Frequently Asked Questions
Please click here
to go to our general FAQ
, which has essential information that applies to all of our programs.
Resources to Learn & Teach about Tanzania
Visit our recommended reading page
to see the list of books GEEO recommends reading before your program (this is not required reading). We also have lesson plans
and Pinterest boards
that may be useful for you as you learn about your destination and prepare to bring lessons back to your classroom.
Terms and Conditions
It is very important for you to visit our Terms and Conditions
page before signing up for this program.
GEEO Program Confirmation Process
We require a minimum of 6 participants for most GEEO programs. We officially confirm that a program will run once at least 8 people have signed up, which provides a margin for individual cancellations. Nearly all GEEO programs ultimately meet this enrollment quota, and in the rare event that a program does not meet the minimum requirement and GEEO cancels the program, we will work with you to find a suitable alternative or provide a refund of your deposit if you prefer. We encourage you to sign up for any program that interests you, and we will notify the entire group once 6 people are booked and again once 8 people are booked. We always emphasize the importance of exercising caution when making non-refundable travel arrangements, especially given the unpredictable nature of travel. For example, we typically recommend booking flights with flexible change/cancellation policies.
All cancellations must be submitted to GEEO in written form by emailing your request for cancellation to firstname.lastname@example.org
. If you do not receive a confirmation that we have received your written cancellation request, please call us at 1-877-600-0105. Verbal cancellation requests will not be honored.
- If you cancel 60 days or more prior to departure, all your program fee payments will be refunded besides your $350 deposit which is kept on file for future use
- If you cancel between 30 and 59 days prior to departure, you will receive a 50% refund and your deposit is kept on file for future use
- If you cancel within 30 days of departure, you will receive no refund, but your deposit is kept on file for future use
- TRAVEL DAYS: This is not a physically demanding journey; however, traveling can be difficult, as long drives and poor road conditions are the rule as opposed to the exception in both Kenya and Tanzania. A safari is about traveling to see animals, so we cover long distances crossing the country to visit different wildlife parks. Once there, we spend the majority of the time viewing wildlife while driving in the parks. This translates to a lot of driving. Despite this, the diversity and scenery of the African landscape, the local culture, and abundant wildlife are all well worth the experience.
- YELLOW FEVER: According to the WHO and CDC, there is no risk of getting yellow fever in Tanzania. It is compulsory to show a valid Yellow Fever vaccination certificate if you are traveling to Tanzania from a Yellow Fever endemic country, or have RECENTLY traveled to a Yellow Fever endemic country (with entry stamps in your passport), including the following countries (but not limited to): Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Zambia, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela. **We advise all travelers to Tanzania who are coming from one of the above countries, or who have visited them in the last 10 years, to be prepared with a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate or letter from your doctor with proof of vaccination. Yellow Fever inoculations need to be administered at least 10 days prior to your entry into the country. Border officials in Tanzania have been strictly enforcing these requirements. Travelers without the correct documentation run the risk of being denied entry, and will not be able to continue with the tour. (Any additional travel expenses will be on your own account.)**
- EXTRAS: Looking to add to your experience? Check out our Extras! Specially designed for travelers with unique interests, Extras are optional add-ons to your trip that make your adventure more you-centric. Extras must be booked prior to departure, please see details in our optional activities field and email email@example.com to book them.
- ELECTRICITY: The power supply in Tanzania is nominally 240VAC, 50hz. Variable voltage, spikes and sporadic, unexpected, unscheduled power cuts of varying duration can be expected.
