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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Tanzania

The main entry points are the international airports Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO, airport for Arusha), Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR, airport for Dar es Salaam) and Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (ZNZ, airport for Zanzibar City). For flights to Nairobi, road and air transfers to Arusha are also possible.

Most of our guests fly with the following airlines:

  • KLM (via Amsterdam to Kilimanjaro or Dar es Salaam)
  • Ethiopian Airlines (from Frankfurt via Addis Abbaba to Kilimanjaro or Zanzibar)
  • British Airways (via London to Dar es Salaam)
  • Oman Air (i.e. from Frankfurt via Muscat to Zanzibar)
  • Emirates (via Dubai to Dar es Salaam)
  • Swiss Air (Dar es Salaam and Nairobi via Zurich)
  • Condor (Frankfurt direct to Kilimanjaro 1x weekly, not during the long rains April / May)
  • Turkish Airlines (via Istanbul to Kilimanjaro, Nairobi and Dar es Salaam)
  • Qatar Airways (via Doha to Kilimanjaro or Dar es Salaam)
  • Lufthansa (via Frankfurt to Nairobi)

However, there are other airlines and options available and we will be happy to help with any questions.

If you plan to start your journey in Arusha, it is recommended to fly directly to Kilimanjaro International Airport. The airport is served daily by KLM and Ethiopian Airlines. For our South Tanzania Safaris or pure beach holidays we recommend the airports of Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar.

If you are planning a Northern Circuit Safari or Kilimanjaro ascent with subsequent beach holiday, we recommend booking an open jawed flight. Either you land at Kilimanjaro Airport (45 minutes drive from Arusha) and fly from Dar es Salaam or Zanzibar back home, or vice versa.

We recommend the following websites for your flight search:

amadeus.net

skyscanner.de

travelstart.co.tz

google flights

Flight search with Skyscanner:

Yes, that’s possible! We have many customers arriving via Nairobi. Please note that this makes more sense for certain trips than others. If you are planning a classic northern safari (e.g. Serengeti) Nairobi is a valid option.

There are shuttle buses (e.g. Impala Shuttle or Riverside Shuttle) serving the Nairobi to Arusha / Moshi connection twice a day (USD 35 per person per direction, 5-6 hours drive) and also private buses that can be arranged for larger groups at any time (USD 350 total per direction, 5-6 hours drive).

There are also flights with Precision Air / Kenya Airways (approx. USD 230-270 per person) from Nairobi intl. to Kilimanjaro intl. airport. The exact price depends on the booking class and time of travel. If you would like to fly from Zanzibar to Nairobi at the end of your trip, Precision Air offers a daily connection at a price of approx. USD 350-370 per person (however, in high season prices can be up to USD 400).

We are happy to help you book your Nairobi – Arusha transfer.

For domestic connections, for example from Arusha or the Serengeti to Zanzibar, we recommend a flight with one of the following specialized safari airlines:

Some airlines allow you to book directly through their company website. Alternatively we recommend the following portals for bookings:

https://www.tripindigo.com/

https://www.travelstart.co.tz/

In general, travellers entering Tanzania require a visa. A tourist visa costs 50 USD for most EU citizens entering Tanzania and is issued on the spot at the airport or border crossing and is valid for 90 days.

There are two ways to apply for a visa:

  • On the one hand, a visa can be applied for at the Tanzanian embassy of a respective country. This application must be made at least four weeks before the start of the trip and costs about 70 Euros. A registration form, a recent passport photo, the passport and a copy of the return flight must be sent to the embassy.
  • The second option is to apply for a visa when entering Tanzania. As many guests choose this option, there may be long queues.

Embassy of the United Republic of Tanzania in Paris, France

The Embassy Of The United Republic Of Tanzania in the United States

The Embassy of the United Republic of Tanzania in the Federative Republic of Brazil

Tanzania High Commission London

The Embassy of the United Republic of Tanzania – The Hague

Botschaft der Vereinigten Republik Tansania in Berlin (auch für Österreich zuständig)

Tanzania Mission – Geneva (Schweiz)

Hepatitis A and B as well as polio and tetanus vaccinations are recommended for Tanzania. In addition to vaccinations, malaria prophylaxis is recommended.

For travellers from countries with yellow fever risk, a yellow fever vaccination is mandatory. This also applies to visitors who wait twelve hours or longer in a country where yellow fever is endangered for a connecting flight to Tanzania (e.g. Kenya).

Please consult your tropical medicine specialist for more detailed information.

Service de Maladies Infectieuses et Tropicales

Tropical medicine UK

Tropical Medicine centers in Germany

We always recommend a travel cancellation insurance as well as an international health insurance. These can be booked with various providers. From experience we can recommend the products of TravelSecure and Europäische Reiseversicherung. Depending on your needs, luggage insurance and travel accident insurance are also valid.

