Frequently Asked Questions for Tanzania Safari

Frequently Asked Questions for Tanzania Safari

Tanzania Safari FAQs

To ease your mind of your numerous questions about Tanzania, we have combined the essential Tanzania Safari FAQs regarding your dreams’ most awaited Tanzania Safari Tours adventures. Have a look at some of these basic Q/As:

Worry out. We will handle everything, from picking you up at the airport to saying goodbye. However, you probably have many questions about preparing for this fantastic Tanzania Safari Tour.

Below, we have gathered the answers to the most popular questions frequently asked by our tourists. However, if something important is missing, contact us. We are always here to help you.

Preparing for a safari

What are “Safari” and a “game drive”?

A Safari (“trip” in Swahili – the lingua franca of Eastern and Central Africa) is generally a tour of the wilds of the National Parks, usually using customized 4×4 vehicles. Our safaris start in Arusha in the North of Tanzania with a 2-3 hour drive to one of the National Parks. A game drive follows this in the Park, and you can see the multitudes of wild animals in this part of Africa in their natural habitat. The most popular and well-known Parks are Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire, Arusha, and Lake Manyara. There are also many less-known but no less fascinating Parks, such as Rubondo, Mkomazi, Saadani, etc. Tanzania safaris in the latter parks are organized individually. Game drives generally end around 5 in the evening. The group then drives to the lodge booked for that night.


Serengeti National Park Tanzania
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

What is a Lodge?

Lodges are small hotels usually situated in or near a National Park. They offer greater privacy and a sense of exclusivity by having detached bungalows or tents set amidst the African nature. The exteriors of many lodges mirror traditional local architecture while providing great comfort.


Lemala Nanyukie Lodge

What should I bring with me? |Frequently Asked Questions for Tanzania Safari

We recommend comfortable, light clothing for the day and something warmer for the evenings, which can be chilly in the northern highlands. Comfortable shoes are a must for those planning on walking in the parks (which must be booked in advance). You will also need a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.


comfortable light clothing
comfortable, light clothing

Are there any restrictions for those wishing to visit National Parks?

There are no age restrictions for Park visitors. One should be prepared to spend considerable time in a vehicle. Game drives usually take most of the day, beginning in the morning and ending just before the Park gates close at 6 PM, which could tax younger travelers. Therefore, we do not recommend taking children younger than two on safari. On the other hand, game drives can be tailored to suit any client’s personal preferences in terms of duration. There also are picnic spots, which allow one to stretch and enjoy the tranquility of the African bush.


Family Safari
Family Safari

How is a safari in Tanzania different from one in another country?

The joint Safari Bookings and National Geographic ratings 2015 placed Tanzania first in the list of countries for African Safaris. Two factors make Tanzania exceptional: hunting is strictly prohibited in all the National Parks, which makes for one of the highest densities of wildlife on the continent, and higher Park fees keep the number of visitors relatively low, making for a more exclusive experience. Moreover, unlike other countries, where one often finds small family cars on the road, all safaris in Tanzania use off-road vehicles, enhancing the sense of being in the wild.


Serengeti National Park
Serengeti National Park

Safaris in National Parks and Game Reserves

What is the duration of a safari? | Frequently Asked Questions for Tanzania Safari

The duration of any safari depends solely upon the client’s wishes. One can have a day’s game drive in one of the closer Parks or opt for an extensive tour of several Parks, which could take two weeks or more. A day’s game drive usually lasts between 4 and 8 hours, with the rest of the day being spent at the lodge, all of which provide comfortable accommodation with Wi-Fi (although one should not expect always to have a fast connection), good food, and – in most cases – a swimming pool.


Tanzania Midrange Safari

At what time do safaris start? | Frequently Asked Questions for Tanzania Safari

We recommend leaving the lodge early (6:30-7 AM). There are several reasons for this: mornings tend to be calmer, which is more comfortable for you and brings you to the bush when the animals are most active; you have a chance of getting to the Park aPark of other tourists; all the park fees in Tanzania are paid by the day, regardless of the time spent within the Park, Park 6 PM being closing time, so getting there early gives you more time to enjoy the wilds of Africa before you have to return to your lodge. That said, the above is but a recommendation. Our guides’ foremost concern is client satisfaction, and they will adjust all the schedules according to your wishes.


Luxury Tour Tarangire & Ngorongoro
Ngorongoro Crater

What is a safari vehicle? | Frequently Asked Questions for Tanzania Safari

Great Image Expedition fleet of safari vehicles consists of customized 2000-2024 Toyota Land Cruiser 4×4 vehicles. All the cars have ergonomic seats, fridges for cold drinks and snacks, electrical outlets for charging devices, binoculars, and first-aid kits. Pop-up roofs, which allow you to stand up and observe and take photos in greater comfort, are also part of the package.


Local Tour Operator for Safari in Tanzania
Local Tour Operator for Safari in Tanzania

Is food available during a safari?

