Get some rest the first day. The elevation where we will be in Tanzania is
5000+ ft and jet lag will catch up sooner or later.
You may use US dollars
throughout the trip, but I still change $200-300 at the hotel. Hotels and
Lodges can change money and some have better rates than others, so ask. You
will just need +/-$200 changed so a few % points in exchange rate is not
material. I take +/- 50 - $1USbills to use for tips. Travelers checks no
longer work well, hard to get cashed, bad exchange rate and a large cashing
fee. I carry cash in a waist money belt
Safekeeping of Passport and Valuables
Please keep your passport and money ON YOU at ALL times. I
normally wear shirts that have button down pockets large enough to hold my
passport. Never leave money or valuables in your room or in your vehicle.
You can keep valuables in security boxes at the hotel, camps and lodges.
There will not be an opportunity to dress up so minimal expensive jewelry is
a good idea. It is recommended that you photocopy the detail page of your passport and keep it in a
separate place. Should you lose your passport, it will be much easier to
get a replacement if you have the photocopy. I have a plastic coated steel cable and combination lock
that I use to secure my camera equipment to a piece of furniture or other
secure objects in the room when at dinner. Tanzania is a relatively
safe country, but do not tempt fate.
Credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard are widely
accepted in the hotels, camps and lodges. There
are no ATM's after we leave Arusha.
Just as you would not walk around parts of Detroit at night, do not walk
around Arusha at night. Please take the same care and common sense
precautions that you would do in any other part of the world.
Spectacles & Contacts
On safari be prepared for bumpy and dusty roads. These can be an irritant to
contact lens wear. Eye drops and a spare pair of glasses are a sensible
PACK LIGHT, laundry facilities are available throughout your safari. It is
not a bad idea to pack a soft duffel bag to carry souvenirs on the way home.
The equatorial sun is strong. Too much exposure can cause dehydration,
nausea, dizziness and headaches. We recommend that you wear sun screen and a
hat, as well as a strong pair of dark glasses. All the lodges, hotels and
camps have swimming pools. When sunbathing use common sense.
While on safari, we recommend that you do not drink the water from the taps. We recommend instead, that
you purchase bottled water at the lodges. Use mouthwash or bottled water to
brush and wash your teeth. Ice is generally frozen from boiled water and is
ok for consumption. Enough bottled water will be provided for a bottle per
person per day while on safari, and the lodges provide a bottle for each
person each night as well.
Food in Tanzania is delicious, varied and plentiful. Africa`s famed
fruits abound, pineapples, pawpaw, mangoes, avocados, passion fruits,
banana, pears and strawberries to name a few. Fresh vegetables are equally
abundant and main dishes feature Tanzanian favorites as well as featured
cuisines from many other parts of the world. The hotels, lodges and camps in
which you stay are renowned for their high standard of cuisine. However, a
change of climate and traveling can, cause some minor sickness. I stick to
the rule of eating only foods that have been cooked or that I can peel. I
love rare steak, but do not order it on safari.
Spirits, beers, wine and cigarettes
All are available at the lodges and camps. You will be given a chance before
leaving Arusha to stock up on your favorite beverages.
All meals are provided. On travel and long safari days, the lodge or
camp will pack picnic lunches that can be eaten at one of the picnic areas
while on the road.
We strongly recommend that you take anti-malaria medication. Malaria is rare
in the highland areas where we will be spending most of our time, but
traveling in the hot bush, and coastal areas requires precautions. If, on
your return home, you develop influenza symptoms, please see you doctor
immediately as you may well have contracted malaria. There often are some
bad side effects for those medications containing quinine. Given a choice
The larger towns have pharmacies and hospitals, but you should carry with
you adequate supplies of your own medicines and toilet items as in the
smaller towns these cannot be obtained while on safari. A spare pair of
prescription glasses is recommended. The Flying Doctorís Society of
Africa has been evacuating patients by air since the 1950ís. In the event of
a medical emergency, you will be flown back to Arusha where an ambulance
will be waiting to move you immediately to a leading hospital.
There are several hospitals in Arusha staffed by doctors with
internationally recognized degrees.
Most hotels and lodges outside Arusha generate their own electricity.
However, take a small lightweight flashlight as some generators are only run
for specific periods in the early morning and again in the evening. The
voltage is 220-240 and 50 Hz AC, and is compatible with British rectangular pins.
It is important that everyone consider their electrical requirements before
departing on safari and plan accordingly. Check the labels on the appliances
you intend to take on the trip. For instance, hair dryers made
specifically for the US market may not work properly even with a
transformer. Many battery chargers will work on either 110/60 or 220/50
volts, and those that do not will work with a small transformer that can be
bought at the travel department of most discount chains. Even if no
transformer is required, you at least need the plug adapters. If you
visit the websites listed here, you can find information that explains the
electrical adapters you will need for Tanzania as well as some relevant
discussion regarding converters and transformers.
Travel Oasis World Electrical Guide
DO NOT take photographs of the locals without their permission. NEVER take
photographs of military, military institutions, armed forces barracks,
policemen, the President, Government officials, or airports. Always keep
your camera loaded and ready for action. You never know when it is going to
start. If you intend to purchase extra film, we suggest you do so in Arusha,
as often the safari lodges and camps have limited stock.
You may wish to carry
your equipment in dust resistant bags (I use a pillow case)as the roads can
be extremely dusty. Bean or rice bags will be provided in the safari
vehicles to use for camera mounts. If you are using film, DO NOT
place film in checked baggage. The x-ray machines that scan checked baggage
will ruin your film.
Do please remember that the animals are wild and should never be approached
on foot. Please be alert and cautious in the lodges and camps when walking
from your room to the public areas.
Most people, when visiting a foreign country, like to be given some
guidelines regarding tipping. Tipping for restaurants and drinks are
typically 10%. Note, that if a menu lists a 10% service charge as included,
you do not need to tip.
Get to know your driver-guide. Their knowledge of Africa is a bottomless
treasure of travel. Be friendly. Sometimes, at the outset of a safari, the
driver-guides can be shy and need encouragement to open up. Ask a lot of
questions. Donít be afraid to make requests of your driver-guide.
Tips form a major part of the compensation of the driver/guide. I recommend $15-20 per day per person
($150-200 for the 10 days on safari) if you think the guide does a good job.
Drivers are expected by their employer to be out for 8 hours. It is
not unusual for us to be out for 12 hours. They want to assist in
maximizing our experience. Tip accordingly.
The safari experience
Please look at any inconveniences with a positive attitude. Flat tires and a
few unexpected delays are all part of the safari experience.