Tanzania Safari & Four Seasons Seychelles

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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!

NOTE: Plastic bags are now banned in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, and are likely to be confiscated by customs officials on arrival, whether in clients’ baggage or carried by hand. For example, Duty-Free bags


Entry Requirements

Government regulations change without notice, it is important to check regulations with the relevant authority prior to travel. This is a guideline only.

- Passports should be valid for at least six months, with at least 2 free pages, are required by all nationals referred to in the chart above.

- Visas are required by all nationals referred to in the chart above. Visas can be purchase on arrival at most airports but to avoid delays on arrival, you can apply for your visa in advance of arrival through the Tanzanian Consulate in your country or a visa service. Validity for single entry tourist visa is normally up to 3 months.

Costs currently are U$50 for most nationalities but a $100 for US citizens.


Banking and Currency

- The unit of currency is the Tanzanian shilling. Visitors may import an unlimited amount of foreign exchange.

- We recommend you change money at official bureaux de change, although some lodges and hotels may offer facilities which would often offer a less attractive rate of exchange.

- Take cash, not Travellers Cheques! Change some money into Tanzanian shillings soon after your arrival.

- Credit Cards can usually be used in the international hotels and in restaurants and shops of the main towns and tourist related businesses.

- However, it is always advisable to have some cash because frequently these credit card machines do not work or are down without connection.

- There are ATM cash machines in Arusha and Dar es Salaam, and at airports.

- Large notes (US$50-US$100) prior to 2000 are not normally accepted. Best make sure you have smaller denomination and notes which have been issued after 1999.


Travel, Transport and Getting Around

There are really only three ways for tourists to travel sensibly in Tanzania and in these cases dmAFRICA is the recognised expert:-

- By organised safari vehicles, usually commencing in Arusha or Nairobi.

- By light aircraft. Arusha is the hub airport in Tanzania, and there are charter and regular flights to all the main wildlife areas in East Africa as well as the islands. If you are flying from Kenya it is necessary to clear customs and immigration in Arusha, Mount Kilimanjaro or Dar es Salaam before proceeding to your lodge or camp.

- By private jet; most lodge/camp airstrips are not equipped to handle many of the more sophisticated private jets. It is normal to access Tanzania at Mount Kilimanjaro or Dar es Salaam or Zanzibar airports and travel onwards by light aircraft. Night flying in game parks is not normally permitted.


Health and Medical Information

- Malaria is endemic. You must consult your doctor before you travel to ensure that you are prescribed the correct type of tablet protection.

- Yellow fever inoculation is obligatory for entry into Tanzania if you have been to a country where yellow fever infection exists.

- Immunization against hepatitis, cholera and meningitis is recommended.

Please check the latest information with your medical practitioner

- There are privately owned pharmacies that can prescribe most medication should you

be sick. A few wildlife lodges and camps have a private nurse on duty and almost all have camp staff trained in basic first aid.


Safety Notices

- Unfortunately petty theft and more serious crime is a factor in East Africa. Take the same precautions as you would in any major city.

- Avoid walking alone in apparently deserted areas, especially in and around the cities.

- Avoid displaying expensive items, especially jewellery, in public areas.

- Use the safe boxes, and other security accessories, made available to you in hotels and lodges/camps.

- It is preferable and usually more enjoyable to walk with company or in groups.


Food, Drink and Cuisine Advice

- In general, the food served in hotels and lodges is European food. A full breakfast and lunch will be buffet style and dinner is usually a set menu. A few top of the range lodges offer limited a la carte menus.

- Agriculturally, Tanzania is virtually self sufficient with staple crops, and fine quality beef and other livestock. On safari, game meat is sometimes on the menu.

- Pineapple, mango, papaya, banana, avocado and coconut are all plentiful and inexpensive when in season.

- Freshwater fish from the abundant rivers and lakes is plentiful, especially trout from around Arusha and tilapia and Nile perch from Lakes Victoria and Tanganyika.

- Of course, at the coast the seafood from the Indian Ocean is included on all menus, with a variety and quality which is now legendary.

- Wine is imported from South Africa, Europe and the New World. There is also a red wine which is made by the monks near Dodoma; it is “challenging”, as is the locally made gin konyagi!

- Local beers are of the lager type and are good.


Climate and Weather

- Serengeti: All year round. The best time for migration river crossings is June and July and late September and October.

