TRAVEL INFORMATION


TOPICS
  1. PASSPORT AND VISA INFORMATION
  2. HEALTH INFORMATION
  3. ARRIVAL AND CUSTOMS INFORMATION
  4. DEPARTURE TAX INFORMATION
  5. WEATHER
  6. CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES
  7. BAGGAGE INFORMATION
  8. LAUNDRY
  9. ELECTRICITY
  10. FOOD AND DRINKS
  11. CURRENCY
  12. SHOPPING
  13. PHOTOGRAPHY
  14. VALUABLES, SAFETY, AND TRAVEL INSURANCE
  15. GRATUITIES
  16. LANGUAGE
  17. COMMUNICATIONS
  18. TRAVEL CONDITIONS
  19. SMOKING
  20. OTHER INFORMATION
  21. DURING YOUR SAFARI
  22. YOUR BOOKING AGENT
  23. SUGGESTED READING
  24. COMFORT HOLIDAYS TOURS & SAFARIS TANZANIA "SAFARI CHECKLIST"

 

PASSPORT AND VISA INFORMATION
Each traveler must be in possession of a valid, signed passport that will remain valid for at least six (6) months beyond the completion of his/her trip. Citizens of all countries should check with their booking agents for requirements pertaining to their citizenship, as entry requirements can vary. In compliance with current requirements, passenger names on airline reservations must exactly match the names on their passports. It is imperative that every traveler arrives on tour with the proper documentation. While COMFORT HOLIDAYS TOURS & SAFARIS TANZANIA will advise you of our most current information concerning passports, visas, and other entry requirements, please be aware that it is the traveler's responsibility to obtain all documents that are necessary for admittance to the countries visited on his/her itinerary.

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HEALTH INFORMATION

We urge you to read the health requirements and/or recommendations given here carefully and to discuss health precautions for your exact travel itinerary with a qualified health professional at least six (6) weeks before you depart.
No vaccinations are currently required for entry into Tanzania when arrival is directly from North America or Europe. (However, please read the following information on the conditional requirement for yellow fever vaccination.)

Yellow Fever:
For those coming from from yellow-fever prone countries, a yellow-fever vaccination certificate/card is required. if you are coming from Europe or America where this disease is not there, then a yellow-fever card is not required. Please be aware that there are also important recommendations currently in effect for all travelers.

Malaria: Anti-malarial medication is strongly recommended for all travelers to Tanzania. A number of anti-malarial drugs are available, including mefloquine, doxycycline and the new Malarone, which has performed well in recent tests. Your doctor will prescribe the best choice based on your own health history.

In addition to an anti-malarial drug regimen, personal protection measures should be taken to avoid mosquito bites, especially (but not limited to) the hours between dusk and dawn when malarial mosquitos are most active. These measures include using an insect repellent containing at least 20% to 35% of the active ingredient "DEET;" keeping your arms and legs covered as much as possible; and avoiding the use of perfume, hairspray, and other scented products that attract mosquitos. [NOTE: Since some lodges in Tanzania are not equipped with screened windows or mosquito netting, it is especially important that you carry insect repellent -- or purchase some in Arusha (or Nairobi) before venturing out into the bush.]

Additional information on malaria prevention will be sent with your pre-tour materials.
While COMFORT HOLIDAYS TOURS & SAFARIS TANZANIA will advise you of our most current health information, you should be aware that requirements and recommendations can change, sometimes on short notice. Once again, it is important that you check with a qualified health professional for the most current information concerning your exact travel itinerary and personal health history.

Do not drink (or brush your teeth with) the tap water in Tanzania (see section on FOOD AND DRINK).It is also suggested that you assemble a traveler's medical kit appropriate to your destination, length of trip, and general health. Your physician can advise you on specific items to include (such as remedies for minor stomach ailments or motion sickness). You should include an adequate supply of any prescribed medications you may require while traveling. Prescription medicines should always be carried in your hand luggage (not in checked baggage) in their original, labelled containers only.

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ARRIVAL AND CUSTOMS INFORMATION
Please be advised that regulations at most international points of arrival do not permit passengers to be met inside secured passenger areas (such as the Customs area). If a COMFORT HOLIDAYS TOURS & SAFARIS TANZANIA representative is scheduled to meet you on arrival (at an airport, for example), you will be met immediately after you have passed through the secured passenger areas.

There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency that may be taken into Tanzania, and the declaration of foreign currency is no longer required. It is still suggested, however, that you save ALL receipts from your currency exchange transactions in Tanzania (see section on CURRENCY).

Please note that uncut, raw stones require formal government approval for exportation from Tanzania. (This also applies to cut stones totaling more than 300 carats.)

Please note that the purchase of "national treasures" for export from any country is strictly illegal and that the onus rests entirely on the buyer. In addition, U.S., Canadian, and Kenyan Customs prohibit importation of any products made from endangered species of wildlife.

