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FAQs about Tanzania

How long are the flights to Tanzania?
There are no longer any direct flights from London Heathrow to  Tanzania, Dar es Salaam. From London the best routes are via Nairobi on Kenya Airways or with KLM via Amsterdam which depart daily.

Can I fly from a regional UK Airport?
There are no direct flights from other UK regional airports you would need to fly via Heathrow or Amsterdam.

Do I need a visa to visit Tanzania?
This will depend on which nationality passport that you have, but British Passports need a visitor’s visa. You can arrange this at the Tanzanian High Commission in London (£38) or buy one on arrival in Dar es Salaam, the process there is usually quick, so long as you have the right money. The fee on arrival is currently US$50 per person, and it is best to have new(ish) notes. Your passport must also have a minimum of 6 months validity from your date of departure.

Download a Tanzania Visa Application form here.

 When is the best time to visit Tanzania?
Tanzania sits just below the equator and has fairly constant temperatures all the year around, however it has 2 rainy seasons. There are two distinct rainy seasons; from the end of March to June and  from the end of October to mid-December. From January to March it is hot and dry. June to October is warm and dry with colder evenings.   Game viewing is good throughout the year, although the migration is only in the Serengeti from October through to December depending on the rainfall.

Where is the best place to go on safari?
Tanzania is blessed with a number of excellent reserves and has been at the forefront of conservation for a number of decades. There are 3 distinct areas in the South, North and West.

The Northern circuit includes the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara National Park and Tarangire National Park. The crater is a unique game viewing experience but can be pricey depending on how close to the carter you want to stay. You are virtually guaranteed to see the Big 5 on a single trip into the carter, as well as cheetah and hyena.

Lake Manyara offers the opportunity to enjoy a canoeing safari at some times of the year, watching animals as they come down to the lake shore. The park is famous for its lions which have learned to climb trees.

To the south is the Selous National Reserve with neighbouring Mikumi and Ruaha reserves. Accommodation at these locations tend to be a little more expensive but there are less visitors to these parks making it a very special experience, and particularly suited to honeymooners.

To the west are the Katavi and Mahale Mountains National Parks. Mahale is famous for its chimpanzee populations and it is possible to track the apes on foot here.

Can I take my children on safari?
Most lodges will accept children over 12 years old. There are a few lodges which cater specifically for families, including those with young children but it would be unwise to travel with infants or toddlers. Often lodges will require that families with children under 12 have a private game vehicle at additional cost.

Can I combine a safari in Tanzania with a safari in Kenya?
Yes, but it is not as simple as we would all like it to be! Firstly the presence of Mount Kilimanjaro means that visitors must travel around the mountain. It might look like a short distance on a map as the crow flies,but it is very different in reality! Secondly even though the migration herds cross freely between the Serengeti and the Masai Mara, visitors are required to cross at designated border points, so that they can clear immigration. If you chose to fly, you will also have to fly via an airport which has full immigration and customs facilities as you will be moving between countries. This might mean that you have to fly via Kilimanjaro or Nairobi.

 How much luggage can I take?
The international airlines mostly work on an allowance of 23Kg for checked bags and 1 piece of hand luggage plus a camera bag or handbag. This is the same for scheduled domestic flights. However if you are travelling by light aircraft between locations in Tanzania you will be allowed a total of 15Kg including your hand luggage. This allowance is at the Captain’s discretion and will depend on whether the flight is full, but we advise to err on the side of caution and assume this is your weight limit. Most lodges offer a laundry service which is very reasonable, so our advice is to take advantage of this to reduce your luggage.

What should I take on safari?
Cotton layers such as vest t-shirts, t-shirts, a light fleece, shorts and a pair of long trousers are the key items to take on a safari holiday. The temperature can vary quite a bit from the early morning game drive to the heat of the day. Sun screen, a hat and a swimming costume are the other necessities for the heat of the day. It is best to avoid bright colours for a safari. Footwear should include a pair of sandals or flip flops and some walking shoes, trainers would be fine. Aside from clothes, we also recommend the following items;  insect repellent, some headache/pain killer tablets, some anti-diarrhea tablets as a precaution, also some rehydration sachets are handy to have.  It is easy to get dehydrated without noticing, even though drinking water will be readily available. Tanzania can be quite cold at night as some of the reserves are at quite a high altitude, so a couple of extra long sleeved items are a good idea.

 Do I need any immunisations or malaria tablets?
The best person to speak to is your Doctor or Nurse Practitioner as the advice can change. Tanzania is affected by malaria and you will need a course of tablets.

Can I charge my camera/phone/ipod on safari ?
In the more remote tented camps where electricity is supplied by generator or solar panels, there may not be plug points in your accommodation. Generally in this instance there is a facility to charge batteries in the Managers office. Larger safari lodges are connected to the mains and there will be power points in your room. It is best to take an adaptor with you although they will often have ones which you can borrow.

Is it safe to drive?
We do not advocate self drive holidays in Tanzania, but we can arrange a private driver for any transfers you wish to make.

Can I use my credit card?
Most  lodges will accept credit cards for purchases such as souvenirs. It is also wise to carry some cash for staff gratuities. The local currency is the Tanzanian Shilling, but US Dollars are widely accepted or can be converted. There are a number of Bureau de Change in Dar es Salaam Airport on arrival, just tell the person meeting you that you need to change some cash and he will take you to one of the offices before you depart from the airport.

Is my holiday protected when booking via my travel agent or directly with Visions of Africa and Southern Africa Vacations?
Yes. Visions Of Africa and Southern Africa Vacations are part of the Visions Holiday Group Ltd – Visions Travel Group which holds an ATOL licence no: 5889. This licence has been granted to us by the UK Civil Aviation Authority.  This licence offers complete financial protection but only for holiday vacation packages that include flights commencing in and returning to the UK only. Ground arrangement only holiday vacation packages,  accommodation only arrangements and other non-flight packages excluding the pre-arranged travel to and from your destination are financially protected through a bond that we have placed with the Association Of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT).

We are also members of ABTA – the Travel Association, IATA, ASTA and AITO – The Association of Independent Tours Operators.