the animals. In the attempt to get clients in "close to the animals" (as another reviewer put it) they would drive so close to the animals, with no regard for the animal's welfare or needs. Two specific experiences come to mind.

First, where a male leopard had dragged a kill into the tree and was sleeping on another branch in the Seronera (Serengeti). Rather than give him space, the guides drove their vehicles immediately under him (off road, blocking the view of other vehicles watching from the road 10m away). The leopard became visibly agitated at the intrusion- pinning his ears, shifting often, turning his face away from their lenses- but the guides persisted to get their clients the "perfect' shot. The leopard was so bothered by their noise and commotion only a few feet below him, that he jumped down from the tree and attempted to depart through a shallow, dry water way covered with brush. Instead of letting him go, they drove their vehicles into the brush and shallow wash to block his escape. He hid himself deep in the brush. Through their actions, they ruined the sighting for all present and caused an animal just trying to rest to leave his meal.

Second, there was a mother cheetah and her two younger cubs. They were walking perpendicular to the road and moving away from the road into territory that was not accessible by road. Two of the guides drove off road to them, and kept driving a bit ahead of her and cutting in front. When she was clearly agitated that she couldn't keep on towards the direction she had in mind, why did they keep doing it?? Because the clients wanted photos of the cheetahs' faces and they couldn't bear to just let the family be and drive alongside from a short distance!

The guides need to respect the wildlife they depend on for their livelihoods, and clients should understand that the animals need rest, respect, and space! Terrible, heartbreaking behavior that shouldn't be rewarded with more business.
Written December 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Your comments are 100% untrue and you should reveal that you are a competitor and not a client of Unique Safaris. We will be contacting the Serengeti Park Warden and Trip Advisor for unethically posting a review just to shade a competitor. Unique Safaris has an outstanding reputation in the bush and has been operating for 32 years. If you have a complaint and PROOF of Unique Safaris violating any rules of any park, please speak with TANAPA and the Park Wardens directly and they will initiate a full investigation. This is how business is conducted in Tanzania; through the proper channels so an investigation can take place; not on a social media platform to create doubt about a competitor. Unique Safaris welcomes any investigation as we will be proven to be deserving of our outstanding reputation. We will not discuss this further on Trip Advisor except to inform our previous, current and future guests that your comments are untrue and unproven. If you have concerns as a competitor please follow up with the proper channels so it can be addressed by the proper authorities. It is interesting that all of our trip advisor reviews are outstanding except for two who rate us as terrible. Both of those reviews were from competitors and not from clients. Our clients have extremely high standards for following the park rules; we host many professional photographers, naturalist and biologists who would never tolerate harassment of any kind. So you are also insulting our own clients by implying they care only about photos and not about the safety and sustainability of wildlife in Tanzania.
Written February 2, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Lori A
hartford CT24 contributions
Feb 2022
We felt so fortunate to have Unique Safaris as our travel Company for our once in a lifetime trip to Tanzania.

Lynn, our travel agent with unique safaris was extremely helpful, supportive and understanding especially when it came to dealing with traveling during Covid. We were very nervous to take this trip, however Meg, the owner and Lynn really guided us through our fears.

Lynn provided great details in how to pack for the trip and what we would encounter on our trip.

From the moment we arrived in Arusha we met our driver and guide for the next week , Pokea. He was wonderful and passionate about his work. He was extremely informative about the areas which we traveled to. He always wanted us to have a great experience. If he heard anything on the radio that there was a an animal to be seen we were at that site immediately.

Unique Safaris really took care of us and listened to our concerns and wants. Lynn made sure she selected the lodges with a pool which provided us with some refreshing downtime.

