Frequently Asked Questions

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Pamoja Safaris welcome children of all ages on all of our trips!

Our excursions are child-friendly, and completely safe to bring the entire family on.

Children’s rates are also generally discounted, depending on age (at the time of the trip):

  • If 2 years old and under, they generally stay free with you in the lodging.
  • From 3 to 12 years old they are charged half-rate.
  • Young adults aged 13-17 years are charged at 75% full rate.

Just be sure to note the number of children in your party when you fill out the safari booking form.

If requested, we can make sure cribs and/or high chairs are present at all properties you’ll be staying at— just make sure to let us know.

Have any other questions regarding bringing children on a safari? Just let us know and we’ll be happy to answer and and all queries you may have.

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Pamoja Safaris does not offer any options to do rough camping within the national parks (unless it is part of a safari add-on, such as a stay with a local Maasai or Hadza tribe).

Although this is undoubtedly the lowest cost way to experience the Tanzanian National Park—and that it is indeed a unique way of doing so—we feel that it detracts from the overall experience.

The reasons we have chosen to not offer rough camping options include:

  • It shortens your time out on safari, as you need to be back in camp, have eaten, and in your tents not long after nightfall.
  • It makes going to the bathroom in the middle of the night a bit difficult (you can’t just get up and leave your tent in the middle of the night, as there are animals roaming around)
  • The quality of sleep isn’t near what you’ll get in the lodges and luxury tented camps (important, as we spend very long days out on safari)
  • The level of the meals is nowhere near what you receive in the lodges (you need to bring everything in, and everything out with you, as there are no stores within the parks)

We acknowledge that we lose a bit of business with this decision, but also know that there are plenty of other companies offering such excursions to those who really want it.

If you have any questions about our accommodation we do use, please feel free to get in touch with us.

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The price of a safari depends on a variety of factors, including: group size, season, level of accommodation, and number of days.

As all of our trips include everything on the ground—from airport pick-up to drop-off—the fact is that once you pay for your trip you don’t even need to bring any currency with you, if you so choose (except for the $50-$100 Tanzanian visa fee, payable on arrival at the airport).

The list of what we provide includes, but is not limited to:

  • Airport transfers
  • Three meals per full-day
  • Lodging (four and five star)
  • Park Fees
  • Transportation
  • Guide fees
  • Taxes
  • Gratuity for all guides and lodging staff

Not included:

  • non-ground costs (airfare)
  • alcohol

So, how much should you expect to pay?

For basic planning purposes, expect to spend about USD$500 per person, per day.

Please note that this number can be higher (if you choose add-ons, elect to stay at luxury properties, book last-minute, etc.), or lower (larger group size, booking during off-season [mid-March-May and November-mid-December], etc.).

In order to get the exact price your trip will cost, please fill out our booking form and we’ll get back to you with a quote within the next 24 hours.

More details can be found on our Safari Pricing page.

If you have any further questions regarding safari prices, please contact us and let us know.

Please note: we are *not* the cheapest option to do a safari in Tanzania. We recognize that for many guests this is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, and because of that we strive to make everything perfect. We pay competitive wages to the best-trained, most-experienced guides; travel in the most comfortable retrofitted Toyota Land Cruisers; and stay at the nicest properties in the country so that your time with us in Tanzania is unforgettable.

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Tanzania is one of the most stable democracies in East Africa, and has very little violent crime. Crimes against foreigners are almost unheard of, and when it does occur it is usually just petty theft (and not usually in any of the areas where we will be on safari—mostly in and around the largest city in the country, Dar es Salaam).

By the numbers, Tanzania is actually much safer in this respect than the U.S. or many countries in the European Union.

Note: we have never had a single incident of assault or theft affecting any of our travelers up to the present time.

Illness & Disease

Regarding the potential for illness, although Malaria and Dengue fever may be transmitted by mosquitoes within the country, the risk is very low where we will be going (for the safari portion of your trip, you are generally at an average of 4,500ft/1,300m above sea level, which dramatically helps reduce the mosquito numbers). Regardless, we still advise travelers to carry bug spray and wear longer clothing at night to avoid bites.

The most common affliction, if any, would be mild bouts of traveler’s diarrhea at times. We caution all guests to only drink bottled water, wash their hands before eating, and eat only the food prepared by our lodges, but even following all that it can still happen at times. Pack some alcohol gel for washing your hands, some tums and/or immodium (or similar) to help quell an upset stomach, and some Cipro (ciprofloxacin) just in case a particularly bad bout.

