Having the reputation of the best country for a wildlife safari, Tanzania offers unparalleled profound experiences in its National Parks.
As our duty is to take care of our new friends from the time they touch down in African soil to the time they say goodbyes and depart as relatives, we certainly believe that you will have a lot of questions about your trip.
Below we have gathered answers to the most popular questions frequently asked by our friends from Different countries who now are our best friends and relatives.
What is a “Safari” and a “Game drive”
The Swahili word safari means journey, originally from the Arabic adjective سفر (safar) meaning a journey, travelling, touring or voyaging; the verb for “to travel” in Swahili is kusafiri.
A safari /səˈfɑːri/ (Swahili: safari) is an overland journey, usually a trip by tourists in Africa, Therefore an expedition to observe or hunt animals in their natural habitat, especially in East Africa.
Game drive or sometimes also written game drive is a word which is based on two words, namely gameand drive. The word game refers to animals that are not domesticated, the so called wildlife. The word drive refers to a drive with a vehicle.
A game drive is usually part of a safari, a trip or a journey. It can be carried out with own cars like in national parks or game reserves, or it can be a guided tour in specially for that purpose adapted off-roadvehicles lead by a professional safari guide. Those 4 × 4 game viewing vehicles are designed to allow a safer trip for tourists. On farms and lodges however, a game drive is an adventure that entails viewing wildlife in an off road car, always accompanied by safari guides or the farmer himself. They will explain the animal’s behavior and interpret the bush.
Guided game drives mostly take place in the early morning, late afternoon or in the evening, because most animals are more active during cooler times of the day.
What are the accomodation?
Africa captivates us for its beauty and people especially the way in which you can live the wildlife, as a traveller you have an option of immersing yourself directly in them in the camps or in accommodation completely in the wild.
We want to offer this experience to travelers and add the necessary to make it perfect, adapting it not only for those who want a premium or budget but relaxing version of the continent as for those who are more adventurous in search of authenticity and emotions.
Travel to Tanzania ( Airports )
Tanzania has three international airports, one outside the commercial capital Dar es Salaam (airport code: DAR) the other near Arusha (and Mount Kilimanjaro) called Kilimanjaro International Airport (airport code: JRO) and Zanzibar (airport code ZNZ). If you’re planning to visit Northern Tanzania, the best airport to arrive at is Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA). KLM has daily flights from Amsterdam. Ethiopian and Kenya Airways also fly into KIA as does Turkish Airlines. If you’re planning to visit Zanzibar, southern and western Tanzania, you’ll want to fly to the capital Dar es Salaam. European carriers that fly into Dar es Salaam include KLM and Swissair (which codeshares with Delta), Ethiopian, Emirates, South African Airways, Omar Air, Gulf Air, Kenya Airways, Qatar and Turkish Airlines.
Tanzania can also be reached through regional hubs at Nairobi and Johannesburg and to a lesser extent Addis Ababa. There are more flights into Nairobi than Kilimanjaro and a good option also for those heading for the northern parks is to fly into Nairobi and then connect to Arusha by shuttle bus service which operates 2x a day and is very affordable.
On Lake Tanganyika, a passenger service runs from Kigoma to Bujumbura in Burundi, Congo (DRC) and Mpulungu in Zambia.
The Tanzania – Zambia Railway Authority runs a passenger train service from Dar es Salaam to Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia. But note that you will need to change trains at the border. Tanzania has good road links to Kenya and Zambia.
Tanzania is located in East Africa bordering the Indian Ocean, between Kenya and Mozambique. The Capital City is Dodoma (but the commercial capital and largest city is Dar es Salaam). The Population at last census was around 39 million. The official language is Kiswahili with English also being considered an official and is the primary language of commerce, administration, and higher education. There is also Arabic (widely spoken in Zanzibar) and many local languages. The Religion on the Mainland is Christian 30%, Muslim 35%, and indigenous beliefs 35%. Zanzibar is more than 99% Muslim.
Tanzania has a comfortable, tropical climate year-round. In the highlands, temperatures range between 10 and 20 °C (50 and 68 °F) during cold and hot seasons respectively. The rest of the country has temperatures rarely falling lower than 20 °C (68 °F). The hottest period extends between November and February (25–31 °C or 77–87.8 °F) while the coldest period occurs between May and August (15–20 °C or 59–68 °F). Annual temperature is 32 °C (89.6 °F). The climate is cool in high mountainous regions.
Tanzania has two major rainfall regions. One is uni-modal (December–April) and the other is bi-modal (October–December and March–May). The former is experienced in southern, south-west, central and western parts of the country, and the latter is found to the north and northern coast.
In the bi-modal regime the March–May rains are referred to as the long rains or Masika, whereas the October–December rains are generally known as short rains or Vuli. As this country lies near the equator, the climate is hot and humid. The easterlies winds cause rainfall in the eastern coastal region.
