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Tanzania has a tropical climate along the coast but it gets temperate in the highlands. The range of temperatures in Tanzania is fairly limited and always hot, running from 25 to 30 degrees C on the coast while the rest of the country apart from the highlands run from 22 to

27 degrees C.

April-May: Long rains (Green Season)

June-September: Cool season

November-December: Short Rains

October-March: Hottest season


Visas are required to enter Tanzania as of other East African Countries-Kenya and Uganda. They can either be obtained in advance through the various Embassies/High Commissions abroad, Consulates or at the airports or other ports/borders of entry. The process is fast and easy and all one requires to have is a valid passport (at least six months).


International travel insurance and emergency medical evacuation plans are available for purchase before you even leave home, so be sure to provide for yourself in the event of unforeseen circumstances. It is important to have a medical policy that will insure you while travelling, and cover any theft, loss, or medical emergencies you may experience while away from home.


The unit of currency is Tanzania Shillings. You are however advised to carry American Dollars. Money changers do accept major convertible currencies including the EURO and the Japanese Yen. Travellers Cheques may be acceptable in some places, but not in the remote countryside. Forex bureaux offer faster service than banks and although the exchange rates are only nominally different, the bureaux usually offer a better rate on travellers' cheques. Standard Chartered banks around the country have ATM machines that allow you to withdraw cash from your VISA card and Barclay's Bank ATMs allow you to withdraw on both VISA and MasterCard accounts.


Vaccination requirements change from time to time. We suggest you consult your local doctor or health department for information on the latest health precautions. The yellow-fever vaccination is no longer officially required when entering Tanzania, yet because the disease is endemic many doctors will recommend it as a precaution. Other vaccinations that might be considered before you travel include typhoid, hepatitis A and B, meningitis, and tetanus.

As a precaution we usually advise anti-malarial drugs to be taken before, during and after your visit to East Africa.


Although most hotels and lodges are equipped with a First Aid kit, we suggest that you bring a small airtight container with a few well-chosen articles, such as: plasters, travel sickness tablets, antiseptic cream, antihistamine cream, pain relieving tablets for headaches, indigestion tablets, sunscreen, eye drops, insect repellent, medication for upset stomachs and after-sun moisturiser.  We remind travellers who have any allergies ie insect stings, or an asthma condition, to pack the required medication


As a general guide, comfortable, casual wash and wear clothes are recommended. Please note that muted colours are recommended for game-viewing. Game-drives are conducted in the early morning and late afternoon, which can be very cold, especially in winter.

The most practical items to pack for safari are:

  • Khaki, green, beige and neutral colours
  • Shirts with long sleeves (even in summer, as protection from the sun and mosquitoes)
  • T shirts
  • Shorts or a light skirt
  • Jeans or safari trousers for evenings and cooler days
  • A jacket and sweater are recommended for early morning and evening game drives
  • Lightweight water-proof jacket
  • Swim and beachwear
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Sun block, sunglasses, hat, insect repellent, moisturizer and lip-salve are all essentials
  • Binoculars and camera equipment
  • Good quality safari clothing is available in safari shops


Swahili is the official language of the social and political sphere in Tanzania, and is the primary language used in primary education. Still, English is used in secondary schools and universities; though less prevalent than it used to be, you may find that English is fairly wide spoken. Indian, Portuguese and French are also commonly heard throughout the country.


240 Volts AC, 50 - 60 Hz


Many local companies operate charter and scheduled flights around the country, from large passenger flights to the Swahili Coast to chartered bush aircraft flying to isolated locations far in the hinterlands. Air travel is a reliable and efficient way to travel from place to place in the country, but although it saves drastically on travel times, it is by far the most expensive option. Schedules for flights are flexible, however, and can usually be adjusted to suit your itinerary.


The quality and variety of food available on safari will be a pleasant surprise for our clients. Most lodges serve meals in buffet-style. The food is prepared according to the western-tastes, and includes some local cuisine too. If a camping safari is chosen, fresh meat and produce is prepared by the expert chefs accompanying the clients to the highest standards.

Special dietary requirements such as vegetarian or diabetic meals can be easily arranged with prior notice. A vegetarian or vegan may wish to bring along some alternative protein sources.


