Ask just about anyone you know if doing a safari in Africa is on their bucket list, and they say YES.
The thing is, most of these people wait until they’re retired before theyÂ even think about going on a safari. Why? It’s primarily a cost thing. When people think of a safari, they think EXPENSIVEâ€”upwards of $10,000 per person.
Yes, there are safari packages available for that much money (and considerably more), but it doesn’t have to be that way.
That’s why I decided to hack the system, starting my own safari company in Tanzania in 2011,Â Pamoja Safaris. I wanted toÂ introduce a younger demographic to the awesomeness of seeing some of the most majestic animals on earth in their natural habitats.
Sure, no matter how you slice it, it’s not an inexpensive trip. But, if you want to do a safari in Tanzania anytime in the near futureâ€”with an awesome group of people to bootâ€”this will be your best bet.
This trip is scheduled for two departures in 2018:
- November 3-10, 2018
- December 1-8, 2018
- Optional post-safariÂ Kilimanjaro Summit December 10-17, 2018
It’s gonna be some FUN times. But hey–don’t just take my word for it!
Imagine thousands and thousands of zebras and wildebeests as far as you can see in just about every direction! Words cannot describe just how truly incredible this whole experience was! The 800+ photos do a better job, but there’s nothing like being there and living the dream for yourself. Thank you Pamoja Safaris, you’ve made this a trip I will never forget!!!
Seeing animals is a given, but what I wasnâ€™t expecting were the incredible guides that Pamoja Safaris has working for them. They were so knowledgeable and friendly, and went out of their way to make sure everyone had a great time. We were also able to experience the local culture; I have wonderful memories of meeting the Maasai tribe members. I wish everyone had the opportunity to experience what I did.
Our safari was the trip of a lifetime!Â My dad and I both fell in love with Tanzania and our experience would never have been the same without our guide, Josh.Â He was so knowledgeable, kind and easy going, and we feel lucky to have gotten such a unique perspective of Tanzania, it’s people, the animals and life, in general!
Having gone on safaris in southern Africa, I’ve always dreamt of going on one in Tanzania. Pamoja Safaris was not only able to fulfill that dream but exceeded my expectations for what a safari should be like. Their professionalism, knowledge of the parks, and what they taught us about the Maasai people and culture made the trip one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
My trip with Pamoja Safaris was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I never imagined I would get to be up close and personal with animals I’d only dreamed ofâ€”lions, leopards, cheetahs, and more! Scott and his team were incredible guides, and made the trip better than I ever imagined. If you have the opportunity to travel with Pamoja, do it!
WOW! What an incredible experience with Pamoja Safaris! I had always wanted to go on an African safari “some day”, but had no idea where to even begin planning such a trip. Pamoja Safaris took care of everything, from seamless airport transportation, to perfect accommodation, to the delicious meals, and everything in betweenâ€”including some unexpected surprises that really made the trip extra special!
I absolutely loved my Pamoja safari. Â The Serengeti is beautiful. Â The Pamoja team was incredible!Â Josh went above and beyond to ensure we enjoyed our time–even driving extra hours to show us the great wildebeest migration.Â Scott made the entire process smooth and easy-peasy.Â I’d recommend this trip a million times over!
I woke up to giraffes outside my tent at sunrise, was eyeballed by an elephant from two metres away, had a zero-metre experience with a cheetah on our truck, learned the sheer fun of truck surfing, watched six-week-old lion cubs play, and saw a lioness scare off a male lion right in front of us (she roared at him and we all nearly wet our pants). Massive thanks to Scott for making all this awesomeness happen!
Pamoja Safaris enabled me to fulfill a lifelong dream of seeing the African wildlife up close in its natural habitat. Â Our guide did everything possible to ensure our experience would stand out as one of the greatest of our lifetimes. Â Mission Accomplished!
Scott put on a really incredible safari. The entire trip blew my mindâ€”it was more than I expected. Take what you’re expecting, forget all of thatâ€”it’s going to be WAY better than you ever expected. The attention to details, the way they cater to your every need, the most knowledgeable guides you could imagineâ€”we’re definitely going to come back again with Scott and his team.
My favorite moment was when a cheetah literally jumped on our car. I never thought I’d see such a majestic creature, just three feet away from me. Pamoja Safaris took us to all kinds of different placeâ€”it was definitely one of the best vacations of my life.
