Below are some of the questions which our guests frequently ask prior to booking their Safaris to Tanzania. Please click on the questions which interest you in order to see our reply. Should you require any information which is not contained on this page then we would ask that you not hesitate to contact us.
Best time to travel to Tanzania
Tanzania offers great year round game viewing experiences and our itineraries are always planned to take maximum advantage of these. The long rains normally fall in the months of April and May and the short rains in November. There are fewer visitors during these months which can make visiting the Northern Safari circuit more enjoyable. July, August and December tend to be the busiest months to visit Tanzania as these are peak holiday times for visitors from Europe and the USA.
Can I modify my itinerary to include any special requirements I may have?
At Intimate Places Tanzania, we understand that no two guests are alike and that no two itineraries can therefore be the same. If you would like to tell us which experiences you are interested in then we will be pleased to let you know how we can help.
Can I bring my children on safari?
Children love being on Safari and our properties are set up to cater for their needs as well as to make sure that they have a lot of fun during the course of their stay with us. For the 2016 / 2017 season Intimate Places Tanzania has introduced new family tents at Camp Zebra, Intimate Camps, Siringit Serengeti Camp and Taasa Private Reserve. At Siringit Villa, 4 of our suites are interconnecting. At Taasa Private Reserve, we have also introduced a range of special activities for children and these are now being duplicated in all of our other properties.
What’s the weather like in Tanzania?
Tanzania’s weather is typically sunny, warm and dry although there are seasonal variations. December to March is our summer and the hottest time of the year when temperatures can easily reach 30 to 35 degrees Celsius (85 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit), particularly in the coastal regions including Zanzibar where humidity is also present. The onset of autumn and some rain in April and May helps to reduce temperatures which typically will be in the range of 24 to 28 degrees Celsius (75 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit). From June through to September is our winter and temperatures further reduce to 15 to 24 degrees Celsius (60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit) before spring arrives in October and temperatures climb back up to 24 to 28 degrees Celsius (75 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit). Please note that the temperatures given are intended for guidance purposes and are not definitive.
What will my accommodation be like whilst in Tanzania?
Your accommodation in Arusha will be in a deluxe villa and on Safari in traditional tented camps which provide a very authentic Safari experience. Please click here to visit the section of our site which describes the Intimate Places Tanzania portfolio of properties.
What does a typical day on safari entail?
Every day on Safari is an adventure and no two days are ever the same! Having said that, a typical day on Safari always starts with a hot cup of Tea, Coffee or drinking chocolate which is brought to your tent for you to enjoy whilst watching the dawn break over the wilderness which stretches out before you. Then it’s off for an early morning game drive whilst the predators are still active and before the day grows too hot for them to hunt. Depending on your itinerary, you can either carry breakfast with you to be served whilst you are in the bush or you can return to camp and have it served to you there. According to how you feel, you can either continue your game driving after breakfast, take advantage of any of the activities on offer or simply relax. After lunch, which again can be served either out in the bush or in camp as you prefer, you can take an afternoon game drive looking out for predators as they prepare to hunt in the cool of the late afternoon. Towards sunset you return to camp for sundowners beside the camp fire followed by dinner under the African night sky before turning in for the night. Distances to be covered can be great, particularly in the Serengeti National Park, and the variety of the nature and wildlife to be seen enormous, so we also give you the option to enjoy a very early breakfast and head out for a full day game drive taking a lunch hamper with you.
What is the food like on Safari?
Visitors are very pleasantly surprised by the quality and variety of the food which is available to them whilst on Safari. Intimate Places Tanzania employs only well trained and highly experienced chefs in all of our properties. The catering at both Siringit Serengeti Camp and Siringit Villa is contracted out to ‘Axel Janssens Signature Catering’ – Axel is a Belgian national and is considered to be one of the most exciting chef’s in Tanzania. At Taasa Private Reserve, the catering is overseen by Licia Trollip who one of the best chefs to come out of South Africa (please see her brief biography under the description of the Intimate Places team). And at Camp Zebra as well as in our Intimate Camps, we have brought together a team of chefs who have carved lifelong careers for themselves catering in wilderness locations.