Medical Evacuation Covers
As a service, we can also take out a medical evacuation cover for each person travelling that will cover you for 14 days from your date of entry into Tanzania. This cover is for the first 24hrs only of an emergency to cover a medical plane with doctors to bring you from anywhere on your safari location to the nearest best hospital and for the first 24 hrs. of treatment. Prices for this are USD 20- per person and is excellent value for money. More details you can look here. This allows the guests’ time to then contact their own medical insurance companies to then pick up the next step of the insurance. From experience when you are out in the middle of nowhere and something should happen, to obtain your own insurance companies to handle an evacuation is nearly impossible and guests inevitably have to pick up this cost themselves and it’s not cheap. It is therefore part of our exclusive service that we handle and arrange for cover for your first 24 hrs. Please refer here for more information.
Land lines, mobiles; fax, telegram, post and Internet services are available in urban centers and locations popular with tourists. Direct dialing to many countries is available at most hotels in urban areas. In rural areas international calling is through the operator. The country code for Tanzania is 255. Main providers here are Vodacom and Airtel and Tigo and local sim cards are readily available all over Tanzania. Be aware, calling from Tanzania overseas is expensive.
Citizens of the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, and most countries in the EU, need a tourist visa to enter Tanzania. It is advisable to check with your nearest Tanzanian Embassy for clarity. Application details and forms can be found on Tanzanian Embassy websites. Tanzanian embassies issue single and double entry visas (handy if you’re planning to cross over to Kenya or Malawi for a few days). They do not issue visas for more than two entries. Remember your passport must be valid for at least 6 months and have 2 full clean pages left on entry.
Tanzanian tourist visas are valid for 6 months from the date of issue. So planning ahead for visas is a good thing and make sure the visa is still valid for the length of time you plan to travel in Tanzania.
You can obtain a visa at all airports in Tanzania as well as at the border crossings, but it is advised to get a visa beforehand. In order to get a visa you have to have proof that you plan to leave Tanzania within 3 months of your arrival.
You can go to the immigration site for more information and to download a visa application form to save time on arrival.
Citizens of the following countries should receive a so-called referred visa in the nearest Tanzanian diplomatic institution before coming to Tanzania: See the list of updated countries which are eligible for Referral Visas.
Information on requirements for yellow fever for Tanzania is conflicting and often changing so we recommend you to travel with your yellow fever vaccination cards. No immunizations are required by law to enter Tanzania if you are travelling directly from Europe or the US. If you are travelling from a country where Yellow Fever is present you will need to prove you have had the inoculation. To avoid delays however, we highly recommend you carry your yellow certificate with you in any case.
Further to the above, it is also recommended that all passengers see their doctors prior to travel and obtain anti-malarial medication which they should start 7 days before travel so that your body aligns itself accordingly. Please also refer to http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/tanzania.htm
Tanzanians are very well known for their friendly, laid-back attitude. In most cases you will be humbled by their hospitality despite the fact that most people are a lot poorer than you. As you get out and about and into the more frequented tourist areas, you will probably attract your fair share of souvenir hawkers and beggars. Remember that these are poor people who are trying to earn money to feed their families.
Basic Safety Rules for Travelers to Tanzania
- Make a copy of your passport and keep it in your luggage.
- Don’t walk on your own at night in the major cities or on empty beaches especially in Pemba and Zanzibar.
- Don’t wear jewelry just simple earrings/ring/watch/bracelet.
- Don’t carry too much cash with you.
- Wear a money belt that fits under your clothes.
- Don’t carry a lot of camera equipment, especially in the major cities.
- Beware of thieves posing as police officers.
Money/Banks and ATMS
Tanzania’s currency is the Tanzanian shilling (Tshs). There are bills of Tsh 10,000, Tsh 5000, Tsh 1,000 and Tsh 500, and coins of Tsh 200, Tsh 100, Tsh 50, Tsh 20, Tsh 10, five and one shilling (s).
The best currencies to bring is US dollars and bring it in a mixture of large and small denominations, plus some travellers cheques and a Visa card for withdrawing money from ATMs. Euros are also easily changed.
Credit cards are frequently not accepted, even at many upmarket hotels. Where they are accepted, it’s often only with between 3 – 5% commissions, which means that you will need to rely more heavily on cash, ATMs and (in major centres) travellers cheques.
ATMs are widespread in major towns, although they are often out of service so you should always have some sort of back-up funds. Exim bank, Standard Chartered, Barclays, National Bank of Commerce, and Stanbic all have ATMs that allow you to withdraw shillings with a Visa or MasterCard to a maximum of Tshs 300,000 to Tshs 400,000 per transaction. Visa is by far the most useful card for ATM cash withdrawals.
Banks are available pretty much everywhere. CASH US dollars, followed by euros, are the most convenient foreign currencies to exchange for Tshs and get the best rates, although other major currencies are readily accepted in major centres. Note that US$50 and US$100 note bills get better rates of exchange than smaller denominations. 2006 and prior Old-style US bills are not accepted anywhere.