Zebra and hyrax skins are available for purchase in Arusha; and animal skins may be exported from Tanzania AS LONG AS the exporter obtains a "Certificate of Manufactured Article" from the store of purchase and a "Certificate of Lawful Export" from the Tanzanian Game Department in Arusha. Good and reputable dealers will always help you with any required paperwork. (The "Certificate of Lawful Export" is an internationally-recognized certificate that will allow the skin/s to enter Kenya, the United States, and/or Canada.)

Under no circumstances should sheath knives or small arms be taken on safari.

If you are taking foreign-made possessions on your trip abroad, you may want to carry copies of documents such as bills of sale, insurance policies, or receipts for purchase/repair as proof of your possession prior to travel.

Residents of all countries should check with their local customs office for the duty-free regulations applying to them.

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DEPARTURE TAX INFORMATION

In Tanzania, travelers are required to pay the following airport taxes:

International Airport Departure Tax: All travelers departing from Tanzania by air are required to pay an international airport departure tax of US-$30.00. This is a per-person charge payable in US-Dollars ONLY. Coins are not accepted. The tax applies to both scheduled and chartered flights. (NOTE: This tax may be collected on airline tickets that contain scheduled departure flights from Tanzania. If this tax appears on your airline ticket, you do not have to pay it at the time of departure.)

Domestic Airport Departure Tax: Passengers departing on local flights from Kilimanjaro Airport (Arusha), Arusha Airstrip, Dar Es Salaam Airport, and Zanzibar Airport are required to pay a local departure tax of 5000 Tanzanian Shillings per person.

If airport departure taxes are not included in the price of your tour, please set aside the correct amount(s) in advance for the flight(s) in your itinerary to which these taxes apply.

Please be advised that airport departure taxes are subject to change without notice.

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WEATHER
Generally, coastal areas of Tanzania have a tropical climate, the highlands regions in the north have a temperate climate, and the vast central plateau is hot and arid.

While Tanzania does not have distinct seasonal changes due to its proximity to the Equator, there are some subtle climatic variations at different times of the year.

December through early March: These are the warmest months of the year (Tanzania's "summertime"). Temperatures do not often exceed 90-degrees Fahrenheit (F), however; morning and evening temperatures are refreshingly cool with low humidity.

Mid-March through May: This season is normally characterized by heavy, intermittent rains. In many recent years, however, there has been more rain in January than in April and May.

June, July, and August: Tanzania's weather is coolest during these months, with lows in the 40's (F) and highs in the 70's (F). The country is refreshingly green.

September, October, and November: This is a delightful time to visit East Africa -- comparable to springtime in America. The days are warmer with lows in the mid-60's (F) and highs in the 80's (F). Short, scattered rains fall in November to freshen the country and settle the dust, although they sometimes can be heavy.

At any time of year, the temperatures on the Ngorongoro Crater rim can be decidedly cooler than on the Crater floor and in the Serengeti (especially from mid-May through August).

Average daily high/low temperatures (in Fahrenheit) and average number of days with rain:

 
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
Arusha
84/50-5
84/51-7
81/53-9
77/57-10
72/52
70/48-3
Dar Es Salaam
87/77-8
88/77-6
88/75-12
86/73-19
85/71-15
84/68-6
Zanzibar
90/76-5
91/76-6
91/77-9
86/77
84/75-10
83/74-4

 
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
Arusha
69/49-1
72/48-2
76/47-2
80/51-3
81/51-8
81/50-8
Dar Es Salaam
83/66-6
83/66-7
83/67-7
85/69-7
86/72-9
87/75-11
Zanzibar
82/72-2
83/72-2
84/72-3
86/73-5
89/75-10
89/76-10

The above is not an exact weather forecast. Unseasonable weather can occur, and you should pack with a degree of flexibility in mind.

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CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES
Dress on safari is entirely casual. Because it can be dusty, neutral colors are most practical for gameviewing. (Please note, however, that it is illegal to wear actual "camouflage" clothing in Tanzania's parks and game reserves.) Some travelers prefer to wear older clothing on game drives because of the heavy dust that is sometimes encountered. In general, you should dress for outdoor comfort in Tanzania, where there are no occasions for dressy or formal attire.

Do not overpack. There is no need to bring a great deal of clothing. Efficient and inexpensive laundry service is available at camp as well at most lodges and hotels in Tanzania (see section on LAUNDRY). By using it, you can limit yourself to just four or five outfits and not be inconvenienced by an over-abundance of luggage.

Temperatures tend to be cooler in the early morning and after sunset -- but warm up considerably by midday. To be prepared for such temperature variations and to maximize the versatility of your travel wardrobe, we recommend packing lightweight clothing that can be layered. Casual clothing of "breathable" fabric (such as cotton) is the most comfortable. In anticipation of bumpy road conditions, (see section on TRAVEL CONDITIONS) women may want to pack several undergarments of the "sports-athletic" variety, which will provide more support and help to make your journey more comfortable.

