When is the best time of year to go on safari in Tanzania?

Anytime other than during the long rains (April & May) is a wonderful time to be on safari in the nothern circuit.  At Africa 2 Serengeti Ltd. we adjust our safari itineraries to take advantage of the best possible game viewing in accordance with the seasonal concentrations of wildlife.

When is the best time of year to go on safari in Tanzania?

Anytime other than during the long rains (April & May) is a wonderful time to be on safari in the nothern circuit.  At Africa 2 Serengeti Ltd. we adjust our safari itineraries to take advantage of the best possible game viewing in accordance with the seasonal concentrations of wildlife.

Where is the best place to go for wildlife viewing in Africa?

You simply can’t beat northern Tanzania for wildlife concentrations. Most people have heard of the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater and the wide array of wildlife dwelling on the Crater floor. Most have heard of the vast Serengeti savannah, which hosts the annual migration of wildebeest and the predators that follow in its wake. This is only the beginning of the natural phenomena awaiting your discovery on a safari to Tanzania. Guests of Africa 2 Serengeti Ltd consistently tell us the wildlife they experienced far surpassed their most optimistic expectations.

What kinds of animals will I see on safari in Tanzania?

Tanzania is home to over 35 species of large four-legged mammals and has over 1000 species of birds listed. On a typical safari in northern Tanzania you can expect to see elephant, buffalo, giraffe, hippo, baboon, monkeys and a variety of plains game such as wildebeest, hartebeest, zebra, impala and gazelle. Most people see lion and hyena, and possibly cheetah or leopard. In Ngorongoro Crater, you may see one of the few remaining black rhino to be found in Tanzania. You’ll undoubtedly see several different species of mongoose and some hyrax and other small mammals. If you’re lucky, you’ll see one or more of the smaller cats, foxes, wild dog, or the more reticent antelope like lesser kudu, bushbuck, oryx, or eland.

What is the Migration?

Every year, over one million wildebeest move through the Serengeti plains in search of food and water. The phenomenon of these animals moving en mass through the African savannah is known as the migration. The seasonal rains that water their grazing pastures drive their movement. It is impossible to predict in advance exactly how or when this progression will take place, but there is a pattern. Generally, from mid-December through May, the herds are feeding in the southern Serengeti. During February, thousands of calves appear on the plains. Between June and July the wildebeest begin their annual migration north, reaching the Mara River that marks the Kenyan border sometime between the end of July and beginning of August. After the first short rains, usually in the beginning of November, the herds move back into Tanzania’s Serengeti and make their way to the southern pastures where they rest and feed through the rains until their search for better grazing leads them to begin their annual migration once again. Even when the “migration” moves into Kenya for the summer months, there are many resident herds in the Serengeti and there is always an incredible array of wildlife to experience there. Also, in the summer months, which are the height of the dry season, thousands of elephant congregate around the Tarangire River. This park is at its prime during these months and we adjust our itineraries to take advantage of the prime wildlife viewing there. Each time of year offers the visitor to Tanzania a special opportunity for wildlife viewing.

Will I have a chance to interact with the local people of Tanzania?

The vast majority of Tanzanians are still living very close to their traditional lifestyles. Most of the people are subsistence farmers.  The Maasai people, favoured by photographers for their strikingly colourful décor, live a pastoral existence following their herds of cattle to better grazing areas, still adhering to the traditions and ceremonies of their ancestors. Their “villages” are located throughout northern Tanzania. Other small tribes of hunter-gatherers, living according to their ancient customs and traditions, can also be found in this area.
At Africa 2 Serengeti Ltd. we consider the cultural component of any safari to be subtle yet essential. All of our guides are Tanzanian born. They are an excellent resource to help you gain greater insight into the local culture. We don’t promote specially-staged dances and tourist-oriented presentations. Instead, on most of our trips, we begin with a visit to a traditional village where you are welcomed as friends of Africa 2 Serengeti Ltd. into their lives and invited to get to know them as they get to know you. As we drive between parks, we pass many villages and Maasai bomas giving you further glimpses into the lives of the Tanzanian people. We also offer a special trip in which our guests travel well off the beaten path to spend time among the Wahadza people and observe their ancient hunter-gatherer ways.

What if I want a custom safari?

We would be delighted to work with you to help you and your family, friends or organisation plan the best possible safari to match your interests and budget. We organise custom safaris for professional photographers, honeymooners and families.

Can I take my children on safari?

YES! Africa 2 Serengeti Ltd. has a personal understanding and deep commitment to meeting the special needs of families. We have designed our unique family-safari programs to allow you and your children to experience the wonders of Africa together. You’ll have a chance to deepen your understanding of cultural diversity, discover the many miracles of nature, and at the same time play, laugh, and enjoy the pleasure of one another’s company.  Our trips are well suited for children.

