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 in Tanzania 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?
- Tanzania camping fees
- 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?
What is included when hiring camp?
The Landcruiser can be outfitted with a rooftop tent or ground tent. The RAV4 can only be equipped with a ground tent. Both tents are supplied with a full set of quality camping gear at a cost of € 25 / day for the rooftop tent or € 5 per person / per day for the dome tent.
An electrical fridge costs € 5/ day and is only possible with a Landcruiser. Please note that we don’t do field repairs or send a replacement vehicle when there are problems with the fridge. Wiring and piping are sensitive and suffer from bumpy roads and dust. The knowledge and equipment (Frigo gas) to repair fridges are sadly not available in the field. We understand it's unfortunate that your fridge stops working. In the rare case that this does happen, do let us know, and the office in the Netherlands will issue a refund for the fridge rental.
Kindly note that Roadtrip Africa does not provide camping gear rental in Tanzania as a standalone service.
A full set of quality camp gear consists of the following items:
- Folding foam mattress
- Sleeping bag with pillows and bed sheets
- Chairs and small table
- Storage box
- 1 gas tank & 1 burner
- Cups, plates & bowls
- Coffee percolator
- Pots, frying pans, cutlery set, knife, can opener, corkscrew
- Cutting board
- Dishtowel, detergent, washing line & pegs
- Solar table lamp
TIP: bring your own head-light
NOTE: It can get chilly at night from mid-June to mid-September, especially when camping at higher altitudes, such as at the Ngorongoro Crater Rim. The sleeping bags provided are thin. It's advisable to bring an extra fleece blanket.
A rooftop tent is easy to set up. Just watch this instruction video.
How to decide what is best: a rooftop tent or a ground tent?
Taking a rooftop tent or a dome tent with your rental car both have advantages and disadvantages and there are a few factors that will determine which one will work best for YOU.
The pro's & con's of a rooftop tent
A rooftop tent is the easiest way to sleep off the ground. This is helpful when your campsite is uneven, the soil is wet or rocky. In wilderness areas, people tend to prefer rooftop tents for putting some distance between themselves and wild animals lurking around at night. However, this is a FALSE sense of security and you will be just as safe in a ground tent that is properly zipped up. Although we understand that perception of safety plays a role here as well….
- You feel safer, which is an argument if you camp inside a game park. Yet, many beautiful campsites are nowadays privately owned sites outside of the safari parks.
- Rooftop tents are quick and easy to set up ( although the ground tents are also set up in a blink of an an eye).
- You need to wrap up your rooftop tent every time you want to use your vehicle.
- Hiring a rooftop tent is more expensive than the ground tent, and requires going with a Landcruiser.
- How is your mobility? For rather stiff people, getting up and down the stepladder of a rooftop tent can be uneasy.
Tanzania Camping fees 2020/2021
- Public campsites managed by TANAPA cost $ 35.40 per person/night.
- Special campsites costs $59 per person/night.
- Campsites outside a national park typically costs around $5 - 15 / tent.
Are campsites widely available in Tanzania?
Lodges inside 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 in the respective National Parks covered in our Destination Guide of Tanzania. Also 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.
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 (such as 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. This option is included in the online reservation form when you book a car with us.
How to book a special campsite in 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.