TRAVELERS INFO

Travelers Info

Betheli Expedition - Tanzania Travel Information

To help you prepare for your safari, we offer the following information. We hope that you will review it carefully

PASSPORT AND VISA INFORMATION

Each traveler must be in possession of a valid, signed passport that will remain valid for at least six (6) months beyond the completion of the trip.

United States passport holders require tourist visas for entry into Tanzania. Citizens of countries other than the United States should check with their booking agents for requirements pertaining to their citizenship, as entry requirements can vary. Visa for the USA and Irish Nationalities is USD 100 pp.

Visitors from Commonwealth countries do not need a visa to enter Tanzania except the following countries: Canada, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand, Sierra Leone, South Africa, and the UK.

Visitors from the other countries not in the commonwealth are required to pay for a visa (except Rwanda and Romania). The fee is US$50 and is subject to change.

HEALTH INFORMATION

Yellow fever: If you are arriving in Tanzania (or planning to re-enter) from an area that is infected with yellow fever or arriving from a country where yellow fever is endemic (such as Kenya, Sudan, South America or Uganda) you are required to have a yellow fever vacation and it must be administered at least ten (10) days before your arrival (or re-entry) into Tanzania. If your travel itinerary requires you to have a yellow fever vaccination, you must ask your doctor to provide you with an “international” which should be carried with you while traveling to serve as proof that you have fulfilled the vaccination requirement.

Cholera: Local authorities in countries that are affected or threatened by cholera sometimes require evidence of cholera vaccination as a condition of entry.

Tanzania official occasionally asks to see evidence of cholera vaccination if you are arriving (or planning to re-enter) Tanzania within eight days of having traveled in an area infected with cholera such as Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Asia, Indonesia, South America, Central America and parts of eastern Europe.

Malaria: Anti-malarial medication is recommended by the CDC for all travelers to Tanzania. Your doctor will prescribe the best choice based on your own health history.

In addition to an anti-malarial drug regimen, personal protection measures should be taken to avoid mosquitos’ bites. It is suggested that you keep your arms and legs covered as much as possible, avoid the use of perfume, hairspray, and other scented products that attract mosquitos and using a good insect repellent.

Drink  boiled or treated water only

It is also suggested that you assemble a traveler’s medical kit appropriate to your destination, length of trip, and general health. Your physician can advise you on a specific item to include (such as remedies for minor stomach ailments or motion sickness).

You should include an adequate supply of any prescribed medications you may require while traveling. Prescription medicines should always be carried in your hand luggage (not in checked baggage) in their original, labeled containers only.

Travelers with physical disabilities and those who require frequent or ongoing medical attention should advise BETHELI EXPEDITION of their health situation at the time of booking (or at the time such a situation occurs should this be after the reservation is made.)

CUSTOMS INFORMATION

Please be advised that regulations at most international points of arrival do not permit passengers to be met inside secured passenger areas (such as the Customs area). Betheli Expedition representative is scheduled to meet you on arrival immediately after you have passed through the secured passenger areas.

Under no circumstances should small arms e.g. covering knives be taken on safari.

WEATHER GUIDELINES

Generally, coastal areas of Tanzania have a tropical climate, the highland regions in the north have a temperature climate and the vast central plateau is hot and arid.

While Tanzania does not have distinct seasonal changes due to its proximity to the Equator, there are some subtle climatic variations at different times of the year,

December to early March:  These are the warmest months of the year (“summertime”). Temperatures do not often exceed 90°F or 32°C and morning and evening temperatures are refreshingly cool with low humidity.

Mid-March to May: This season is normally characterized by heavy, intermittent rains. In many recent years, however, there has been more rain in January than in April and May.

June, July, and August: Tanzania’s weather is coolest during these months, with lows of about 45°F or 7°C and highs of about 75°F or 24°C. During this time the country is refreshingly green.

