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Travel FAQs - Youth Adventures
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Travel Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Before traveling to Tanzania, you can find here helpful travel information’s on Flights, Health, Luggage, Money and Visa/Passport.
Please note that the information’s given here are only an orientation. It is essential to check with your doctor, bank and embassies/consulates.

Flights & Transfers

Check-in is three hours prior to departure for international flights and one-and-a-half hours for domestic flights.

Many scheduled regional flights may involve multiple stops before reaching the final destination.

Health & Dietary

Yellow fever vaccination is compulsory and a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from all travelers over 1 year of age coming from areas with risk of yellow fever transmission (check the internet for details).

Please ensure that inoculations for other tropical diseases, such as cholera, hepatitis, tetanus and typhoid are up-to-date.

Malaria is endemic but preventable. Use insect repellent, sleep under a mosquito net and take anti-malaria prophylactics as advised by your doctor.

If you suffer from a medical condition, please ensure that you have enough medicine to last during the length of your trip.

Bring prescription medicine; spare glasses/contact lenses and their solution; sunscreen and after-sun moisturizer; a first-aid kid, including plasters, travel sickness tablets, antiseptic cream, antihistamine cream, pain relies tablets, indigestion tablets; as well as a cream for bites/stings and remedy for diarrhea. We remind travelers who have any allergies or an asthma condition, to pack the required medication.

It is imperative to check with your doctor before arrival.

Most dietary requirement can be catered for. Please inform us of any specific dietary requirements and these will be communicated to all properties. Should you require kosher meals, there might incur substantial additional costs as these meals are specially flown in. A two weeks prior notice is required for all dietary requirements.

Insurance – Flying Doctors

It is essential that adequate travel insurance is arranged prior to arrival. This guarantees emergency evacuation to the nearest hospital should you either suffer severe illness or injury. This insurance does not cover the cost of treatment once in hospital, nor does it replace the normal travel insurance.

Luggage

No formal clothes are required, so we recommend that you keep your luggage to the basics. Traveling light is best as it takes less time to load your vehicle on travel days. Please use soft-side cases instead of hard suitcase.

There is a weight restriction of 15 kg/per person for all domestic flights. Please note that the hand-baggage compartments on the light aircraft’s are only 25 cm.

Bright or dark blue colors attract tsetse flies and black colors attract mosquitoes, so we recommend better khaki or neutral colors.

You will not be responsible to carry your luggage while climbing Kilimanjaro. The porters can carry approximately 20 kg of your luggage and the rest can be stored safely at the hotel. You will only be responsible for carrying your day pack with the essential and personal items you need to have with you at all times.

Money

The local currency is Tanzanian Shilling. Major foreign currencies, especially EURO and USD, are well accepted. They are convertible at Banks or Bureau du Change in the main towns or in any tourist areas. It is not possible to obtain Tanzania Schillings outside the country. Credit Cards are not yet widely accepted and carry a poor exchange rate.

Visa and Passport

EU and US passport holders are required to purchase a Tourist Entry Visa, which is available at Tanzanian Embassies or at any Border Post. The Tourist Entry Visa costs USD 50 per person for Europeans and USD 100 per person for Americans and is valid for 3 months. Visas obtained at any Border Post are payable in USD cash only. We recommend small dollar notes as officials are not in the position to give change.

Visitors from other countries should check with the Tanzanian Embassy or the nearest Visa Service.

Passports are required by all foreign visitors and must be valid for 6 months after the intended length of stay. Please ensure that you have sufficient blank pages (not endorsement pages) in your passport with at least two consecutive/side by side blank pages. If there is not sufficient space in the passport then entry into the country could be denied. Our recommendation is 3 to 4 blank pages.

It is imperative to check visa requirements with the various country embassies/consulates before you travel as visa requirement vary according to your nationality.

Don't forget to carry the following
  • A small powerful LED flashlight and if you’re a serious boy scout a small compact headlamp
  • Enough batteries for your trip or a solar charger for gadgets and cameras
  • AC plug point converter to 3 prong square (East Africa)
  • A digital SLR or a mirror-less cameras with long lens up to 300mm or more
  • A point and shoot camera or smartphone
  • Chargers and cables and a backup hard drive for your images
  • Lightweight binoculars
  • A cheap functional wristwatch with an alarm
  • An inconspicuous money belt so you can keep your cash with you.
  • Dark Sunglasses
  • Antibacterial hand gel –great for toilet stop in the wilds
  • Lip balm
  • SPF 50 Sunblock
  • Insect repellent
  • A lightweight fabric wide-brimmed hat
  • A small lightweight ‘day back pack’ for game drives and walks
  • All copies of your travel documents, including travel insurance policy, passport and visa.
  • Personal first aid KIT