I was completely blown away by my incredible trip with Pamoja Safaris. As a world traveler, I knew I wanted to do a safari someday, so when I had the chance to go with a small group led by Scott, Josh, and Jonas, I jumped at the chance. But I didnâ€™t realize just how amazing it would be. Iâ€™m already thinking about my next visit!
Going Pamoja is first-rate–you’ll feel like family. AÂ well-planned, well-executed, well-experienced adventure trip. THANK YOU for making it happen.
The entire experience was way more than I expected. The lodging, the food, the guidesâ€”even the vehicles were great! I really appreciated the friendly and knowledgeable guides, they made the trip that much more special. Several times we found ourselves in remote areas with no other people around, seeing animals within a meter of our vehicle (or on our vehicle in one instance). It really was the trip of a lifetime!!
Table of Contents
Your mission is to spend an all-inclusive week in Tanzania with aÂ curated group of amazingÂ people, exploring the wildlife, nature, and inhabitantsÂ of this amazing country. We'll hit up all of the must-see spots that you've heard about before--the never-ending plains of the Serengeti, the caldera of Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area, the great wildebeest migration, Kilimanjaro*--and a few that are totally off the radar.Â
And, the best part? We'll do it all in style.
That means premium accommodations from start to finish. We're talking super-buffet breakfasts, comfy beds, and elephants grazing just outside of your bedroom (please do not pet them).
EVERYTHING will be taken care of--from airport pick-up to drop-off. Three meals per day, guides, transportation via Land Cruisers, park fees, accommodation, tips, etc., etc.
You don't even need to bring any money with you at all if you don't mind skipping souvenirs and alcohol, because those are the only things not included in the package.
Make no mistake--this is some real epic Lion King-type adventureÂ you're getting into. In fact, I challenge you to not have the theme song to the movie playing in your headÂ as you see the sun rise over the Serengeti.
In a word? EPIC.
You'll be accompanied by yours truly, along with my friend and business partner Josh. Josh has 20 years of experience guiding visitors through his country, and is an absolute master of animal behavior and identification. We will also be joined by Jonas, our head guide who also has 18 years of experience leading safaris.
We'll be traveling inÂ two Land Cruisers, and will be with each otherÂ every day on a pretty fixed schedule. There won't be a ton of opportunity to go off and do your own thing, as weÂ will be together most of the time--whether it be on safari in the parks, or at the lodges, relaxing or enjoying meals.
Accommodation will be in twin rooms, and you'll be paired with another participant of the same sex (single room supplements available--see Money StuffÂ for more information). This person may change throughout the trip, as we will be staying in four different lodges throughout our time together.
I'm primarily targeting friends and family of mine for this particular promotional trip, and you know you're all cool humans, so half the fun will beÂ making new friends and the time we spend together (but if you don't know me--but are a cool person--you are invited as well).
In the summer of 2010 I traveled to Africa for the very first time, alongside my father. It had always been a dream of his to go on a safari, and lucky for me, I invited me along. We were in a group of sixteen Americans, and we spent the next twelve days exploring everything there was to see and do in northern Tanzania.
Our group was assigned three guides, and I quickly became friends with one of them--Josh. Josh was by far the most outgoing, friendly, humorous one of the three. In fact, everyone wanted to ride in his Land Cruiser everyday, as his knowledge of the animals was unmatched. He would see a predator looking in a specific direction and know what was going to happen, circling around slowly to get us a better view of the action once the chase was on. It was an amazing time
I had elected to stay in Tanzania an entire month, solo, visiting Zanzibar and Kilimanjaro after the safari tour had ended and my father had gone back to the U.S. Throughout the rest of my time in the country Josh stayed in touch, and assisted me multiple times when it came to anything I was looking to do (bus bookings, etc.).
After I summited Kilimanjaro, on my last day in the country, Josh invited me over to his house to met his wife and kids. He picked me up at my hotel and we drove a while to his house, situated just a ways from Arusha city (the starting point for most of the safari trips in the country). It was during that car ride that the idea hit me: I was an entrepreneur that was used to starting up businesses, I loved animals and nature in general, and I was looking for a new venture after doing web development for much of the past decade. He was a proficient, personable guide with many years of experience. I wonder...
"Josh, have you ever thought about starting your own safari company?", I asked.
