Trip Notes For Your Tanzania Safari
These notes contain important information. We advise you to read them and to have a copy available to you throughout your trip. You should also read our full terms and conditions available on our website. Which override the information below in the event of inconsistency.
Instructions for joining your trip
Please note that, if you are arriving at either Arusha or Kilimanjaro International Airport, then airport transfers to and from those airports are included in your trip price. If you are arriving at Jomo Kenyatta Airport in Nairobi (Kenya), however, then the cost of the airport transfer from there to Arusha is not included, nor is the transfer back there at the end of your stay. You can of course book your airport transfers from Jomo Kenyatta Airport with Easy Travel, by informing us of your flight arrival time and making the appropriate payment in addition to your trip price. Two daily public shuttles operate from Jomo Kenyatta Airport in Nairobi, one leaving at 08.00 and the other at 14.00 hours at a cost of $20 per person for a single ticket. Each takes approximately 6 to 7 hours to reach Arusha. Whichever airport you arrive at, we strongly advise that when you approach the driver (who will be waiting outside the baggage reclaim area) that you ask him who he has come to collect, rather than giving him your name. Our driver will display your name on an Easy Travel signboard. These procedures ensure that you are picked up by the correct driver, rather than by some of the airport taxi drivers who are looking for business.
Complications on arrival
It is very rare that our travellers experience problems on arrival, but it is very important that should any difficulties be encountered, you follow the advice given below.
- if you are unable, for any reason, to start your trip as scheduled, you must as soon as possible contact the Easy Travel office to advise them of this.(Tel: +255 754 400 141 )
- if you have booked an airport transfer with Easy Travel but on arrival at your airport are unable to identify the representative of your pre-booked airport transfer company within 30 minutes of clearing customs/immigration, you should contact the Easy Travel office (Tel: +255 754 400 141 ) to advise us of this.
- If you have booked your own airport transfer independently (i.e not through Easy Travel), and your driver cannot be found, you should first contact the transfer company to try and resolve the issue. Note that in the event of any dispute, Easy Travel will unfortunately not be responsible for any failure by an independently-booked airport transfer. You will be responsible for joining the trip at the scheduled time.
As any delays to flights are outside our control, we regret that Easy Travel cannot be responsible for the consequences of such delays, nor for any additional expense incurred as a result.
Solo Travellers on Group Trips
Our group trips are based on shared accommodation and solo travellers booking onto group trips will share twin rooms/tents with a fellow traveler of the same gender throughout the trip. Some of our independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
My Own Room
If you prefer not to share accommodation with a fellow traveler, you can book a single room for the duration of the trip and pay the appropriate single room supplement.
Children on Safari
We welcome children aged three years and older on our safaris but must stress that they remain the parents’ responsibility at all times. Our hotels, lodges and tented camps are unable to provide child-minding or babysitting services.
Make sure that you have a valid passport whose expiry date is sufficient for you to be allowed to enter Tanzania. (Usually the expiry date must be at least six months from the date of travel, for tourists, and longer for business travellers.) With the exception of those travelling from certain African countries (and a few other countries), all visitors to Tanzania must have a valid visa. It is the responsibility of travellers to arrange this. Visas are best arranged in advance. If you are arriving at Kilimanjaro International Airport, without having arranged a visa in advance, please follow the procedure outlined below, to ensure that you get the correct visa and meet up with your driver-guide outside the arrival door:
- Complete the visa request form (either on the flight or on arrival).
- Join the queue for one of the visa counters – please don’t let yourself be assisted by anybody at the airport or be persuaded to give your visa money to anyone apart from the staff at the counter.
- Pay for the visa – USD 100 per person for US nationals and USD 50 per person for nationals of other countries (visa fees are payable in cash ONLY and US bills should not be older than 2006).
- Make sure that you get a receipt for this transaction – the receipt is yellowish- orange colour with a silver seal sticker.
- Verify that the number on the receipt is the same as the one written on top of the visa stamp on your passport.
- Queue up for your fingerprints and passport check.
- Collect your luggage and leave by the exit door.
- Outside the exit door you will see our driver guide holding the ‘Easy Travel’ sign board.