Flying Doctors:

Since the 1950s, the Flying Doctors Society has been conducting medical evacuations from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. This AMREF Flying Doctors Service is the only ambulance in the air with its own doctors and pilots on standby around the clock. In an emergency, they will immediately take patients from the bush to the hospital in Nairobi. For a 14-day safari, this Flying Doctors insurance costs about 26€ per person for all trips to Kenya and Tanzania. This will ensure that you will be taken to the best hospital in the region in case of an emergency. Flying Doctors membership is voluntary and comes on top of your normal travel insurance.

Flights to Kenya and Tanzania are limited and there may be problems getting seats, especially with KLM, if you try to book less than two months in advance. If you want to go on safari during the high or peak season we recommend booking much earlier. Mid December to early January is the peak season in both Kenya and Tanzania. Outside these times you should have no problems booking if you plan your safari about six months in advance. However, should you wish to book a last minute safari, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our safari team may be able to plan your dream trip at short notice.

First select a Safari offer from our website. These tours offer the advantage of a well planned itinerary and the possibility to reduce costs when going on a group safari. Alternatively, you can start from scratch and work with us to develop a fully customized itinerary with your own schedule. We are open to detours, special requests and side trips. Send us an email and take another look at expertly crafted tours if you need any suggestions. Once you have made initial contact with us, a safari consultant will contact you within 24 hours (possibly a little longer on weekends and holidays). This consultant will then remain your contact person throughout the booking process – from the initial enquiry, through development of your ideal safari itinerary, to booking, customer service and feedback after the safari. This way we make the whole process as easy and comfortable as possible.

The national language in Tanzania is Swahili. Due to the numerous native tribes, there are about 130 different languages and dialects. A part of the population also speaks English. Many Safari Guides speak another additional language, e.g. French, Spanish or Italian.

The official currency of Tanzania is the Tanzania Shilling (TZS). Usually there are 50, 100, 200 and 500 as coins and 1,000, 2,000, 5,000 and 10,000 as banknotes. In the non-tourist sectors, payments are usually made in the local currency. Most lodges prefer payments in USD (cash, credit card terminals are not always available in remote areas).

Foreign currency can be exchanged in banks and exchange offices in every major city. Furthermore, Tanzanian Shillings can be withdrawn from ATM, euros or dollars cannot be withdrawn.

Tanzania is one of the safest countries in East Africa. In contrast to Kenya, there is no need to worry about political or religious violence. Valuables, e.g. watches or jewellery, should however be left at home or in the hotel and should not be shown openly. For additional safety we recommended our guests not to leaver their lodges / hotels after 8 pm.

The electricity voltage in Tanzania is usually 230 volts, although voltage fluctuations may occur from time to time. Usually sockets type G (UK socket) are used. Since power outages can occur from time to time, you should recharge your electrical appliances whenever you have the opportunity. Most Lodges and Hotels are equipped with power generators, some remote lodges have scheduled on/off times for these generators.

Most intl. telephone providers usually offer services in Tanzania, but it is very expensive to call, write messages or use UMTS/LTE internet. If you want to use mobile services in Tanzania, we recommend to get a local sim card (costs about $5, including some credit). It can be used for mobile internet and international calls are also possible. However, network coverage in the national parks is not always available. We are happy to assist you to get a sim card (due to recent new legislation, this process is now more difficult).

You can experience a fantastic Tanzania Safari at any time of the year. We have many satisfied customers who travel with us during the ‘long rains’ from April to May and the ‘short rains’ in November. Do not let the rainy season put you off. It does not rain every day, often the rain falls at night and you can still observe wildlife. Furthermore, accommodation is cheaper, the lodges are almost empty and there are much less cars in the national parks. It can be a bit difficult and adventurous if you want to travel to really remote areas during the rainy season. However, the roads between Arusha, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro and Serengeti are well maintained and still passable during the rainy season. The rest of the year is usually dry, although June can be a bit rainy.

The great migration of wildebeest moves from Kenya to the Serengeti in December, January, February and March. This is a very popular time to travel to Tanzania. Note that the wildebeest and zebra river crossings take place around July or August. However, this is very difficult to predict. July, August, September and October are usually dry and mild months and are good for game viewing.

Tanzania is tropically warm and moderate all year round. In contrast to the highlands, there can be a lot of humidity on the coast.

Tanzania has two rainy seasons, the big one between mid-March and May and the small one in November to December, sometime extending into January. Often the showers occur in the morning and after sunset. Therefore it is mostly sunny during the day and it should not deter anyone from visiting Tanzania during the rainy season.

The average temperature is 28°C. During the Tanzanian winter, in June and July, the average temperature drops to 22°C. In Arusha and especially at the Ngorongoro Crater the temperature can drop to 12°C during this time. For example, the beautiful Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge offers heating radiators for every room.