- Ndutu, Serengeti: December to March as this is when the migration is based in the area with most of the calves being born around February and March.

- Ngorongoro: All year round

- Lake Manyara: All year round

- Tarangire: July to November when it is dry elsewhere and the animals move to the Tarangire River.

- Arusha National Park: All year round

- Lake Natron & Lake Eyasi: Avoid April and May

- Kilimanjaro: All year round except April to May.

- Zanzibar, Pemba, Mafia and the Coast: All year except April and May

- Selous: June to November

- Ruaha: June to the end of February

- Mahale & Gombe: All year except April and May

- Lake Victoria: Almost year round.


Clothing and Dress Recommendations

- When meeting and parting, hands are always shaken; this applies throughout the country in both rural and urban areas. It is the convention to use the right hand, not the left, to shake hands or pass or receive anything.

- The dress code is casual, although most international hotels and restaurants prefer gentlemen to wear long trousers for dinner.

- Bright, light colours and white clothing is not advisable for safaris particularly for walking safaris as animals see mostly in black and white. Safari clothing should be in neutral or bush colours (please note that army camouflage or military uniform is not permitted in almost all African countries)

- Good manners and respect come naturally to Tanzanians, charming national traits which they look upon visitors to reciprocate.


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

- 230 volts AC, 50Hz.

- Plugs may be round or square three-pin, fused or un-fused.

- Power cuts can be common in the rainy season, though most hotels and businesses have back-up generators.

- In some safari lodges electricity is not available during the night.


Kenya

Resting in the magnificent Great Rift Valley and presided over by the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, Kenya is characterised by hauntingly beautiful natural landscapes of forested hills, patchwork farms, wooded savanna and vast forests brimming with an extraordinary abundance of wildlife. The nation’s diverse range of traditional African cultures is influenced by over 70 unique ethnic groups from the Maasai, Samburu, Kikuyu, and Turkana tribes to the Arabs and Indians that settled on the coast. Add to this: an exquisite tropical coastline fringed with breathtaking golden sand beaches; gorgeous coral gardens providing excellent snorkeling and diving opportunities; and a slew of lively beach resorts, and it is easy to see why so many visitors flock here from around the world to experience a truly unique African adventure in one of the world’s most pristine safari destinations.

NOTE: Plastic bags are now banned in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, and are likely to be confiscated by customs officials on arrival, whether in clients’ baggage or carried by hand. For example, Duty-Free bags


Banking and Currency

Currency

The currency of Kenya is the Kenyan Shilling (KES; symbol KSh) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of KSh1,000, 500, 200, 100 and 50. Coins are in denominations of KSh20, 10 and 5. Residents may import up to KES 500,000 and must declare if currencies exceeding US $10,000. Non-residents may import local and foreign currencies without restrictions but amounts exceeding US $10,000 must be declared.

Banking 

Banking hours: Monday -Friday 09h00-15h00, and Saturdays 09h00-12h00. Banks in Mombasa and the coastal areas open and close half an hour earlier. Banks in airports tend to open earlier and close later; typical hours are 07h00-19h00.

ATMs are common especially in major tourist destinations.

Mastercard and Visa Credit Cards are widely accepted; American Express and Diners Club less so. Major hotels accept payment by credit card, as do major safari companies, travel agencies and restaurants. 

Very few banks or foreign exchange bureaus accept travellers cheques; when they do, they charge high commissions.


Travel, Transport and Getting Around

Nairobi has two airports for domestic and regional flights: Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Wilson Airport. Kenya has over 150 domestic airports and airstrips and there are daily flights to the most popular destinations. In addition to the scheduled airlines, several private charter companies operate out of Wilson Airport.

Kenya Airways, Air Kenya, Fly 540, Mombasa Air Safari, and Safarilink serve the most popular safari destinations, plus many others such as Lake Victoria. 

All other types of transport are good and efficient. Quality on trains can differ depending on which ‘class’ you buy. 

Drive on the left side of the road.

Road conditions vary, and are improving.



Food, Drink and Cuisine Advice

Meat in Kenya is generally outstandingly good, and ‘nyam achoma’ (barbecued meat) is ubiquitous at any major feasts or popular dining spots. Beef and chicken are readily available, but goat is the most-widely eaten among locals and certainly a must try for carnivorous visitors. Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine is also popular, as are fresh-water fish inland, and sea fish along the coast.