Travelers who are visiting Ngorongoro Crater should pack a lined jacket or warm sweater. Those visiting the Crater during June, July, and/or August should be prepared for cold temperatures [as low as 40-degrees (F) in the early morning and evening] and pack a heavier jacket, sweater, and pair of slacks -- or even a set of silk or thermal underwear.

Rain protection (fold-up umbrella or lightweight raincoat) may be useful, especially if you are traveling during November or from mid-March through May.

Tanzania has a large Muslim population in its coastal areas and on the island of Zanzibar. Modesty of dress is expected in these places. Slacks are entirely acceptable, but short skirts and bare arms should be avoided. Scarves must be worn over the head (and shoes removed) when entering a mosque.

Unless you have booked a walking safari, you will not need heavy footwear. (There is little walking when gameviewing is done from a vehicle.) A pair of comfortable walking shoes with soft soles will be adequate. Passengers on the "Cultural Tours in Tanzania" should have shoes that are sturdy, water-resistant, and comfortably broken in. Additionally, the shoes should have good, high-traction soles in the event you encounter slippery or wet terrain.

Beach sandals or thongs are handy as slippers and will be particularly useful to those participating in camping safaris.

Good sunglasses and sunblock lotion are essential for protection from Tanzania's strong sun. You may also want to bring your own fold-up sun hat. Some hotels and lodges have swimming pools, so you may want to bring a swimsuit. Insect repellent containing the active ingredient "DEET" should be included to supplement your malaria medication (see section on HEALTH INFORMATION).

As previously mentioned, the roads can be dusty on safari. It is suggested that you pack a scarf or bandana with which to cover your nose and mouth if dusty conditions prevail. Those who are particularly bothered by dust may want to pack a surgical mask and/or allergy medication.

Binoculars will maximize the enjoyment of game-viewing and bird watching. A compact and lightweight pair is suggested. We urge you to pack a small flashlight as the electric generators at some lodges are turned off after 10:00 or 11:00 PM.

You might also want to consider the following items: a travel alarm clock; facial tissues; a wash cloth; lip balm and moisturizing lotion; antibacterial hand gel, reading material, playing cards, or other travel games (in case of airport delays); hard candy to help curb thirst on a warm day; medication for motion sickness during particularly rough drives; an inflatable pillow or stadium cushion to soften bumpy roads (see section on TRAVEL CONDITIONS); a remedy for minor stomach ailments; and a supply of additional batteries for your camera and battery-operated appliances.

If you wear prescription glasses or contact lenses, we recommend that you bring an extra pair of glasses, a copy of the prescription, and eye drops (for lubrication in especially dusty areas).

You should carry along an adequate supply of any prescribed medications you may require while traveling. Prescription medicines should always be carried in your hand luggage (not in checked baggage) in their original, labelled containers only.

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BAGGAGE INFORMATION

There are several different sets of baggage allowance regulations in effect for international and regional flights. Baggage allowances can vary depending on which airline(s), class of service, and routing is used. You are urged to check with your booking agent for the exact baggage regulations pertaining to your specific itinerary.

Charter Flights and Scheduled flights internally: If flights aboard any chartered or scheduled aircraft are included in your itinerary, your baggage will be restricted to one (1) checked bag plus one (1) carry-on bag with a maximum total weight allowance of 15 kg. This special weight restriction is strictly adhered to and applies to all flights within Tanzania and to all flights between Tanzania and Kenya. [If your international flights are into AND out of either Arusha or Nairobi (Kenya), you will have an opportunity to store any bags not needed during your safari at your hotel in either Arusha or Nairobi.]

Any baggage in excess of airline limitations may be subject to substantial freight charges by the airline. These charges are the entire responsibility of the traveler.

Every piece of checked baggage should be locked and contain identification inside (as well as outside) stating your home address and phone number. In addition, do not pack valuable items (such as your camera) in checked baggage. While every precaution will be taken with your baggage, COMFORT HOLIDAYS TOURS & SAFARIS TANZANIA cannot be held responsible for any damaged, lost, or stolen baggage or personal property; and we strongly recommend the purchase of adequate baggage insurance by each traveler.

Please be advised that regulations at most international points of arrival do not permit passengers to be assisted with baggage handling inside secured passenger areas.

It is important to travel with soft-sided luggage, as soft-sided bags are more easily stored in safari vehicles and light weight aircraft than hard-framed suit-cases. In addition, it is preferable to have two smaller pieces than one large one. You may also want to carry a fold-up daypack or shoulder pack to conveniently carry the items you will need during game drives. Large hard-framed cases may be left behind if they do not fit into the vehicle or aircraft.