- LUGGAGE COMPLICATIONS FLYING INTO NAIROBI: It occasionally happens that luggage on international flights into Nairobi does not arrive, especially with, but not exclusive to, major airlines that fly from London-Heathrow or in Schiphol (Amsterdam). Please be aware that this may happen, especially if you have a tight connection in either of these centers, are flying with different airlines with a connection, have a last-minute flight change or re-route, or fly from or connect through another African center. Please be prepared and keep all important documentation and valuables on your person. As well we recommend a change of clothes in your hand luggage. If unfortunately this does happen, and your luggage does not arrive, you should be entitled to a limited initial compensation from your airline. In Nairobi, the arrival of lost luggage normally takes between 48 and 72 hours after the initial plane’s arrival. The airlines technically should be responsible to forward your luggage to you, to your hotel or elsewhere in Kenya. You may find that you will be needed to travel to Tanzania to begin your tour, and you still have not received your luggage. Considering that the customer service standards in Kenya are different from home and that we find that the airlines are not always pro-active in helping luggage in its care be reunited with its owner, it is recommended that you purchase locally the needed items, and hire someone locally to persist with your airline to retrieve your luggage. Please see the emergency local contact number, and our local manager will be able to help you organize this, and once your luggage is retrieved, it should be able to be forwarded to you – depending on where you are. Please note that any costs that you may incur for luggage retrieval or sending luggage are not the responsibility of G Adventures, though we will always strive to assist you in any way possible. You should always keep all receipts and documentation, and contact your airline or insurance provider for reimbursement.
- FLYING THROUGH LONDON-HEATHROW TO EAST AFRICA?: Please note that regardless of the rules in other centers, travelers flying from, or connecting in, London-Heathrow are currently only permitted one carry-on piece of luggage and one small personal bag (purse, laptop-size bag, briefcase) on board on flights to Nairobi. If you arrive at the security gate with 2 pieces, you will be forced to check-in one of them, which may result in complications noted above. This policy is in place as of the time of writing, though local rules and regulations may indeed change. It is thus advisable to contact your airline directly for the most up-to-date information.
- CAMPING SERVICE: The idea of camping in Africa can be a daunting one. For those not accustomed to ‘roughing it’ for a few days, we offer a full camping service. All tents are pitched for you, meals are prepared and served and the washing up is done by G Adventures staff. This leaves you with more time to enjoy your surroundings and is ideal for first-time campers who may be worried about the challenges such a trip can entail.
When camping we are exposed to the elements, and whilst there are times when the weather is fine and temperatures are pleasant, there may be days when it is foggy, rainy and cool. In certain locations, there may also be a number of bugs. These factors, however, should be seen as minor downsides to a camping experience which will allow you to get up close to the beautiful nature that Africa has to offer.
Camps are open to the natural environment (ie. no fences) – care must be taken, especially at night, when a torch/flashlight is recommended when walking around the camp area.
All camping equipment (with the exception of your sleeping bag and pillow) is supplied. We supply canvas dome tents with built-in mesh insect nets on the doors and windows. Mattresses are also available, which are approximately 4cm thick, warm and comfortable. Please note drinking water, ice, and firewood are not provided but can be bought locally with the assistance of the tour leader.
- SLEEPING BAGS: Sleeping bags can not be rented on any of our Africa overland or safari trips.
- DAY BAG OR DUFFLE BAG: You will not be taking all your main suitcase with you on the four nights of camping. It is important that you have a large day bag or collapsible duffle bag that you take with you on safari.
Group Leader Description
All GEEO/G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of G Adventure's group leaders, which they refer to as Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues, and introduce you to our local friends. Our itineraries often have plenty of free time to explore on your own.
To round out the team, you will be joined by an expert driver/guide and a camp cook. Your group leader may be from East Africa, or another country outside of the region, and will have a general knowledge base of the region and wildlife. Your driver/guide is a skilled and experienced driver and a certified safari guide and is an integral part of the team. Your cook will prepare the camp meals to add some further local flavor to the trip.
This trip includes moderate walking that requires an average level of fitness to enjoy.
When an evening meal is not included, your hotel will have a restaurant or you will be advised of a good local establishment. All camp meals you have during your trip will be prepared from fresh local produce. Shopping for food will be done before the trip departs, fresh vegetables and fruit will be bought along the route from supermarkets, local shops, and markets.
Breakfasts will generally be cereals, if time allows a warm breakfast may be prepared. Many lunches will be provided en-route and will be light meals such as sandwiches or salads. All evening meals will be hot and will consist of a variety of continental and local dishes. Meals will be prepared by the crew with assistance from you if you would like to help cook, this is not compulsory.
Vegetarian meals and other dietary requirements need to be specified prior to arrival.
Please note all bottled drinking water will be at your own expense.