Drinking the tap water is not recommended as the supply is not reliable, but bottled water is available in most places. When buying bottled water, check the seal of the bottle is intact. Alternatively, bring your own reusable water bottle with a filter or use water purification tablets. Avoid ice and washed salads and fruit except in top hotels and restaurants. Milk is pasteurised and dairy products are safe for consumption. Food prepared by unlicensed vendors should be avoided at all times.

Tipping is optional. Most hotels and restaurants include a 10% service charge in the bill. If they don't, a small tip is customary for good service.


Climate and Weather

Kenya has three types of climate: temperate subtropical climate in the west and southwest highlands (where Nairobi is located), hot and humid along the coast, and hot and dry in the north and east.


Clothing and Dress Recommendations

For Nairobi and the coast: lightweight cotton and linens are advised. Warmer clothing is needed in June and July, while rainwear is advisable between March and June, and October and December.

For safari: loose-fitting and light neutral tones are recommended. If you are visiting a luxury lodge, pack a nice set of clothes for dinner is recommended.


Internet Availability

Wi-Fi is readily available in major cities and hotels, as well as in luxury game lodges.


Electricity and Plug Standards

Electrical sockets in Kenya are of the ‘Type G (BS-1363)’. 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 Kenya usually supply electricity at 220-240 volts AC. If you're plugging in an appliance that was built for 220-240 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 220-240 volts, a voltage converter will be necessary.



Seychelles

When it comes to romantic island getaways, it doesn’t get much better than the Seychelles. Rising up from the Indian Ocean off the coast of East Africa, this exceptionally picturesque archipelago is comprised of 115 coral and granite islands. Spend your days: exploring the fascinating culture of the lively capital city, Victoria; hiking the rugged granite cliffs which offer panoramic views of the surrounding natural landscapes; or simply relaxing on a beach lounger with a cocktail in the one hand and a good book in the other. If you are seeking a pristine holiday retreat with golden sand beaches, exceptional scenery, palm-clad jungles, and remarkable crystal clear waters, then look no further than the exquisite islands of the Seychelles.


Banking and Currency

Currency

The unit of currency is the Seychelles rupee (Rs), which is divided into 100 cents (¢). Bank notes come in denominations of Rs 10, Rs 25, Rs 50, Rs 100 and Rs 500; there are coins of Rs 1, Rs 5, 1¢, 5¢, 10¢ and 25¢.

Euros are the best currency to carry. Prices for most tourist services, including accommodation, excursions, diving, car hire and transport are quoted in euros and can be paid in euros (and less frequently in US dollars), either in cash or by credit card. But you can also pay in rupees. In restaurants, prices are quoted in rupees but you can also pay in euros.

Banking

Banking hours: Monday - Friday 08h30-14h30 and Saturday 08h30-11h30

The four main banks are Barclays Bank, Seychelles Savings Bank, Nouvobanq and Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB). They have branches on Mahé, Praslin and La Digue. You'll also find numerous money-changers. There's no commission for changing cash. Don't lose time shopping around; rates are almost the same everywhere.

There are ATMs, which accept major international cards, at the airport and at all the major banks in Victoria. You'll also find ATMs at Beau Vallon and Anse Royale on Mahé and on Praslin and La Digue. Remember that bank fees can apply.

Major credit cards, including Visa and MasterCard, are accepted in most hotels, restaurants and tourist shops. Many guesthouses will still expect payment in cash. A few places add on an extra fee, typically 3%, to the bill to cover ‘bank charges’.

Banking hours are generally Monday-Friday 08h30 till14h30, and Saturday 08h30 till 11h30. All banks process traveller’s cheques and foreign exchange transactions. Passports are required for visitors’ transactions and nominal commissions may be charged. 


Travel, Transport and Getting Around

With relatively short travelling times between the islands and/or places of interest, different modes of transportation and with a regular network of air and sea transportation operating out of the principal island, Mahé, moving around in Seychelles is easy and hassle-free.

Bicycles are a good transportation on La Digue and on Praslin. They can be rented at Anse Volbert or through the hotels. Mahé is not recommended for bicycles as it is very hilly and bike rentals are not easy to find. Most people rent cars on Mahé. One advantage to hiring a bicycle is the up close and personal experience with virgin forests, hidden restaurants, artist’s galleries and miles of pristine white sand beaches.

