PASSPORT AND VISA INFORMATION
Each traveler must be in possession of a valid, signed passport that will remain valid for at least six (6) months beyond the completion of his/her trip. United States passport holders also require tourist visas for entry into Tanzania. Citizens of countries other than the United States should check with their booking agents for requirements pertaining to their citizenship, as entry requirements can vary. Visitors from the Commonwealth countries do not need a visa to enter Tanzania except the following countries: Canada, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand, Sierra Leone, South Africa and U.K. Visitors from other countries not in commonwealth group are required to pay for a visa (except Rwanda and Romania). The fee is 50 US$. In compliance with current requirements, passenger names on airline reservations must exactly match the names on their passports. It is imperative that every traveler arrive on tour with the proper documentation. While ABERCROMBIE & KENT will advise you of our most current information concerning passports, visas, and other entry requirements, please be aware that it is the traveler’s responsibility to obtain all documents that are necessary for admittance to the countries visited on his/her itinerary.
We urge you to read the health requirements and/or recommendations given here carefully and to discuss health precautions for your exact travel itinerary with a qualified health professional at least six (6) weeks before you depart. In addition, a good source of health information for travelers is the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (the “CDC”) in Atlanta, which operates a 24-hour, recorded “International Travelers’ Information Line.” No vaccinations are currently required for entry into Tanzania when arrival is directly from North America or Europe. (However, please read the following information on the conditional requirement for yellow fever vaccination.) Yellow Fever: If you are arriving in Tanzania (or planning to re-enter) from an area that is infected with yellow fever or arriving from a country where yellow fever is endemic (such as Kenya, Sudan, or Uganda), you are required to have a yellow fever vaccination; and it must be administered at least ten (10) days before your arrival (or re-entry) into Tanzania. If your travel itinerary requires you to have a yellow fever vaccination, you must ask your doctor to provide you with an “International Certificate of Vaccination,” which should be carried with you while traveling to serve as proof that you have fulfilled the vaccination requirement. If proof of vaccination is required and you do not carry it with you, you may be denied entry into Tanzania. Please note that, even if you are not required to obtain a yellow fever vaccination for your safari in Tanzania, the CDC recommends vaccination if you are traveling outside of urban areas. Certificate of inoculation against Yellow fever is required for all visitors coming to Tanzania from South East Asia, Africa or South America. Cholera: Local authorities in countries that are affected or threatened by cholera sometimes require evidence of cholera vaccination as a condition of entry. Tanzanian officials occasionally ask to see evidence of cholera vaccination if you are arriving (or planning to re-enter) Tanzania within eight days of having traveled in an area infected with cholera such as Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Asia, Indonesia, South America, Central America, parts of eastern Europe, etc. Malaria: Anti-malarial medication is strongly recommended by the CDC for all travelers to Tanzania. A number of anti-malarial drugs are available, including mefloquine, chloroquine, doxycycline and the new Malarone, which has performed well in recent tests. Your doctor will prescribe the best choice based on your own health history and your specific destination(s) in Africa. (In most sub-Saharan countries, for example, the prevalent strain of malaria is resistant to chloroquine.)
ARRIVAL AND CUSTOMS INFORMATION
Please be advised that regulations at most international points of arrival do not permit passengers to be met inside secured passenger areas (such as the Customs area). If an 3 Wonders Expeditions representative is scheduled to meet you on arrival (at an airport, for example), you will be met immediately after you have passed through the secured passenger areas. There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency that may be taken into Tanzania, and the declaration of foreign currency is no longer required. It is still suggested, however, that you save ALL receipts from your currency exchange transactions in Tanzania (see section on CURRENCY).
Generally, coastal areas of Tanzania have a tropical climate, the highlands regions in the north have a temperate climate, and the vast central plateau is hot and arid. While Tanzania does not have distinct seasonal changes due to its proximity to the Equator, there are some subtle climatic variations at different times of the year. December through early March: These are the warmest months of the year (Tanzania’s “summertime”). Temperatures do not often exceed 90-degrees Fahrenheit (F), however; and morning and evening temperatures are refreshingly cool with low humidity. Mid-March through May: This season is normally characterized by heavy, intermittent rains. In many recent years, however, there has been more rain in January than in April and May. June, July, and August: Tanzania’s weather is coolest during these months, with lows in the 40’s (F) and highs in the 70’s (F). The country is refreshingly green. September, October, and November: This is a delightful time to visit East Africa — comparable to springtime in America. The days are warmer with lows in the mid-60’s (F) and highs in the 80’s (F). Short, scattered rains fall in November to freshen the country and settle the dust, although they sometimes can be heavy. At any time of year, the temperatures on the Ngorongoro Crater rim can be decidedly cooler than on the Crater floor and in the Serengeti (especially from mid-May through August).
