Preparing for your camping safari in Tanzania
Whether you are on a budget, love the outdoors, or just don't want to have to book your accommodation ahead of time, road tripping with a full set of camping gear in the back of the car gives you a great sense of flexibility. Covered in this section:
- What is included when hiring camp gear from Roadtrip Tanzania?
- Are campsites widely available in Tanzania?
- Do I need to book my campsites in advance?
- How can I book a special campsite in the national parks of Tanzania?
- Tanzania camping fees
What is included when hiring camp gear from Roadtrip Tanzania?
We can equip your Landcruiser with a rooftop tent and electrical fridge. Our rooftop tents fit 2 adults. If your travel group is 3 to 4 person, we can mount 2 rooftop tents on your Roadtrip Tanzania rental car. Or, you can hire a ground tent with either the Landcruiser or RAV4.
The costs for the camp gear hire are €25 /day for the double rooftop tent, €35 /day for two rooftop tents, the or €5 per person / per day for the dome tent. All tents come with a full set of quality camping gear consisting of the following items:
- Folding foam mattress
- Sleeping bag with pillows and bed sheets
- Table and chairs
- Storage box
- 1 gas tank & 1 burner
- Cups, plates & bowls
- Coffee percolator
- Pots, frying pans, cutlery set with knife, can opener, cork screw
- Cutting board
- Dish towel, detergent, washing line & pegs
- Headlights and solar table lamp
What to take on safari - ground tent or rooftop tent?
Can't decide? Read our blog about the pros & cons of a rooftop tent versus dome tent.
Are campsites widely available in Tanzania?
Lodges in the National Parks in Tanzania are expensive. Good to know that Tanzania is a great country for camping safaris! There are numerous campsites all over the country, so it is possible to explore Tanzania on a budget. From basic bush campsites inside the parks to private campsites operated by lodge owners - the latter enabling you to stay at a secured site with good amenities whilst sleeping for a dime. Moreover, the opportunities to camp are year round because of Tanzania's warm climate.
We have listed recommended private campsites at our accommodation overview page. And the Bradt Travel guide that comes with your car rental, is very detailed and lists many campsites. Only the special campsites are not listed in Bradt Travel Guide, as these locations differ per season.
If you want to stay inside the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, the most affordable option is Simba Public Campsite A, the only public campsite on the crater rim. The rest are special campsites or luxury lodges.
The most affordable place to stay inside the the Serengeti are the public campsites. There is a cluster of 7 campsites near Seronera, the central area of the park, and a cluster of campsites in the North at Lobo area. During the migration, this is a good place to stay. It's around 2 hour drive from Seronera.
Do I need to book my campsites in advance?
You don't need to book your public campsites in advance. There are several public campsites in every national park and you will always be assigned a campsite when you arrive at the park entrance. It works a bit different if you want to stay inside the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and/or the Wildlife Management Association (which is Lake Natron). If you want to visit these conservation areas, you need to obtain a reservation quote first, before you can go to the gate to pay for the park entrance. On this reservation quote, you have to mention the campsite where you will be staying.
Roadtrip Tanzania is happy to arrange the Ngorongoro / WMA quote on your behalf. We charge a handling fee of €30 / car for this service. This option is included in the online reservation form when you book a car with us.
How can I book a special campsite in the national parks of Tanzania?
The so-called special campsites are largely reserved by private safari companies who bid on those for the season. As an individual traveller, you can't stay there. The less interesting special campsites are not taken by the safari companies and are available to book by individual travellers.
It is not easy to secure a spot and these camps are more expensive, but you will enjoy a true wilderness experience camping at an isolated location.
If you prefer to stay at a special campsite instead of staying at one of the public campsites, we advise you to spend a day in Arusha before your safari and go to the TANAPA and NCA head office in Arusha ( open from Monday - Friday), and check out what is available and try to secure a spot. There are no facilities ( so also no toilets or showers), and it is hard to locate the sites. There is no possibility to organise the special campsite permit online. Roadtrip Tanzania does not assist in booking special campsites for its clients, apart from keeping the information on how to do it yourself up to date on this website.
Tanzania Camping fees 2019/2010
Public campsites $ 35 per person/night.
Special campsites $50 per person/night.
Private campsites operated by lodge owners charge around $ 10 per person / night.
For a detailed cost overview, check the Tanzania National Parks Website.