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BIRDS & MAMMALS SAFARI

Travel Information

TANZANIA
BIRDING TOUR
ANY TIME*

Duration:11 days, 10 nights
Group Size:2-6
Anytime Price:$6200
Group Price:$5800
Single Suppl:$725
Est #Species:375-425
Pace:Easy
Difficulty:Easy
* This tour is available for any dates of your choosing provided guide services and accommodations are available.

Entering Tanzania

All US citizens must obtain a tourist visa and a return plane ticket to enter Tanzania. Visas can be obtained arriving from the Tanzania Embassy. Allow at least one month for visa processing. Visa services such as CIBT can handle visa processing quickly and efficiently. Yellow fever immunization is required for all travelers from yellow fever endemic countries or regions. Persons arriving directly from Europe or North America are not required to show proof of immunization. Contact the Tanzania Embassy for details about entry requirements. Non-US citizens should contact the nearest Tanzania Embassy for visas and other entry requirements.

Time Change

Tanzania is 8-10 hours ahead of the US and Canada, and it typically takes 2-3 days to adjust to the time change. Flights to Tanzania from the US or Canada are generally overnight in both directions. We schedule the first couple days of activity following arrival visiting areas near Arusha, with the first several nights at a nice B&B in Arusha to give people a chance to acclimate to local time.

Immunizations

Please contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding health issues and immunization requirements when traveling in Tanzania. Currently, the CDC strongly recommends malaria preventatives. They also recommend vaccination for Hepatitis A, typhoid, yellow fever, tetanus-diphtheria booster as needed, measles, and polio. See your travel doctor for specific recommendations at least 4-6 weeks prior to departure.

Water

Water in Tanzania is generally safe to drink but has high mineral content that may cause intestinal problems. Bottled water is provided during the tour. Bottled water is also available in lodges, as are soft drinks and beer.

Insurance

We strongly advise obtaining both trip cancellation insurance and travel health insurance. Health insurance should cover emergency medical evacuation, which can be very expensive. We will be in areas where immediate medical attention may be limited or unavailable. While we operate our tours in a safe manner, Tanzania is a tropical country where the risk of contracting tropical diseases or encountering venomous insects or snakes is present.

Altitude

Most of the tour is conducted at low or medium elevation. Maximum altitude experienced during the tour is about 5000 ft in a few highland areas.

Climate

Tanzania is located not far south of the Equator and can be hot during the day. May is a cooler month but still quite warm. It's the end of rainy season, when heavy thunderstorms of short duration can occur. At higher elevation sites such as Arusha and Ngorongoro, early mornings can be quite cold.

Pace & Vehicles

Birding and photography in the national parks is from the vehicles. Leaving vehicles is generally prohibited except in a few designated areas. Each of our vehicles has a roof hatch for each game viewing and photography. Vehicles have 6 window seats and accommodate 6 passengers, but our maximum is 5 persons per vehicle while on safari to allow some extra space for luggage and camera equipment.

Roads in national parks and reserves are sometimes jeep tracks except the main access roads, which are gravel and dirt. Following jeep tracks within reserves can be bumpy. For the most part transfers are a half day or less, but we have an all-day transfer from Ndutu to Speke Bay and are likely to spend most of the day en route between Speke Bay and Seronera. Game drives in the national parks are mostly all day affairs with box lunches. During longer drives, we try to stop for game viewing or at stop-over sites such as Olduvai when possible. A few sites allow birding on foot, such as the Ngorongoro Highlands. We'll take advantage when we can. In most places dangerous animals limit the extent we can do this.

Birds are most active in early morning. To take advantage of this, most days begin at first light around 6:30 am. Some days require earlier departures to reach birding sites in timely fashion. While in national parks and reserves, we typically spend early mornings and late afternoons concentrating on birds, with game drives scheduled during later morning and early afternoon at which time our focus turns to mammals and larger birds of open country. While this is the general rule, we don't ignore birds or mammals of interest that we encounter at any time of day. In the Kakamega Forest our emphasis is mostly on birds. On travel days the schedule varies but normally we depart after early breakfast or in late morning. While in parks and reserves, we sometimes allow time for a break during the hottest time of day and again before dinner.g on Mt Tanzania) during early evening. We do checklists before or after dinner depending on which is most convenient each day.

Accommodations

We generally stay in moderately priced hotels or lodges during the tour. Hotels are generally those that cater to tourists and business people (eg Arusha). Lodges cater to safari clientele and are generally ecologically friendly and comfortable. We don't stay in the high-priced luxury lodges or tent camps to keep the tour price reasonable. Electricity is by generator, which may be turned off at night. Further details can be found on the Accommodations link on the sidebar.

Food

The places we stay cater to international travelers and the food is generally very good. In major tourist centers, standards are very high in both quality and variety of cuisines. Breakfasts are typically served buffet-style. Other meals typically offer a choice of 2-3 main courses, with offerings available for vegetarians. Bottled water or soft drinks are provided with meals.

Transportation

Transportation is in safari van with roof hatches for window-free viewing and photography. Each van easily accommodates 4 photographers at a time through the roof hatch. Our drivers are skilled professionals who are expert at finding birds and mammals. They are also skilled at repairing vehicles should any mishaps occur. Each person will have a window seat throughout the tour. Drinking water will always be available. Bathroom stops will be made as soon as possible upon request during transfers. Please note that more time will be spent in vehicles than is the case on tours to Central and South America simply because no one is allowed outside vehicles while on safari inside most national parks and reserves due to the presence of potentially dangerous animals.

Registration & Payment

Please refer to the REGISTRATION menu for registration procedure. Trip cancellation insurance is highly recommended as payments may be partially or wholly non-refundable. See the GENERAL -> Policies menu for our refund policy.

Additional Information

Additional information about our policies can be found on the REGISTRATION and GENERAL menus above. Please feel free to call or email us with any questions you may have.

Information last updated March, 2013.

 

TOUR NOTES

Expect 100 fewer species when Palearctic migrants absent. Prices higher during Jan-Mar (high season) - ask for quote.

 

ADDITIONAL INFO
(Not on Menu Above)

BIRDING LOCALES