"I was thinking of maybe opening up a shop near my home..." he replied.
"Hmm...what if we opened our own safari company together? If we combine your strengths and mine, I think we could make something great...", I asked.
And with that short car-ride conversation, Pamoja Safaris was born.
Just because you're on safari doesn't mean that you have to rough it! We'll be staying in some of the best lodges and luxury tented camps Tanzania has to offer, complete with comfy beds, buffet breakfasts, warm-water showers, and gorgeous views. You might even be able to see some of the animals from your lodge, as they feed on the grasses and trees outside of your balcony.
We will be securing a number of twin rooms for everybody to share at each of the locations we'll be visiting (Arusha city, Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area, and Serengeti National Park). If you're traveling solo you'll be matched up with somebody of the same sex, or, you can pay a bit of additional money to grab a room all to yourself for the duration of the trip (see Money Stuff, below).
We use only the most comfortable, feature-equipped, custom Toyota Land Cruisers available. Some days we'll be spending upwards of eight hours inside of these steel beasts, so it's of utmost importance that you're comfortable the entire way.
Another way that we make sure that you're enjoying the safari to the max is not over-packing each vehicle! Many safari providers will put a person in every seat, but that doesn't allow much room for backpacks, camera equipment, etc. For our 7+1 seat configuration vehicles (seven passenger seats plus one driver seat), we never put more than five or six passengers inside, leaving enough room for your belongings and to easily move around when you want to grab that perfect shot.
While on game drives, much of the time you'll be standing on the seats with your head poking out the top of the vehicle (which allows a 360 degree view of what's around you). To allow this, the roof pops up if you push on it, and the covering stays above your head, shielding you from the sun.
We'll be together for eight days total, including an arrival day, a departure day, and six full days of safari. The safari itself will encompass three separate parks (Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, and Serengeti National Park), and one conservation area (Ngorongoro Conservation Area).
Most days we will wake around 7:00am-8:00am, have breakfast, then do a morning safari while the animals are still active. Around noon we will either head back to the lodge or have a picnic lunch, then rest for a couple hours afterward, as the animals are their least active during the midday sun. At around 3:30pm we will head out again on a late afternoon-till-dusk game drive, returning back to the lodge at sunset (it is not permitted to drive at night in the parks). You'll have a bit of time to wash up and change clothes, then it's time for dinner. After dinner you may hang around the bar for some drinks and conversation, or head to bed to relax, as you see fit.
For more information a detailed day-by-day itinerary can be found below.
Dates are set for November 3-10 and December 1-8, 2018.Â (for the safari portion of the trip).
Day 00: Leave the U.S.Â (or wherever you may be) (Friday, November 2/November 30)
If coming from the U.S. you'll be taking a flight the day before, as it's a bit of a long flight with at least one, but most likely two layovers.
Day 01: Arrival to Arusha (A) (Saturday, November 3/December 1)
Arrive into Arusha via air, where we will pick you up at the airport. After that you'll be dropped off at your hotel in/around the city. Enjoy some down time after the long flight, and then we'll reconvene for dinner in the hotel restaurant.After dinner, meet with your driver and guide Josh. We will go over the schedule for the next few days in general, focusing primarily on the itinerary for the next day. After dinner retire to your room and get a good rest, as we'll start early the next day.
Day 02: Arusha toÂ Tarangire National Park (B) (Sunday, November 4/December 2)
Wake up around 7:00am and head to the restaurant for breakfast. We will be trying to leave the city around 8:00am on our way toÂ TarangireÂ National Park and Manyara National Park (approx. two hours driving).We will spend the late morning doing a game drive in one of the two parks (they are next to each other), meeting together for lunch at our next lodge in the afternoon. After lunch, we will have some time to digest (a siesta of sorts), as the animals are less active during this hottest time of the day. At around 3:30pm we will head out again and do a late afternoon game drive in the park, returning to the lodge at dusk in time for dinner.After dinner we will do a recap of the day, and a presentation over what to expect the next day. After that you're free to go back to your room and rest, or hang out with the other guests at the lodge bar.
