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Tanzania Safari FAQ

Tanzania Safari FAQ are the common questions asked by many clients about  Safari

Africa for decades has been ranked as one of world stop continent for holiday tours. Tanzania is Authentic Africa, as it contains and represents every part of Africa. Tanzania is a land of superlatives and contracts, something for everyone: From the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro to the fabled Islands of Zanzibar.  You will enjoy game drives, boat safaris, beach tours, wildlife tour, chimpanzee tracking, mountain climbing and much more.

Tanzania is the land of largest and most diverse wildlife concentrations on Earth including the matchless Serengeti plains, Ngorongoro Crater, Katavi and mighty Selous Game Reserve. A lifetime holiday visit to Africa- and specifically to Tanzania for a real adventure to experience the magic of wilderness, and splendor of its wildlife poses several basic questions to most of our clients. Sote Tours & Travel is eager to respond to questions which have been frequently asked concerning Africa and Tanzania Safari.

What are the visa requirements for Tanzania?

Tourist visa is US$50 per person for other countries except American citizens $100 to be paid in cash on arrival or you can apply visa online,which take up to 3 weeks to be approved, citizens of some countries may have to get the visa prior to departure. Make sure you check with your country’s authorities in advance or our immigration website for more details.

Purchase the visa upon arrival is easy, and it is not necessary to arrange everything beforehand. Buying a visa upon arrival does not take much time at all. Forms can be obtained at the airplane/airport/border upon arrival. All you need to do is fill out the form and pay the fee, and you will get a visa stamped in your passport.

Please make sure you have all the necessary jabs. A Yellow Fever jab, for example, is one legal requirement for being allowed to enter the country. It is not necessary to bring any pictures to get your visa, but please be aware that your passport has to be valid for another 6 months after departing from Tanzania.

What vaccinations are needed in Tanzania?

Seek the advice from your medical center or doctor’s surgery regarding vaccinations and malaria prophylaxis. You may also be required to show a Yellow Fever Certificate at the airport when entering Tanzania. Please ensure that you have had this vaccination and remember to bring the certificate

 

Tanzani Safari FAQ

What is the best time of year to visit Tanzania during safari?

We can honestly say that you can have a fantastic Tanzania safari at any time of year – really!

Weve many happy clients travelling with us during the “long rains” of April and May, and the “short rains” of November. Don’t be put off travelling then. It certainly does not rain every day, often the rainfall is at night, and you can still see some amazing wildlife. Moreover, accommodations are cheaper, lodges are less full, and there are less other cars in the national parks.

It can get a little difficult if you want to travel to really remote areas during rainy season, however the roads between Moshi, Arusha, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro and Serengeti are good and well maintained, and still very much passable even during the rains.
The rest of the year is generally dry, though June can also be a little wet.

The mass migration of wildebeest moves from Kenya into the Serengeti in December, January, February and March. This is a very popular time to travel to Tanzania, and can be a spectacular time to visit, with the herds generally attracting a lot of predators and some real wildlife drama.

Note that the river crossings of the wildebeest take place around July or August, however, this is notoriously difficult to predict. It is really just a matter of taking your chances, booking in advance and seeing if you get lucky enough to witness this sight in person.

July, August, September and October are usually very busy (particularly July and August due to school holidays). These months are all dry, mild and, as always, great for wildlife viewing.

Tanzania Safari FAQ

Am I Interested in a Safari? What Should be My Next Step?

Sote Tours organize both Private and Group trekking and safaris. That means, on a private safari, only you and your travel partner(s) will be on the tour.There will also be only you on the transfers and in the safari vehicle. This gives you much flexibility on where to stop and tracing your favorite animals.

Group Safaris may involve people from different localities who do not necessarily know each other it is a collection of travelers. Those who book as a group will travel by themselves as they wish Our company has dedicated so much flexibility on this to suit client’ s needs.

Start from the scratch and work with us to develop a totally customized itinerary and schedule. We are enthusiastically open to side trips, detours, special needs and special plans.

 

Tanzania Safari FAQ

Is Tanzania safe to travel to?

Tanzania is safe but you need to use your common sense and not get too adventurous. Don’t venture to dark alleys or deserted suburbs on your own after dark. Self-driving can be risky, especially after dark. Mugging and carjacking is a possibility.

Be discreet with cash jewelry. Heed to your travel guides advice, avoid isolated areas and always use the common sense approach.

