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Tanzania

Wonderful Trips
of Tanzania’s
Safaris

This is Africa as you've always imagined it! Mondo Verde Expeditions private safari offers unsurpassed opportunities to view wildlife in a spectacular natural setting with your own driver guide

A program designed so you travel Tanzania at your own pace. Your adventure will take you to some of Africa's premier game parks including the Loliondo Game Controlled Area, the Serengeti, Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara and Arusha National Park.

Accommodations include deluxe lodges constructed of local materials and in harmony with their environment and luxury tented camps where you will be immersed in the sights and sounds of Africa. Food at all locations is well prepared and delicious.

 
Festivities

January
New Year's Day - January 1st, a public holiday
Zanzibar Revolution Anniversary - January 12th, anniversary celebrations remembering this day in 1964, when the Sultan of Zanzibar was overthrown
Wanyambo Festival - a cultural gathering held in Makumbusho in Dar es Salaam, featuring plenty of traditional music, dance and food

February
Kiliman Adventure Challenge - only the hardiest sportsmen and women complete the three challenges that make up the Kiliman Adventure Challenge. After a hike to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, competitors face a 148-km / 92-mile bike ride before taking part in the Kilimanjaro Marathon
Kilimanjaro Marathon - an opportunity to get close-up views of Africa's best-known and highest peak. Thousands of entrants and spectators turn out for this annual event, which also includes a half marathon and various fun runs. The Kilimanjaro Marathon was first held in 2004 and draws large crowds
Sauti za Busara - music and dancing around Zanzibar
Documentary Film Festival - held in Arusha each year in February

March
Asian Film Festival - hosted by the New World Cinema in Dar es Salaam. Some ten countries take part in this event, which is organised by the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Tanzania
Maulid Day / Mawlid Day - late March, a public holiday
Good Friday / Easter Monday - late March / early April, religious holidays

April
Sheikh Abeid Amani Karume Day - April 7th, commemorating Vice President Sheikh Abeid Karume's assassination in 1972
Julius Nyerere Intellectual Festival - a week-long programme of lectures and debates examining unity within the continent of Africa. Held at the University of Dar es Salaam
Union Day / Unification Day - April 26th, the anniversary of this day in 1964, when Tanganyika and Zanzibar officially became part of the United Republic of Tanzania

May
Workers' Day - May 1st, a public holiday
Dar es Salaam Goat Races - staged in aid of charity each year at a special track at 'The Green', in Dar es Salaam
Karibu Travel and Trade Fair - the biggest East African travel event of the year, taking place in Arusha

June
Mzalendo Halisi Music Festival - held in Kigitonyama, Dar es Salaam. Visitors can expect to enjoy performances of traditional Tanzanian music, as well as a variety of cultural and art exhibitions

July
Festival of the Dhow Countries - early July, expect all manner of dancing, traditional music and literary events, lasting an entire fortnight. The Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) is a particular highlight and features an exciting awards ceremony and numerous movie screenings
Mwaka Kogwa Festival - 'New Year' celebrations marking the end of a growing season and the start of a new one, based in Makunduchi, on the south-eastern tip of Zanzibar's Unguja island
Saba Saba Day - held on 7th July each year to celebrate the founding of the Tanganyika African National Union in 1954

August
Fiesta Jipanguse - at Dar es Salaam's Leader's Club. The fiesta attracts some big names from the world of music, as well as popular local talent
Farmers' Day (Nane Nane) - August 8th, a major trade fair for farmers, staged at the Zuguni grounds in Dodoma and other venues

September
Arusha International Cultural Diversity Festival - theatre and music events are held in a variety of venues in Arusha
Bagamoyo Arts Festival - with modern and traditional music and dance, held in Bagamoyo for a week each September. Workshops, acrobatic displays and exhibitions are also staged as part of this gathering

October
Autofest Tanzania - a magnet for car enthusiasts, held in Dar es Salaam's TTCL Grounds. The programme of events generally includes displays of vintage vehicles, stunt shows, rides and entertainment
Visa 2 Dance Extra - workshops and performances are staged as part of this contemporary dance spectacle
Nyerere Day - October 14th, a public holiday honouring the country's first president

November
Swahili Fashion Week - Karimjee Hall in Dar es Salaam is the venue for the country's top fashion event. Local and top designers showcase their talents and creations

December
Serengeti Wildebeest Migration - December is the time of year when visitors may glimpse the amazing spectacle of over a million wildebeest setting off on their annual migration across the Serengeti
Independence Day - held on December 9th each year, a public holiday celebrating the country's independence fro Great Britain in 1961


 
Weather

Tropical along the coast, the climate is temperate on the high plateaus of the center. Average annual temperatures range from 10 to 30 ° C. Tanzania has two rainy seasons, a rainy season from early March to early May, then a small, early November to mid-December, where rainfall is less plentiful. The big dry season lasts from May to October and the dry season little from January to March.

