Dear Adventure Traveller,
We kindly invite you to thoroughly read our Tanzania safari essentials, You will find the information very helpful when planning your Safari holiday to Tanzania.
1. Luggage Complications Flying Into Nairobi -Arusha: It occasionally happens that luggage on international flights into Nairobi/Arusha does not arrive, especially with, but not exclusive to, major airlines that fly from London-Heathrow or in Schiphol (Amsterdam).
Please be aware that this may happen, especially if you have a tight connection in either of these centres, are flying with different airlines with a connection, have a last minute flight change or re-route, or fly from or connect through another African centre.
Please be prepared and keep all important documentation and valuables on your person. As well we recommend a change of clothes in your hand luggage.
If unfortunately this does happen, and your luggage does not arrive, you should be entitled to a limited initial compensation from your airline. In Nairobi & Arusha, the arrival of lost luggage normally takes between 48 and 72 hours after the initial plane’s arrival.
The airlines technically should be responsible to forward your luggage to you, to your hotel or elsewhere in Kenya. You may find that you will be needed to travel to Tanzania to begin your tour, and you still have not received your luggage. Considering that the customer service standards in Kenya are different from home, and that we find that the airlines are not always pro-active in helping luggage in its care be reunited with its owner, it is recommended that you purchase locally the needed items, and hire someone locally to persist with the your airline to retrieve your luggage.
Please see the emergency local contact number, and our local manager will be able to help you organize this, and once your luggage is retrieved, it should be able to be forwarded to you – depending where you are. Please note that any costs that you may incur for luggage retrieval or sending luggage are not the responsibility of Smart Adventures, though we will always strive to assist you in any way possible. You should always keep all receipts and documentation, and contact your airline or insurance provider for reimbursement.
2. Flying with through London-Heathrow to East Africa?
Please note that regardless of the rules in other centres, travellers flying from or connecting in London-Heathrow are currently only permitted one carry-on piece of luggage on board flights to Nairobi. If you arrive to the security gate with 2 pieces, you will be forced to check-in one of them, which may result in complications noted in #1.
This restriction is in place as of the time of writing, though local rules and regulations may indeed change. It is thus advisable to contact your airline directly for the most up-to-date information.
3. Transport: 7-seat 4×4 safari vehicle(s)
Tanzania Safaris are done in private 7-seat 4×4 safari vehicles .With sliding windows and a large pop-up roofs, these vehicles are designed for game viewing. If there is a large group, 2 vehicles will be used, and the group will be split up. Road conditions can run the full range of conditions from new to very poor.
This style of travel is the best under the local circumstances, as the seats are comfortable
and having our own private vehicle allow us the flexibility of making stops when needed, and to stay and watch that crouching lion prepare for an attack.
4 Single Travellers:
We believe single safari travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. For those who opt not to share a room must pay the single room supplement.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact our field operations Manager.
Should you need to contact Smart African Travel during a situation of dire need, it is best to call our Field Operations Manager who is on stand by 24/7. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible. Smart Adventures Emergency Mobile Phone for our Local Office in Arusha, Tanzania +255 784 419343 )
6. What to Take:
You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. Your baggage should be clearly labelled and restricted to one soft compact suitcase, sports bag, or backpack, no larger than 30cm(height) x 30cm(width) x 60cm(length), maximum 15kg, plus a day pack. Luggage limits on airlines are strictly enforced, and due to limited vehicle capacity, the cost of transporting any luggage beyond these restrictions is the responsibility of the client. Please note, if you are traveling with a large amount of luggage and wish to leave a portion of it at the start hotel, this is indeed possible as storage facilities are available.
It is important to pack clothes for warm days and cool evenings, as well as a warm jacket for early morning game drives. Light, quick-drying, practical clothes are advisable for this safari trip. A set of smart casual clothes is also advisable for your time in Arusha.
Tanzania Safaris Packing Tips & Checklist:
Suggested safari Items:
- Fleece or wool jumper/jacket
- Windproof/waterproof jacket
- Small towel and swimwear
- 4 shirts/t-shirts, cool and breathable
- Long-sleeved shirt or sweater for evenings
- 1 pair of shorts
- 2 pairs of long trousers
- 1 pair hiking pants/track pants
- Comfortable shoes
- Sport sandals
- Sun hat, Bandana
- Watch or alarm clock
- Water bottle
- Purification tablets or filter (bottled water is also available for purchase)
- Flashlight or Headlamp (with extra batteries and bulbs)
- Money belt
- First-aid kit (should contain Lip balm with sunscreen, Aspirin, Ibuprofin , Malaria pills, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamine, Antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhoea, rehydration powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
- Toiletries (biodegradable)
- Hand sanitizer gel/Sanitizer wipes
- Toilet paper
- Camera and extra memory card/film
- Extra batteries (recommended)
- Electricity Plug Adapter
- For donation: notebooks, pens, pencils, pins, flags, pictures, postcards from your country for local villagers or children
- Optional Items: reading/writing material, binoculars, cover for backpacks, Maps, guidebooks
Note: A pair of good quality binoculars is absolutely indispensable on a safari so make sure you take your own. Some safari companies do provide them but they might be a little worse for wear after a lot of use and it can be frustrating to have to pass them along to the next person when you actually still want to look at the lion stalking at it’s prey.