Tanzania Safari FAQ

What is the Great Migration?

The Great Migration is the annual cycle of movement made by over 1.5 million wildebeest, 250,000 zebras and 400,000 Thomson gazelles in their continuous search for water and green pasture throughout the Serengeti ecosystem. Every year, the ungulates follow a fairly predictable migration route however the timing of the movement varies from year to year depending on rain patterns.

Typically, December to May is considered the green season and the migration can usually be found on the plains in the southern and eastern Serengeti. By late May when the plains start to dry up, the migration will head westwards to the Western Corridor and remain there until around July before heading to the Northern Serengeti.

During the height of the dry season from August to October a portion of the migration herd will spill across the Kenyan border into the Masai Mara. Usually by November, the rains will have commenced on the southern plains starting the migration cycle all over again.

What if I am a single traveler?

We’ve no problems in arranging Safaris for single travelers. We do have a slight addition in the price for single supplements costs. If the client wishes, we can try and place them together with other clients in the same car if they have the same itinerary / timings.

How Much Does Safari Cost?

Safaris are costly. Tanzania Wildlife Safaris prices depend on the number of people in the trip, how many days of safari and the level of comfort or luxury.

Tanzania Safari FAQ

What if I want a custom safari?

Sote Tours team would be delighted to work with you to help you and your family, friends or organization build the best possible safari to match your interests and budget. We can organize custom safaris for professional photographers, honeymoon couples and families. Simply ask us!

How early do I have to book a safari in Tanzania?

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 seasons are in a great demand. Advanced booking of between six months to a year is preferred. We will accept last minute bookings but your safari confirmation will be subject to the availability of the accommodations.

Tanzania Safari FAQ

What safari vehicles are used?

Game drives will be in enclosed top-quality four wheel-drive land cruisers with a roof hatch. Each traveler is guaranteed a window seat.

Our Safari jeep, 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.

Tanzania Safari FAQ

What time the game drive start 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 kind of weather can I expect on safari?

The climate of Tanzania is tropical, so warm and generally comfortable weather throughout the year is standard, with the coast experiencing higher levels of humidity than other areas.

Tanzania experiences two rainy seasons, the heavier one being between mid-March to May (the masika rains) and the other in November, December and sometimes January (the vuli rains). As stated above, though, don’t let this put you off travelling at these times of year!

Of course, the mountainous and highland areas of the country are cooler, with temperatures sometimes dropping below 15°C at night during June and July. In this area, it can rain at any time of year (usually in the early mornings if at all).

The island of Zanzibar also receives hot weather all year round, with temperatures ranging from 22-34°C or more. Zanzibar also experiences a rainy season between April-May, when downpours can be quite long and heavy. However, even during the rainy season, there are many burst of sunshine and sunny afternoons, and even whole days.

Tanzania Safari FAQ

Can I travel with children?

Yes! Or at least it certainly can be. Once we see that there are children present on your trip, we will do all we can to make your program as child-friendly as possible.

We can select child-friendly accommodations – this could mean anything from having a great pool, to huge rooms sleeping up to 04 persons, to plenty of space for running round after a long day of game driving. We will plan a program which keeps transfer times to a minimum.

Parents should be aware that most campsites, and some lodges are not fenced, and the responsibility of each child lies with you at all times. If travelling with very young kids, we can also provide car-seats for use inside the safari vehicle, and baby carriers.

What is the difference between basic camping,wilderness camping, tented camps and luxury mobile tented camping?

There are several different kinds of accommodations we use whilst on safari. Most are self explanatory, and details are given in your proposed itineraries. However, the differences between the kinds of camping can sometimes be confusing

• Basic camping – igloo tents, pitched on public campsites, with sleeping mats with sheets, folding camp furniture, and all food prepared by a professional camp cook. We can hire out good quality sleeping bags at USD 30 per bag.

• Wilderness camping – not dissimilar to basic camping, but pitched on private campsites, and with a little more comfort! We provide larger tents, folding camp beds, “proper” bedding , large towels and portable camp showers, as well as the usual folding furniture.

• Tented camps – semi-permanent tented structures which vary widely in level of luxury. Basic tented camps might be large canvas tents on a plinth or concrete platform, with bed(s), luggage rack, and bathroom. Others might have desks, four-poster beds, luxury outdoor bathrooms, large verandas with coffee table and seating area etc.