Everything went like clockwork !!!
Even in Zanzibar, when we no longer had Pokea with us. Unique Safaris made sure we were taken care of.
Written March 20, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
We were so happy to take care of all of your plans and handle all of the details and arrangements regarding the safari and Covid testing so you could truly relax on your vacation. You have truly experienced why private custom-designed itineraries are so valuable. We hope we can one day welcome you back to Tanzania! One small but important correction- I do not own Unique Safaris! I have worked with Unique for 28 years and it is family to me but Unique Safaris is 100% owned by black Tanzanians. Lynn and I are an important part of the team but we are the "hired help" and a true reflection of the kind of extraordinary customer service that Unique Safaris is known for. Thank you so much for your business, future referrals and your enjoyment of Tanzania.
Written March 22, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Charlie
23 contributions
Sep 2021
Traveling the world in a pandemic can be tricky but Meg K. of Unique Safaris did a wonderful job helping us in our safari travel to Tanzania. She kept us up to date on all of the requirements and gave us links to the forms that were needed. She arranged for our covid test prior to leaving Tanzania. She got us a service that whisked us through covid testing, immigration, and customs at the airport. On Safari, all of the camp staff not only went out of the way to make us comfortable but were very conscientious about all of the covid requirements. The highest praise has to go to our guide, Ellison. He got us into position for many a great photograph and didn’t complain when we asked him to move a foot or two so that we got a cleaner image. He was very knowledgeable about where the animals could be found, so we were treated to baby hippos, lion cub, leopard cubs, cheetah cubs, and a myriad of young antelope and zebra. The Mara River crossings were more spectacular than the Great Migration that we saw when we went to Tanzania March 2020. Photographically it was the best photo tour we had ever been on, totally Unique.
Written September 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
We love taking care of you! This has been an exceptional dry season with amazing wildlife that is being seen. Our guides are so happy to be back in the bush and I think they have a little internal competition about who can find the most amazing things. That is great for our clients! We will await your next safari too.
Written September 21, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Zippy
1 contribution
Dec 2020
I have traveled all over the world (>50 countries), and Unique Safaris is on of the best companies I have ever experienced. They provided full service answering all of my questions before and while on the trip. The camps and services were wonderful. The National Parks in Tanzania were amazing. I was able to see the big 5 and so much more. I espcially want to thank Lynn, the tour organizer for putting together an amazing trip and Arnold, the tour guide for doing a wonderful job and teaching my so much about the wildlife and the country. As a solo traveler, I felt very safe. I high;y recommend this travel experience.
Written March 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
So sorry I did not respond sooner to your review. This one slipped by me but we are so grateful that you chose to travel to Tanzania with Unique Safaris and at a time when vaccines were not yet available. We can never thank you enough for having the confidence to travel when you did. Many single travelers, especially women, are hesitant to travel to the bush but you helped others to realize how experienced, skilled and respectful our guides are.
Written September 13, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

David
Ashland, MA11 contributions
Dec 2020
I wanted to take my daughter on safari as her graduation gift, but also wanted a strong focus on the photographic element as a photographer. Yes, I shopped other safari companies too. Lynn at Unique safaris did an amazing job of putting together a custom trip which included cultural activities, balloon rides, and the best game viewing opportunities ever. I made the right choice and am so grateful I did.
The staff in Arusha matched us with a guide based on all the info we had provided. Bernard proved to the best guide we could have asked for. He took his job and professional responsibilities very seriously, and yet was able to join in the fun, banter and laughs. The lodging chosen was superb and the food unbelievable good; both roast duck and lamb on New Year's Eve-and we were hours out in the bush. The attention to detail from Lynn in trip preparation, availability and quick response to questions as well as the follow-through on those promises by the Arusha staff make this unquestionable the safari company of choice.
Written January 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
We enjoyed hosting you and your daughter and are so thankful you have that extra enthusiasm to travel during this time period. I know you benefitted by having very few vehicles in the parks and you had wonderful wildlife viewing. What I love about your review is that you have captured exactly who we are- outstanding customer service backed up by extraordinary knowledge of the bush. We are waiting to warmly welcome you back again!
Written January 8, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Bruce R
6 contributions
Nov 2021
This trip was postponed due to, well you know. It was well worth the wait. Unique Safaris was top notch and the Guides, Russell, Shadrick and Fazell were knowledgeable, funny and willing to help us get the best experience and the best photos every day. They even helped me learn first hand about some of the local flora (don't step on these). Our camps and their staffs were excellent and the people of Tanzania were friendly and helpful. You will not be disappointed using Unique for your safari needs also they are a locally owned company so you will help support their economy and businesses.
Written November 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Unique Safaris (Arusha) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go