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Before Your Trip

Q: What precautions should I take to avoid stomach problems in Tanzania?


A:
  • Wash your hands as often as possible with soap especially before meals
  • Avoid street food if you have a sensitive stomach
  • Eat fruit that can be peeled unless you bought it yourself and washed it properly
  • Only purchase water bottles that are sealed

Q: What vaccinations are recommended for Tanzania?


A: Before your trip please check your vaccination document and make sure that all your routine vaccines are up-to-date. These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine and polio vaccine. There are certain vaccinations (hepatitis A + B, thypoid and rabies) recommended, for further details please contact your doctor. Travellers that wish to go to Zanzibar will be required to have Yellow Fever vaccination. Tanzania in general does not require yellow fever vaccination, but if you have a connecting flight within Africa, a yellow fever certificate is required to enter Tanzania. Additionally you want to consider malaria prophylaxis. Please discuss the possibilities with your doctor.

Q: Are airport transfers included?


A: All our treks and packaged trips include airport transfers. For our safaris the airport transfer can be booked separately for 40 USD per one way. Please provide us with your flight details (arrival time + flight number) via info@vivaafricatours.com.

Q: What are the visa requirements for Tanzania?


A: We recommend to check Tanzania's embassy in your home country. Visa rules differ depending on your nationality. The Tanzanian embassy website will always have the latest information about requirements, costs and will provide you with the required forms.

Q: Do you help with visas?


A: Viva Africa Tours' can not assist in the actual visa application process. You can do this through the Tanzanian embassy in your home country.

Q: What is the local currency in Tanzania?


A: Tanzania's currency is the Tanzanian Shilling (TZS). One US Dollar is worth 1900 TSZ (April 2015). Bills: 10,000 TZS; 5,000 TZS; 2,000 TZS; 1,000 TZS and 500 TZS; Coins: 500 TZS, 200 TZS, 100 TZS and 50 TZS.

Q: What documents do I need to carry with me?


A: Please download Viva Africa Tours' packing list, which gives you an complete overview of what travel documents to carry with you. We recommend to make copies of your documents and to carry two extra passport photos with you.

Q: What kind of adapter do I need to charge my electronic devises?


A: Tanzania has two type of plugs Type G (British) and Type D (Old British). Type G is the more common plug, but there are still places that use Type G. We recommend to bring an adapter that covers both plugs.

Q: Will I have mobile coverage?


A: We can never promise your phone will work as desired in Tanzania. We are a developing country and especially telecommunication is not as good as in the First World countries. To avoid surprises, please contact your provider and ask for global roaming and prices. Alternatively, you can easily purchase a local sim card in Moshi (please make sure that your phone is unlocked).

Q: Will I be able to have internet access?


A: Yes, internet access is possible. Moshi has a few internet cafés as well as restaurants/bars with wifi access. Most of the hotels offer free wifi. The speed of the internet differs from place to place. Please keep in mind we are still in Africa and the infrastructure is not as good as in the Western world.

Q: What is the recommended way to carry money?


A: We recommend a mix of money: credit card and cash money in US Dollars. Moshi has plenty of banks, where you can withdraw money with your Visa (preferred) or MasterCard. Since there is a daily withdrawal limit of 1,000,000 Tanzanian Shilling (roughly 570 USD) you should carry some US Dollars in cash with you. This is especially handy when it comes to paying the remaining 50 % of your tour price. At our Viva Africa Tours' office we accept cash money only.

Q: Can I store excess luggage during my trek or safari?


A: Yes, we can store all items you won't need on your trek or safari. We hand them back to you after you return to Moshi.

Q: I am joining a group safari. How can I get in touch with my fellow travellers before the trip?


A: Due to data privacy we can not give out fellow travellers contact details unless people agreed to it. We ask with booking, if people are fine with having their personal information passed on.

On Kilimanjaro

Q: What is the best route to climb Kilimanjaro?


