THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT TANZANIA BEFORE YOUR TRIP
Visas:- Before departure, you can obtain a visa from your nearest Tanzanian Embassy. You can also get your visa on arrival at our major entry points such as: Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar International Airports, Namanga, Tunduma, Holili, Taveta, Sirari and Horohoro. Chinese regulations stipulates that Chinese citizens must obtain their visa before departure.
Health:- Yellow fever vaccination is compulsory for entry into Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar. Visitors are advised to take anti-malaria tablets for beach holidays. Contact your doctor before departure for any special case. Personal insurance is advised. "Flying doctors" facilities are also available.
Tipping and Gratitudes:- As a custom, tipping is not compulsory but it is usually expected as a sign of appreciation of good service in lodges, bars and restaurants and permanent tented camps. Safari and trekking guides depend on tipping for a large part of their income, so it is recommended that you bring extra cash for tipping your guide at the end of your safari. A recommended tip average is USD $25 per day but it depends on how much you appriciated the service.
Wildlife viewing Tips:- Some of the best game viewing in all of Africa, can be found in Tanzania. In order to view the greatest amount and variety of wildlife, we provide highly skilled and knowledgeable guides that will tell you about their country, tribal cultures and wildlife behavior. They will also amaze you with their ability to spot animals that you will have trouble seeing with your binoculars. If you are patient and observe the interaction of the animals rather than rushing to check off the next animal on your list, you will have an extraordinary wildlife experience.
Our Tanzanian guides always put client safety first and on roads that are rough and bumpy, they do their best to avoid tire swallowing potholes. Main highways are paved but roads in the safari areas are dirt and usually the main park roads are only graded once a year. Most "travel days", involve less than 4 hours driving time between parks, with light aircraft flights used for longer stretches.
Accommodations:- Accommodations on safari are usually a combination of lodges and permanent or mobile tented camps. "In the bush", and miles from civilization, these luxury camp's and lodges are all unique and in amazing settings. Lodge rooms have complete bathroom amenities as do most permanent tented camps. Mobile camps, can have either private en-suite facilities or shared bathroom and shower tents. Unless you are in a major city, there will be no TV's or phones with outside lines. Electric lights, running on generators, are generally lit for a few hours in the early morning and from dark until 10 or 11 PM.
Food on Safari:- The food on safari is delicious and ranges from simple to gourmet. You can expect lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and wonderful homemade soups. Chicken, lamb, beef or pork are usually served at lunch and dinner as well fish and vegetarian dishes. Breakfast is buffet with lots of tropical fruits, hot and cold cereals, bacon, sausages, mushrooms, breads and pastries and eggs to order. Lunch can be either buffet or served at the table and always starts with soup (If you are off for wildlife viewing your guide will bring lunch box with you). Dinner is usually a 4 or 5 course sit-down affair, although there is no need to dress up. Often your safari guide will join you at meals as you recall your days events.
Climate in Tanzania:- Northern Tanzania enjoys one of the world's most pleasant climates year round. With an elevation of 5000 ft. in Arusha and even higher atop the plateau of the Great Rift Valley. The daytime temperatures are normally between 22 - 27 Celcius in the northern Tanzania. Southern and coastal Tanzania tend to get much warmer, and can be very humid depending on the season ( Normally between 25- 30 C ). There are two rainy seasons but the sun shines throughout the year. Travel can sometimes be difficult during the long rainy season of April and May, but the short rains of November and December are fine for traveling, with short showers usually in the late evening.
The best time to go:- The better times for a safari to Tanzania, are any months but April and early May, during the "big rains", access to some parts of National parks can be difficult. If you want to see the "great migration", then November through March and June through July is excellent. This is when the herds are in the Serengeti. By August they have usually moved up into Kenya's Maasai Mara, coming back down in early November. Patterns will fluctuate in most parks depending on the season and where the "food" is. For example in the dry season during July - October, large concentrations of up over 6,000 elephants, and a variety of other animals, migrate to Tarangire National Park to the banks of the Tarangire River.
Soft and Alcooholic Beverages:- Diet sodas are seldom available in Tanzania. Wine, beer, extra bottled water, sodas and alcoholic beverages are available at all camps and lodges and are usually not included in the trip price. Beer and sodas are inexpensive but premium spirits can be pricey so you may want to bring your favorite with you.
