TRAVEL TIPS & FAQ
English is widely spoken.
Major foreign currencies - particularly US$- and travelers cheques are accepted and are convertible at banks and bureaux de changes in the main town and tourist areas. Credit cards are not widely accepted and carry poor exchange rates. Only some banks offer ATM facilities. Visitors may be expected to pay in foreign currency for game parks. Don't change money in the street.
Generally dry and hot with cool nights/mornings June-October, short rains November to mid-December, long rains March-May but the season can vary. The coastal strip is hot and humid all year round. Temperatures at high altitudes on Mount Kilimanjaro and Meru drop to below freezing.
Pack lightweight, washable clothes plus a sweater for early morning game drives, a sunhat, sunglasses and sunscreen. Long sleeves and trousers in light-colored fabrics help discourage insect bites. Shorts for women are acceptable (but not too short). Women should carry a wrap to cover legs in the village and towns as revealing clothes can be offensive, especially in Zanzibar and Muslim areas. On the beach and within the confines of beach hotels normal swim wear (no nudity) is acceptable. For climbing on Kilimanjaro and Meru, take thermal underwear, light layers, sweater, rain jacket, good socks and sturdy boots. Cold weather gear is needed for the high altitudes.
Baggage on safari is limited to one soft sided bag, plus one small piece of hang baggage per person (excluding a camera bag). In total this should not weight more then 15kg. Suitcases and other heavier items can be stored in city hotels while clients are on safari.
Bring film and batteries for your camera with you. Protect your camera from dust and keep equipment and film cool. It is courteous to ask permission before photographing local people. If you intend to take a lot of people pictures, be sure to bring an instant camera with you so that you can leave a picture with people you photograph.
Not obligatory, but a tip for exceptional service (max 10%) will be appreciated, $10-$15 per day is customary for drivers and guides.
Standard Time in Tanzania is GMT+3
Power is 230v,50hz. Common receptacle take 3 round pins or 3 flat blades. Occasional power failures or surges can happen. It is recommended to bring plug and voltage adaptors if needed, and a personal light or headlamp.
Visas may be required, tourists visas are available at entry points. Or contact KILELE AFRIKA for further advice.
Where is the best place to go on safari?
Safari in Kiswahili, the language of East Africa, simply means a journey. Today it is synonymous in English with a wildlife viewing adventure in the African Bush. If your primary reason for traveling to Africa is to experience an abundance of African wildlife in unspoiled wilderness, then Tanzania should be your destination of choice. Tanzania protects over 25% of its land through national parks and reserves, more than any other country on the continent. You simply cannot beat the wildlife concentrations found in Tanzania. The parks and wildlife reserves of Tanzania are inhabited by vast herds of wildebeest spread out across the Serengeti savanna, huge populations of elephant and buffalo, as well as plains game and their predators. All these animals interact and roam freely, the same as they have for thousands of years. Here you'll witness an incredible diversity of ecology and will find the vegetation and bird life as fascinating as the big game. This is the home to 90% of the film series produced on African animals. Tanzania also boasts a remarkable number of World Heritage Sites including, Serengeti National Park, Kilimanjaro National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Selous Game Reserve, (this reserve alone is the size of Denmark), Kilwa Kisiwani and the Songo Mnara Ruins and Mafia Marine park. [Top of Page]
When is the best time of year to go on safari in Tanzania?
Anytime other than during the long rains (April & May) is a wonderful time to be on safari. At KILELE AFRIKA we adjust our safari itineraries to take advantage of the best possible game viewing in accordance with the seasonal concentrations of wildlife. [Top of Page]
Where is the best place to go for wildlife viewing in Africa?
You simply can't beat northern Tanzania for wildlife concentrations. Most people have heard of the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater and the wide array of wildlife dwelling on the crater floor. Most have heard of the vast Serengeti savanna, which hosts the annual Migration of Wildebeest and the predators that follow in its wake. This is only the beginning of the natural phenomena awaiting your discovery on a safari to Tanzania. Guests of KILELE AFRIKA consistently tell us the wildlife they experienced far surpassed their most optimistic expectations. [Top of Page]
What kinds of animals will I see on safari in Tanzania?