In some places tap water is safe, but generally, it is not advisable to drink or brush your teeth with tap water. Bottled water is available everywhere and in almost all Lodges and Hotels and all super markets. On treks and safaris, it is better to carry sufficient bottled water.


For wildlife photography, a 200 mm zoom lens is the smallest that you should use, A 300-400 zoom is preferable. For bird-watchers, a 500mm or larger is necessary, and a wide-angle lens would be ideal for scenic shots. Bring extra camera and flash batteries and plenty of film - you may find these quite expensive and difficult to obtain locally.


In general, gratuities are expected in Tanzania, especially for safari, hotel, and restaurant staff. In high-end hotels, you might find a tip box at the main reception desk. You can tip the staff individually, via tip box, or both if you're feeling generous. For trekking tips, it's generally recommended that you budget 10-15 percent of your climb cost for tips. Sample tips would be US$5 to US$10 per day for a personal driver or guide; US$5 to US$20 per day for a personal chef or cook; and US$5 to US$10 per day for a porter. In general, tips are per day, not per person. If taking pictures of locals, you might also consider paying them for the opportunity.




This is a plain-dwellers' stronghold of 14,763 square kilometres reaching up to the Kenyan border and claimed to be the finest in Africa. Here are 35 species of plain-dwelling animals, including wildebeest and zebra, which feature in the spectacular Serengeti migration, and also an extensive selection of bird life. Probably the best time to see them is from December to May. This is one of the best places in Africa to see lion and cheetah close up. The vast, open grasslands of the Serengeti are without doubt one of Africa's finest wildlife areas, and being there at the height of the migration is a never-to-be-forgotten experience.


This is the largest intact volcanic calderas in the world, and some scientists maintain that before it erupted, it would have stood higher than Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest point in Africa. Covering a mere 260km², the 600 metre deep crater is home to a permanent population of more than 30 000 animals, and is one of the only places in Tanzania where you stand a very good chance of seeing the "Big Five" (lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino and elephant) in the course of a morning or evening's game drive. Nights on the crater rim (2 400 metres) where the lodges are can get icy cold. Unique to the crater is that the local Maasai graze their cattle on the floor, and it is not unusual to see Maasai cattle and buffalo grazing together, with a lion kill just a few hundred metres away. There are around 100 lions in the crater, and about 20 black rhino. The spectacular Lerai Forest is one of the best places in Africa to spot leopard


This is one of the most diverse of Tanzania's national parks, a tiny (325km²) combination of Rift Valley Lake, dense woodlands and steep mountainside. Manyara was established specifically to protect the elephant herds that have made the area world-renowned. But heavy poaching in the 1970s and 1980s decimated the herds, although they are now recovering and returning to their former strengths. Manyara is a birding paradise (more than 380 species), especially for waterfowl and migrants, and the forests are one of the best places to see leopards. Lions hunt on the grassy shores of the lake, and are known for their habit of climbing trees. Best game viewing months are December to February and May to July, tapering off in August and September.


This park lies within the Ngurdoto Crater, a volcano that has probably been extinct for a quarter of a million years.  Covering 137km², the terrain ranges from open savannah through acacia scrublands to Afro-montane cloud and rain forest, and Afro-Alpine vegetation similar to Mount Kilimanjaro. There are several alkaline lakes, and the spectacular Ngurdoto Crater is unmissable. Mammal species include elephant, buffalo, various primates, giraffe and leopard. Hiking is allowed if accompanied by an armed guard, and the climb up Mount Meru is superb, often giving the best views available of Mount Kilimanjaro.


This park, 1300 square kilometres in area, offers a chance to see lion, zebra, hippo, leopard, cheetah, giraffe, impala, wildebeest and warthog. A popular spot for visitors is the Kikaboga Hippo Pool. Although December to March is the ideal time for viewing at Mikumi, there are animals throughout the year.


