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We can assist you with any and all aspects of your trip. Whether you are traveling alone or with family and friends, we can make all of your travel and safari arrangements. Simply tell us how long you would like to stay, the number of people in your party, the approximate dates of your trip, and any special destination requests or needs. We will recommend a trip to meet your requirements and give you the cost per person.
What are the seasons like in Tanzania/East Africa?
There are two factors to consider when choosing a time to visit Tanzania, the wildlife and the crowds. For the best wildlife viewing, visit Tanzania during the dry seasons of December through February and July through September. To avoid the crowds, visit in May, June or November.
What do I need to know before booking my international flight?
Before booking your international flight, it’s best to have a draft safari itinerary already in hand, as internal East African traveling costs can be reduced with some careful planning. For example, if you would like to see the gorillas in Rwanda, then it’s best to fly into Nairobi, Kenya to start your holiday. If your safari is finishing up with Zanzibar, then it’s best to fly back home out of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. If you are doing both, then it’s a good idea to look into an international airline which will allow you to fly into Nairobi and out of Dar es Salaam for little or no extra cost. Together, we can save you money by being clever and innovative regarding your itinerary, so you can afford that extra glass of wine whilst you overlook a river full of elephants.
How can I fly into Tanzania?
There are three ways of getting to Tanzania:
1 – Fly directly into Mt Kilimanjaro International Airport in northern Tanzania. This is the closest airport to Arusha. Safaris-R-Us can help organise your transfer from the airport to Arusha (which should take about one hour) upon arrival.
2 – Fly into Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Upon arrival, you will need to either fly domestically (1 hour) or bus it (10 hours) to Arusha.
3 – Fly into Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya. There are then 3 modes of transport from Nairobi, Kenya to Arusha, Tanzania:
•Join a twice daily scheduled shuttle bus with other commuters via the Namanga Border. The trip takes about 6 hours.
•Organise a private vehicle and be driven to Arusha via Namanga border. Safaris-R-Us can help organise such a vehicle for you.
•Fly from Nairobi to Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. The flight takes about 1 hour. Safaris-R-Us can help organise this for you (along with the 1 hour drive from Kilimanjaro airport to Arusha upon arrival).
Can Safaris-R-Us help me book flights?
Yes. Safaris-R-Us can help book all internal flights, road transfers and any accommodation required whilst you are in East Africa. For international flights outside East Africa, we recommend going through a travel agent in your home country.
Do some East African airports charge on-the-ground airport taxes?
Airport taxes are often not included in the price of internal Tanzania flights. Be sure to bring extra US dollars with you to pay airport taxes, which range from $5 to $25 USD per flight. If we organise the bookings for you, we can help advise you when this is needed.
What is the best way to get to Zanzibar?
If you are going to Zanzibar after your safari, we recommend:
•Flying from Mt Kilimanjaro to Zanzibar, if your safari itinerary finishes in Arusha (or if you have been climbing Mt Kilimanjaro).
•Flying from Serengeti National Park to Zanzibar (requires booking far in advance), which will save money and time overall. Although this flight is slightly more expensive than the Mt Kilimanjaro - Zanzibar flight, you cut off seven hours of driving between Serengeti and Mt Kilimanjaro. However, be advised that a flight from the Serengeti will likely have a baggage weight restriction of 15 kgs.
We are happy to help organise either of the above flights.
What information do I need to know in regards to passports and visas?
Visitors are required to have a valid passport and visa. Those traveling to Tanzania, Rwanda or Kenya can easily get a 3 month visitor visa from the relevant embassy in their home country. We advise you to get the visas before you travel, as it will make border crossings in East Africa much easier.
Can I purchase my visa at the border or airport upon arrival?
It is possible for most nationalities to purchase tourist visas at the port of entry to Kenya and Tanzania. However in regards to Rwanda, it is quite challenging, so if you are wanting to see the gorillas, make sure you get a Rwandan visa from the consulate in your home country or go to the following link www.migration.gov.rw for further information. If you plan to purchase a Tanzanian or Kenyan visa at the airport or border, please check with your home consulate to verify the amount of USD cash needed for payment.
Fees are subject to change, so it is important verify before entering the country. A short arrival form is completed upon entry, but no passport photos or additional documentation are necessary to purchase a visa. Please ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months from the date of entry and that you have at least one blank page in your passport (the back page does not count).
