Tanzania FAQs

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  1. What are the accommodations like?
  2. Are meals included?
  3. What are the tour leaders like?
  4. What type of transportation is used?
  5. What type of food is typical in Tanzania?
  6. What is the climate like?
  7. What is the typical age range for these tours?
  8. Are these trips suitable for kids?
  9. Are these trips a good choice for solo travelers?
  10. Do the rates include international flights?
  11. How do I get to the hotel from the airport when I arrive?
  12. How much should I budget for tips?
  13. How far in advance should I book?
  14. Are tour dates flexible?
  15. Can I extend my stay?
  16. What should I pack?
  17. How concerned should I be about altitude?
  18. How safe is Tanzania?
  19. What time zone is Tanzania?
  20. Do I need a converter/adaptor for the electricity?
  21. Is the water safe to drink?
  22. Can I use US dollars, or do I need the local currency? What is the local currency, exchange rate, etc?
  23. Should I bring cash or travelers checks? Are ATMs available? Can I use credit cards?
  24. Can I use my cell phone?
  25. What immunizations are recommended/required?
  26. Do I need a visa/passport?
  27. Is travel insurance recommended?

Trip Planning

1. What are the accommodations like?

In Tanzania, we offer a wide range of accommodations, from camping on Mt. Kilimanjaro to super luxury safari lodges and beach resorts. Speak with your travel consultant to choose the right option for your tour.

2. Are meals included?

We have tried to balance flexibility and convenience regarding meal options. For this reason, we include all breakfasts and meals when there are limited options in the area. In the major cities, where there are a wide variety of restaurants, we generally do not include meals, to allow our travelers the flexibility of choosing their own food preferences. Your tour leader will always recommend some great restaurant options and will usually offer to join and group members who would like to go out to eat together. Your hotel will also provide a light continental breakfast on these days. Included meals are listed in parenthesis next to the tour itinerary on each tour page. An estimated meal budget can also be found under Personal Budgeting to the right of the itinerary on the tour pages.

3. What are the tour leaders like?

All of our tour leaders are exceptional! They are fluent in English and local languages. They are from the locals areas where they guide, and are among the very best guides available in each region. Our tour leaders treat our travelers like friends, showing visitors both the major highlights and the local treasures.

If you are climbing:

Your crew comprises of a mountain guide, assistant guide, a cook, and a team of porters. There will be a minimum of 3 porters per person, one of whom will carry your rugsack. Each porter should not be carrying more than 25 kg, including their own mountain gear. Please ensure that your porters are not expected to carry more than this. You are expected to carry your own day pack. The final number of porters climbing with you will be determined by the weight being carried for your group.

4. What type of transportation is used?

We use regular and extended Land Cruisers, with pop-up roofs and extra-large windows. All of our vehicles are maintained to be in exceptional condition..

5. What type of food is typical in Tanzania?

6. What is the climate like?

Tanzania has a varied geographical terrain, which creates regional variations in temperature. Do to its proximity to the equator, even the cool months offer temperatures of low to mid 60s. Tanzania does not have great seasonal variations since it is so near the equator. The weather is best June thru September, although most animals have migrated to Kenya at that time. September thru March is also a good time to visit. Rainy season occurs between April and May. Mount Kilimanjaro is very, very cold at its higher elevations. Take along a heavy sweater of jacket when visiting higher elevations or northern game reserves.

7. What is the typical age range for these tours?

Our Africa tours tend to attract all ages. The more adventurous trekking tours tend to attract a slightly younger group (mostly 20s-40s), but we've also had active 70 year-olds do great on these treks, so don't let age discourage you if you are fit and healthy. Expect a wide range of ages and ask your adventure coordinator if you are curious about the demographics for a particular departure.

8. Are these trips suitable for kids?

Safari options are definitely suitable for children as young as 6. Please note that this depends on the child and it is the responsibility of the parents to determine whether this type of program is suitable for their child. There are long drives on Safari (sometimes lasting 6-8 hours) and the roads can be very rough.

9. Are these trips a good choice for solo travelers?

Yes. A solo traveler is welcome to join any set departure date for the safaris. The nature of the programs creates an environment where travelers are coming and going from lodges, but there is always a group activity to participate in.

10. Do the rates include international flights?

Tour rates do not include international flights. We find that it is usually less expensive for travelers to book these separately, and this also allows you the flexibility to choose the schedule and routing that is most convenient for you. You can purchase international flights on your own, or we can certainly help you arrange these flights with an airfare consolidator who specializes in international flights to Africa.

11. How do I get to the hotel from the airport when I arrive?

You will be met by a safari representative once you clear customs and baggage claim. They will transfer you to the first lodge or hotel.

12. How much should I budget for tips?

Tips are not required on any of our tours. However, it is customary in Africa to offer a tip for exceptional service. Here are some guidelines for your trip to Tanzania:

On safari:

Safari Driver Guide - US $10-25 per person per day

Safari Cook on Camping Safari - US $5-15 per person per day

On the mountain:

Mountain Guide - US $10-15 per person per day

Assistant Guide - US $6-10 per person per day

Cook - US $6-10 per person per day

Porters - US $ 2-6 per person per day

Please remember that tipping is at your discretion and should be based on the service you receive.

13. How far in advance should I book?

You can book your Tanzania tour at any time and, generally, the earlier you book, the better. Booking early (10-12 months or more recommended) is especially important for travelers visiting during the Great Wildebeest Migration, as many of these departures fill up months in advance. Travelers visiting outside of these busy months can often book a bit more last minute, though a 4-6 month notice is still recommended.

