Planning Your Trip to Tanzania
Wonderful Tanzania, a place we all adore so much. Tanzania’s got it all, from vast East African plains with the planet’s largest concentration of African wildlife, to the snow-capped peaks of Mt Kilimanjaro and the white sand beaches of Zanzibar. You’ll find colourful Masai people and distinctive Swahili culture with a heady mix of exotic spices. Most Tanzanian safaris end with time spent on one of their golden beaches, sipping coconut cocktails and swimming in the warm Indian Ocean.
We know when it’s best to use road transfer or light aircraft transfers and we’ll use a combination of both to create a wonderful Tanzanian safari for you.
Times to Travel to Tanzania
Tanzania is in the tropics where you don’t differentiate so much between summer and winter, but more between wet and dry season.
Weather in Tanzania
Warm and dry:
May to September, Tanzania’s northern safari circuit is warm and pleasant at this time of year, but it is the southern hemisphere winter, so the nights can get pretty cold.
Short rains occur from mid-October to December. The term ‘short rains’ doesn’t mean less duration, but less intensity than the ‘long rains’. These short rains can sometimes fail altogether.
Hot and humid:
January to March is equivalent to summer and can be hot and humid at the coast and low lying areas, with the hot trade winds blowing.
Long rains usually happen in Tanzania from mid-March to May and perhaps into June. These rains come as huge tropical downpours with chances of flash floods. The wettest month is April and some Tanzanian safari camps become inaccessible at this time and close for a couple of months.
What to Bring on your Safari
The elements of bush and beach epitomise a Tanzanian safari, with time spent in game reserves on 4x4’s or walking with a Masai guide, then some down time on golden sandy beaches to round off your African vacation. It’s a winning combination. Obviously if you are climbing Mt Kilimanjaro you’ll have special requirements, but here are the things most people need:
- Safari clothes – cotton garments are best and khaki colours from beige to muted greens
- Sandals and walking shoes
- Camera with extra batteries and a square pin plug with adaptor
- Head torch – you never know when it will come in useful
- Swimwear and sarong/kikhoi (or buy one there)
- Sunscreen, hat, sunglasses
- Anti-mosquito spray and after-bite cream
- Personal medication and basic medical kit e.g. something for an upset stomach, diarrhoea, headache, plasters, eye drops, etc.
Your Health in Tanzania
Tanzania has some high-risk malarial areas, and you should take precautions. The best way to avoid malaria is not to get bitten, so tuck in the mosquito net and have your long sleeves and long pants ready to put on before dusk arrives and have repellent with you.
Drink bottled water and be cautious about having ice in your drinks if you are not confident of the water source.
Yellow Fever certificate of vaccination may be asked for if travelling from other countries with yellow fever. Check the required vaccinations with your local travel clinic.
Moving Around in Tanzania
We make use of the excellent light aircraft companies that service all Tanzania’s game reserves and destinations on your itinerary. This is by far the best way to get around Tanzania, but there will be some road transfers on occasions.