Frequently Asked Questions
You can book a suggested Itinerary from our website. These trips offer the convenience of a pre-set itinerary and a fixed price, with flexible scheduling. Travel dates are up to you. We only organise private Safaris. That means that only you and your travel partner(s) will be on the tour. There will be only you on the transfers, the Safari vehicle and the tours. This gives you much flexibility on where to stop and tracing your favourite animals. Or you can start from scratch and work with us to develop a totally customized itinerary and schedule. We are enthusiastically open to side trips, detours, special needs and special plans. For a booking we need an advance payment of 30% of the tour price, the remaining balance you can pay here at arrival. Please note that we don’t accept US$ notes issued before the year 1997! The advance payment you need to wire to our account in Tanzania. We do not encourage using credit card payments at present since we had some problems with frauds in the past. We do not consider it safe at present and do therefore, prefer payment by bank transfer. But if you wish, you can pay by Visa or Mastercard with a surcharge of 10 %. Pls let us know in case so that we can inform you about the procedure. After receiving your advance payment (or the proof of payment by e-mail) we will start to book all services to you. After confirming all services we come back to you with the confirmation voucher.
- Full board lodging (3 meals a day) on Safari, whether in hotels, lodges, tented camps, mobile tented camps, or bush camps as specified in your itinerary
- Half board (2 meals a day on Zanzibar)
- All your park and game reserves fees, including conservation fees
- Unlimited game drives in our safari vehicles-window seat guaranteed.
- All in-country transportation as specified in your itinerary, whether by vehicle or bush plane
- One of our experienced in-country safari guides.
- Excursions, as specified in your itinerary
- Unlimited bottled water in our safari vehicles
- International airfare
- Any expenses incurred in conjunction with this trip while in your home country.
- Cost of obtaining required passports or visas: Tanzania US$50pp,
- Kenya US$50pp. You will get the Visa at your arrival point; your passport needs to be valid at least half a year.American citizens need to pay 100 US$, and get only a multiple entry visa (since September 2007)
- Airport departure taxes: Tanzania/Zanzibar domestic departure tax US$5pp one way, Tanzania/Zanzibar international departure tax US$25pp – payable direct in cash on departure Iif it is not yet included in your ticket). There is a new ‘security fee’, for domestic flights being 1 US$ per person, for international flights 8 US$.
- Travel Insurance. Please make sure that you obtain a convenient travel insurance in your home country excess baggage fees. Note: Baggage is restricted to 33lbs/15kgs for domestic flights, per person in a soft sided bag on all charter flights.
- Medical expenses, meals or activities not specified or indicated as optional;
- Gratuites/Tipping for your guides, safari cooks etc..
Our trips use tiered pricing based on logistics. Getting people into remote areas where the best game viewing exists is more costly when there are only two people in the Land Rover, rather than four or five. Economies of scale result in lower pricing for four or five people traveling together as opposed to pricing for a couple traveling alone. As well, the logistics of moving gear around for a walking safari with numerous bush camps is more complicated and costly than a trip that involves simply staying at a lodge. Our pricing structure is tiered so you pay for the costs of your safari and don’t subsidize other groups. Our trips have no hidden costs. We don’t quote you a low price and then tell you that, in addition you have to pay your park fees or that in-country transportation is extra. When we quote you a trip price it includes almost everything while you are in-country. The few items not included like gratuities, passport and visa fees, and beverages are set forth above. Our trip prices range over a wide scale. The price depends of:
- The number of people traveling in the group
- Whether you’re in-country transportation is by bush plane or Land Rover
- Whether you choose to stay in lodges or smaller tented camps
- How remote you want to go
- Whether you want to view game from a mobile tented camp
- Whether you want to participate in walking safaris that involve remote bush camps
There is no cutoff. However, flights into Kenya and Tanzania are limited and we find that there can be problems getting seats on British Airways or KLM if you try to schedule less than two months ahead of time. Peak seasons also book up as far as nine months ahead of time. Mid to late December is a busy time in both Kenya and Tanzania. Outside of peak seasons, you should have no trouble booking if you schedule your safari at least six to eight months in advance
Let’s start with when it’s raining season: November, April and May. During those month Safaris are possible, and it is by far not raining every day. Even if, then only for a few hours. But it can get hard if you want to visit remote places. The mass migration moves from Kenya into the Serengeti in Tanzania in December, January, February, and March. That can be a spectacular time to travel in Tanzania. Climate changes are triggering some changes in the timing of the migration, so check with us if you are interested in traveling on the edges of the normal migratory months. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t great game viewing at other times. Off-peak season can be a very relaxing time. The lodges are less crowded and the game reserves not involved in the migratory pathways have as much game as normal. It’s all a matter of what you want. Check with us if you have specific time frames in mind for your travel and we can help you plan where to be so you get the best possible game viewing experiences.
Most of East Africa is savannah, comparable to the high plateau, semi-desert areas of Colorado or New Mexico. Altitude ranges from 3,000 to 7,000 feet. (Obviously Kilimanjaro climbers will experience much higher altitudes.) Temperatures during the day range from 75 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Nights are cool with temperatures dipping as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit in some areas (Ngorongoro Crater, for example). Even though you will be traveling near the equator, please take our packing recommendations seriously and take along a light jacket or sweatshirt, sweater, and a fleece pullover. Additionally, bring something warm to sleep in at night. Humidity is low. If you don’t travel near the rainy season, it usually doesn’t rain.
