What is the Daily Routine While on a Safari?
Heading to Tanzania for a safari? You might be wondering what to expect from your schedule. While each safari’s timeline might vary differently, most safaris follow a general schedule that includes game-viewing activities, all your meals, and some evening relaxing time.
Here is a look at what to expect for your safari schedule.
5:00 to 6:00 a.m.- Wake Up and Get Prepared for the Day
Safaris have very early wake-up times. This is because the mornings are some of the best times to see the animals. Once the hot midday sun comes out, the animals like to hide in the shade. So, it’s best to head out for your safari when it’s still cool.
If you have a longer safari, such as a week or more, there might be some days when you sleep a little later.
Most days you will need to be ready before the sun comes up though. Don’t worry though, there is plenty of time to sleep and relax during the evenings and nights.
After showering and getting dressed, you’ll head to the dining hall for a quick breakfast and tea. Some of the fancier lodges and campsites will serve you tea in your room.
This early morning breakfast is usually small and basic as you’ll have a larger breakfast later.
6:00 a.m. to 9 a.m.- Morning Game Drives
These early morning hours will be spent on your first game drive. If you’re doing a walking safari, this is the best time to walk as well since it’s not yet hot. If the morning is extremely cold, the safari guides might wait an hour or so until it warms up.
The guides will take you to the best areas around the park which are common sites to spot the animals. This is the time to tell your guide if there is a specific animal you want to see! They will try their best to find the perfect place in the park where the animal is most likely to be.
During your morning safari activities, water and drinks will be provided.
9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.- Breakfast
Now it’s time for the big breakfast! Depending on where you’re staying, you might be taken back to the campsite or lodge for breakfast. If your accommodation is further away, there will be a breakfast place set up for you.
Staff members will put out tables and chairs and layout the breakfast buffet so it’s prepared for you before you arrive.
Most safari breakfast includes cereals, bread, fruits, meat, and eggs. If you’re having breakfast at the lodge, you can also request things that are cooked to order.
Breakfast is also the perfect time to get to know your safari guide and the other members on your safari!
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.- DownTime
This is your first downtime during the day. You can either get some rest or hang out with the guests at your campsites. Some accommodation places also have outdoor pools where you can relax.
Many people choose to bring some books or a deck of cards for their relaxing time. If you’re at a luxury lodge, this is the time to get massages or spa treatments.
If you have another activity scheduled such as a hot air balloon ride, the guides may take you during this time.
The African sun is starting to warm up the parks so it’s not ideal to see animals as most are hiding away until the sun disappears.
12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.- Lunch
Now it’s time for the second meal of the day. Lunch is usually served at your lodge or campsite. There will be a large buffet just like at breakfast with salads, bread, rice, and meat. There are usually Tanzanian options as well as some Western food choices.
You can either eat your lunch in the dining hall or have the staff bring it to your room if you prefer to be alone.
1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.- Free Time
During these hours, you also have another block of free time. You can plan other activities like a hot air balloon ride, horseback riding, etc. Your lodge and safari guides will tell you about other activities that you can book.
Some people just prefer to relax at the lodge! You can take a nap, make friends with other guests, or explore the campsite.
3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.- Tea Time
Most safaris will serve you afternoon tea and snacks before heading back for another game drive. You’ll be served tea or coffee as well as some cakes and savory snacks.
4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.- Game Viewing
Now it’s time to head back out to where the animals like to lounge! The harsh sun is down for the day and the animals are active again. Just like in the morning, your safari guide will take you to the best spots where the animals are most likely to be spotted.
You might even see some of the same herds as in the morning as the animals naturally migrate throughout the park as the day goes on.
After the sun has set, you’ll head back to your campsite or lodge.
7:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. - Dinner and Entertainment
Dinner will already be waiting for you when you arrive back at the camp. You might be served in the dining hall or an outdoor area depending on the weather. Dinner is a feast with different courses like soups, salads, meat, rice, and dessert.
Depending on your lodge, you might also be served wine and beer. Campsites sometimes have bars where you can purchase beverages.
After dinner, most places offer live entertainment. It’s usually an African dance show or something similar. You’re also invited to dance with them and enjoy your time!
10:00 p.m.- Winding Down and Bedtime
You can go to bed whenever you want during your safari. Most choose to turn in early since you have to be up early in the morning. Some nights, you might want to stay up late talking to other guests around the fire!
The staff stays up as late as you want. It’s often fun to spend time talking to them as you can learn about their lives, Tanzanian culture, and maybe even some Swahili words!
Other Safari Schedules
The above schedule is for those staying within the same park for a few days. Your schedule might look a little different if you’re traveling between parks as you have to include transport time.
If you’re only on a one or two-day safari, your days will be busier with less downtime. For example, a one-day safari usually includes early breakfast, game viewing, lunch, more game viewing, and then back to the campsite for dinner and sleeping.
Shorter safaris will usually serve you lunch and sometimes dinner within the park before heading back to the lodge.
Our Office team and travel consaltnts will always give you an itinerary so you know what to expect! The most important thing is to just enjoy your time.
While on safari, the staff takes care of your meals and needs. All you need to do is show up and enjoy seeing the amazing animals that call Tanzania home.