FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

PRIDELAND SAFARI

Our safari itineraries are tailored to seasonal animal movement patterns so wildlife viewing is excellent year round. So the best time to go on safari is really dependent on when you wish to come, your interests, places you wish to visit and activities that you may want to do.

If you’d like to see the wildebeest migration spread out across the Serengeti plains, we’ll recommend you travel in the green season stretching from December to April. This is especially good for the calving season. As the migration moves North from June onwards the Northern part of the Serengeti and river crossings into Kenya’s Maasai Mara is the best area. Whatever month you travel, we will build your itinerary to ensure you’re located in the right parks and the right regions for best wildlife viewing. We can make suggestions about the best areas to visit and build the safari around the time you wish to travel, your interests and budget.

If you love elephants and would like to see large herds, we recommend visiting Tarangire National Park in the height of the dry season from July to September when massive herds congregate around the Tarangire River. If you are interested in climbing Kilimanjaro prior to going on safari, we’ll suggest you avoid traveling in April and May when the long rains will make trekking difficult.

The Tanzania Immigration Services Department Launched a New Online Visa Service on 26 November 2018. A prospective visitor to The United Republic of Tanzania can now easily apply, make a payment, and receive his/her Visa Grant Notice online.

To access these services, an applicant is required to visit The Tanzania Immigration Service Department’s website www.eservices.immigration.go.tz/visa and click an “e-services” button; select “Online-Visa Application”; and fill in the Visa Application Form.

Then, the applicant will submit his/her “relevant scanned document attachments” online after which he/she will receive an email message containing a User Identification Number that he/she can use to track the status of his/her visa application online.

Thereafter, an applicant will be required to make payment of his/her visa application fee either by Visa Card, Master Card, Maestro, American Express, or Wire/Swift Transfer (i.e. depositing money directly into the Tanzania Immigration Service Department Bank Account at the Bank Counter). After payment of the respective fee, an applicant will receive a notification that the payment has been received.

Finally, an applicant will receive a “Visa Grant Notice” through his/her email and begin his/her trip to The United Republic of Tanzania.

CAUTION: Applicants are reminded to make their applications through the Official Tanzania Immigration Services Website (www.eservices.immigration.go.tz/visa) ONLY and not through other links

We will take the time to get to know you and design a tailor-made itinerary for you. We try to make sure that you get exactly the safari you want, and we take the time to answer your questions. Rather than imposing our ideas, we work together with you. The most important thing is for you to be able to make an informed decision. So how does this process work?

You may already have a rough idea of the places in Tanzania that you really want to see. Or perhaps you are not entirely sure yet. Just send us an email and let us know your initial starting ideas. Depending on your needs, we will then start by suggesting destinations that you could visit, or if you have already chosen destinations, we may advise you on how to best combine them.

We try to pay attention to the price range you choose, and we try to build an itinerary around your preferences and interests. An individual itinerary is certainly preferable to be tied in with a group schedule, and it also allows for a certain amount of spontaneity and flexibility.

Just to give you an example: if you say that you would like a cultural experience, we can make suggestions for places to visit, and how that might best tie in with your overall itinerary. Or if you don’t like flying in small planes because you get airsick, then we could try to design an itinerary where you travel mainly by car. If you tell us that you want a few days just to relax, then we can organize a few days on the beach for you.

Together with you, we will develop your itinerary by asking questions and communicating with you throughout the entire process of designing your safari. This way, you end up with a customized itinerary that is designed to suit your personal preference, and you can be sure that your safari moves at your own pace, and you are not forced to do things you are not interested in.

All our safari packages include unlimited game drives with no restriction on mileage or fuel. This gives our guests more freedom and flexibility allowing the exploration of more secluded regions for exclusive wildlife viewing. Unlimited Mileage means that you can drive for as long as you want within the parks’ operational hours (6 am to 6 pm), and the designated area for game drives on the given day. For example, if the itinerary designates Central Serengeti, then you can stay within the Central Serengeti region if you want, stretching to the borders of Western Serengeti.

However, we cannot, for instance, drive from Central Serengeti to the Mara River then back. Some companies quote you for limited game drives with restrictions on mileage and fuel. You wouldn’t make it very far from the main road or have the ability to explore the more exclusive areas of the park. With unlimited game drives, you can fully enjoy your safari completely worry-free.