A: Each route is unique and an experience in itself. The most popular routes are Machame and Marangu. If you wish to hike less remote, we recommend you to choose Lemosho or Rongai. The best acclimatisation conditions are on Machame and Lemosho Route. For more information about the best route for you visit this article the Best Route to Climb Kilimanjaro.

Q: What is the best time to climb Kilimanjaro?


A: It is generally believed that the best time to climb Kilimanjaro are August to October. It tends to be drier during these months, but it is also the busiest time on the mountain. People that want to have a quieter experience should consider June. Nonetheless with the right gear Kilimanjaro can be climbed at any time of the year.

Q: What are the signs of altitude sickness?


A: Almost everyone will experience some form of altitude sickness while hiking Kilimanjaro. Although the symptoms are easily treatable with rest and hydration, more serious symptoms can sometimes develop. When planning your trip try to understand the symptoms, prevention and treatment of altitude sickness.

Q: What happens if someone has to descend because of altitude sickness?


A: You will always hike with several guides/assistant guides. If someone has altitude sickness and can't proceed with the climb, they will descend with an assistant guide.

Q: How far do we hike each day?


A: On most days, you will hike about 10 km (6.2 miles). In order to adjust to the change in elevation, you will be hiking the day’s distance at a slow pace.

Q: Why do we make the final ascent to Uhuru Peak at midnight?


A: Kilimanjaro's final ascent to Uhuru Peak is made at night because of the weather patterns on Kilimanjaro. Clouds begin to roll in almost every day at 10am. If you summit during the day, you run the risk of being caught in snow, hail or rainstorms. The midnight trek to the summit is designed to ensure your safety. You will also have the best views from the top at dawn and an sunrise you surely won't forget.

Q: What kind of gear do I need to pack?


A: Please review our packing list that explains what to bring on your climb.

Q: Can I rent equipment from Viva Africa Tours?


A: Everything that we can provide you with is included in your trek. Nonetheless Viva Africa Tours does not have all items necessary on stock, so we recommend to have a look at our packing list and purchase the missing items at home. Alternatively we can also take you to the local rental store in Moshi.

Q: What will the porters carry and what will I carry on the climb?


A: Porters will carry most of your luggage. You will carry a small day pack that contains your drinking water, rain gear, camera and lunch.

Q: Is it possible to buy energy snacks in Tanzania?


A: You can not buy energy snacks or drinks in Tanzania, so you should bring a supply with you. Gel energy snacks are extremely useful for the summit day.

Q: How much should I tip each guide, cook and porter?


A:
Tip is not included in your tour price. Please find below our guidelines for tipping your mountain and/or safari crew:
  • Mountain Guide- $20.00 per day
  • Porter- $7.00 to $10.00 per day
  • Mountain Cook- $15.00 per day
  • Safari Guide- $20.00 per day
  • Safari Cook- $20.00 per day

Q: Do Viva Africa Tours' guides carry first aid kits?


A: Our guides carry first aid kits that contain bandages, over the counter medicines, and some emergency supplies. Viva Africa Tours does not carry any prescription medicines so you will have to bring your own.

Q: How much experience do Viva Africa Tours' guides have?


A: Each one of our guides has several years of experience on Kilmanjaro. Our most experienced guide has climbed Kilimanjaro more than 200 times (18 years) while our most junior guide has climbed about 50 times (5 years). Be sure to listen to your guide’s advice while on the mountain and remember to go slowly. If you hike slowly, you increase your chances of reaching the top as your body has more chance to acclimatize.

Q: How should I physically prepare for my climb?


A: Kilimanjaro is considered by many to be the easiest high mountain to climb. However, the altitude of 5,895 meters (19,340 feet) is still extremely high and proper preparation is essential. It is helpful to engage in aerobic exercise a few times a week for two months prior to the climb as preparation for Kilimanjaro. Also, it is absolutely essential that you understand the causes and symptoms of altitude sickness before beginning the trek.

On Safari

Q: How does Viva Africa Tours choose lodges and tented camps on safari?


