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    What’s the difference between small group safaris and private safaris?

    11 minutes read
    small group tour Easy Travel tanzania

    Want to know the difference between small group safaris and private safaris? Let us guide you by starting with a scenario.

    Before your alarm can sound, the enticing aroma of scrambled eggs and tea fills the air, coaxing you from your slumber. With your partner by your side, you both emerge gradually from your secluded bush tent, enveloped by the vastness of Serengeti National Park.

    A rumble in your stomach propels you towards the breakfast table, where a piping hot meal awaits. You are welcomed by the four other group members there, ready to start the day’s adventures together.

    Private safaris scenario #1

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    The aroma of freshly scrambled eggs and brewing tea rouses you from slumber, preceding the buzz of your alarm. You and your companion awaken leisurely within the confines of your private bush tent, nestled amidst the expanse of Serengeti National Park.

    With hunger pangs urging you onward, you reach the breakfast table, where a steaming meal awaits. The four other group members welcome you, and you are ready to commence another day of adventure.

    Opting for a group safari infuses the air with camaraderie as each traveller agrees to rotate seats daily; today, fortune favours you with the front seat. A companion from the group offers a chilled bottle of mineral water from the built-in cooler of the vehicle, a gesture of camaraderie and friendship.

    Gratefully accepting, you express your thanks before approaching the breathtaking sunrise. With spirits high, you eagerly anticipate the adventures that lie ahead.

    Alternatively, travellers on a private safari experience a more intimate journey, with the flexibility to tailor the day’s itinerary to their desires. Whether embarking on a remote African safari or exploring with the guidance of experienced safari tours, personalised attention and exclusivity enhance the adventure.

    Private safaris scenario #2:

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    The morning is fantastic, and your group safari private experience begins with a sense of anticipation. As you join your fellow adventurers in the safari vehicle, excitement fills the air for the day ahead. For solo travellers entering a group tour, camaraderie blossoms as you share stories and experiences with newfound friends.

    In the comfort of the safari vehicle, laughter echoes as the group embarks on an unforgettable group trip through the African wilderness. With the intimacy of small group tours, each traveller enjoys personalised attention and the freedom to immerse themselves fully in the safari experience.

    Private safaris or shared safaris? It’s a question of priorities

    Private safaris

    The two safari scenarios above give you a glimpse into the various experiences of waking up to either a small group safari or a private tour. As with anything in life, every choice has its limitations and merits. As you determine what version of safari travel suits you best, ask yourself this:

    What drives your desire to embark on a safari adventure? Are you primarily drawn to the allure of encountering wildlife and exploring remote landscapes, regardless of cost?

    Or do you prioritise experiencing safari within budgetary constraints while savouring memorable moments? Are you open to sharing vehicles and meals with fellow travellers? How much autonomy do you seek in shaping the day-to-day itinerary to suit your preferences?

    Easy Travel offers small group tours and private safaris, and we want you to have all the essential information before deciding. Because we know going on safari is a big deal—quite possibly the most extensive trip of your life—it’s super important to do your homework first.

    To help you, we’ve comprehensively overviewed the distinctions between small-group tours and private safaris. By the end, you will have no issues knowing which category you fit into:

    Small group safaris: The socializing shilling-saver

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    Experiences of a lifetime are about the places you travel to and who you travel with. Some of my most memorable moments abroad weren’t just because I found some paradise. Often, it was about the company I was with and our collective energy that mixed the area with such magic.

    Choosing a small group tour offers financial savings, fosters patience through collaborative efforts, promotes relaxation (thanks to safety in numbers), and facilitates sharing bucket-list experiences with fellow travelers, enhancing the overall journey. Moreover, you’ll forge lasting friendships with individuals from around the globe, united by the profound shared experience of exploring the untamed beauty of Tanzania.

    Opt for a small group tour with Easy Travel—choosing from either Basic or Comfort categories—which entails sharing transportation and resources with a maximum of seven individuals per group, fostering a sense of camaraderie and mutual support. This option is the most economical choice for solo travellers, couples, and groups of three. (Insider tip: For groups of four or more, booking a private tour may offer comparable or even lower prices!)

    Opting for a small group tour offers an invaluable advantage akin to having multiple sets of eyes. It ensures you capture the full splendor of Tanzania without overlooking any of its wonders, whether you’re conquering Mount Kilimanjaro or embarking on a wildlife safari in the Serengeti.

    Private safaris: The intrepid, freedom-seeking romantic

    Tanzania - small group vs private safari in tanzania - what’s the difference between small group safaris and private safaris?

    What could be more impactful than enjoying a safari exclusively with your partner? With Easy Travel’s private tours, you benefit from exclusive access to a safari vehicle and your own personal guide throughout the journey. You can select your preferred amenity level—Basic, Comfort, or Comfort Plus—and we ensure that you are taken to your desired destinations in a bespoke manner.

