Frequently Asked Questions

  • When is the best time to travel to Tanzania?

    For wildlife safaris the best time to travel to Tanzania is from July to October. This is the dry season when viewing opportunities are better due to vegetation dwindling making the bush less dense while animals congregate around water holes to drink. Keep in mind that this is the peak season and Tanzania attracts a lot of visitors from all over the world so it can be busy plus it’s a more expensive time of year. On the other hand, the shoulder season, November to March is a great time to travel too. Although the bush may be thicker for viewing some animals, this time of year has less visitors and can be more affordable.

  • When is the great wildebeest migration?

    The great wildebeest migration in Tanzania and Kenya is the largest annual migration of around 1.5 million wildebeest and thousands of zebras, antelopes, gazelle, impala and eland. The migration is a result of dwindling grazing making the animals move to greener pastures following the rainfall pattern. This large-scale migration is fraught with dangerous river crossings where predators are lying in wait. The migration continues year round as the animals travel in a circular route from Tanzania to Kenya and back again. The rains in April and May get the herds of wildebeest on the move in the Serengeti on their journey towards the Masai Mara, Kenya. Once they have reached Kenya, they graze in the Mara. In a few months, the vegetation is exhausted and the animals start their journey back to the Serengeti, and the cycle repeats. Consult online how the current year migration pattern is flowing.

  • What languages are spoken in Tanzania?

    Swahili, a Bantu language, is the official language of Tanzania and majority of the population speak it. English is the second official language, spoken by a large number of Tanzanians – a remnant of colonial rule (formerly known as the Tanganyika territory).

  • What currency is used in Tanzania?

    Although Tanzania’s official currency is Tanzanian Shilling, which is accepted throughout the country, US Dollars are also widely accepted in a majority of tourist areas. However, the locals don’t usually accept US dollar notes printed before 2009. We recommend visitors exchange money at authorized dealers in Tanzania plus there are options to use ATMs to get the local currency. Most of large Tanzanian giftshops accept Mastercard and Visa, but not smaller vendors. Bring plenty of smaller USD bills ($1's and $5's) to tip as needed or pay for smaller items.

  • Can I get a visa on arrival to Tanzania?

    Please make sure you have $100 USD (US Citizens for multiple entry visa – required minimum) or $50 USD (non-US Citizens for single entry visas, $100 USD for multiple entry) in cash with a bill newer than 2009. Application forms are available at the ports of entry or border crossings. Please note that this method of obtaining a visa has multiple steps, but it is easy to follow, and does not take a lot of time upon arrival.

  • Can I get an E-Visa ahead of time for Tanzania?

    E-Visa Online Application Process is an option, but please provide 10 business days for your e-visa to be processed and approved. Visa applicants are advised to make their applications through the Official Tanzania Immigration website Use this website ONLY and NOT through any other links.

  • Is Tanzania a family-friendly safari destination?

    Tanzania is a family-friendly safari destination, but there are some safari lodges and camps that have age restrictions for children. When you book a safari tour, discuss this with your tour operator and find out details about the restrictions; it might be a lodge or camp which only accepts children over a certain age, or it could be some of the activities where there are age restrictions such as walking safaris or game drives. Some camps offer children-specific activities for families. In terms of safety, it is quite safe to take your kids on a safari, just ensure that they listen to the guide at all times.

  • Do I need 6 months left on my passport before departing from Tanzania?

    Please make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months from the date of your departure from Tanzania. Also make sure you have sufficient pages remaining in your passport prior to travel (2 blank pages per country on your itinerary).

  • Do I tip my guide?

    Gratuity for your guide is not included in the price of the trip. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to tipping. It is a very personal thing; however, most travelers in 2023 tipped their guide $12-22 per person per day. But you should tip whatever makes you feel comfortable and whatever makes sense to you. Often the co-driver on the safari is given a tip as well, but a smaller amount. If the co-guide is not given an individual tip, the primary guide will share part of his safari tip with the co-guide. Safari Guide tips are preferred in USD and usually given at the end of the safari.

