FAQ

As a rule, it is very likely that you will need a visa to travel to Tanzania. Citizens of some countries (particularly the Commonwealth), may be exempt when traveling to Tanzania. It is always a good idea to check visa requirements at your local embassy or consulate ahead of travel, as they do change quite frequently. Although Tanzania may offer visas at the place of entry, we advice our guests to obtain these before traveling in order to save time and money. Your passport should be valid for at least six months longer than the duration of your stay and must have enough blank pages for the visa and entry stamps.
If you are going on safari, remember that luggage capacity is limited on small planes and other modes of transport you are likely to use. It is likely that you will need to restrict your luggage to 15 kg (33 lb), packed in a soft duffle bag, plus a reasonable amount of camera equipment.
ATMs are found in all major towns of Tanzania.
Tipping amounts depend on how much you have been satisfied with the services. Minimum tip to our safari guides is US Dollar 20. However, you can tender whatever you feel like to hotel and lodge staff, at the end of your stay. When in doubt, please ask us for tipping guidelines. It is customary to tip 10-20 percent of the bill at all restaurants and 10-20 percent of the fare to taxi drivers.
Guests traveling in Tanzania should be able to use dial up Internet, unless they are at a game lodge or camp in one of the many wilderness areas, where connections may be slow or nonexistent. Internet connections are only available in the larger towns.
Tanzania offers exceptional birding in diverse destinations, boasting not only an excellent array of indigenous species, but a large number of migrants. Rubondo island in Lake Victoria is an ideal spot for birding, as are the many Rift Valley lakes of northern Tanzania.
The Great Migration traditionally follows the rain as animals migrate towards better pastures. Therefore it is difficult to determine precisely when it will happen. Working on the assumption of a "normal" year, the migration generally begins in early April, May and June, when the calves are strong enough and the journey north begins. From June/July the wildebeest gather in the Western Corridor of the Serengeti National Park and in August/September they cross the Grumeti River and head towards the Masai Mara in Kenya. From October to December the animals begin to move back into the Serengeti.
Despite its awesome height and fearsome size, Kilimanjaro is a gentle hike that usually takes place over five days. Guides recommend basic fitness, as the main challenge is posed by the altitude. There are six different routes up the mountain and more advanced hikers and full-on climbers will be able to consider those, as they are more scenic.
Tanzania is a great destination for travel with children and you can be assured that all young travelers will receive the warmest welcome. There are rough roads in most Tanzanian national parks that are sometimes not recommended to travel with children below two years of age. Shrike Safaris child policy is as follows:
  • Child under two years of age on safari with one to two adults is charged on a complementary basis
  • Child between two and 12 years of age on safari with one to two adults is charged 50 percent of the per person adult rate
In Tanzania, cell phone connections are only available in and around the larger towns. Guests are advised to check with their cell phone operator before traveling. Cell phone cards can be purchased in most towns and at the larger airports. There is Blackberry connectivity in most cities (even in Zanzibar and at the Ngorongoro Crater).
Tanzania is perfectly safe to visit and the Tanzanians are renowned for their warm hospitality. As with any travel, it is a good idea to take the standard precautions. Keep your passport and valuables close at hand or safely locked away, and don’t leave luggage unattended. When traveling in town, check with your tour operator or hotel concierge to see if there are any areas that should be avoided. Avoid isolated or deserted areas, particularly at night, ensure that your car is locked at all times and parked in well-lit, busy areas. Avoid wearing excessive jewelry when exploring Africa’s diverse cities and make use of concealed travel wallets. When driving through Africa, it is not recommended to stop for hitchhikers.
We highly recommend that you purchase insurance for the following: trip cancellation, lost/stolen baggage, extended medical, and evacuation costs. An unforeseen illness or unexpected event may require you to cancel your trip. In order to protect yourself, your baggage and/or personal property, a short-term traveler’s insurance package may be purchased through your travel/insurance agent who can advise you as to what is available and the costs. Shrike Safaris will not be responsible for any costs incurred by passengers for such occurrences and circumstances. We will do whatever is possible to help, but you are responsible for all expenses.
We encourage you to wear light khaki, olive, tans and brown/ beige as they increase the chances of better game viewing. However, due to the high altitude on the rim of Ngorongoro Crater, night time temperatures are cold even in summer. Travelers to these regions should pack a fleece or sweater, as well as a warm jacket for game drives. Swimwear is a must when traveling to the coastal areas of Zanzibar. Comfortable walking shoes are essential for those planning bush walks or walking safaris. Guests intending to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and Meru should pack thermal underwear, light layers, a sweater, warm jacket, good socks, and sturdy boots.
In Tanzania, the currency is the Tanzanian shillings. Foreign currencies such as the US dollar are widely accepted in Tanzania, although dollar bills dated before 2006 are usually not accepted. Most cities have banks and forex bureau where money can be changed and in national parks. Facilities are usually available at reputable lodges/tent. It is a good idea to change your money in advance if you are going on safari.
The standard voltage throughout Tanzania is 220V AC. Tanzania uses a three-pronged square plug.
Most large cities in Tanzania offer a large variety of restaurants and cuisines from around the world. Most safari lodges and camps pride themselves on their cuisine, which may include variations on local specialities. We may cater for special diets, as long as you give us advance warning.
The water in Tanzania is not safe to drink and it is recommended that you stick to bottled water or boil all water before drinking it.​
Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted in most restaurants, shops, and hotels in Tanzania. However, Diners Club and American Express may not be accepted. Proof of identification may be required when paying by credit card, so be sure to carry some form of photo identification at all times.
The country has more than 120 unique traditional tribes all driven by a common language, SWAHILI, and a strong sense of national community. The republic of Tanzania is one of Africa's most peaceful countries. Home to a flourishing democracy and prospering economy; the country is known for its peace and security in the world.

