Travel tips Tanzania

Visas

Visas to Tanzania can be obtained from all entry points; airports, borders and port harbor. Currently the Tanzania visa costs some USD 50 per person, and American passport holders pay USD 100 per person.

So while planning ahead for visas is a good thing, make sure the visa is still valid for the length of time you plan to travel in Tanzania.

It is highly advised to get a visa beforehand. In order to get a visa you have to have proof that you plan to leave Tanzania within 3 months of your arrival.

As with all visa matters — contact your local Tanzanian Embassy for the latest information.

Health and Immunizations

Yellow vaccination is a requirement in a while traveling in Tanzania and you can obtain the vaccination from home at least 10 days before arrival into Tanzania. The requirement is not all that strict anymore but it saves time to obtain the vaccination prior to traveling to Tanzania. Malaria prophylactic drugs should be taken before traveling. Sleep under a mosquito net. A sunscreen is good to pack as well as sunglasses. Drink only bottled or Boiled water and try to avoid salads and ice cubes.

CLIMATE

In general; the climate is hot and dry. Long rains arrive mainly in March – May with cool nights and mornings June – October, Short rains in November to mid December. Seasons can although vary owing to a variety of factors. The coastal strip is usually hot and humid almost year round. On Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt Meru temperatures can drop to below freezing point.

CLOTHES

On safari please pack light clothes cottons preferably. A jacket or fleece is god to pack for chilly mornings and evenings sometimes and at some high altitude places. At the Coast and at Zanzibar Island; revealing clothing especially in Stone town is highly discouraged.

INSURANCE

We offer only Air rescue ambulance cover. Please take your travel insurance before traveling.

SECURITY

By far Tanzania is a safe haven for travelers but it is important to be vigilant. Avoid walking at night in the streets unescorted and do not reveal so much jewelry. If you must carry your valuables please deposit them at the Hotels/and lodges.

Tanzania’s Climate and Average Temperatures

Tanzania lies just south of the equator and on the whole enjoys a tropical climate, except in the high mountains (like Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru) where temperatures can get below freezing, especially at night. Along the coast (see temperatures for Dar es Salaam), it stays quite hot and humid with heavy and reliable rainfall especially during the rainy season.

Tanzania has two rainy seasons, generally the heaviest rains (called Masika) usually fall from mid- March to May and a shorter period of rain (called mvuli) from November to mid-January. The dry season, with cooler temperatures, lasts from May to October

Basic Safety Rules for Travelers to Tanzania

  • Don’t walk on your own at night in the major cities or on empty beaches especially in Pemba and Zanzibar.
  • Don’t wear jewelry.
  • Don’t carry too much cash with you.
  • Don’t carry a lot of camera equipment especially in the major cities.

Roads

Most of the roads in the Tanzania National parks are rough.

The best time to visit Tanzania

If you want to see the Great Annual Migration of millions of zebra and wildebeest unfold, head to Tanzania’s northern parks – the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Conservation Areas. The best time to witness the wildebeest calving is around February – March when the wildebeest and zebra have their young. Not only can you enjoy seeing baby animals, but the predators are at the highest number too. Because the herds also concentrate in the south of the Serengeti, it’s easy to plan your wildlife viewing.

The wildebeest migration continues moving northwards during July and August, often spreading out across a broad front: some heading through Grumeti Reserve and Ikorongo, others north through the heart of the Serengeti National Park.

September sees the herds spread out across the northern Serengeti, where the Mara River provides the migration with its most serious obstacle. This river gushes through the northern Serengeti from Kenya’s adjacent Maasai Mara Game Reserve. Watching the frantic herds of the wildebeest migration crossing the Mara River can be very spectacular; there are often scenes of great panic and confusion. It’s common to see herds cross the Mara River north on one day, and then back south a few days later.

By October the wildebeest herds are migrating again with more accord: all are heading south, through western Loliondo and the Serengeti National Park’s Lobo area, returning to the green shoots which follow the rains on the short-grass plains of the southern Serengeti in November.

Best Time to Trek Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru

Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru are a stone’s throw away from one another, so the trekking seasons are basically the same. The best time to trek is January – March and September, October.

Best Time to Enjoy a Beach Holiday in Zanzibar

The coastal city of Dar es Salaam and the islands of Zanzibar stay warm and humid year round with some humidity off-set by the Indian Ocean breeze. Rainfall can happen any month but the heavy rains fall from mid-March to May and November to January. One of the best times to travel to Zanzibar is during one of the cultural festivals that take place on the island: Sauti za Busara takes place in February, and the Zanzibar International Film Festival takes place in June.

Safety

Tanzanians are well known for their friendly, laid-back attitude. In most cases you will be humbled by their hospitality.

Travel tips Kenya

Visas

US passport holders need a visa to enter Kenya, but they can get it at the airport or border crossing when they arrive in Kenya. If you want to plan ahead then you can apply for a visa in the US. Details and forms can be found on the Kenyan Embassy web site. Nationals from Commonwealth countries (including Canada and the UK) do not need a visa. Tourist visas are valid for 30 days. For up to date information see the Kenyan Embassy web site.

If your plans include crossing over to Tanzania to climb Mount Kilimanjaro or visit the Serengeti, then you’ll need a multiple-entry visa if you wish to re-enter Kenya again.

When to Go

There are two rainy seasons in Kenya. A short rainy season in November and a longer one that usually lasts from the end of March to May. It doesn’t necessarily get cold, but the roads can become impassable. Here are the average weather conditions for Kenya including daily forecasts for Nairobi and Mombasa.

If you are on safari you can usually see more animals during the dry season as they congregate around the waterholes. If you wish to plan your trip around the annual migration of the wildebeest you should go between the ends of July – September.

Kenyan Shilling fluctuates so it’s best to check in with a currency converter just before you go. Traveler’s checks are probably the best and safest way to take money with you. Don’t change too much money at one time and use the banks not the money changers. Major credit cards are only accepted at the more expensive shops and hotels.

Tip

Bartering for souvenirs is an enjoyable and accepted practice.

T-shirts, jeans, a cheap (working) watch can all be exchanged for a nice carving or two, so take some spares along with you.

Safety

In general people are extremely friendly in Kenya and you will be humbled by their hospitality.

  • Make a copy of your passport and keep it in your luggage.
  • Don’t walk on your own at night in the major cities or on empty beaches.
  • Don’t wear jewelry.
  • Don’t carry too much cash with you.
  • Wear a money belt that fits under your clothes.
  • Don’t carry a lot of camera equipment especially in the major cities.

Health and Immunizations.

No immunizations are required by law to enter Kenya if you are travelling directly from Europe or the US. If you are travelling from a country where Yellow Fever is present you will need to prove you have had the inoculation.

Several vaccinations are highly recommended, they include: Yellow Fever

Basic Safety Rules for Travelers to Uganda

Passports

Make a copy of your passport and keep it in your luggage

Security

Don’t walk on your own at night in the major cities or on empty beaches especially in Pemba and Zanzibar.

Safety

  • Don’t wear jewellery.
  • Don’t carry too much cash with you.
  • Don’t carry a lot of camera equipment especially in the major cities.