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FAQs


Dear friends, we would love to provide you a wide range of answers for the most frequently asked questions we have been getting over the years. If you have any further, please feel free to contact us via: Phone number: (+255 732 973893 / +255 7555 49872) or Email: info@chiefstours.com.

We will be happy to give you all necessary information before your decision to traveling with us in your memorable trip to Tanzania. Below are FAQs divided into 3 categories: General information, Mountain Climbing and Safaris.

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GENERAL QUESTIONS TO TRAVEL IN TANZANIA

1. What official documents do I need to travel to Tanzania?

You will require a passport valid for at least six months after your date of entry. If you are arriving from a country in which Yellow Fever is endemic (such as Kenya), you will require an immunization certificate or health card.

Each traveller is responsible for sorting out their own passport and visa requirements, and we cannot offer much assistance in this matter. If you do not yet have a passport, apply for one early, as they can take some time to arrive. If you already have a passport, double check when it expires.

While Tanzania is a commonwealth country, UK citizens definitely do need a visa to enter. This is also true for citizens of South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, India, Nigeria and Canada. Visas usually cost in the neighborhood of $50 (around £40), but some visas from the US can cost $100. Tanzanian visas expire three months after they are issued so be careful not to apply too soon.

Visas can be purchased upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport (IATA code: JRO), but you can expect long queues, and for the process to take an extra hour or more. The Tanzanian High Commission has stressed that they have the right to deny visas applied for on arrival. We have never had a report of this happening, but it is a danger best avoided.

For these reasons, we highly recommend that travellers get their visa in advance if at all possible. More information about applying for a Tanzanian visa in the UK can be found here. On the other hand, many US travellers prefer to avoid risking their passports in the mail, and other potential delays, by applying upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airports.

2. How safe is it to travel in Tanzania?

Tanzania is a safe country to travel in. Tanzanians are warm-hearted and generous people and are eager to help and assist visitors. As in all countries, a little common sense goes a long way and reasonable precautions should still be taken, such as locking valuables in the hotel safe, do not carry a lot of camera equipment especially in the major cities, do not wear too much jewel and do not carry too large amounts of cash with you, etc.

Chief’s Tours Guides will monitor your safety in cities and in the game areas. From time to time generalized travel statements are issued concerning travel conditions in the area. For the current Department of State announcements and Consular information see http://travel.state.gov/.

3. How safe is the water and food in Tanzania?

Chief’s Tours is located in the Kilimanjaro region where there is a great source of clean drinking water from the mountain. Although we always encourage our customers to reduce using plastic bottles by refilling yours with our boiled water (please ask if you require), it is still best to drink bottled water when travelling through Tanzania - numerous brands are widely available and served in all restaurants and lodges. You also can buy bigger sizes like 5-10-20liter. Steer clear of ice, raw vegetables, and salads when eating at street restaurants. High-end lodges and restaurants will clean their produce in an antiseptic solution, but to be on the safe side, fruit and vegetables should always be washed and peeled. Try to avoid eating in empty restaurants - the food may have been sitting out for some time - and order your meat well done. On the coast, seafood and fish are usually fresh, but make sure everything is well-cooked.

4. What is typical food in Tanzania?

The food served in the safari camps/lodges varies, but is tasty and delicious. Gourmet cooks bake fresh bread, and produce soups, salads, and entrees that could easily grace tables at the top restaurants around the world. Meals are international in flavor with soups, salads, cold meats, pasta dishes, meat and fish dishes, and breads. Your day normally starts with tea and biscuits before your morning activity.

Returning to your lodge or camp late morning, brunch is enjoyed - cereals, fruit, bacon, eggs, sausage, and toast. Buffet lunches are typical with a warm dish such as stew served with salads, quiches and cold meats. Dinner consists of an appetizer followed by meat, fish and pasta dishes served with assorted vegetables and sauces. Dinner is followed by coffee/ tea, cheeses, and stunning desserts.

In Tanzania's towns and villages, the food is usually simpler. Nyama choma (grilled meat) is very popular and often served with sauce, rice, chips, or ugali (cornmeal). Indian cuisine is also widespread. The locally brewed beer is good, including Serengeti, Safari, Kilimanjaro, mbege (homebrew from the Chagga people originally from Kilimanjaro region) and banana beer; imported beers (e.g. Tusker from Kenya) and wine are also excellent.

