FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the best time to visit?
January – Mid March: Hot with intermittent rains (Low Safari Season)
Mid March – End May: Long Rains/Peak of wet season (Low Safari season)
Many lodges are closed
June – October: Dry Period (High Season)
November – December: Short Rains (Mid-Season)
**We highly recommend not traveling there during the months of March – May.*
What to Expect:
(Beginning with the high season)
(High Season in the Serengeti) – This is the optimal time for wildlife viewing. This is the period, of the **Great Migration**, is when huge herds of wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle travel south, returning from Kenya’s Masai Mara, cross the Mara River and move towards the Serengeti National Park. There are herds of over two million animals travelling across the plains every year during this time.
Keep in mind that this is high season and the most popular time of the year, so expect crowds. It is also dry, hot and dusty, so prepare for mosquito and Tsetse flies.
SEPTEMBER & OCTOBER
The migration continues moving into Tanzania but begins to slow down as the wildlife completes crossing the Mara river. Predator viewing, especially the big animals, can last through the end of October.
NOVEMBER – JANUARY
In early November, with the start of the short rains, the migration continues to move south into the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. The wildlife follow the rains.
This is traditionally the “second” migration period. Calving season begins and the Serengeti plains and the Ngorongoro Conservation areas in northern Tanzania are buzzing with life. Most of the wildebeest calves are born during a three-week period in Feb.
MARCH – MAY
(Low Season in the Serengeti) – The long rainy season makes game driving difficult due to the mud. We don’t recommend travelling during this period.
JUNE – JULY
This is the beginning of the high season. Game-viewing is good since the wildlife begins their mass movement heading north towards the Masai Mara in Kenya. Viewing from Ngorongoro Crater can be magnificient during this time.
Makoye Safaris’ tour guides are experienced at driving to “specific” locations where the wildlife can be viewed throughout the year. Going on a Makoye private safari will allow you the opportunity for optimal viewing and photography in Tanzania’s amazing National Parks. Please contact us to learn more about the “prime” migration periods.
What documents are required to visit Tanzania?
Currently, Tanzania requires a Visa and current Passport to clear Immigration. We will provide our travelers with a recommended documents timeline.
What vaccinations are required and recommended for Tanzania?
You can find the current vaccination requirements by visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/tanzania.
Currently, malaria medication is required for all visitors.
What language do they speak in Tanzania?
The national language of Tanzania is Swahili but most locals speak English. Your guides, activity leaders and lodge staff all speak fluent English.
Is there a lot of strenuous activity on this tour?
The majority of your tour will be in a land cruiser while on Safari. There will be some activities that require walking on both smooth pathways and uneven terrain. At this time, we cannot accommodate guests with severe mobility issues or health issues that will limit moderate activity. These activities may include nature and village walks that are approximately 1 – 3 hours per duration.
Do I need to worry about the food choices?
The lodges you will be staying at cater to Western-style palates. There is always an array of choices even for vegetarians. The majority of our lodges provide breakfast, lunch and dinner on a daily basis.
If you need to eat more frequently, please bring snacks such as protein bars, nuts, and other non-perishable foods with you on the trip.
Travellers are provided bottled water everyday, both in the lodges and on safari tours.
What is the standard “activity fitness level” guests need to be for safari tours?
We recommend guests be able to walk approximately 1 – 2 miles per day and are used to “moderate” levels of activity. Guests are not allowed to walk within the National Parks, except in designated areas listed by their guide(s). We will be providing various activities throughout the day. This may include a lake hike (medium/strenuous activity rating), city walking tour and coffee plantation walking tour (both low activity rating). If you travel during high season, travellers should be prepared for hot and dry weather.
Do we need to exchange money to Tanzanian shillings in advance?
Both US currency and Euros are accepted at lodges and larger shops. The only time you may encounter local currency is at open-air markets and/or smaller vendors. Tanzanian businesses prefer US currency.
We also recommend bringing cash for tipping to local guides, lodge staff, purchases, etc.