• Luxury mobile tented camping – large canvas bedroom tents with four poster beds, veranda and en suite bathroom, private dining tent, bar (with drinks included in the price), private kitchen with dedicated crew to prepare your meals and ensure your stay is truly special. Pitched in special wilderness campsites in locations across Tanzania (though Serengeti is the most popular for this kind of accommodation).

Erected specifically for your safari, and with your own dedicated crew of chef, waiters and camp manager, this is often deemed to be the ultimate in luxurious wild Africa.

How Does Sote Tours and Travel Choose Lodges and Tented Camps on Safari?

We organize your holiday or honeymoon specifically to your requirements. With our detailed knowledge of the country and the lodges we will make sure that you visit the area that you want to see and stay in the lodges most suited to you and your budget.

We also make sure that you visit the right place at the right time of year and take the right type of transport to get to your destination. We have no affiliation with any of the lodges so are totally objective in our choice. We try to visit all the lodges regularly and we judge them solely on quality of the accommodation, service and value for money.

Our experienced and professional consultants are committed to matching your every need, rather than simply prescribing set itineraries.

Do you offer balloon safaris?

Yes, we can include a hot air balloon safari into our programs. In Tanzania they are available at Serengeti (USD 540 per person), Ndutu (USD 540 per person) and Tarangire (USD 540 per person). In Kenya they can be done in Masai Mara (USD 540 per person).

Take-off time is at dawn, you will soar silently over the plains for an hour or so, watching the sun rise on a new African day, and land wherever the wind takes you, where a hot breakfast and a glass of champagne will be enjoyed in the bush.

How are the road conditions in the National Parks?

You will experience bumpy roads when traveling throughout the region and during game drives. This may pose a problem for some individuals with back problems. Please inform us in advance and we can provide additional back pillows for extra comfort.

While our vehicles are customized and equipped for rough roads, we still recommend our guests to always fasten their seat belts at all times, and hold on when standing on their seat to enjoy the view through the popped up roof. Please also make sure that your cameras and other electronic equipment are safely stored at all times in case of any damages due to bumpy roads.

What about snakes and insects?

Snakes are common throughout Africa, but they are seldom encountered on safaris. In bushy or wooded areas, wear boots closed-toe shoes or boots and long trousers to avoid insect bites and minimize risk. If you are staying in a mobile or canvas camp, please make sure that the canvas flap is zipped all the way down in order to prevent insects from entering your tent.

The staff at each accommodation will spray your room while you are out for dinner and it should be as “bug-free” as possible upon your return.

Tanzania Safari FAQ

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.

Tanzania Safari FAQ

Is there any luggage restrictions on charter flights?

Most flights within East Africa have a luggage restriction of 15kg per person in soft or duffel bags. The 15kg per person which includes all hand luggage and bags. Excess luggage may be subjected to $3 per kg if it can be accommodated.

It is important to note that during high peak season the pilot may refuse to carry extra weight. Please carry-on all valuables and do NOT check-in any luggage containing expensive items such as camera equipment, laptops, iPods etc. to avoid theft.

Tanzania Safari FAQ

Can you book my flights?

Unfortunately we do not book international flights, however, all domestic internal flights included in your safari itinerary will be arranged by us but we will need your consent to book on behalf of you.

Do I need Travel Insurance?

Safaris are a considerable investment and we strongly urge you to purchase comprehensive travel insurance. Coverage should include trip cancellation, delay or interruption, lost or delayed baggage, emergency accident, illness and evacuation, 24-hour medical assistance and traveler’s assistance. Sote Tours and Travel does not include travel insurance or any protection plan in its safari price.

Will there be Wildlife Roaming at the Camps and Lodges?

Yes, Bear in mind they are wild and unpredictable. The thought restrains you from getting too adventurous on hands-on when you cross paths with a wild animal. Attacks are rare but discretion is a better part of valour. Exercise caution. Remember it’s their territory and you are the intruder.

Tanzania Safari FAQ

Am I allowed to walk around the National parks?

It is recommended to stay inside your vehicles at all times when you are in the national parks, unless your driver guide find a safe area to stop for lunch, or to stretch your legs. If you are keen on hiking, there are guided walks that are available in Tarangire, Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro. Within the Serengeti National Parks, long walks are not permitted during to conservation reasons, however, some lodgings will offer short walks near the lodge or camp.

What are the park fee regulations?

All park fees and conservation fees have a 24 hours limit. We plan your itinerary according to the park permits paid. Your safari driver guide will brief you the night before and provide suggestions regarding your schedule.

