Travel Guidance

INCLUDES:

  • Transfers between the specified airport and designated accommodation. (Transfers are shared unless otherwise noted).
  • Sightseeing and safari activities as detailed in the itinerary.
  • Applicable park and concession fees.
  • Charter flights are shared and may make up to three stops before your final destination. 
  • Accommodation on a shared basis in standard rooms unless otherwise noted.
  • Meals as specified.
  • Clients of African Portfolio Inc. are covered for emergency medical services and/or evacuation transportation while on safari.  Note: clients who purchase their own travel insurance are not covered under African Portfolio’s plan.  Clients residing outside the United States are not covered by this policy and must purchase independent travel insurance and provide proof of coverage. 

EXCLUDES:

  • Scheduled international, regional or domestic flights.
  • Visas: Online visa applications must be completed by the traveler.  The process requires provision of personal information/history as well as certification of authenticity, which African Portfolio cannot legally provide on your behalf. 
  • Certain entry and activity fees that are payable directly to the camp or lodge.
  • Trip Cancellation Protection: African Portfolio Inc. strongly recommends the purchase of additional trip cancellation coverage to protect your investment in the event of an unforeseen cancellation for insurable reasons. Please request more information on the cost to insure the total cost of your trip.
  • Trip expenses: Medical expenses, meals or activities not specified or indicated as optional, entrance fees, gratuities to drivers/guides/tour leaders, porterage and excess baggage fees.
  • Personal expenses: Included but not limited to costs incurred in conjunction with this trip prior to departure, beverages, laundry, communication costs.

BOOKING YOUR SAFARI:

  • African Portfolio Inc. requires the completion of an online client profile on our website My African Portfolio, acceptance of our Terms and Conditions statement and a $500 per person non-refundable reservation fee to make a provisional reservation for a proposed itinerary. 
  • African Portfolio Inc. will confirm a provisional reservation upon receipt of a non-refundable deposit of 30% the tour price.  
  • Travel during peak holiday time periods or for groups of 10 travelers or more may be subject to additional deposit or early payment requirements. 
  • Provisional reservations will be released if the deposit is not received by the stated due date to avoid incurring cancellation fees.
  • No portion of the booking fee or deposit is refundable; both are applicable to the tour price.
  • Final payment is due 90 days (120 days during the peak holiday season) prior to your departure date, after which reservations may be released and cancellation penalties applied.
  • Deposit payments by credit card are subject to required authorization and will incur a 4% processing fee (credit card fees are not applicable to the booking fee or airfare).  
  • Final payment must be made by check or wire transfer.

BOOKING YOUR FLIGHTS:  

  • There is no requirement to book international flights with African Portfolio, but we do offer the service as a courtesy to our clients for a $100 per person service fee. The service fee covers our administrative costs to monitor your flight schedule changes, assist with seat selection, ensure proper connecting times, and confirm all airport transfers and meet and greets.
  • We recommend booking all your regional/internal and international flights on the same ticket/itinerary if possible to avoid additional costs and inconvenience that can result from flight delays due to mis-connection issues.
  • Your quote may include an estimate for regional/internal scheduled flights that correspond to your safari itinerary. These flights are non-refundable once issued and subject to change fees after ticketing.
  • Our fare estimate will be based on the most efficient routing to match your land arrangements. 
  • We are unable to book flights using reward points or frequent flyer miles.

Tanzania

The name Tanzania conjures up images of wildebeest stampeding across vast savannah, rain forests teeming with monkeys and birdlife, and great plains brimming with legions of game. All of these natural wonders and more are on offer in this exceptionally diverse African nation. Visitors typically visit Tanzania to partake in at least one of the four well known Tanzanian tourist experiences: a relaxing seaside vacation on the picturesque island paradise of Zanzibar, an underwater tour of some of the world’s most renowned dive sites around the gorgeous Spice Islands, a safari adventure in some of Africa’s most impressive game reserves, or a hiking excursion around Mount Kilimanjaro National Park. Whichever of these incredible holidays you choose, you will undoubtedly be welcomed by some fabulously friendly and peaceful inhabitants who, despite being divided into 120 different ethnic groups and cultures, live in harmony with one another and provide some of the most wonderfully exotic local cuisine you could imagine. With all of this diversity on offer, the most difficult part of your Tanzanian holiday experience is likely to be deciding where to go!


Banking and Currency

Currency

In Tanzania, the unit of currency is the Tanzanian Shilling, which is divided into 100 Cents. Notes are issued in denominations of 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, and 10000 Shillings. Coins are issued in denominations of 50, 100 and 200 Shillings.

Banking

Banks are open from 9:00am to 3:00pm Monday to Friday. Many banks are equipped with 24 hour ATM machines. 

Credit cards and travellers checks are not widely accepted in Tanzania. Where they are accepted can high service fees and poor exchange rates be expected. Major foreign currencies - particularly US $ - are accepted in Tanzania and are convertible at banks and bureau de changes in the main towns and tourist areas. If bringing cash in US $, please make sure bank notes are in good condition, with no cuts or damage and are not older than 2006. Most banks offer higher exchange rates for US $ 100 / US $ 50 bank notes compared to US $ 20 / US $ 10 or US $ 5 bank notes.