Will I stay in tents or lodges?

Our safaris offer a wide array of safari styles to suit your interests and budget. Please see our website for a description of the different types of accommodation we use on our trips.

How big are your safari groups?

Our scheduled safaris vary in size to accomodate all of our clients, whether it is a solo safari or big groups.

What's the weather like in Tanzania?

Located at an altitude of 5,000 to 7,600 feet, northern Tanzania’s dry sunny climate is nothing like the steamy African jungle of Tarzan movies. The weather is spring-like year round, with daytime temperatures in the 70s and 80s (20 to 25oC), evenings in the 60s (15oC). From June until August, temperatures are slightly cooler, ranging from the 50s to the mid-70s (10o to 20oC). The coastal and lowland areas tend to be more tropical in temperature.

What clothes should I bring on safari?

Safari dress is comfortable and casual – layers are recommended. Keep it simple and bring things you don’t mind getting dusty. After you have booked your safari, we send you pre-departure information via email to help you prepare for your safari.

What's the food like?

On safari, you will be pleasantly surprised by both the quality and the variety of the food available on safari. In most lodges, meals are served buffet-style so you can choose what you like. The food is prepared according to western tastes, with some curries and local cuisine included. If you choose a camping safari, our expert chefs, to the highest sanitary standards, prepare fresh meat and produce. Most returning guests rave about our camp food!

On Kilimanjaro, dinners are typically a main course with vegetables and salad. Chicken and fish are served some of the days during the climb, with pastas and rice dishes being served in the middle of the climb while up high. Lunches are often on the trail and usually consist of cold cuts and salad laid out on a table so you can make your own sandwich. Fresh hot vegetable soups are served at dinner time, and packet soup is available on request between meals, as is coffee, tea and hot chocolate. Breakfast is your choice: granola, toast, fruit, eggs, and sometimes pancakes or French toast. While hiking some people have a favourite snack that they like; it is a good idea to bring this from home.    

Can special dietary requirements be accommodated?

Special dietary requirements such as vegetarian or diabetic meals can easily be arranged with advanced notice. If you are vegetarian or vegan you may wish to bring along some alternative protein sources. If you have multiple food allergies, you’ll definitely want to bring along supplemental snacks. It is important we know of any possible dietary restrictions as soon as possible.

Are safaris in Tanzania safe?

Today’s modern safari is a far cry from the rugged safaris of the past. After a stimulating day of game viewing, you can relax at comfortable, attractive lodges, with amenities like swimming pools, full service restaurants and ensuite bathrooms. Located right in the scenic settings of the wildlife reserves, the lodges are close to nature… but not too close for comfort. Tanzania is one of Africa’s most stable countries, where you’ll receive a warm welcome from its gracious people. Every care is taken to ensure your health and safety on safari.

Is it okay to drink the water?

We provide bottled water on game drives and in campsites, 1.5ltr per person per day. You can purchase good quality bottled water at all the lodges and camps.

Are there a lot of bugs in Tanzania?

There are more bugs in many places in the USA than you will encounter on safari. Again, remember that most of the areas you’ll be visiting are arid (especially from July – November). The bugs you will see are fascinating, but certainly not anything to be concerned about. Repellant for the mosquitos during the early and evening game drives is recommended

How far in advance should I book my safari?

It is better to book as far in advance as possible to ensure availability at the time you wish to travel, especially during the peak seasons (July & August and Christmas time). This is especially important for those wishing to travel on private custom safaris and those adding extensions to the scheduled trips.

Can I use a credit card to pay for my safari?

No, we do not accept Visa or MasterCard for your safari. A 30% deposit of the total amount is required to guarantee your reservation within two weeks from written confirmation. The balance is due 90 days prior to departure and is payable through our bank in Arusha

What shots should I get?

For medical advice it is always best to consult your doctor or travel clinic. Bear in mind that you will be staying in camps and lodges oriented to meet the needs of American and European guests.

What additional costs can I expect when I travel with Virgin Holidays Ltd?

Our safari packages include all accommodation, meals whilst on safari, airport transfers, park fees and services of Africa 2 Serengeti Ltd and guides and drivers. It is customary to tip your guide and driver, as well as the cook or camp staff if you are camping during your safari. You will also need to pay for your own beverages and personal items, like laundry service and phone calls. Before you go, you are responsible for any passport and visa fees. We also highly recommend you purchase travel protection insurance. And, finally, if you know yourself to be a big souvenir shopper you’ll need to budget accordingly.
Recommended tipping guidelines

  • Porters USD $5 to $10 per porter per day
  • Guide, assistant guide, cook USD $15 to 20 per person per day

Please note that tipping is customarily recommended, but depends on your service satisfaction.

