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FAQ's

Passports & VISA:

All visitors to Tanzania require a return or onward ticket and a valid passport with an entry or reentry visa, duly endorsed. Visas are not required for visitors from some Commonwealth countries and other specified countries.Visas can be obtained from any Tanzania Diplomatic. Mission or Consulate abroad, and at main entry points including international airports, sea ports and border posts.

Flights:

What is the best way to get to Tanzania?
If you are coming from North America or Europe, we recommend flying KLM to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). If you are coming from Australasia, Emirates has the best deals and fly into Nairobi and Dar es Salaam daily. Kilimanjaro Airport is a one hour drive from Arusha while Dar es Salaam and Nairobi are a one hour flight or several hour bus ride from Arusha. If planning a visit to Zanzibar or Pemba during your Tanzanian holiday, consider flying into Dar es Salaam and then flying to Kilimanjaro for your safari and climb.

Can Alaitol  Safaris book my flights?
Alaitol Safaris books East Africa internal travel, including flights, bus rides and shuttles. Your tickets will be kept in the office for you or mailed to you, depending on your first destination.

Are there any airport taxes to pay in Tanzania?
All airport taxes are now included with most flights, both domestically and internationally.

What is the best way to get from Serengeti/Kilimanjaro/Arusha to Zanzibar?
Charter companies like Coastal Aviation, Air Excel and commercial airlines like Precision Air are the best way to get to Zanzibar. There are many daily flights departing from mid-morning to early evening and Alaitol Safaris can help you book any of those to fit in with your itinerary.

Travel Information and Seasons:

I am traveling alone. Is it possible to join a group?
We have Four trips that are regular scheduled group departures.  These trips leave with a minimum of two people and a maximum of twelve people per departure.

1. Wildlife Safari-  budget and mid-range Tanzanian wildlife & culture – departures every week throughout the season

2. Kilimanjaro 8 days Machame Trek – budget and mid-range departures every week throughout the season

3. Wildlife Safari and Zanzibar - Budget and mid-range Tanzania wildlife - departure on most Sundays throughout the season

4. Kilimanjaro and Wildlife Safaris 12Days - Budget and mid-range departures every week throughout the season

Single supplements do apply to guarantee a single room.

What are the best months to go on safari?
For the best wildlife viewing, visit Tanzania during the dry seasons of December to March, and June to October. To avoid the crowds and take advantage of low season offers, visit in April, May or November.

When is the best time to climb Kilimanjaro?
The driest month to climb Kilimanjaro is September. However, it is also one of the coldest and busiest. Because Kilimanjaro is such a large mountain, it has its own weather pattern and it often rains on Kilimanjaro when it is not raining elsewhere. You should prepare for rain and have your rain gear with you at all times while on the mountain.

What are the seasons like in Tanzania?
Late March through late May represents the period of long rains in Tanzania. This is usually not an ideal time to plan a safari because of the potential for sudden downpours. Directly after the long rains, however, is a wonderful time to visit Tanzania's national parks due to the abundance of wildflowers and vegetation. It is also a wonderful time to go on safari because the level of dust and the number of tourists is minimal. July through October is Tanzania's dry season and also the high season for tourism. This is the best time to view wildlife as grasses are virtually nonexistent. It is usually very dusty and can be cold at higher elevations such as Ngorongoro Crater. Tanzania's short rains occur from late October through mid December. This is a low season for tourism in Tanzania. December through March is Tanzania's "summer" and many tourists visit during late December and January for optimal game viewing.

 Health & Immunizations:

Does Alaitol Safaris provide health insurance?
Health insurance is not included in tour quotes. However, for an additional US$20 per person, we can assist you to take out membership for the Intensive Care Air Ambulance (ICAA), which provides aero-medical evacuation services for up to 2000km from Nairobi Wilson Airport and for up to eight weeks in duration (depending on your itinerary with Alaitol Safaris). This membership allows for air rescue transportation to medical facilities in the event of an emergency. THIS DOES NOT REPLACE PERSONAL TRAVEL INSURANCE IN ANYWAY.

What immunizations do I need before visiting Tanzania?
For current immunization recommendations and requirements for travel to Tanzania, please check the  Centers for Disease Control (CDC) site.

 Reservations and Cancellations:

Can I pay with a credit card?
We do offer deposit payments via Online Payment Gateway, using credit cards online. We just need your full name, name of your country and an email address to send an online invoice to, and you would receive a link to follow to make the payment.  We can also accept some balance payments via credit cards – but our online Payment gateway will charge a service fee of 4% for that. However, we recommend bank transfers directly to our account for payments so that all treks and safaris are paid for six weeks advance as per booking terms. This reduces any risk you may have by travelling large amounts of cash.