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LAUNDRY

As previously mentioned in the section on CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES, there is no need to bring a great deal of clothing. Efficient and inexpensive laundry service is available in Tanzania. By using it, you can limit yourself to just four or five outfits and not be inconvenienced by an over-abundance of luggage.

However, remember to check the hotel's individual laundry return policy and pricing schedule before choosing to have laundry done at a hotel. It is also suggested that you request laundry service only when you have a sufficient length of stay remaining to ensure that your laundry is returned to you before you depart. Most laundry is dried outdoors in Tanzania and may not dry fully in just one day if weather is inclement or especially humid. Travelers on camping itineraries should also be aware that some delicate and/or synthetic fabrics may not suitable for pressing with the coal-heated iron boxes that are used in camp.

Please be advised that women's undergarments are excluded from the laundry lists of most lodges; so you may want to carry a few packets of travel detergent for laundering these items yourself, if necessary.

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ELECTRICITY

In Tanzania, electricity runs 220/240 volts. If you do bring electrical appliances, take along an international converter kit complete with a set of adapter plugs. These are available from better electrical and hardware stores. We do, however, suggest that you take battery-operated appliances wherever possible -- and a supply of extra batteries. (Good quality batteries are virtually impossible to obtain in Tanzania.)

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FOOD AND DRINK

The food served in Tanzania has greatly improved in recent years. All lodges and hotels serve Western food, along with a selection of local dishes.

Several types of beer are brewed locally in Tanzania, and they are very good. Occasional lack of refrigeration and short supplies of ice can mean that beer and other types of drinks may be served warm or only slightly cooled. There are imported wines in Tanzania, though specific brands cannot be guaranteed. A limited supply of soft drinks are available, including cola and ginger ale.

Hard liquor, decaffeinated beverages, and diet (sugar-free) drinks, are in short supply in Tanzania; and you may not find your favorite brands. (Diet Coke can sometimes be difficult to obtain.) If you favor a particular brand of spirits, you may want to use your duty-free liquor allowance to purchase a bottle en route to Tanzania for your personal consumption. Similarly, those with a preference for decaffeinated coffee or tea may want to carry packets of these beverages. For variety, you might also carry some packets of hot chocolate or other beverages.

Do not drink (or brush your teeth with) the tap water in Tanzania. We suggest that you drink/use only bottled water.

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CURRENCY

In Tanzania, the unit of currency is the TANZANIAN SHILLING, which is divided into 100 CENTS. Notes are issued in denominations of 500, 1000, 2000, 5,000, and 10,000 Shillings. Coins are issued in denominations of 50, 100 and 200 Shillings.

There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency that may be taken into Tanzania, and the declaration of foreign currency is no longer required. It is suggested that you save ALL receipts from your currency exchange transactions in Tanzania, even though they are no longer regularly inspected at departure.

We urge you to try to spend all of your Tanzanian Shillings while you are in Tanzania because the reverse exchange rate from Shillings back to Dollars is might be unfavorable.

In general, we suggest that you limit the amount of money you convert into local currencies and exchange only what you think you will spend before leaving any foreign country. Be aware that only paper currency will normally be accepted for exchange.

Tanzania has a cash-based economy, and the US-Dollar is one of the most preferred currencies. Cash is more readily accepted than travelers' checks, which can be difficult to exchange; and it is suggested that you carry more cash than travelers' checks for the Tanzanian portion of your trip. An amount of at least US-$200.00 in smaller denominations of U.S. currency ($50.00 notes and smaller) is suggested. Travelers' checks should be better-known brands and also in smaller denominations. (Fear of forgery means that it is difficult to negotiate currency and travelers' checks in larger denominations.) Credit cards are accepted on a limited basis; most hotels, restaurants, and shops in larger cities accept at least one variety of major credit card such as Visa, MasterCard, or American Express. In Tanzania, some credit card use is subject to a surcharge of between 5% to 10% of the cost of the item.

Travelers who wish to use their ATM card overseas should check with their own individual bank to verify whether the ATM card will be valid in a particular country.

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SHOPPING

Woodcarvings, batiks, tie-dyed articles, and leather goods are among the most popular souvenir purchases in Tanzania, as are Zanzibar chests (which are rare finds) and Meerschaum pipes. Ebony woodcarvings by the Makonde sculptors of Tanzania are of especially high artistic merit; and, while export licenses are not required, it is essential that a sales receipt be obtained for all Makonde art that is purchased. This must be presented to customs officials when you leave the country. Locally-woven sisal baskets are durable and attractive -- and are sold at much lower prices than you will find in the American and European shops that have recently begun to import them.

Please note that uncut, raw stones require formal government approval for exportation from Tanzania. (This also applies to cut stones totaling more than 300 carats.)

In places where prices are not marked, bargaining is usually an accepted practice.