If you are arriving in Kenya, prior to transferring to Tanzania, you should familiarise yourself with any Kenyan visa requirements that may apply and ensure you obtain the necessary visa or transit visa for that country, too. Useful information regarding visas for Tanzania and Kenya can be found on the Tanzanian Embassy websites in your home country.
Money MattersVisa, MasterCard and American Express are widely accepted in Tanzania, albeit usually with a 5% surcharge, but note that Diners’ Club cards are not accepted. In certain places, such as Masai villages, cash will be the only acceptable method of payment for souvenirs etc. Travelers should not rely on travelers’ cheques, as these are not accepted in Tanzania.
US Dollars are always the best currency to carry and it is important that the banknotes you bring have been printed after the year 2006, as older notes are often not accepted.
Spending Money During Your Trip
Each traveler has different spending habits and therefore different cash requirements when on safari, to cover items such as drinks and souvenirs. You should bring the necessary amount of cash in US Dollars to cover your expected needs. Don’t forget to budget an amount in cash to cover tips (see ‘Tipping,’ below.)
Tipping is of course discretionary, but is an expected part of the way in which business is done in Tanzania. It counts as an expression of gratitude to those who – hopefully – have made your experience an unforgettable one, and enables you to directly reward those people. Our passengers come from all around the world, with different cultural attitudes to tipping, but a tip is of great significance here in Tanzania and will be hugely appreciated by the recipient. We know that the act of giving of a tip can be a bit awkward and we would suggest that the best way to remove this ‘awkwardness’ is for each group member to put their tip anonymously into an envelope and for the envelopes to be presented by the group to the staff member.
As a guideline, you should consider tipping at the follow levels:
- Driver guide: $25 US per day, per group
- Mountain guide: $25 US per day, per group
- Local guide (for example, for a village tour): $10 US per group, per tour
- Safari Chef: $10 US per day, per group
- Kilimanjaro Chef: $10 US per day, per group
- Supply driver: $10 US per day, per group
- Mountain Porter: $8 US per porter, per day on mountain
For hotels/lodges/tented camps, please do not tip individual staff members, but instead use the ‘Tip Box’ which you should find at the reception of your accommodation. For guidance, you should consider tipping between $5-7 US per day, per guest, at each accommodation.
All travellers taking trips with us must have valid travel insurance, without exception, and no-one will be permitted to join any of our trips until we have had sight of your insurance certificate and taken note of the details. Please ensure that all members of your party are covered by insurance and that it includes medical cover and adequate cover for emergency rescue and repatriation. We would also recommend that your policy covers trip cancellation, personal liability, curtailment and loss of luggage/personal effects. If your travel insurance has been arranged in conjunction with your credit card provider, we will require proof of purchase of the cover. Please contact your bank/credit card provider for details of the participating insurer, together with the level of cover provided and the emergency (24-hour) contact telephone number.
Flying Doctor Insurance
Easy Travel can arrange ‘Flying Doctor Insurance’ should you require it. Flying Doctor insurance covers the provision of light aircraft with qualified doctors, able to evacuate patients from remote locations to hospital. However, this is not a substitute for your travel insurance and is only available in conjunction with that insurance. If you wish to take out this additional insurance, please let us know. Easy Travel will need a copy of your passport, plus full details of your travel insurance company, including your policy number and their 24-hour contact telephone number. Bookings for ‘Flying Doctor Insurance’ should be made at the time of booking your trip.
Our advice is that you should consult with your doctor or travel clinic well in advance, (and as a minimum, at least one month) before your departure. This is because some inoculations/medications must be taken well before your trip. Please note the following specific points, relevant to your health during your stay here in Tanzania:
- You are responsible for having all necessary inoculations and taking all relevant medications.
- in particular, many areas in Tanzania attract mosquitoes and anti-malarial measures must be taken, in accordance with advice received from your doctor/travel clinic
- to minimise the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes, tse-tse flies and other insects, you should wear long-sleeved shirts and long trousers at all times, use insect repellent (though this is not always effective against all insects), sleep under insect nets where these are provided, avoid bushes (as insects rest in these, and bite if disturbed!) and wear white, beige or olive-coloured clothes – as bright or dark colours attract tse-tse flies in particular.
