Frequently Asked Questions
How are the road conditions in the National Parks?
Roads in Tanzania are generally not paved especially inside the national parks. You should be prepared to ride over rough and bumpy roads during game drives and some transfers. However this is part of your African massage, which you only get in Africa.
How is shopping done in Tanzania?
Tanzania offers a lot of locally handmade crafts. During your visit you will have time to shop in various curio shops located along the major roads heading to the national parks. You will see different kinds of carvings, masks, antique, beadwork, paintings etc. If you are fond of jewelry, then Tanzanite, a unique precious gemstone only found in Tanzania, is awaiting for you. It's a beautiful dark blue stone that travelers must have before returning home. Major credit cards are accepted by most of the larger curio shops and you can negotiate the price for most items.
Is electricity available 24 hours in the lodges and camps?
Almost all the lodges and camps use generators for electricity. Some lodges and camps provide power 24 hours a day and some cut power at certain times during the day and at midnight. In East Africa 220-250V systems are used, you will need a universal adaptor for charging your batteries, shaving etc. Power sockets also vary but are usually the three-square pin variety.
Will I need a medical kit when visiting Tanzania?
All of our guides have first aid training, and each vehicle contains a first aid kit. We still recommend you have your own medical kit with various medicines and other items. Your doctor can recommend items to take. We will be in remote areas, so being prepared for anything is recommended.
How do you handle tour members with special needs?
When you book your safari with us, we normally ask tour members of any special need that they may have. Examples are: allergic reactions to certain types of food, a need for full-time electricity at night to run sleeping machine, wheelchairs etc. When we know your specific needs, we can advise you on how best to assist you.
How early do you start your game drives in the morning?
It all depends on the day plan and wildlife pattern at the time of visit. Normally, our game drives start as early as 6:30am or earlier, with a picnic breakfast, lunch at noon, a short break, and then go out again for an afternoon game drive at 4:00pm until around 6:00pm. Sometimes we start the drive at 7:30am or 8:00am, have a picnic lunch, then go safari for the rest of the day. In general, our game drive plans are flexible, we work to provide the best sightings and pace so our guests are comfortable.
What means do I use to pay for my safari?
We prefer wire transfer. A 30% non-refundable deposit is necessary when you book your trip. The remaining balance needs to be paid 90 days before the tour’s starting date.
What is your cancellation policy?
- 30% deposit is non-refundable
29 to 60 days before the trip start date-50% of the safari cost is deducted.
- 15 to 30 days before the trip start date-75% of the safari cost is deducted.
- 14 days or less total cost of the trip.
What is included and not included in your trips?
The tour package covers land only, I.E. lodging and food as shown in the itineraries, all park entrance fees, game drives in 4x4 vehicles, bottled water during game drives and during meals, gratuities for luggage handling and waiters, Masai Village visit, flying doctors and emergency evacuation service. The following things are NOT included: A round trip international flight, Visa fee (you can get a Visa at the country’s entry point but it will involve standing in long lines for between 30-45 minutes, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages, gratuities for your naturalist guide/driver guides and any other items not mentioned in this list.
Would I get an opportunity to meet the local people?
Yes you would, all of our trips include visits with some of the local people so you can appreciate their cultures and traditions. During your trip, you’ll get a chance to visit Masai Villages, local markets, local schools, home visits; when possible. At the end of the day, we want you to learn understand and appreciate what the different cultures have to offer.
What safari vehicles are used?
You will be doing your game drives in enclosed top-quality four wheel-drive land cruisers with a roof hatch. Each traveler is guaranteed a window seat. We have two choices of land cruisers, one can carry a maximum number of 4 passengers and the other can carry 6 passengers. During a game drive the roof will be hatched up for unrestricted viewing. While most safari companies limit the kilometers that you can do on a game drive, ours are unlimited.
Are there luggage restrictions?
Tour members are restricted to one soft sided duffel bag with a weight limit of 44 pounds when packed and one carry-on bag. Hard–sided suitcases are not recommended for our safari vehicles because they are bulky to store. For itineraries that include a local flight, the weight limit is strictly enforced.
How are the accommodations and what is the food like?
