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Are there any luggage requirements or recommendations?

We strongly suggest soft-sided luggage while on safari. Most airlines allow up to 48-50 lbs. per checked bag, but policies vary depending on airline.

Can I use my credit card to make purchases?

USD and Euros are accepted and convertible at most banks, as well as various Bureau de Changes located in the main parts of town. As a general note, credit cards are often of little use in Tanzania. When they are accepted, they carry poor exchange rates and are subject to processing fees between 5 and 10 percent. Some banks in Arusha, Dar es Salaam, and Moshi offer ATM facilities to accommodate international credit cards, but again, the rates are typically poor, and the amount that can be withdrawn is limited. Our advice? Plan ahead of time!

Do I need a travel visa to visit Tanzania?

Visas are required. The good news is that they only cost $100 USD per person. Visas can be obtained upon your arrival, but we suggest that you buy them in advance. The requirements for a Visa are expansive and far-reaching, and you'll need documentation such as a flight itinerary, a day-by-day tour schedule, and more.

How can I protect my health?

Malaria is endemic, but it is also preventable. You must regularly apply insect repellent, cover up at sundown, and take anti-malaria prophylactics as advised by your doctor. Bring prescription medicines, spare glasses, contact lenses and solution, as well as sunscreen, a first aid kit, cream for bites/stings, and diarrhea remedy.

Is Tanzania a safe place to visit?

Tanzania is generally a safe country, but it's always important to be aware of your surroundings. Be sure to keep an eye on all of your personal belongings at all times. We recommend that you don't walk around cities or towns at night by yourself — take a taxi instead. You can use the hotel safety deposit box to safeguard valuables; however, if you're questioning whether or not to bring a certain item along, just leave it at home!

Is it safe to eat salads, fruits, and drink the water?

Drink only boiled or bottled water and bottled or canned drinks. Avoid ice cubes and salads. Fruits are typically safe to eat. Follow these tips, and you should find yourself healthy and happy during your trip.

Should I notify my bank before traveling?

It is recommended to notify your bank before using a credit or debit card while traveling in order to prevent your bank from assuming that your card is being used fraudulently and shutting it off. By letting your bank know that you will be traveling, they can add a record to your account and share it with their fraud detection system, which can prevent transactions in unfamiliar locations from triggering a block on your card. This is done as a protective measure against identity theft.

Should I notify my cell phone service provider before traveling?

It is important to understand the roaming rules and rates of your cell phone service provider before traveling internationally, as policies may vary based on carrier. It is recommended to confirm with your carrier that international roaming is activated and to ask about the rates for the specific countries you will be visiting. You should confirm that your mobile phone is compatible with the networks in the country you are visiting, as certain functions (such as text messaging or data usage) may not be available. Ask your carrier about options to track your usage in order to avoid unexpected charges on your bill. Charges for international roaming may not appear on your bill until the next billing cycle after your return.

Should I purchase travel insurance?

Tanzania Adventure Tours recommends that you purchase a travel insurance plan to protect your investment against the unexpected. As with anything in life, it's always smart to take preventative measures when you can. Travel protection plans can include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay, and much more.

Should I tip my tour guides in Tanzania?

While it is not obligatory, leaving a tip for exceptional service is always appreciated. Here are some general ranges for tipping each day, based on the number of people in your party:


1 person – $15 to $30 per day; 2 people - $12 to $22 per person per day; 3 people – $11 to $18 per person per day; 4 people – $10 to $16 per person per day; 5 people – $9 to $14 per person per day; 6 people - $8 to $12 per person per day

At most lodges and camps, there is a tip box located at the front desk. We recommend using it, as opposed to tipping individuals. When on outings, excursions, or camping trips, we advise you to tip safari or activity guides, porters, cooks, and anyone else who needs to be recognized for a job well done!

What clothes should I bring for my Tanzanian safari?

All adventurers should pack lightweight, washable, and neutrally colored clothing. Sun hats and sunglasses are recommended, as well as shorts while on safaris. Long sleeves and trousers are also ideal for preventing insect bites, while sweaters are great to have for chilly morning drives. On public beaches, women should bring a wrap or capris to cover their legs; however, normal swimwear is acceptable while at the hotel. Trust us, it's always best to respect the local culture. If necessary, you can always buy clothes in Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, or Arusha.