Rainfall is abundant (750 - 2000 mm per year) along the coast in the Southeast as well as in tropical forests bordering Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika. They are much weaker in the center, with 100-500 mm of rain per year.


 
Tanzania Predeparture Information

Safari Planner and Guide
This Mondo Verde Expeditions safari planner and guide are designed to help you plan your safari. For your convenience, the safari guide is divided into two parts. Part I contains important information you will need prior to departure. Part II contains information that will be helpful to you while you are on safari. You will find this information extremely helpful so please read all the information carefully.

Pre-Departure Checklist

Finalize Flight Arrangements
To ensure seat availability and the best possible price, make airline reservations as early as possible. Also, you will want to purchase travel insurance at the time you purchase you airline ticket. If you are flying KLM, make sure you select seats in the front or very rear of the plane so you can be one of the first passengers off the plane and at the front of the immigration line.

Get a Passport
If you do not already have a passport, you need to apply for one ASAP (see the Documents section on page 2 for more information). If you already have a passport, make sure it remains valid for at lease six months after the date you return from Tanzania.

Obtain a Tanzania Visa
Tanzania requires a visa.  More details below.

Take the Necessary Health Precautions
Contact your local Travel Clinic to determine the updated requirements for travel in Tanzania. You will also want to check your health insurance coverage since your provider may have restrictions about where you can receive your immunizations and medications. Your physician can be most helpful in deciding and prescribing any first aid and precautionary items you should take with you (see page 3-5 for more information about health precautions).  If your health insurance does not cover international medical treatment, you need to secure additional medical coverage.

Travel Insurance
You may want to look into buying traveler’s medical and international emergency medical evacuation insurance. This is included on many travel insurance policies, which also include medical care, trip cancellation, etc. You can find many travel insurance companies on the internet. Mondo Verde Expeditions LLC does not endorse or is in a position to recommend a particular insurance company.

Reminder: Trip cancellation insurance must be purchased within two weeks of the purchase of your airline tickets.

Traveler’s Tip # 1
Make a photocopy of the photo page of your passport and carry it separately from your passport. If your passport is lost or stolen, a photocopy will help the locale consulate speed up authorization for replacement.

Also, bring several spare passport photos they’re handy in case of unexpected visa or permit requirements

Documents and Visa

Your Passport
If you don’t have a passport, apply for one now because the process can be lengthy. If you do have a passport, check the expiration date. The expiration date is important because many countries, including Tanzania (and Kenya) won’t let you enter unless your passport is valid for at least six months beyond the date you complete your trip.

Make sure you have at least three empty VISA pages in your passport to accommodate the entry stamps you will receive for this trip. If you do not have available VISA pages, you may be denied boarding at your departure airport.

Your Visa
If you are a U.S. citizen, you need a visa to enter Tanzania (and Kenya, too, if you will be traveling through Nairobi). You may obtain your Tanzania visa in advance here in the USA, but it is quite easy to buy it upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport (and also at the Namanga border post, if you are traveling overland from Kenya). The current cost of a Tanzania Visa for a US citizen is $100 US ($50 if you have a non-US passport). You can also obtain a Kenya visa in advance, of course, but it is also easily obtained upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. The cost is currently $50 US. Please be sure to bring the appropriate amount of cash in U.S. dollars to pay for your visas. Paper currency must be dated no earlier than 2000 and the bill must be in good condition with no tears or writing.

Citizens of countries other than the U.S. should check with the consulates of Tanzania (and Kenya) for entry requirements. If you have requested VIP Meet and Greet service from Mondo Verde Expeditions LLC at Kilimanjaro International Airport (or at Nairobi’s Kenyatta International), then the cost of your visa is pre-paid with your safari.

If you are going to get your visas in advance of the trip, apply for 45 to 90 days before departure because the process takes time. For details on contacting the embassies for visas, consult the U.S. State Department travel line at:
http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1038.html
To facilitate the acquisition of visas in advance you can contact a visa service. You can try Zierer Visa Service. Contact them at:
http://www.zvs.com/Contact.aspx or call Zierer toll free at 1 866 788 1100 for assistance.

How our VIP Service works

  • A security officer will meet you just outside of the entrance to Immigration.
  • He will have a sign with your name on it.
  • The officer will collect your passport and have it stamped for you, while you wait on the main Immigration
  • Line-up for photos and fingerprints.
  • The private officer will then assist you to claim your luggage and walk you through Customs.
  • Whether you are enjoying VIP arrival services, or purchasing your visa yourself upon arrival at the airport, Mondo Verde Expeditions LLC will send you the Tanzania visa forms, which you can fill out in advance to save time upon arrival.