Have any other questions regarding your safety while in Tanzania? Just send us a message and we’ll be happy to provide you with the answers.

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We do not recommend that you drink the tap water at any of the lodges. All of the lodges generally have purifiers, but there are occasional issues, so one can never be too careful. Every lodge has free bottled water available in your room, so please drink that (and if you’re extra careful, use it to brush your teeth with as well).

During the daytime (on safari) we will be providing you with free water, so no worries about ever going thirsty!

If you have any further questions regarding water potability during your stay, please let us know.

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U.S. dollars (and to a lesser extent, Euros and Pounds) are the primary form of currency during your safari trip. Prices at all of the lodges will be in dollars, and the locals actually prefer dollars over Tanzanian shillings as they hold their value better and are easier to carry (Tanzania’s largest note—10,000 shillings—is equivalent to about USD$5).

Cash

You will be able to exchange most major currencies upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport (there are multiple ATMs and currency exchanges outside of the baggage claim area). Arusha—the city you will be starting your safari from—also has numerous banks where you can exchange money into Tanzanian Shillings, and ATMs where you can withdraw money using your debit card (be sure to call your bank to let them know you will be traveling to Tanzania, so they don’t freeze your card due to suspected fraud ).

You should exchange as much money as needed before leaving Arusha, as banks and ATMs are less plentiful outside of the city (and non-existent in the parks).

Credit & Debit Cards

Credit and debit cards may be used at most of the lodges and some of the souvenir stores, but relying 100% on cards may not be wise, as sometimes the Internet communication with their terminals goes down.

Traveller’s Cheques

Travelers Cheques are no longer accepted in Tanzania.

If you have any other questions regarding currency, withdrawals, or exchanges in Tanzania, please let us know.

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We may be a bit biased when we say that Tanzania is the premier spot in the entire world to do a wildlife safari, but we have facts to back it up!

Safety

Tanzania is one of the most stable democracies in East Africa and has very little violent crime. Crime against foreigners is almost unheard of, and when it does occur it is usually just petty theft (and not usually in any of the areas where we will be on safari—mostly in and around Dar es Salaam).

Wildlife

Tanzania is a great place to see the “Big 5” (leopards, lions, cape buffaloes, rhinos, and elephants). Leopards are often pretty reclusive tree-dwellers, but most of our groups have the opportunity to see them on their trips. To see a rhino you have to be pretty lucky nowadays (due to past poaching, unfortunately), so be sure to bring your binoculars. As for the other three, along with giraffes, all types of antelope, zebras, hippos, crocodiles, warthogs, etc., you won’t be able to keep count of how many you’ll see (at close range) while on safari.

Accessibility

The major game-viewing National Parks and Conservation Areas in Tanzania—Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Tarangire, and Manyara—are all within a few hours drive of the city you fly into, Arusha.

Conservation

Tanzania has done a remarkable job preserving its wildlife populations through targeting poaching operations and limiting habitat destruction. Unlike many places in South Africa and even Kenya, you are not seeing animals flown in from other places and placed in a fenced-in reserve—what you are seeing is 100% wild.

Now, we’ll be the first the mention that Tanzania is not the cheapest place to do a safari—the government fees and taxes inside national parks are higher than its neighbors, which leads to slightly higher costs for our guests. That being said, we’ve seen the government put much of that money to good use, educating local communities on why poaching is a bad idea, creating jobs in and around the parks, and funding rangers to protect the animals.

Because of this dedication to conservation, there really is no better place to see nature in all its glory than Tanzania.

If you have any questions on why you should pick Tanzania over other destinations in Africa—such as Kenya, South Africa, or Botswana—please send us a message and we’ll be happy to answer as best we can!

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There are many opportunities for cultural interaction during your visit to Tanzania. We can arrange tours to local schools, markets, orphanages, traditional craft workshops, NGO’s, and villages. Most of these visits last for a few hours, but an overnight visit in a village with your guide may be arranged ahead of time if desired.

In some cases guests may be able to participate in daily tasks such as planting crops, brewing beer, or fetching water, to get a better idea of their way of life.

Please note that most safari camps and lodges are located in wildlife rich areas—far from human settlement—and offer little cultural interaction with locals (besides the staff that work there).

