Things to know before you go to Tanzania, What to Pack
Tanzania’s has over 120 ethnic groups, so getting involved in the culture is a must. Try the traditional foods. Kilimanjaro is the world’s largest free-standing mountain at 5895m high and 40km wide. Driving conditions and the quality of the road surfaces can be challenging in some parts of the country. Travelling by train can be a great way to get around for the budget-conscious tourists. The TARZARA train takes travelers 1160miles from Dar es Salaam, all the way to Zambia.
Be prepared to book in advance though. The clocks tend to run a bit differently – based on the Kiswahili standard, the day starts at 0 hours (6am sunrise) and ends at 12 (6pmsunset). Only drink from bottled water, the water is not safe to drink. Get your vaccinations and protect yourself against malaria.
How to protect yourself from Malaria?
On the advices of doctors and seasoned travelers, there are two ways to cope with the potential disease:
Take drugs for the prevention
The course of special medicines is recommended, to prepare your body to the possible meeting with the malarial mosquito. The most popular are Lariam, Doxycycline, Malarone (or Malanil). It is advisable to start the prevention before the departure and continue it during all the journey and 2-4 weeks after leaving the country. But you should note that all these drugs are not harmless for your health because they have a lot of contraindications which could have a negative impact on your body. Liver, intestinal tract, the organs of vision and nervous systems could be affected because of such prevention. Therefore, we advise you to discuss it with your doctor before taking these medicines.
To be careful
If you do not want to share your journey with all possible side effects, so take repellents, long sleeves clothes and choose a good place to sleep. Hotels are equipped with mosquito nets with insecticide. Air-conditioners help well because mosquitoes are afraid of coolness and plasmodium does not develop at temperatures below +20 °C.
Parks like Serengeti and Ngorongoro are massively huge with different ecosystem and may take days to explore. Selous game reserve,Mikumi and Ruaha national parks are in the southern Part of Tanzania. There are three international airports; Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO), Dar es Salaam Airport (DAR) and Zanzibar Airport (ZNZ). Depending on your arrival time, you may have to overnight before catching your connecting flight to your safari camp.
What to pack
- Modest clothing is advisable in the bigger towns and Tanzania and Zanzibar, out of resepct for the prevalent Muslim beliefs and culture.
- It is especially important to cover shoulders and knees, however various camps and lodges and the beaches of Zanzibar accept shorts, t-shirts and beach wear.
- Dark colours like navy and black can attract tsetse flies (bloodsucking flies that transmit sleeping disease).
- Keep colours light and neutral in medium-weight fabrics (flies can’t bite through thicker fabric).
- Sunglasses, hat and sunblock.
- Sandals and walking shoes.
- Small torch and batteries.
- Shoes and clothes for safari
Most of your travel time you will spend sitting in the car. Therefore, clothes should be comfortable, of soft natural fabrics, with a minimum of rubbers, laces, tightening belts and decorative elements such as massive buttons.
Note that to see some animals, you have to go early in the morning, and at this time the weather can be cool and warm clothes would require. Consider the time of the year and weather conditions in this area. For example, in the reserves of the northern regions the daytime temperature can be about + 22-25 ° C, and in the southern part of Tanzania and on the islands is as high as +35 ° C.
For the safari you will need:
- Long sleeves shirt;
- Warm sweater or light jacket (the temperature in the Ngorongoro falls to 0 degrees in the evening and in the morning);
- A pair of T-shirts / T-shirts (preferably 1 pc for every day safaris);
- Light cotton trousers;
- Swimsuit / trunks (if lodges are equipped by pool);
- Headwear (wide-brimmed hat, panama or cap with a visor would be perfect).
Note that during your trip off road, the dust enters inside the car through the open windows / roof, so don’t choose blindingly white clothes, it is better to choose featureless and pale tones like khaki. Light running shoes, sandals or slippers would be perfect.
Much depends on the place of lodging and the hotel level. For example, in the Ngorongoro most hotels are at an altitude of 3000 m, where at the night time the temperature falls to zero, so warm clothes will be useful. In the central part of the Serengeti, on the contrary, it can be hot in sneakers, however the journey in sandals would be more comfortable.
What medicaments you should take to safari
Staff your mini first aid kit:
- Analgesic and antipyretic;
- Drugs from stomach problems (e.g., Enterofuryl, No-Spa, Imodium, Festal, activated carbon);
- Antiseptic (iodine, cream relieves itching and irritation after insect bites);
- Bactericidal plaster, bandage;
- Antimalarial drugs (such as Malarone, Lariam);
- Tablets from motion sickness while the bad work of vestibular apparatus (Dramina, Dramineks);
- Antihistamines for allergies (Claritin, Loratadine, Azelastine).
It is also recommended to bring the repellents because mosquitoes are usually active early in the morning and at sunset, midges terrorize everybody near the waterbodies and the botflies feast in the near vicinity of the animals. Do not forget the sunscreen! Choose a product with SPF 40 protection or higher that the equatorial sun will not paint your skin in all the shades of an African sunset.
Other Important Tips
Even if your program includes all full board hotels and lodges, we recommend you to take nonperishable food for snacking. Adrenaline, drive, emotions and fresh air can work wonders with an appetite! On a road you might have need: Biscuits, corn bread and other snacks;
- Fruit (pre-washed);
- Chocolate bars;
- Various mixtures of nuts / dried fruit.
All cars are equipped with a safari mini-fridge, therefore do not be worried about the freshness of the products.
Important stuff necessary for the safari
Even if the weather forecast guarantees the lack of sun, don’t hurry up to lay out protective glasses. They will help protect your eyes from wind, dust and small insects while you pop out of the window or through the open roof of the running speed car in search of objects for observation. Put in your backpack:
- Bandage on the face for protection against dust, it can be important in some regions;
- Spare batteries / batteries for photo, video (in our safari vehicles have a device to recharge your battery);
- Binoculars to see the details of the surroundings and animals (in the car there is always one pair of binoculars, so take extra only at your discretion);
- Paper copies (passports, visas, traveler’s cheque, tickets, insurance), which is better to keep separately from the originals;
- Dry and wet wipes;
- Hygiene items (shower gel, toothbrush);
- Disinfectant gel / spray for hands;
- Adapter for the socket (when requesting, our company provides it free).
An ideal packed luggage for safaris must fit into a small suitcase. You can bring additionally a case for the video/photo cameras