Tanzania is home to over 35 species of large four-legged mammals and has over 1000 species of birds listed. On a typical safari in northern Tanzania you can expect to see elephant, buffalo, giraffe, hippo, baboon, monkeys and a variety of plains game such as wildebeest, hartebeest, zebra, impala and gazelle. Most people see lion and hyena, and possibly cheetah or leopard. In Ngorongoro Crater you may see one of the few remaining black rhino to be found in Tanzania. You'll undoubtedly see several different species of mongoose and some hyrax and other small mammals. If you're lucky you'll see one or more of the smaller cats, foxes, wild dog or the more reticent antelope like lesser kudu, bushbuck, oryx or eland. [Top of Page]
What is the Migration?
Every year, over one million wildebeest move through the Serengeti plains in search of food and water. The phenomenon of these animals moving en mass through the African savanna is known as the Migration. Their movement is driven by the seasonal rains that water their grazing pastures. It is impossible to predict in advance exactly how or when this progression will take place, but there is a pattern. Generally from mid-December through May the herds are feeding in the southern Serengeti. During February thousands of calves appear on the plains. Between June and July, the wildebeest begin their annual migration north reaching the Mara River that marks the Kenyan border sometime between the end of July and beginning of August. After the first short rains, usually in the beginning of November, the herds move back into Tanzania's Serengeti and make their way to the southern pastures where they rest and feed through the rains until their search for better grazing leads them to begin their annual migration once again. Even when the "migration" moves into Kenya for the summer months, there are many resident herds in the Serengeti and there is always an incredible array of wildlife to experience there. Also, in the summer months, which are the height of the dry season, thousands of elephant congregate around the Tarangire River. This park is at it's prime during these months and we adjust our itineraries to take advantage of the prime wildlife viewing there. Each time of year offers the visitor to Tanzania a special opportunity for wildlife viewing. [Top of Page]
Will I have a chance to interact with the local people of Tanzania?
The vast majority of Tanzanians are still living very close to their traditional lifestyles. Most of the people are subsistence farmers. The Maasai people, favored by photographers for their strikingly colorful décor, live a pastoral existence following their herds of cattle to better grazing areas, still adhering to the traditions and ceremonies of their ancestors. Their "villages" are located throughout northern Tanzania. Other small tribes of hunter-gatherers, living according to their ancient customs and traditions can also be found in this area. [Top of Page]
At KILELE AFRIKA we consider the cultural component of any safari to be subtle yet essential. All of our guides are Tanzanian born. They are an excellent resource to help you gain greater insight into the local culture. We don't promote specially staged dances and tourist oriented presentations. Instead, on most of our trips, we begin with a visit to a traditional village where you are welcomed as friends of KILELE AFRIKA into their lives and invited to get to know them as they get to know you. As we drive between parks, we pass many villages and Masai Bomas giving you further glimpses into the lives of the Tanzanian people. We also offer a special trip in which our guests travel well off the beaten path to spend time among the Wahadza people and observe their ancient hunter-gatherer ways. [Top of Page]
What if I want a custom safari?
We would be delighted to work with you to help you and your family, friends or organization plan the best possible safari to match your interests and budget. We organize custom safaris for professional photographers, honeymoon couples and families. Click HERE to go to our online Trip builder. [Top of Page]
Can I take my children on safari?
YES! KILELE AFRIKA has a personal understanding and deep commitment to meeting the special needs of families. We have designed our unique family safari programs to allow you and your children to experience the wonders of Africa together. You'll have a chance to deepen your understanding of cultural diversity, discover the many miracles of nature, and at the same time play, laugh, and enjoy the pleasure of one another's company. Our trips are well suited for children. [Top of Page]
Will I stay in tents or lodges?
Our safaris offer a wide array of safari styles to suit your interests and budget. Please see our website for a description of the different types of accommodations we use on our trips. [Top of Page]
How big are your safari groups?