- Please bring a travel first-aid kit with you, including a sanitising hand-gel/hand-wipes
- Please bring any tablets required for water purification, although bottled water is cheap, widely available and recommended. The local tap water should not be consumed.
- Ensure that you keep properly hydrated during your safari, avoiding too many diuretics (eg coffee, tea, alcohol) as these tend to dehydrate. Easy Travel advises that you should drink a minimum of two litres of water, per day, while you are on safari
- You should use cream/spray to protect yourself against the sun at all times (even on cloudy days) and also consider wearing a hat for the same purpose.
- Bring any medication required to combat diarrhoea, as this is common when travelling abroad.
- Yellow fever vaccinations are always required if arriving from a yellow fever area
- Some of our travellers worry about snakes, but encountering a snake while on safari is very rare indeed.
Safety and Security
Safety advice is issued by most national governments and updated regularly and we would suggest that all travellers check the appropriate website for updates both prior to booking, and again prior to traveling. (Traveling to countries against your own government’s advice can adversely affect the validity of certain travel insurance policies.) Easy Travel strongly advises all travellers to use a money belt or neck wallet for the safekeeping of cash, passport, airline tickets and any other valuables. Please leave other valuables, such as jewellery, at home. Most accommodations provide safety deposit boxes, an excellent way of storing your valuables. We also advise you to keep a photocopy of your passport, separate from your actual passport, when you travel.
Easy Travel reserves the right to make changes to, or even cancel, any part of the planned trip if in their opinion safety and security concerns deem this necessary. Your driver-guide will accompany you throughout your safari and it is important that you always follow his instructions, in the interests of safety.
If you spend time in Arusha, you will find that most Tanzanians are friendly and helpful, but as in most cities in any part of the world, you should exercise caution. Carrying expensive cameras or jewellery or waving large amounts of cash around, is always a bad idea and will invariably attract unwanted attention. Be aware of people approaching you and trying to ‘befriend’ you: often these people are con-men and you should be polite but firm in saying ‘no’ to them. We would strongly advise using taxis after dark for trips to restaurants or other nighttime trips and would urge you to keep to the main streets during the daytime. We also advise that you travel in small groups, wherever possible. In the unlikely event that you find yourself in an area where a political protest or demonstration is taking place, we would advise you to leave the area immediately, as these can turn violent or provoke counter-demonstrations or reaction from the police.
Please note that you should use your own judgment when choosing activities or excursions which do not form part of the trip you have booked with Easy Travel. We can offer you assistance in choosing how to spend your free time, but neither Easy Travel nor any of its representatives can provide any guarantee about the safety or suitability of any activities or excursions, nor about the operators who organise these.
As in all countries, taking photos of police stations, border crossings, immigration controls, army barracks, military personnel or checkpoints, airports or political demonstrations is never a good idea, often illegal, and very likely to land you in trouble with the authorities.
Swimming, snorkelling and other water-based activities are always undertaken at your own risk.
You will spend a great deal of time with your highly-experienced driver-guide during your safari and for most visitors, the success of the safari is greatly enhanced by their interaction with him. At Easy Travel, we believe that we have the best, most knowledgeable, most professional driver-guides in the business – and we are flattered that much of our travellers’ feedback reflects this opinion. Your driver-guide will ensure that you see as much wildlife as possible, assist in finding you the best photo-opportunities, drive you safely around the safari locations, be available to answer your every query and generally to help you with any difficulties you encounter. We encourage you to use your driver-guide as a ‘walking encyclopaedia’: ask him not only about the wildlife, but also about Tanzanian culture, its customs and its people. He will be proud and delighted to share his knowledge with you!
Vehicles, Road Conditions And Journey Times
This is Africa and you are on safari, road conditions are sometimes not what you are used to and journeys take longer than they would in your home country. Not every road here is is designed with tarmac and some can be rough. For example, Kilimanjaro Airport to Arusha, Arusha to Tarangire, Tarangire to Manyara and the road to Ngorongoro Gate are all on paved roads, but any time spent travelling in the Serengeti will be on rough roads. We can reassure you that our safari vehicles are custom-built, rigorously maintained and regularly serviced. They are the best in the business. Very rarely, as can happen anywhere, vehicles break down but we at Easy Travel always have a ‘Plan B’ designed to minimise any disruption to your scheduled itinerary. If a vehicle cannot be repaired quickly on the spot, then a replacement vehicle is always made available. All vehicles are equipped with radios.