About our Transportation
This trip is done in private 7 seat 4×4 Land cruiser vehicles. With sliding windows and a large pop-up roofs, these vehicles are designed for wildlife viewing. If there is a large group, 2 vehicles will be used.
Speed governors set to 80 kph are used on all vehicles to ensure a safe driving speed. Please note for your own safety it is mandatory to wear your seat belt at all times when in a vehicle.
All G Adventure vehicles are regularly serviced and follow a strict maintenance schedule. However given the long travel days and rough conditions of many of the roads in Africa, vehicles can and do breakdown on occasion. If such situations occur all drivers are trained mechanics and any vehicle issues are rectified as quickly as possible so as to not disrupt your trip. Your patience is requested if the vehicle you are traveling in happens to encounter a mechanical fault.
This is not a physically demanding journey; however, traveling can be difficult, with long drives and poor road conditions at times. Please take note of the travel times and distances in the above itinerary, and consider that this is often on poor quality, bumpy roads. Despite this, most clients feel that the diversity of the African landscape, culture, and wildlife are all well worth the experience.
We use a local airline to fly between Arusha and Zanzibar. On Zanzibar, we travel using minibuses.
The group will spend seven nights in simple hotels, typically with en suite bathroom facilities.
The group will spend four nights camping. Camping in Tanzania is truly an adventure. You will be able to get off the beaten track to get a first-hand experience of the beautiful wilderness and nature. While camping, we stay at designated campsites inside and nearby the national reserves and parks. These campsites are generally very basic and are not comparable to western standards. We pitch tents at the public campsites and may be sharing the space and facilities with other groups, especially during the high seasons. (The number of people sharing these campsites may influence the cleanliness and environment of these public campsites.)
All camping equipment (with the exception of your sleeping bag) is supplied, including camp mattresses, which are warm and comfortable. We supply dome tents and assembly/disassembly takes only 5 minutes. They are good quality, durable, industry-standard 2-person safari canvas tents. Please note that most adults will not be able to fully stand up inside the tents, though most travelers find these more than adequate, as they have a base area of approximately 4 square meters. These tents are regularly treated with a waterproofing agent, but under certain rainy conditions, the tent fabric may become saturated to the point where seepage or leakage may occur. All tents have built-in mesh insect netting on the windows and doors.
Our campsite in Mto wa Mbu is basic, but clean and the location is very convenient. Once we move into the Serengeti National Park and to the Ngorongoro Crater rim, the facilities become more basic with long-drop latrines, simple cold shower or bathing, and no electricity. Camps are open to the natural environment (ie. no fences) – care must be taken, especially at night, when a torch/flashlight is recommended when walking around the camp area.
The idea of camping in Africa can be a daunting one. For those not accustomed to ‘roughing it’ for a few days, don’t worry, your trip is a ‘full-service camping’ experience. All tents are pitched for you, meals are prepared and served and the washing up is done by G Adventures staff. This leaves you with more time to enjoy your surroundings and is ideal for first-time campers who may be worried about the challenges such a trip can entail.
** NOTE **
- In Zanzibar, we stay in standard, twin-share accommodation in Stone Town and on the beach. Please note that our Zanzibar Beach Resort location is subject to change due to availability.
- Before booking any post nights in Zanzibar please CONTACT US to confirm the location.
Half of GEEO’s participants travel by themselves, so please don’t worry if you do not have a travel companion for your trip. Our program fee is for one traveler in double-occupancy accommodation, and GEEO can find you a roommate of the same gender if you do not have a travel companion. Most of our programs have a “My Own Room” option, also known as a “Single Supplement,” which is an extra fee that you can pay to have a room to yourself. You will only incur an additional charge if you specifically request a single room. To see the price for the “My Own Room” option, please find your program on our extra services page
. If you want to room alone, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
to request a single room.
Day 1 is an arrival day, and no activities have been planned. Upon arrival to the city on Day 1, or earlier if you have booked pre-accommodation with us, please make your way to the joining hotel. Please note: Check-in time will be in the afternoon. Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note at reception from your tour leader. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on Day 1, usually between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., during which you will get a chance to meet your tour leader and other travelers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don’t see a note, please ask reception for details. If you miss the Welcome Meeting, your tour leader will leave a note at reception for you with any information you may need and with instructions for the next morning.
