FAQs

/FAQs

The unit of local currency is the Tanzania Shilling (Tsh). American dollars in cash or travelers cheques are acceptable in many places around town (Note: AMEX Traveller cheques are often not accepted). Credit cards are accepted only in big hotels, and if you do manage to find a place to use them there will usually be a surcharge of at least 10%. Please do not bring US$ notes issued before 2001, as they are not accepted here!

In Arusha, Dar and Zanzibar there are ATM’s where you can get local currency with your Visa or Mastercard

Our general recommendation is to tip moderately – in accordance with the level and quality of service provided. The following guidelines are generally accepted practice (per person): Safari guide(s) – US $10 per day; Cook 7 US$, Camp staff – US $3 – $5 per day, as a pooled tip to be shared among the housekeepers, waiters, bartender, etc. For porters and waiters at hotels and for taxi drivers in cities, the customary tip is approximately 1 US$. (Tipping in US$1 bills for porters and waiters is greatly appreciated). The traditional gratuity to safari guides or camp staff is not included in the cost of your tour, but is completely discretionary. Beware of unscrupulous people who try to extort extra payment from unwary passengers just for shuffling their bags around.

Please see here regarding tipping on Kilimanjaro climbs

You will get fairly close to a lot of the wildlife, but a good 35 mm camera with a 75-300 zoom lens will certainly help you take some great shots. It is always best to buy your film before you travel, because film here is expensive and not as fresh. 100 – 200 ASA is a good speed for general photography here. Though it can get bright, you might want to be able to get some action shots and the higher speed film will be helpful. Some people also like to use 400 ASA for fast moving animals and evening shots. A beanbag is much better than a tripod for photos from the safari vehicle which has a pop-up or removable roof to make photography easier. A cable release is useful to get shots without camera motion. Also, a flash can help with indoor and campfire shots. Remember to bring extra batteries for your camera equipment. Most people find they take 2 to 3 rolls of film per day whilst on safari.

If you bring a video camera, don’t forget the tapes (very expensive here) and the recharging accessories. You can generally recharge the camera at lodges and from the vehicle.

There are a number of connecting flights within East Africa. Please see International Flights.

Visitors from most countries require a visa in order to enter Tanzania. All visitors can purchase a visa from the Tanzanian Diplomatic Mission in your country, or at the point of entry. You need a passport that is valid for at least half a year.If your purchase your visa at any of the points of entry into Tanzania, you will be required to pay 50 US$ cash. It is a 30 minutes procedure, but can take longer if there are many arrivals at a time. (Also see International Flights)

For More information on Visa, please click links to government websites – Tanzania and Kenya

NOTE: American citizens need to pay US$100, and get only a multiple entry visa (since September 2007)If you intend to fly to Nairobi and then travel on to Tanzania, remember that you may also require a multiple entry visa to enter Kenya, even if it is only for a few hours. The Visa for Kenya and Tanzania is 50 US$ per person for each country (except for American citizens, see above).

Before you leave for an international destination you should consult your physician. You will also need to decide on a malaria prevention medication. It is advisable to take malaria prophylaxis.

Yellow Fever vaccination required since 1st January 2008

The Yellow Fever Endemic Zones include the following Countries:
Senegal, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote D’Ivore, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria, Mali, Niger, Chad, Central African Republic, Togo, Benin, Sao Tome and Principe, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, United Republic of Tanzania, Angola, Zambia, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Somali, Sudan and Equatorial Guinea, Panama, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Guyana, Surinam, French Guyana and Bolivia

Travelers who happen to be on transit in any of the Yellow Fever Endemic Countries will be exempted from the requirement of inoculation against Yellow Fever; Transit means remaining at the Airport under the Management of Airport Authority awaiting travel connection.

YELLOW FEVER VACCINATION ON ARRIVAL AT JRO is provided at entry points free of charge since 2008.Other vaccinations like hepatitis and tetanus are recommended.

In the event that you have special dietary needs, such as diabetes, vegetarian, lactose intolerant, etc. Please let us know in advance, so that we can make the necessary arrangements. Most of the hotels/ lodges are more than willing to cater to your needs if given a sufficient amount of notice. prices of beverages (depending on hotel/location):
bottled water 1,5 l: 1 – 2 US$
soft drinks: 1 US$
beer: 1.5 – 2.5 US$
glass of wine: 3 – 4 US$
bottle South African wine: 15 – 25 US$

Fresh vegetables, seafood and meats make it an exceptional culinary experience. Food is excellent and you will find a good mix of International cuisine, African and European. All types of alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks are sold in most international hotels/ lodges. DO NOT drink tap water, bottled water is preferred.

prices of beverages (depend on hotel/location):
bottled water 1.5ltrl: 1 – 2 US$
soft drinks: 1 US$
beer: 1.5 – 2.5 US$
glass of wine: 3 – 4 US$
bottled South African wine: 15 – 25 US$

Tanzania uses 220 Volt, but you will need adapters. Most hotels have adapters available.