Make sure that USD notes are of 2002 series or higher and in denominations of 50 and 100. Any note printed in 2001 or older may be rejected at the ports of entry. Denominations of 20 or lower will often not be accepted.
Are there customs fees for bringing in camera gear, etc?
Personal effects including binoculars, cameras, film, etc may be imported (temporarily) free of duty for the duration of your holiday. On very rare occasions, a customs bond maybe demanded if you want to bring in large amounts of professional and/or commercial video/filming equipment, radios, tape recorders and musical instruments, so as to ensure that the goods leave the country again.
What currencies are used in East Africa?
Kenya and Tanzania both use “Shillings”, while Rwanda uses the “Franc”. We advise you to check www.xe.com for current exchange rates. Bureaux de Change shops can be found in larger cities/towns, and offer favorable exchange rates for US cash (with the best rates given for large denominations such as $100 or $50). Notes should also be of 2002 series or newer, to avoid getting a low rate of exchange. There is no limit on the importation of foreign currency.
VISA, Mastercard, and AmEx are accepted at the larger hotels around the country, but fees may be high.
Will I be able to use ATM/credit cards in East Africa?
You can withdraw local shillings using VISA/MasterCard/Visa Plus in large cities/towns of East Africa. There are banks with ATMs outside (but you need a four digit PIN number to use them), as well as upscale hotels that will sometimes accept credit cards for a fee. Please call your credit card company before you leave for Tanzania, to notify them of your travel plans, as some companies will put a block on your card if you try to use it at an East African ATM.
*Please note that VISA is more readily accepted than MasterCard. ATM machines that accept MasterCard are around, but may be more difficult to locate.
Should I change money to Tanzanian Shillings or pay in foreign currency?
We recommend changing some money to shillings upon arrival, to pay for smaller items during your trip. Local stores, restaurants and souvenir shops charge in shillings, so if you pay in dollars, you will be charged a higher rate. Any shillings that you have leftover may be used to tip staff during your trip. Also be sure to carry small notes in whatever currency you choose, as it is difficult to get change on safari.
Should I bring travelers checks?
We do not recommend bringing travelers checks to Tanzania, as very few banks accept them and the rate is much lower than the rate for cash. We recommend bringing US dollars in $100 and $50 bills (series 2002 or newer), as they get the best rates.
Are older USD notes accepted?
USD notes will need to have been produced in the year 2002 or later. Some Bureaux de Change shops will accept older notes, but the exchange rate will not be good.
What are the banking hours in East Africa?
Generally, banks are open Monday thru Friday 8:30am to 3:00pm and Saturday 8:30am to 11:30am. Some Bureaux de Change shops stay open until 4pm and can be found in larger cities/towns of East Africa.
How much should I tip?
Tipping in East Africa generally follows the North American system. Tips for drivers are not included in the safari cost. We suggest at least $10-15 USD per client per day for the driver guide. If the service is good give more, if not adjust your tip accordingly. For cooks on camping safaris, we suggest at least $5 USD per client per day. Generally, tips are given at the end of the safari after unpacking the 4WD.
For porters and waiters at hotels, we suggest tipping up to $5 USD per group.
What immunizations and medication do you recommend?
Check with your doctor to get current recommendations and advice. Anti-malarial tablets are strongly recommended.
We also recommend the following immunizations:
Typhoid: This vaccination is good for three years.
Hepatitis A: Should be just taken prior to departure, as immunity becomes less effective with time.
Hepatitis B: Is a viral disease transmitted mainly through blood or sexual contact.
Meningitis: The vaccine for meningitis is called Menamune. It can cost up to $100 at clinics that don't administer it frequently, or as a little as 1/3 of that cost elsewhere. You may want to shop around.
While this disease occurs only sporadically, it is fatal unless treated immediately.
Yellow Fever: Proof of Yellow Fever vaccination is often asked for at points of entry in East Africa as well as Zanzibar.
Should I get insurance?
Yes! We strongly advise you to secure Travel Insurance for accident, sickness, emergency medical, baggage loss and trip cancellation.
What language do people speak in East Africa?
