Our travel tips for a safari in Tanzania
At Siri Maasai Safari, we want our customers to be informed and advised in the fullest way possible, so that they can have an extraordinary vacation. We have extensive experience of the places we offer. Indeed, we regularly check the lodges, the activities and the places to visit to make sure that the offers we offer you perfectly meet your expectations.
Nothing like up-to-date and relevant travel information directly from people living there.
Tips for planning your Tanzania safari
- Book early for high season: Some safari destinations depending on the season are very popular. The best-located migration camps are often booked a year in advance. It is important to plan your trip.
- Choose your activities: Safaris are standard activities in all parks but certain activities such as night safaris, bush walks, balloon safaris… are only allowed in certain areas or camps. It is therefore important to clearly explain your wishes so that we can fully satisfy you.
- The high season: the parks of northern Tanzania are huge and can accommodate many visitors and it is good to know that you will meet a lot of people between july and mid september and also during the holiday season.
Money and expenses
The currency unit of Tanzania is the Tanzanian Shilling, but we recommend that you use only US Dollars USD and cash. Credit cards, although accepted at most establishments do incur transaction fees. ATMs can be found in major cities in Tanzania, but not in national parks.
Note: US dollar banknotes printed before 2006 are not accepted in Tanzania.
Tipping your driver-guide is usual on a Tanzania safari. Amounts vary depending on the size of your group, the level of luxury of the safari, and whether you believe an exceptionally good job has been done. This is also the case for the staff of the lodges and during the various activities you choose or if you are going to have lunch in a private capacity in a restaurant.
Tips are always in addition to the price quoted by your safari company. Although not compulsory, they are required in Tanzania.
Prepare your suitcases
When preparing your luggage, remember to take casual and light clothing which will be very practical for safaris in the parks. Choose neutral colors (beige, khaki, white, etc.). Bring a warm jacket for the evening and long clothes to protect yourself from insects during the evenings outside, regardless of the time of year. If you go to Zanzibar, you have to take into account that the Muslim belief is very present. Although the locals are very tolerant, there are some places (especially in town) where shoulder-covering T-shirts and light pants will be better options than tank tops or shorts for women.
For your shoes, remember to take a pair of sneakers which will be very useful for possible walks.
Regarding luggage, we recommend flexible bags rather than hard suitcases which are much less practical when traveling in 4 × 4. Also, if you end your trip in Zanzibar, the airlines only accept soft luggage, otherwise you will have to pay extra on site. For the weight of the luggage, remember to check with your airline. However, you should know that companies that perform domestic flights in Tanzania (to go to Zanzibar for example), allow flexible luggage of 15 kg maximum. In case of excess weight, a supplement will be required on site.
Flights and travel
Main international airports
- Kilimanjaro International Airport, Tanzania's second international airport serves the north of the country (Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire and Lake Manyara). International flights arriving late in the day require an overnight stay in Arusha before going on safari the next morning.
- Dar-es-Salaam International Airport, Tanzania's main airport is the gateway to the Indian Ocean and Zanzibar.
Visa and passport requirements
All visitors to Tanzania need a visa. These formalities take place on arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport. Visa fees are $ 50 USD per person.
Visitors to Tanzania must have a passport valid for six months after the original date of travel.
The ideal for wildlife photography would be to have a reflex camera with a 70-200 zoom or more and an 18-55 for landscapes. Full frame allows you to use RAW recording, which is useful in post processing to avoid loss of quality. A bridge-type device is ideal. To avoid taking up a foot, which is not very practical in the 4X4, we recommend that you take a flexible packet preferably containing 1kg of rice. Dried beans will also do the trick. By placing this package on the body of the 4X4 it allows us to prop the camera on it to avoid moving blur when shooting, especially at long focal lengths.
Ideally, take a sun visor and if you think about it, invest a few euros in a neutral but high-quality UV filter from Hoya or Rodenstock. Not only will you protect your optics but in addition you will also avoid atmospheric haze.
When it comes to memory cards, it is better to have several small capacities, rather than a large one. An incident with the card can always happen.
Whenever possible it is advisable to have several batteries, especially if you are filming. The vehicles are equipped with sockets for recharging the batteries.
As health conditions in Tanzania and around the world are constantly changing, you can consult the vaccinations and recommendations for Tanzania on the Pasteur website. We remain at your disposal to provide you with additional information.