Day 03: Tarangire National Park to SerengetiÂ National Park (via Ngorongoro) (D) (Monday, November 5/December 3)
After breakfast at the lodge we will make our way out of the park (with a game drive on the way), and head towards Ngorongoro Conservation Area around lunchtime. After receiving our entry permits and passing through the gates, we will stop at the top of the now extinct volcano to grab some photos from the top.We'll make our way out of the conservation area onward to Serengeti National Park, where we will need to grab additional entry passes. After receiving clearance, we will make our way to your lodge (game drive on the way), arriving just before nightfall. Dinner at the lodge, followed by the day's briefing. (Total driving time this day is about five to six hours, so we'll be sure to make as many stops as needed for restrooms and to stretch our legs on the way.)
Day 04: Serengeti National ParkÂ (D) (Tuesday, November 6/December 4)
Sleep in a bit, eat breakfast, then we head out for a game drive until lunchtime, which will be back at the lodge. We'll then spend a few more hours out on the plains, looking out for leopards, cheetahs, and lions that are all over the area. Dinner back at the lodge, after which we will talk about the schedule for the next few days in the Serengeti.
Day 05: Serengeti National ParkÂ (D) (Wednesday, November 7/December 5)
This is the day where we will try to catch up with the wildebeest herds. This time of year they are in the western part of the park, so not the easiest to get to. We'll make things easier by camping in the general area, allowing for shorter drive times.Depending on how the herds are moving, we may opt for a picnic lunch to be able to spend more time out on the plains in search of the wildebeest. Long day with plenty of driving, so we'll make sure to advance at a comfortable pace with as many breaks as needed. Dinner back at the lodge after returningÂ around dusk.
Day 06: Serengeti National ParkÂ (West) toÂ Ngorongoro Conservation Area (C) (Thursday, November 8/December 6)
After breakfast we will make a slow departure towards the east, heading towards Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area (while looking for animals on the way, of course). Arrive at our beautiful destination, overlooking the twelve mile wide crater at around 10:00am. We will spend the entire morning driving through the crater, after which we will have a picnic lunch at a designated area within the park around 1:00pm. After lunch we will continue our game drive for a few more hours before heading back to our lodge for the evening.
Day 07: Lake Manyara National Park & Maasai VillageÂ (C) (Friday, November 9/December 7)
After breakfast at the lodge we will head towards Arusha, stopping at Lake Manyara National Park for a few hours to see the abundant bird, monkey, and hippo population there before grabbing lunch within the park. After lunch we will stop at local craftsmen's workshops to see how the locals maintain their traditional art forms (this is a good time to buy any souvenirsÂ you may want to purchase). After that we will have the chance to stop by a local Maasai village, to see their traditional dances, handicrafts, and the way in which they live their lives. Special farewell dinner that evening to cap things off.
Day 08: Arusha to Home (Departure)Â (Saturday, November 10/December 8)
Although exact timing depends on your departure schedule, generally we will wake up, have a leisurely breakfast, and then relax at the lodge until it's time to drive you to the airport for your flight.
Post-trip: Summit Kilimanjaro
Summiting Kilimanjaro has been a trophy of many a visitor to east Africa, and rightly so--the extinct volcano towers above everything else as far as the eye can see, top encrusted in a glaze of glacier ice that has slowly been melting since the last ice age.
After a full day of rest in Arusha post-safari, we will be driving the five or so hours to the trailhead of Kilimanjaro. From there we begin our five day ascent and two day descent along the Machame route--also known as the "Whiskey Route".
This will all be taking place after the December safari has finished, from December 10-17, 2018.
Gear & Porters
You do not need to bring your own gear, but can if you'd like. The only absolutely necessary component is to bring a pair of worn-in boots for the hiking, as tennis shoes won't be sufficient (or warm enough)--and if they're fresh out of the box you'll get blisters on day one.
As far as the jacket, insulated pants, trekking poles, hat, gloves, tent, and sleeping bag, you can rent all of that in town (yes, it does get very cold at night, especially as you near the peak). Fear not though--you won't need to carry all of that plus your food and water on your own back! Kilimanjaro National Park actually requires the use of porters, and for every one of you there are about three of them (because remember, they need to carry food and water for themselves too, and are limited by law as to how much they are allowed to carry).
The porters are, in fact, so skilled at climbing the mountain--even under heavy load--that you'll find that even though they leave after you in the morning (as it is their job to tend to camp), they are already at theÂ next camp, everything set up, food cooking on the stove by the time you reach there late afternoon.