Small. Our scheduled safaris vary in size depending on the nature of the safari. We keep our groups small (the very maximum is 15 people, minimal 2 - 5 people) to allow a more intimate connection with the African bush. [Top of Page]
What's the weather like in Tanzania?
Located at an altitude of 5,000 to 7,600 feet, northern Tanzania's dry sunny climate is nothing like the steamy African jungle of Tarzan movies. The weather is spring-like year round, with daytime temperatures in the 70s and 80s, evenings in the 60s. From June until August, temperatures are slightly cooler, ranging from the 50s to the mid-70s. The coastal and lowland areas tend to be more tropical in temperature. [Top of Page]
What clothes should I bring on safari?
Safari dress is comfortable and casual - layers are recommended. Keep it simple and bring things you don't mind getting dusty. After you have booked your safari, we send you a pre-departure information through emails to help you prepare for your safari. [Top of Page]
What's the food like?
On Safari, you will be pleasantly surprised by both the quality and the variety of the food available on safari. In most lodges, meals are served buffet-style so you can choose what you like. The food is prepared according to western tastes, with some curries and local cuisine included. If you choose a camping safari, fresh meat and produce is prepared by our expert chefs to the highest sanitary standards. Most returning guests rave about our camp food!
On Kilimanjaro, dinners are typically a main course with vegetable and salad. Chicken and fish are served at some of the days during the climb, with pastas and rice dishes being served in the middle of the climb while up high. Lunches are often on the trail and usually consist of cold cuts and vegetables laid out on a table so you can make your own sandwich. Fresh hot vegetable soups are served at every meal, and packet soup is available on request between meals as is coffee and tea. Breakfast is your choice: granola, toast, fruit, eggs, and sometimes pancakes or French toast. While hiking some people have a favorite snack that they like; it is a good idea to bring this from home. [Top of Page]
Can special dietary requirements be accommodated?
Special dietary requirements such as vegetarian or diabetic meals can easily be arranged with advanced notice. If you are vegetarian or vegan you may wish to bring along some alternative protein sources. If you have multiple food allergies, you'll definitely want to bring along supplemental snacks. It is important we know of any possible dietary restrictions as soon as possible. [Top of Page]
Are safaris in Tanzania safe?
Today's modern safari is a far cry from the rugged safaris of the past. After a stimulating day of game viewing, you can relax at comfortable, attractive lodges, with amenities like swimming pools, full service restaurants and en-suite bathrooms. Located right in the scenic settings of the wildlife reserves, the lodges are close to nature… but not too close for comfort. Tanzania is one of Africa's most stable countries, where you'll receive a warm welcome from its gracious people. Every care is taken to ensure your health and safety on safari. [Top of Page]
Is it OK to drink the water?
We provide bottled water on game drives and in Campsites, and you can purchase good quality bottled water at all the lodges and camps. [Top of Page]
Are there a lot of bugs in Tanzania?
There are more bugs in many places in the USA or Europe than you will encounter on safari. Again, remember that most of the areas you'll be visiting are arid (especially from July - November). The bugs you will see are fascinating, but certainly not anything to be concerned about. [Top of Page]
How far in advance should I book my safari?
It is better to book as far in advance as possible to ensure availability at the time you wish to travel, especially during the peak seasons (July & August and Christmas time). This is especially important for those wishing to travel on private custom safaris and those adding extensions to the scheduled trips. [Top of Page]
Can I use a credit card to pay for my safari?
We do not directly accept Credit Cards for your safari deposit. But you can use your Credit Card for payment through Western Union. The balance is due a day prior to departure and is payable through our Bank in Tanzania. [Top of Page]
What shots should I get?
For medical advice it is always best to consult your doctor or travel clinic. The minimum requirements for entry into Tanzania are a yellow fever vaccination and anti-malarial medication. Bear in mind that you will be staying in camps and lodges oriented to meet the needs of International guests. [Top of Page]
What additional costs can I expect when I travel with KILELE AFRIKA?
