Awaken to Africa—Best custom wildlife safaris to Tanzania: Serengeti, Tarangire, Selous, Mahale
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Frequently Asked Questions

PLANNING YOUR TRIP

1. How do I get more information about a trip with Awaken to Africa?
2. How do I reserve a trip with Awaken to Africa?
3. What does an Awaken to Africa trip include?
4. What is not included in an Awaken to Africa trip?
5. How far in advance do I need to book a trip?
6. When is the best time to travel to Tanzania?
7. What kind of clothes should I bring with me?
8. Do I need a visa for travel to Tanzania?
9. Are there medical issues about traveling to Tanzania?
10. Is Tanzania politically stable?
11. What is your cancellation policy?

ON SAFARI

12. What kind of food will I have while on safari?
13. Is it safe to drink the water?
14. What kind of weather will we experience?
15. How are the roads in Tanzania?
16. Will I have electricity for using and charging batteries for my camera equipment?

   
 
 
PLANNING YOUR TRIP
1. How do I get more information about a trip with Awaken to Africa?
Call us at 1-888-271-8269 (TANZ), and we’ll be happy to discuss your plans. Your trip will be customized to your interests although we could use our Classic Safari as a discussion starting point.

Some questions to think about when you begin to plan are:

  • What type of trip interests you, e.g., safari, trek, climb, beach holiday, or a combination of several types?
  • What is your primary interest, e.g., wildlife, birds, chimpanzee trekking, photography, mountain climbing, diving, beaches, cultural programs and projects?
  • How many days would you like your trip to be, excluding travel to and from Tanzania?
  • What time of year would you like to go? Do you want to see the great migration, and are you interested in seeing the wildebeest calving or the wildebeest rutting season?
  • How many people will be going on this trip?
  • What type of lodging do you prefer, e.g.,
    • Small intimate camp/lodge
    • Luxury lodge
    • Luxury mobile camp (to be near the migration herd)
    • Unique small properties off the beaten track
    • Or a variety of lodges?
  • How much walking would you like to do?

Your choices will determine the cost of your trip.

 
 
2. How do I reserve a trip with Awaken to Africa?
We will work with you to put together an itinerary with suggested lodges and a price. When we reach agreement on an itinerary, we will begin the actual lodging booking process. For that we require a non-refundable deposit of $500, which is payable by check, credit card, or money order, and a completed reservation form. You may request a reservation form by calling us at 1-732-271-8269 (toll-free in the US and Canada at 1-888-271-8269) or by sending us an e-mail request at:
 
The booking of lodging can take up to a week or longer. If we are unable to book the lodges in the itinerary, we will substitute lodging of a similar type and cost.
 
Please be aware that during popular tourism periods, some lodges and camps are booked up to a year or more in advance. So, the earlier you begin your planning process, the easier it will be to book the lodges of your choice.

The balance of your safari cost is due 90 days before your safari begins. We prefer a check (or wire transfer) for the balance.
 
3. What does an Awaken to Africa trip include?
  • All lodging and meals
  • All airport transfers and transportation within Tanzania, either by plane or vehicle
  • An experienced Tanzanian naturalist guide/driver
  • All park and game reserve entrance fees
  • Unlimited game drives in our safari vehicles with a guaranteed window seat
  • Bottled water, soda, and snacks in our safari vehicle
  • Beverages in our mobile tent camps
  • Laundry service at our luxury mobile camp and at some other lodges/camps
  • Visa fee
  • Luggage transfer/gratuities between lodges
  • Enrollment in Flying Doctors Emergency Evacuation Service
  • Pre-trip information packet
4. What is not included in an Awaken to Africa trip?
  • International airfare
  • Passport
  • Gratuities for our driver/guide and luxury mobile camp staff
  • Alcoholic beverages, although some camps/lodges do include them in the overall price
5. How far in advance do I need to book a trip?
Peak travel time to Tanzania is when the wildebeest migration herd is in the southern part of the Serengeti. It can be difficult to book both plane travel and lodges the last half of January, February, and March unless you begin 8-9 months ahead of time. July, August, and September are also popular times for travel. Currently KLM is the only air carrier flying direct from Europe (Amsterdam) to Kilimanjaro International Airport.
 
 
6. When is the best time to travel to Tanzania?
Tanzania is notable for its numbers and diversity of wildlife, and game viewing can be good any time, except for April, which is the rainy month in East Africa. November can be a bit rainy, but game viewing is still good, and the wildebeest herd is beginning to head south again.

In particular the annual wildebeest migration attracts many visitors to Tanzania and Kenya. Peak travel time to Tanzania occurs when the massive herd is in the southern part of the Serengeti. The herd moves into that area sometime around the middle of December and remains there during January, February, and March. Some of the herd begins to migrate north into Kenya in June, July, August, and September. But other parts of the herd stay in Tanzania around the Mara River in the very northern part of the Serengeti, and this area is a great place to watch river crossings by the wildebeests and zebras while large crocodiles wait to catch their prey in the water.

