PRIDELAND SAFARI LIMITED
Planning Your Safari
When is the best time to go on safari in Tanzania?
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.
What is the climate and weather like in Tanzania?
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.
How early do I have to book a safari and what do I need to do?
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.
Payment and Cancellation
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.
Travel and Safety
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 to Wear and Pack
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)
- Light long pants or convertible long-short pants
- Warm fleece pullover or jacket
- One swimsuit
- Cotton socks and underwear
- 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?
- 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
- 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.