September, October, and November:  This is a delightful time to visit East Africa—comparable to springtime in America and Europe. The days are warmer with lows of about 65°F or 18°Cand highs about 85°F or 29°C. Short, scattered rains fall in November.

Throughout the year the temperatures on the Ngorongoro Crater rim can be decidedly cooler than on the Crater floor and in the Serengeti (especially from mid-May through August).

This is a guideline only and unseasonal weather can occur and you should pack with a degree of flexibility in mind.

CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES

Dress on safari is entirely casual, it can be hot and dusty so neutral colors are most practical for game driving. Remember to include one or two smarter outfits for dining in large cities.

We recommend packing lightweight clothing that can be layered. Casual clothing of ‘’breathable’’ fabric (like cotton) is the most comfortable. All this will also help to be prepared for temperature variations and maximize the versatility of your travel wardrobe.

For the visit of Ngorongoro Crater, you should pack a lined jacket or warm sweater.  For the visit of the Crater during June, July and August, you should be prepared for cold temperature {as low as 40°F or 4°C in the early morning and evening}. Pack a heavier jacket, sweater, and pair of slacks – or even assets of thermal underwear. Rain protection will be useful especially if you are traveling during November or from mid-March through May.

The modesty of dress is expected in Tanzania coastal areas and on the island of Zanzibar which has a large Muslim population. Slacks are entirely acceptable, but short skirts and bare-arms should be avoided. Scarves must be worn over the head (and shoes removed) when entering a mosque.

Unless you have booked a walking safari you will not heavy footwear. (There is little walking when game viewing is done from the vehicle.) A pair of comfortable walking shoes with soles will be adequate. Passengers on the ‘’Trekking in Tanzania’’ tour should have shoes that are sturdy, water-resistant and comfortably broken in. Additionally, the shoes should have good, high-traction soles in the event you encounter slippery or wet terrain. for protection from Tanzania’s strong sun, good sunglasses and sunblock lotion are essential. There is no need to bring a great deal of clothing. An efficient and inexpensive laundry service is available in Tanzania.

BAGGAGE INFORMATION

 Baggage allowances can vary depending on which airline(s), class of service, and routing are used. There are several different sets of baggage allowance regulations in effect for international and regional flights. You are urged to check with your booking agent for the exact baggage regulations pertaining to your specific itinerary.

For Charter Flights and Scheduled flights internally: If flights aboard any chartered or scheduled aircraft are included in your itinerary, your baggage will be restricted to one (1) checked bag plus one (1) carry-on bag with a maximum total weight allowance of 15Kg. This special weight restriction is strictly adhered to and applies to all flights within Tanzania and Kenya. [If your international flights between are into AND out of either Arusha or Nairobi (Kenya), you will have opportunity to store any bags not needed during your safari at your hotel in either Arusha or Nairobi,]

In case of any baggage in excess of airline limitation may be subject to substantial freight charges by the airline. These charges are the entire responsibility of the traveler.

Every piece of checked baggage should be locked and contain identification inside and outside, stating your home address and phone number. Please, do not pack valuable items (such as your camera) in checked baggage). While every precaution will be taken with your baggage BETHELI EXPEDITION cannot be held responsible for any damaged, lost, or stolen baggage or personal property; and we strongly recommend the purchase of adequate baggage insurance by each traveler.

Please be advised that regulations at most international points of arrival do not permit passengers to be assisted with baggage handling inside secured passenger areas.

LAUNDRY

Please check the property’s individual laundry return policy and pricing schedule before choosing to have laundry done at a hotel. It is also suggested that you request laundry service only when you have sufficient length of stay remaining to ensure that your laundry is returned to you before you depart. Most laundry is dried outdoors in Tanzania and may not dry fully in just one day if the weather is inclement or especially humid.

Travelers on camping itineraries should also be aware that some delicate and/or synthetic fabrics may not be suitable for pressing with coal-heated irons that are used in camp.

Please be advised that women’s undergarments are excluded from laundry lists of most lodges, so you may want to carry a few packets of travel detergent for laundering these items yourself, if necessary.