On arrival, please make your way to the hotel. Kilimanjaro International airport is approximately 40km, or 40 minutes, from Arusha. Taxis are available to transfer you to Arusha and cost approximately $50 USD per car. From Nairobi in Kenya, Arusha is approximately 6 hours by land, including the border formalities. To arrive in Arusha from Nairobi, a seat on a public shuttle bus (leaves daily at 8 am) can be pre-booked through GEEO/G Adventures and takes 6 hours. There are also direct flights from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro International with Precision Air
that take about one hour.
If you prepay for an airport transfer, please look for the driver, who will be holding a sign with the G Adventures logo on it. There are taxi drivers who will want to get your attention and business, so please watch for the official G Adventures representative. For security purposes, your name will not be on the G Adventures sign. Please do not tell the driver your name straight away, but rather ask the driver first to tell you who they are meant to pick up; this will ensure that you go with the right driver.
Please be aware that the tour departs Arusha in the morning of day 2. You may wish to arrive in Arusha a day early to avoid complications due to flight delays or cancellations.
Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call their local G Adventures office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Office (Nairobi, Kenya)
From outside Kenya: +254 727 208 832
From within Kenya: 0727 208 832
G Adventures Local Representative (Tanzania)
During office hours, 9 am-5 pm local time:
From outside Tanzania: +255 754 400 141
From within Tanzania: 0754 400 141
If you are unable for any reason to contact the local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with the 24-hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please call the local emergency contact numbers listed below for more information.
For any issues relating to pre-booked transfers for Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, including delays or missed transfers, please contact the airport transfer operator:
Musaddiq: +255 754 400 141 or +255 787 400 142
(From outside Tanzania) Musaddiq: 0754 400 141 or 0787 400 142
Please read this article
on GEEO’s blog for our staff’s suggestions on the best gear to pack for your upcoming travels. You must be prepared to carry your own bags and be comfortable carrying them up and down stairs, on and off transportation, and to hotels. As a rule, we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 minutes with your bags, which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 22-30 lb. Most travelers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size. No XXL bags please! A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person plus a daypack per person.
Health & Safety
- N95/KN95 face masks (at least a few just in case there is an outbreak within your group)
- Hand sanitizer
- Rapid Covid tests/antigen tests (at least 3)
- Sleeping bag (it tends to be in the 50s F at night.)
- One outfit of warm clothing for the evening/night and early mornings (Important! It can get really cold at night, especially at the crater.)
- Light windproof/waterproof rain jacket
- Sun hat
- Personal clothing for weather in the 50s to the 80s – we recommend packing 8-9 days of outfits so you only have to do laundry once
- At least one pair of long pants
- Daypack (you will need one large enough to carry your possessions when camping—a collapsable duffel bag can be used instead)
- Sturdy walking shoes (close-toed)
- Sport sandals or flip-flops
- Watch or alarm clock
- Camp Towel (important!)
- Small flashlight or headlamp (important!)
- Toiletries – your hotels will have soap and shampoo
- First-aid kit, including: lip salve, aspirin, bandaids, anti-histamine, Dramamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, electrolyte powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking
- Lightweight silk sleeping bag liner
- Travel pillow
- Money belt
- Water bottle
- Phone/tablet for internet – most hotels have WiFi
- Chargers for electronics as well converters/adapters, if needed
- AirTags or Tile trackers
- Packing cubes
- Snacks – packing a few granola bars is a good idea; you can buy snacks when you get there too, so don’t go crazy here
- Ziplock bags for wet clothing
- Reading/writing material
- Hand sanitizer/baby wipes
- Passport (with photocopies)
- Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
- Travel insurance ID card
- Flight itinerary/boarding pass(es)
- USD/EUR cash
- Credit/debit card
- G Adventures vouchers
- GEEO Classroom action plans for your group – this is sent a few days before departure
Hand washing of clothes can be done at campsites, as most have simple facilities for this purpose. We recommend bringing a non-polluting/biodegradable soap, as well as a roll of string to use as a clothes line for drying. If you arrive at the campsite in the late afternoon, or if there is poor weather, it may not be possible for your clothes to completely dry overnight. Your hotel in Arusha also has laundry service for a charge.
