Sababu Safaris Travel Guide to Tanzania

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On a Sababu Safaris tailor made holiday to Tanzania you can discover Tanzania's dramatic beauty and phenomenal wildlife.

Experience the Big Five in the Northern Circuit, the remote wilderness of the Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park in the south, track wild chimpanzees in Mahale Mountains National Park in the west, or challenge yourself by climbing to the snow-capped peak of Mount Kilimanjaro.

You can also head to Tanzania's pristine coast to combine your Tanzania luxury safari holiday or trekking adventure with a few days of relaxation on the exotic island of Zanzibar or Mafia Island.

WHERE TO GO IN TANZANIA

Our tailor made Safari Itineraries focus on the national parks, game reserves and private wildlife conservancies in the north (northern circuit), south (southern circuit) and the west (western circuit), plus the mainland coastline and the island of Zanzibar.

Northern Circuit:
Serengeti National Park; Tarangire National Park; Lake Manyara National Park; Ngorongoro Crater; Lake Eyasi; Lake Natron

Southern Circuit:
Selous Game Reserve; Ruaha National Park

Western Circuit:
Katavi National Park; Mahale Mountains National Park

Islands:
Zanzibar; Mafia Island

Our Tanzania holidays typically start in either Arusha or Dar es Salaam.

Arusha:
Located at the foothills of Mount Meru, Arusha is the gateway to the northern safari circuit. For holidays that start in Arusha you’ll need to fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport (airport code JRO) and then you’ll be transferred by private vehicle to your accommodation in Arusha (transfer time: approximately 45-60 minutes).

Dar Es Salaam:
Dar es Salaam (often referred to as Dar) is Tanzania's largest city. Dar es Salaam means "Haven of Peace" in Arabic – a name which was perhaps more fitting for its former status as a sleepy fishing village rather than the busy, bustling city which it is today. For most travelers Dar es Salaam is simply an arrival destination before flying across to Zanzibar or Mafia Island or flying inland to start their safari. There are daily flights from Dar es Salem (airport code DAR) to the exotic spice island of Zanzibar (flight duration: 20 minutes) and Mafia Island (flight duration: 30 minutes). Tanzania's less visited southern and western parks, such as Selous, Ruaha, Katavi and the Mahale Mountains, are also easily accessible from Dar es Salaam.

THINGS TO DO IN TANZANIA

  1. Witness huge herds of wildebeest and zebra migrate from the Serengeti to the Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya.

  2. Conquer Mt. Kilimanjaro and watch the sunrise from ‘The Roof of Africa’.

  3. Enjoy an adventurous and authentic bush experience in Ruaha National Park in Southern Tanzania

  4. See resident hippo pods at Lake Manyara.

  5. Visit the Mahale Mountains National Park in Western Tanzania to see chimpanzees in the wild and enjoy activities such as hiking in the forests, swimming in ice-cold pools in the mountain waterfalls and kayaking on the turquoise water of Lake Tanganyika.

  6. Enjoy a river safari in the Selous Game Reserve.

  7. Spot an abundance of wildlife, including zebra, buffalo, warthog, wildebeest, hippo and elephants in the Ngorongoro Crater.

  8. Relax on the idyllic, palm fringed and secluded beaches of Zanzibar.

WHEN TO VISIT TANZANIA

Tanzania is a vast country with much regional variation in geography and climate, plus distinct rainy seasons, therefore deciding when to visit Tanzania depends on what you want to experience whilst you’re there.

Game viewing in Tanzania's parks (including the Serengeti National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire National Park, Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park and Mahale Mountains National Park) are at their peak during the dry season from June to October. The best chance of seeing the wildebeest migration cross the Mara River in the Serengeti is during July and August, whilst late January to February is the time to visit for the wildebeest calving season.

The ideal time to visit Tanzania's coast and the Zanzibar Archipelago is between August and October, whilst the coast and the islands are best avoided during the long rains from March to May.

If you’re interested in climbing Mount Kilimanjaro we recommend that you do so during the warmest and driest times of year - December to mid March and mid June to end of October.

TRAVEL ESSENTIALS

Recommended airlines: KLM, Qatar Airways, Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Turkish Airways

Time difference: Tanzania is 8 hours ahead of the East Coast of the US (EST) and 2 hours ahead of Central Europe (CET).

Currency: Tanzanian shilling (TSh). The exchange rate is approximately US$1 = TSh 2,235. and €1 = TSh 2,670 and UK£1 = TSh 3,111.

Visa requirements: You require a passport with at least two blank pages and six months' validity, plus a visa to enter Tanzania. Single-entry visas are available upon arrival at Tanzanian airports or you can obtain one in advance. A visa costs $100 for US citizens and $50 for other nationalities.

Vaccinations: Visitors to Tanzania should ensure that they have Hepatitis A, Typhoid and Tetanus vaccinations. There is a high risk of malaria in most areas of Tanzania (including Zanzibar), therefore anti-malaria medication is recommended and you should take precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Avoid mosquito bites by wearing long sleeves and long trousers especially after sunset, using insect repellents on exposed skin and sleeping under a mosquito net.

Although there is low risk of yellow fever in Tanzania, vaccination is generally not recommended and it is not required. Under International Health Regulations a yellow fever vaccination certificate is only required for travelers arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travelers who have transited for more than 12 hours through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission. Click here for further information about yellow fever vaccination certificates and recommended vaccinations for Tanzania.



TANZANIAN LANGUAGE TIPS

We encourage our guests to travel with a Swahili phrasebook in their hand luggage and make an effort to learn some key words and phrases. The Tanzanian language, Swahili, is easy to pick up for native English speakers as the words are pronounced exactly as they look to an English speaker.

  • Welcome/Come in - Karibu (kah-ree-boo)

  • Hello - Jambo (jah-mboh)

  • Goodbye - Kwaheri (kwah-heh-ree)

  • How are you? - Habari yako? (hah-bah-ree yah-koh)

  • Very well - Nzuri sana

  • And you? - Na wewe je?

  • Okay - Sawa

  • What’s up? (informal) - Mambo (vipi)?

  • My name is… - Jina langu ni… (jee-nah lah-ngoo nee)

  • What is your name? - Jina lako ni nani? (jee-nah lah-koh nee nahnee)

  • Pleased to meet you - Nimefurahi kukutana (nee-meh-fu-ra-hee ku-ku-ta-nah)

  • Thank you - Asante (ah-sah-nteh)

  • You are welcome - Karibu (kah-ree-boo)

  • Please - Tafadhali (tah-fah-thah-lee)

  • Sorry - Pole (poh-leh)