Absolutely yes, we provide unlimited beverages in our safari vehicle including bottled drinking water, your preferred soft drinks, juice, domestic beer, French-press coffee, and tea. All our safari vehicles are equipped with a small refrigerator to keep your drinks chilled for you to enjoy during your safari.

It is important to never assume that any of the animals encountered on your game drive are tame. Though attacks by wild animals are unusual, nothing in the African wilderness is predictable. While you are staying in your safari lodges and camps, it is important to be especially cautious and aware of your surroundings as many of these areas are not fenced and contain wildlife roaming freely. If you have children with you, keep them in sight and do not let them wander alone.

At smaller tented lodges, you will always be escorted to and from your tent for dinner or during the night. Should you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to raise them to the staff or your guide.

This is your safari trip, your adventure! You decide how you want to spend your time on this vacation. If you would like to spend a full day on safari, you are welcomed to do so. Northland Tanzania Safaris does not restrict your mileage, fuel, or how much time you want to be on safari.

While some days you may decide to set out by sunrise, other days you can have a slower-paced breakfast before starting your daily exploration. Simply sit down with your guide to plan your day and meals the night before. Your guide will have plenty of suggestions, but of course, the decision is yours.

Dust is no stranger in Tanzania. Dusty conditions get significantly worse during the dry season from June to the end of October. Even in the green season (December to May), dust can be aggravating during game drives. Please be prepared for dusty roads when traveling in Tanzania, especially between Ngorongoro and Serengeti.

If you are particularly sensitive to dust, please advise your driver to close all windows in order to use the air conditioning in the vehicle. Please be aware that electronics such as photography and video equipment may be particularly prone to dust conditions. Keep a few soft photo soft cloths on hand to wipe down dust from the lenses. Be sure to bring a small bag to store your equipment that can be opened and easily accessed. It is important to note that dust may affect contact lens wearers, as a result, be sure to plan accordingly and bring enough supply of lens lubricant.

You will experience bumpy roads when traveling throughout the region and during game drives. This may pose a problem for some individuals with back problems. Please inform us in advance and we can provide additional back pillows for extra comfort.

While our vehicles are customized and equipped for rough roads, we still always recommend our guests to always fasten their seat belts and hold on when standing on their seats to enjoy the view through the popped-up roof. Please also make sure that your cameras and other electronic equipment are always safely stored in case of any damages due to bumpy roads.

It is always recommended to stay inside your vehicles when you are in the national parks unless your driver-guide finds a safe area to stop for lunch or to stretch your legs. If you are keen on hiking, there are guided walks that are available in Tarangire, Lake Manyara, and Ngorongoro. 

Within the Serengeti National Parks, long walks are not permitted during to conservation reasons; however, some lodgings will offer short walks near the lodge or camp.

All park fees and conservation fees have a 24 hours limit. We plan you’re itinerary according to the park permits paid. Your safari driver guide will brief you the night before and provide suggestions regarding your schedule. Please note that any penalty fee resulting from the client’s wish to extend their stay will be at the guest’s expense.

Snakes are common throughout Africa, but they are seldom encountered on safaris. In bushy or wooded areas, wear boots closed-toe shoes or boots and long trousers to avoid insect bites and minimize risk. 

If you are staying in a mobile or canvas camp, please make sure that the canvas flap is zipped all the way down in order to prevent insects from entering your tent. The staff at each accommodation will spray your room while you are out for dinner and it should be as “bug-free” as possible upon your return.

When you are on safari, you may encounter the tsetse fly in the woodlands of Tarangire and some regions of the Serengeti, some more concentrated than others. Tsetse flies resemble larger flies with a stinger, and while most have no adverse reaction to the bites, some may experience swelling and itchiness.

A recommended medication for this would be “Benadryl Itch Relief stick”. The tsetse fly is attracted to dark blue and black colors. Light natural colors such as khaki, brown, olive, beige, and green are recommended and should be worn during the day. Tsetse flies are most active during the day and become inactive during the night.

Your private safari will allow the flexibility of how you choose to spend your time. A daily decision to be made is whether to have breakfast and lunch at the tented camp or lodge or a picnic box in the bush. While early morning game drives with the sunrise can be breathtaking (and highly encouraged), there will be likely occasions where you desire to stay in the bush and continue your adventure without returning to the lodging. Picnic boxes for breakfast and lunch are prepared daily at each respective accommodation according to your itinerary.

