We had the most amazing holiday. The national parks & animals were beyond my expectations. The... read more
We had the most amazing holiday. The national parks & animals were beyond my expectations. The... read more
After much research and a few quotes, we decided that Safari by Z was our preferred choice. From... read more
If you are investigating safari options for Tanzania, you know that there are MANY companies to choose from. We solicited bids from several companies that are highly rated on Tripadvisor, including Safari by Z. The proposed itinerary from Safari by Z stood out for several reasons. First, they itemized the cost of everything (airport transfer, park entry permits, hotel/lodging costs, etc). Other companies just offered a bottom line, per-person price. Second, for each of our nights, they offered mid range and luxury lodging options along with website links to each lodge or hotel. We spent time and looked at each option and ended up choosing a mix of mid range and luxury options. We were somewhat late in planning our safari and finally booked it less than a month before arrival. Safari by Z remained very flexible and engaged, maintained reliable email contact, verified receipt of payment, and answered all questions that arose.
My wife suggested that we spend a full day in Arusha after our late night arrival, instead of setting out on safari 9 hours after entering the country. This is a great idea and I would highly suggest it. Safari by Z easily arranged an extra hotel night. Furthermore, our excellent driver, Oscar, volunteered to stop by on this "pre-safari" day and take us on a city tour which was much appreciated.
We can't say enough good things about our guide/driver, Oscar. He indicated that he was matched to us because like us, he also has several children. They try to match the demographics of guides with the demographics of the client. It is our understanding that Oscar is the most experienced guide in the Safari by Z lineup. His level of experience was very apparent. He clearly knew many of the drivers from other companies and talked to them frequently in passing and on the radio. This exchange of information led to additional animal sightings (at least 6 leopards, 5 cheetahs, many lions, etc). He was very knowledgeable, had a knack for spotting little bumps in trees from a great distance that turned out to be big cats, and was always flexible with the daily plan, according to our wishes. He had a good sense of humor and was always calm and easy going. One day a fuse in the Land Rover blew, bringing us to a stop. Within a short time, Oscar had cut a short piece of wire, bypassed the problem, and had us running again - another part of the adventure that really caused us no trouble. I'm sure all the guide-drivers are great, but if you want someone with 17+ years experience guiding safaris with amazing knowledge of the area ("There is only one more speed bump on this road."), then ask for Oscar.
While we were on safari, we asked to change our post-safari hotel, which had already been booked. Safari by Z handled the change - no problem - mere days before scheduled arrival. The hotels/lodges all have WiFi (of varying quality), but the Land Rover carried its own hotspot which we didn't leave on continuously, but was always available if we asked.
You will see that most safaris involve roughly the same itinerary and use similar lodges. And I'm sure many or most companies deliver a good experience. However, based on our experience, I have no hesitation recommending Safari by Z and would easily choose them (and Oscar) for any future safaris.
We had the best holiday with Safari by Z! LeMomo was a fantastic guide/driver, very informative, safe and engaging! He worked very hard to make sure we saw everything we wanted to. It was definitely a holiday of a lifetime. The booking process was very straight forward- and had lots of options for us to choose from to make it fully customised.
I could not say enough great things about Safari By Z and our guide, Lemomo, in particular! Everything was seamless from the booking process to pickup to the actual safari. The company worked with us until we had the perfect itinerary for the 4 days we would be there. The vehicles are perfectly suited to cater to your every comfort and need. We visited Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park. Lemomo was knowledgeable about each of them, as well as, providing interesting stories about the country's history, local tribes and life in Tanzania. We were able to cover so much territory and see all of the big 5 within the first two days thanks to his knowledge of the animals and where to find them. He was very careful in his driving and we never felt unsafe. He knew exactly how close we could get to different animals and when we should retreat. I can't even begin to describe the positive impact our time with Lemomo had on our trip. I wasn't sure if 4 days would be too much for me, but thanks to Lemomo, I can't wait to come back! P.S. make sure you have him narrate your videos.
What a fabulous way to celebrate our honey moon! From the ease of booking and planning to the fabulous service, Safari by Z we’re exceptional! We wanted to get married on the first day I. Arusha. They organised everything hassle free for us and were even our witnesses! Fadi was an amazing driver. Saw everything we wanted to and more. Baby leopards only a few days old as well as lion cubs and cheetah cubs! 5 leopards and 8 cheetahs in a day as well as too many lions to keep count! Comfortably vehicle, bonus to have wifi all day! Made our honeymoon absolutely memorable - highly recommend! :-)
Safari By Z really exceeded my expectations. Everything was extremely well planned out and our guide, Fadhili, was an absolutely excellent guide and driver. He was able to see things that the untrained eye wouldn't and his wealth of knowledge and experience allowed us to see the most that one could while on safari. He was also extremely patient and drove carefully, never rushing a moment. We were even able to see a pride of lions hunt and kill an African buffalo. We were also able to see several cheetahs and even a leopard that had just killed a gazelle resting in a tree. In addition, all of the planning and accommodation on safari was excellent. The food was second to none. We will definitely be using Safari By Z on our next adventure in Tanzania!
