Tanzania

Tanzania land of Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar

…is home to numerous National Parks infested with wildlife like lions, elephants, leopard, giraffe, rhinoceros antelopes, buffalo, zebra, thousands of other no lesser plains game; stunning African nature including Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Selous, Ruaha, Mahale, Lake Tanganyika and others as well as white sandy beaches in Zanzibar, Unguja, Pemba, Mafia, Dar es Salaam and numerous other tropical islands. Other attractions include culture, birding, business, sports and M.I.C.E.

 

 

Tanzania – the Land of Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar

Tanzania is popularly referred to as the land of Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar. But by far her most popular tourism attractions remain the proverbial kopje studded endless plains of Serengeti National Park that are awash with wild big including lions, elephants, leopard, giraffe, antelopes, buffalo, zebra, thousands upon thousands of other no lesser plains game; stunning African nature reminiscent of a real life Disneyland dating back eons and that never ceases to amaze. Ngorongoro is the biggest natural caldera in the world whose 10 km wide sunken crater is a wild life haven of unparalleled beauty wherein resides thousands of wild game – it is the only park in Tanzania where one can see wild rhinoceros and with relative ease. While Lake Manyara is famous for her tree climbing lions in the backdrop of this beautiful lake, Tarangire National Park, the final grand park in the northern safari circuit is famous for her contrast of gigantic baobab trees and unmistakably large and towering elephants only comparable to Kenya’s Amboseli and that remain relatively. The park must also have arguably the largest buffalo herds found anywhere in Africa.

Mt. Kilimanjaro is the tallest free standing mountain in the world and the most popular one to climb because of her even gradient and well-formed peak – every year, thousands of adventurists test her mettle and are glad to raise they hands and pop champagne atop her snow-capped peak, the rooftop of Africa. Mt. Meru, Kilimanjaro’s little sister in Arusha National Park across through the Maasai steppe/west Kilimanjaro is another hikers attraction – options include a three day climb to the rugged peaks or several different day long hikes on her fringes amongst the large troops of Black and White Colobus Monkeys that are always skimping from one ancient tree to another.

The spice island of Zanzibar, and adjacent Pemba, are the haunt of many beach enthusiasts that savor her white sandy beaches from the north to south in addition to cultural tours in her Stone Town ‘capital’ with Arab Persian and European historical relics dating back to the 13th Century. The Spice farms are a throwback to the past 19th century when Zanzibar was governed by the Arab sheikhs and whose cultural influences that have remained to this day and can be seen through dress, food, religion and association. Tanganyika and Zanzibar formed a federation in the 60s to form Tanzania but Zanzibar retains semi-autonomy including her own parliament and president.

To the west of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania financial capital lying on the Indian Ocean are the remote and relatively untraveled southern parks of Ruaha and Selous as well as farther on, Mahale Mountains on the edge of Lake Tanganyika, the deepest lake in the world, so beautiful one can see through her clear waters for meters and is the source of most of the cichlids (colorful fishes) found in many of the world’s aquariums. Ruaha National Park and the adjacent Selous National park are remote and off beaten the track savannah parks for game viewing. Boat rides on the Ruaha River for leisure, in search of birds and amongst the hippos and crocodiles that are regularly seen, are a very popular activity. Access to the parks however is a bit restricted due distance but regular schedule and charter flights facilitate spending most of your time where you anyway intended to, in the park.

WEATHER AND CLIMATE
Tanzania sits on the tropics. Most of the country is relatively warm tropical climate with daily temperatures between 20 and 25°C. The coastal areas tend to be warmer and more humid while high elevation areas around the mountains and Ngorongoro are more temperate and can go as low as 10°C; quite cold for Africa. There are two rain seasons; long rains in April and May and short rains in November and early December. June and July tend to be the coldest months with day temperatures as low as 12C in the high elevation areas especially around Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru as well as Ngorongoro while September and October are the hottest at above 25C.

BEST TIME TRAVEL & SEASONS
Tanzania is an all year destination. Whilst much rain can affect some of the loose surface/murram national park roads hampering mobility, a little rain does in-fact calm the heat for the visitors and the wildlife alike and thereby enhance the game viewing experience. It is a balancing act; with less crowding everywhere, accommodation and activities are easier to get and even lower prices in the rain season/off peak season.