Tanzania is situated very close to the equator, due to which the weather here is rather stable with a comfortable and well balanced climate. Never reaching extremely hot temperatures or very cold weather, the average annual temperature varies from +25°C in the south of the country and up to +27°C in the north. It should be mentioned that on Kilimanjaro, as well as in places such as Ngorongorohighlands, the temperature does sometimes fall below zero, especially at night time, therefore it is necessary to take warm clothes to safari via Ngorongoro Crater. Many people try to avoid rainy seasons in Tanzania, of which there are two: the longest first one falls between the ends of March and May; the second one is between the end of October and the first half of December. They are commonly referred to as “long-” and “short rains”, respectively. Interestingly, the weather in Tanzania in December is hot and wet at the same time. The rainy season is marked by heavy precipitation.Planning your trip to Tanzania during the dry season you must be prepared for the heat outside and dust on the dry roads. For the most part, 50% of the dust penetrating the interior of your vehicle comes from other passing vehicles during safari.

Best time to climb Kilimanjaro

The mountain can be climbed all year round. The main trekking seasons on Kilimanjaro correspond with the mountain’s two ‘dry’ seasons. These are January to mid-March and June to October. Note that it will still probably rain on your trek during these months too – it’s rare to climb without getting rained on at least once.Of course you can take a climb in the rainy season. But there is a much higher chance you’ll encounter rain, and the summits of Kibo and Mawenzi are likely to be wreathed in thick cloud too. Indeed, several agencies even suspend their operations in November and December.It’s true that visibility is less at this time though we take issue with those companies that say that your chances of reaching the summit are significantly lower too; that simply isn’t the case. True, once every couple of years or so there may be too much snow, blocking you from reaching the summit. But this is rare. So as long as you are dressed for the conditions then, in our experience, you’ve got just as good a chance of getting to the summit.Curiously, Christmas and New Year, when the weather is far from perfect, are actually amongst the most popular times for climbing.

Best to Visit

The best wildlife viewing months in Tanzania are during the Dry season from late June to October. The best chance of seeing the wildebeest migration in the Serengeti is during June and July and the time to see the wildebeest calving is late January to February. The southern and western circuit parks are best visited during the Dry season (June to October), unlike the more popular northern circuit parks that can be visited year-round. Tarangire is the only exception since its wildlife viewing is considerably better in the Dry season as well.

Do you provide Travel Insurance?
Youth adventures and Safaris do not provide travel insurance to the visitors. It’s the responsibility of the Agent/visitors – All visitors must have an adequate insurance for the duration of the tour, which should include evacuation, medical cover in case of an emergency.
Which airlines fly to Tanzania?
Several international airlines operate flights into Tanzania through Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar International Airports. Some airlines includes KLM, British Airways, Swiss air, Ethiopian airlines, Fly Emirates, Qatar Airways, Fly Dubai, South African Airways, Kenya airways, Rwanda Air, Oman Air and many others not mentioned but can be searched online or contact your travel agent.
Can I fly internally?
Travel within the country is by Air Tanzania (the national airline), Precision Air, Air Excel, Coastal Aviation, Zan Air, Regional Air, Tropical Air, Fast jet, and Auric Air.
What is the road network look like?
The main roads are tarmac roads but secondary roads vary in quality. Be prepared for long and sometimes bumpy car rides in the national parks as the roads don,t have tarmac.
How about medication and vaccination?
Certain vaccinations may be required for travel to Africa, for example, often you will need a yellow fever vaccination. Visitors are advised to take anti-malaria tablets and make use of mosquito nets and insect sprays where provided. Comprehensive travel and medical insurance is recommended before travel. Meds – Anything that you use daily and need for your well-being is essential.
Is the tap water safe to drink in Tanzania?
Tap water is not suitable for drinking, use bottled water, which is available in your safari car and at accommodations.
Can I use ATM or credit card to make payments while in Tanzania?
Yes, you can use an ATM to withdraw money and also use your credit card to make payment for various services, however, cash is acceptable.Tanzanian currency is Tanzanian Shilling. First two things you have to know about money matters in Tanzania is that don’t bring travelers cheques with you, as they are not accepted anymore.Dollars are widely accepted, sometimes even preferred over local currency. Euros and pounds are acceptable but not so much than dollars. Paying with dollars is possible in all better establishments in Tanzania, from hostels to up market safari lodges including safari agencies.For local shopping and smaller expenses, like shopping on markets and local restaurants, bus tickets Tanzanian shillings are must to have in your wallet. Do not exchange money on the streets. Note that due to the number of counterfeit notes in circulation, no US Dollar bills printed before 2003 will be accepted in Tanzania.
What is the currency used in Tanzania?