5. Do I need Vaccination on Travel to Tanzania?

Here are some recommended vaccination to travel to our country:

  • Hepatitis A or Immune globulin (IG). Transmission of hepatitis virus can occur through direct person-to-person contact: through exposure to contaminated water, ice, or shellfish harvested in contaminated water: or from fruits, vegetables, or other foods that are eaten uncooked and that were contaminated during harvesting or subsequent handling.
  • Hepatitis B Especially if you might be exposed to blood or body fluids (for example health-care workers) have sexual contact with the local population) or be exposed through medical treatment. Vaccine is now recommended for all infants and for children ages 11-12 years who did not receive the series as infants.
  • Meningococcal (meningitis) if you plan to visit countries in this region that experience epidemics of meningococcal disease during December through June.
  • Rabies, pre-exposure vaccination, if you might have extensive unprotected outdoor exposure in rural areas, such as might occur during camping, hiking or bicycling, or engaging in certain occupational activities.
  • Typhoid fever can be contracted through contaminated drinking water or food or by eating food or drinking beverages that have been handled by a person who is infected. Large outbreaks are most often related to fecal contamination of water supplies or foods sold by street vendors.
  • Yellow fever, viral disease that occurs primarily in sub-Saharan Africa and tropical South America, is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected mosquitoes. The virus is also present in Panama and Trinidad and Tobago. Yellow fever vaccination is recommended for travelers to endemic areas and may be required to cross certain international borders (for country specific requirements, see yellow fever vaccine Requirements and information on malaria Risk and Prophylaxis, by country.)
    Vaccination should be given 10 days before travel and at 10-year intervals if there is on-going risk. As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria, measles, and a one-time dose of polio vaccine for adult.
  • Malaria is always a serious disease and may be a deadly illness. Humans get malaria from the bite of a mosquito infected with the parasite. Your risk of malaria may be high in all countries in East Africa, including cities. All travelers to East Africa, including infants, children and former residents of East Africa, may be at risk for malaria. Prevent this serious disease by seeing your health care provider for a prescription antimalarial drug and by protecting yourself against.

Please, consult your local immunization doctor before you travel abroad. You can also check up-to-date at the Center for Disease control and receive the guidelines.

6. What is the time zone in Tanzania?

Tanzania is three hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+3). Tanzania does not operate daylight saving time, hence there's no time difference between their summer and winter months.

7. What is Tanzania's International Dialling code?

The International Dialling Code for Tanzania is +255, followed by the applicable area codes (e.g. 22 for Dar es Salaam, or 27 for Arusha). Calling out from Tanzania, you dial 00 plus the relevant country code (44 for the UK, 1 for the USA).

8. What is the Tanzania currency?

The official unit of currency is the Tanzanian shilling (TZS), divided into 100 cents. Notes are issued as TSh10,000; 5000; 1000; 500; 200 and 100. Coins are issued as TSh100; 50; 20; 10, 5 and 1.

The tourism industry prices everything in US Dollars and they are the preferred unit of currency. Major currencies can be exchanged in the larger towns. Foreign exchange bureaux in the main towns usually offer a better rate on traveler's cheques than do the banks. ATMs are available in major cities only. Major lodges, some hotels and travel agents in urban areas accept credit cards, but these should not be relied on and can incur a 10% surcharge.

 ***

KILIMANJARO CLIMBING with CHIEF’S TOURS

1. When is the best time to climb Kilimanjaro? 

Mount Kilimanjaro can be climbed anytime throughout the year. Most travelers prefer climbing during the dry seasons: December to March, June to October. Many consider the best months to climb Kilimanjaro to be January, February and September

2. Does climbing Kilimanjaro involve technicalities? 

The trek up Kilimanjaro is not a technical climb. You do not require any mountaineering equipment to reach the summit. In fact, anyone in good physical condition can reach the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. You should be able to run for at least half an hour without feeling shortness of breath. You should also be able to walk for at least 2 hours in hilly terrains without feeling overly exhausted. No one with a sore throat, cold or breathing problems should go beyond 3000m. Anyone with heart or lung problems should consult his/her physician before attempting to climb Mt Kilimanjaro.

