Below is some general information on travelling to Tanzania and what you can expect with an African Scenic Safaris trip.
Tanzania is a huge country with much regional variation in geography and climate plus two distinct rainy seasons, so the question of when to go depends on what it is that you want to experience.
The best time to go to Tanzania for the Serengeti Migration is between November and August but you'll need to be in the right place at the right time. During November they will be moving south through Serengeti and spend Dec/Jan/Feb in the area of Ndutu, which is between Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. In March, they will start making their way through southern, then central and western, before finally reaching northern Serengeti by July/Aug.
General game viewing in the Serengeti and Tanzania's other parks is at its peak during the June to October dry season or December to February however there is no bad time to do safari.
Mount Kilimanjaro is best climbed either between June and October or December to March, while the best time to visit Tanzania's coast, it’s anytime apart from the long rains in April/May.
Tanzania has a pleasant tropical climate but has large regional climatic variations influenced by several factors, including altitude. Tanzania is too close to the equator to experience a real winter and summer. There is, however, a dry and wet season. The “long rains” will happen during April-May whilst the “short rains” are common in November. For other months of the year, it is mostly clear blue skies.
Temperatures in winter (June-August) will average around 20-25 degrees during the day, whilst in the summer (December-February) around 30-35 degrees. The coastal areas will have a higher humidity than inland and Mt Kilimanjaro will be much colder due to the altitude.
Meals are extremely good quality, using fresh and local produce. We cater for any meal requirements and it is western style food however you can advise if you would like to try some local dishes. Breakfasts are likely to be toast, eggs, sausage, pancakes & fruit. Lunch is freshly made lunch boxes, which you will eat on route or a cooked lunch if at the campsite. Dinner normally starts with soup, followed by a main course like chicken & rice, fish, pasta, vegetarian stew etc, followed by fruit for dessert. We are commonly asked for recipes after safari, which we can happily provide.
The main currency in Tanzania is the Tanzanian Shilling (Tsh). USD is widely accepted in tourist areas however it must be USD notes printed on/after 2003. Older notes printed before 2003 are not accepted in Tanzania or many other African countries.
In major towns you will have access to ATMs however they can be unreliable if requiring large amounts. Most ATMs will only allow a maximum withdrawal amount of 400,000Tsh per transaction. Multiple transactions are allowed and based on your own bank’s daily withdrawal limits. However these can rack up large transaction fees.
All passport holders are required to have a Tourist Visa for Tanzania. This can be organized in advance through a Tanzania Consulate however the easiest option is to get it upon arrival at the airport. This will cost USD$100 if on an American passport or USD$50 for any other passport holders. This was correct at time of printing however please verify with your local Tanzanian consulate. You need to have your passport and USD cash (notes printed on/after 2003) in order to get the visa at the airport
In Tanzania, the voltage is 230 and the frequency is 50 Hz. For charging cameras, phones etc, you will need a British plug adaptor, with the three rectangular blades. On Zanzibar, some European managed resorts, use the European plug.
Power outages are common in Tanzania therefore it’s worthwhile carrying a torch with you and always recharging appliances when the power is available.
It is important to visit your travel doctor before travelling to Africa, as there are a range of vaccinations he/she may recommend based on current information. Yellow Fever vaccination is required only if coming from a Yellow Fever infected country or passing through a Yellow Fever infected country on route and staying there for more than 12 hours. Other vaccinations that may be advisable are Hepatitis A/B, Tetanus, Typhoid and Cholera.
Taking a malaria prophylactic is also recommended and your doctor can advise which type is best suited for you.
It is customary to tip your guides/crew when on safari or other activities like Mt Kilimanjaro. Suggested tipping amounts will be advised at time of booking.
Even though tipping is not culturally expected it is good to leave some loose change at restaurants or in other service situations.
Export of goods and products
It is strictly prohibited to export shells, natural artifacts and local flora and fauna, even if purchased from a shop. This is closely monitored at airports and borders. Purchasing of cow horns or any other animal parts are allowed if you receive an exportation permit from the Ministry of Agriculture.
Ivory products - a CITES permit is legally required to purchase and export. However due to the ethical and environmental concerns, we strongly discourage any of our clients or visitors to support the Ivory trade. In Tanzania, the population of elephants has reached devasting low levels due to ruthless poaching. We thank you for your consideration in preserving our precious natural resources.