We recommend that you bring light casual comfortable clothes, (please see safari packing list). Ngorongoro Crater, for example, can get rather chilly, in the evenings. In the desert areas and in the months of May-August, it can also be rather cold so bring a sweater and a windbreaker. Generally the nights are cool with temperatures dipping as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit in some areas. Although you will be traveling near the equator, please take our packing recommendations seriously and bring along a light jacket or sweatshirt, sweater, and a fleece pullover. Additionally, bring something warm to sleep in at night.Certain 5-star hotels require a smart dress code for dinner.

Click for Packing list for Safaris or Kilimanjaro climbs.

You get to choose the activity level of your safari. Traditional 4X4 vehicle safaris require little or no physical activity, although you can add all kinds of active adventures to your safari, including an afternoon walking safari, a morning horseback ride, or a boating adventure.Our Walking Safari, and Kilimanjaro Climb, are quite active. These trips include 8 to 10 walking days. Each walking day involves 3 to 6 hours on foot, with a 4X4 vehicle shadowing the group so you can walk as much of that time as you want and ride the rest of the way. On these trips, you also spend some time in a traditional 4X4 vehicle, but these safaris are definitely for people who want to be more active.

Most of East Africa is savannah, comparable to the high plateau, semi-desert areas of Colorado or New Mexico. Altitude ranges from 3,000 to 7,000 feet. (Kilimanjaro climbers will experience much higher altitudes.) Temperatures during the day range from 75 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Nights are cool with temperatures dipping as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit in some areas (for example: Ngorongoro Crater,). Even though you will be traveling near the equator, please take our packing recommendations seriously and bring a light jacket/ sweatshirt, sweater, and a fleece pullover. A the temperature drops at night, bring something warm to sleep in at night. Humidity is low. The islands experience tropical weather and are generally hot/ humid during the day and warm at night, except during the rainy season when it is cool (not cold). If you don’t travel near the rainy season, it usually doesn’t rain.

The migration traditionally follows the rains to take advantage of the new grasses on the plains of the Serengeti and Maasai Mara. (Please Click here for Migration Map) Theoretically, if traditional weather patterns occur annually, the following is a basic idea of how the migration moves throughout the year:

Late December/ Early January – Ndutu Region, Tanzania:Traditionally this is when the calves are born. The migration remains sedentary until April when the calves are strong enough to start moving north.

Early April/ May/ June – Serengeti, TanzaniaThe migration begins moving North-West following the ‘long rains’ across the Serengeti plains towards the Western Corridor and the Grumeti River.

June/ July – Western Corridor, TanzaniaThe animals gather in the Western Corridor

August/ September – Maasai Mara, KenyaThe migration crosses the Grumeti River and moves North-East into the Northern Steppes of the Maasai Mara

October/ November/ Early December – Maasai Mara, Kenya/ Northern Tanzania/ SerengetiAs the short rains begin in Northern Tanzania the migration begins to move South, back into the Kleins/ Lobo region of the Serengeti. From here they follow the rains through to Seronera and end up at Ndutu for the calving season.

Due to the fact that the migration follows the rains there is no hard and fast rule as to where the animals will be and when. Often the animals split into two groups as they move, resulting in one group moving on the Western side and another group moving on the Eastern side of the Serengeti finally meeting up at Ndutu or in the Mara. Viewing of the migration can not be guaranteed.

Best months to climb Mount Kilimanjaro are considered to be August to October and January to March.

CLIMATE
The climate is tropical on the coast, on the islands and in Selous. It is temperate in the other parks. Temperatures on Mount Kilimanjaro and Meru drop to below freezing.

Late March – Late May: is traditionally the long rainy season. This period is considered the “winter period” in Tanzania.

June – Late October: is the dry season. June, July and August can be very cold on the rim of Ngorongoro Crater. The Islands are lovely at this time of year, the evenings are cool (not Cold) and the daytime hot.

Late October – Mid December: is when the short rains occur. These tend to be in the form of a daily thunderstorm. The Ngorongoro Crater rim has a wonderful climate at this time of year. The Serengeti and Lake Manyara are very warm and the Islands are very hot.

Mid December – March: is summer weather. It is dry and very warm until March. Due to its altitude Ngorongoro Crater is much cooler than elsewhere.

There is no cutoff. However, peak season also gets booked up as far as nine months ahead of time. Mid to late December is a busy time in both Kenya and Tanzania. Outside of peak season, you should have no trouble booking if you schedule your safari at least six to eight months in advance.