The unit of currency is the Tanzania Shilling (TShs). Foreign currency in cash exchanged at the commercial banks, authorized dealers, or at the bureau de changes operating at the international airports, major towns and border posts.

How do you dealing with tipping?

The first and most important point is that tipping in entirely your decision and you should never feel obliged to tip anyone. Be aware though that your tip can make a big difference to staff at lodges, and it is always truly appreciated. Also be aware that there are many people who play a role in making your safari experience a great one, most of whom you never meet in person.

What should I pack for safari?

There are a few handy items you won’t want to forget when going on safari such as a hat and sunblock to name just two. However, it is important to note that certain light aircraft transfer flights will have a smaller and stricter luggage limit. Do some solid research on the seasonal climate of your safari destination – some places are high altitude and cool to cold in winter, some are low altitude and hot and humid in summer.Light tropical clothes, especially cotton slacks, shirts and skirts are most suitable. Some warm clothing is needed in the higher altitude areas around Ngorongoro Crater, Mt. Kilimanjaro and Arusha, especially in the evenings and early in the morning. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended on safari and guests are advised to carry some insect repellents. Visitors in Zanzibar are expected to dress modestly – avoid swim suits, miniskirts and other revealing clothing outside hotels, beaches and resorts.

What is the safari accommodation like?

There is an incredible variety of accommodation available on a safari and beach holiday in glamorous Tanzania, from splendid private villas and boutique suites on the Indian Ocean islands like Zanzibar, Mafia to Hemingway style luxury tents with all possible beautification of gracious living, family farms with warm friendly welcomes, solidly built lodges, unpretentious bush camps, cultural experiences in African bandas, ecologically sound minimal impact accommodations and mobile camps, moving seasonally, or even carried with you on fly-camping tours.

What is the best time of the year to visit?

The Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority are good for safari throughout the year. June and July are the best months to see the wildebeest migration. During February, the wildebeest spend their time on the short grass plains of the southeastern part of the ecosystem, grazing and giving birth to approximately 500,000 calves within a 2 to 3 week period. Few calves are born ahead of time and of these, hardly can survive. The dry months offer good wildlife viewing and easy accessibility throughout Tanzania. Tarangire and the southern and western circuit parks (including Katavi, Selous and Ruaha) are best visited in the dry season, from June to October every year. And beach holidays in Zanzibar can be arranged throughout the year however we do not recommend you to go there during rain season starting in mid march to Late May.

What should I know before photography?

No photographs of, or near, military buildings or police are allowed. It is polite to ask people before taking their photographs.

What vehicles do you use for safari?

Tanzania safari vehicles used by Youth Adventures and Safaris are specially designed for game drives and photographic safaris to be used efficiently by our professional driver guides to provide you with the best in safety and comfort for your wildlife safari in Tanzania.The 4 by 4 wheel drive Land Cruisers are custom built and equipped to adapt to the African roads and typical safari environment so that they meet all of the safari needs of the visitors.

How many people are in your group safaris?

We offer tailor-made safaris for any number of participants. Considering the sitting arrangement concerning the cars –For our Toyota Land cruisers they range from 3 – 7 individuals.

I'm travelling on my own. Can I book my safari?

Solo travelers are welcome but please note that the cost of the safari will generally be higher than if you joined a group. We shall advise in case of scheduled safaris but group dynamics will be at play.

What other expenses should I expect after I received quoted safari costs?

Unless otherwise stated, tour prices quoted include; airport/hotel transfers, transport with fuel and driver/guide, accommodation, drinking water in safari vehicle, National Park and activity fees associated with your itinerary. The quoted price does not include; airfare to/from Tanzania, Visa fees if applicable, optional activities not included in the itinerary, refreshments and beverages (between meal snacks, alcohol, other refreshments), personal items (porters, telephone calls and souvenirs), tips and gratuities. In most cases, we will specify the extra charge of optional activities in your itinerary. If it is not clear to you, please contact us so we can confirm any additional fee(s).

Do you cater for a special dietary person?

We take care of your dietary needs as far as the hotels cooperate which is usually positive when you let us know in advance to make the necessary arrangements with the different lodges in your itinerary. Make sure that your driver-guide contacts the reception on arrival at the lodge.

Do the driver guide and mountain guides speak English?

The national language is Kiswahili but English is widely spoken and is the language of the tourist business and other international businesses. They both speak English and sometimes we hire guides who speak other language as well like Germany, Spanish and French.

How can I communicate home while in safari?