Car rental is the best way for visitors to have the freedom they want while visiting the Seychelles. Mahé and Praslin have fairly good roads, but drivers should be cautious, because some drivers, and especially the bus drivers, tend to take the narrow bends in the roads at high speed. Driving is on the left.

Car-hire companies are plentiful on Mahé and there are also some on Praslin. The prices will more or less be the same everywhere. Cars can be booked through the hotels or through the tourist office in Victoria. There are also many car rental companies at the airport.

Drivers must be over 23 years and have been driving for at least one year. Companies will accept a national license, but it is good to bring an international license if possible.

The bus service on Mahé is extensive and reliable. For visitors who have the time, the bus is the best way to see Mahé. Praslin also has a reliable bus service that travels from Anse Boudin through Anse Volbert to Mont Plaisir, the Vallee de Mai, Baie Ste Anne, Grand Anse and to the airport. They go in both directions hourly except between Mont Plaisir and Baie St. Anne where they go every half hour. The tourist office has timetables.

Taxis offer full or half day tours of Mahé and Praslin. For taxis, visitors should ask the fare before starting the journey and make sure it is a licensed taxi with a TAXI light on the roof of the car. The driver should also have an identification badge. On La Digue, if time is not a consideration, there are ox-carts that will take visitors from the boat jetty to the hotel.

After deciding how best to navigate the land and sea of the Seychelles, visitors can take time to sail around the inner islands where there are easy sailing distances, safe moorings and spectacular natural beauty.

These islands were made for sail boats with scenic bays and romantic coves as well as Anse Lazio one of the most photographed beaches in the world. Sailing the outer islands is true adventure on the open ocean to tropical paradises where few have ever been. There are sailing operators on Mahé and Praslin for day charters with crews or bare boats for a genuine taste of freedom.


Food, Drink and Cuisine Advice

The influences of Seychellois Creole cuisine come far and wide, including Africa, China, France and India. The exotic blend of chilli, ginger, lemongrass, tamarind, coriander and coconut milk is a major feature. Rice is the staple food, though some may replace rice with breadfruit.

Fish is served many ways – salted, smoked, steamed, baked, grilled, mashed, curried and raw. Shark chutney – boiled and mashed shark mixed with fried onion, pepper, turmeric and topped with freshly squeezed bilimbi and lime juice – is popular too. 

Tipping is not obligatory in Seychelles. For exceptional service, an additional tip is always welcome. Hotels and restaurants tend to include a tip of 5-10%, but luxury hotels and high-end restaurants may charge 10-15%.

Tap water is chlorinated and safe to drink. But if you are concerned, bottled water is widely available. Milk is pasteurised, and dairy products are safe for consumption. Local meat, poultry, seafood, fruit and vegetables are generally considered safe to eat.


Climate and Weather

Lying 4°-11° south of the Equator, in the western Indian Ocean, Seychelles has a tropical climate: warm and humid with strong maritime influences. The temperature is consistently 24-32°C, there is no distinct dry season and there is some humidity at all times.

Many of the granitic Inner Islands have dramatic terrain; Mahe boasting hills rising to 900m. The rainfall increases with altitude, though it is the trade winds that really dictate the islands' climate and name its seasons.
 


Clothing and Dress Recommendations

Light clothing suitable for Seychelles' warm tropical climate is recommended and visitors should prepare themselves for the relatively hot, humid atmosphere. Also, for plenty of sun.

Bring hats, sunglasses and adequate UV protection - SPF30+ is advisable. It is important to remember that even on an overcast day the tropical sun is still strong and able to cause unpleasant sunburn. Wearing a t-shirt for the first swim or snorkel is a good idea.

A camera is an absolute must! Please bring a stock of film (particularly for non-standard cameras and video cameras) together with a supply of batteries.

Casual eveningwear (long trousers for men), together with appropriate footwear, is necessary for dining out and for gaining entrance to casinos and most hotels.

Sturdy walking shoes are recommended if you intend to take guided walk and trail excursions.

Visitors suffering from a specific medical condition should be sure to bring an adequate stock of the appropriate medication along as well as their preferred brand of sun cream, mosquito repellent etc.


Internet Availability

Most accommodation offer Wifi (free or paid) in their business centres, rooms or restaurants. 


Electricity and Plug Standards

Electrical sockets in Seychelles are Type G (BS-1363). 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.


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