I posted on trip advisor for about 6 month ago asking for advise about safari operator, trip itinerary and so on. After a lot of research and contact with up to 16 different operators we decided to book with Amani Afrika (yes with a “K”) and their operational manager Godwin.
We are very pleases with pre-trip service as he gave us very fast and extensive replies to all our questions and paid attention to details, our itineraries before and after the safari etc. He gave us a very good impression.
So for the safari we ended up doing a private flying safari with 1 night at central serengeti at a mobile camp (Tanganyika) and another 3 nights (Serengeti wilderness camps) in the northern area around Kogatende. At the central part we were lucky enough to see plenty of up close lions, a leopard, tons of elephants, gazelles, hippos, crocs and other wild life. The animal poulation is very dense at the central parts and one doesn’t need to travel far before it’s time to stop the car and watch some exciting animals. After the first night we had a long drive up north which was interesting as the landscape changed. However, there was not too many animals to look at and the roads were quite rough at times. At the northern part we saw the great migration which was amazing, a 100 000 wild beasts at one spot is unreal. We didn’t see any crossings and apparently the migration has been a bit early the last couple of years (by some operators we were told that the migrations should be at the Grumeti area or Lobo area at that ime (early Aug) but truth was that most animals had crossed the Mara river and was either close to the Kenyan border or already over in Kenya. The northern area has a bit fewer animals (apart from the animals taking part in the migration) and it is farer between the sights. However we saw some amazing stuff. A big group of lions coming just next to the car, 2 beautiful cheetahs, tons of big crocs, zebras, etc. etc.
Both camps was good with great staff and decent food. We all slept comfortable in the tents and it is amazing to hear all sounds at night. Lions, hyenas, zebras, elephants etc.
We did the flights with Coastal aviation and they offered good service and western pilots.
Our driver, Raman, was excellent. Good at spotting animals and tried his best to fins us new stuff. He never complained about our suggestions and drove until we had enough each day. Nice and humble guide, highly recommended.
Overall we can assure that Serengeti is an amazing place and that Amani Afrika offered us a great experience for a decent price! Also have to add that our car was GREAT, didn’t see any one we wanted to switch with for the whole trip. So questions is, when comparing prices, what you get for those extra dollars. Talking about cars, we saw operators using open style vehicles which we don’t think is safe. We had lions so close so if our car was open we would not feel safe.
Apart from that, some tips. Bring a bean bag for your camera, bring warm clothes for evening/morning session, make sure your safari is private and that the car is good, use camps inside the park to avoid extra travel time in and out of the park.
Hope this can be helpful!
I’d love to start off this review by saying that there aren’t enough stars on tripadvisor to give Amani Afrika justice. We LOVED them. My 11 year old son and I both hiked all of the way up to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in March 2013. Temba’s crew was concerned about our safety and health at all times, and helped us feel safe and secure throughout the ascent and descent.
We would like to recommend Amani Afrika to anyone who wants a reliable, locally owned company and excellent service with personal touch. Temba is well known for his community involvement and charitable work for Arusha’s children. He worked with me on our safari itinerary patiently answering endless questions, balancing our dreams with our limited budget. No request was denied!
The best thing about this safari was that it was so personal. As two young girls travelling on our own to Tanzania, we felt very safe in the hands of Amani Afrika. Temba made sure that we were well looked after. He was there to pick us up in his car when our bus arrived in Arusha! Temba then took us to the door of our hotel, and made sure we had everything we needed before he said goodbye!