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Wildlife Viewing

This is a discussion of some general wildlife viewing recommendations that we think will provide you with an overall better game viewing experience in terms of quality and quantity of wildlife seen. A good start is your detailed day-by-day safari itinerary, which includes recommendations for duration and areas of game drives based upon the month you will be traveling. Your driver-guide will also provide daily suggestions for game drives and other activities based upon current wildlife concentrations and weather. However, please keep in mind that your private safari is completely flexible and you have the freedom each day to choose your activities and game drives including number, duration and areas of exploration.

The first thing to keep in mind is that the moderate climate in Tanzania creates a comfortable environment for wildlife viewing throughout the entire day. In many parts of Africa, animals are not active during the afternoon because of the excessive heat. This is not the case in Tanzania due to temperate climate and some of the most amazing sightings do happen in the afternoon. However, the overall best time for wildlife viewing is certainly in the early morning from 6.00am to 9.00am when many animals are most active. It is a magical feeling to be game driving during the still dawn as the sun breaks the horizon while a pride of lion stirs to go hunting or a family of elephants begins their daily migration for water and forage.

We highly recommend early morning game drives each day and especially in the Serengeti National Park and Crater. All lodges and camps can prepare breakfast boxes to go (versus breakfast at the lodge) so you can maximize wildlife viewing during these critical early morning hours. Your driver-guide will certainly recommend early morning game drives each day but feel free to decline if you would rather have a more leisurely morning. Additionally, some of the more adventurous may wish to embark on full day game drives to the most remote areas of the Serengeti which will require a lunch box as well.

ADS GUIDE REGGIE TALKS ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF EARLY MORNING GAME DRIVES: In this video, one of our most treasured guides talks about his 14 years of experience in the Tanzanian bush. He shares a story of a close encounter with a female lion and the thrill of early morning game drives. (recorded by an ADS Guest in the summer of 2012)


It is also important to be patient with wildlife viewing. Instead of racing off to each animal sighting, it can be more rewarding to find an animal that interests you and stick close for an hour or longer watching different behaviors and learning about the specific animal. Something exciting will just about always happen and ultimately, you will be pleasantly surprised. Most safaris eventually offer quality-viewing opportunities of all the major large and small mammals. Lastly, please communicate with your driver-guide your specific animal interests and what level of game drives fits your specific requirements. Your guide will bend over backwards to make sure that your expectations are met and exceeded.