What's the climate like in Tanzania?

June through October and mid-December through March, you can expect the weather to be hot and dry with cooler mornings and nights. Short rains can be expected November to mid-December with long rains in April and May; however, the seasons can vary each year. The coastal strip tends to be hot and humid year-round, while temperatures on Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru can drop to below freezing. Come prepared for a little bit of everything!

When's the best time to visit Tanzania?

In Tanzania, when it rains, it pours. Storms typically last for about an hour, usually in the late afternoon. Essentially, during the rainy season it is cooler, cheaper and less crowded in the parks.

Northern Circuit (Arusha, Lake Manyara, Mkomazi, Ngorongoro, Serengeti, Tarengire)

Jan/Feb/Mar — Periodic rains. Elevated costs. Busy; many lodges fully booked.

Apr/May — Rainy season. Lower costs. Slow, few travelers.

June — Rain ends. Average costs. Busy.

July/Aug — Dry season. Elevated costs. Busy; many lodges fully booked.

Sept — Dry season. Average costs. Slower, but still busy.

Nov — Short rains. Average costs. Slower, but still busy.

Dec — Rain ends. Peak holiday costs. Peak holiday season.

South (Mikumi, Ruaha, Selous, Undzungwa)

Jan-Apr — Rainy season. Reduced costs. Slow; many camps closed.

May — Rain ends. Average costs. Busy.

June-Dec —  Dry season. Elevated costs. Busy; many lodges fully booked.

West (Gombe, Katavi, Mahale)

Jan/Feb — Short dry season. Reduced costs. Second best time to visit.

Mar/Apr — Long rainy season. Costs reduced. Some camps closed.

May-Oct —  Dry season. Elevated costs. Peak season; best time to visit.

Nov — Short rains. Costs reduced. Fewer travelers.

Dec — Rain ends. Costs reduced. Fewer travelers.

Zanzibar

Jan/Feb/Mar — Tropical, hot, and humid. High season. Busy; many lodges fully booked.

Apr/May — Rainy season. Lower costs. Slow, few travelers.

June/July — Tropical, hot, and humid. High season. Busy; many lodges fully booked.

Aug/Sept — Tropical, hot, and humid. Peak season. Very busy; many lodges fully booked.

Oct/Nov — Short rains. Average costs. Slower, but still busy.

Dec — Rain ends. Peak holiday costs. Peak holiday season.

Where should I exchange my currency?

The best exchange rates are obtained at the various Bureaus de Changes around the country, especially in Arusha, Dar es Salaam, and Zanzibar. Typically, travelers will receive the best exchange rate for $100 USD bills issued in 2006 or later. Bills smaller than $50 USD will get a worse rate, and those issued before 2006 will most likely not be accepted. Hotels will exchange currency for you, but these are rarely the best rates you'll find. Whatever you do, don't attempt to exchange money on the street and always be conscious of your surroundings while exiting a bank, Bureau de Change, etc.

Will I have access to electricity?

Yes! Since electrical outlets in Tanzania are similar to the United Kingdom, we recommend purchasing a 3-pin UK adapter plug well ahead of your trip date. Most newer laptops, digital cameras, and video cameras do come equipped with a dual voltage power supply, so just be sure to take the initiative to check all your devices in advance. Extra batteries are smart to pack, as well.

Will there be a language barrier?

In many ways, African cultures are near-perfect opposites of Western cultures. When in a rural village, it is important to respect the local culture and people. Most of the Tanzanians you will encounter have had little exposure to foreigners. In all cases, communication is the best path to mutual understanding. If you should run into any problems, feel free to seek advice from your guide. To avoid any issues, we suggest learning a few basic phrases in Swahili beforehand, as it will help bridge the cultural gap.

Jambo – hello

kwa heri - goodbye

usiku — good night

nafurahi kukuona – nice to meet you

tutaonana — see you later

unakaribishwa — you are welcome

ta fadhali — please

asante - thank you

choo — toilet

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