HOW TO GET THERE
Tanzania’s principal gateways for international travellers are Kilimanjaro International Airport in Arusha, Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam as well as the Zanzibar international Airport in Zanzibar. There are also several border points with Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia and Mozambique. All the airports are visited by numerous of the major international carriers including KLM, Condor Air, Qatar, Emirates, Turkish, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, South African Airways, Rwandair and many others. Kindly reconfirm with your travel agent about your flights options including which days of the week they fly, the specific airport at which they land as well as airfares when buying your tickets

VISA
Most visitors require a Visa to enter Tanzania (with the exception of citizens of the East African countries and a few other countries. Whilst most visas can be obtained on arrival at the airport, there is always a queue and some visas do must be obtained in advance. Always reconfirm with your travel agent at the time of booking.

HEALTH REQUIREMENTS
A Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate is now mandatory for all persons entering Tanzania.
Anti-Malarial Prophylactics are highly recommended; kindly consult your physician before travel.
Other recommendations include Typhoid, Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B but are not mandatory.

WHAT TO BRING/PACKING LIST
We recommend you park light. Bring your swimming costume, beach shorts and kikoy if your tour includes the beach in Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam. Most of the lodges in the wildlife parks also have swimming pools. While dress code within your hotel precincts is generally not controlled and rather liberal, we recommend you dress moderately especially in public places in to respect local Islamic cultural norms.
Light khaki safari shorts and pants, short sleeves for warm days. A long sleeve and warm fleece for the colder nights is recommended. Cotton under garments will be your best bet. It is better to bring several light outfits that can be worn in layers as the weather changes instead of single heavy pieces. Expensive designer outfits may not fit well with local laundry conditions where some it may be by hand nor will they be required. At least two pairs of light, casual and comfortable shoes for different occasions. If you love hiking, a good pair of solid sole hiking shoes with laces (not sneakers) is best for bush walks through the rough and bushy terrain. Do not forget a Camera, a Hat, Sunscreen, Mosquito Repellent, Tooth paste and Tooth Brush.
If you will be climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro or Mt. Meru, request for our specialized packing list

BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE
Our standard vehicles, safari customized 4WD Toyota Land Cruisers for 4 or 6 persons include a rear-side luggage compartment. To optimize utilization, we recommend a maximum of two bags per person in soft duffel bags of no more than 30kgs each.

MONEY
The Tanzania currency is the Tanzania Shilling (TZS) however the US$ in cash is the currency of choice at most tourism establishments. The exchange rate as at 15th March 2017 is 1US$ = 2,200 TZS. There are ForEx bureau de changes in most major towns as well as at major hotels although the hotels charge a higher rate. Other currencies generally accepted are GBP and EURO. Some hotels and other establishments accept diverse credit cards while others do not. Kindly reconfirm for your specific hotels at the time of booking if you prefer to pay by credit card.

AMREF/FLYING DOCTORS COVER
We cover all our guests on the AMREF/Flying Doctors’ medical emergency evacuation cover. This low cost short term insurance cover guarantees that, in the event of a medical emergency while enjoying your safari and adventure in remote areas of East Africa far away from ‘civilization’, one can, within the shortest time possible, be evacuated by air ambulance to Nairobi, Kenya, where international standard medical/health care facilities are available; Do note however that while this can come in handy in the unlikely event of need, this service does not cover cost of hospitalization.

MEDICAL INSURANCE COVER
We recommend all our guests ensure they have appropriate international Medical Insurance Cover while travelling in Africa.

FOOD HEALTH & SAFETY
Tanzania is fertile with lots of arable and fresh food is never in short supply.

Water: The state of water supply in Tanzania while good for local consumption often fails to meet the international standards our guests are used to and expect. The quality also varies widely as you move from the cities (where some purification is done although not strictly enforced) to the remote countryside where no purification at all takes place and the water may very well be contaminated. Although not all the time, disease outbreaks like cholera and typhoid do occur and are even easier caught by an individual. To be on the safe side, we recommend our guests use only bottled mineral water for drinking and for brushing. We provide complimentary bottled mineral in the vehicle at all times for use during transfers, long drives and game drives as well as on hikes and other adventure activities. Most tourist hotels provide bottled water at meals and in the room for brushing. Where it is not provided, we recommend you buy; it costs a minimal amount and one is better to be safe than sorry.

Fresh Fruits and Salads: Most of the hotels we use ensure they use bottled mineral water or purified water for cleaning and washing fresh fruits and salads eaten raw. As a precaution, we recommend you only eat peel-able fruits that you peel yourself if you eat anywhere else.