ELECTRICITY

In case you do bring electrical appliances, please consider that in Tanzania electricity runs 220/240 volts. You should take along an international converter kit complete with a set of adapter plugs (lodges are unable to provide adapters). We do suggest that you take battery-operated appliances wherever possible and a supply of extra batteries. However, be aware that overnight recharging may not be possible where generator use restricts the availability of electricity especially in tented camps.

FOOD AND DRINKS

All lodges and hotels serve Western food, along with a selection of local dishes. Several types of beer are brewed locally in Tanzania, though specific brands cannot be guaranteed.

If you favor a particular brand of spirits, you may want to use your duty-free liquor allowance to purchase a bottle en route to Tanzania for your personal consumption.

Similarly, those with a preference for decaffeinated coffee or tea may want to carry packets of these beverages. For variety, you might also carry some packets of hot chocolate or other beverages.

Please do not drink the tap water. Most of the tap water is not safe we suggest that you drink only bottled water or purified water.

COMMUNICATIONS

Be sure to check the hotel policy before placing international calls from hotels as this will impose surcharges.

CURRENCY

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

We urge you to try to spend all of your Tanzania shillings while you are in Tanzania because the reverse exchange rate from Shillings back to Dollars is very unfavorable.

In general, we suggest that you exchange only what you think you will spend before leaving any foreign country. Be aware that only paper currency will normally be accepted for exchange.

Credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, or American Express are accepted in most hotels, restaurants, and shops, though it is subject to a surcharge of 3% to 5% of the cost of the item (s).

Travelers who wish to use their ATM card overseas should check with their own individual bank to verify whether the ATM card will be valid for a particular country.

SHOPPING

Woodcarvings, batiks, tie-dyed articles, and leather goods are among the most popular souvenir purchases in Tanzania, as are Zanzibar chests and Meerschaum pipes. Ebony woodcarvings by the Makonde sculptors of Tanzania are especially high artistic merit and while export licenses are not required, it is essential that a sales receipt be obtained for all Makonde art that is purchased. This must be presented to officials when you leave the country.

Locally-woven sisal baskets are durable and attractive and sold at much lower prices than you will find in the American and European shops that have recently begun to import them.

Please note that uncut, raw stones require formal government approval for exportation from Tanzania as do cut stones totaling more than 300 carats. In places where prices are not marked, bargaining is usually an accepted practice.

Please note: BETHELI EXPEDITION assumes no responsibility for any purchase made by our clients while traveling.

For purchases made abroad that being hand-carried home, keep all sales receipts with you (in your hand luggage). It also suggested that you pack all of your foreign purchases together in one bag (separate from your other personal belongings). You might consider bringing some ‘’bubble wrap’’ and string for packing any fragile merchandise you purchase while traveling.

Please note that the purchase of ‘’national treasures’’ for export from any country is strictly illegal and the onus rests entirely on the buyer. In addition, U.S. and Canadian Customs prohibit the importation of any products made from endangered species of wildlife. If you are approached by someone offering this type of ‘’curio’’ for sale, do not buy it. International agreements are such that, if you are caught with that such a restricted item, it will almost certainly lead to prosecution.

Please note: BETHELI EXPEDITION assumes no responsibility for any purchases made by our clients while traveling. This includes shipping costs, which may be considerably higher (even several hundred dollars more) than quoted at the time of purchase.

PHOTOGRAPHY

We recommend that you bring all the photographic equipment you will need from home, including an ample supply of memory cards and additional camera batteries. Camera accessories in particular memory cards and batteries are available in Tanzania but are expensive and can be difficult to find in safari areas. It is also suggested that you check the working order of your camera and have your equipment insured before you depart.

