I traveled with a friend on an eight day safari to Tanzania and boy was it an experience. The safari tour took us to the main game reserves in Tanzania: Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater (where we saw the extremely rare black rhino), Serengeti National Park and Tarangirie National Park with a few interesting stops on the way. Driving times between the reserves were not as bad as I had first thought with journeys ranging from 2 - 5 hours. Even the longer drives were not bad as there were lunch stops on the way.
Our driver made the experience what it was. It makes all the difference to get an enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide. Ours had been doing safari tours for over 20 years and still enjoyed it. If I could have afforded to give him more tips then I would have done without a doubt.
The accommodation was graded 4 star at all the hotels where we stayed. There could have been a bit more variation in food but it was excellent none the less. All the staff at the hotels were the friendliest I have ever come across and above all they were always willing to help.
The Safari Group was about 20-25 strong so it was a sociable experience as well. You ride in safari vehicles of between 4-6 people so you get to know your vehicle mates.
If you are thinking of taking children on the safari there is no lower age limit. There were a few families there with very small children. However, in order to get the best out of the holiday I would not recommend taking children below the age of about 7 or 8, sometimes a lot of patience is needed to get the best out of the experience. It can also get very hot in Tarangirie National Park even in the 'cool' season which would not really be suitable for young children.
The tour starts and finishes in Arusha which has easy access to both Arusha Airport and the rather small but nice Kilimanjaro International Airport. The Safari is easily combined with beach holidays in Zanzibar, Pemba (flights available from Arusha Airport), Dar Es Salaam and Mombassa (via Nairobi) which allows much needed relaxation time.
Flights to and from the UK are available with Kenya Airways, British Airways, KLM and Virgin Airways (all via Nairobi) and KLM to Kilimanjaro (via Amsterdam) and takes about 8 hours. Connecting flights are operated by Precisionair to Kilimanjaro and takes about 50 minutes. You will be met by your safari company at the airport and transferred to your hotel in Arusha.
Visas are needed to enter Tanzania and takes about 10 days to arrive. I would recommend applying for the visa before leaving. You can get visas on entry however.
Anti-malaria tablets are a must as well as insect repellant. As well as mosquitoes there are the Tsetse flies which need guarding against (don't wear black or blue clothing). All the hotels supplied nets where required. If you are flying via Nairobi you will also need a Yellow Fever Certificate otherwise you run the risk of not being allowed to enter Tanzania.
The best bit of the holiday: Watching cheetah cubs for over an hour!