How to prepare for Tanzania Safari

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Know before you Travel Tanzania

Your Complete guide for Tanzania Safaris
Must Read

Know before you Travel Tanzania

Your Complete guide for Tanzania Safaris
Must Read

If you’ve booked a safari in Tanzania there is a good chance you have an ‘all-inclusive package’, meaning meals and accommodations are already arranged as part of your safari adventure.

So, what is there left to do – just pack your bags and set off?

Well, there are a few more things you may need to prepare before you head to Tanzania, and we have outlined them for you. From important documents and vaccinations, to even a suggested packing list, this article makes it easy to prepare for your safari in Tanzania.

Flights to Tanzania

Tanzania has three international airports: Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO); Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar Es Salaam (DAR); and Abeid Amani Karume International Airport in Zanzibar (ZNZ).

Tanzania is a large country and these airports are very far from one another, so it is important that you book your arrival flight at the most convenient airport for your safari, which is probably JRO. This will save you both time and money; even if flying into Dar Es Salaam appears cheaper immediately, you will require a connection flight to Kilimanjaro or a long bus ride or other transport (up to 12 hours’ drive!) if your safari is at one of the Northern parks, not to mention an overnight stay at a hotel, too.

Also, if you are starting your trip to Northern Tanzania from Zanzibar or Dar Es Salaam, it will not be a bad idea to take a connecting flight straight to the local Arusha airport instead of Kilimanjaro International. We will pick you right there, and you’ll not need to ride another 40 km to get to your safari start point.

It is usually best to fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), which is only 50 km from Arusha town – the safari hub of Northern Tanzania. This is the departure point for the majority of safaris.

Once you’ve booked your flights into Kilimanjaro International Airport, provide us with your flight details and we will organize a pick-up from the airport for you. Tour Tamu Africa offers a transfer service and pick-up directly from JRO to your arranged hotel.

Necessary documents and more


It is essential that you have a valid passport for travel into Tanzania. Also, your passport must be valid for 6 months of travel after your arrival in Tanzania. The passport must also have 3-4 blank pages for visa and immigration stamps.

We also recommend having a photocopy of your passport with you, as a regular travel precaution.


Tanzania currently has one required vaccination for arriving visitors – Yellow Fever. This is required if you have come from or spent more than 12 hours in a country that is at risk of Yellow Fever prior to landing in Tanzania. You may be asked to present the vaccination certificate as proof, so make sure to keep this card with you when you travel to Tanzania.

The list of countries with a high risk of yellow fever transmission.

As of September 2022: Tanzania has recently changed its requirements to address concerning about COVID-19 and the global pandemic. Please contact our team for updated and accurate information.

Immigration and visas

You will need to obtain a visitor’s visa for your safari in Tanzania. This common visa is generally hassle-free and can be obtained upon arrival at the airport for nationals of many countries, or in advance through Tanzania’s new e-visa, available online through Tanzania Immigration Department website. We recommend applying for online visa because otherwise it will be necessary to stand in line with other travellers to get an ordinary one.

Travel insurance

It is a good idea to arrange travel insurance. There are many options available for only trip-related activities such as flights and baggage, or more in-depth coverage for medical expenses incurred during your travels.

If you’re planning to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, travel insurance is a requirement.


Thanks to all-inclusive safari packages, you probably won’t need much money while you’re in Tanzania. However, going out for drinks, purchasing souvenirs and tipping

hospitality staff are some circumstances where you may want to have some cash in local currency or in USD.

Before you travel, talk to your bank and let them know you will be out of the country. Set up your debit and/or credit cards for international use.

Make sure your PIN number is 4-digits long, to abide by ATMs in Tanzania.

If you want to bring cash to exchange, many banks across Tanzania offer foreign exchange services. US dollars, Euros or British Pounds generally get decent exchange rates, while other currencies may not be as easy to change.

ATMs and currency exchange at banks are typically only available in cities and towns in Tanzania. Arusha or Moshi are excellent locations to change money, if you plan on bringing cash with you to the Serengeti or another national park. You may pay in USD nearly everywhere, though you will need Tanzania shillings to make payments in local supermarkets.

Pack your luggage

Check out our in-depth packing list for safaris in Tanzania here.

And, if you’re planning to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, there is a packing and gear list too.

The quick version of a safari packing list should include light layers and sensible attire. The weather in Tanzania is warm, but evenings and early mornings in the highlands or northern areas can be chilly. Tanzania is also on the equator, so the afternoon sun is very strong, so a hat and sunscreen are both strongly recommended.

You won’t need fancy footwear or high heels, but a good pair of walking shoes would be a good decision, especially if you enjoy evening walks or are interested in a walking safari in Arusha National Park.

There is no ‘safari uniform’ to wear in Tanzania, despite what the media (and many, many tourists to Tanzania) portray. However, there is some logic behind this all-khaki attire; neutral colors, in light and quick-drying fabrics are a great choice for clothes while on safari. You certainly are not expected to pack only kkhaki-coloreditems, but you may find that wearing neutral tones is a better bet for keeping your clothes cleaner from dust and mud.

There is a popular misconception that coloured clothes may scare the animals. This is not true: to the best of our knowledge most animals see in black-and-white, and they don’t care about the color of your clothes. In fact, they do not distinguish between a safari car and passengers, and perceive them as a whole.

Overall, feel free to pack whatever you like, but be mindful: camouflage clothes are

reserved exclusively for members of the Tanzania People’s Defence Force. General khaki

clothes are allowed.

Make sure to pack:

  • A light jacket or sweater
  • Several long-sleeved shirts
  • Hat or cap for sun protection
  • 1 or 2 pairs of sturdies, comfortable trousers
  • Swim suit (many lodges have swimming pools)
  • Pair of comfortable shoes for walking

Other items

Should I bring binoculars?

