Frequently Asked Questions

Any questions? We've got your answers below...

Although some safari companies offer set-date mixed-group safaris on a regular basis, we do not offer such an option.

What Pamoja Safaris offers is 100% custom-tailored to your group and your needs. This allows us to be extremely flexible in every regard, whether it is adding a day or two onto your schedule at the last minute, including an extra party member, or deciding to fly back from the Serengeti instead of drive (even after the safari has already started) — no matter what, we have you covered.

We are able to offer this option at near the same price point as joining a large group by using a distributed team and the power of the internet to keep costs down, passing along the savings to you.

If you are looking to go with other groups in order to save money, or just because you enjoy meeting and traveling with new people, just let us know and we can point you to one of our trusted partners that offers such an option.

We may offer set-date, mixed group safaris at a later time, so please stay tuned.

 

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Have any other questions regarding fixed-date and/or mixed group safaris in Tanzania? Just let us know and we’ll be happy to answer and and all queries you may have.

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Type G Electrical PlugIf you look online you’ll see that Tanzania has two options when it comes to electrical plugs/adapters — Type G, and Type D.

Although you do see Type D adapters from time to time (three, thick rounded pins), by far the most prevalent type of plug configuration is the Type C (three, flat prongs — the same as you’ll find in the U.K., Singapore, Malaysia, and other former British colonies).

If you don’t have one already, you’ll need to buy a plug converter so that you can plug in your devices while you are traveling with us in Tanzania. This will allow you to use all of the same adapters you always use (so make sure to bring all of the necessary chargers and power adapters you usually use), but makes it so that the plugs will fit into the power outlets in the lodges here.

Plug adapters are inexpensive, and are widely available all over the place, including Amazon.com (for example, this one).

(In the event that you forget to bring a plug adapter we will either loan you one of ours, or see if we can pick one up in Arusha.)

High Voltage Electrical Items

Tanzania operates on a 230V/50Hz electrical grid (as opposed to a 120V/60Hz grid in the U.S. and Canada). Although most devices (battery chargers, laptops, phone chargers, etc.) nowadays automatically “switch” current depending on what electrical grid they are plugged into, some devices do not — most notably, high-wattage items such as hair dryers and hair curlers.

We strongly recommend leaving such devices at home, as use without a proper switching device (an expensive, heavy brick that you wouldn’t want to carry with you anyway) could cause damage to the item in question, or even start a fire.

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Have any other questions regarding electrical adapters or the electricity in Tanzania? Just let us know and we’ll be happy to answer and and all queries you may have.

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Credit and debit card use is not quite as widespread as what you may find in your home country. That being said, every year more and more merchants around the country are accepting card payments.

Most expenses during your trip will already be covered within the initial quote you received, but just in case here are a few instances where credit and/or debit cards will be accepted during your stay with us in Tanzania.

  • At camps and lodges, you can use your credit card for any souvenirs you may want to purchase at the shops, or for any beverages you’d like to order.
  • At souvenir shops (outside of the lodges), credit cards are widely accepted. (Remember to have them charge you in the local currency — Tanzanian shillings — to save some money if your card doesn’t charge a Foreign Transaction Fee.)
  • If you happen to take a day trip around Arusha pre- or post-safari, you can use your card to grab food at some restaurants (not all), or to buy things at some local shops.
  • If you are heading to Zanzibar, credit cards are accepted at many hotels, as well as quite widely throughout the restaurants located in and around the capital of Stone Town.

Note: credit card terminals, especially outside of the main cities, operate using mobile signal terminals, which sometimes cannot connect for whatever reason. If this is the case, their card processing system will be down for the time being, and you’ll either need to try again later or pay in cash.

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Have any other questions regarding using credit cards while on safari? Just let us know and we’ll be happy to answer and and all queries you may have.

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Totally up to you! Seeing as most expenses are covered, there isn’t much need of cash during your safari trip.

The only things you may need cash for are:

  • Souvenirs (although many shops take credit/debit cards nowadays)
  • Beverages at your lodge in the evening (same as above, most lodges take credit/debit card)
  • Additional guide gratuity (although we include base gratuity for all safari trips in most of our quotes, some guests like to give a bit extra if their guide goes above and beyond)

Any of the above may be paid for in US dollars (which are actually preferred to the local Tanzanian shilling), so no need to change your money at the airport, or find an ATM machine in Arusha.

Please note that if you are hiking Kilimanjaro, the trekking crew gratuity is not included, and generally amounts to between $200-300/person, depending on the number of days and how well you think your team performs.

If you are thinking of stopping by Zanzibar during your stay in Tanzania, optional activities such as day-trips, spice tours, scuba diving/snorkeling, boat rides, etc., and transportation such as taxis, may require cash payments. Shillings may be more appropriate on the island, and you can easily access them via an ATM in Stone Town, at the airport, or by converting your currency at a bank in town.