All our safari packages are sold on a full-board basis. Breakfasts are taken at the lodge, and lunches are hot picnic lunches, which you can enjoy at one of the picnic spots within the Park. Parkdinners are once again taken at the lodge. A supply of water and soft drinks is always available in the car fridge, as well as tea, coffee, and snacks (all included in the price of the tour).


Picnic Lunch
Picnic Lunch

How long are the drives between Parks?

The Parks of the North of Tanzania lie relatively close to each other, making for 2 to 3-hour drives in between.

Can one exit the car during a game drive?

Tanzania National Parks regulations strictly prohibit leaving vehicles within the Parks, both for the visitor’s safety and that of the fragile local ecosystem. However, this does not mean you should expect to be cooped up in the car for a whole day. All the Parks are equipped with rest/picnic spots where you can stroll and enjoy lunch in the shade.



Who else is going to be in the car with me?

This depends solely on the type of tour that you choose to book. Joined safaris are cheaper, as some costs are spread out between the group members. This also means you will spend time with people you have not met before the safari. If you opt for an exclusive tour, the only person other than those you bring with you – be it family or friends – who will be in the vehicle with you is your English-speaking safari driver/guide.


Serengeti National Park
Serengeti National Park

What is a safari guide?

Your driver is responsible for your safety and comfort with Great Image Expedition during any safari. All our drivers are also professional wilderness guides who will gladly share their knowledge of the African bush and its flora and fauna.


Boating and fishing
Boating and fishing

Are photo and video recordings allowed on safari?

According to National Park regulations, all photo and video recording is allowed without specialized equipment. This means that you may use any photo and video cameras. Permits must be obtained for any recording that may later be used commercially. This does not apply to images and videos that may later be used in social media. Drones can only be used with permits, which must be obtained in advance. The procedure for this is rather involved, and the licenses are only issued for projects of high social value. Ensure that you inform your tour manager of the need for such a permit well in advance to give us sufficient time for formalities.


Photographic Tours

Is it safe to bring children on safari?

Taking children on safari is safe, highly educational, and fun. Seeing wild animals in their natural habitat, as opposed to a Zoo, is an experience they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. Remember that spending hours in a safari vehicle may be hard on children younger than 2.


Mikumi National Park

How can we diversify our Tanzania Safari Tours?

One of the most memorable adventures to undertake while on safari is a balloon flight over the Serengeti plains. The flight is about an hour, and you get a birds-eye view of the famed Serengeti. The Parks that enclose lakes will usually offer canoeing. Those interested in panoramic views of the African bush have the option of chartering single-engine planes for flights over the Parks. Do contact our Tour Managers for further information on these and other activities.


What to do in Serengeti
What to do in Serengeti

Are chartered flights possible between the Parks?

Airstrips are available at or near all of Tanzania’s National Parks. Flying between the Parks—especially to one or more southern Parks—saves a lot of time; contact our Tour Managers for further details.


Mafia Island Marine Park
Mafia Island Marine Park

Is Wi-Fi available at hotels and lodges?

All hotels and lodges have Wi-Fi and Internet access. However, one should get used to the idea that the speed may be slower.

Should I tip the safari driver? | Frequently Asked Questions for Tanzania Safari

Tipping is expected in Tanzania. We recommend $30-50 per every day of the safari per car, provided you are satisfied with the service.

Booking and paying for your Tanzania Safari Tours

Does the price of a tour include flights to and from Tanzania?

Our standard rates (found on our website) do not include the cost of international flights. Our clients include travelers worldwide, making establishing a universal rate that provides for international air travel impossible. However, our manager, who will organize your tour, can help you choose and book your air tickets.

Do advance payments for the tour need to be made, and if so, when can this be done before the commencement of the tour?

Yes, pre-payment is expected to facilitate hotel bookings and expedition logistics. Classic tours require a 30% advance payment, while Luxury and Premium require 50%. Flights within Tanzania, accommodation, and excursions in Zanzibar require total advance payments.

Generally, advance payments are made no later than 59 days before the commencement of the tour. However, suppose you intend to visit Tanzania during the high season (around the Christmas holidays and July through August). In that case, hotels are best booked well in advance, as the demand for quality tourist accommodation in Tanzania far outstrips the supply. Therefore, your Tour Manager may request that payments for tours falling on those periods be made 4-6 months in advance, especially if a photographic safari is part of the package. When booking larger corporate groups (upwards of 20 pax), payments should be made 6-8 months in advance. This ensures we can book your accommodation in quality hotels where the number of rooms available is limited, especially in the run-up to the tourist season.



Can I make total advance payments for the tour, and if so, how?

Yes, total advance payments can be made to our Tanzanian bank accounts. Please keep in mind that transfers generally take 3-5 days. All transfer commissions and charges are payable by the client.


Tanzania Safari Booking Terms
Tanzania Safari Booking Terms

Our Safari Vehicles

What costs, apart from the actual price of the tour, could I expect to incur?