Our safari offers a wide choice of accommodation categories to suit your interest and budget. We use standard lodges/tented camps, deluxe lodges/tented camps, and luxury lodges/tented camps.
Each property is beautiful and comfortable in its own way, all of them include bathroom facilities. The rooms are fairly big, furnished with twin beds, (king-size beds are limited, must be requested in advance). A dressing table and wardrobe are safe places to store your luggage. A balcony facing different landscape with a reading table is available for your comfort. Lodges and tented camps found in the national parks use generators for power, while some properties have a hot shower for 24 hours, some have hot showers at a set time, both in the morning and evening.
A selection of western tastes and local food is served with a vegetarian choice available on each meal. Any special dietary requirements can be accommodated with a request in advance. Please see our accommodation page for a description of the different types of accommodations we use.
When is the best time to do safari in Tanzania?
Tanzania has two major seasons; the dry season (June-October) and the wet season (divided into two seasons, short rainy seasons, November-December, and the long rain season, March-May).The peak rainy season is April. Although it is periodically raining during the month, the most adventurous people come on safaris to view wildebeest migration and also take advantage of the low season rates.
Each season provides its own style of adventure. There is no game drive that is alike in terms of animals you will see. Each safari provides different opportunities for national geographic shots. While most animals concentrate around bodies of water areas during the dry season, wet season grazers scatter evenly in various habitats. In a nutshell, ANYTIME is a terrific time to be on a game run. In the African wilderness it is all about being IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME!
What kinds of animals do the Tanzania game parks offer?
More than 35 species of large mammals and over 1018 species of birds MAY BE SEEN in the Tanzania game parks.
Insect life is also very diverse. The Serengeti alone has recorded more than 80 species of dung beattles. If you happen to be on the right spot at the right time, you may also see snakes, crocodiles, lizards etc.
In a typical game run in Northern Tanzania you can expect to see giant African Elephants, Zebras, Buffalo, Giraffes, Antelope, Hippos, Baboon, Monkeys, and cats such as the elusive Leopard, Lion, Cheetah, etc. The African garden of Eden (Ngorongoro Crater) may reveal the rare black rhino and one of highest concentrations of wildlife on Earth. If you are a bird watcher, Tanzania is the destination you should choose. There are many varities of beautiful bird species such as Lilac Breasted Roller, African Hoopoe, Fischers Lovebird, Grey Headed Kingfisher, Pearl Spotted Owlet, Martial Eagle and African Fish Eagle just to mention a few. Most bird watching groups such as the Audobon and others find Tanzania an amazing AVIFAUNA STRONGHOLD!
What is wildebeest migration and can I see it?
Millions of Wildebeest, Zebras and Thomson Gazelles trek through the Serengeti ecosystem (25,000 sq km in size) in search of fresh pasture, water and high productivity hot - spot zones for calving – it's a unique phenomenon to see the movement of such big herds across the Serengeti woodland and plains. If you wish to see the calving of Wildebeest then you should plan to be in the Serengeti around the end of February and the beginning of March (rain patterns are a determining factor). However, the driving force of the herds movement is decided by both weather and rain. The change in the seasonal weather pattern effects not only the location of the migration, but also the size of the migrating herds
Provided the rain pattern does not change (normally), you will have a chance of seeing migration in the Serengeti national park between mid November to end of July depending on what part of the Serengeti you are visiting. In mid-November to April the herds are normally in the south-eastern grassland of the Serengeti. In May and June, the herds will be between the central Serengeti and the western corridor of the Serengeti. In July, the herds will be located in northern Serengeti and will be off to Masai Mara in Kenya at the end of July. If you happen to be in the right place and at the right time, you may see groups of wildebeest ranging between a few hundred to several hundred thousand. You may see big clusters of herds dotting the vast plains of Serengeti, as far as you eyes can see. However mother nature doesn't give guarantees, so our expert naturalist guides do their best to show any possible herds.
We do not guarantee that you will see wildebeest crossing the river like many companies do because the likelihood of seeing that is next to impossible. The filmmakers spend several weeks if not months in one particular location waiting for such an occasion. Not only will you see thousands of migrating Wildebeest, Zebras and Thomson Gazelles and their different behavior, you'll also be able to observe their major predators such as Lions, Hyenas, Leopards and Cheetahs. Vultures are also not left behind, they tend to soar and glide on top of the herds looking for food.