Safari cars offered by Tour Tamu Africa Tanzania provide binoculars and wildlife and bird information books for guests, so there is no need to bring your own. If, however, you prefer using your own one, of course, feel free to bring it with you.

What type of electric outlets are used in Tanzania?

Tanzania typically uses a three-pronged plug, sometimes called “a G plug”, like in the United Kingdom. You can bring your own adaptor, or easily purchase one once you arrive in Tanzania if you are coming from a country that uses a different type of electric plug.

The hotels provide socket adapters to anyone having European-type power plugs. You will also find some in our safari cars.

Bring a USB cable for your electronics.

Many safari cars offer USB charging ports right inside the vehicle, so you can keep your phone or camera charged throughout the drive in National Parks.

Is clean drinking water available?

Your Tour Tamu Africa safari guide shall provide you with 1.5 litters of bottled drinking water every day of your safari. And of course, there will be more if you need. Safe, clean drinking water is usually provided at your hotel or lodge, as well.

What about snacks?

Feel free to bring your own snacks, but you’ll also have a boxed lunch or a hot lunch provided throughout your safari tour. Often, guests find the boxed lunch very filling, but there are some guests who want a little extra before suppertime.

If you have dietary restrictions, you may want to bring your favorite snack items from home. However, if you’d like to sample some of Tanzania’s local snacks, your safari guide should be able to help you get some fresh fruits (like bananas or mangos), peanuts, or local donuts from shops near the national parks.

Safari Packing Checklist

When packing for a safari, the most important thing is moderation. While there is no need to go minimalist, you also don’t want to carry an abundance of unnecessary luggage across Africa with you. Remember, travelers on safari will move with their luggage in the safari vehicle throughout the tour. For the days spent in the same hotel or lodge, of course, you will leave your bags back in your room. Hence, if you bring too much luggage it could be an inconvenience or even a hindrance to wildlife viewing.

We have created a packing list, based on years of leading excellent safaris, to help you pack just the right items (but not too much!) for your incredible African safari in Tanzania:

The Ultimate Safari Packing List

Remember that you will spend a great deal of time in the safari car, viewing wildlife. However, you may participate in walking safaris or cultural tours throughout your safari, so you should have practical, comfortable, and sturdy walking shoes. Please leave high heels, fashion sneakers, and platforms for other occasions.

Weather in Tanzania can vary depending on the altitude and time of day. It is wise to bring layers for added warmth, especially in the early mornings and late nights.

Safari Packing List:

  • 1 -2 long-sleeved shirts;
  • warm sweater or light jacket (the temperature in the Ngorongoro falls to 0 de- grees Celcius in the evening and in the morning);
  • Regular, light shirts or T-shirts (preferably 1 pc for every day of safari);
  • 1-2 pairs of light cotton trousers;
  • Shorts or a loose skirt, for the ladies;
  • swimsuit / trunks (most lodges offer a swimming pool);
  • A hat, for the sun (visor or another cap is also acceptable).

You may note that many travellers on safari wear khaki or neutral colors, and avoid bright whites or fluorescent colors. There are several reasons for this: firstly, you will blend in with nature better by wearing neutral tones, whether you are walking or seated in the car; secondly, some areas of Tanzania are very dusty and khaki-colored items are less likely to show discoloration from the dust of the safari than white garments.

What medications should you take on safari?

Keep in mind, every Tour Tamu Africa safari vehicle is stocked with a basic first- aid kit. If you have prescription medications or special needs, please come prepared with your necessary medications.

  • Antimalarial drugs (such as Malarone, Lariam);
  • tablets from motion sickness, if you are susceptible;
  • Antihistamines for allergies (Claritin, Loratadine, Azelastine), which can be diffi- cult to purchase in Tanzania;
  • Inhaler for asthma remedy, as the dust may aggravate asthmatic symptoms;
  • Any prescription medications you may

It is also recommended to bring insect repellents. These pesky insects are only active in the early morning and evening, likely when you are already back at your accommodations for the evening. Alternatively, wearing a long-sleeved shirt can help deter mosquitoes, as well.

Do not forget the sunscreen! The equatorial sun is strong in Tanzania, and you are likely to be at a higher elevation throughout your Tanzanian safari, especially when in Ngorongoro or the highlands. Choose a product with SPF 40 protection or higher to protect your skin.

Other important tips

Most of Tour Tamu Africa partner hotels and lodges provide full room and board for our guests, meaning 3-full meals are provided each day. However, the excitement and fresh air of a safari are known for building up quite an appetite!

Just in case, you may consider packing:

  • biscuits, chips, cookies, or other packaged snacks;
  • fruit (pre-washed or dried varieties;
  • chocolate bars;
  • Various mixtures of

Some fruits (such as bananas), or nuts (like cashews or peanuts) may easily be purchased locally as you drive through local Tanzanian villages.

Necessary Items

Even if the weather forecast guarantees the lack of sun, don’t hurry up to lay out protective glasses. They will help protect your eyes from wind, dust and small insects while you pop out of the window or through the open roof of the running speed car in search of objects for observation. Put in your backpack:

First of all, you may leave your binoculars at home – every Tour Tamu Africa car provides a pair of binoculars for our guest’s convenience. We also have charging stations in each of our vehicles so your devices will never lose power during a safari.

Here are the items we recommend you bring:

  • Sunglasses;
  • Bandana or handkerchief in case of dust;
  • Adapter for electric plugs (Tanzania uses three-pronged plugs, similar to Eng- land);
  • Photocopies of your passport and other necessary travel documents;
  • Camera and all photo equipment;
  • Hand sanitizer or disinfectant;
  • Personal hygiene items (including sunscreen and insect repellent);
  • Notebook and pen.