Have questions that need some answers? Check out our Tanzania Frequently Asked Questions!
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 flies 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.
All airport taxes are now included with most flights, both domestically and internationally.
Charter companies like Regional Air, Flight link, and Coastal Aviation, and commercial airlines like Precision Air are the best way to get to Zanzibar. Many daily flights are departing from mid-morning to early evening and MW can help you book any of those to fit in with your itinerary.
One of Tanzania Frequently Asked Questions. Deposit payments can be offered using credit cards online. We just need an email address to send an online invoice to, and you would receive a link to follow to make the payment. Also, we accept some balance payments via credit cards. However, we recommend bank transfers directly to our account for payments so that all treks and safaris are paid six weeks in advance as per booking terms. This reduces any risk you may have by traveling with large amounts of cash
Flights and hotels for Zanzibar can be arranged by Northern Lagoon Travels, as well as 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.
Northern Lagoon Travels uses 4WD Land Cruisers, Land Rovers, and 4WD Hiace on all safaris, and 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.
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 mealtimes. The road from Arusha to Ngorongoro is now tarmac so the driving time to the park is approximately one and a half.
Northern Lagoon Travel cars are outfitted with inverters that allow you to charge your camera batteries or laptop right in the car.
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.
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 the necessary converters and plug adaptors. Try to take as few electrical-powered tools as possible.
It 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.
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 are in the late afternoon or early morning when the light may be below. In this case, ISO 200 or ISO 400 would be better.
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 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.
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 languages and wildlife courses. If you choose an adventure camping safari, you’ll also travel with a Nothern Lagoon Travels chef, who will prepare all of your delicious meals while in the bush. As with any MW-arranged trip, we will only combine tourist groups at the clients’ request. You can expect a private vehicle with your very own Northern Lagoon wildlife guide.
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. You can see all five of these animals during a visit to Northern Tanzania.
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, 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.
The wildebeest migration is usually in the Serengeti from December through September. During the dry months of December, January and February, it is common to see the migration as a mass of several hundred thousand animals. 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 Kenya in October. Having said that, the global seasons are consistently changing, so contact us in advance to find out the latest updates.
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 the big game on foot, we’ll arrange a bushwalk in a national park. (These walks require an armed guard.) If you’re interested in Tanzanian culture, we’ll arrange a cultural tour. A bushwalk can be a stroll or strenuous hike and ranges in length from thirty minutes to six hours.
Kenya is a popular subject for writers! However, compared to the wealth of information available in some other African countries, only a limited number of books have been written about the wider aspects of life and travel in Tanzania. Here is a small selection of recommended titles in both countries to provide background information or to get you in the mood before you leave. For more choices visit a good bookshop.
For the best wildlife viewing, visit Tanzania during the dry seasons of November/December to February, and July to September. To avoid the crowds, visit in May, June, or November.
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 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.
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.
For current immunization recommendations and requirements for travel to Tanzania, please check the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) site.
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$280) at ATMs but you can withdraw several times according to your limit with your bank. Plan if you have something in particular that you need to pay for.
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 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 en route during a safari.
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 to withdraw shillings.
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. Before that year, Africa was hit with an epidemic of counterfeiting and people are extremely wary to accept older notes, and banks simply will not accept them at all.
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 in 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 a certificate.
Northern Lagoon Travels 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.
On a camping safari, guests and staff sleep in private tents, in designated campsites in or near the national parks. Northern Lagoon Travels staff sets up the camp and prepares all meals while you relax, read and eat snacks. The camps consist of tents set up around tables and chairs. Whenever possible, We use more remote campsites to make your camping experience more private.
Of course; just let us know in advance so we can make the necessary arrangements.
We provide 2 x 1L of bottled water per person per day on safari and unlimited drinking water on Kilimanjaro/Meru.
Staple foods found throughout Tanzania include ugali (maize meal), 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 before your climb or camping safari and we’ll include some local dishes on your menu.
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 Northern Lagoon Travels. If you are unsure of any food, ask our cooks and guides.