Travel, Transport and Getting Around

If you are visiting a number of parks and reserves in Tanzania, you can either drive or fly between them. Roads in most of the wilderness areas are in poor condition and unmarked, and self-driving is not recommended. Operators will supply you with a driver who doubles as an informal guide; alternatively, you can arrange to fly to your destination and utilize a car and driver supplied by the lodgings. Elsewhere in Tanzania, towns and cities are linked by a steady stream of buses and dala-dalas (minibuses), and in the cities, there is public transport in the way of buses, dala-dalas, taxis, and, in some places, bicycles or tuk-tuks.

Precision Air run regular services, mostly via Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro or Zanzibar, to all main towns and other destinations in East Africa and beyond. All national parks and some of the top-end luxury lodges have airstrips and Coastal Air operates between these and the main airports on the mainland and the islands of Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia. ZanAir has frequent connections between Zanzibar, Pemba and the mainland.

Driving is on the left hand side of the road


Food, Drink and Cuisine Advice

Most camps, lodges or hotels cater specifically to tourists and serve Western-style food, ranging in standard, but generally are excellent. Game lodges tend to offer a daily set menu with a limited selection, so it is advisable to have your tour operator specify in advance if you are a vegetarian or have other specific dietary requirements. First-time visitors to Africa might take note that most game lodges in and around the national parks have isolated locations, and driving within the parks is neither permitted nor advisable after dark, so that there is no realistic alternative to eating at your lodge. 

Tap water in Tanzania is generally not safe to drink, and most travellers try to stick to mineral water. Filtered and bottled water can be difficult to find you are travelling outside of main town and so it is advisable to stock up. Most camps, lodges and hotels have bottled water readily available.

Please note that, as of 2016, Tanzania has banned the use of plastic bags in a bid to tackle pollution and protect the environment. Travellers' to Tanzania will no longer be allowed to bring plastic carrier bags into the country. This ban targets all plastic bags that are imported, exported, manufactured, sold, stored, supplied and used. 


Climate and Weather

Just south of the equator, Tanzania is huge and its sheer size means that the climate varies considerably within it. However, generally the main rainy season, or the 'long rains', lasts during about March, April and May. Afternoon tropical downpours are the norm – which are heavier and more predictable beside the coast and on the islands. The humidity is high and daily temperatures reach the low-mid 30°s.

The long dry season lasts throughout June, July, August, September and October is when rainfall is unusual, even on the islands. Temperatures vary hugely with altitude and location, but it's usually a fine, clear sky and sunny weather – it's a great time to visit Tanzania. During November and December there's another rainy season: the 'short rains'. These are much lighter than the main rains and less reliable.

If it has rained during the short rains, then it normally dries up for a few months, January and February, which is Tanzania's 'short dry season', before starting to rain again in earnest in March.


Clothing and Dress Recommendations

It never gets really cold in Tanzania so lightweight clothing, preferably cotton or linen, is recommended. While on a game viewing safari, avoid brightly coloured clothing, stick to whites, beiges, khakis and browns. There may be long days sitting in safari vehicles, so it is advisable to wear light comfortable clothing such as short sleeved shirts and cotton/linen trousers or shorts. Denim will become too hot and extremely uncomfortable. Walking shoes and socks will be required.

The evenings will be chilly, so long sleeved shirts and trousers should be worn. A sweater may be needed. These will also prevent you being bitten by insects. A hat should be worn at all times outside. The sun may sometimes not feel hot, but it can still easily burn, especially if it is cloudy and overcast.

If visiting Zanzibar or any coastal town don't forget to take a swimsuit, as it is invariably warm. Ladies are recommended to take cotton skirts, blouses and dresses. Sandals are a must for this environment! On the beaches and within the confines of hotels, normal swimwear is acceptable but nudity is not.

As over a third of the population in Tanzania is Muslim, it is therefore not etiquette for ladies to walk around in public displaying their legs and shoulders. Remember to dress modestly as short shorts, miniskirts, vests and tank tops will be frowned upon.


Internet Availability

Tanzania has good Internet Service Providers with email and internet services offered by many hotels and lodges (free / paid). In most towns there are plenty of private business centres and cyber cafes offering email and internet access, although the speeds might be somewhat slower than what you are used to. 


Electricity and Plug Standards

Electrical sockets in Tanzania are one of three: Type G (BS-1363) and Type C (CEE 7/16 Europlug) and Type D (BS-546) electrical socket types: If your appliance's plug doesn't match the shape of these sockets, you will need a travel plug adapter in order to plug in. Travel plug adapters simply change the shape of your appliance's plug to match whatever type of socket you need to plug into. If it's crucial to be able to plug in no matter what, bring an adapter for all types.

Electrical sockets in Tanzania usually supply electricity at 230 volts AC / 50 Hz frequency. If you're plugging in an appliance that was built for 230 volt electrical input, or an appliance that is compatible with multiple voltages, then an adapter is all you need. If your appliance isn’t compatible with 230 volts, a voltage converter will be necessary.


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