3. Are park fees included in your price? 

Yes, all Tanzania National Park (TANAPA) fees are included in our Kilimanjaro price. Currently, the conservation fees at Kilimanjaro National Park are: US$70 per person per day and US$50 per person per night for camping. Crew entry fees and Tanzanian Forest Services Agency (TFS) fees (applicable for Rongai, Shira and Lemosho routes) are also included in our Kilimanjaro price.

4. Can children climb Kilimanjaro? 

Yes! The minimum age limit set by Kilimanjaro National Park for children trekking to Uhuru Peak on Mount Kilimanjaro is 10 years old.

5. What is the weather like on Mt. Kilimanjaro? 

You can expect equatorial to arctic conditions on Mt Kilimanjaro. Depending on the route chosen, you will begin your trek in dry plains or tropical forests with average temperatures between 25⁰C and 30⁰C. You will then ascend through various terrains and weather zones to arrive at the permanently snow-capped summit. Expect rainfalls and sub-zero temperatures on your trek.

6. How long does it take to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro?

It depends on the route chosen, most trekkers take 4-6 days to reach the summit. The longer you spend on the mountain, the more time your body gets to acclimatize, the higher the chance you will succeed in reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro.

7. What kind of mountain climbing gear do I need for Kilimanjaro? 

Please refer to Chief’s Tour Equipment Checklist for your information.

8. Can we leave excess luggage behind whist trekking? 

Yes, any excess luggage you do not need to carry with you on Mount Kilimanjaro can be left safely at our office. You should keep valuable items with you at all times.

9. What is the weight limit for luggage on Kilimanjaro climbs? 

Each porter can carry up to 20kg of luggage.

10. What kind of food can we expect to have during our Kilimanjaro trip?

Our typical food on the mountain includes:

- BREAKFAST: Coffee,Tea, Porridge, Fruits, Fruit juice, Scrambled eggs/omelet, Sausage, Toast, Margarine, Honey and jam, etc.

- LUNCH: Tea, Coffee, Chips, Sandwiches, Biscuits, Pancakes with honey or jam, and fruits, other nutritious Tanzanian-styled meals, etc. 

- DINNER:  Soup, well-cooked meat or vegetarian meal (these include chicken/beef with rice, sliced fresh carrots and green beans, mashed potatoes, and salads), etc, fruits, and fruit juice, and a variety of hot drinks.

If you have any suggestions about meals, please do not hesitate to inform us and we will work on it as you prefer. Also please refer to pictures of our sample food.

11. Can you serve people with special diets? 

Of course! We can cater for vegetarian, gluten-free, or any other special diets. Kindly let us know at the time of booking.

12. How many climbers will we be trekking with on Mt. Kilimanjaro? 

Since Chief's Tours operates private guided climbs, you will not be trekking with any strangers : )

13. Is my departure guaranteed if I sign up with your company for Kilimanjaro climb? 

Yes, 100%! Because we do not join groups together, you can choose to start your climb on any day you choose.

14. Where and how often are your guides and porters trained? How do you select them? 

Before obtaining their license, all guides need to attend training provided by Kilimanjaro National Park – on both theory and practical components as well as First Aid. They will need to pass an exam before they can get their license. We would never consider anyone who is not certified. We always interview potential candidates before we would hire them. We would only use someone who is knowledgeable, has a good attitude and good English as an assistant guide. We reject a lot of candidates asking for a job because they do not meet our standards. Before we would promote someone as chief guide, he would need to have a lot of experience on the mountain and has many good feedbacks from clients. Still, we would retrain lead guides and let them know of clients’ feedback so they can keep improving.

15. What are some of your hygiene practices on the mountain? 

We always boil and filter drinking water for our clients. Cooks always make sure the food is well cooked and the utensils are sterilized with clean hot water before they are used. The mess tent is cleaned on a daily basis. Mess tents are solely reserved for clients’ use and we do not allow porters to sleep in them.

16. Are emergency oxygen tanks include in your climb price? 

Yes. The price also includes the salary of a porter to carry the oxygen tanks during your summit attempt.