  • What kind of clothing should I wear?

    When you are packing your clothing, pack as little as possible. The climate in Tanzania is moderate to warm throughout the year. You should pack both long and short pants, light cotton clothing, warm clothing such as some light sweaters and trousers for the evenings and night and a fleece, scarf, swimming suit. Pack a quick drying washcloth, as they often do not provide wash clothes. If you like to hand-wash your clothes, look for fabrics that will dry out overnight. Footwear: Bring supportive and comfortable shoes along with sandals/slippers. Laundry: Most lodges offer laundry service, $1-3 per item of clothing (price varies based on item) Prices are reasonable, but dryers are seldom available (so clothing will take longer to dry during the rainy season). Laundry service is not available in the Serengeti. In case luggage doesn’t arrive the same day you do, put enough clothing and supplies for the first 2-3 day in your carry­on luggage. Keep valuable jewelry to a minimum.

  • What color of clothing is best to wear when on a safari?

    We suggest clothing in muted earth tones because they don't show dirt easily, coordinate well, and don't distract animals. Very bright colors have traditionally been used to keep animals away (that's why many tribal peoples wear bright clothing) but some species are color-blind, so if you prefer bright clothing it won't scare off all the animals. Avoid white clothing because white is a danger signal for some species. Avoid wearing all black or all blue clothing-these colors attract tsetse flies. Tsetse flies bite, and the bite can itch like a mosquito bite, but they are not disease carriers in the places we travel. The flies tend to be more active in the dry season or when the sun is out, and less of a problem during the rainy seasons of March-May; and short rains of November-December. Insect repellent with DEET is good to minimize the flies biting you, especially around your ankles while in the vehicle.

  • What essential items should be packed?

    -Daily essentials: Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc. Most lodges do not provide a washcloth, so you may wish to pack one. -Shampoo, soap, and bug spray for the rooms are provided by the lodges during your trip. (Since the bug spray is for the room, we would recommend that you bring your own insect repellent for when out on safari.) -Sunscreen, SPF 30 or stronger. You are at the equator, and days and nights are 12 hours each. Spare eyeglasses/contact lens; sunglasses with 100% UV block. Lightweight binoculars (one pair per person). Models 8 x 21 or 6 x 16 work well. Emmanuel will have a pair, and you can share with him, or I can likely loan you a pair to use. -Flashlight or headlamp or cellphone light. -Most lodges/camps will loan you an umbrella, but they are the large and heavy kind. Some former travelers are fine with using these "loaners" because it saved them room in their luggage; others strongly preferred their own folding umbrella because it was lighter. The rains tend to be outbursts and then stop. -Moist towelettes or baby wipes, they can be used to freshen up. Packets of pocket-size tissues or small roll of toilet paper, and Anti-bacterial "water-free" hand cleanser (aka "hand sanitizer").

  • Which two medicines do you need for the trip?

    Typhoid vaccination and Malaria prevention are the only two medicines you need for this trip. YELLOW FEVER vaccination is NOT needed for any of the trips currently on this itinerary. For any up-to-date information on the latest health precaution and vaccination recommendations, please consult a travel or tropical medical institute or your personal doctor at least 6 weeks before the intended departure day.

  • What other medications are recommended?

    Pack in your carry-on your own prescription medicines, in case of baggage delay. Travel first aid kit: Band-Aids, headache and pain relief, laxatives and anti-diarrhea tablets, something for an upset stomach. Maybe a cold remedy, antibiotic cream, or allergy medication. Optional: Motion sickness medicine if you are susceptible (the roads are very bumpy). Optional: Medication for allergies or asthma, if you are susceptible (the roads are also dusty).

  • Is travel insurance recommened?

    YES! We recommend travel medical insurance. This insurance will keep you safe in case of any emergency. SquareMouth is a reasonable and reliable travel insurance. There also are good medical clinics in the area that are attentive to foreigners. They will want to be paid in cash before you discharge. Ask for a receipt for future reimbursement if a travel insurance is purchased.