When is the best time to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro?

Even though one can climb throughout the year, January, February and September are the best months, with June, July, August, October and December also being good.

Does climbing the Kilimanjaro involve technicalities?

Not at all. Any person in good physical condition can climb and reach the summit. You should be able to run for half an hour or more without feeling short of breath. No one with a sore throat, cold or breathing problems should go above 3000 meters. People with heart or lung problems should not attempt the mountain at all without consulting their doctors. Being in the right mental state is important. Do not push yourself to go if your body is exhausted, or if you have extreme mountain sickness or more serious symptoms.

Park fees included?

Yes, both our Kilimanjaro and Safari prices include park fees and all other applicable fees and taxes.

Do your Tanzania trips include any transfer for those arriving in Nairobi, Kenya?

Yes, we include free bus shuttle transfer Nairobi-Arusha-Nairobi for those arriving/departing from Nairobi.

Please be advised that there are 2 daily bus shuttle transfers between Nairobi and Arusha, leaving from either place at 0800and 1400, arriving to the other destination at 1230 and 1830 respectively. We can pick you up from either Nairobi airport or most hotels located in or near Nairobi City center. You need to be ready at least half an hour before the scheduled times.
Please be advised that the most convenient airport will be Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO).

Can children climb Kilimanjaro?

The minimum age limit set by the National Park Authorities for trekking to Uhuru Peak is 12 years old.

What is the weather like on Mt.Kilimanjaro?

Equatorial to arctic conditions are present on the Kilimanjaro. The range begins with the warm, dry plains with average temperatures of 30c, ascends through a wide belt of wet tropical forest, through zones with generally decreasing temperatures and rainfall, to the summit where there is permanent ice and below freezing temperatures. The temperature at the top of the mountain get as Low as minus 25 degrees Celsius.

How long does it take to reach the submit?

Climbing through the Marangu route, one can reach the summit in 5 or 6 days, including a day and a half of descending. On the Machame, Lemosho, and other routes it is normal for one to reach the summit in 6 or 7 days including a day and a half of descending

What kind of climbing gear do I need?

You need to have the following stuff for your climbing:

Boots, thermal underwear, warm clothes- top and pants, water/Windproof Pants and shell, socks (at least 6pairs- to be changed at least once on the way up), winter hat/balaclava (cover head and ears), water bottle, gators (for wind and mud), gloves (water/wind proof), neck warmer or scarf, sunglasses, flash lights, and batteries, walking stick, sleeping tent (for all other routes other than Marangu), sleeping bag and rain wear. Please be advised that we do provide sleeping tent and mattresses on our climbs.

Can we leave excess lugage behind whilst on trekking?

Yes, you can leave the stuff, which you do not need to carry with you up the mountain at the hotel, or in our office. Valuable items including cash should be specified.

How do I cope with change of altitude?

As you ascend the oxygen in the air decreases. Low oxygen in the blood causes shortness of breath during exertion, increased ventilation and heart-beats. You can acclimatize/adapt to the altitude by ascending slowly and pacing yourself, avoiding exertion and breathing regularly and deeply.

Are rescue facilities available?

Yes. Only Marangu route has reliable, equipped rescue team. Rescue services on other routes, is done by contacting the Park Headquarters who will then quickly send the rescue team. The mountain rescue fees covers rescue service from the top to the base of the mountain. We recommend flying doctor service membership (a $50 value) to cover from the base of the mountain to your hospital.

What kind of accommodation is provided for the 2 nights included in the climbing package?

The accommodation is at a mid class hotel that has rooms with en-suite bathrooms, mosquitoes nets, a bar and a restaurant. It is located in a quite neighborhood. For those who prefer something fancier, we can upgrade this to a five star hotel with an extra few dollars

What kind of accommodation is available during climbing?

Only Marangu route offers accommodation in a dormitory style huts- having beds and mattresses. All other routes offer accommodation in tents. There is a very limited number of climbers on Marangu route allowed, making a necessity for a well in advance booking.

What's the food like during the climb?

Our typical food on the mountain includes:

Breakfast: coffee, tea, porridge, fruits, fruit juice, scrambled eggs/omelet, sausage, toast, margarine, honey and jam.
Lunch: hot tea, coffee, chips, sandwiches, biscuits, pancakes with honey or jam, and fruits
Dinner: soup, cooked meat or vegetarian meal (these include chicken/beef with rice, sliced fresh carrots and green beans, mashed potatoes, and salads), fruits, and fruit juice, and variety of hot drinks

Do you accommodate people with dietary restrictions?

