About Us

Tanzania by Firelight Safaris, based in Arusha, Tanzania, has been providing luxury safaris in Tanzania since 1989.  Formerly known as Firelight Safaris, then Firelight Expeditions, and now Tanzania by Firelight, the company began with mobile tented camps in the Serengeti and has since expanded to other areas of Tanzania.

We were the first operator in the Serengeti to utilize custom open-sided safari vehicles which allow for fresh air and, more importantly, an unobstructed game viewing experience.

Eager to show off more of Tanzania and captivated by the enormous wilderness of Katavi National Park, famous for crocs, hippos and huge herds of buffalos up to 2500 in one herd, variety of plains game, we opened Palahala Camp, our luxury tented camp in Katavi, back in 2005.

Aware that a resort on beautiful Lake Tanganyika would allow us to offer “bush and beach” safaris – a unique added dimension that could set us apart from other safari operators – we scouted for the right location.  We bought Lupita Island in 2005 and immediately began planning our resort and villas.  Built using local labor with very little machinery, it took three years and countless man-hours to complete.  The thatched roofs alone required more than 40,000 trips up the steep hill to the rooms.  It opened in 2009 and has received rave reviews and much positive press attention for its remoteness, spectacular lake location, and degree of luxury.

Why Should You Choose Tanzania by Firelight Safaris?

Here are some reasons why you should safari in Tanzania with us.

  • Tanzanian expertise – We live here.  Based in Arusha, our company is Tanzanian-owned and operated.  We don’t do safaris anywhere else and we have a vast and intimate knowledge of Tanzanian geography and wildlife.
  • Ownership of properties – While most operators book into existing camps and lodges, we own our own properties, which gives us more control over our operations and the level of customer service we are able to deliver.
  • Experience – We have been providing luxury safaris since 1989, and have excellent relationships with the national parks, local government and airlines, which ensures smooth logistics and a problem-free safari.  You will be cared for immediately upon arrival in Tanzania until you depart for home.
  • Small size – Our properties accommodate a maximum of 16 guests at Mwanga Moto and Palahala camps and up to 30 guests at Lupita Island, which makes us ideal for honeymooners, families and small- to medium-sized groups.  This makes the experience more personal and intimate, gives us the ability to make special celebrations extra special, and allows us the flexibility to customize or modify the itinerary as needed.  With us, you will feel like you are on safari with old friends.
  • All-inclusive – The obvious advantage is that there are no hidden costs.  With the exception of a few items (see What’s Included), the price we quote you will include all food and beverages (including alcoholic beverages), accommodations, game drives, park fees, internal flights and activities.  There are no hidden fees or upcharges along the way so you can relax and enjoy the experience.
  • Bush AND beach – Our safaris offer an amazing game-viewing experience, and for those wanting a combination of safari and beach, exclusive and remote Lupita Island on Lake Tanganyika is the perfect complement to your time in the bush; activities here include the spa and fitness center, pool, beach, water sports (PADI-certified diving, snorkeling, swimming, sailing, kayaking, and water skiing), games room (pool table, table tennis, dartboard and Fuzball), and a cultural visit to a local fishing village.
  • Environmentally friendly – We operate on the principles of sustainability and eco-friendliness in order to protect the land and environment in which we live and work eg. Solar powered camps, battery back up for electricity, solar water heaters, safe drinking water dispensers (eliminating plastic bottles).
  • Luxurious – Our camps feature king-sized beds with luxury linens, flush toilets and hot showers, gourmet meals and free laundry service.  Our private island resort is even more luxurious, with open-air villas, hot running water and rock waterfall showers, tubs and plunge pools on each terrace, fine dining, spa and fitness center and sunset cruises on the lake.  You are truly pampered from arrival to departure.
  • Exclusive and recognized – Some of the honors we have received include:
    • Chosen by Exclusive Resorts® to operate their 2011 Once in a Lifetime Tanzania vacation series
    • Elite Traveler – The Top 101 Hotel Suites in the World 2011
    • Worth April/May 2012 – Top 10 Island Getaways
    • All three of our properties have five stars on TripAdvisor
    • See our testimonials and find out what others are saying about us.