Please note: COMFORT HOLIDAYS TOURS & SAFARIS TANZANIA assumes no responsibility for any purchases made by our clients while traveling. This includes shipping costs, which may be considerably high.

Further, COMFORT HOLIDAYS TOURS & SAFARIS TANZANIA will not take responsibility for following up if any merchandise that you choose to have shipped home is not received or is received in unsatisfactory condition. Therefore, we urge every traveler to heed the following shopping guidelines, based on our own experiences, to avoid disappointment over purchasing decisions:

  1. Bring your purchases home with you. Unless you are prepared to wait for a couple of weeks to receive your merchandise, do not have it shipped – comparatively, air freight is a better option.
  2. Do not purchase expensive goods of supposed high quality unless you are absolutely sure of what you are buying (or unless you like the item enough to buy it even if it is not authentic or as valuable as you thought). Unless you are an expert in gems, antiques, artifacts, etc., do not assume that the quality and/or value of your purchase is as represented by the vendor, even if you have been referred to the shop by COMFORT HOLIDAYS TOURS & SAFARIS TANZANIA. COMFORT HOLIDAYS TOURS & SAFARIS TANZANIA does not profess to employ experts in the quality and/or value of retail or wholesale merchandise.
  3. Always take the time to read the charge slips for credit card purchases before you sign them.

For purchases made abroad that are being hand-carried home, keep all sales receipts with you (in your hand luggage). It is also suggested that you pack all of your foreign purchases together in one bag (separate from your other personal belongings). You might consider bringing some "bubble wrap" and string for packing any fragile merchandise you purchase while traveling.

Please note that the purchase of "national treasures" for export from any country is strictly illegal and that the onus rests entirely on the buyer. In addition, U.S. and Canadian Customs prohibit the importation of any products made from endangered species of wildlife. If you are approached by someone offering this type of "curio" for sale, do not buy it. International agreements are such that, if you are caught with such a restricted item, it will almost certainly lead to prosecution

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PHOTOGRAPHY

We recommend that you bring all the photographic equipment you will need from home, including an ample supply of film and additional camera batteries. (Film and camera batteries are available in Tanzania but are expensive and can be difficult to find in safari areas.). It is also suggested that you check the working order of your camera and have your equipment insured before you depart.

For most travelers, an African safari is the "trip of a lifetime." Therefore, you should consider bringing more than one camera so that, if one malfunctions, all is not lost.

Generally, a 35mm camera is considered the best type. For photographing birds and game, a telephoto lens is indispensable; and we recommend 200mm as the minimum size. Tripods are generally impractical, because photographs are usually taken from your safari vehicle. Sun filters are suggested for blocking the sun's glare and the haze caused by heat. A dustproof camera bag (or some ziplock plastic bags) and an air brush will help protect your equipment from heavy dust.

We recommend carrying several speeds of film, including ASA100 for outdoor photographs in full bright daylight and ASA400 for early morning and evening photography. Several rolls of ASA200 could also be useful for late afternoon photographs. (Remember to change the ASA setting on your camera when you change film types.) Keep your film as cool as possible while traveling, and NEVER leave it in direct sunlight or on the hot floor of a safari vehicle.

Photographic Etiquette: When photographing people, always ask permission first. The only exception to this is when you are photographing a public scene with a lot of people in it, aiming at no one in particular. Because so many local people are asked for permission to be photographed, many will expect a tip or an outright fee for this. (In fact, some "professional posers" make a living this way.) Always be considerate of anyone's desire not to be photographed. There are some places where photography is prohibited, and these areas are usually clearly marked. If you are uncertain about whether or not photography is permitted, ask. Under no circumstances should you take photographs of airports, government buildings and installations, or military or police personnel. Taking photographs when permission is not granted is inconsiderate at best and may result in the confiscation of your film.

While gameviewing in parks and reserves, some travelers get caught up in the excitement of the moment to the point of losing their sensitivity to the wildlife they are observing and the other people sharing their safari vehicle. Please be careful not to disturb the animals by making unnecessary noises or commotion, and be conscious of sharing the best photographic views with others in your vehicle. Remember to be respectful of wildlife and the fragile ecosystem you have entered, and realize that it is the duty of tourists to ensure that these remain undisturbed by their presence

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VALUABLES, SAFETY, AND TRAVEL INSURANCE

Exercise the same safety precautions throughout your travels as you would at home. In larger cities (such as Arusha), do not leave your hotel to walk around at night.

You are also advised to refuse any food or drink offered to you by strangers in venues away from the tour activities organized by. COMFORT HOLIDAYS TOURS & SAFARIS TANZANIA.

Be especially careful with your passport. If you leave your passport in your room or tent, always keep it in a locked bag. Memorize your passport number, its date of issue, and its place of issue. It is also a good idea to travel with a photocopy of the informational pages of your passport (the pages containing your photograph and passport details, as well as any amendment pages and visas) and to leave a copy at home. Follow the security measures included with your travelers' checks, and also leave an additional record of their numbers at home.