We recommend the following website for the weather forecast in Tanzania:

https://meteologix.com/tz/

Due to the culture of the country, women should definitely cover their shoulders and wear pants or skirts that reach to the knee. This is especially important for Zanzibar and the coastal areas. The show of affections in public (e.g. kissing) should be avoided. Please respect the local culture.

In the premises of our office we have a lockable storage room for the luggage of our Safari guests. Despite all precautions we cannot accept liability for any damages or losses.

Wild animals are by their very nature unpredictable, and the wildebeest and zebras in the Serengeti move depending on rainfall. The famous river crossing (Grumeti and Mara rivers) is even more difficult to forecast. The crossing of the majority of animals takes only 1-2 weeks and can happen at any time within a period of about 6 to 8 weeks. However one should keep in mind – game viewing in Tanzania is excellent all year round. You can find more in our dedicated article The Great Migration in Tanzania.

You have a good chance of seeing the Big 5 in Tanzania at any time of the year (depending on the national parks you visit):

  • Elephants and buffalo live in the national parks Lake Manyara, Tarangire, Ngorongoro, Serengeti and Arusha
  • Lions are found in Lake Manyara, Tarangire, Ngorongoro and Serengeti
  • Leopards are active in the Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Tarangire
  • Rhinos can be seen in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Conservation Area (black rhinos)

Arusha – Tarangire: 1.5 to 2 hours
Tarangire – Lake Manyara: 1 hour
Lake Manyara – Ngorongoro: 1 hour
Ngorongoro – Serengeti: 3.5 to 4 hours

Travel times for the country’s southern parks can be considerably longer. Please talk to our safari advisors for more information.

It is not recommended to drink tap water in Tanzania. Please always use water from retail water bottles, also for brushing teeth. Before your safari starts you will be given the opportunity (on camping tours) to get sufficient supply.

We use normal and extended four-wheel drive vehicles from Land Rover and Toyota (Defender and Landcruiser). Our vehicles are serviced in our own workshop and all have a hinged roof hatch for panoramic view. Each passenger is guaranteed a window seat. None of our vehicles is air-conditioned.

Light-coloured clothing made of cotton or linen to compensate for the temperatures, as well as a hat and sunglasses should not be forgotten. In the evening long clothes should be worn to protect against mosquitoes. Depending on the season, it can also be cool in the evening and rainy during the day, so warm clothing and/or a raincoat may be necessary. It is advisable to wear sturdy shoes, for example comfortable hiking boots or sneakers. It is always a good idea to take as little as possible with you, as storage space is limited, especially when the vehicle is fully booked.

We provide you with everything you need for a camping overnight stay, from blankets, to dinner and tents. You only have to bring your personal clothes, towels, hygiene articles etc. It is always a good idea to take as little as possible with you, as storage space is limited, especially when the vehicle is fully booked.

You can hire the staff of the lodge or the cook on your camping safari to wash your clothes for a small fee.

There are different types of accommodation that we use during a safari. Most are self-explanatory and details can be found in your travel suggestions. However, the differences between the types of campsites can sometimes be confusing:

Camping:

Normal camping on public and private campsites with tents and equipment from the safari company.

Tented Camp:

These are semi-permanent tent constructions whose luxury varies greatly. Simple tented camps offer large tents made of canvas on a base or concrete platform with beds, luggage rack and bathroom. More expensive variants are often equipped with a desk, king size bed, luxurious outdoor bathroom, large veranda with coffee table and seating area, etc.

Luxury mobile tented camping:

Large canvas bedroom tents with canopy bed, veranda and en-suite bathroom, private dining tent, bar (drinks usually included), private kitchen with trained staff to prepare meals on demand. These Luxury mobile tented camps are specially built for your safari and are run by dedicated staff (chefs, waiters, butlers, camp managers). This option is considered the ultimate luxury in the bush.

It depends on the type of your accommodation on safari: electricity is available in all lodges, on some campsites and in some of our vehicles. It is advantageous to bring an extra battery and/or power bank if you are dependent on the electronic devices. We try to provide a supply of electricity at least every 2nd day.

A safari with children is possible and does not involve any particular risks. Our guides are trained in dealing with children, so that everyone has a lot of fun on our safaris. We are happy to select especially family-friendly lodges and beach hotels for you as well as short connections between the national parks, just talk to our safari advisors.

The right equipment can be essential for success of your mountain adventure. Especially the big differences in temperature make flexible equipment indispensable. While at the foot of the mountain it can sometimes be tropical warm, while arctic temperatures await you at the summit.

Normally, you will carry the essentials in a day pack. The main luggage is carried by a carrier. Due to the high humidity we recommend packing the contents of your luggage in plastic bags.

You can find more information in our Kilimanjaro travel guide.

Nude bathing is strictly forbidden and the exchange of affection is not welcome. Please respect the local culture. The ocean is warm enough all year round for swimming and water sports.

Lake Eyasi Sunset
Lioness Tanzania Safari
Zanzibar Beach local fisherboat
Tanzania Sisal plant