International telephone calls are made from most areas in Tanzania and local SIM cards can be purchased. International roaming facilities are available. Internet services are widely available at internet cafes, use a router and a modem, although the quality and speed of the connection varies depending on the service provider used . Some lodges, hotels and campsites have Wi-Fi. All our drivers/guides have cell phones and maintain contact with the Office throughout safaris.

Is it safe to go on safari?

We have ensured our visitors are safe while on safari and also security organs of the country are ensuring general safety of the people and the visitors.

What kind of safari choices available?

Tanzania’s wildlife resources are considered among the finest in the world. Tanzania boosts many of Africa’s most renewed destinations; in the north the Serengeti plains, the Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, and Mount Kilimanjaro – and in the south Mikumi and Ruaha National Parks and the Selous Game Reserve. Depending on your interests and desires, and time of year you wish to visit, there’s a safari experience to suit you.Natural attractions include the white sandy beaches of the Zanzibar archipelago, of north and south of Dar es Salaam, and excellent deep-sea fishing at Mafia and Pemba Islands.Cultural tourism adopts a community-based tourism approach in which the people are directly involved in designing, organizing tours and showing tourists aspects of their lives in the area they live in. While economic benefit is derived from this activity, some cross cultural exchange between visitors and the local people is also developed.

Can I bring my kids along on safari?

Without question. Family safaris in Africa are a worthwhile and meaningful experience.

Can I charge my phone, camera, iPad or camera while on safari? What type of plug do I need?

Electricity is available at 220/240 volts AC, 50 Hz. Primary Socket Type, British BS- 1363 (British Standard). Adapter plugs will be available in some lodges but we advise that you bring at least one with you. Please be aware that the power supply is subject to cuts and voltage fluctuations even in major cities. On safari most of the lodges are powered by generators or solar panels and these are often turned off during parts of the day and night to reduce noise and fuel consumption.

Can I combine my safari with trip to Zanzibar? And what activities can I do while in Zanzibar?

YES, Zanzibar is a great addition to any safari itinerary or even just as a calm escape on its own. We can package the unforgettable safari and beach holiday to suit your needs.Activities that can be enjoyed on the island include superb scuba diving and snorkeling, a visit to a spice plantation, a walk through the famous Stone Town, various watersport activities such as sea-kayaking and kite-surfing, or simply relaxing on the beach, in your hammock or at the pool.

What meals are like on safari or in hiking Kilimanjaro?

Meals on safari feature wholesome homemade dishes with a hint of local flavor.Chefs are able to cater to any dietary requirements with advance notice, including preparing gluten free, dairy free, vegan, and halaal meals.

How dangerous is climbing Kilimanjaro?

Climbing Kilimanjaro is no easy feat. Some routes may be easier than others, but altitude gains and sometimes unpredictable summit weather conditions can’t be avoided. Due to the high elevation, acute mountain sickness (AMS), high-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) and high-altitude cerebral edema (HACE) are a risk if proper planning and execution is not conducted. Our guides can help ensure that your Kilimanjaro hike is safe, enjoyable and successful.

What does it take to climb Kilimanjaro?

Climbing Kilimanjaro takes both physical and mental stamina. We recommend training prior to your trip to increase your chances for summiting successfully and to make your trek more enjoyable. You will also need to dedicate enough time to complete the trip. Kilimanjaro hikes can take anywhere from 5-9 days, however the longer the trip the higher the success rate.

How long is the climb up Kilimanjaro?

Climbing Kilimanjaro can take anywhere between 5-9 days depending on the route. Naturally, the more days you take the higher your success rate will be due to less risk of elevation illnesses, injury and weather disruptions. We recommend at least 7 days to ensure your Kilimanjaro hike is a success.

Which is the best route to climb Kilimanjaro?

This is dependent on the desired scenery, difficulty, foot traffic and travel time. For example, the Umbwe route is the most difficult but offers very low foot traffic while the Marangu route and the Rongai route are easier but have heavier foot traffic. If you are unsure which route is the best fit for you let us know and we can help you decide.

What are the accommodations along the trail?

For the case of Marangu route, trekkers stay in huts. Each hut has a dining room for eating as well as separate bathroom facilities (can be flush toilets or pit latrines), but there is no electricity. On the Rongai, Machame, Shira, and Lemosho routes trekkers camp all the way up. Trekkers on all routes are given a hot water bowl to wash their hands and faces.

If the trek becomes too difficult for me can I turn around?

Yes, you can. If you are in any physical danger or suffer from altitude sickness the porters will be able to assist you down the mountain.

How long is the trek and how many hours do we hike each day?

These times are based on physical ability of the group as well as the altitude (the higher you go, the slower you move).

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