Clothing on Safari:- Comfortable, casual clothing that is lightweight and easy to care for is the best bet while on safari. At cool nights casual wear with light cardigan or pullover for altitude between 1500m in Arusha and 2400m in the Ngorongoro. Walking shorts, long pants, cotton shirts and tees are just right.And, a hat that ties on is recommended. For ladies, shorts are not generally accepted on streets in Africa. There is not a good deal of long walking or hiking on most safaris, so a comfortable pair of walking shoes or tennis shoes and a pair of sandals should be adequate. You will need thorn-proof soles.
Exercises: - Generally there are no places to jog and there will not be much time for exercise, although we do try to include some walking where it is safe and legal. It is possible to do some walking and exercising within the lodge or camp grounds but because the wildlife is "wild" it is not safe to venture away from the grounds. Also, walking in not allowed in the national parks without permission and is usually escorted by an armed guard.
Money and Cash:- The local currency in Tanzania is the shilling. Major credit cards are accepted at hotels and most lodges and camps "in the bush". There are a number of ATM machines in major citities. US dollars, Euros and travelers checks are readily accepted, but small denominations are recommended for cashing at lodges and camps. Changing money at banks can be very time consuming, but there are other authorized dealers or Bureau de Change.
Shopping: - Locally made products are available at good prices. On the mainland, you can find batiks, the Tingatinga paintings, objects in ebony (cutlery, bracelets, sculptures, and furniture), basket ware (baskets, hats, and rugs), beaded Maasai necklaces, precious jewels (gold, diamonds, tanzanite and other stones). In Zanzibar, you can find textiles (wrap-around - kikoi for men and khanga for women), carved chests, perfumes, natural lotions and spices. The tourist areas and Hotels sell a wide range of souvenirs, jewellery.
Water:- Drink only boiled or bottled water, bottled or canned drinks. If camping - bring your own drinking water and all other camping provisions.To keep from getting dehydrated, you will need to drink plenty of fluids. Bottled water is supplied daily in your room or tent and also in the vehicles for game-drives.
Language: - Kiswahili is the national language of Tanzania. While on safari you will pick up such phrases as Habari Gana (How are you?) and Twiga (Giraffe). However English is official and widely spoken but do not expect everyone to speak English. However all our guides are fluent.
Children on Safari:- Children are welcome in Tanzania, including mobile camps and most lodges. We will advise you of any restrictions should you wish delight your children by bringing them on safari. Many families travel with children as young as 5 years old.
Electricity: - Tanzania's past, has left it with several different international standards of delivering power. Electricity is delivered at 220 Volts, but varies on the connections, so be sure to bring a Universal Adapter. Also, if outlets are not available in your permanent tented camp, the main building or bar area will have outlets so you can recharge your camera. You can also bring a cigarette lighter adapter to charge your camera while traveling in your vehicle.
Gifts: - Tanzania, like most of the developing world, has many people who are in need. However, begging is not generally prevalent, though your safari vehicle may sometimes be surrounded by curious children. Tanzanian's prefer that you not hand out money or sweets, as this encourages begging. However, like anywhere, gifts can be given as a true expression of friendship, appreciation or thanks. And trading T-shirts, hats, or offering magazines to locals not uncommon. Tourism brings needed money to the local economy and many of our ground operators work to support local schools and other improvement projects. Please if you are interested, contact us about how you can support these efforts by offering supplies, money and your expertise.
Travelling on your own:- Tanzania is a vast and wild country with a regulated tourism industry. Unlike some areas of South America, South Africa and other wild places, tourists can not go it alone, as a 4x4 vehicle is usually needed, along with park permits, camp permits, lodging reservations, and a gguide to avoid dangers from wild animals.
Railways and Bus travel:- Tanzania has two rail lines. The Tazara line links Dar es Salaam with New Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia via Mbeya and Tunduma. The central line links Dar es Salaam with Kigoma and Mwanza via Morogoro, Dodoma and Tabora. Rail is a safer, though a slower option of travel.
Express and ordinary buses operate along major long distance routes. Express buses are slightly more expensive but are more comfortable. Ordinary buses tend to make more stops. Reservations are not always possible, so get to the bus with plenty of time before the scheduled departure. Buses are not permitted to operate at night.
Airports:- Domestic air services operate between the major airports:
Dar es Salaam (DAR)
Kishni, Zanzibar (ZNZ)
There are a total of 129 in Tanzania, of which only ten are paved. Air services have become the most significant form of internal transport for official and business travel. Small planes, from charter companies, fly to towns and to bush airstrips