Tailormade Safaris - Northern Tanzania

Arusha, Tanzania

An excellent Arusha-based company specialising in top-end northern Tanzania safaris, including mobile camps in Serengeti
By building highly individual itineraries and avoiding standard tour circuits, the guys at Asilia - who we have been using and recommending since 2005 - are experts at creating the perfect bespoke safari experience in the world-famous parks of northern Tanzania - particularly Serengeti. They know their accommodation, their transport and their wildlife faultlessly, and can book any lodge which takes your fancy, or make their own suggestions if you prefer. They co-own 4 of the best camps (including the gorgeous Olivers, Sayari and Dunia) so getting availability is rarely a problem!

But their real trump card, and the thing which allows you to really get away from the crowds, are their luxury mobile camps including Olakira in the Serengeti. These move with the season, giving you the flexibility to follow the wildlife action in complete comfort, whether in the Serengeti, Maasai-Mara, Ngorongoro, or further afield.

They are also experienced in all sorts of activities besides game-viewing. Fancy your chances spotting lion from a great height? Balloon safaris can be arranged over the Serengeti, followed by a champagne breakfast. If you're an adventurous sort, then you might want to 'star camp' - literally sleep under the stars. You can also walk, canoe, climb Kilimanjaro - just ask.

Why we chose this partner

  • An emphasis on getting away from the well-beaten safari trail
  • Excellent mobile and permanent tented camps, but with the flexibility to stay in lodges too
  • They use customised Landcruisers and Landrovers with spacious seating (only 5 per vehicle), 3 hatches and wide low windows for best game viewing and photography
  • Although they're based in Arusha and specialise in the northerly parks, they can also arrange excellent safaris in the south and west

Please be aware

  • Please be aware that i-escape can only vouch for those properties which are featured and reviewed on our website. For other areas and accommodations, while we do trust our operator to provide the best options for your needs, you should make sure that you are happy with their suggestions before confirming

Best time to go

Tanzania has a tropical climate with hot temperatures and high humidity, especially nearer the coast. The higher you are - and much of the interior is at altitude - the lower the temperature, particularly at night. On the coast be prepared for showers at any time.

From June to September (dry season), the weather is less hot and less humid, but still warm. It's a good time for game viewing and ideal for walking safaris, as animals start to congregate around shrinking water sources. Temperatures become increasingly hot through October, with heavy concentrations of game around lakes and rivers.

From November to May (rainy season), things get increasingly wet and sticky, with April and May having the heaviest rainfall. This is the 'green season' with lush vegetation, full rivers and lakes, and abundant birdlife and wild flowers, as well as baby animals.

Our top tips

One of the things we love about Asilia is their genuine eco- and social commitment; through their US$5 conservation charge, they support long-term sustainable projects, including several reforestation ventures and staff training, to improve the lives of those living locally.

Pack light, especially if your itinerary includes light aircraft transfers - some of which have a weight limit of 15kg in a soft bag. Bring layers (a mixture of long and short sleeves, in neutral colours), a thick fleece/jumper and light waterproof jacket (it is cold on the early morning game drives), sturdy shoes for game walks, flipflops for round the camp, a wide brimmed hat to protect you from the sun, good sunglasses (the African sun is bright!), a head torch, plug adaptors and charging equipment (camps usually have one or two charging points), a good pair of binoculars, and a kikoy or kanga (can be bought locally) to be used as a scarf, towel etc.

Great for...

Eco
Family
Great Outdoors
Honeymoon
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
Room:

Lodging

Chances are that you'll be staying in at least one of the lovely camps which they co-own (if not, you're missing a trick). Our favourites are Olivers, Sayari and Dunia) - click to read our detailed reviews. Or, to get away from the crowds, book a couple of nights in one of their luxury mobile camps - we love Olakira in the Serengeti.

Other than that, you can be led by their suggestions on accommodation, or browse our reviews and, if any jump out, request that they include them in your itinerary.

In terms of food, most camps offer upscale communal dining at one large table, often around a fire under the stars. Buffet breakfasts start early - from 6 or 6.30 - to slot in with early morning game drives. Lunches might be a ‘boxed lunch’ to allow more time for your game drive, or a light buffet back at camp. Dinners tend to be 3-course affairs with astonishingly good food, certainly at all the camps we've visited! Think steaks with red wine jus and dauphinoise potatoes, chicken curries, spicy soups with daily-baked bread, and chocolate fondant with your coffee. Drinks are usually included in the rate.

Activities

Some of the things we loved:

  • Taking a guided walk around the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater
  • Fly camping in the Tarangire
  • Watching tree-climbing lions
  • Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro
  • Tracking chimpanzees

Activities include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Hiking
  • Horse-riding
  • Hot air ballooning
  • Kayaking
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Safaris
  • Scuba diving courses
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures
  • Trekking
  • Wildlife
Activity:
Kid Friendly:

With Kids

Children are welcome on safari, but this is highly dependent on the camps and lodges you wish to stay in and the activities you wish to do. Tailormade Safaris can advise you when you make your booking enquiry. Bear in mind that you will travel long distances by road so will need to be well prepared. As a guide, children are usually charged 50% of the adult rate for an extra bed in parents' room.

Best for:

Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Extra Beds Available

Transport

Within the camps, most game viewing excursions are in 5- to 7-seater 4WD vehicles. Some are open-sided; others are specially adapted to ensure that everyone has a window.

Between camps, depending on the distance, transfers are either overland in a closed 4WD vehicle with English-speaking guide-driver, or by light aircraft into the nearest landing strip (followed by a short drive to the camp). Each itinerary will specify if it is land or air transfer.

Transport:

Our guests' ratings...

This operator has not yet been reviewed by guests

Itineraries