Frequently Asked Questions

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1. What is the best season for safari?

Just about any time of year. However, the most popular seasons are mid December to mid March and July to mid September. This is because of the demand for Christmas and winter holidays and the summer school breaks. An increasing number of visitors are realising that June and October are ideal, benefiting from lower visitor numbers. Topi Reisen offers some safaris with greatly reduced or no single supplements in the months of April and May. Also, we may well be able to offer some good discounts for larger groups during this period – please contact us for details.

2. Where and when can I see the great migration?

The millions of wildebeest and zebras are always somewhere, but they are not always in large herds and on the move. Their location is largely dependent on the weather, which can vary considerably from year to year. In general the herds assemble south of the Serengeti during January and February, the season in which they give birth to their young. Starting around March they begin moving north and west in search of fresh grazing through the Serengeti Park. They can move in enormously long single file lines or in huge herds. The bulk of the animals reach the Maasai Mara in Kenya, where they tend to remain during July and August, before starting their return trek southward, back through the Serengeti in November.

3. Can I have a private Vehicle

Yes. All safaris can be booked with the exclusive use of a vehicle for your party. A custom safari for two clients is significantly more expensive per person than seats on a similar small group safari. However, on a custom safari with an exclusive vehicle, the cost of the vehicle and driver/ guide are divided by the number of clients sharing the vehicle. Therefore, the person cost of a custom safari reduces the more clients that are sharing the vehicle (maximum in one extended vehicle is 7 people).

4. can I have my own itenerary?

If you are arranging an exclusive vehicle (custom) safari, then you are free to arrange whatever itinerary you choose, within logistical constraints. Topi Reisen presents a small selection of proven itinerary favourites in this website. We can arrange any required itinerary subject to practical and logistical considerations and will be pleased to discuss and quote for your special requirements.

5. Should I Take camping safari?

Topi Reisen provides public camping safaris, special camping safaris as well as luxury mobile camping and Tented semi-permanent camp. You can do working safaris during a special camping safari. Both of these options are more expensive for groups less than four. Luxury mobile camping works out to be almost twice the price of regular lodge – based safaris. However, there is a popular option combining top lodges with permanent tented campsites in an exclusive vehicle safari which works out at a very competitive price.

6. Can I take Safari as a single traveler?

Because of the size of its organisation and volume of customers, Topi Reisen can easily include single travelers on most set date safari departures, subject to there being at least one other booking on the date chosen. There is a supplement to cover the additional cost of single accommodation. However, there is no single supplement (or a greatly reduced one) on most safaris in the low season months of April & May.

7. Is Tanzania a good birding destination?

Tanzania is an excellent all-year-round birding destination. It boasts over 1 000 bird species, with Lake Manyara alone being home to more than 400. Thousands of flamingos on the lake make for a spectacular sight and photographic opportunity. At the height of the northern winter, some 160 species of migrants make their way south, adding to the local birdlife.

8. Are safaris Suitable for children?

A safari is a wonderful trip for any child old enough to enjoy and appreciate the experience. On most safaris there are quite long trips on rough roads, and these cannot really be recommended for babies and very young children. Children under 12 will benefit from reduced fares on scheduled airlines, and many lodges will provide an additional bed for a child sharing a room with parents at a reduced cost. Sopa Lodges all have large rooms with two double beds as standard. Some luxury small capacity tented camps do not allow children younger than 12 years old.

9. Is Zanzibar part of Tanzania?

Although Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous region, it does fall under Tanzania. Zanzibar is made up of the islands of Unguja (commonly referred to as Zanzibar) and Pemba, along with several smaller islets.

10. Do I need a VISA to travel to Tanzania?

Most visitors require visas, with the exception of natives of certain countries of the Commonwealth. It is advisable to obtain a visa in advance of travel, as certain airlines insist on them prior to departure. Depending on your nationality and country of origin, you may be able to obtain a visa on arrival at Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro Airports or at the Namanga Gate on the Tanzania/Kenya border. If you plan to obtain your visa at the border, please remember to carry the exact amount in USD to pay for your visa. Only this currency will be accepted and change may not always be available. Passports are required by all travellers and must be valid for six months beyond the intended length of stay. Please ensure that there are sufficient blank pages for visas as well as for entry stamps upon arrival.

11. Should I take travel insurance before travelling to Tanzania?

It is essential that adequate travel insurance be taken out prior to departure. This should cover any medical situation such as hospitalisation, as well as cancellation, curtailment of arrangements and baggage. When you travel with Topi Reisen, you are automatically covered by our emergency evacuation insurance. This guarantees emergency evacuation to the nearest hospital should you suffer either severe illness or injury. This does not cover the cost of treatment once in hospital and in no way replaces your normal travel insurance. There are certain medical exclusions. Please advise us of any existing conditions in advance in order to arrange cover, subject to our insurer’s approval. Please contact us for further details

12. When is the best time to climb mount Kilimanjaro?

Kilimanjaro can be climbed at any time of the year, but the best months to climb Mount Kilimanjaro are considered to be from August to October and from January to March.

13. How fit do I need to be to Climb mount Kilimanjaro?

Despite its awesome height and fearsome size, Kilimanjaro is a gentle hike that usually takes place over six days. Guides recommend basic fitness, as the main challenge is posed by the altitude. There are six different routes up the mountain and more advanced hikers and full-on climbers will be able to consider those, as they are more scenic.

14. What should I Pack?

Casual, comfortable clothing is suitable throughout the year. Due to the high altitude on the rim of Ngorongoro Crater it can be cold at night (even in summer) therefore it is very important to pack warm clothing for the nights. The most practical items to pack are: Khaki, brown, white and beige colours Light cotton tops and cotton trousers/shorts in summer Long sleeved blouses/shirts for game drives Safari trousers for evenings and cooler days A fleece or sweater and a warm jacket for game drives (and at the Ngorongoro Crater) Swimwear is a must for the beach A hat, sunglasses and sunscreen Comfortable walking shoes For climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and Meru: Thermal underwear, light layers, sweater, warm jacket, good socks and sturdy boots.

15. Is there special health requirements when visiting Tanzania?

Visitors must be vaccinated against yellow fever no less than 10 days prior to travel to Tanzania and need to produce a Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate at the point of entry. If you do not have one, you will be given an injection at the airport. If you cannot have a yellow fever injection for medical reasons, you will need to produce a doctor’s letter stating these reasons. Tanzania is also located in a malaria area and malaria prophylactics are highly recommended. Please consult your medical practitioner when planning your trip.

16. Can I use my credit cards when I am at Tanzania?

Most ATM accepts credit cards (VISA & Master Card), all lodges and most top hotels/lodges around the country accept Visa and MasterCard. US dollar notes dated before 2003 are not accepted in Tanzania.
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