TIPPING
Tipping is a totally voluntary exercise and your tour price includes all activities and services indicated as included. However if a staff/service member goes completely out of their way to make your experience unforgettable, a tip is a nice goodwill gesture. With no undue coercion we offer the following Tipping Guidelines only as a suggestion.

Your Driver/Guide                                  US$ 10 per person per day/maximum 30
Hotel and Restaurant Service Staff     10% of the value of your bill
Porters at airports and hotels               US$ 2 per piece of luggage/maximum 5
Hiking and Climbing Guides                US$ 10 per person for the whole crew/group
Gorilla Tracking Guide                          US$ 20 per person for the whole crew/group
Chimpanzee Tracking Guide                US$ 20 per person for the whole crew/group

NB: To be fair, many of the small hotels and lodges now discourage direct tipping to individual employees and encourage a communal tip box. This ensures that the tip is shared among all the employees who contributed to bettering your stay including those who work behind the scenes like chefs, room stewards and others. We find it a wonderful way or recognizing and appreciating all cadres. Please reconfirm on site.

EMERGENCY CONTACTS
At any time, our officers can be reached through our emergency contact number: +254 792 374554 (Andrew)

SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK
Serengeti National Park, 14.763 km², is the largest wildlife reserve in Tanzania’s popular northern safari-circuit. In her kopjes and acacia dotted ‘endless plains’ are found multitudes of African plains game including large herds of buffalo and elephants, prides of lions, giraffes, zebras, cheetahs, rhinos, many species of antelopes including the majestic eland, crocodiles and hippos in the Seronera and Grumeti rivers, reptiles and milliard species of birds.

Every year from December, millions of migratory wildebeest and accompanying hundreds of thousands of zebra congregate in her southern Ndutu plains, where the grasses are mineral rich, in a mating and birthing ritual that produces over 8,000 calves a day and lasts until March and is the haunt of opportunistic predators feasting on weakened mothers and the numerous newborns; they then ‘hit the road’ in the annual Great wildebeest Migration first heading north-west to the Grumeti area before turning north-east and over the Mara plains around June before entering Kenya’s Maasai Mara in July; they will congregate again around December and the cycle of life begins again.

But Serengeti is an all year destination and resident wildlife is plentiful all year round. The central areas of seronera fronted by the Seronera river are popular game viewing areas as are the areas fronted by the Grumeti river and the northern Mara region; at any time, a game drive in Serengeti is an unforgettable experience to be partakes at-least once in a lifetime. NB: game driving in wet conditions during the rainy season – April to May – may be difficult.

NGORONGORO CRATER
Ngorongoro Crater is one of the most beautiful wildlife reserves in Tanzania. A natural caldera formed millions of years ago, from the collapse of what is reputed to have been a taller volcanic mountain than Kilimanjaro, and now wildlife infested, it is the largest un-flooded and unbroken caldera in the world (20km wide, 600m deep, 300km²) and often considered the 8th wonder of the natural world.

Together with the outlying areas that are home to the majestic Maasai people, and with which they form the 8,288 km² Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area, this area is one of the most popular tourism destinations in Tanzania and about the easiest place to see Rhinos as well as the most healthy and beautiful male lions.

Game viewing drives on the crater floor, allowed only using 4WD vehicle, is almost assured to provide sightings of lions, herds of buffalo, cheetahs, hyenas, many species of antelopes from Thompson’s gazelles, Grant’s gazelles, topis to eland, water bucks, flamingos on the scattered lakes and many other animals, even rhinos, or the elusive leopard if lucky. On the crater rim where most of the accommodations are built, opportunities for hiking some outlying volcanoes like Empakai, visiting a Maasai manyatta (homestead) or a nature/bush walk with Maasai moran guides are possible.

ARUSHA NATIONAL PARK and MT. MERU
Arusha National Park, 552 km², is the smallest but certainly the most accessible national park in at barely 60 kms from Arusha town, the tourism capital of Tanzania. The park encompasses Mt. Meru (4,566m) and the outlying wildlife areas designated a national park in

It is a popular hiking destination with different day hiking options e.g. to the Mt. Meru Crater, Ngurdotto Crater that are also rewarded with Black and White Colobus Monkeys, Blue Monkeys, Bushbucks and even forest elephants. We also offer longer overnighting hikes for two and three days. NB: unlike Mt. Kilimanjaro, the very peak of Mt. Meru is rather rugged, much like Mt. Kenya, but hikers are able to go as high as the terrain can allow.