Can Alaitol Safaris help me with my Zanzibar hotel reservations?
Yes, we can arrange flights and hotels for Zanzibar. We can also arrange airport transfers directly with most hotels. We have a great selection for you and liaise directly with the owners who will look after you like we do!

What is Alaitol Safaris cancellation policy?
Pease read our Terms and Conditions page for details on our cancellation policy.

Money Issues:

Will I be able to use ATM/credit cards in Tanzania?
You can withdraw Tanzanian shillings using a Visa/MasterCard in Arusha, Moshi, Karatu, Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam. Most restaurants/hotels do not accept credit cards, and the ones that do usually charge a commission of at least 3-5%. Please call your credit card company before you leave for Tanzania to notify them of your travel plans. Some companies will put a block on your card if you try to use it at a Tanzanian ATM. There is a withdrawal limit of 400,000/- per transaction (approx US$200) at ATMs but you can withdraw several times according to your personal limit with your own bank. Plan ahead if you have something in particular that you need to pay for.

Should I change money to Tanzanian Shillings or can I pay in foreign currency?
We recommend changing some money to shillings to pay for small items during your trip. Local stores and restaurants charge in shillings, and if you pay in dollars you will pay a higher rate. At souvenir stores in Arusha. US$100 and US$50 dollar noted attract a better exchange rate than US$20, US$10, US$5 and US$1 – however these smaller notes are handy sometimes for buying souvenirs enroute during safari.

Should I bring travelers cheques?
We do not recommend bringing travelers cheques to Tanzania as banks require you to have the receipt of purchase as well as the cheque. We recommend bringing USD cash and using an ATM machine to withdraw shillings.

Are old USD notes accepted?
NO, not at all and Tanzania is very strict on this.  Please travel with notes dated 2005 or newer if you want to use them anywhere in Tanzania.  Prior to that year, Africa was hit with an epidemic of counterfeiting and people are extremely weary to accept older notes, and banks simply will not accept them at all.

While on Safari: Lodging and Food

How does Alaitol Safaris choose lodges and tented camps in Arusha and on safari?

Alaitol Safaris matches the type of experience you desire with the most appropriate lodge arrangements. Available lodging ranges from private luxury tented lodges to adventure camping. There are both mid and high-end private lodges so we can accommodate any budget.

Are all types of diets catered for?
Of course; just let us know in advance so we can make necessary arrangements.

Do I need to bring a water filter?
We provide 2 x 1L bottled water per person per day on safari, and unlimited drinking water on Kilimanjaro/Meru.

What is Tanzanian food like and will I get to try some?
Staple foods found throughout Tanzania include ugali (maizemeal), chapati (thick naan-like bread), kachumbari (tomato, cucumber, bell pepper salad), nyama choma (barbecued meat- goat, chicken, beef) and mchicha (green vegetable stew). Dishes specific to Northern Tanzania include ndizi nyama (banana beef stew) and mahindi maharage (maize and bean stew). If you would like to try Tanzanian food, let us know prior to your climb or camping safari and we'll include some local dishes on your menu.

What precautions should I take to avoid stomach problems?
Be sure to wash your hands often with soap and avoid eating raw vegetables and fruits. Before meals, wash and dry your hands before touching your food. Do not eat food sold by street vendors. Wipe the mouth of soda and alcohol bottles before drinking and ensure that water bottles are sealed properly before purchasing. Also, eat fruit that can be peeled, such as bananas, unless it is fruit prepared by Alaitol Safaris. If you unsure of any food, ask our cooks and guides.

 Driving on Safari:

What are Alaitol Safaris vehicles like?
Alaitol Adventure & Safaris uses 4WD Land Cruisers and Land rover on all safaris and Toyota Hiace & Coaster for transfer all vehicles are owned and maintained by us. We have made our vehicles safari ready by including comfortable seats and an open roof that allows for better animal viewing. Each passenger is guaranteed a window seat.

What are the road conditions in Tanzania?
Although the roads between cities and the national parks are generally well-maintained, the roads inside the national parks are rough and dusty, and hence, often muddy. During game drives, we drive slowly for a more comfortable drive. During the dry season you will get very dusty, so bring some moist cleansing cloths to clean up before meal times. The road from Arusha to Ngorongoro is now tarmac so the driving time to the park is approximately one and a half.

 Photography on Safari:

Is it possible to recharge a digital camera on safari?
Alaitol Safaris cars are outfitted with inverters that allow you to charge your camera batteries or laptop right in the car.

Should I bring extra batteries for my camera or will they be available in Tanzania?
You can find AAA-D batteries in Arusha including Energizer and Duracell brands in an emergency but batteries are probably cheaper in your home country, so you may want to bring them with you. It is difficult to find high quality batteries outside major cities.