We recommend that all travelers purchase adequate trip cancellation/interruption, medical, and baggage insurance and that they carry the details of their coverage with them on tour. If not purchasing travel insurance, we suggest you check with your personal health care insurer to determine what health coverage will be in effect outside your country including provisions for medical evacuation in the event of a medical emergency.

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GRATUITIES

Many travelers view tipping as a difficult subject, though this need not be the case. The first thing to remember is that tipping is not compulsory, nor are there any fixed amounts. The bottom line in determining whether and how much to tip is to ask yourself how much the individual did to make your travels more enjoyable. It is with this in mind that we offer the following information.

PLEASE NOTE that the pooling of funds for presentation from an entire group is discouraged (except in cases of family members traveling together).

Hotel Staff: As a guideline, the customary gratuity for bar staff and any special or extra services is about 10% of the cost of the service.

Porters: All porterage for two (2) pieces of baggage per traveler at least a dollar.

Driver-Guide: One driver-guide accompanies each land vehicle. It is customary to tip your driver-guide on the last day you are with him or her. Approximately US$5.00 to US$10.00 per traveler per day is considered a good tip for a driver-guide (based on 4 to 6 travelers in a vehicle). If there are only 2 or 3 travelers in a vehicle, you might consider raising this amount to approximately US$8.00 to US$15.00 per traveler per day in recognition of the individual attention given to a smaller-size group.

Safari Escort: In addition to a driver-guide, some groups are accompanied by a professional safari escort. It is customary to tip your safari escort on the last day you are with him or her, and the recommended tipping range is US$10.00 to US$15.00 per traveler per day. As with the tip for a driver-guide, smaller groups (in this case, 5 or less) might consider tipping slightly more -- in the range of approximately US$12.00 to US$18.00 per traveler per day.

Camp Staff on Tented Safaris: If you are traveling on an COMFORT HOLIDAYS TOURS & SAFARIS TANZANIA tented safari (either independently or on a group, you will be served by a camp manager and several camp staff, for whom an overall tip of about US$8.00 to US$10.00 per traveler per day in camp is recommended. This should be given to your guide on the last day in camp for distribution among all camp staff. Again, smaller groups (in this case, 5 or less) might consider tipping in the slightly higher range of approximately US$10.00 to US$12.00 per traveler per day.

SPECIAL NOTE: If you are traveling to both Tanzania and Kenya, you will have a different driver-guide (and possibly safari escort, if applicable) in each country.

Small Luxury Properties and Tented Camps: If your itinerary takes you to certain small luxury properties or permanent tented camps such as Swala, Kusini, Kirawira or Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, you will find the service is very personalized and may wish to leave an additional tip. Most of these properties have a communal tip box where any tips paid are evenly distributed amongst all of the staff. In the event you require any guidance – please speak to the individual camp managers although our recommendation is approximately USD 5 per person per day.

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LANGUAGE

Even though Swahili is the official language in Tanzania, English is widely spoken and understood. A few useful Swahili words and phrases follow:

Hello
Jambo
How are you?
Habari?
Good, fine
Mzuri
Please
Tafadhali
Thank you
Asante
Yes
Ndiyo
No
Hapana
Very much
Sana
May I come in?
Hodi?
How much? How many?
Ngapi?
How many shillings?
Shillingi ngapi?
What time is it? (How many hours?)
Saa ngapi?
Please bring drinking water
Naomba maji ya kunywa
Buffalo
Nyati
Cheetah
Duma
Elephant
Tembo
Giraffe
Twiga
Hippo
Kiboko
Leopard
Chui
Lion
Simba
Ostrich
Mbuni
Rhino
Kifaru
Wildebeest
Nyumbu
Zebra
Punda Mlia

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COMMUNICATIONS

Tanzania operates on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) + three (3) hours. When the United States is operating under Standard Time, it is eight (8) hours later in Tanzania than in the Eastern U.S. Time Zone.

To assist you in the event you must be reached while traveling, a complete listing of hotel contact information will be provided with your final tour materials.

Please be advised that some hotels impose a surcharge that can more than double the cost of international calls. Be sure to check the hotel policy before placing an international call from a hotel.

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TRAVEL CONDITIONS

Although Tanzania has a wealth of natural resources, it is not one of the wealthy countries in the world. Despite this, Tanzania spends more per capita on conservation than do most nations of far greater wealth. These results in a trade-off for the visitor: while it means that you will encounter fewer tourists and greater numbers of animals than in Tanzania's more sophisticated neighbor, Kenya, it also means that you must sacrifice some of the amenities available in more developed African countries. Please keep in mind that Tanzania is not a luxury destination by Western standards.