Passports and Visas
All GEEO programs require that the participant have a valid passport. Please see our general FAQ
for information on obtaining a passport. As with all of our trips, we try to provide the most accurate information we can, but governments sometimes change visa rules. It is your responsibility to double check the information we provide below by searching here
Please reference GEEO's Tanzanian tourist visa guidance
. As fees and policies can change, we highly recommend that you contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements. It is your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation.
IMPORTANT NOTE: It may be required to show a Yellow Fever certificate upon entering Tanzania from certain countries. Please check in with your local consulate and health expert for advice on Yellow Fever and other inoculations required for travel to Tanzania.
The local currency in Tanzania is the Tanzanian Shilling (TSH or TZS). As currency exchange rates fluctuate, we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com.
Credit cards can be used in major cities and towns, but please do not rely on them as a method of payment, because they are generally not widely accepted. The majority of our optional activities can be paid by credit card, however. Visa/Plus cards are the most widely accepted by businesses in East Africa; it can be more difficult to locate ATMs and businesses that accept Mastercard/Cirrus cards. If you normally use a Mastercard, we highly recommend that you also obtain a Visa card prior to departure. You should also be aware that when purchasing products or services on a credit card, a fee of 3%-10% often applies.
Please note that in many areas, there may be occasional power-outages when there will be no electricity for hours at a time. In addition, ATMs outside of larger centers often run out of cash or can be out of order unexpectedly. These factors could affect your ability to access money from ATMs. As such, please do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of foreign currency and debit/credit cards for cash advances is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
Tipping is an expected, though not compulsory, component of this program and an expression of satisfaction with the people who assist you on your trip. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. Tipping is also one of the most direct ways that you can have a positive economic impact within the local community. Although it may not be customary for you, it is an important source of income for those in the tourism industry in Africa. Giving a tip should be seen as a formal “thank you,” and the action should in no way be awkward.
The best method of tipping someone who has served your entire group is to plan in advance, and not rush when it comes to saying goodbye. A suggestion would be for each group member to contribute anonymously by putting their tip into an envelope, which the tour can present to the recipient(s), offering their thanks and showing their appreciation. This method brings the action out into the open, allowing for friendly and appreciative interaction between the group and the recipient(s).
You may use the following as a guideline per person:
Tour leader: $5 USD (per day)
Driver: $5 USD (per day)
Supply Crew: $2-5 USD (per day)
Local guides: $1 USD (per couple of hours)
Restaurant Staff: 10% of the cost of bill
GEEO cannot provide any medical advice, so it is very important to consult your doctor or a travel clinic about which vaccinations you will need for your trip. We recommend contacting Passport Health (http://www.passporthealthusa.com/), which has travel clinics located throughout the United States. You can also check the CDC's recommended vaccinations
for your destination. Please take this seriously!
We find the best prices for flights are often available around 90 days before departure, but of course this varies greatly from route to route and year to year. You should wait until this trip is confirmed before you book non-refundable flights.
GEEO and G Adventures bear no responsibility for any flights purchased before the trip is confirmed.
This program begins in Arusha and ends in Stone Town. Please double-check our itinerary for the date by which you must arrive in Arusha. Most people will fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport, but you could also fly into relatively nearby Nairobi (in Kenya) if flights are cheaper. A transfer typically takes 3 hours plus border crossing time. Keep in mind flying into Nairobi could cause complications with visas and COVID protocols. You can arrive at any time you choose, but try to make it in time for our 6:00 p.m. Welcome Meeting on Day 1. Your trip ends in Stone Town where you will be transferred to Abeid Amani Karume International Airport. You must not book your departing flight from Abeid Amani Karume International Airport for any time earlier than 2:30 PM.
Plugs and Converters
There are two components to provide external power to your device: adapters and transformers (also called electrical converters). The adapter is for your device's plug, adapting the prongs on a standard U.S. two- to three-pronged power cord to fit the local outlets. The transformer/converter changes the local voltage to the voltage used in the U.S.