At 12 950km², Ruaha is only marginally smaller than the Serengeti, and is pristine and untouched Africa, unsullied by minibus tourism and large lodges with electric lights, discotheques and glitzy curio shops. Infested with tsetse fly, Ruaha is bordered in the north by the Kizigio and Rungwa River Game Reserves, and together they form a 26 500km² conservancy, one of the biggest in East Africa. By road, it is a five-hour journey from Iringa, but there is also an airstrip at Msembe for fly-in safaris. The best months to visit are from July to November when the animals congregate around the water holes, but the park is stunning all year round. Ruaha is visually a treat, with rocky outcrops and mountain ranges giving it a topography that ranges from 750m to 1 900m on the Peak of Ikungu Mountain, and the focal point of the reserve is the Great Ruaha River, with its deep gorges, swirling rapids - and excellent fishing. With over 10 000 elephant, 30 000 buffalo, 20 000 zebra and huge populations of lion and leopard (not to mention more than 400 bird species) Ruaha is a naturalist's paradise.


At 2 600km², Tarangire is far from being the biggest of the Tanzanian parks, but its unrivalled landscape of open plains, dotted with thousands of baobabs, is unforgettable. About 120km south of Arusha on the Dodoma road, Tarangire rivals the Serengeti for the size of the game herds that congregate here at peak season (June to November). This is when many of the animals crowd around the only source of permanent water in the park, the Tarangire River. This is also the best place in Tanzania to see really big herds of elephant - up to 300 at a time. Tarangire is another park known for its tree-climbing lions, and for its very big herds of buffalo. This is one of Africa's little-known gems and should be on the itinerary of all lovers of wilderness and solitude. The game numbers are staggering: 30 000 zebra, 25 000 wildebeest, 5 000 buffalo, 3 000 elephant, 2 500 Maasai giraffe and over 1 000 fringe-eared Oryx (gemsbok). Predators include lion, cheetah and leopard, and birders will want to look out for the endemic ashy starling, rufous-tailed weaver and black-collared lovebird.


This park is on the shores of Lake Tanganyika and chimpanzees are more easily seen here in their natural habitat than anywhere else in the world. Gombe was created to protect the chimpanzees and is set in the beautiful Mahale Mountains. It is renowned for fantastic sunsets over Lake Tanganyika and Eastern Zaire, which makes it an essential stop for the keen photographer. The habitats include rain forests, grasslands, alpine bamboo and woodland. The best time to visit is between May and October


This is the ultimate African wilderness experience, a vast region of largely unexplored bush, teeming with wildlife, and with almost no roads into the hidden interior. Selous is a bird watchers paradise with over 350 species of bird, walking is permitted (with an armed ranger) and with 2,000 species of plants to see makes this a most diverse sanctuary to explore. Bisected by the mysterious Rufiji River, the Selous is one of the most remote and least visited parks in Africa and, at 55 000km², is the second biggest conservation area in Africa, and the largest game reserve on the continent, and a proclaimed world heritage site. To give scale to these figures, the reserve covers an area more than twice that of Denmark, is bigger than Switzerland and is nearly four times the size of the Serengeti.

The Selous is a grand African experience. Once home to the biggest concentration of elephant on the continent (over 110 000) the "Ivory Wars" of the late 70s and early 80s had a devastating effect on the herds, reducing numbers to an estimated 30 000 to 50 000 today. The black rhino population was similarly laid waste, and today there are perhaps 150 to 200 left out of a population of 3 000 in the early 70s. It would be easy to reduce the Selous to just a set of numbers - 120 000 buffalo, 150 000 wildebeest, 50 000 zebra, an estimated half the African population of wild dog, some 4 000, 350 bird species, 50 000 impala, and a mere 2 000 visitors a year - but that would be doing it an injustice.

The defining feature of the Selous is the great Rufiji River, which naturally splits the ecosystem into two distinct parts. Stiegler's Gorge, 100m deep and 100m wide, is a magnificent natural feature with a rickety and gut-wrenching cable car that ferries safari vehicles across the river - not for the faint of heart. While the bulk of the reserve is miombo (brachystegia) woodland, there are sections of magnificent grass plains, wetlands and swamps and areas of dense canopy forest.

Perhaps the most sublime way of exploring the reserve is by boat, meandering through channels and swamps, and exploring hidden lagoons where elephant often come to bathe. Angling in the river for tiger fish and the giant catfish (vundu), which can reach up to 50kg, can be an exciting way to pass an evening, keeping a wary eye open for crocodiles, hippo and lion.

Other national parks include Katavi, Kilimanjaro, Mahale Mountains, Rubondo and Udzungura Mountains.

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