Our guide and assistant guide both have many years of climbing experience--this is what they do for a living. Usually one will follow in the rear while the other leads us from the front.
These guys are "captains" of our proverbial ship, so what the guides say goes. If they decide someone has had enough and shouldn't proceed any further, we listen to their judgement (see Notice, below).
We will also be accompanied by a chef who's only job is to cook meals for us and the rest of our staff every morning, afternoon, and evening. You need as many calories as you can get when hiking up and down the side of Kilimanjaro all day!
Route & Schedule
Day 00: Post-safari Rest Day (December 9)
This will take place after Day 8 of the safari trip, so in effect it will count as Day 9 of your trip. We will be relaxing at our lodge in Arusha and making preparations for the climb, including talking over the plans for the days ahead.
Day 01: Drive from Arusha to the KilimanjaroÂ Machame GateÂ (5.1 mi/8.2km) (December 10)
From Arusha drive to the Machame Park gate, then begin a gentle climb up through the mountain forest, carpeted with unique "busy lizzie" flowers, begonias and ferns. First camp is situated amongst the giant heather plants at 9,840ft (3,000m). (Total ascent: 3,880ft/1,182m during 5-6 hours walking.)
Day 02: Machame Camp to Shira Camp (3.1mi/5km) (December 11)
Emerge from the giant heather zone and hike through fine open moorland to camp by the Shira Cave at 12,600ft (3,840m). Herds of eland antelope sometimes graze up here, and there are fascinating geological features in the old volcanic caldera which can be viewed during a half hour optional walk in the afternoon. (Total ascent: 2,650ft/808m during 5-6 hours walking.)
Day 03: Shira Camp to Barranco Camp (6.5 miles/10.4km) (December 12)
From Shira, climb towards the main peak Kibo, with the western glaciers clearly visible across the rugged high altitude desert of volcanic rocks and boulders. Skirting its base and walking under the imposing Western Breach, descend into the sheltered Barranco Valley to make our mid-way camp at 12,795ft (3,900m). (Total ascent: 230ft/70m during 7-8 hours walking--a very 'up and down' day.)
Day 04: Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp (3.2mi/5.1km) (December 13)
Up the steep Barranco Wall with some sections of very easy scrambling and drop down again to the Karanga Valley. This is a short walking day, around 3 hours, and again you climb about 300m but drop back down again to around 4,100m. Thereâ€™s an optional further acclimatisation hike in afternoon up onto the scree below the glaciers. (Total ascent: 656ft/200m during 3 hours walking.)
Day 05: Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp (2.2mi/3.5km) (December 14)
Up to a new camp about 100m above Barafu Hut perched high on a rocky bluff at 14,200ft (4,330m). Fantastic views across to Mawenzi peak, and a just "a bit more" to climb tomorrow morning! This is another short walking day--after which there's time for lunch, thenÂ a good rest in the afternoon immediately before the hard summit night/morning. (Total ascent:Â 755ft/230m during 4 hours walking.)
Day 06: Barafu Camp to the Summit (Kibo) to Mweka Camp (10.8mi/17.4km) (December 15)
A bracing 1:00am start to climb the steep frozen scree up to the summit. This is unavoidable on any route, but we want to aim to reach Stella Point (on the crater rim) for sunrise--another 40 minutes later and magically youâ€™re at the highest point on the continent, bathing in the sun's warmth (which is much appreciated at that elevation).After reaching the Kibo summit and snapping the prerequisite photos, we then return via the Mweka descent route. Total walking time will be around 7 hours (4,265ft/1,300m ascent) to the summit, then a 6-8 hour (9,186ft/2,800m) descent to Mweka camp, set in a clearing amongst the giant heather. This is a long and hard day--youâ€™ll feel really tired, but also absolutely ecstatic that youâ€™ve finally done it. Enjoy your sleep--you've earned it!
Day 07: Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate to Arusha (5.5mi/8.8km) (December 16)
We finish up with a 4 hour descent through the forest to Mweka Gate to collect our certificates and meet our vehicle. Return to Arusha, arriving mid afternoon, thenÂ check into our hotel for some R&R. (Total descent: 4,690ft/1,430m during 4 hours walking.)
Day 08: Arusha to Kilimanjaro Airport (December 17)
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and lounge at the hotel before your flight home (or your next destination). (Airport transfers will be taken care of by us.)