What extra camera equipment should I bring to Tanzania?
1. Small sand bag on which to rest your camera. The safari vehicles shake quite a bit and sometimes you may miss a great shot if you wait for the car to be turned off.
2. Lightweight tripod or monopod.
3. Small can of compressed air to clean the camera. Be sure to clean your camera every night as it is usually very dusty while on safari.

Will I be able to charge rechargeable batteries while in the bush?
Most lodges have outlets so you will be able to recharge batteries. However, because the lodges are run on generators, the electrical current is not as strong as traditional electrical currents. Some lodges turn off their generators at midnight. Keep in mind Tanzania uses 240v electricity and you will need to bring necessary converters and plug adaptors. Try to take as few electrical powered tools as possible.

I'm planning to use a film camera. How much film should I bring?
It really depends on the passion you have for photography. As a general guideline, plan on shooting three to four rolls with 24 exposures per day; this is adequate for most people. Remember also that animals often move just when you want to shoot and don't pose for you so you may waste some pictures.

What sort of film should I use?
Much of the time you will be in bright sunlight so ISO100 speed will give you the best quality. However, some of the best times to see animals is in the late afternoon or early morning and the light may be low. In this case, ISO 200 or ISO 400 would be better.

What lenses should I bring?
This will depend on the type of photography you do. If you are interested in vegetation, you may want a macro lens. For animals, because you will be photographing from a distance, you will definitely want a long lens, at minimum 300 mm and up to 500 mm if possible. A zoom lens will provide you with the best flexibility.

 Souvenir Shopping:

What about purchasing souvenirs?
You will have many opportunities to purchase souvenirs in Arusha and while on safari. The souvenir market with the best prices is located in the center of Arusha town approximately 500 meters southwest of the central post office/clock tower on Sinoni Road. You will have to bargain at this market; you should pay about 50% of the asking price. There will also be many opportunities to purchase souvenirs while on safari. Most hotels have souvenir shops, and there are a couple of large souvenir shops along the way: Oldonyo Orok and Cultural Heritage (expensive). If you are interested in buying Tanzanite, please let us know so we can deliver you to certified gemologists who mine and wholesale Tanzanite (among other precious stones) – this will ensure good value and good quality.  You will also be issued with a certificate.

 Wildlife and Other Information:

Who travels with us during safari?
During your safari, you'll be accompanied by a trained wildlife guide. All of our guides have at least five years of experience on safari and have taken several language and wildlife courses. As with any Alaitol Safaris-arranged trip, we will only combine tourist groups at the clients request. You can expect a private vehicle with your very own Alaitol Safaris wildlife guide.

What are the Big Five?
The Big Five were originally the animals most sought after by hunters. They were the fiercest animals, the animals that hunted the hunters. They include rhino, elephant, lion, leopard and cape buffalo and today are the animals that tourists most want to see when visiting Tanzania's national parks.

What is the wildebeest migration?
The wildebeest migration is the annual movement of approx 1.2 million wildebeest and 600,000 zebra and 300,000 Thomason gazelle from Tanzania's Serengeti National Park to Kenya's Masai Mara. The migration offers excellent opportunities to view animal behavior, especially the predators! Although the migration is usually in the Serengeti from December through June and then again from August again, the rains in recent years have kept the wildebeest in the Serengeti longer than normal and the exact migratory paths and times are never an exact science.

When is the famous wildebeest migration in Tanzania?
The wildebeest migration is usually in the Serengeti in some form throughout the year - groups may splinter at times. During the dry months of December, January and February, it is common to see the migration as a mass of several hundred thousand animals on southern plains. During the long rains in March, April and May, the migration often splits up into several sub-groups and roams in different areas of the Serengeti following the fresh grasses. The migration remains in these smaller groups throughout much of the remaining season until it returns to the Kenya in May-June. The migration tends to start coming back into the northern areas of the Serengeti from July and typically feeds on the northern grasses for several months until around October.  Having said that – the global seasons are consistently changing, so contact us in advance to find out the latest updates.

What is a bush walk?
A bush walk is a nature walk or walking safari inside or near a national park. We can tailor a bush walk to your interests. If you are a bird lover, we'll take you on a bird walk. If you want to be near big game on foot, we'll arrange a bush walk in a national park. (These walks require an armed guard.) If you're interested in Tanzanian culture, we'll arrange a cultural tour. A bush walk can be a leisurely stroll or strenuous hike and ranges in length from thirty minutes to six hours.

What are appropriate tips for Alaitol Safaris staff?
We have put together detailed guidelines for tipping in Tanzania. Please contact the office directly for further information.

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Contact Us

Alaitol Adventures and Safaris

P.O.Box 2758

Njiro Block C1 Arusha Tanzania 

Phone: +255 769 336 731 

Hotline/Whatsapp +255 684 930 850

Email: info@alaitolsafaris.com