Can special diets be accommodated?
At the time of making your booking, you will be asked whether any of members of your party have any special dietary restrictions. Guests who are vegetarians or vegans or who require special diabetic menus or who have gluten or nut allergies can all be catered for. Because Intimate Camps are sold for private and exclusive use only, you will also be invited to participate in the creation of the menus which will be served to you for the duration of your stay in camp.
What water is safe to drink?
The Intimate Places Tanzania portfolio of properties is sold on an “all-inclusive” basis. This means that all spirits, wines (except for those on our premium wine list), beers, minerals and mineral water are already included in the price of your Safari. An unlimited supply of bottled water is made available to you for the duration of your Safari with us and we recommend that you drink this.
What is a safari (bucket) shower?
Given that permanent plumbing is not permitted on park-owned private campsites, all mobile and semi-permanent camps use Safari (or bucket) showers. In the shower room of your tent will be a “rainfall” shower and outside the tent a waterproof bag which is connected to the shower and which is filled upon request with water at the ideal temperature to use right away. Safari showers are very effective and are environmentally friendly in areas where water is a precious commodity such as in the Serengeti National Park.
What clothes should I bring on safari?
You should always dress in casual, comfortable attire which you don’t mind getting dusty. Try to avoid dark coloured clothing as this can attract mosquitos and tsetse flies. We recommend wearing layers against the morning cold which can then be removed as the days warm up. We will send you a detailed packing list once you have booked your Safari.
What type of luggage should I bring?
Ideally, luggage taken on Safari should be kept to a minimum. Soft sided bags are the easiest to pack into Safari vehicles and light aircraft. If you are taking internal flights, then luggage is normally limited to 15 kilos (33 pounds) per person including hand luggage. All of the properties in the Intimate Places portfolio offer complimentary laundry services (dry-cleaning is not available) so just a few changes of clothes will suffice for your Safari. Extra luggage such as clothing to be used on a Zanzibar extension or for an onward stay can be stored for you in Arusha pending your return from Safari.
Are there lots of bugs and creepy-crawlies?
Most visitors say they have more bugs in their own countries than we do in Tanzania! Intimate Places does provide insect repellent for our guests in all of our properties and you can bring even more of your own if this is something that concerns you. This is Africa and there are certainly many tropical insects but most are quite harmless and are very interesting to study.
Do I require a visa to visit Tanzania?
With the exception of some countries which are members of the Commonwealth and East African Community, all visitors to Tanzania require visas. Depending on your nationality and country of origin, you may be able to obtain a visa on arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport. Remember to bring the exact amount of money required as change is not always available. For different nationals visa requirements, please visit http://immigration.go.tz/module1.php?id=14 (link opens in new window)
Are there any special health requirements when visiting Tanzania?
All visitors to Tanzania must hold a valid Yellow Fever certificate. If you do not have one you will likely be given a vaccination upon arrival at the airport. If for reasons of health you should not be given a vaccine then you must have a letter confirming this signed by your medical practitioner back home. Malaria still exists in certain parts of Tanzania and the taking of anti-malaria prophylactics is recommended. Doses should commence two weeks before you begin your journey and finish two weeks after you have returned home. Please consult your medical practitioner for advise when planning your trip.
Do I need travel insurance?
In our opinion, it is essential that you take out adequate travel insurance cover prior to your departure for Tanzania. The type of insurance selected should include cover for any medical situations which may arise. Intimate Place Tanzania automatically provides insurance cover for all of our guests travelling on our Safari itineraries for any emergency evacuations to Nairobi where a number of world-class hospitals exist.
Can I use my credit cards in Tanzania?
Both Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted in Tanzania.
What currency should I use in Tanzania?