A: Viva Africa Tours matches the type of experience you desire with the most appropriate lodge arrangements. Available lodging ranges from private luxury tented lodges to adventure camping. There are both mid and high-end private lodges so we can accommodate any budget.

Q: On camping safaris, what equipment does Viva Africa Tours provide?


A: Viva Africa Tours provides camping equipment including tents, sleeping mattresses, tables and chairs. We also provide all cooking equipment for safari. Please see our Safari Packing List for items you should bring with you to Tanzania. If you need to rent equipment such as sleeping bags or other gear, let us know in advance.

Q: Can I request special diet for safari?


A: Yes, you can. For people with special diet (vegetarian, gluten free etc.) please contact us under info@vivaafricatours.com.

Q: Do I need to bring a water filter?


A: During safari we provide bottled water and on Kilimanjaro trips, we filter all drinking water. A water filter is therefore not necessary.

Q: What is a typical menu on a camping safari?


A: During Viva Africa Tours' camping safaris our chef will provide you with three meals (breakfast, packed lunch and dinner). Our food includes everything to make your nutrition varied and healthy. If you need special diary (e.g. vegetarian or gluten free) please inform us with your booking.

Q: What is Tanzanian food like and will I get to try some?


A: Staple foods found throughout Tanzania include ugali (maizemeal), chapati (thick naan-like bread), kichumbari (tomato, cucumber, bell pepper salad), nyama choma (barbecued meat- goat, chicken, beef) and mchicha (green vegetable stew). Dishes specific to Northern Tanzania include ndizi nyama (banana beef stew) and mahindi maharage (maize and bean stew). If you would like to try local Tanzania food, let us know prior to your climb or safari and we’ll include some local dishes on your menu.

Q: Do you offer join group safaris?


A: We indeed do, for dates and routes for our joined group safaris please contact us via <a href="mailto:info@vivaafricatours.com">info@vivaafricatours.com</a> and we will provide you with further information.

Q: What are Viva Africa Tours' safari vehicles like?


A: Our safari vehicles are 4x4 Toyota Land Cruisers with an open roof, perfect for wildlife viewing. The seats have been changed to full-size seats to make your time most comfortable. Tarangire National Park    Ngorongoro Crater

Q: What are the road conditions in Tanzania?


A: Roads between towns and the national parks of the Northern Safari Circuit are generally well-maintained (with one exception the road to Serengeti). Inside the national parks all roads are rough roads, hence, muddy during the rainy season and dusty during dry season.

Q: Will I be able to charge my electronic devices on safari?


A: Most lodges have outlets so you will be able to recharge batteries. However, because the lodges are run on generators, the electrical current is not as strong as traditional electrical currents. Some lodges turn off their generators at midnight. Keep in mind Tanzania uses 220 Volt electricity and you will need to bring necessary converters and plug adaptors (Type D & Type G). Some of the campsites offer outlets in the dining area. As campsites get very busy things follow a first come, first serve principle.

Q: How much shall I tip the crew?


A: Gratuities in the Tanzanian tourism industry generally follow the North American system. Tip is not included in your tour price. Please find below our guidelines for tipping your safari crew:
  • 1 Safari Guide- $20.00 per day
  • 1 Safari Cook- $20.00 per day

Q: What are the Big Five?


A: The Big Five are term that originates with hunters. The Big Five were the hardest to hunt and also it was believed they hunted humans. They include rhino, elephant, lion, leopard and buffalo. Now-a-days it is a marketing term used by safari companies. Tanzania is home to the Big 5 and on safari with us you can experience them up close and in wild. Learn more about The Faces Behind The Big Five in our Adventure Blog.

Q: What is the great wildebeest migration?


A: The wildebeest migration is the annual movement of 1.2 million wildebeest and zebra between Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park and Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Park. To learn more about the migration have a look at our Wildlife Safari page.

Q: What is a game walk?


A: A game walk is a walking safari inside or near a national park. These walks require an armed guard. One of the national parks, where you can do a game walk is at Arusha National Park.