You get to choose the activity level of your safari. Traditional Land Rover safaris require little or no physical activity, although you can add all kinds of active adventures to your safari, including an afternoon walking safari, a morning horseback ride, or a boating adventure. Our Walking Safari, and Kilimanjaro Climb, are quite active. These trips include 8 to 10 walking days. Each walking day involves 3 to 6 hours on foot, with a Land Rover shadowing the group so you can walk as much of that time as you want and ride the rest of the way. On these trips, you also spend some time in a traditional Land Rover safari, but these safaris are definitely for people who want to be more active.
We recommend that you bring light casual clothes, (please bring khaki clothing, sunglasses, sunscreen, hat and insect repellent if you go on safari). In the evenings it can get rather chilly, especially in the desert areas and in the months of May-August, so bring a sweater and a windbreaker. Certain 5-star hotels require a smart dress code for dinner.
Tanzania uses 220 Volt, but you will need adapters. Most hotels have adapters available. On our Safari cars you can recharge your phone and cameras with the cigarette lighter. We also have small transformersin in combination with the cigarette lighters (producing 220 Volt), please let us know in advance if you would need this. Especially on camping Safaris there is no other way to charge than the cars electricity.
food is excellent and you will find a good mix of African, European and International cuisine. Fresh vegetables, seafood and meats make it an exceptional culinary experience to travel here. South African wines are sold everywhere, and are excellent. Tap water is not drinkable in most areas, only bottled water should be consumed. prices of beverages (depending on hotel/location): bottled water 1,5 l: 1 – 2 US$ soft drinks: 1 US$ beer: 1.5 – 2.5 US$ glass of wine: 3 – 4 US$ bottle South African wine: 15 – 25 US$
Before you leave for an international destination you should consult your physician. You will also need to decide on a malaria prevention medication. It is advised to take malaria prophylaxis. Please see also here: Yellow Fever vaccination since 1.1.08 If you traveled before arrival to Tanzania in an yellow fever endemic zone, then vaccination for Yellow Fever is since 1.1.08 obligatory again. The Yellow Fever Endemic Zone include the following Countries: Senegal, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote D’Ivore, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria, Mali, Niger, Chad, Central African Republic, Togo, Benin, Sao Tome and Principe, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, United Republic of Tanzania, Angola, Zambia, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Somali, Sudan and Equatorial Guinea, Panama, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana and Bolivia Travelers who happen to be on transit in any of the Yellow Fever Endemic Countries will be exempted from the requirement of inoculation against Yellow Fever; Transit means remaining at the Airport under the Management of Airport Authority awaiting travel connection. YELLOW FEVER VACCINATION ON ARRIVAL AT JRO is provided at entry points free of charge for 2008, later it’s 50 US$ per person Other vaccinations like hepatitis, tetanos are recommended.
Visitors from most countries require a visa in order to enter Tanzania. All visitors can purchase a visa at the point of entry. You need a passport valid at least half a year, and to pay 50 US$ cash. It is most of the time only a 30 minutes procedure but can take longer if there are several arrivals at a time. American citizens need to pay 100 US$, and get only a multiple entry visa (since September 2007) If you intend to fly to Nairobi and then travel on to Tanzania, remember that you may also require a multiple entry visa to enter Kenya, even if it is only for a few hours. The Visa for Kenya and Tanzania is 50 US$ per person for each country (except of American citizens, see above).
Some of the happiest travelers I have met are those that don’t take a camera with them and just enjoy what they see, but most people want a record of some of the fantastic sights along the way. You will get fairly close to a lot of the wildlife, but a good 35 mm camera with a 75-300 zoom lens will certainly help you take some great shots. It is always best to buy your film before you travel, because film here is expensive and not as fresh. 100 – 200 ASA is a good speed for general photography here. Though it can get bright, you might want to be able to get some action shots and the higher speed film will be helpful. Some peop le also like to use 400 ASA for fast moving animals and evening shots. A beanbag is much better than a tripod for photos from the car. (The safari vehicle should have a pop-up or removable roof to make photography easier.) A cable release is useful to get shots without camera motion. Also, a flash can help with indoor and campfire shots. Remember to bring extra batteries for your camera equipment. Most people find they take 2 to 3 rolls of film per day whilst on safari. If you bring a video camera, don’t forget the tapes (very expensive here) and the recharging accessories. You can generally recharge the camera at lodges and from the vehicle.
Driver-Guides ( 2,4 and 6 clients) – we recommend the tip per couple e.g. up to 20$ to 30$ per day Camp Cooks ( 2,4 and 6 clients) – Cook expect up to 20$ per day, per couple Hotels and Camps (two to a room) , we recommend to tip the porters e.g. 1$ or more as they wish for the guy carrying their bags, and at the restaurant they can tip as they wish, but we remind them the tipping box on which the tip goes fairly to even a Chef, dishwashers ect. d) Taxi Drivers ( 2 and 4 clients) e.g. 5 to 10$ sharing e) Restaurants – as above f) airport porters – e.g. 1$ to 2$
Eastern Sun Tours and Safaris recommend tipping to our driver guides, porters, Mountain guides, Chefs as per the following; Tipping; recommended as follows; but will depend on how the team made your trip successful;Kilimanjaro 1 head guide e.g. 25 to 35 per day (sharing) Assistant – 20 to 25 per day (sharing) Cook – 20 to 25 per day (sharing) porters 30 to 50 per porter per trip (sharing) as a group restaurant waiters/waitresses – 10% of bill; hotel housekeeping – $2 per day.
The unit of local currency is the Tanzania Shilling (TSh). American dollars in cash or travellers cheques are acceptable in many places around town (note: AMEX Travellercheques are often not accepted). Credit cards are excepted only in big hotels, and if you do manage to find a place to use them there will usually be a surcharge of at least 10%. Please note not to bring US$ notes issued before 2002, as they are not accepted here! In Arusha, Dar and Zanzibar there are ATM’s where you can get local currency with your Visa or Mastercard.