Kiswahili is the language used in Tanzania and Kenya, however, many people also know English as a second or third language. During your safari, a professional guide who speaks English will accompany you (unless you request another language speaking guide). People working at hotels and restaurants can usually speak English as well.
Is it safe to travel in East Africa?
If we felt that traveling in East Africa was unsafe, we would not encourage visitors to come. Yes, petty theft exists in major towns and cities in East Africa, as it does all around the world. However, if you are sensible and use common sense with taking care of your items, then your visit to East Africa will be a wonderful and safe one. Avoid walking alone at night and keep a close eye on your camera, phone and handbag whilst around popular market places.
What is the electricity like?
As is with the UK, Tanzania utilizes three flat pronged sockets called BS-1363 (see picture below). If you have a three flat prong adapter, that will be all you need. For guests bringing expensive electrical materials like Ipods or laptops, a surge protector is also recommended, as the electricity here can sometimes be unreliable and unstable.
On a good day, the electricity supply is the same as Australia (220 V), just don't bring your toaster oven!
Will I get a chance to buy souvenirs?
Many lodges and camps have small curio shops where you can buy postcards, local carvings, simple clothing, books etc, but they are usually expensive. The best thing is to ask your driver guide to take you to a souvenir shop or roadside market, where the prices will be a little cheaper and the range of goods much wider. In most cities, there are market jewelers and art galleries where you can easily spend hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars on Tanzanian art. It is advised to watch the shop owner wrap your art to insure you are going home with what you have selected. Most reputable shops also offer shipping at an extra cost.
Bargaining is also part of the game (and is expected), so enjoy the fun and good luck!
Is internet available?
Select lodges have internet facilities, although it can be slow and unreliable. It is best to ask hotel workers if it is working that day and how you can connect to it. There are also internet cafes in most larger towns/cities and at St Jude's (when it's working!). We would advise you to travel expecting little internet access, and then you'll be pleasantly surprised whenever you are able to get online!
What clothing should I pack?
It's best to click on the following link for a suggested packing list:
In general, clothing should be lightweight, loose-fitting and of "breathable" fabrics such as cotton. In the daytime, shorts and T-shirts are most comfortable, paired with sandals or comfortable shoes. While out in the bush, you will find that neutral colors are best, as they blend in with the natural surroundings and show the least dust. The nights at the higher elevations like Ngorongoro Crater get to be quite cool, so you should also bring a sweater, a fleece or jacket. Layers are great, as temperatures can range from early morning to evening.
Please take note of cultural sensitivities of attire (most specifically for women) when visiting the cities of Arusha and Stonetown in Zanzibar. Covered knees, no midriffs, and modest cut shirts with a sleeve are most appropriate to not draw unwelcome and offensive attention.
How do I make a booking?
To book a trip with us, you will need to deposit at least 30% up front, depending on the time of booking and how many lodges etc are required for your trip. We can give you our bank account details in Australia so you can transfer the deposit. The remaining balance is due at least 60 days before arriving into Tanzania. If the reservation is made within 60 days of departure, the entire amount must be paid at the time of confirmation.
DoI need to bring a mosquito net with me?
We have mosquito nets at St Jude's and nearly all lodges have them. Any tented camps which don’t have mosquito nets will spray your tents while you are having dinner, so it is not necessary that you bring a net on safari.
How can I purchase additional drinks while on safari?
You can get basic alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks at all safari spots by paying directly to their bar. Most places will accept local shillings or US currency as payment. A beer is around $2 or so, for example.
Do I need to bring a towel?
Your places of accommodation will have towels, however it is advisable to travel with an extra one, as it can get dusty here and it might come in handy.
Can I snorkel in Zanzibar?
You may be able to get equipment from the beach, however it is best to book with a boat company to take you offshore where the good reefs are. The cost is typically around $50/person all inclusive.
"The overall experience was amazing! We were fortunate to visit a parish in the slums in Nairobi, and it was a fabulous experience. Having the opportunity to compare St Jude’s and the success that it has had, to the school in Nairobi. It was like having three holidays in one,... Read more
"Sorry it has taken so long to send an appreciation letter to you for our outstanding safari. Edwin has so much knowledge and is so giving in everything he does. He needs to know what a great job he does. We will be recommending Safaris-R-us to anyone who visits Africa.... Read more