Tanzania is a “cradle of mankind” for it was here in the Olduvai Gorge, that Dr Luicy Leakey discovered the fossilized remains of homo habilis,or handy man, calculated to be 1.75 million years ago and the fore runner of modern man. Arab merchants visited the coast some 2000 years ago and settled in Zanzibar around the 8th century AD later established trade routes to the interior. The inter marriage of Arabs and local people crated a new people with their own language Swahili whose word for a journey “safari” has become international description for a trip to a wild.

The Portuguese established temporarily settlement in the 16th century, supplanted by the oman’s in the late 17th century who developed the infamous slave trade.The scramble of Africa by European powers at the end of 19th century led to the occupation of the mainland by Germany although Zanzibar became a British Colony. After the 1st world war, Germany was forced to surrender its territory to the British. Tanganyika as the mailand was then known to achieve its independence in 1961 Zanzibar became independent two years later and shortly afterwards joined with the mainland to become the UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA

Tanzania covers 937,062 sq. km, making it the largest country in the East Africa. Just south of Equator it boarders Kenya and Uganda to the north; Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi into the west; and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. Through the interior runs the Great Rift Valley, that vast fault-line down the spine of Africa that, in Tanzania, has created many fascinating topographical features such as the Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Tanganyika.

The central plateau (1,200m above sea level) is a huge expense of savannah and sparse woodland. To the north, the 5895m (19,340ft) Mount Kilimanjaro rises, the top roof of Africa. While the interior is largely arid, the 800km coastline is lush and palm fringed as the islands of Zanzibar, Pemba, and Mafia.

Although Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous region, it does falls under Tanzania. Zanzibar is made up of the islands of Unguja (commonly referred to as Zanzibar) and Pemba, along with several smaller islets, including Mnemba.
We advise you to check with us or hotel concierge - we know if there are any potentially unsafe areas along your travel route. Try to avoid deserted areas, particularly at night, and if you are on a self-drive adventure then please ensure your car is locked at all times - park in well-lit, busy areas. Dress-low (i.e.you don’t need to wear excessive jewelry) when exploring Africa’s diverse cities. We recommend concealed travel wallets. Stopping for hitch hikers is not recommended.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view) there are many guide books that have been written about Tanzania by non-Tanzanians. This has caused the problem of reporting and publishing of information that is not often accurate.

Most people who write guide books have their own “personal points of view” that may or may have much to do with Tanzanian reality. Some guide books push the “accepted norm” that Tanzania is “cheap” and that is just not the case. In some cases it is cheap (compared to what?) and on the other hand is not. This causes problems for locals because most of our guests use the guide books as “travel bibles” and often demand ridiculously low prices for certain products or services. This often creates problems with the tour operators that have to “compete by lowering prices” as opposed to competing with better services. We feel most guide books are helpful, and have generally good information.

The following are public and national holidays:

  • New Year’s Day is on Tuesday, January 01
  • Eid al-Moulid is on Thursday, January 24
  • Chama Cha Mapinduzi Day is on Tuesday, February 05
  • Zanzibar Revolution Day is on Tuesday, February 12
  • Farmer’s Day is on Saturday, February 16
  • Good Friday is on Friday, March 29
  • Holy Saturday is on Saturday, March 30
  • Easter Sunday is on Sunday, March 31
  • Easter Monday is on Monday, April 01
  • Union Day is on Friday, April 26
  • Worker’s Day is on Wednesday, May 01
  • Saba Saba is on Sunday, July 07
  • Id al Fitr (End of Ramadan) is on Thursday, August 08
  • Farmer’s Day is on Thursday, August 08
  • Nyerere Day is on Monday, October 14
  • Eid al-Hajj is on Tuesday, October 15
  • Naming Day is on Tuesday, October 29
  • Independence Day is on Monday, December 09
  • Christmas Day is on Wednesday, December 25
  • Boxing Day is on Thursday, December 26