Health Precautions Pre-Departure Checklist

  • Consult your physician for individual health considerations and prescriptions
  • Consult a Travel Clinic for necessary and recommended inoculations
  • Get a malaria preventive (let the doctor know if you are or will be pregnant)
  • Carry a letter from your physician if you have any medical conditions, which may need treatment
  • Carry all medications on the plane with you (do not pack any medications)
  • Take out additional medical insurance (traveler’s insurance) if your own policy does not cover you overseas
  • See your dentist for a checkup a month or two before departure
  • Provide a list of all dietary restrictions and/or allergies to your agent at least two to three months before your departure.

Health and Wellness
The following checklist highlights health precautions you should take before you depart for your safari. A more detailed description follows on the next few pages. Please review carefully and give yourself enough time to follow up with each item.

Medications and Prescriptions
If you have any medical condition that requires special care or medications, inform us so we can alert the guides looking after you on safari.  Be sure to bring enough of any prescription medications that you are currently taking. When you pack, make certain that you have all your medications in your carry-on luggage. Never pack any of your medications in your checked luggage! Just in case luggage is lost.  It is also a good idea to carry a written copy of the prescriptions for any medication you may need, given in its chemical name rather than a brand name. It is easy and usually inexpensive to get medications in a city in Tanzania.

If you have any special condition or allergy that might require attention overseas, have your physician write a letter describing the nature of the condition and the treatment. Carry the letter with you. If you should happen to need medical care away from home, the temporary physician will be able to treat you more effectively. If you carry an Epi-Pen, please inform us in advance.

Traveler’s Tip # 2
When you pack, make certain that you have all your medications in your carry-on luggage. Never pack any of your medications in your checked luggage! Just in case luggage is lost.  It is also a good idea to carry a written copy of the prescriptions for any medication you may need, given in its chemical name rather than a brand name. It is easy and usually inexpensive to get medications in a city in Tanzania.

Immunizations
Detailed information about health and vaccine requirements for Tanzania can be obtained by going to the CDC website:

http://www.nc.cdc.gov/travel/default.aspx  

Remember that Mondo Verde Expeditions LLC is not a medical authority and that we can give you only general information, which may not be accurate by the time you travel. You should confer with your physician, local health department, or the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta. Detailed information about health and vaccine requirements for Tanzania can be obtained by going to the CDC website:

http://www.nc.cdc.gov/travel/default.aspx 

They have information available via fax or email. Call (not fax) 1888 232 3299 and follow the instructions to the section “Diseases Specific to International Travel,” then find the appropriate area and request your fax. Voice messages for specific diseases and outbreaks are also available toll free by calling 1 888 232 3228. You can also access them at
www.cdc.gov 

Another good Web site for travel preparation information is
www.tripprep.com  

Safari Clothing & Equipment Packing List
Try to go as light as possible and take only the essentials. Excess baggage can be a burden to you and to our sup-port personnel. Also remember, there are limits on how much your safari duffel can weigh (33lbs or 15kg) because of limited luggage space in our rugged, four-wheel drive safari vehicles and on the flight from the Serengeti to Arusha. While you are out on the safari, your city clothes can be safely stored in a luggage storage area with our local partners in Arusha or in Nairobi
if you will be returning to that same hotel. Please let us know if you want to store any clothing or luggage and we will be prepared.

Luggage
The maximum weight of your duffel should be 33 pounds. Please do not pack valuables in checked luggage on your international flight. Computers, cameras, IPods, etc. should all be in your carry-on luggage.

There have been increased incidents of theft at airports lately.

  • Duffel bag 14” x 30” or 15” x 36” with a lock.  Make sure your duffel is sturdy and water resistant.
  • Daypack (can double as your carry-on bag).
  • Spare roll-up duffel. Consider bringing a small, roll-up, nylon duffel (lockable) to use to store your city clothes with Unique Safaris while on the trip or to carry home any souvenirs you may buy.

Clothing
On a wildlife safari, dawn or dusk game drives in open vehicles can get quite chilly. The best combination of layers for comfort is a button front shirt and a light sweater with a windproof Gore-Tex shell. Although the rainy season in East Africa theoretically occurs in November (“the short rains”) and April/May (“the long rains”), rainfall patterns are erratic and showers can occur at any time of the year. Therefore, it is best to bring a wind-proof jacket, which can function both as a warm layer and rain protection. Avoid bringing white clothing; it’s simply too hard to keep it looking clean in the dusty safari environment. Camouflage or military style clothing is strictly prohibited.

Blue or black colors are said to attract tsetse flies, so are best avoided. The best colors are muted shades of green or brown khakis.