Your tour price does not include the following:

  • Visa fees;
  • Alcohol at hotels, unless stated explicitly under all-inclusive rates;
  • Tips for climb crews and safari drivers/guides. Crew tips for a Kilimanjaro climb average USD 250 per client. USD 30-50 per vehicle per day is the accepted norm.


Mount Kilimanjaro Lemosho Route
Mount Kilimanjaro

What is your cancellation policy, and do advance payments get refunded?

Our cancellation policy is as follows:

  • Cancellations made no later than 30 days before the starting date will be refunded in full, minus the cost of the hotel booking cancellation and bank charges.
  • Cancellations made no later than 15 days before the starting date- 75% refund, less cost of hotel booking cancellation and bank charges.
  • Cancellation no later than seven days before the starting date- 50% refund, minus the cost of hotel cancellation and bank charges.
  • Cancellation within seven days of the starting date: 25% refund, less the cost of the hotel booking cancellation and bank charges.

Getting to Tanzania | Frequently Asked Questions for Tanzania Safari

Should I get a Tanzanian tourist visa in advance?

Citizens of the EU and USA can acquire entry visas at international airports in Tanzania and other border crossings. It is also possible to apply for the visa online through the Tanzania immigration website. Visa costs: generally USD 50 (USD 100 for citizens of the USA)


Visa for Tanzania
Visa for Tanzania

Which Tanzanian airport should I choose for my arrival?

Tanzania has three International Airports: Zanzibar, Dar es Salaam, and Kilimanjaro. Your tour manager will recommend the most convenient option, depending on your itinerary.

Which international carriers fly to Tanzania?

If your comfort during a lengthy flight with tight connections or long layovers outweighs cost considerations, we recommend consulting the World’s Top 100 Airlines 2017 ratings. Otherwise, pick the most convenient airline for your price range: Turkish, Emirates, Fly Dubai, KLM, and Ethiopian regularly fly to Tanzania.

Who will meet me upon my arrival in Tanzania, and what should I do if I arrive at night?

One of our drivers will meet you at your arrival airport with a sign bearing your/your group’s name, regardless of the time of day.

Accommodation in Tanzania

Can I choose a hotel that is not included in the usual programs?

If you book a tailor-made tour, you may choose any hotel, and your Tour Manager will calculate the cost difference for you.


Kilimanjaro Northern Circuit Route

What can I expect from the food in Tanzanian hotels? Will I find familiar dishes on the menus?

All tourist hotels adapt their menus to suit European tastes while also including some local dishes. You should have no problems with food so long as you make your dietary preferences (vegetarian, allergic, etc.) clear to your Tour Manager when booking.

What is the currency in Tanzania? Can I pay in foreign currencies?

Tanzania’s official currency is the Tanzanian Shilling. The Current rate of exchange is about TShs 2,500/US$1. You can also make cash payments in US$. Just keep in mind that notes issued before 2003 may not be accepted or may be accepted at a lower rate of exchange. You may also change Euros and some other major currencies, though preference is given to US$, and the exchange rate for different currencies may not be favorable.



Security in Tanzania

Is Tanzania safe for tourists?

In short – Tanzania is safe for tourists. Tourism provides much of the country’s foreign income, and local authorities take security matters very seriously. Moreover, Tanzania is one of the most politically stable countries in the region, and Tanzanians are very friendly.

This said, some criminality does exist, just as it does everywhere else. We, therefore, recommend that you exercise common sense and follow the rules below:

  • Avoid the dangerous parts of any town- these are mentioned in most books, and your guide will be happy to point them out.
  • Do not leave your belongings unattended.
  • When planning to take down photos, it is best to bring a guide. This is not so much in the interests of safety but to facilitate communication with the locals, who are – for cultural reasons – not always happy about being photographed and often do not speak English.
  • After dark, it is best to avoid walking. Instead, use taxis for all your travel within town. Your tour operator or hotel reception can organize these.

How can I avoid contracting such tropical diseases as malaria, yellow fever, etc? What vaccinations do I need before traveling to Tanzania?

No recorded cases of yellow fever have been recorded in the country’s tourist regions (most of the country, actually) in the last twenty years. However, when planning to visit the less-visited parts, it may be recommended that you get the yellow fever vaccination two weeks before your planned travel date. This vaccination is effective for ten years.

The problem of malaria in Tanzania is greatly exaggerated. Not all mosquito species carry malaria, to begin with, and contracting malaria is unlikely in most parts of the country. However, if planning on visiting more remote parts of the country.

Do I need travel insurance?

We highly recommend that you have travel insurance regardless of what foreign country you may be visiting. If you plan a climb of Kilimanjaro, make sure that your policy covers climbing emergencies at a height of at least 6,000 meters. If necessary, your tour manager will assist you with purchasing such insurance.

Is the water safe in Tanzania?

Yes, all the hotels our company offers provide safe water. Taking showers and brushing teeth is never a problem; the water is potable. However, we still recommend only drinking bottled water, always available at hotels and shops.


safe water.
Safe water.

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