Planning a safari can seem challenging at first. After all, how to decide the itinerary, which parks to visit, where to sleep, when to come or how much time to stay are just some of the decisions one has to make when planning their safari.
We do our best to simplify the work of our customers by having the best customer support in the industry (replying to all your questions in just a few hours or even minutes) and providing clear price structures and our recommendations for itineraries based on your preferences.
However, over the years and after thousands of safaris organised, we have gathered a list of the questions that our customers ask us the most, and answer them in this page. With all these questions here, it will be easier for you to make a decision and even clarify your questions with us with fewer steps. Of course, it is normal to still have doubts as there are always new questions or specific situations we cannot address here. As such, please feel free to contact us through our contact page and we’ll help you design the itinerary of a lifetime and assist you in any question you might have.
SHOULD I VISIT THE NORTHERN PARKS (SERENGETI NP, LAKE MANYARA NP, TARANGIRE NP, NGORONGORO CONSERVATION AREA AND ARUSHA NP) OR THE SOUTHERN PARKS (MIKUMI NP, SELOUS GAME RESERVE AND RUAHA NP)?
This is a difficult question and a personal one. The Northern Circuit is more popular because Serengeti NP is one of the most well-known National Parks on Earth and Ngorongoro Crater is one of the new Wonders of the Natural World. On the other hand, the South has its special allure by being a more out of the beaten track circuit, with less tourists, amazing wildlife, a higher sense of wilderness and remoteness. Usually we recommend the Northern Circuit for travellers coming to Tanzania for the first time and recommend the Southern Circuit for those that have already been in the Northern Circuit or would particularly value the fact that the Southern Circuit will have less tourists and vehicles and provide a more alternative itinerary. We also recommend the South to those landing in Dar es Salaam and only having a few days for the safari.
WHERE DO THE SAFARIS START AND FINISH?
Northern Circuit Safaris usually start and finish in Arusha while Southern Circuit safaris start and finish in Dar es salaam. However, we can provide pickup services from other cities like Moshi.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ACCOMMODATION LEVELS?
When you contact us for a quote, we will provide you different levels of luxury for your safaris. The most different one is the standard one, which is included in the daily price of the safari. It normally refers to public campsites where we will bring our own tents (you do not need to put them up, our staff will do it for you), camping equipment (sleeping bags, pillows, mats, sheets, etc.), a cook to prepare your meals, food and cooking equipment.
Now, if you upgrade to any other level of accommodation, the level of comfort will increase drastically. On any level above the basic one, you will stay in private tented camps or lodges, with large tents or rooms with plenty of space, real beds, private en-suite toilets and showers. In this case, we will not send a cook with you because all the meals will be prepared by the camps/lodges (full board is always included).
There will be more than one option for upgrades, ones more expensive than the others, but they will all have beds and en-suite bathroom as mentioned above. The main difference between further higher levels of luxury will be the comfort level, the quality of the tents/rooms, decoration, service level, quality of the restaurant, location of the camp/lodge in the park, etc. The higher the level, the more comfort and luxurious your stay will be.
WHAT IS YOUR CANCELLATION POLICY?
– Up to 30 days before departure: Penalty of 20%
– Up to 21 days before departure: Penalty of 50%
– Less than 7days before departure of no show: Penalty of 100%
WHAT IS INCLUDED AND EXCLUDED IN THE SAFARIS?
Each safari is tailor made so there are always services/tours that would be added to the exclusions of a specific safari, like flights, hotels, balloon flights, etc. However, each safari has, at least, the following inclusions:
* 4WD Toyota Land Cruiser with pop-up roof for game viewing and Unlimited Mileage
* Accommodation during safari as detailed (Full Board)
* All National Park entrances **
* Unlimited Water and Unlimited mileage during game drives.
* Donations and payments to local community projects.
** Unlikely and unexpected official Governmental increases of park fees or taxes (after booking time), which are beyond our control, are not included and may be charged to the client.
* Items of Personal Interest
* Tips for the driver/guide (10 USD per day per person, but it is ultimately up to the Client’s discretion)
* Tips for the cook (5 USD per day per person, but it is ultimately up to the Client’s discretion. The cook will only be present on public camping safaris)
DO I NEED TO SLEEP IN TOWN BEFORE THE SAFARI?
We usually recommend sleeping at least one night in Arusha (North) or Dar es Salaam (South) before the safari. This is because the safaris start early (9am) and if you arrive much later you will lose valuable time. Besides, even if you arrive early, a day in Arusha is good for orientation, to rest and even to prepare for any flight delay or luggage loss.
WHAT TIME DO THE SAFARIS FINISH? CAN I TAKE A FLIGHT ON THE SAME DAY?
Safaris usually finish around 5pm in Arusha / Dar es Salaam. If the tour is private, we can be flexible if you need to finish a bit earlier (like 3pm) but we do not recommend much earlier in order to not compromise your last day of safari. We recommend only going to the next destination on the next day, to avoid rushing to the airport on the last day, but if you need to fly on that day it is possible. Precision Air usually has flights to Zanzibar around 6.30pm, and to Dar es Salaam after 8pm, both of which are compatible with the safari on that day.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING FOR THE SAFARI?