You may find that some roads sections in Tanzania are in poor condition, due in part to lack of continual maintenance. Road conditions may be rough, and travelers must be prepared to be jostled and jolted as they are transported from game park to another. Furthermore, some of these roadsare not "real" roads, particularly in game parks where they are either made of murram or are simply dirt tracks, making them somewhat difficult to drive on when wet. Since a considerable amount of time is spent traveling in vehicles on most itineraries to Tanzania, as previously mentioned in the section on CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES, an inflatable pillow or stadium cushion will help make journeys by road and game drives more comfortable. Additionally, there are no restroom facilities on long game drives and only basic toilet facilities in the Ngorongoro Crater.

Having said this, however, most visitors feel that the breakdowns, shortages, and rough roads one may encounter are entirely tolerable when compared to Tanzania's intensely-beautiful plains with their plentiful game. Game-viewing in Tanzania's superb national parks and reserves is an exciting experience. A major event is the migration of wildebeest and other plains game in the Serengeti, which takes place roughly between December and March. (This may vary slightly from year to year with the level of rainfall and the availability of vegetation.)

As previously mentioned in the section on HEALTH INFORMATION, those visiting the Mahale Mountains should be in good physical condition and able to hike over steep, mountain terrain. Those participating in walking safaris in Tanzania should also be in good physical condition and prepared to endure the rigors of walking approximately 3 to 4 hours per day in warm weather. Also, travelers who plan to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro should carefully read the additional “Travel Information for Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro,” which contains details on the rigorous nature of this excursion and the level of fitness required.

As previously mentioned in the section on BAGGAGE INFORMATION, it is important to travel with soft-sided luggage, as soft-sided bags are more easily stored in safari vehicles than hard-framed cases.

Please be advised that Tanzanian law precludes COMFORT HOLIDAYS TOURS & SAFARIS TANZANIA from pre-registering you at any hotels or lodges, so we ask your patience and cooperation in completing the necessary forms on arrival at each overnight stop.

Undoubtedly, you will discover that Tanzanians are very friendly, courteous, and honest. Never be shy about asking questions of your driver-guide or safari escort. They are extremely knowledgeable and are eager to share their knowledge with you. If you are initially understanding and tolerant of your Tanzanian hosts, they will respond in kind.

We know that you will have memorable experiences in Tanzania, but do remember that this is a safari adventure and not a luxury vacation -- and don't forget to pack your sense of humor!

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SMOKING

COMFORT HOLIDAYS TOURS & SAFARIS TANZANIA asks that you refrain from smoking while in sightseeing vehicles and at any group meals during your tour.

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OTHER INFORMATION

Gift-Giving and Trading: Many travelers take pleasure in passing out little gifts, such as pens and candy, to the Tanzanian children they encounter on safari. This is something which, although well intended, has created some problems. We encourage this exercise but, if a Travellers brings school material, we recommend that it be presented to a Primary School, a village elder, or local charitable organization.

Gift-giving is not to be confused with the trading of clothing for souvenirs from Tanzanian merchants, which is still an accepted (though declining) practice. In general, you will probably receive a better value if you use cash than try to barter. However, if you do choose to engage in trade with local merchants, be sure to clearly establish the terms of the trade before proceeding with it.

Migration Game-viewing Patterns: Although the migration depends on variable factors (such as weather and the availability of water and grasses), it does follow a seasonal pattern. From December through March, the migration is usually in the southern Serengeti (in Tanzania), following the grass pattern that was determined by the short rains of the previous November. (Wildebeest calving usually occurs in February/March.) From approximately mid-July through September, the migration is generally concentrated in the Masai Mara (in Kenya). Migratory animals include wildebeest, zebra, and Thomson's gazelle; and migratory distance varies by species.

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DURING YOUR SAFARI

If you have a problem or concern during your tour, we ask for the opportunity to set matters right while you are still traveling. Please bring up any such situations, however small, to the immediate attention of your tour escort. Often times, the escort can correct matters on-the-spot if he is made aware that a situation merits attention.

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YOUR BOOKING AGENT

Even though we have made every effort to provide you with the information you will need to prepare for your safari in Tanzania, you may still have questions. Please do not hesitate to contact your booking agent if you do have additional questions or requests.