The typical breakfast box may consist of a combination of bread, pastries, juice, a banana, apple, hardboiled-egg, bacon, or sausages. Your driver will also provide ‘French-press’ coffee to get your morning started. The typical lunch boxes consist of various items such as a piece of chicken, bread, sandwiches, banana, apple, juice, muffin, and chocolate. If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know and we will plan accordingly.

If you have any allergies or special dietary requirements, please let us know beforehand at the time of booking, so we can advise the lodgings accordingly. Most places will be able to accommodate your preferred meal options, though sometimes vegetarian/vegan options may be a bit limited and repetitive. If you require any special health supplement, please kindly bring it with you.

Most domestic flights within East Africa have a luggage restriction of 15kg per person in soft or duffel bags. The 15kg per person includes all hand luggage and bags. Excess luggage may be subjected to $5 per kg if it can be accommodated. 

It is important to note that during high peak season the pilot may refuse to carry extra weight. Please carry-on all valuables and do NOT check-in any luggage containing expensive items such as camera equipment, laptops, iPods, etc. to avoid theft.

Our safari packages include ‘Emergency Evacuation Services with AMREF’s Flying Doctors. This will cover the guests in case they require immediate evacuation from where they are to the nearest hospital (usually in Nairobi). If you are feeling ill, but not having any serious symptoms or injuries, there are nearby hospitals and clinics (in Karatu and Serengeti) available. We strongly recommend all our guests purchase extensive travel insurance.

Tanzania resides just south of the equator, where the sun will hang near its zenith for most of the day. The intensity of the equatorial sun can quickly lead to sunburn and sun poisoning. The solution is simple, use high-factor sunblock, lip balm, wear a hat and stay hydrated. Don’t forget your eyes also need protection and be sure to wear sunglasses.

Throughout your safari, there are various areas with public bathroom facilities such as ranger stations, museums, visitor centers, camps, lodges, and picnic sites. Since you will be on a private safari, there will be plenty of opportunities where no other vehicles are in sight. At any time, your driver-guide can find a safe and private area where you may simply exit to the rear of the vehicle. Two large spare tires at the back of the vehicle, blocking the view from anyone else within the vehicle.

Most guests are a bit reluctant at first, but gradually adapt and become with comfortable the convenient bush bathrooms. Others prefer proper bathroom facilities. Don’t worry, our driver-guides are extremely professional and sympathetic to bathroom dilemmas and will ensure you are comfortable and accommodating to your needs.

Safaris are casual vacations! Dress comfortably and pack lightly. As you will be spending most of your safari viewing in the vehicle, loose-fitting and light-colored clothing is recommended. Avoid dark colors (i.e. black, dark blue) as they tend to attract unwanted attention from insects such as the tsetse fly.

SAFARI CLOTHING

  • One pair of comfortable walking shoes (i.e. sneakers, hiking shoes)
  • One pair of sandals or flip-flops
  • Casual, loose-fitting clothing
  • Swimsuit
  • One warm fleece or sweater
  • Extra Cotton socks and underwear
  • Hat
  • Lightweight jacket or windbreaker
  •  

OTHER ITEMS 

  • Passport, plane tickets
  • Dollars (both large and small denominations) and credit cards
  • Sunglasses
  • Contact Lens Solution, extra contact lenses, and spare glasses.
  • If you wear contact lenses, be sure to bring a pair of glasses in case of eye irritation from the dust
  • Sunscreen (SPF 50 or higher)
  • Lip balm (SPF 45)
  • Insect repellant (DEET 99%)
  • Anti-bacterial hand sanitizer
  • Camera and extra batteries
  • Binoculars Nikon 10×42
  • UK plug adapter
  • Journal for recording daily observations and encounters
  • Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate, if applicable
  • Small Personal Medical Kit including aspirin, anti-malarial pills, cold and allergy medicine, cream of itches (i.e. Benadryl itch relief), stomachache medicine (i.e. Pepto-Bismol), antibiotic ointment (i.e. Neosporin), prescription antibiotic effective against a broad range of bacteria including traveler’s diarrhea (i.e. Ciprofloxacin or also known as Cipro)

Please bring some warm clothes! It gets cold in some places because of the high altitude, especially in June, July, and August. Of course, it can also get very hot! It is probably best if you dress in layers, that way you won’t be chilly in the morning, and as the day gets hotter, you can just take off your layers and stay cool in the lighter clothes you’re wearing beneath.

