My wife and I live in northern British Columbia and are planning a safari to Tanzania for 2013. To do an African safari has been a life long dream of ours. We have more time then money and are experienced campers so our plan is to go for 4 weeks on a self guided trip utilizing the campsites at the various parks and reserves. To optimize our chances to see game I thought to hire a guide for parts of the trip. Important to us is to avoid busy areas so we get a feel of wilderness experience. We would also like to see a diversity in ecosystems, such as savannah vs. old growth forest with primates, woodlands vs. river safari. We like to do some photography so would like to be able to spend time to get good shots and create opportunities to get close to animals. The best time for us would be the month of August. Some of the parks that seemed interesting to us are: Gombe, Katavi, Tarangire, Sadaani, Serengeti, Lake Manyara, Mkomazi, Mikumi, Selous, Mahale Mountains, Ruaha.
I hope you can help me with a number of questions we still have;
1. Would Dar Es Salaam be the best place to fly in to?
2. I was planning on renting a Land Cruiser or similar vehicle. Do we need that for what we are planning to do?
3. Where would be a good place to rent the car? What are reasonable rates for renting a Land Cruiser?
4. Should we hire a guide for the whole period to travel with us? Or arrange guides for the specific parks we visit? Where would we find a reputable guide?
5. Can special activities such as night drives, game walks, boat trips and special tent camps be arranged privately and ahead of time?
6. Would a trip including the North and South parks be too much driving for the 4 weeks we have planned?
7. Are supplies, such as water, gas, food, readily available along the way?
Any suggestions are welcome. Thank you in advance for helping us with the planning of our trip.
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4 week Tanzania self guided trip planned for 2013; suggestions please