17. Can we rent a portable toilet for our climb?

Yes, portable toilets is available for rental at US$100/trip

For other equipment rentals, please kindly refer to Chief’s Tour Equipment Rental list

18. How many guides will we have? 

You will have one lead guide and an assistant guide for 2-3 climbers. 

  • For 4-6 climbers, you will have one lead guide and 2 assistant guides.
  • For 7-8 climbers, you will have one lead guide and 3 assistant guides
  • For 9-10 climbers, you will have one lead guide and 4 assistant guides.
    Chief's Tours always makes sure you have the best technical and mental support on any mountain! 

19. How is the quality of camping equipment that you use?

We use high-quality tents imported from the USA, Canada and Australia. We also provide foam mattresses designed for mountain excursions (not the thin yoga mat type).

20. How many porters will accompany us? 

You will have 4-6 porters per person for your group. This depends on your group size and the weight of your luggage.

The porters will carry all the tents, food, and the luggage that you do not require while hiking so you will only need to carry a day pack during the day.

21. What safety equipment do you carry on the trek? 

All of our lead guides are trained and certified in the following areas: altitude sickness and recognizing symptoms in the early stages, emergency use of oxygen, wilderness first responder and performing CPR. Each guide carries a first aid kit which includes: paracetamol, Imodium, ibuprofen, rehydration salts, paraffin gauze, sterile swabs, bandages, plasters, cotton wools, latex gloves & tongs, antiseptic disinfectant, antimicrobial cream, antihistamine, Diamox, etc

We check in with the clients and crew daily at camp as they are equipped with mobile phones. Each ranger post also has radio communication.

22. What if one member of the group gets sick during the trek? 

Because you will have many guides and assistant guides, an assistant will take the ill person down while the rest of the group goes on. If the person is extremely sick then we call for a dispatch for stretcher – the rescue fee is included in your quote. But before reaching that point, our guides are very careful and they will monitor the health of everyone every day on the mountain to make sure that the sickness does not get to that point.

23. What is the recommended weight for our day pack? 

We would recommend that you carry no more than 10kg. The average is 7kg. You only need to carry the essentials (3L drinking water, valuables, camera, lunch/snacks, rain layer...). The rest of the items you can leave with porters to carry

24. Are you supporting the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project? 

Yes. In addition to paying a proper wage above minimum rate and supplying proper food and tents on the mountain, we also cover for any medical expenses in case of injury or illness arising from work.

25. Are you able to provide us with other references? 

Most certainly! Please ask. Chief’s Tours will be happy to answer you any kind of question!

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SAFARI EXPERIENCE with CHIEF’S TOURS

1. Do I need to arrange for my own transfer on arrival?

Chief’s Tours driver will pick you up and transfer you to designation hotels. Picking up on arriving airport and dropping off is included on our package. We arrange also other group transport if required.

2. Which does safari cost include?

Tanzania safari wildlife safari prices depending on the number of people in each trip, how many days of safari and the level of comfort or luxury. Our packages covers: 

  • Professional and experienced English speaking safari guide
  • Park entrance fee
  • New 4×4 Toyota land cruiser witpop-upp up roof
  • Food as per itinerary
  • Water for drinking
  • Government Taxes
  • Pick up on your hotel &Transfers.

3. How many people can be in a safari vehicle?

We ensure everyone gets a window seat. All of our Safari vehicles are 4×4 Toyota Land Cruisers that takes 4 people, if 6 including a driver and a safari guide for the extended ones.

4. Who will be with us during our safari?

A wildlife guide, who is also your private driver, will accompany you. If you choose a camping safari, you will also travel with a chef, who will prepare all of your delicious meals while in the bush..

5. How much luggage should we bring on a Tanzania safari?

Pack packs with without flames is better and suitcases. Those luggage may be packed on back or in the roof rack of safari 20 Kg (44lbs) are maximum weight.

6. How is a typical day on a Tanzania safari?

Typical day in a Safari starts early in the morning with breakfast, full-day game drive and dinner.