Our trips use tiered pricing based on logistics. Getting people into remote areas where the best game viewing exists is more costly when there are only two people in the Safari vehicle (4×4), rather than four or five. Economies of scale result in lower pricing for four or five people traveling together as opposed to pricing for a couple traveling alone. Also, the logistics of moving gear around for a walking safari with numerous bush camps is more complicated and costly than a trip that involves simply staying at a lodge. Our pricing structure is tiered so you pay for the costs of your safari and don’t subsidize other groups.

Our trips have no hidden costs. We don’t quote you a low price and then tell you that, in addition you have to pay your park fees or that in-country transportation is extra(when quoted in the itinerary). When we quote you a trip price it includes almost everything while you are in-country. The few items not included like gratuities, passport and visa fees, and beverages, are as set forth above.

Our package prices range over a wide scale. The price depends on:

• The number of people traveling in the group
• Whether your in-country transportation is by bush plane or 4X4 vehicle
• Whether you choose to stay in lodges or tented camps
• How remote you want to go
• Whether you want to view game from a mobile tented camp
• Whether you want to participate in walking safaris that involve remote bush camps
• If you would like to participate in night game drives

We can work with you to bring your safari within your budget range. Most of our trips are Suggested Itineraries, but you can vary them as you want. Let us know what your budget is and we will do our best to design a trip that gives you the experiences you want within the budget you set.

• International airfare
• Any expenses incurred in conjunction with this trip while in your home country.
• Cost of obtaining required passports or visas: Tanzania US$50pp, Kenya US$50pp. You will get the Visa at your arrival point; your passport needs to be valid at least half a year. American citizens need to pay 100 US$, and get only a multiple entry visa (since September 2007)
• Airport departure taxes: Tanzania/Zanzibar domestic departure tax US$5pp one way, Tanzania/Zanzibar international departure tax US$30pp – payable direct in cash on departure if it is not yet included in your ticket). There is a new ‘security fee’, for domestic flights being 1 US$ per person, for international flights 8 US$.
• Travel Insurance: Please make sure that you obtain a convenient travel insurance in your home country
• Excess baggage fees. Note: Baggage is restricted to 33lbs/15kgs for domestic flights, per person in a soft sided bag on all charter flights.
• Medical expenses, meals or activities not specified in itinerary or indicated as optional activities.
• Gratuities to drivers/guides/tour leaders. Note: Tipping is discretionary based on services provided; Tipping guidelines are: $10 per day for professional safari guides/tour leaders; $3-$5 per day for camp staff, e.g. waiters, housekeepers, which is a communal tip that is shared among the staff); porters – $1; driver/guides – $2-$5); restaurant waiters/waitresses – 10% of bill; hotel housekeeping – $2 per day.

• Full board lodging (3 meals a day) on Safari, whether in hotels, lodges, tented camps, mobile tented camps, or bush camps as specified in your itinerary
• Half board (2 meals a day in Zanzibar)or as per the itinerary
• All your park and game reserves fees, including conservation fees
• Game drives (as per itinerary) in our safari vehicles-window seat guaranteed.
• All in-country transportation as specified in your itinerary, whether by vehicle or bush plane
• Experienced safari/tour guide.
• Excursions, as specified in your itinerary
• Bottled water in our safari vehicles

See here pictures of our Safari vehicles

You can book a suggested Itinerary from our website. These trips offer the convenience of a pre-set itinerary and a fixed price, with flexible scheduling. Travel dates are up to you.

We only organise private Safaris. This means that only you and your travel partner(s) will be in the tour. There will only be you in the transfers, the Safari vehicle and the tours. This gives you flexibility on sites to visit, places to stay and best places to locate your favourite animals.

If the above is not to your liking, you can start creating your own package from scratch and work with us to develop a totally customized itinerary and schedule. We are enthusiastically open to side trips, detours, special needs and special plans.

To confirm a booking we need an advance payment of 40% of the tour price, the remaining balance can be paid prior to arrival or upon arrival in Arusha, Tanzania, but prior to the start of your tour. Please note that we do not accept US$ notes issued before 2000!

Advance payment can be wired to our account in Tanzania. Regarding payment by credit card (Visa or Mastercard), facilities are limited. We therefore discourage credit card payments. However, if it is necessary to pay by card you will be surcharged 10% of the total amount paid. We consider the option of transfer through our bank account in Arusha more feasible. Please let us know the preferred mode of payment you consider so that we can avoid any inconvenience. Also you can make the advance payment by wire transfer and avail the rest on the arrival day in Tanzania before comencement of your holiday.

After receiving your advance payment (or the proof of payment by e-mail) we will start to book all services for you. After confirming all services we’ll get back to you with the confirmation voucher.

Download our booking form