Absolutely! Our skilled cooks are happy to accommodate your dietary restrictions and/or allergies.

Who prepare the food on the mountain?

Skilled cooks serving as porters will prepare food for you. Also, they will boil, filter and refill your empty water bottles for you.

How is cooking done on the mountain?

All our meals are prepared on portable kerosene and gas stoves by our skilled cooks. Our low-impact policy prohibits us to use firewood on the mountain.

What about drinking water?

We recommend you drink about 4 -5 liters of fluid each day. Water is best, but fruit juices are a good supplement. Carry your own water bottle at all times, as dehydration is a real problem on the mountain. The air is very dry above 4000 meters so avoid panting and dry to breath through your nose. Control sweating by wearing removable clothing and pacing yourself. Sip fluids frequently. Monitor your urine; output should be at least 1.5 liters per day and the urine should be clear.

Can we buy drinking water/soda on the Kilimanjaro?

Yes, drinking water and soda can be bought on the mountain in Marangu route. It is much more expensive however than in Moshi town. However, there will be enough water for you up the mountain, and our stuff will boil, filter and refill your bottles.

What is the number of climbers?

Our climbs have a minimum and maximum number of 1 and 15 climbers respectively. In most cases, we have a maximum of 10 climbers, and average of 4 climbers

How many guides, and porters and cooks do we get?

All depends on the number of people in your group. You will have one leading guide, with assistant guides serving as porters, and porters (including skilled cooks). We guarantee enough number of porters for your luggage, food, and water.

  1. Do you have luggage (weight/size/number) limitations on your climbs?

Unlike most other Companies, We do NOT have luggage limitation on our climbs. We also provide free storage for stuff which you do not want to bring it with you up on the mountain.

What if one of us gets sick and has to return?

In case one person gets sick and has to stay behind or even return, he or she will be accompanied by one of the assistant guides while other climbers goes on with the leading guide and other assistant guide(s).

What if one of us gets sick and has to return?

In case one person gets sick and has to stay behind or even return, he or she will be accompanied by one of the assistant guides while other climbers goes on with the leading guide and other assistant guide(s).

Do you provide a free transfer if a climber had to return earlier than a scheduled day?

Unlike most other Companies who charge about $100, we provide a free transfer from the mountain to the hotel should a climber return earlier than planned.

What shots should I get?

For medical advice it is always best to consult your doctor. Please contact Tanzania embassy in your country for any updated info on minimum requirement to get into Tanzania/ Kenya if any.

Can you include airfare?

Yes, we can. Our typical roundtrip airfares including ALL taxes from New York/Boston to Kilimanjaro International airport are about $1,370 (Jan 12~May 31, and Sep 01~Dec 04), and $1,790 (June 01~Aug 31, and Dec 05~Jan 11). The airfare prices also depend on availability.

What additional costs can I expect when I travel with you?

Our Land cost prices include almost everything. The only extra costs you will incur are tips, some of the climbing gears, and meals that are not listed on your itinerary.

How much is a good tip?

The recommended ones per day (from the whole group) are: Leading guide: $16, each assistant guide: $12, and each porter: $7. Off course you can pay more if you are particularly impressed and less if you are not.

Will i have a chance to interact with the local people of Tanzania?

Absolutely! You can even start talking to some of our staff in USA office, who were born in Kilimanjaro region, raised there, climbed the mountain several times and know it than anybody else!

Is my payment going to help local African Communities?

Absolutely! We are a majority owned African Company, and are able to help our local African Communities. Some percentage of your money goes to local projects that we support, including Nambere Primary School, and Comeca Environmental Organization.

Can I use credit card to pay for my climb?

We accept Visa and Master Card for your deposit ONLY. The balance is due 90 days prior to departure and is payable by check, wire transfer or money order.

What is the deposit amount to hold my space?

We do require a deposit of at least $300/person for Kilimanjaro trekking bookings.

When do I need to pay the balance of my trip?

The balance is due 90 days prior to the day your tour commences.

What happens if I need to cancel my trip?

If you cancel a tour, then the following cancellation fees will apply:

For all tours cancellations received more than 90 days prior to departure, $500 per person cancellation fee per tour or extension; 89-60 days, 20% of the tour price; 59-30days, 50% of tour price; 29-15 days, 75% of tour price; 14 days or less, 100% of tour price.

What happens if we have to cancel your trip?

In the unlikely event that we must cancel a trip due to some reasons beyond our control, you will receive a full refund. We have never cancelled our trips for years!

Do you cancel or change more in case other people cancel a trip?

Absolutely no! Once we receive your deposit, both price and departure are guaranteed