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SUGGESTED READING

  • Africa Adorned. Angela Fisher. Harry N. Abrams, 1984.
    This book demonstrates the world's rich diversity by focusing on African cultures and the ways in which they adorn themselves, both day-to-day and for special social events.
  • African Silences. Peter Matthiessen. Vintage Books, 1992.
    This book is a journey through Africa to study the fate of elephants and other wildlife. The author, who has been a frequent visitor to the continent since the late 1970's, relates a somber chronicle of irrevocable loss in his accounts of man's impact on the landscape and its wildlife.
  • African Wildlife: A Photographic Safari. Stephen J. Krasemann and Barbara Bach. Northword Press, 1998.
    With informative text and appealing photography, this book provides an intimate glimpse into the stunning African landscape and its wild inhabitants.
  • Animals of Africa. Thomas B. Allen and Jim Brandenburg, Mitsuaki Iwago, Frans Lanting, Michael Nichols, Shin Yoshino (Photographers). Levin Associates, 1997.
    This book celebrates the incredible diversity of the African natural world with intriguing animal profiles and more than 200 full-color photos.
  • Bones of Contention. Roger Lewin. University of Chicago Press, 1997.
    This book looks at paleo-anthropological research in East Africa and focuses on the research and controversies generated by the Leakey Family and Donald Johanson.
  • Cats of Africa. Anthony Hall-Martin (Translator) and Paul Bosman. Smithsonian Institution Press, 1998.
    This book not only explores the power and grandeur of Africa's large cats, it also offers introductions to their smaller relatives (such as the serval and caracal). For each species, there is a distribution map and data on habitat, diet, behavior, and conservation status.
  • The History and Conservation of Zanzibar Stone Town. Abdul Sheriff (Editor). Ohio University Press, 1995.
    Stone Town is the old city and cultural heart of Zanzibar that has changed little in the last two hundred years. This books looks at the dilemma of recent development and attempts to reconcile two seemingly-opposing points of view: should Stone Town be protected in the interest of tourism or allowed to grow in the interest of its inhabitants?
  • In the Lion's Den. Mitsuaki Iwago. Chronicle Books, 1996.
    This is a compilation of nearly one hundred beautiful photographs of the day-to-day lives of lions in the Serengeti. The magnificent images offer insight into the beauty of these wild felines as well as the harsh realities of their existence.
  • In the Shadow of Man. Jane Goodall and Stephen J. Gould. Houghton Mifflin Co., 1988.
    This book chronicles Jane Goodall's early work with primates in the wild and her attempts to approach them in ways that had never before been attempted.
  • The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals. Jonathan Kingdon. Academic Press, 1997.
    This concise guide provides full information on identification, distribution, ecology, and conservation status for more than 1100 species.
  • Memoirs of an Arabian Princess From Zanzibar. Emily Ruete. Markus Wiener, 1994.
    Born a princess on the spice island of Zanzibar in 1840, Ruete was brought up in a harem before being naturalized a German citizen through marriage. Her memoirs offer a variety of insights, including an intimate look at the role of women in polygamous societies and the struggle between Germans and the British to gain control of the island.
  • The Origin of Humankind. Richard E. Leakey. Basic Books, 1994.
    The author, a world-renowned paleo-anthropologist, tells the story of the first humans in this book. Leakey believes that, when one of our hominid ancestors acquired the ability to walk upright, human evolution became possible, perhaps even inevitable. All else followed after this one, dramatic step.
  • Photographing on Safari: A Field Guide to Wildlife Photography in East Africa. Joe McDonald, 1996.
    This helpful book written by an award-winning author-photographer offers advice on how to get the best photos of wildlife and people while traveling in East Africa on safari.
  • The Safari Companion: A Guide to Watching African Mammals. Richard D. Estes. Chelsea Green Publishing Co., 1993.
    This comprehensive guide to understanding African wildlife is easy to understand and highly recommended. It contains over one hundred illustrations.
  • Serengeti: Natural Order on the African Plain. Mitsuaki Iwago. Chronicle Books, 1996.
    This book is a visual panorama of life, death, and renewal on the Serengeti plains of East Africa.
  • The Shadow of Kilimanjaro: On Foot Across East Africa. Rick Ridgeway. Henry Holt & Company, Inc. 1998.
    This is the story of the author's journey from Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania through Kenya to the Indian Ocean. Accompanied by park officers, he treks among lion, elephants, rhino, and ungulates -- and ponders the important issues that must be resolved to strike a sustainable balance between the needs of wildlife and the needs of local people.
  • Through a Window: My Thirty Years With the Chimpanzees of Gombe. Jane Goodall. Houghton Mifflin Co., 1991.
    In the tradition of Goodall's previous book, In the Shadow of Man, this book continues the story of the author's remarkable attempts to learn about the chimpanzees who live at Gombe along the shores of Lake Tanganyika.

The following titles may be more difficult to find but are worth the effort:
  • Among the Elephants. Ian Douglas-Hamilton and Oria Douglas-Hamilton.
    Dawn to Dusk. Jonathan Scott. BBC, 1996.
  • Golden Shadows, Flying Hooves. George B. Schaller.
  • The Great Migration. Jonathan Scott.
  • Painted Wolves: Wild Dogs of the Serengeti-Mara. Jonathan Scott.
  • Portraits in the Wild: Behavior Studies of East African Mammals. Cynthia Moss.
  • Serengeti: A Kingdom of Predators. George B. Schaller.
  • Shadows of Africa. Peter Matthiessen and Mary Frank.

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