What To Take: Luggage Allowance And Clothes
Given that being on safari involves being constantly on the move, we advise you to pack lightly and bring as little luggage as possible. Your luggage limit on safari with Easy Travel is one soft rack case of no more than 20kg in weight, plus a daypack. Please make sure that your baggage is clearly labelled and that the label is firmly attached. The dimensions of your soft rack case should be no greater than 60cm x 30cm x 30cm. Within your allowance, please pack clothes suitable both for warm weather in daytime and also for cool evenings. (Game drives in the early morning can also be cool: a warm jacket is advisable.) Please note that different airlines have different luggage allowances and that these are usually strictly controlled. Passengers should ensure that they comply with the airline’s regulations on luggage allowances.
Storing Your Luggage
If you wish to leave some luggage behind before you go on your safari, you can leave it in storage with Easy Travel at our office, at no extra charge. This will be of particular benefit to those who are combining their safari with a trip to Zanzibar immediately afterwards or a Kilimanjaro climb.
Some of our camps and lodges offer a laundry service, for an additional charge. Please note that, where you are arriving at your accommodation in the late afternoon and then leaving the following morning, it can be very difficult to have your laundry washed and dried before your departure. (Washing is by hand and drying relies on sunlight.) It will be best to plan to have your clothes washed at camps/hotels where you are staying for more than one night, to give the staff enough time to do your laundry. Bringing light, quick-drying clothes with you is advisable. Please always keep a list of all items you send to have laundered.
When you’re out on safari, all meals (breakfast, picnic-lunchbox and dinner) are included in your trip price and are provided by the relevant safari camp/hotel/safari lodge in which you are staying. For this safari, therefore, 6 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners are included. Please note, however, that the first night’s accommodation in Arusha is on a bed and breakfast basis and guests must make their own arrangements and pay for any lunches or dinners on their first day. (The simple reason for this is that at the time of you booking your safari, Easy Travel are not aware of your flight arrival time.)Your Arusha hotel will be able to give you restaurant recommendations. Although each traveler will have their own budget for this, we would suggest around $20 US per person, excluding drinks. During your safari, all meals are prepared using the best available local produce, allowing you to enjoy regional specialities at their best. Although all our accommodations cater for vegetarians, any other special dietary requirements can also usually be met, but must be advised to us well in advance. Any bottled drinking water on the trip will be at guests’ own expense.
Visitors may wish to take a balloon safari and these are available at Ndutu, Serengeti and Tarangire. Prices vary and although the balloon safaris are not operated by Easy Travel, we can book these for you.
As well as wildlife, any trip to Tanzania would be incomplete without encountering the Tanzanians themselves: warm, friendly, diverse people with a wealth of tradition which most of our visitors find truly fascinating. A visit to a Masai village is a highlight for some visitors, a great insight into these people’s culture, but inevitably some villagers see travellers as an opportunity to sell their wares. Some travellers find this annoying and it is advisable to skip the optional village trip if you are one of those irritated by this practice.
The Great Migration
The Great Migration is one of the world’s true natural wonders; for some travellers, it is a life-changing experience. Please note that the time of year determines whether and where the migration can be witnessed and for those travellers who wish to include a sight of this phenomenon in their safari trip, we recommend booking a ‘tailor-made’ safari, details of which are on our website. Using this facility, and specifying that you want to see the Great Migration allows us to help you organise your trip accordingly. Please seek our advice on the best time to visit, before making your booking.
Our business is only successful if our travellers are satisfied. We genuinely want your open, honest feedback, as this enables us to review our performance and procedures and to improve our service. While we appreciate that in the modern world everyone is asking for your opinion, for many of our travellers a safari will be a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ experience and we are determined that it will be as good as it can be. Your feedback will help us to improve our service and achieve that goal. A form is attached here for your completion: thank you very much for your time in completing and returning it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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