Our national currency is the Tanzania Shilling although the United States Dollar is also accepted everywhere. The rate of exchange between the Tanzania Shilling fluctuates a great deal, but currently stands at approximately 2,200/- to $1. When buying Dollars to bring on Safari with you, please make sure that you do not collect any notes which were printed before 2003. These will either attract a disadvantageous exchange rate or will not be accepted at all. As a rule of thumb, the newer a note is the less likely you will experience difficulties exchanging or spending it.
What additional costs can I expect?
All of the properties in the Intimate Places portfolio are offered as part of our itineraries on an all-inclusive basis. Only purchases from our boutiques, our premium beverage lists and phone calls of a private nature will be charged to you. Tipping and gratuities are also not included in the cost of your Safari as these are payable entirely at your discretion. We will provide you with a detailed guideline on tipping at the time of booking your Safari.
Do mobile/cell phones work?
There is very good cell phone coverage in many parts of Tanzania although this coverage does decrease as you travel into the more remote areas of the country. In the event that you own an “unlocked” phone (one which is not programmed to operate exclusively on one carriers network only) then we recommend that you bring it with you. We will provide you with a local number which will enable you to make phone calls and send messages home without the need to incur exorbitant roaming charges. We can even provide you with your local Tanzanian number at the time of receiving your booking so that you can leave it with family and friends back home who will be able to contact you with relative ease should the need apply.
Will I have access to the internet during the course of my safari?
Currently, Siringit Serengeti Camp, Siringit Villa and Taasa Private Reserve all enjoy full internet connectivity which we share with our guests without charge. We cannot guarantee the availability of the internet at either Camp Zebra or our Intimate Camp since this depends on the location of the camp at any given time.
What exercise will I get on safari?
In years gone by, Safaris were notoriously bad for putting on weight! Clients were served three sumptuous meals per day and then spent many hours sitting in Safari vehicles on game drives before finally going to bed only for the process to begin again the following morning. Travellers today are far more health conscious than their predecessors were and the Safari industry in Tanzania has needed to respond accordingly. Intimate Places Tanzania has taken on board our guests need to exercise by providing different alternatives at each stage of our Safari itineraries. At Siringit villa we offer our guests Golfing, walking, cycling and horse-riding. At Taasa Private Reserve we offer game and nature walks and at Camp Zebra as well as in our Intimate Camps there is a “gym in a basket” which can be provided on request.
Are there opportunities for me to walk on Safari?
Restrictions are imposed on walking in the national parks for obvious reasons. Walks can however be arranged in Arusha National Park, Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Serengeti National Park. You should make your interest in walking known at the time of making a booking so that we can explore the different possibilities with you. At Taasa Private Reserve we also offer both ‘game’ and ‘nature’ walks to all of our guests as part of our all-inclusive package. All walks are normally accompanied by a guide as well as an armed ranger.
Will I be able to go on a Balloon Safari?
Yes. Balloon Safaris are available in both central as well as Northern Serengeti and can easily be enjoyed from Camp Zebra, our Intimate Camps, Siringit Serengeti Camp and Taasa Private Reserve.
Can I book a Safari using only Intimate Camps?
Yes you can. Since it takes a full day to dismantle an Intimate Camp plus another day to move it and another to erect it in its new location, we would need to dedicate two separate camps to your booking. In this way, whilst you are staying in say Tarangire National Park, we will be setting up another camp for you on say the Ngorongoro crater rim. Then when you move to Ngorongoro, your Tarangire camp will be moved to say Ndutu to welcome you there when you arrive. And whilst you are staying in Ndutu, your Ngorongoro camp will move to the Serengeti, etc.. Guests who have done these Safaris have told us how very nice it is to be looked after by the same team of people over the course of their entire holiday.
What type of vehicle can I expect to be driven in for my safari?
Intimate Places Tanzania uses only purpose built 4 x 4 vehicles for our guests Safaris. There are three types of Safari vehicles available in Tanzania to include “closed,” “panoramic” and “open” cars and we own and operate each type in our fleet. For more information on the differences between each please click here.
How can I book a holiday to Zanzibar after my Safari?