If you have any specific places or tribes you would like to visit while you’re here, please let us know and we’ll be sure to make it happen.

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Most modern smartphones, such as iPhones and Android phones, work in cities and towns. However, you must check to ensure your service provider has an agreement with the local telecom company (most do). Please check applicable voice and data roaming rates before departing, as rates can be up to USD$3/minute for voice and up to USD$20/Mb data.

If you have an unlocked phone it is very easy to grab a local prepaid SIM card upon landing in Tanzania. Just ask us in advance (if possible), and we will be able to assist you in procuring one.

Please be aware that mobile phones occasionally do not work at safari lodges and camps, as there are no cell phone towers nearby.

If you have any questions regarding connectivity, or if you’re unsure of if your phone will work while here, please contact your local mobile service provider, or get in touch with us.

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The mass wildebeest migration moves from Masai Mara Reserve (in Kenya) to Serengeti National Park and back at different points throughout the year. Chances are, they’ll be somewhere within the Serengeti when you visit–the only question is where!

If the migration happens to be in the far north, or west of the park, it may make it tough to see them, requiring a non-stop day of driving just to get there and back (not that we haven;t done that before). If in the central or southern regions of the park, it makes everything much more accessible.

For you to better plan your trip, please see below for where the wildebeest herds generally are during each part of the year:

December-April

During these months the wildebeest herds tend to congregate in the southern areas of the Serengeti, where lush grasses have been growing from the “small” rainy season precipitation during November. This is also where the wildebeest mothers will give birth to their young in February, which is definitely a sight to behold.

May

In May the herds and their young tend to migrate northward, ending up primarily in the central region of the park. This allows for the easiest viewing with the least amount of driving, as we usually base our guests somewhere within this region of the Serengeti anyway.

June

June is also a great month for easy access to the migration, as they are in the central-western region of the Serengeti. This is also a good time to try and see them cross the Grumeti river, where many crocodiles await their coming meals.

July-October

Starting in July the herds slowly work their way from the central-western region of the Serengeti up into the northern regions of the park, eventually crossing the Mara river into Masai Mara Reserve (Kenya). September-October can be a difficult timespan to catch the migration, as it requires a long drive north (and sometimes that won’t even be enough, if they have crossed into Kenya already).

November

November brings the “small” rainy season, which the wildebeest follow, as it brings new grass to the Serengeti plains. This is a great time to see the herds, as they’ll be in the central area of the park, but exactly which part of November they’ll arrive there from the north is all dependent on the rain patterns of that year.

Climate change and abnormal weather patterns are causing some changes in the timing of the migration, so please check with us if you are interested in seeing the migration and we will do our best to make it happen.

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The best times to go on a safari depends on what you are trying to see, as well as what your overall goals are during your visit.

For instance, November through mid-December, and mid-March through mid-May are considered the “off-peak season“. You’ll get better rates, and have to contend with fewer visitors during these times.

  • In mid-March through mid-May, you tend to see more showers because it is rainy season. However, these showers don’t last all day, and thus it can be a great time to avoid the crowds and save some money.
  • From November to mid-December is considered the “small” rainy season. You may get a few rain showers during your trip, but other than that it’s one of our most requested times of year to travel, because of the cost savings and relative lack of tourists.

Most of the rest of the year is what is known as “high-season”, which basically means more people and higher prices (along with clearer weather). But don’t let that scare you off from joining us the rest of the year–the parks are HUGE, and there is plenty of room for everyone.

Some other times of year you may wish to consider when planning your safari:

  • In February the great wildebeest migration is in the southern areas of the Serengeti, birthing their young by the thousands.
  • From mid-July through mid-September, the great wildebeest migration is in the northern areas of the Serengeti, crossing the Mara river on their way to Kenya. This is the imagery you’ve likely seen on television, where the herds cross en masse while crocodiles snatch the old, slow, young, and weak.
  • From mid-May to mid-October is the best time to visit Tarangire National Park, with the largest concentration of animals throughout the year.

Always remember that we are dealing with nature and weather, so nothing is ever absolute!

Check with us if you have specific time frames in mind for your travels and we can help you plan where to be so that you get the best possible game viewing experiences.

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We include a base gratuity for your guide(s) and hotel staff in the price you pay to us. This amount is based off of the higher-end of the current industry-standard amount that each guide should expect to receive per guest, per day.