When it comes to tipping at the safari lodges, camps, and hotels in town, our recommended tipping guideline is as follows:

  • 1 to 2 USD for the porters, who will be helping you with your luggage upon arrival at the tented camps and lodges

Typically, the safari accommodation will have a General Tipping Box at the reception desk, where you can leave your tip at the end of your stay.

  • 10 to 15 USD for each night’s stay at the camps.

Our tipping guideline is 50 to 60 USD per car per day to the driver guide, though it is ultimately up to the clients’ discretion to decide what amount is appropriate. 

For instance, for a 7 Days safari with two guests, the average tip that is given to Tanzania Safari Inspiration Driver guides are between 350 USD to 500 USD, or even higher, depending on the clients’ overall satisfaction with their driver guide and their safari experience.

When you have a personal cook for a mobile camping safari, the tipping guideline is between 10 to 15 USD per person per day, which is also up to the client’s discretion.

The recommended currency for tipping is in USD cash, and it is customary for the clients to tip at the end of their safari.

Be sure to bring special and personal prescriptions and medications. Please let us know of medical conditions that may require special attention to safari. Malaria is not to be taken lightly. All travelers should visit either their personal physician or a travel health clinic about 3 months before departure.

Ask your doctor about vaccinations and malaria prophylaxis. Bring mosquito repellent (also good for Tsetse flies). We recommend Deet. Also make sure you have jabs for Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Polio, and Yellow Fever before you come.

Tanzania has two major seasons. Although weather patterns can vary widely from year to year typically, the dry season starts around June and last through until October and the green or rainy season commences from November until around May with a short dry season typically between January and February.

The parks located in the popular northern safari circuit are located at a high elevation making the climate pleasant for game viewing even during midday. The average temperature in the Serengeti during the warmer months of October to March can range from a high of 29C to a low of 17C and during the colder months of April to September a high of 26C to a low of 13C. The rim of the Ngorongoro Crater has an elevation of over 2,200 meters and the night time temperatures can drop below freezing. It is always advisable to bring warmer jumpers or a light jacket for evenings and early mornings.

If you plan on traveling during the high season (June – September, December – March), we suggest you book your safari as far in advance as possible, 8 to 12 months, to secure your preferred accommodations. We can book on short notice. However, your safari will be subject to availability of rooms in the various accommodation and lodges.

How do I pay for my safari?

We request that you deposit 30% to secure a reservation either by bank transfer or credit card. The balance can be made by bank transfer or credit card or on arrival in cash. Our Sales team can advise you how to do this.

What is your cancellation policy?

Cancellation Policies & fees:

  • More than 120 days before the safari or tour starts, 25% off the payment.
  • 119 to 90 days before the safari or tour starts, 50 % off the payment.
  • 89 to 31 days before the safari or tour starts, 75 % off the payment.
  • 30 days and below or No Show, 100% off total costs.

Is Tanzania a safe country to visit?

Since its independence in 1961, Tanzania has been a politically stable country and one of the safest countries to travel to in Africa.

We do however recommend that you use common sense and take safety precautions as you would when traveling in any foreign country:

  • Use safes in the rooms and don’t leave cash out in all hotels and lodges.
  • Leave jewelry and expensive watches at home.
  • Make sure you empty your pockets of any money or valuables before giving laundry to hotel/lodges.
  • Keep all your important documents and cash in a money belt hidden under your clothes at all times (even on game drives or while dining at the lodge).
  • Keep a copy of all important documentation (passport, itinerary, insurance policy, credit cards, etc.) locked in your suitcase.
  • When shopping, carry a few dollars for spending money in an easily accessible zippered pocket or shoulder bag rather than displaying your money belt.
  • Do not walk around town after dark in Arusha, Dar Es Salaam or Zanzibar – always take a taxi even if you are only going a block or two.

Do I need Travel Insurance?

Safaris are a considerable investment, and we strongly urge you to purchase comprehensive travel insurance. Coverage should include trip cancellation, delay or interruption, lost or delayed baggage, emergency accident, illness and evacuation, 24-hour medical assistance and traveler’s assistance.

What vaccinations and medications do I need for travel to Tanzania?