This will be a long review, but after reading many small ones and a lot of research, I hope this comprehensive review helps you experience our safari done in September-October 2022. This is not a paid promotion and I am taking the time to help others.
First thing I started researching for our 7 day safari was on Safari bookings website. Here, I felt that the companies provided were legit and that I was not going to have any problems. There are multiple reviews of each company and a brief overview of what they offer to differentiate themselves from others.
After days of researching (soooo many hours), I came to choose Safari by Z as my tour operator. We were going to book a budget tour, but after hearing my friend’s story of sleeping on a wet bed for a week after a rainfall in the serengeti, we chose to go with the Mid-Range option. Yes, there is a big difference in price, but after our experience, I believe it’s THE way to do a safari.
So after reviewing different companies in the mid-range for 7 days option, I read tons of reviews and I liked the initial plan offered by Safari by Z. I also read in almost all reviews of people being so happy with their driver-guide named Fadhili. So I researched their itinerary and messaged them as I wanted to customize it. We did not want to visit Arusha park and highly suggest you do the same. Emails go back and forth with quick responses and the safari is booked and we asked for Fadhili to be our driver. We have booked a customized 7 day safari in the mid-range option and a private tour, so only my wife and I in the land rover.
I will spare how the meet and greet goes as Safari by Z gave 5* service and the surprise should be kept for you. Any questions you have, they answer so there is no need to go further.
Our itinerary was 2 days Tarangire, 1 day lake Maynara, 2 days Serengeti and 2 days Ngorongoro.
I will not go into detail of every single day what we saw and did as that should be lived by you. Also these are wild animals, what we saw may not be seen by you as these are wild animals.
So let’s speak about Fadhili. I only chose him because people had positive reviews about him on safari bookings and I can confirm that he is AMAZING. This guy is a book about animals. Ask a question, you shall receive an answer. His eyes are binoculars, like spotting a snake in a tree or a lizard on a rock. You will see Fadhili driving slowly on the roads, scanning and looking for anything as other companies are zooming by and missing the opportunities we ended up living. Remember, it’s like we are hunting these animals to capture the perfect picture and admire these animals, so these other companies flying by missed a lion sleeping under a small tree, missed the leopard sleeping on a tree branch, missed a lion eating her meal with her bloody face and paws and sooooo much more. Please note, the safari experience is not the animals nor the park, but your guide. A good guide gets you close to the animals, is at the right spot and is able to satisfy all your needs. We told Fadhili we wanted to see the big 5 and whatever else the parks had to offer. Fadhili listens to the radio as most drivers communicate their findings so we can all share the moment. When we would arrive, sometimes 5 or 6 cars were already parked near the animal, but Fadhili always knew how to get close and we always ended up getting the best angle. This guy is patient, and the more you're interested and in awe, the happier he is and the harder he works to continue that experience. I can talk about Fadhili for hours and he literally made the safari go from amazing to memorable. We always felt safe when he drove on the roads and when we stopped for souvenirs or bathroom breaks. The only thing I can suggest for you is to please let Fadhili be in charge of your Itinerary. He only has your interests at heart, so when he says ‘’we should be up at 5:30 am and leave at 6’’ LISTEN to him. His goal is to make your safari the best one possible and he really strives to do it. Trust him and I promise you can’t go wrong. As soon as you show interest, Fadhili is alive and will feed that interest. We learnt most of the animal names in Swahili, we learned other phrases, tanzanian culture and so much more.
In conclusion, as I mentioned before, Fadhili ended up suggesting not to visit the same park twice as it becomes repetitive. Apart from the Serengeti, he was right not to visit the same park twice. We had no choice with Tarangire as those were the two first days and all the accommodations were reserved but we ended up only going to Ngorongoro once where we got to see a rhino in the distance. He suggested to go visit the Tonga and Hazabe tribe and that was CRAZY. The Hazabe hunt to survive. You experience them hunting an animal, if you’re lucky kill the animal and then skin and eat it. This is their culture, their way of life and being able to experience this was truly unique all thanks to Fadhili. As Fadhili mentions, if you don’t see a specific animal you wanted, who cares, there are too many experiences offered that should be lived.
So thank you Safari by Z for your hospitality, your service and your effort to make sure we are as happy as we can be. All the tented camps and lodges were 5* and could not have been better.
Thank you Mwanaidi for changing our lodge into the Serengeti camp. Hearing zebras eating grass and the hyenas laughing throughout the night was an experience we will never forget.
Fadhili, thank you so much for everything. You are kind and truly were the highlight of our safari. Keep up the great work and I truly hope people appreciate your knowledge and your being. I hope your dreams come true and really hope to see you again. Assante Sana Fadhili.