Our safari packages include all accommodation and meals while on safari, airport transfers, park fees and services of KILELE AFRIKA guides and drivers. It is customary to tip your guide and driver, as well as the Cook or Camp staff if you are camping during your safari. You will also need to pay for your own beverages and personal items like laundry service and phone calls. Before you come, you are responsible for any passport and visa fees. We also highly recommend you purchase travel protection insurance. And finally, if you know yourself to be a big souvenir shopper you'll need to budget accordingly. [Top of Page]
Recommended tipping guidelines
- Porters USD $5 to $10 per porter per day
- Guide, assistant guide, cook USD $15 to 20 per person per day
Please note that tipping is customarily recommended, but depends on your service satisfaction. [Top of Page]
8-Day Tanzania Adventure Safari and Luxury Lodge Package Itinerary.
This is an optimum package for an exploration of everything the Northern Circuit of Tanzania has to offer. The itinerary includes the main features of Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater Reserve, with visits to the smaller regional national parks as well. Activities include evening and morning game drives and a complete overland exploration of Serengeti, including a dawn balloon safari as an optional extra..
14-Day Luxury Climb/Safari Package Itinerary
Lemosho Route is situated along the western slopes of Kilimanjaro, and is one of the most scenic routes. It is well placed for climbers to enjoy a short stay at the Ndarakwai Ranch private conservancy. A short fly-in safari itinerary compliments this climb with a luxury tour of the the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater Reserves and some of the best of the Tanzanian luxury lodges and camps..
8-Day Tanzania Luxury Lodge & Safari Package Itinerary.
This is a combination climb/safari packages that offer in a compact itinerary the best that the Northern Circuit of Tanzania has to offer. A fly-in transfer to Serengeti saves time and eases you out of your climb into the luxury of a tented camp in the interior of the par. From there things just get better. Activities include evening and morning game drives and a complete overland exploration of Serengeti, including a dawn balloon safari as an optional extra..
8-Day Lemosho Route Itinerary.
Lemosho Route is the longest of the standard routes and is without doubt the most beautiful. Expect some of the most extraordinary scenery anywhere in Africa, with well preserved forests, sweeping moorland, heather forests and high desert. Lemosho Route also offers easy walking days and plenty of opportunity for altitude adjustment..
7-Day Machame Route Itinerary.
Machame Route is the intermediate route and approaches Kilimanjaro from the south. Its main feature is an experience of the best preserved section of forest as well as a rapid rise in altitude allowing for effective adjustment. This is definitely one of the most scenically beautiful options available to climb Kilimanjaro..
7 DAYS Tanzania Exclusive Lodge Safari..
Visit the 'Big Five' areas of Tanzania on this 6 night safari. Starts with Lake Manyara, Serengeti, and then to the wildlife of Ngorongoro. Accommodation is in three stars to five stars Lodge.
14 DAYS Wildlife Safari and Zanzibar Beach Holiday.
An unforgettable holiday! - The very best of Tanzania's wildlife parks combined with a beach holiday in Zanzibar. Perfect for Honeymooners..
15 DAYS Northern Circuit Safari in Tanzania.
Visit Arusha - Tarangire - Lake Manyara - Ngorongoro - Serengeti. The great Tanzania safari is well planned with time to enjoy the highlights of Tanzania.
Great Tour - 5 days, 4 nights Safari- Tanzania.
Tanzania - Tarangire National park, Lake Manyara National park, Ngorongoro & Serengeti National Park. Discounts apply - Book now..
7 Days Mikumi - Ruaha Safari
The Safari in the Unexploited Ruaha National Parks.Ruaha National Park is the largest national park in Tanzania. It covers an area of about 20,200 kmē. It is located in the middle of Tanzania about 130 km from Iringa. The park is part of a more extensive ecosystem which includes Rungwa Game Reserve, Usangu Game Reserve, and several other protected areas..
20 DAY Tanzania Exclusive Northern & Southern Circuit Safari
Visit the 'Big Five' areas of Tanzania on this 20 days safari. The itinerary starts with Tarangire, Ngorongoro , Serengeti, Manyara, and then continues to Selous, Mikumi and Ruaha. This great Tanzania safari is well planned with time to enjoy the highlights of Tanzania..