You will want to bring plug adapters for outlet types D and G. The voltage is 230 Volts. (Standard U.S. electrical outlets are 120V.) Most new devices, including phones and laptops, are made to work with the different voltage rates, but some devices, like hair dryers, may only work on the U.S. standard of 120V. Check your device's plug or manual to see what voltage range it requires. Most transformer blocks will have an “Input” line that defines its voltage capacity; for example, “Input: 100-240V” means that it will work with voltages between 100V to 240V. If your device can’t handle the higher voltage, you’ll need to purchase a transformer/converter. You can find world transformers/converters online or at many retail stores in the travel section.
Before you decide to travel with GEEO, it is important that you read all of the information about the program you are considering. Remember, our programs are quite adventurous.
- The purpose of the accommodation is to provide a safe, well-located place for you to sleep. The hotels on this trip can be pretty basic. There are also four nights of camping.
- We use a mix of transportation that gets our guests from location to location safely. Expect some long days in our vehicle.
- Your luggage must not exceed the dimensions we list in our packing list, so do not over-pack.
- We recommend always carrying snacks with you. Meals can sometimes be far apart.
- Please make sure you understand the role of your tour leader on this trip as they are not the traditional “guide” you may be expecting. While our trips are educational, they aren’t study/lecture trips. We want you to learn through exploring, and much of your experience will be based on how active you choose to be in acquiring knowledge and interacting with locals.
Hopefully this is the kind of adventure you are interested in!
While it is our intention to adhere to the routes described on our website, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable, to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The information on our website is a general guide to the tour and region, and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
Tanzania has a tropical climate, and temperatures are fairly consistent year-round, at about 77°F–86°F on the lowlands and at the coast, and around 59°F–68°F in the highlands. The most significant variables are altitude and rainfall. The weather conditions in Tanzania in December can be roughly divided into two halves: Early December sees more rain, with the lingering short rains that started in November. By later in December, the weather is drier, although there's still a chance of showers, especially at night.
December is an excellent time to catch the Great Migration of wildebeest in northern parts of Tanzania, as the huge herds of animals start arriving in Tanzania from Kenya in November. By December, numbers will have become more steady, and calving is underway.
Advice from Past Participants
"I didn't know that we could use USD most everywhere-tipping, restaurants, stores, markets. Bringing $50-100 in ones and some fives would be very helpful as there is a lot of tipping on this trip. Not only the CEOs (make note there are two of them, one in mainland Tanzania, another in Zanzibar), drivers, and local guides, but often we gave tips to people we talked to in the villages who showed us how they made things. For example, in Jambiani, we tipped the women who showed us how they plant and harvest seaweed and make rope. Plus the service people at hotels were super attentive and we tipped them extra. Also, women that cooked for us in Mto Wa Mbu, Masai in the village, boat drivers in Zanzibar, plus airport transfer tips. A lot of tipping money is needed.
"It was colder than I was expecting. Long johns would be a good thing to have for camping."
"I think that the wording of the driving time each day could also be better explained. For example, on Day 4 it says that drive time will be most of the day in the vehicle. While that was true, those hours spent during the day were actually on safari and looking at animals. Before I realized this, I wasn't super thrilled about all of those long driving days, but now I understand that it meant that we would be out on safari for the whole day and not just driving from one point to another."
"We couldn't bring our entire bags/suitcases with us during the 4 nights of camping. We were instructed to bring a separate smaller bag with us instead."
"The guidelines did say that meals would be far apart, but they were really very odd. We would eat breakfast at 7 or 8, not each lunch until sometimes as late as 2 or 3, and then eat dinner at 6 or 7. Make sure you have snacks!"
"Bring LOTS of USD cash in SMALL bills. It was really hard to make change, and lots of tips were needed. Also, to stay away from black, blue, and bright colors for the day in Safari with the dangerous flies."
"Personally, I would have liked a better understanding of the clothing I needed. There was only one day when I needed to avoid black and blue (due to the tsetse flies), and it was only really chilly one night. I took too many clothes for cooler weather. I knew the dollar was accepted, but they literally would take the dollar ANYWHERE and gave a better deal if I paid with US dollars versus the local currency (Tanzania Schillings). I took $50 in one dollar bills, but I wished I had more. It was hard to get change for a $20. Lots and lots of tips were needed. It was a wonderful trip!"