    While private tours may come at a higher cost, they offer unparalleled customisation, intimacy, and privacy. Our knowledgeable guides possess in-depth knowledge of every corner of Tanzania, yet you have the final say in determining where to go and what to se.

    We’re the pilot with Easy Travel private tours, but you’re the navigator. Learn more about private tours here.

    The bottom line

    Tanzania beckons you eagerly. Right now, this expansive and welcoming country along the east coast of Africa brims with wildlife, towering volcanoes, azure oceans, and inviting sandy beaches that entice your senses and stir your soul. The decision is yours to make: join a close-knit group of fellow adventurers or embark on a private tour where you dictate the course of your adventure.

    Are you outgoing and mindful of your budget? Opting for small groups can offer an incredible experience. Are you less concerned about finances and more focused on privacy and itinerary flexibility? Private tours may be the ideal choice for you. Whichever path you choose, contact us today, and we’ll tailor the perfect experience for you. Tanzania awaits your arrival.

    Getting you there?

    Easy Travel offers many options for you to plan your journey of a lifetime and to witness the Big Five in Tanzania. Our guides have decades of experience and know where and when to go.

    If you thirst for thrill, gear up for a heart-pumping quad bike safari along the region’s winding paths or experience the frothy fury of white-water rafting on its mighty rivers. For those seeking a calm yet captivating endeavor, mount a horse and meander your way through the picturesque landscapes, amazed by the breathtaking views of Mount Kilimanjaro, standing proud as Africa’s tallest mountain.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1. What are the main differences between small group safaris and private safaris?

    Experience the ultimate luxury in West KilimanjaSmall group safaris typically involve joining a predetermined tour with a limited number of participants, offering a balance between social interaction and personalised attention. These tours often depart on set dates and follow pre-planned itineraries, allowing travellers to explore iconic destinations such as the Masai Mara or Ngorongoro Crater with like-minded individuals.
    ro at one of the exquisite safari lodges. These lodges provide comfortable rooms, exceptional service, and stunning views of the surrounding wilderness.

    In contrast, private safaris offer exclusive experiences tailored to the traveller’s or group’s preferences and interests. With a private safari, travellers can customise their itinerary, departure dates, and level of luxury, ensuring a genuinely personalised and intimate adventure.

    2. How do departure dates differ between small group safaris and private safaris?

    Small group safaris typically operate on scheduled departure dates, with tours departing on specific days throughout the year. These fixed departure dates allow travellers to plan their trip and join a group of fellow adventurers.

    In contrast, private safaris offer more flexibility in departure dates, which can be arranged according to the traveller’s schedule and preferences. Whether you’re eager to witness the Great Migration in the Masai Mara or embark on a trek up Kilimanjaro, a private safari lets you choose the timing that best suits your needs and interests.

    3. What national parks can I visit on a small group or private safari in East Africa?

    Small-group and private safaris offer access to East Africa’s most renowned national parks and wildlife reserves. In Tanzania, travellers can explore the iconic Serengeti Park, home to the annual wildebeest migration, or venture into the stunning landscapes of the Ngorongoro Crater.

    Kenya’s Masai Mara is another popular destination known for its abundant wildlife and spectacular wildebeest crossings during migration. For those seeking a unique aquatic adventure, Botswana’s Okavango Delta offers unparalleled opportunities for wildlife viewing and exploration.

    Whether you choose a small group or private safari, you’ll have the chance to immerse yourself in the diverse ecosystems and rich biodiversity of East Africa’s national parks.

    4. How do group dynamics differ between small group safaris and private safaris?

    When preparing your trip to West Kilimanjaro, plan to explore its scenic beauty with well-planneHow do group dynamics differ between small group safaris and private safaris?d itineraries for a Kilimanjaro park safari. Consider spending a few days to immerse in its rich wildlife viewing experiences.

    In contrast, private safaris offer a more intimate experience, with travellers having exclusive access to their vehicle and guide. This allows for a flexible, personalised itinerary tailored to the traveller’s or group’s preferences and interests.

    Whether you prefer a small group’s social dynamics or a private safari’s privacy, both options offer unique opportunities for exploration and discovery in the African wilderness.

    5. Can I expect to make new friends on a small group safari?

    One of the highlights of small group safaris is the opportunity to meet and connect with fellow travellers who share your passion for adventure and exploration. Whether admiring the breathtaking landscapes of the Masai Mara or spotting wildlife in the Ngorongoro Crater, the shared experiences and camaraderie of a small group safari often lead to lasting friendships.

    Travelling with like-minded individuals adds an extra dimension to your safari experience. You bond over unforgettable moments and create memories together in the heart of East Africa’s wilderness.

    6. How does a small group safari offer a personalised experience?

    While small group safaris involve travelling with fellow adventurers, they offer a personalised and intimate experience. With a limited number of participants, small group safaris allow for personalised attention from knowledgeable guides passionate about sharing their expertise and insights.