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Have any other questions regarding how much cash to bring with you? Just let us know and we’ll be happy to answer and and all queries you may have.

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In some countries in Africa it is normal to switch guides at every park or lodge, keeping just the same driver during the entire length of your journey. However, in Tanzania you are with the same guide the entire time — from airport pick-up to airport drop-off — who also serves double-duty as your driver.

If you are in a large group (over six people), you may have an additional driver/guide in a separate vehicle.

In some instances — such as if you choose to fly back from the Serengeti to Arusha at the end of your safari — you may be met by a different Pamoja Safaris representative at the airport who will drive you to your lodge while your original guide drives the Land Cruiser back to town.

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Have any other questions regarding your guide staff while on 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 welcomes children of all ages on all of our safaris! Our excursions are child-friendly, and completely safe to bring the entire family on — we regularly host trips for entire families.

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.

(Please note that you must be 10 years of age or older to climb Kilimanjaro, and we recommend extra caution if under 18 years of age.)

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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.

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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.

Please note: we are not the cheapest option with which to do a safari trip 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. There are cheaper prices out there, but be aware that there will be trade-offs — even if they aren’t readily visible at first.

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

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Tanzania is one of the most stable democracies in East Africa, and has comparably little crime compared to some of its neighbors. 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, with very few gun-related crimes or terrorism.

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 on safari (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. (Note: if you are heading to Zanzibar or other low-lying areas of the country before or after your safari you should take proper precautions, as mosquito numbers are higher in those areas.)

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 these guidelines it can still hit you. Pack some alcohol gel for washing your hands, some Tums and/or Imodium (or similar) to help quell an upset stomach, and some Cipro (ciprofloxacin) just in case a particularly bad strain gets you.

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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 or tented camps. Many 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 want to be extra careful, use it to brush your teeth as well).

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

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If you have any further questions regarding water potability in Tanzania, please let us know.

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U.S. dollars (and to a lesser extent, Euros and British 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 only equivalent to roughly 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.

Traveler’s Checks

Travelers Checks are no longer accepted in Tanzania.

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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). (For more about Tanzania’s safety aspects, please see the FAQ on safety).

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 (with the latter two within a couple hours drive). Compare this with getting to Maasai Mara National Reserve from Nairobi, Kenya — which takes upwards of six hours by road.

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.

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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.

If you are interested in something a bit more extreme, we can arrange a night or two with one of the last hunter-gatherer tribes left in Africa (and the last in Tanzania) — the Hadza tribe. While with the members of the tribe you’ll see how they use their skills to survive in a harsh environment filled with wild animals — gathering berries and other plants for food and medicine, dancing to traditional songs (played with handmade instruments), and even running with them as they hunt wild game with bow and arrows they carved themselves. For more information on the Hadza people and how to add this to your safari experience please see here.

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’d like to really interact with the local people, just let us know and we’ll make it happen!

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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 with your provider before departing, as they can be up to USD$3/minute for voice and up to $25/Mb data.

Getting a SIM Card

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 and let us know your phone model (if possible), and we’ll be able to assist you in procuring one (the costs for the SIM card and a data package are relatively low, somewhere around $10-15 in total).

Mobile WiFi Hotspot

If you’re just looking to use the internet while you’re with us, there are a few options that do not require you paying exorbitant roaming fees or switching out your SIM card.

Most lodges provide free WiFi access, even when you’re in the middle of the Serengeti. Also, most of our vehicles are equipped with WiFi hotspots that you can use to connect to while we are on the road (as long as we are within tower range, of course).

Please be aware that mobile phones and wifi hotspots occasionally do not work at safari lodges and camps, as there are no signal towers nearby. In the case of an emergency we can drive you to spot where there is a signal — just let us know.

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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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Great Wildebeest Migration crossing the Mara RiverThe 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 a chance to try their luck and grab some “fast food.”

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 in Kenya. September-October can be a difficult time span 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 the year.

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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.

Low Season

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.

High Season

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!

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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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Unlike many other safari companies, 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, unless you wish to show a bit of extra appreciation (see below).

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 (perhaps the guests come from a country that has no tipping culture, or they forget to save extra cash for gratuity, etc.), there is the possibility that guides may end up earning much less than they need to support 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 — just hand it to your guide on the last day, before you depart. (For general reference, an extra $10/day/person would be generous.)

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

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In reality, you won’t need much specialized gear or anything, but you should still familiarize yourself with the following to make sure that nothing important is forgotten:

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 230v/50hz 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).

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For a full list of what to pack for your safari trip, please see the full Safari Packing List page.

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.

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Have any other questions regarding what to bring with you on safari? Please see our Safari Packing List page.

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

Click here to go back to the main Frequently Asked Questions page.

 

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