- Passport (with photocopies)
- Travel insurance (with photocopies)
- Yellow fever certificate
- Airline tickets (with photocopies)
- USD cash and traveller’s cheques
- Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
- Pre-departure information and dossier
- Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
Laundry:Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels and lodges for a charge. You should write a list of items that you send for washing. It will be difficult for hotels to have your laundry ready if you arrive in the late afternoon and leave the next morning, so the lodge in the Serengeti would be best, since you are there for 2 nights.
Visas: All countries require travellers to have a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Please note that upon arrival in Tanzania, you can obtain a visa at the entry point.The cost of obtaining an entry visa depends on your Nationality (valid for those who would be permitted a Tanzania visa while still in their own country).
This visa is valid for up to 3 months with multiple entries/exits permitted to Kenya and Uganda only. If you are transiting through Uganda or Kenya, you will have to purchase a transit visa en route. These are usually $US20, and valid for 24 hours. Alternatively, for either of these two countries, you may purchase a normal visa for US$30 and US$50 respectively, both of which are valid for up to 3 months. As fees and policies can change, we highly recommend that you contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation.
Countries/Regions of This Trip:
US Currency: American Dollars that are series 1999 or earlier are not accepted and very difficult to change in Southern and Eastern Africa, because of past forgeries. As a result, these notes CANNOT be accepted as Local Payment – please bring large denomination notes ($50, or $100) from year 2000 or more recent.Where these bills are accepted you will find that the exchange would be much lower.
7. REGIONAL INFORMATION
There are generally two rainy seasons – the short and the long rains. The short rains normally occur from late October through November, and the long rains from late March through to early June. A good time to visit is between late June and October when the rains have finished and the air is coolest. Alternatively, from late December to early March is another good time to visit, just after the short rains, but before the long rains; this is the warmest time of the year. The highest season for travellers into the region is in January and February, when the hot, dry weather is generally considered to be the most pleasant.
The electric current in Tanzania operates on 230V, 50Hz.
TANZANIA – Official Statistics
Full country name: United Republic of Tanzania (Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania)
Area: 945,087 km2
Population: 35,329,000-July 2005 est (34,443,603-2002 census)
Capital city: Dodoma
People: 99% native African (over 100 tribes), 1% Asian, European and Arabic
Languages: Swahili, English, indigenous.
Religion: 50% Christian, 33% Muslim, 20% indigenous beliefs
Government: Republic (multi-party state)
President: Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete
Major industries: Tobacco, sugar, sisal, diamond and gold mining, oil refining, cement, tourism.
Major trading partners: India, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Rwanda, the Netherlands, South Africa, Kenya, U.K., Saudi Arabia, China Currency: Tanzanian shilling
The name is made up from an amalgamation of Tanganyika and Zanzibar.
Tanzania is the largest country in East Africa (although not in Africa as a whole, the Sudan is 3 times larger); it’s landmass covering an area of just over 945,087 sq. km (including Zanzibar).
This makes Tanzania about the size of France, Germany and Switzerland combined; 3 times the size of the entire British Isles or one-tenth the size of the whole of the USA.
Tanzania’s population at the last official census was 31.3 million, with approximately one third being classified as “urban”, the population is now estimated to be 36 million.
Agriculture forms roughly half of GDP and agri-products (e.g.: coffee, tea, tobacco, cashew nut, sisal, cotton) some 75% of export earnings. Dodoma, in central Tanzania, is the political capital of the country although Dar es Salaam is the effective trading and business capital, with its safe harbour (“Dar es Salaam” means “Haven of Peace”), international airport and population of some 3.5 million.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
The local currency in Tanzania is the Tanzanian Shilling (TSH). The easiest foreign currency to exchange for Tanzanian Shillings is the $US, however the British Pound and Euro are also widely exchanged as well. Large denomination notes attract the best exchange rates ($US 50, $100). $US notes that are older than year 2000 are not accepted everywhere and can be very difficult to change. As a result, pre-2000 notes WILL NOT be accepted as Local Payment. In addition, $US notes prior to 1996 are worthless in East Africa, as they are not accepted and impossible to exchange.
Travelers’ cheques are almost impossible to change in Tanzania, and often get a lower rate. Debit cards are very useful for cash advances, but you must remember to bring your PIN number (be aware that many ATM machines only accept 4-digit PINs.). The Visa/Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards; it is harder to find machines that accept Cirrus cards.
While there are many ATMs in Arusha, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Africa. Check with your bank. Barclays Bank is known to have the ATMs that accept the most foreign bank cards.
Credit cards can be used in major cities and towns ONLY but please do not rely on them as a method of payment because they are generally not widely accepted. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies.
Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of US dollar cash and cards is best, with traveler’s cheques being your last resort. Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
In Arusha, there are several Bureaux De Change where you can convert international currency into local currency,however make sure that you need to convert the amount that you will need while in the country as Tanzania currency is NOT convertible outside the country.
Having read thoroughly the above travel information your your Safari holiday to Tanzania will be hustle free.