Please note that any penalty fee resulting from the client’s wish to extend their stay will be at the guest’s expense and there is no double entry with the same permit, once you check out the park automatically the permit expire.

What about tipping at the lodge and camps, guides and other safari staff?

Tipping
As for other touristy activities, tipping after safaris is very common. We recommend the following tips per person and day of the safari, from the whole group:

Safari driver-guide: 20-35 USD per day
Safari-cook (for camping safaris only): 15-20 USD per day
Park Ranger or Maasai Guide For Walking Safaris: $20 per vehicle per walk
Maasai Village Visit: $20 per vehicle
Transfer driver in Arusha: $10 per vehicle
Porters/Baggage Handlers: $1 to $2 per bag
Lodge/Camp Staff: $10 per group per day using

At most safari lodges and camps, a tip box will be located in the reception area, and we recommend that you use the gratuity boxes rather than providing individual tips to the staff that directly assist you.

There are many behind the scenes staff ensuring your pleasant stay (cooks, room attendants, housekeepers, security guards, etc.) and by using the gratuity box, your tip will be shared equally among all staff.

Can I have a single room/tent? Do I have to share?

Single supplements are only available on a few select trips and lodge/tented camp accommodated safaris. On most of our trips if you are traveling alone you will share a room or tent with another same sex solo traveler and will not be charged for, a single supplement.

Are there mosquito nets in every lodge or camp?

Just about every lodge or camp provides mosquito nets in their rooms. Usually, a room attendant will prepare the bed (while you are having dinner) by folding down the mosquito net and spraying insect repellent. If you are worried about the mosquitoes in your room, you can always try and ask for insect spray.

Many places located at high altitude have little mosquito activity during the night because temperatures can be very cool. Mosquitoes tend to be most active in the early evening, so wear repellent on your exposed skin, and protect yourself by wearing long sleeves, long pants and socks.

Tanzania Safari FAQ

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 item

Tanzania Safari FAQ

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.

Tanzania Safari FAQ

Can I charge my phone? What type of plugs do I need?

Electricity is available at 220/240 volts AC, 50 Hz. Primary Socket Type: British BS- 1363 (British Standard). Adaptor plugs will be available in some lodges but we advise that you bring at least one with you.Bs1363-non-earthed-plug
Please be aware that the power supply is subject to cuts and voltage fluctuations even in major cities!

On safari, most of the lodges are powered by generators or solar panels and these are often turned off during parts of the day and night to reduce noise and fuel consumption. Please also note that in most camps and lodges, power sockets for charging are only available in the main area.

Will there be WiFi Available?

Most lodging accommodation will have WiFi available. It is important to note that while WiFi is available in most areas, it is most likely not the speed you are used to but should be efficient enough to check email and communicate back home.

Tanzania Safari FAQ

How bad are the tsetse flies?

Tsetse flies are present in Tarangire National Park and also in the Western Serengeti and some parts of the Northern Serengeti. The plains of the Southern and Eastern Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and southern Central Serengeti are tsetse free.

Tsetse fly bites are painful and there are no effective insect repellents. When driving through tsetse infested areas, close your windows and cover up wearing long sleeves and pants and avoid wearing dark blue or black as those colours seem to attract tsetse flies. Some people have allergic reactions to tsetse fly bites and the bite area may become itchy and swell. Benadryl will help with the swelling and irritation.

The common fly will also be present on safari. They are harmless and do not bite and are more of an annoyance than anything else. If you notice a lot of flies around, it probably means the migration is nearby.

The mosquitoes which carry malaria are active in the evening and we highly recommend you take precautionary measure even if you are taking anti-malaria medication by covering up well after sunset with long sleeves, pants and sock and using mosquito repellent which contains Deet.

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 Maasai 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.

 

Tanzania Safari FAQ

Where is the Best Spot In Tanzania for Birding?

The diverse vegetation and tropical climate are not only famous for animals but also for birds. From the dry acacia forest to dense jungle of the country, there are 1100 species of birds residing out of which 23 species endemic and 36 species are internationally compromised.

For best bird watching go to :

• Lake Manyara National Park
• Tarangire National Park
• The Ngorongoro Crater
• Serengeti National Park

Should I bring extra money with me?

Yes, we suggest that you bring some spending money for drinks, snacks, souvenirs and tips. Please only bring USD bills that have been printed from 2009 as earlier dated bills will not be accepted.