Frequently Asked QuestionsSafari Tanzania Guide
We have listed information which should help with the planning of your Tanzania safari.
When to come
The best months to visit Tanzania are June through September and late December through February. Because Tanzania is located on the equator, and much of the country above 3,000 feet (915m) in elevation, there are no extremes in temperature and the only humidity exists along the coast. Most of your time in Tanzania will be spent at elevations of 4,500 feet (1,370m) or more above sea level where the nights can be cool, ranging from 45 to 60°F (7-15°C) and days, warm, ranging from 65 to 90°F (18-32°C). The long rains typically occur between April and May and the short rains, late October to December. The coolest months are June and July; the warmest months are January and February.
How to come
There are no direct flights from the United States so a connection is necessary for Europe when flying to East Africa. The most convenient airport is Kilimanjaro International (JRO) which is served by Ethiopian Airlines, Condor Airlines and KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines). Turkish Airlines fly into Kilimanjaro. Ethiopian Airlines connects through Addis Ababa while Condor and KLM fly direct from Europe. Of the three KLM may be the easiest to arrange since they codeshare with Delta Airlines.
A cheaper alternative would be to fly to Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International (NBO) instead of Kilimanjaro, than fly Precision Air to Kilimanjaro International. There are many airlines serving Nairobi, including British Airways, Kenya Airways, SN Brussels Airlines, Air France and Emirates Airlines from Europe. Precision Air (www.precisionairtz.com) is currently the only regional airline providing service between NBO and JRO. You will need to allow one and a half days for travel to East Africa and one day for your return flight home if travelling from the USA.
.The cheapest way would be to fly to Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International (NBO) than take a shuttle bus (riverside-shuttle) to Arusha. There are two shuttles per day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon taking four hours and costing $35 each way.
Whether or not you purchase travel insurance is strictly up to you, but we have provided a site that provides information; Travel Insurance Services to get you started.
We suggest that you check your health insurance policy to make sure you are covered in cases of illness or accident in a foreign country.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has great information on recommended vaccines and further health-related advice for travel in East Africa.
A visa is required for entering Tanzania. You can obtain information on visa requirements (including the current cost) and an application from the Tanzanian embassy located at:
Embassy of the United Republic of Tanzania
2139 R Street, NW, Washington DC 20008
Telephone: (202) 939-6125
Fax: (202) 797-7408
If you have Acrobat Reader you can download a visa application by right-clicking here and save the file (Save Target As..). If you do not have Acrobat Reader, you may download it free by clicking the icon.
When you submit your visa application, include the following items.
original signed passport at least 6 months before expiration
2″x 2″ photograph (passport type) stapled to space provided
Copy of flight itinerary
(print clearly and use day/month/year format for all dates)
How long does it take to get a Visa?
You can actually get one upon your arrival but the recommendation is to get it ahead of time. It typically takes about two to three weeks to get one which includes mail delivery time.
AOE provides three-person tents that are shared by just two people allowing plenty of room for your gear.
The equipment you need to bring is:
- day pack (used for carrying water, extra clothing, etc.) or
- backpack (if you prefer to carry your own personal gear)
- sleeping bag/stuff sack
- sleeping pad
- duffel bag w/ lock (for storing extra gear while on trek)
- large plastic bags (sleeping bag will be bagged for protection from potential rain)
- cap or hat (for shade)
- polypro cap (if visiting Ngorongoro Crater Highlands)
- polypro or wool tops (if visiting Ngorongoro Crater Highlands)
- rain parka (waterproof nylon or Goretex)
- leather hiking boots
- tennis or walking shoes (while in camp)
- poncho (protection for yourself and your pack)
- toiletries (enough for your entire trip)
- sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher)
- flashlight or headlamp
- body towel, face towel (for washing up in camp)
- personal first aid kit
- insect repellent
- one one-quart, wide-mouthed plastic bottles
- water treatment tablets
AOE brings a substantial first aid kit on every trip, but we still recommend that you bring a small personal kit comprised of any medications that you think may need. Below are some suggestions, but obviously, your preferences and the advice of your doctor should influence your choices.
a headache, mild pain (ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin)
upset stomach (Peptobismal, Maalox, Gelusil M or Mylanta; Donnatal for stomach cramps)
colds, allergies (cough drops, Sudafed)
diarrhoea (Imodium or Lomotil will treat the symptom but not the cause; Ciprofloxacin for bacterial dysentery)
cuts, bites (Neosporin, Polysporin)
AOE provides three meals per day and hot/cold drinks for breakfast and dinner. The meals include soup, pasta, meat dishes, bread and fruit. If you have any special menu requests, please let us know so that we may accommodate you! We recommend that you bring some of your favourite snacks too.
While trekking you will be provided with boiled water.
What vehicles do you use for safari?
We have Toyota Landcruisers which have three roof hatches for excellent game viewing. All of our vehicles are equipped with two-way radios to ensure maximum safety and are serviced before and after every safari in our in-house workshop to ensure a minimal chance of a breakdown. Our driver/guides are qualified in tour and guide operations with diplomas from colleges.
Our support fleet is made up of both 110 and 90 Landrovers.
What if someone cancels at the last minute due to illness or unavoidable circumstances?
By that time hotel/lodge deposits have been paid so we cannot offer a full refund but can offer partial credit towards a future trip. We would recommend trip insurance, please refer above “Preparations” for a couple links.
We might be interested in a walking safari for one of our days. What would you propose in that regard?
The best place for a walking safari is Arusha National Park where you can get up close to Giraffe, Dik-Dik and if you desire Cape Buffalo.
What if we are interested "moderate priced, but comfortable" accommodations?
There are many accommodation choices in and around the national parks that fit nearly everyone’s budget and these include both lodges and permanent tented camps. The range of choices allows us to be flexible in our pricing, just let us know your target budget.
We can also provide accommodation while in Arusha at our company headquarters which we call BaseKamp or in our new motel, Moshono Safari Lodge. Located on the outskirts of town, it’s a quiet place to relax but only a few minutes from shops and restaurants.
Local Currency and ATM's
What is the best way to get local currency and are there ATMs available?
There are numerous banks and bureau de change in towns, and most lodges and hotels will exchange currency or travellers’ cheques. Larger denominations get a better exchange rate and some bills will be refused if they are too old (i.e. printed before 2010). There are ATMs available in Arusha at all the major banks.