There is no need to tip anything additional beyond this amount.

Why do you include gratuity?

The reason why we include gratuity in the price you pay is because we want to attract the best talent possible, and suitably reward them for their service every single time they go out. Every so often, for whatever reason (the guests come from a country that has no tipping culture, guests forget to save extra money fro tips, etc.), there is the possibility that guides may end up earning much less than they need for themselves and their family. We want to make sure this never happens, and that is why we include it in the base payment.

If, however, you feel your guide(s) provided above and beyond service, feel free to tip them a bit extra. Anything extra is always appreciated by them and their family–feel free to hand it personally to the guide on your last day before you depart. (For general reference, an extra $10/day/person would be generous.)

Have any other questions regarding gratuity? Please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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In reality, you won’t need much special gear or anything, but you should still read through the following to make sure that you bring the right stuff.

Luggage:

Hard-sided luggage/suitcases are NOT preferable. You should bring something like a backpack or a duffel bag. This is because it is difficult to pack hard luggage inside the Land Cruisers that we will be riding in.

Clothing

Dress in layers! It will be cool to cold in the mornings depending on the season (maybe 50’s F/10’s C), but will rapidly heat up as the sun rises. This means bring a lightweight wind/waterproof outer shell jacket or hoody/jumper, with a moisture-wicking wool (preferred) or synthetic base layer.

NOTE: It is important to dress in muted colors during our safari outings, as bright colors (red, orange, yellow, etc.) can scare the animals. However, dark colors (dark blue, black) are also to be avoided as they attract flies. Your best bet is to go the khaki route (or other more neutral tones) if possible.

Footwear

There will not be a ton of walking, but it is important to bring a pair of broken-in tennis shoes for daily use. Even better if you can quickly slip your footwear on and off, as you’ll frequently be taking your shoes off to stand on the seats to see the animals during your safari. A pair of flip-flops or sandals for use around the lodge is useful as well.

Water

Don’t worry about water purifying tablets and the like—we’ll be providing you with bottled water during the duration of the adventure.

Water at the resorts is usually OK for brushing your teeth, but follow directions posted at each lodge. Do not drink tap water at any of the lodges, just to be safe.

Electronics

Bring all necessary chargers to power any devices you’ll be ringing with you. There will be power outlets in the hotel rooms as well as in the vehicle itself so that you can keep everything charged up.

Tanzania runs on a 220 volt/50 hertz electrical grid. Most power sources auto-switch voltage nowadays, so you most likely will NOT have to bring a voltage converter with you (notebook PC’s, anything with a USB charger, phones, tablets, camera battery chargers, etc.).

Tanzania’s plug-type is the same as the UK plug (as it was once a British colony). We will have some plug converters on hand in case you need them, but we recommend grabbing some converters on your own as well—such as this one, which works with most plug input from around the world (including North America and Europe).

We don’t recommend bringing high-draw electronics that don’t auto-switch voltage, such as curling irons and hair dryers, as using them on the local voltage could ruin the devices.

Other

A hat with a brim to keep out the sun, sunglasses, high powered flashlight or headlamp (optional), sunscreen, lip balm, Ziploc bags (to protect valuables/electronics from dust), and of course, a camera and binoculars (if available–some guests just use their phone though!).

If you have any questions on what you should bring on your safari, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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Average daily temperatures are in the 70’s and 80’s (20-30C), with the morning and evenings generally in the 50’s to 60’s (12-18C). Since Tanzania is very close to the equator, the temperature doesn’t fluctuate very much throughout the year.

Regarding clothing, nothing too fancy is needed, but following these tips regarding your wardrobe will improve your safari experience:

  • Dress completely informal–there will not be any occasions where you need to “dress up”.
  • Neutral colors are recommended as they are less distressing to the animals compared with bright colors (red, orange, etc.).
  • Dark colors (dark blue, black) are also to be avoided as they attract flies.
  • It is a good idea to bring a light jacket or hoodie/jumper for morning and evening time, as temperatures do drop when the sun goes down.
  • Dress in layers! That way you can easily pull layers off (or add them) as the temperature changes.
  • Comfortable walking shoes and/or sandals for your footwear.
  • Be sure to bring a swimming suit if you would like to take advantage of the outdoor pools that are available in some safari lodges.

Have any questions regarding what you should wear (or not wear) on safari? Don’t hesitate to contact us.

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