  • Early morning: Early start with breakfast in which Tea, biscuits and fruits which is served at 6.30 am followed by morning game drives. This generally the best sport to see animals return from a night of hunting. You will continue with 3 to 4 hours of game while animals are still active
  • Lunchtime: Lunch can be a lunch box on picnic sites or on lodges/ tented camps eats drinks and rest. Lunch, rest and continues with an evening game drive around 3 pm.
  • Afternoon: Late afternoon is the best time to see animals. Predatory animals begin to stir, they prey become more active. You will return to the lodge around 6.30 pm for shower and dinner.
  • Evening: You will usually spend your evenings at the camp or on lodges dining area with large fire under the star.
  • Night: in the Northern part of Serengeti, Manyara and Tarangire, you may have an opportunity to have a night game drive. A nigh game drive will give you a different perspective of the bush and unforgettable memories in Africa Bush.

7. Will I have a chance to interact with the local people of Tanzania?

The vast majority of Tanzanians still live a lifestyle very close to their traditional lifestyles, and most local people are subsistence farmers.

8. What are the safety precautions for safaris?

  • Be sure to follow the tips for safety precautions in Tanzanian safaris, so as to have safe and enjoyable moments during your safari
  • People in Tanzania are very friendly and polite but still, you have to be careful when you are around the city center with valuable things and big camera hanging around on your neck
  • Never walk at night alone instead it’s better to use transport, your local guides or nearby hotel
  • Make sure you record a number of your passport, airline tickets, traveler checks and credit cards and keep them in a safe place
  • Always follow your guide’s instructions and guidelines. It is extremely rare for incidents to occur and always your professional guide is there to ensure your safety
  • Stay in the car during game drives except at designated areas where you are allowed to get out of the car
  • Never walk off far to a bush it’s better to ask for advice from your guide about where to go
  • Don’t stand up in the car, hang out of the window or sit on the roof
  • Don’t drive too close to animals if you are on a self-drive safari
  • Stay close to your guide and group on a walking safari and always walk in single file.
  • Watch where you put your feet while walking in the bush.

9. Which safari clothes do I need to pack?

Bright color clothes are not suitable for any game view. Take comfortable clothes and huts and sun for Tanzania safari.

10. What is the food like on Tanzania Safari? Do you provide food for people with special diets?

The food depends on what kind of hotels and lodges you stay in, it can either be a 4 star or a 3-star quality. There are various lodges or tented camps that provide best meals and food for your Tanzania safari.

Of course, Chief’s Tours are happy to serve visitors with any kind of diet.  Whether your meals are prepared by your private chef on a basic camping safari, or by the lodge or camp chef, given advance notice we can usually accommodate any special dietary needs. Be sure to discuss these with us early in the planning stages.

11. What is the booking process with Chief’s Tours

  • You make an inquiry
  • We propose one or more itineraries, offering several variations for you to review.
  • We make revisions with you until you are satisfied with your final itinerary.
  • Prior to going to contract, we perform a comprehensive check of all accommodations on the final itinerary, and request “provisional bookings” for the selected dates.
  • Upon final confirmation with the accommodations, you will receive a final contract for signing, and your deposit is due. If some accommodations are not available, we will continue to search for and confirm alternates prior to going to contract.
  • Once you sign and return your contract and we receive your deposit monies, our office submits booking vouchers, make deposits to the accommodations, and finalizes all bookings.
  • Signed and stamped booking vouchers are scanned and emailed to you as final confirmation of your bookings.

The process is conducted via email. We may be able to arrange telephones or video calls (Skype/WhatsApp/Messenger/Snapchat/LINE etc.). Documents will be scanned and sent to you via email.

12. Do you have any recommendation for safari guidebooks?

We highly recommend these books:

  • The Bradt Guide—Tanzania Safari Guide by Philip Briggs (August 2013)
  • The Bradt Guide to Northern Tanzania by Philip Briggs (June 2013)
  • Insight Guide to Tanzania and Zanzibar (December 2013)
  • Wildlife of East Africa by Martin Withers and David Hosking
  • National Audubon Society Field Guide to African Wildlife

 

Thank you for considering us. Let Chief's Tours guide you on your memorable trip to Tanzania!

Contact: +255 732 973893 / +255 7555 49872 / + 255 686 952 599

Email: info@chiefstours.com | Website: https://chiefstours.com/

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