Time & Money
The Kilimanjaro post-trip extension will require one rest/prep day post-safari, five days of ascent, two days of descent, and one day/night of recovery, making itÂ nine days in total.
The final cost will be $2,790 extra for the entire extension (all nine days, including meals and accommodation). This will be due along with your final safari payment, no later than 60 days before the start of the trip (September 30, 2018).
Although Kilimanjaro does not require any previous mountaineering experience, nor does it require any technical skills, do not let that fool you--it is a long, strenuous climb at extremely high elevation. You should be in reasonably good physical shape, and training is advised prior to coming over to Tanzania (at high elevation, if possible).
Even with all the training and physical fitness in the world though, the altitude can still get the best of you. If one of our professional guides decides you should not continue, you'll need to stop ascending (and most likely start descending). Hypoxia (altitude sickness) can cause vomiting, dizziness, loss of appetite, loss of sleep, and even death in the most serious cases, and is nothing to be messed with.
THIS IS NOT A BUDGET TRIP.Â If you're looking to do the cheapest safari possible, you can find thatÂ in other countries with less expensive park fees (e.g. South Africa, Kenya, etc.), or by joining a scheduled group tour. There are also many managed game reserves in places such as Kenya where they fence in a large area and carefully manage wildlife numbers--like an open-air zoo.
This, however, is not a game reserve--this is 100% natural, as-nature-intended. Animals come and go as they please, there are no fences, and the land area is HUGE--nearly 5,800sq. mi (15,000sq. km) for Serengeti National Park by itself.
That being said, the trip is not prohibitively expensive (especially with the $2,000 discount we are providing), and is actually a greatÂ deal if compared to other all-inclusive, private Tanzanian safari packages. (Not even factoring inÂ the huge bonus that you'll be with an amazing group of humans, along with yours truly.)
Please be aware that I am putting this together at near-cost pricing, as I'm looking to take photos and videos during the trip to use for promotional purposes. (If you don't want to be photographed and/or videotaped, this may not be the best tour for you to join.)
There will be 11 spots open for both trips. In order to secure your spot there will be a non-refundable $1,000 deposit required. First come, first served. (The deposit will be applied to the trip balance.)
The balance for the entire trip--one more payment of $2,290 (plus the entire amount of the KIlimanjaro climb, if you're doing that)--will be due 60 days before the start date of the trip. If your payment is not received by that day you may lose your initial deposit/place on the trip (I will inform you when the date is approaching if I haven't heard from you yet).
Total pricing (for both trips) will be raised to $3,490 at 12:00am ET on September 1, 2018.
What the $3,290 payment includes:
- 8 days/7 nights of accommodation in luxury lodges and tented camps (see Accommodation above)
- Double Occupancy in twin bed rooms. If you are not traveling with a companionÂ you will be matched up according to gender. If you want your own room this canÂ be arranged for an extra $500.
- Guide services the entire time
- Airport pick-up/drop-off
- 3 meals per day
- Unlimited bottled water
- Guide & staffÂ gratuity
- All taxes and surcharges
- All park and vehicle fees
- Transport via Land Cruiser to/within parks, incl. petrol charges and driver meals and accommodation
What the $3,290 payment does NOT include:
- Flights to/fromÂ Tanzania (closest international airport: Kilimanjaro - JRO)
- Alcohol & beverages other than water
- $100 Tanzanian visa fee (see Visa, below)
Weather & Packing
Tanzania in November and December is quite temperate, partially owing to the fact that the spots we are going to visit are well above sea level. Daytime is generally in the high 70's/low 80's fahrenheit (26C-30C-ish), and the evenings are cool enough that you'd want a hoodie or windbreaker with you just in case you get cold. Rain is usually infrequent and brief, and the grasses that cover the plains are at the lowest growth point of the season, allowing for easy spotting of game.
We also have the added bonus of November/early December being one of the least busy parts of the year when it comes to tourism, so we won't have much competition when it comes to jockeying for position with other groups to see that lion eat its dinner.
In short, this is the perfect time of year to go on safari.
What to wear? Well, you'll want to bring muted colors, as animals can sometimes react aggressively towards bright colors (think of bulls and the color red). You'll also want to stay away from dark colors, such as dark blue or black, as flies can be attracted to you that way. So, the best thing to wear? Unsurprisingly, khaki.