We recommend bringing:
* Khaki, green, beige and neutral colours (dark blue and black clothing should be avoided as it attracts Tsetse flies)
* Shirts with long sleeves (even in summer, as protection from the sun, mosquitoes and Tsetse flies)
* T shirts
* Shorts or a light skirt
* Jeans or safari trousers for evenings and cooler days
* A jacket and sweater are recommended for early morning and evening game drives
* Lightweight water-proof jacket
* Swim and beachwear
* Comfortable walking shoes
* Sun block, sunglasses, hat, moisturizer and lip-salve are all essentials
* Strong but natural insect repellent
* Camera equipment
* Good quality safari clothing is available in safari shops
* Bath towels and emergency toilet paper (only if you do a budget safari. Otherwise the hotels will provide the towels).
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE SAFARI?
All safari costs are included:
* All National Park entrance and camp site fees
* Accommodation as detailed – Luxury tented camps or lodges or public campsites. If doing a budget camping safari, we provide all the camping equipment as well.
* Transport with qualified driver/ guide in well maintainted 4*4 Land Cruiser with Safari pop-up open roof.
* High-End Nikon/Olympus/Bushnell Binoculars.
* All food – breakfasts, packed lunches and evening meals.
* Bottled water and sof drinks in the vehicle during the safari.
* Pickup/dropof in Arusha hotel before/afer safari.
* Services of various local guides.
* Donations and payments to local community projects.
Of course, if you request it, we can add other items to the contract, like domestic or international flights, accommodation in Arusha or Zanzibar, extra tours (like balloon flight in the Serengeti or walking safari in Ngorongoro), Flying Doctors insurance, Welcome pack, etc.
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED?
* Tips for the guide (the industry guidelines is $10 USD per person per day, but it is ultimately up to the client’s descrition).
* International visa for Tanzania (can be obtained on arrival in Tanzania for $50 USD per person)
* Visas for Tanzania or medicine/vaccination
WHAT ARE THE ENTRY REQUIREMENTS?
Most countries can get Visa on Arrival at the airport. The only exception is citizens of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Tajikistan, Sri Lanka, Abkhazia, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Kyrgyzten, Mauritania, Palestine, Somalia, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Djibouti, Eritrea, Lebanon, Morocco, Sierra Leone, Uzbekistan and Refugees or stateless individuals.
Remember that, with arrival visa or not, your passport needs to have at least 6 months of validity when you arrive.
WHAT VACCINES AND MEDICATION SHOULD I TAKE?
We cannot legally provide medical advise as we are not a health institution, but most travellers take vaccine for Yellow Fever and take prophylaxis pills for Malaria. Some travellers do not take the prophylaxis pills and instead protect themselves by covering their body at night, using mosquito repellant and/or mosquito nets. If you plan to go to Zanzibar, or if you come from an Endemic yellow fever country (or do a stop-over there) we recommend taking the yellow fever vaccine as it may be requested upon arrival at the airport.
WHAT ARE THE METHOD PAYMENTS AVAILABLE?
Once we have designed your itinerary (only safari or also including transfers, flights, hotels in town, etc.) we will send you a contract with everything. We require a down-payment which can be paid via bank transfer or by Paypal (which also accepts credit cards). The remaining payment can be paid using the same method or, if you prefer, can be made once you arrive in Tanzania, in cash or credit card.
DO I NEED TO TAKE THE VISA FOR TANZANIA IN ADVANCE OR CAN I GET IT UPON ARRIVAL AT THE AIRPORT OR LAND BORDER?
We recommend getting the visa upon arrival as it is a very straightforward process and just takes a few minutes. We recommend bringing a pen and the money for the visas in cash to make the process faster. The price is $50 USD for all nationalities except citizens from the USA who have to pay $100 USD per person.
All nationalities can get a visa upon arrival except citizens of the following countries: Abkhazia (Republic inside Georgia), Eriterea Republic, Mauritania Republic, Sri Lanka Republic, Turkmanistan, Afghanistan Republic, Ethiopia, Morocco, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Bangladesh Republic, Kazakhstan Republic, Niger Republic, Somali Land, Wakimbizi (REFUGEES), Chad Repubic, Kyrgyzsten Republic, Palestine State, Stateless People, Djibout Republic, Lebanon Republic, Senegal Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Mali Republic, Sierra Leone Republic and Tajikstan.
ARE YOU ABLE TO ACCOMMODATE FOOD RESTRICTIONS, PREFERENCES OR SPECIFIC DIETS?
Yes, it does not matter if you do a budget camping safari or upgrade to a higher level of accommodation, we are able to accommodate any specific request (vegetarian, vegan, halal, kosher, paleo, gluten-fee, specific allergies, etc.). These are very common requests and not an issue at all.