Further, we usually recommend that you wait to book your international flights until after your tour is confirmed. The sooner that we arrange your tour, the sooner you can take advantage of flight deals as they become available.

14. Are tour dates flexible?

YES. Please contact us if you are not able to travel on the set departure dates listed online. Most tours can be arranged on alternative departure dates for a minimum of two travelers as long as lodges/hotels are available.

15. Can I extend my stay?

Absolutely! Check out of Africa Extensions for ideas. Let us know how you would like to customize the trip and we will do our best to accommodate you.

Tour Details

16. What should I pack?

You will receive a detailed packing list specific to your tour after you book. On safari, luggage should be limited to two items of baggage per person. If you are climbing, you will be responsible for your personal climbing gear, including but limited to: hiking boots, cold weather gear, hiking poles, etc.

17. How concerned should I be about altitude?

Altitude affects each traveler differently and until you have visited an area with high altitude, it is impossible to predict how your body will react.

Commonly, our travelers report mild altitude symptoms such as fatigue, headache, or light-headedness during their first day or two at high elevation.

Severe altitude sickness is rare. In this case, the best treatment is to go down in elevation as soon as possible. We have never had a traveler that had to be evacuated to a lower altitude. Many severe cases of altitude sickness are the result of a pre-existing condition that is aggravated by the altitude. It is important to ask your doctor whether or not travel to high altitude is advised, especially if you have a pre-existing heart or lung condition such as high blood pressure, asthma, angina, etc. You might also want to ask your doctor about proscription Diamox, a diuretic that many travelers swear by to help them adjust to the altitude more readily.

18. How safe is Tanzania?

Generally speaking, Tanzania is a safe country to travel in. Don't wear expensive accessories or watched, and don't carry large sums of cash. Take particular care with your passport. Travelers should take the same precautions as they would in a major US city. Pay attention to the advice of your tour leader and hotel reception, and take common-sense precautions such as not going into unfamiliar areas alone, especially at night. Guides will monitor your safety in cities and in the game areas. From time to time, generalizes travel statements are issues concerning travel conditions in the area. For current Department of State announcements and Consular information, see http://travel.state.gov/

19. What time zone is Tanzania?

Tanzania is on East Africa Time, GMT +03:00. Tanzania does not recognize daylight savings time.

Before You Go

20. Do I need a converter/adaptor for the electricity?

Tanzania uses 230 volts electricity and requires a 3-pin (square) socket (like that of Great Britain or Hong Kong). Travelers will need a voltage converter for 110 volt devices. Is it best to travel with your own adaptors.

21. Is the water safe to drink?

Tap water is generally unsafe in East Africa and it is recommended that you drink only bottled water which is widely available. Bottled water will be provided in the safari vehicles for all of our game drives and in the bathrooms at the lodges for brushing your teeth.

22. Can I use US dollars, or do I need the local currency? What is the local currency, exchange rate, etc?

The local currency of Tanzania is the Shilling. Check out a Currency Convertor such as: http://www.oanda.com/currency/converter for the latest exchange rates.

23. Should I bring cash or travelers checks? Are ATMs available? Can I use credit cards?

ATMs are readily available in the larger towns and cities, but hard, if not impossible, to find elsewhere. Traveler's checks are not recommended as they are hard to exchange, and fewer retailers are accepting them. Although it is helpful to bring a credit card along for emergencies, don't count on using one for most purchases.

24. Can I use my cell phone?

Check with your cell phone provider. Each company is different and they can give you the most up-to-date information.

25. What immunizations are recommended/required?

No immunizations are currently required for visiting Tanzania. You should be up to date on our routine vaccinations, including Tetanus. The CDC is currently recommending the following vaccines: Hepatitis A, Malaria, and Typhoid. Travelers much being along their International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) as proof of vaccination.

You may also want to consider the following vaccinations: Hepatitis B, Yellow Fever, and Rabies.

Please note that some countries, such as South Africa, require a yellow fever vaccination if traveling directly from Tanzania. Please check with the Center for Disease Control for information for your onward travel from Tanzania. For the most current information, please consult your doctor and/or check out the Center for Disease Control website at www.cdc.gov.

26. Do I need a visa/passport?

All travelers will need a passport valid for at least 6 months after they depart Tanzania, and have at least 2 consecutive blank pages. Currently, Tanzania does require a tourist visa for travelers from the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, however, visas can be obtained upon arrival. The fee is currently US $100 for a multi-entry visa for Americans. Travelers from other nationalities should check with the Tanzanian Embassy for visa information. We recommend obtaining any visas prior to arrival.

Entry requirements change with surprising frequency. It is each traveler's responsibility to check with the consulate for the most up-to-date visa information.

27. Is travel insurance recommended?

It is a condition of booking that all clients must have, and must demonstrate to Adventure Life prior to their departure, adequate insurance for the duration of the tour. Such insurance should fully cover personal injury; medical expenses; repartition in the event of accident, illness, or death; cancellation or curtailment of the tour by the company or the client; and loss of, damage to, or theft of the client's personal property. Activities with a greater inherent risk, such as mountaineering, animal tracking on food and white-water rafting should be covered. Theft, personal injury or any disruption to arrangements should be reported immediately to the company and to the nearest police station.

We work with a company called TravelGuard that provides reasonably priced insurance for trip cancellation, medical expenses, medical evacuation, lost bags, etc. They have two different types of insurance available, depending upon whether or not you will need the cancellation coverage. Check out our Once You're Booked page for more information.