As mentioned, a windbreaker jacket and hoodie or fleece is recommended for nighttime, but during the day jeans, khaki shorts/pants, T-shirts, etc. are all fair game. Dress comfortably, because there won't be any formal occasions during this trip.
Tanzania is one of the most stable, crime-free countries in Africa. In the rare event crime does happen, it is almost solely crimes of opportunity by the poor to make some extra money--e.g. grabbingÂ your bag or camera when you're not looking. Violent crime is exceedingly rare, especially against tourists (making the country much saferÂ than the U.S., for instance).
Because we will be on safari for most of the trip (and on the side of Kilimanjaro for those doing the post-trip), we really won't have to worry about theft at all. The employees at the lodges wouldn't risk their jobs stealing anything, and the other tourists usually aren't culprits. Sometimes have to watch out for baboons though... (Only half-joking.)
The only spot I would caution vigilance (although I've never had anything happen personally) would be the first and last days in Arusha. Even there though, we will be at the lodge most of the time, so there shouldn't beÂ any issues.
Regardless, I do recommend you purchase travel health and trip protection insurance, just to be on the safe side (see Disclaimer, below).
No matter where you are coming from, getting to Arusha, Tanzania is a bit of a slog. If coming from Europe you can manage it with just one stopover (usually in Nairobi, Kenya; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; or UAE/Qatar), but if you're coming from the U.S. be prepared for a long flight with two or three stopovers (although sometime you can find a single stopover journey, especially if you pay a bit more).
If paying for the flight (as opposed to using air miles), you can expect to pay around $800-$1,500, depending on the date, departure city, and number of stopovers. A great tool to check all of theÂ options available isÂ Google Flights.
If leaving the U.S. it will take you the better part of an entire day to arrive in Arusha, so I would look for flights leaving on November 2nd. (Just make sure to get in at the very latest the evening of November 3rd.)
Visas for U.S. citizens cost USD$100 (other nationalities: $50), and can be purchased at Kilimanjaro International Airport upon arrival. I would bring $100 cash just for this purpose, even if you have no other cash on you when entering the country. Also, be sure to have a pen handy to fill out the arrival card and health form you'll receive on the flight prior to landing. More information on the Tanzanian visa-on-arrival for U.S. citizens can be found here.
Tanzania doesn't really have any more communicable diseases than many of the other spots you might travel.
There is a slight risk of malaria, however it is more along the coast of the country than inland where we will be Â ( 4,500ft/1,400m above sea level for most of the journey). Please talk to your travel medical specialist if you would like to bring anti-malarial medication with you (there are a few different types, but they all have their side effects--I choose to go without and just use longer clothing at night along with some bug spray on exposed skin).
Zika prevalence is low (lower than the U.S.). Ebola is non-existent (there have never been cases of Ebola in Tanzania, even with the 2012 outbreak).
If you're coming straight to Tanzania from a yellow fever-endemic country such as Kenya or Brazil (click here for a full list), you may be required to show proof of vaccination upon arrival at the airport.
This is travel, and unexpected things may happen. Although I will do everything in my power to assist if something goes wrong, you get sick, etc., I nor Pamoja SafarisÂ is in no way legally responsible for your well-being during the duration of the trip. By signing up for this trip you are acknowledging this fact. Medical facilities for routine visits, prescriptions, etc. are few and far between in Tanzania, so you may want to buy travel medical insuranceÂ (and think about the emergency evacuation option possibly) just in case something more serious befalls you.
This also goes for the itinerary as listed above. Although we are pretty set as far as the schedule because hotels are pre-booked, there may be things we may not get to see because of weather, migration patterns, bad luck--who knows.
This is a first-come, first served opportunity. We only have 11 spots for each trip, and once those are gone we are not planning on adding any additional spots.
Secure your spot by clicking the button below and then filling out the form, after which you need to send the initial payment of USD$1,000/person to me (payment details to be provided upon submitting the form).
Once we reach a maximum of 11 people the trip will be closed to new sign-ups, and I will refund any money sent my way (and you'll be added to a waiting list, if you wish).
If you have any questions please send me an email through my Contact Page.
Some of the photos on this page (1, 2, 8, 9, 10, 11) were taken by the amazing John Russell, professional photographer. See more of his work here.