We're in the very early stages of planning a 3-week trip to Africa next summer. Though I've traveled internationally before, it will be our first time on the continent, and appears to be a different beast to plan for.
In the past I've avoided guided tours and instead traveled independently, primarily using public transport. We were hoping to do some safari viewing, and were assuming that we would get ourselves to the appropriate park, hire guides, and pay them their per diems to see the wildlife. But it seems as though most people here have contracted out with a particular company to provide a driver, guides, and all other costs.
So I guess my first questions are:
1) Can Tanzanian safaris be done independently? Or is the cost savings so minimal that it's not worth the extra time/hassle?
2) If we are interested in a bed & hot water in the bathroom (at least in AM/PM), what would be expected costs during high season (either with a safari organizer, or independently)?