There are several different sets of baggage allowance regulations in effect for international and regional flights. Baggage allowances can vary depending on which airline(s), class of service, and routing is used. You are urged to check with your booking agent for the exact baggage regulations pertaining to your specific itinerary. Charter Flights and Scheduled flights internally: If flights aboard any chartered or scheduled aircraft are included in your itinerary, your baggage will be restricted to one (1) checked bag plus one (1) carry-on bag with a maximum total weight allowance of 32 pounds. This special weight restriction is strictly adhered to and applies to all flights within Tanzania and to all flights between Tanzania and Kenya. [If your international flights are into AND out of either Arusha or Nairobi (Kenya), you will have an opportunity to store any bags not needed during your safari at your hotel in either Arusha or Nairobi.] Any baggage in excess of airline limitations may be subject to substantial freight charges by the airline. These charges are the entire responsibility of the traveler. Please be advised that regulations at most international points of arrival do not permit passengers to be assisted with baggage handling inside secured passenger areas.
As previously mentioned in the section on CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES, there is no need to bring a great deal of clothing. Efficient and inexpensive laundry service is available in Tanzania. By using it, you can limit yourself to just four or five outfits and not be inconvenienced by an over-abundance of luggage. In Tanzania, electricity runs 220/240 volts. If you do bring electrical appliances, take along an international converter kit complete with a set of adapter plugs. These are available from better electrical and hardware stores in the U.S. and Canada. We do, however, suggest that you take battery-operated appliances wherever possible — and a supply of extra batteries. (Good quality batteries are virtually impossible to obtain in Tanzania.)
FOOD AND DRINK
The food served in Tanzania has greatly improved in recent years. All lodges and hotels serve Western food, along with a selection of local dishes. Several types of beer are brewed locally in Tanzania, and they are quite good. Occasional lack of refrigeration and short supplies of ice can mean that beer and other types of drinks may be served warm or only slightly cooled. There are imported wines in Tanzania, though specific brands cannot be guaranteed. A limited supply of soft drinks is available, including cola and ginger ale. Hard liquor, decaffeinated beverages, and diet (sugar-free) drinks, are in short supply in Tanzania; and you may not find your favorite brands. (Diet Coke can sometimes be difficult to obtain.) If you favor a particular brand of spirits, you may want to use your duty-free liquor allowance to purchase a bottle en route to Tanzania for your personal consumption. Similarly, those with a preference for decaffeinated coffee or tea may want to carry packets of these beverages. For variety, you might also carry some packets of hot chocolate or other beverages.. You should avoid possibly contaminated food, particularly seafood, unwashed vegetables, and fruits that are already peeled when they are served. In warm, tropical settings, also exercise caution in eating foods that can spoil from lack or proper refrigeration (such as salads containing mayonnaise, cream-filled pastries, heavy cream, and dairy products).
SAFETY, AND TRAVEL INSURANCE
Exercise the same safety precautions throughout your travels as you would at home. In larger cities (such as Arusha), do not leave your hotel to walk around at night. You are also advised to refuse any food or drink offered to you by strangers in venues away from the tour activities organized by 3 Wonders Expeditions. Be especially careful with your passport. If you leave your passport in your room or tent, always keep it in a locked bag. Memorize your passport number, its date of issue, and its place of issue. It is also a good idea to travel with a photocopy of the informational pages of your passport (the pages containing your photograph and passport details, as well as any amendment pages and visas) and to leave a copy at home. Follow the security measures included with your travelers’ checks, and also leave an additional record of their numbers at home. SPECIAL NOTE: If you are traveling to both Tanzania and Kenya, you will have a different driver-guide (and possibly safari escort, if applicable) in each country.
Although Tanzania has a wealth of natural resources, it is one of the poorest countries in the world. Despite this, Tanzania spends more per capita on conservation than do most nations of far greater wealth. This result in a trade-off for the visitor: while it means that you will encounter fewer tourists and greater numbers of animals than in Tanzania’s more sophisticated neighbor, Kenya, it also means that you must sacrifice some of the amenities available in more developed African countries. The game lodges of Tanzania, while built to the highest architectural standards in superb locations, are sometimes poorly maintained. This is because materials and spare parts are not always available; and, when breakdowns occur, it may take days or even months to repair. Shortages of beverages and consumer goods may also occur; and visitors should not expect the variety of selection here that might be found elsewhere in Africa. You may find that some roads in Tanzania are in poor condition, due in part to lack of continual maintenance. Road conditions may be rough and travelers must be prepared to be jostled and jolted as they are transported from Game Park to another