We highly recommend that you consult with your physician or a travel medical doctor for advice several months in advance of your trip as you may need a series of vaccinations. Please ensure that you indicate that you will be traveling to Tanzania on safari. Your doctor will be able to suggest which vaccinations and medications are advisable. Anti-malarial medication is strongly recommended and should be discussed during your doctor’s visit.

All vaccinations are voluntary for entry into Tanzania except for Yellow Fever vaccination. If you are entering Tanzania from Yellow Fever infected country such as Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Rwanda, you will be required to show a Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate upon arrival in Tanzania. Please ensure you carry this Certificate with your passport. If you are entering Tanzania from Europe, you will not be required to show a Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate.

Can you use US dollars in Tanzania?

Although the currency in Tanzania is the Tanzania Shilling (Tsh), the U.S. dollar is widely accepted. However please note that for larger U.S. dollar denominations ($20, $50 and $100), only bills issued after 2006 will be accepted in Tanzania due to counterfeiting and fraud.

Major credit cards are accepted at larger safari lodges, and major souvenir shops and larger tourist towns offer ATM bank machines where you can withdraw cash using your bank card or credit card. Please note that ATM bank machines only dispense Tanzanian shillings. Please note that some lodges may not have visa facilities for payment.

Traveler’s cheques are hard to cash and not recommended.

What kinds of clothes are recommended for safari?

Casual, comfortable and easy to wash clothes are recommended. The goal is to pack lightly as most lodges and camps will launder clothes for a small fee. Safaris are informal, and there is no need to dress up. Do plan to dress in layers so you can adjust to temperature changes as early morning game drives can be quite cold depending on the time of year while daytime temperatures can get quite warm. Stick to neutral or khaki colors and avoid wearing dark blue or black clothes as these colors tend to attract tsetse flies. Wide brimmed hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellent are a necessity. After sunset, we recommend that you wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and socks and spray insect repellent to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

Recommended safari clothing:

  • T-shirts and tank tops
  • Long-sleeved shirts (for protection from sunburns)
  • Shorts
  • Light long pants or convertible long-short pants
  • Warm fleece pullover or jacket
  • One swimsuit
  • Cotton socks and underwear
  • Pajamas
  • One pair of comfortable walking shoes
  • One pair of sandals or flip-flops
  • Wide-brimmed hat
  • Bandana (for dust)
  • Heavy sweater, gloves, and toque if traveling in the cold season (June – August)

Clothing for Zanzibar – Please dress modestly when sightseeing in Stone Town or visiting anywhere outside of the beach resorts in Zanzibar. Women should not wear sleeveless or revealing tops and short skirts or thigh-high shorts (Capri trousers or at least knee-length shorts are fine). Men should wear shirts, pants or knee-length shorts.

What are some other items to pack?

  • Passport
  • Plane tickets
  • Travel Insurance Policy & Emergency Contact Numbers
  • Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate (if applicable)
  • Safari itinerary
  • U.S. dollars in large and small denominations ($20, $50 & $100 bills should be issued after 2005)
  • Credit cards and ATM bank cards
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen and lip balm
  • Small flashlight or headlamp
  • Insect/Mosquito repellent
  • Eye drops and extra contact lenses or spare glasses (if applicable)
  • Anti-bacterial hand sanitizer
  • Tissue paper and small travel towel (washrooms in Tanzania often don’t have toilet paper or paper towels)
  • Camera, extra memory cards, batteries, and charger, if applicable
  • UK plug adapter and transformer/voltage converter, if applicable
  • Ziplock bags for toiletries, camera equipment, snacks, etc.
  • Personal toiletries
  • Small first aid medical kit including Tylenol or ibuprofen, antimalarial pills, cold and allergy medicine, itch medication, band-aids, stomach ache remedy, antibiotic cream, diarrhea medicine, prescription antibiotic for travelers diarrhea (Ciprofloxacin) and any prescription medications.

We strongly recommend that you carry-on all important items such as prescription medication, camera equipment, essential toiletries (please keep in mind many airlines have liquid restrictions) and one or two changes of clothes in case of checked luggage delays or loss.

What time does an early morning game drive start?

For best sightings, we recommend that you leave the lodge or camp at 6:00 am sharp for early morning game drives. Many animals are most active in the early morning hours between 6:00 am to 9:00 am. Your safari guide will arrange breakfast boxes with the lodges so that you can make the most of the early morning hours when game will be most active and lighting is best for photography.

LET'S JOIN WITH US

GET ALL THE INTERESTING TOURS INFORMATION