Can you arrange a private tour? How big are your groups?
Yes we can. More than 90% of our safaris are privately operated. We accommodate a minimum of 2 passengers and up to 12 in one departure. However, we accept more than 12 passengers for special requests. We would be very happy to assist you and your family, friends etc, to design the best possible itinerary that matches your special interest and budget. Our set itineraries have been designed specifically to cater to your various interests, however we can discuss how you want your itinerary to be. Tell us your budget and we will be happy to advise you on what your budget would allow. We are flexible and happy to help.
What is the minimum age for children to go on safari?
A child at the minimum age of six is old enough to appreciate what Mother Nature offers. Our selection of itineraries is suitable for families for an experience of a lifetime. On top of our already set itineraries, we can design a tailor-made program for your family preference. Different families have different backgrounds and interests, so every family is different. We're happy to accommodate your wishes.
How is Climate and Weather?
A large part of the country is subject to the influence of the monsoon winds; that is, Northeast monsoon in October-November to January-February and southern east monsoon for a great part of the year. The climate in the northern part of the country is generally dry and sunny with day time temperature in the 70sF and 80sF, evenings are between 60 to 65F. From June to August temperaturse are a bit cooler ranging from mid 50s to mid 70s during the day. Dar es Salaam and coastal plains are hot, but pleasant, while evenings are cool especially in May-October when the climate is superb. High elevation areas such as Ngorongoro highland which is 7300ft, can be as cold as mid 20s in June.
Can you obtain cash using credit cards in Tanzania?
Major foreign currencies such as US dollars, GB Sterling pounds and Euros are accepted and can be converted at banks and 'bureau de changes' in major towns and hotels. Credit cards are accepted by lodges, major souvenir shops, big supermarkets etc. Major tourist towns offer ATM facilities for major international credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard. When you draw money, with your credit card, you'll get local money and not any of the foreign currencies. In Tanzania the money used is Tanzania shillings.
What kind of clothes do you recommend for a safari?
Simple, casual, comfortable and easy to wash clothes (especially clothes made of synthetics or tropical cotton) that will dry overnight. Plan to dress in layers so you can adjust to temperature changes. You may need a wool sweater as well as a warm fleece jacket depending on time of the year that you travel to Tanzania. We will advise you on the proper clothing once you have booked your safari with us. As a rule of thumb, your choice of color is very important for game parks. Neutral/khaki colors are your best choice, avoid wearing dark blue colors or black clothes as these tend to attract biting Tsetse flies.
Long pants, shorts, long and short sleeve shirts, are all comfortable, supportive shoes and hats are recommended. Sun glasses, sunscreen, insect repellent are a must. To make your vacation as convenient and as pleasant as possible please review list of travel gear here
How early do I have to book a safari in Tanzania
with your company?
We strongly suggest you book your safari as far in advance as possible especially if you are coming during the peak season and high season (June-March). This will help us handle the different logistics of your trip; especially your accommodations which during peak and high season are in a great demand. Advanced booking of between six month to a year is preferred. We will accept last minute bookings but your safari confirmation will be subject to the availability of the accommodations.
What vaccinations do I need before I come to Tanzania?
We strongly advise you to consult your physician for a medical checkup several months before your trip. It's wise to inform your doctor that you'll be travelling to Africa especially if you have problems with heart, respiratory, diabeties etc. This trip will take you to elevations between 4000-7600 feet. During your medical checkup discuss the vaccines and medicines you may need. MOST TRAVELERS visiting Tanzania get a yellow fever vaccination and anti-malaria tablets. A visit to CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov.travel
will educate you on different recommendations about preventing illness while traveling.
Do I need a Travel Protection Plan/insurance?
To protect your trip from any interruption or cancellation we HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU to enroll or buy insurance before you leave home. This insurance will give you and your personal effects full coverage for things such as accidents, death, theft etc while on your trip. The tour price does not cover insurance/Travel Protection Plan.