On a regular game viewing drive in a jeep, one can expect to see huge herds of buffalo, giraffes, zebra, bushbucks and waterbucks, many species of birds, monkeys, hyenas and even forst elephants if lucky. On a clear morning or evening, one can also enjoy amazing views of Mt. Kilimanjaro from Arusha National Park.

TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK
Situated approx 120 km southwest of Arusha, Tarangire National Park (2850 km²) is one of Tanzania’s most beautiful wildlife parks, her most dominant feature being the lush greenery, towering baobabs and the gigantic elephants. Other wildlife found include huge herds of rather wild buffaloes, many species of antelopes including gazelles, topis and

eland; zebra and giraffes, wild dogs, the elusive leopard, over 500 species of birds including ostrich and kori bustard, reptiles, and amazing flora.

In the dry season months of August to October, Tarangire is Tanzania’s best kept secret when most of the animals and hundreds of elephants congregate around the Tarangire river to drink from her cool banks in a scene reminiscent of the only known elephant migration. But you will never forget the baobabs and the elephants.

LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK
Lake Manyara National Park is the original home of the tree climbing lions. Lying at the base of the Rift Valley and surrounding the shallow Lake Manyara, it is popular for the thousands of pink flamingoes, and pelicans, which feed off lakes’ algae. At 000 kms from Arusha, it is also one of the closest and most accessible national parks from Arusha as well as probably the smallest of the popular northern circuit parks. Although traditionally added as day or one night stop over en-route to Ngororongoro and Serengeti, Lake Manyara is by no means less attractive and a visit there if often rewarded with numerous wildlife as well as birds species. Visitors also enjoy the opportunity to step out of the vehicle on the shores of the lake and at the hot water geysers. On the edge of the park marked by the rift valley walls are fantastic walking and hiking trails and can be accompanied by a naturalist guide or Maasai Moran; there is a lot to see and do in Lake Manyara, people just do not allow sufficient time to soak it all in. We recommend at least one night with two game drives and one nature /bush walk.

ZANZIBAR ISLAND
Zanzibar Island is most popular for her extensive white sandy beaches making it a dream beach holidays destination. Founded in the 16th century by Arab slave merchants, it has retained an Arabic/Swahili culture evidenced in her food, dress, architecture, music and dance as well as religion. Her capital city, Stone Town, is popular too for cultural and historical excursions but although it has several nice hotels, the town sits on the edge of a cliff and has no beach. The best beaches are found in the south east coast and north east coast of the island but all within a 45 min drive from Zanzibar International Airport, located in stone town. Predominantly Muslim, moderate dress that respects the local culture is recommend in public places but only regular consideration is expected in the private hotels and resorts.

SOUTHERN & WESTERN TANZANIA
The southern and western Tanzania parks of Ruaha National Park, Selous National Park, Mikumi National Park, Katavi, Mahale Mountains National Park and Gombe Stream National Park are remote, removed and really off the beaten track and reminiscent of an authentic Africa of a bygone era. Ruaha, Selous and Mikumi are wildlife infested savannah parks while Mahale and the adjacent Gombe Stream National Park are montane forests on the edge of the incredibly beautiful Lake Tanganyika and home to many Primates species including families of habituated chimpanzees open for chimpanzee tracking. There are also boat rides, fishing and many other water sports on offer. Boat riding on the Ruaha and Rufiji River but watch out for hippos and crocodiles – your guide is there to ensure you stay safe and away and enjoy the cruise and views.

DAR ES SALAAM
Dar es Salaam is the financial and business capital of Tanzania and for long was also the official capital before that was shifted to the more inland Dodoma. Sitting on the edge of the Indian Ocean in Tanzania’s coast with a better developed infrastructure by virtue of her previous status as the official capital, it is a frequent choice for major meetings, conferences and events. On her northern neighborhoods are also found more beach hotels and resorts worth visiting.

OTHER NATIONAL PARKS and ATTRACTIONS
Mukomazi in the north,
West Kilimanjaro at the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro bordering on Kenya’s Amboseli National Park,
Saadani National Park bordering Indian Ocean (where bush meets beach and elephants walk on the beach),Pemba Island to the north of and Mafia to the south of Zanzibar and many more.

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