  • Is dehyrdation a serious problem?

    YES. Becoming dehydrated can happen quickly and affect your trip and the trip of others with you! We highly recommend drinking as much water as you can while on safari, a minimum of 1.5ltr per person per day. Because of changes in the weather, you may not feel thirsty or hardly know if you are dehydrating. Tiredness, nausea and dizziness and sometimes diarrhea may be symptoms or side effects of dehydration. There will be plenty of cold-water in your safari vehicle's mini-fridge. Please drink up and keep yourself hydrated. We encourage you to bring electrolyte packets and even take preventatively when feeling slightly dehydrated.

  • Do stomach problems happen on safari?

    Some people may have stomach issues/diarrhea for the first 1-3 days of their safari. This has nothing to do with poor hygiene or bad food but rather different kinds of food ingredients/spices used to make food and you adjust to this. Sometimes this could also be one of the side effects of (any) malaria pills you take. If you have stomach issue, we highly recommend drinking more water to stay hydrated and if it gets more serious you may take diarrhea pills as described by your physician.

  • What is the voltage and plug types in Tanzania?

    Tanzania is 230-240 volts. In the U.S. it is 110 volts. Most of the things a traveler will want to plug in, such as battery chargers, tablets or computers can run off both 110 and 220-240. But you should check the item or the owner's guide first to confirm this before you plug it in. If you have something that needs 110 volts-like a shaver or a hairdryer-you can bring a transformer to change the current, but transformers can burn out and ruin your equipment. The plugs are type G, and the availability of power can vary. It is best to have a good battery pack charged and ready for times when electricity is not available.

  • What type of meals should I expect to eat in Tanzania?

    Each morning, you will likely have a full breakfast including eggs, cereal, toast or bread with jam and butter, fresh or canned fruit. Most lunches in the lodges are buffet-style, and typically feature bread and cheese, potato and pasta salads, cold meats, sandwiches, fruit, and dessert. Lodge dinners are served at the dining table, and start with soup and bread. Entrees include tasty curries, stews, sautéed dishes based on chicken, fish, or meat, and vegetable side dishes. Even in camp, they serve delicious desserts, such as cakes and custards. You will not go hungry! The food served in your tented camps is particularly good. The camp cooks are carefully trained, and many travelers are amazed at the quality of the food they produce in a simple camp kitchen. Most of your meals are from the familiar Western cuisines, but they mix this up with characteristic African foods: you can try dishes such as ugali, a maize meal dish, a meat and banana stew, braised kale, and fried green collards. Beverages such as tea and coffee are served at all meals, and included in the cost

  • Plastic bag ban in Tanzania. Is this true?

    Yes. In a continued and renewed effort of the Tanzanian government, all disposable plastic carrying bags (regardless of thickness) are banned from importation, exportation, manufacturing, sale and usage, effective June 1, 2019. There will be special collection points at the major airports to dispose of the plastic bags any tourist might have but we highly recommend you do not bring plastic bags with you in your (hand) luggage, even if they are originating from duty-free shops from other airports, as this may attract a hefty fine of $15 per bag. Zip lock bags, plastic wrapping for medication or foodstuffs requiring plastic containers or plastic are permitted.

  • What is some optional gear to bring?

    These are items that other travelers have suggested might be useful, depending on your needs: ● Travel alarm, travel watch with alarm ● Basic sewing kit ● Hand wash laundry soap (TSA approved size), and maybe clothespins and thin rope to hang up your clothes. ● Eye drops, for the dusty roads on safari ● Hanging toiletry bag (with hook to hang on doorknob and pockets to organize items) ● Inflatable seat cushion for bumpy roads and off-road driving in safari vehicles. This may be more useful for someone who has a bad back or hip problems. In the past, some resourceful traveler’s have reused their inflatable neck cushion for this purpose. ● Books, phrase book, your own field guide