A Word about Synthetics
Synthetic fabrics are the most effective barriers against cool and wet weather conditions. They provide the best insulation, are light in weight, wick away perspiration, and dry quickly if wet. They are also very handy when traveling, as they do not need to be ironed when washed. Wool and wool/synthetic blends are also suitable. We have not included quantities for each item listed. Use your own judgment, based on the expected weather conditions and overall packing/weight restrictions for your luggage.

Clothing

  • Underwear (regular synthetics are easier to wash and dry)
  • Long sleeved synthetic or cotton/synthetic shirt
  • Short sleeved synthetic shirts (buttonfront is best/Tshirts are fine)
  • Light to medium weight sweater or jacket of synthetic fabric
  • Fleece vest or sweater or camps at Ngorongoro and Loliondo
  • Full length pants, preferably of quick drying material. Zipoffs that converts to shorts is a good choice Jeans are okay, but are heavy and do not dry quickly
  • Hiking shorts
  • Sun hat with wide brim, preferably with a chin strap to keep it from blowing off
  • Bandanna (optional). Good for dust protection for face
  • Gore-Tex rain/wind parka: needed for game drives
  • Athletic or lightweight hiking socks that is suitable for your walking shoes
  • Light hiking boots, comfortable walking shoes, or tennis shoes
  • Sandals for around camp or while in vehicles (sturdy, amphibious Teva-type sandals are best)
  • Swimsuit (some lodges have swimming pools)
  • Binoculars (essential!)

Travel Accessories

  • Toiletry kit: soap, toothbrush, and so on.
  • Insect repellent with about 35% DEET. It’s important that you bring an ample supply of good quality repellent.  If you use DEET, try to wipe it off your hands before touching plastic surfaces such as your binoculars (DEET damages some plastics).
  • Sunglasses.
  • Spare pair of prescription glasses, prescription sunglasses, or contact lenses.
  • Sunscreen and lip protection of SPF 15 or higher.
  • Small flashlight or headlamp with spare batteries (headlamp is handy for reading in your tent). Most outdoor equipment suppliers carry lightweight headlamps. Bring a strong flashlight or headlight. The new LED lights are very strong, long lasting, and lightweight.
  • Purell hand sanitizer or disposable pre-moistened towelettes for quick hand washing and hygiene.
  • Plastic bags or nylon stuff sacks of various sizes for keeping things sorted out in your duffel. Ziploc bags work well. (They’re also great for camera gear and to pack out toilet paper, in case you need to relieve yourself in the bush.)
  • Small padlocks or combination locks for your duffels.

Optional Travel Accessories

  • One set of casual city clothes that are dressier than your safari clothes. You may be able to leave them stored at the hotel while on safari.
  • Swiss Army type pocketknife. (Must be in your checked luggage, not carry-on.)
  • Money belt.
  • Bean bag or bags for camera support (can be filled in Tanzania)
  • Heavyweight plastic garbage bag to use as a waterproofing liner inside your duffel.
  • Reading and writing material (don’t bring too much since you likely won’t have that much time for reading).
  • A small tube of biodegradable laundry detergent for hand washing items.
  • Powdered electrolyte mixes such as Gatorade to flavor the water (they also help prevent dehydration).
  • Your favorite snack food. We’ll have plenty of excellent food on this trip, but you might want to bring along your favorite snack food. Although we’ll be served plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables on this trip, vegetarians might want to bring some protein supplements.
  • Repair kit with needle, thread and safety pins.

Note on Insect Repellents
Mosquitoes are rarely encountered on this trip, but one should always have some kind of insect repellant available for evening use, just in case. DEET based repellents work against mosquitoes.  Tsetse flies can be bothersome in some wooded areas of Tanzania (particularly in Tarangire and the woodlands of the northern or western Serengeti). These biting flies are active during the day, and sensitive people can experience severe itching reactions. The best defense against tsetses is to cover up when they are around.

  • Wear long sleeved shirts and pants.
  • Avoid black or blue clothing, colors that attract tsetses.
  • Bring light cotton gloves and a head net if you know that you are especially sensitive to insect bites.

DEET insect repellents are not always effective against tsetses. However there is a natural product that seems to work pretty well against the flies. It’s called Skeeter Beater. It is rather pleasant oil (if you don’t mind the smell of patchouli and citronella) and doesn’t irritate the skin. It is available online from a number of different companies.

Note on Tsetse Sensitivity:  Some people suffer severe itching reactions from tsetse fly bites that can interfere with the enjoyment of their safari. When that occurs, over the counter medications like Benadryl and cortisone creams usually provide some relief but not enough. You may want to bring a short course of prednisone, just in case you have a moderately severe allergic reaction to tsetse bites. Prednisone is a potent drug, but it calms the swelling and itching of bites and allergies. Prednisone does require a prescription, so you must discuss with your doctor if it is a suitable drug for you to include among your personal medications.


DESTINATIONS