    The itinerary can be personalised to match your preferences, whether you’re exploring local cultures, tracking wildlife, or climbing Kilimanjaro. You can explore freely in a small group setting and immerse yourself fully in the African wilderness. Flexibility and spontaneity are inherent, ensuring an enriching experience.

    7. Can I climb Kilimanjaro as part of a small group or private safari?

    Absolutely! Both small group safaris and private safaris offer the option to incorporate a Kilimanjaro climb into your itinerary. Whether you’re seeking the camaraderie of a small group or the exclusivity of a personal experience, you can customise your safari to include a hike to Africa’s highest summit. Experienced guides and support staff will accompany you every step of the way, ensuring a safe and memorable ascent of Kilimanjaro.

    8. How does a small group safari accommodate travellers' preferences for local cultures?

    Small group safaris provide ample opportunities for travellers to immerse themselves in the vibrant cultures of East Africa. Whether visiting local villages, meeting with tribal communities, or participating in cultural workshops, small-group safaris offer authentic interactions with the region’s diverse cultures. Travelers can learn about traditional customs, rituals, and lifestyles firsthand, gaining a deeper understanding and appreciation of the area’s rich cultural heritage.

    9. Can I expect a personalised experience on a private safari?

    One key benefit of a private safari is the ability to customise every aspect of your journey to suit your preferences and interests. A private safari offers unparalleled flexibility and personalisation, from selecting your preferred departure dates and destinations to choosing the luxury and accommodation style level. Experienced guides and personal vehicles ensure that you receive individualised attention and can tailor your safari experience to create unforgettable memories.

    10. What are some popular destinations for private safaris in East Africa?

    Private safaris offer access to many iconic destinations in East Africa, including the Masai Mara, Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, and the Okavango Delta. Whether seeking wildlife encounters, cultural experiences, or breathtaking landscapes, a private safari allows you to explore these renowned destinations at your own pace and in the comfort of your vehicle. With the freedom to customise your itinerary and activities, you can design a private safari that exceeds your expectations and fulfils your safari dreams.

    11. How does a private safari differ from group travel?

    A private safari offers a more exclusive and intimate experience than traditional group travel. Instead of sharing vehicles and accommodations with a larger group of travellers, you’ll have the flexibility to travel with your private vehicle and guide.

    This allows for a personalised itinerary tailored to your interests and preferences and ensures that you can explore at your own pace without the constraints of group dynamics. Whether travelling solo, as a couple, or with family and friends, a private safari offers luxury, comfort, and customisation.

    12. Can I explore the Okavango Delta as part of a private safari?

    Absolutely! Many private safaris include exploring the stunning Okavango Delta in Botswana. This unique ecosystem is home to an incredible diversity of wildlife, including elephants, lions, hippos, and many bird species. Travellers can experience the delta’s pristine wilderness on guided game drives, boat safaris, or mokoro (traditional dugout canoe) excursions, allowing for up-close encounters with the region’s natural beauty and wildlife.

    13. How does a small group safari offer a more affordable option for travellers?

    Small group safaris are often more cost-effective than private safaris, as transportation, accommodation, and guiding services are shared among the group members. This makes small-group safaris an ideal choice for budget-conscious travellers who still want to experience the wonders of East Africa without breaking the bank. By joining a small group safari, travellers can enjoy the benefits of group travel while still receiving personalised attention and memorable experiences.

    14. What role do local guides play in small group safaris and private safaris?

    Local guides play a vital role in both small group safaris and private safaris, providing expert knowledge, insight, and guidance throughout the journey. These knowledgeable guides are sincere about sharing their love for their homeland and are invaluable resources for travellers looking to learn more about the region’s wildlife, cultures, and landscapes.

    Whether leading game drives, cultural excursions, or nature walks, local guides enhance the safari experience by providing informative commentary, answering questions, and ensuring the safety and enjoyment of all participants.

    15. Are there opportunities to meet new friends on a private safari?

    Absolutely! While private safaris offer a more exclusive and personalised experience, there are still opportunities to meet and connect with fellow travellers. Whether sharing a meal at a luxury safari lodge, participating in guided activities, or exchanging stories around the campfire, private safaris provide camaraderie and friendship that can enrich your travel experience. Meeting new friends on a private safari allows you to share the excitement and adventure of exploring East Africa’s wild landscapes and creates lasting memories you’ll cherish for years.

    Musaddiq Gulamhussein - Owner - Easy Travel Tanzania

    About the author: Musaddiq

    Meet Musaddiq Gulamhussein, owner of Easy Travel Tanzania, a tour company creating life-changing safari experiences for over 35 years. Musaddiq has explored Tanzania, developing a deep understanding of the local cultures and traditions. Follow his journey and gain insights into the African Safari experience through Easy Travel's social media and blog.

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