Photographic Etiquette: When photographing people, always ask permission first. The only exception to this is when you are photographing a public scene with a lot of in it, aiming at no one in particular. Because so many local people are asked for permission to be photographed, many will expect a tip or an outright fee. Your driver will assist you to arrange this (some ‘’professional posers’’ make a living this way!). Always be considerate of anyone’s desire not to be photographed. There are some places where photography is prohibited, and these areas are usually clearly marked.

If you are uncertain about whether or not photography is permitted, ask. Under no circumstances should you take photographs of airports, government buildings, and installations or military/police personnel.  Taking permission is not granted is considered at best and may result in the confiscation of your film.

Please be careful not to disturb the animals by making unnecessary noises or commotion and be conscious of sharing the best photographic views with others in your vehicle.

VALUABLES SAFETY AND TRAVEL INSURANCE

Exercise the same safety precautions throughout your travels as you would at home. In larger cities (such as Arusha), do not leave at your hotel to walk around at night.

You are also advised to refuse any food or drink offered to you by strangers in venues away from the tour activities organized by BETHELI EXPEDITION.

Be especially careful with your passport. If you leave your passport in your room or tent, always keep it in a locked bag. It also a good idea to travel with a photocopy of the informational pages of your passport (the pages containing your photograph and passport details, as well as any amendment pages and visas) and to leave a copy at home. Follow the security measures included with your traveler's checks and also leave an additional record of their numbers at home.

As vehicles are not always attended, please do not leave your hand luggage or any other valuables inside the vehicles, we strongly recommend all valuable items remain with you at all times or secured in the hotel safety deposit box. Should you need assistance please contact your guide or Betheli office. Betheli expedition will not be held responsible for items left personally unattended in our vehicles.

We recommend that all travelers purchase adequate trip cancellation/interruption, medical, and baggage insurance and that they carry the details of their coverage with them on tour. If not purchasing travel insurance, we suggest you check with your personal health care insurer to determine what health coverage will be in effect outside of your country of origin including provisions for medical evacuation in the event of a medical emergency.

TIPPING GUIDELINES

Hotel Staff: As a guideline, the customary gratuity for bar staff and any special or extra services is about 10% of the cost of the service but remember to check your bill first to make sure a gratuity was not already included.

Porters: All porterage for two (2) pieces of baggage per travelers are included in your tour cost. This includes porters’ tips at airports, hotels, lodges, and camps. If you are traveling with more than two (2) pieces of baggage, an additional tip of about US$0.50 per bag is appropriate.

Driver-Guide: One driver-guide accompanies each and land vehicle. It is customary to tip your driver-guide on the last day you are with him or her. Approximately US$7-US$10 per traveler per day is considered a good tip for a driver-guide (based on 4 to 6 travelers in a vehicle). If there are only 2 or 3 travelers in a vehicle, you might consider raising this amount to approximately US$9-US$12 per traveler per day in recognition of the individual attention given to a smaller-size group.

SMOKING

Betheli Expedition asks that you refrain from smoking while in sightseeing vehicles and at any group meals during your tour.

OTHER INFORMATION

Betheli Expedition urges all travelers to refrain from passing out any gifts directly to any children in Tanzania and would ask those inclined to do so to give their gifts to their guide instead. They can be given to a school, village elder or local charitable organization.

Migration Game viewing Outlines: Although the migration depends on variable weather factors it does follow a seasonal outline as per the map. Migratory animals include wildebeest, zebra and Thomson’s gazelle.

DURING YOUR SAFARI

If you have a problem or concern during your safari, we ask for the opportunity to set matters right while you are still traveling. Please bring any such situations, however small, to the immediate attention of your guide or our office. Our team is there to ensure a trouble-free holiday, and we encourage you to use their services in this regard. Often, we can correct matters on-the-spot if they are simply made aware that a situation merits attention.

If, however, the problem or concern is not resolved to your satisfaction during your safari, please do write to us after your safari so that the matter can be fully investigated.

Even though we have made every effort to provide you with information you will need to prepare your safari in Tanzania, you may still have questions. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you do have additional questions or requests