There are many resident animals that do not migrate, and the dry season of July, August, September, and October brings these animals to rivers and water holes and provides excellent wildlife viewing. July and August are peak travel times in Tanzania, coinciding with the dry season, and many lodges and camps are booked very far in advance.

Tanzania is actually a year-round travel destination except during April, when many camps are closed because the roads leading to them are impassable. In addition to the variety of animals, there are over 1000 species of birds to be found in Tanzania, making Tanzania a bird-watcher’s delight.

 
7. What kind of clothes should I bring with me?
Cotton or cotton blend clothes in neutral colors are the best choice for a safari. Sturdy footwear is essential, especially if you intend to do any walking or hiking. A hat and sunscreen are a necessity to protect you from the strong equatorial sun.

All lodges and camps provide laundry service, and some include the service as a part of the lodging cost.

Awaken to Africa will include a suggested packing list as part of your pre-trip information packet.

 
 
8. Do I need a visa for travel to Tanzania?
A visa is required for almost everyone traveling to Tanzania. To facilitate your travel, Awaken to Africa will include the cost of a visa in your trip and will pre-process the visa before you arrive. Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport, your passport will be stamped, eliminating the need to wait in line after you have landed.

Alternatively, you may elect to obtain your own visa prior to your trip departure.

 
9. Are there medical issues about traveling to Tanzania?
Awaken to Africa includes information about travel to a sub-Saharan country in your pre-trip information packet. However, you should check with the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov/travel) for the latest information on travel to Tanzania.

It is essential that you have an anti-malarial medication with you and a mosquito-repellent to prevent being bitten. Malaria is endemic throughout most of Tanzania except at elevations higher than 6000 feet. Malaria-carrying mosquitoes usually bite after dusk and before dawn, so it’s important to take extra precautions during this time period to avoid being bitten. This means wearing clothing with long pants and sleeves and applying insect repellent to exposed skin as well as sleeping under mosquito netting.

Tsetse flies are an unwelcome annoyance but do not usually present a health risk.

 
10. Is Tanzania politically stable?
Tanzania is a stable multi-party democracy. Despite its enormously diverse culture of more than 120 tribes, it is remarkably free of ethnic tensions, especially when compared to its neighbors.
 
11. What is your cancellation policy?
Our cancellation policy is as follows: if you cancel more than 90 days from your departure date, the deposit is forfeited. If you cancel less than 90 days prior to the departure date, 75% of the safari price is forfeited. If the cancellation is less than 50 days prior to your departure, 100% is forfeited. Cancellations must be in writing. Leaving a safari in progress, for any reason whatsoever, will not result in a refund, and no refunds will be made for any unused portions of a safari.

We suggest that you purchase trip insurance to protect your investment and recommend The Travel Insurance Comparison Site Insure My Trip to compare policies and features. Over 100 insurance plans from well-known insurance companies are compared for US, Canadian, and other world-wide travelers.
 
 
ON SAFARI
12. What kind of food will I have while on safari?
You will eat well on safari. The food at the lodges and camps that we book is nicely prepared, well balanced, and hygienically safe. If you have any dietary restrictions, please let us know, and we will insure that your food options will take your dietary restrictions into account.
 
13. Is it safe to drink the water?
We recommend that you drink only bottled water (not tap water) and use bottled water for tooth-brushing as well. Each lodge and camp that you visit will supply you with bottled water in your room or tent, and bottled water will be available at meals as well as in the vehicle during game drives.
 
14. What kind of weather will we experience?
Tanzania is just south of the equator and is warm all year round. The geographic variations create three different climate areas: the eastern coastal area is tropical—hot and humid; the central plateau (3000 to 7000 feet) is hot during the day (75 to 90 degrees) and cool at night, sometimes down into the 40s, depending upon the altitude; and the highland areas are more temperate. The coolest months throughout the country are from June to October, which is Tanzania’s winter, and the warmest months are from December to March, which is Tanzania’s summer.

When you visit the northern Tanzanian national parks, your safari will take you to a variety of places within the central plateau.

 
15. How are the roads in Tanzania?
From Arusha, the start of your safari, to Tarangire and the Ngorongoro Crater entrance gate, the road has an excellent tarmac surface. Within the national parks, the roads are gravel, and they can vary, depending upon when they were last graded. Plan for bumpy roads with some dust, depending upon the season when you travel.
 
16. Will I have electricity for using and charging my camera equipment?
You will be able to charge your camera batteries and use your back-up equipment, for those of you who shoot with digital cameras. But, you should bring plug adaptors and a converter because Tanzania’s electricity is 220-250V AC, 50Hz, but subject to power fluctuations.

You will be able to charge your equipment at most camps and lodges, although hours of availability may vary. At our luxury mobile camps, you may ask our camp staff to run the generator so that you can charge your batteries or download your photographs to a storage device. You can also charge batteries during game drives using the inverter that is installed in the vehicle.

 
 
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