Is it easy to access ATM’s on this trip?
All major cities have ATM’s both at banks and mall kiosks. We highly recommend that you bring smaller bills to cover expenses at local markets and tips for service providers. Because this is a private tour, arrangements can be made to stop at bank ATM’s during your tour. Once the tour leaves for the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti, there are no ATMs or banks.
Do Tanzanian businesses accept credit cards for payment?
All the lodges on our trips do accept credit cards. They usually accept MasterCard, Discover and Visa, but most do not accept American Express.
What types of products do the lodges provide?
All lodges provide bar soap, shampoo and conditioner. If you prefer a special type of hair product, it is recommended that you bring your own. Most lodges now provide hair dryers.
What types of donations should we bring for the orphanage and/or school visit?
The children really enjoy school supplies such as notebooks, pens, stickers, chalk, soccer balls, and frisbees. Clothes are welcomed, but from past experience, the children prefer school-related supplies. Education is very important to the Tanzanian culture.
What types of adapters are needed to charge my electronic devices?
It is recommended that you bring a combo plug adapter/converter. The frequency in Tanzania (50Hz) differs from the US frequency (60 Hz.)
What about Internet access and mobile coverage while in Tanzania?
The lodges provide Internet access. Depending on the type of lodging, access is free or you are provided several hours of free access and then have to pay for additional time. Check your local cell phone mobile plan for international coverage. We recommend downloading “What’s App” for international free calls.
What should I pack?
We will provide a recommended packing list after your reservation is confirmed. Also, check with your airline(s) for baggage limitations and restrictions. A rule of thumb when traveling to Africa: “less is better”.
Why go with Makoye Safaris?
Makoye Safaris is a Tanzanian licensed Safari company who employs highly experienced guides. These professional game-drivers are all local citizens who have an appreciation for their country and love to share the specialness of the people, culture and wildlife.
Makoye Safaris believes in the “Global Code of Ethics for Tourism”. We believe in responsible travel and tourism. This means sharing our cultural traditions and practices, and preserving and protecting our wildlife and environment.
With each 9-day or longer safari tour, Makoye Safaris gives back to our local community by donating to our charitable partners. We remain committed to making a positive difference for our people and economy.
Lastly, Makoye Safaris offers private tours, which will be customized to your group’s interests.
What if I need to cancel?
Reservations, Payments, Cancellations, and Refunds: To reserve space on a Makoye Safaris tour, a $500 (USD) deposit, per person, is required to secure your reservation. Payments must be made by credit card or direct deposit using CRDB Bank’s merchant payment system. Presently, only Visa and Mastercard are accepted. If your trip is departing within 60 days of the booking date, full payment is required.
A participant’s reservation may be canceled if full payment has not been received by 60 days prior to departure. For reservations made within 60 days of the departure date, full payment is required when the reservation is accepted. All cancellation notices must be received in writing and will become effective as of the date of the postmark.
Cancellation Charges for Tours: (Including extension trips)
Prior to Departure Charge
90 days or more $300.00 per person
89-60 days 10% of selling price per person or $300 – whichever is greater
59 – departure 100% of selling price (No refund)
This policy also applies to pre- and post-tour extensions. Any revisions made within the Cancellation Penalty Period, such as a change in departure date or choice of tour, are subject to this cancellation policy. Any airline tickets issued are subject to the carrier’s refund policy. If you are a no-show, if you cancel your trip after the departure date, if you do not have a valid passport or are not able to obtain a valid visa, or if you leave a trip already in progress, you will not receive any refund for any unused portions of your trip. If you reserved a double room and are sharing with a friend or family member, and that person cancels prior to departure, you may be subject to additional single supplement fees. Makoye Safaris reserves the right to cancel any tour because of inadequate enrollment that makes the tour economically infeasible to operate or because of good-faith concerns with respect to the safety, health, or welfare of the participants. Makoye Safaris exercises the right to modify tour itineraries and substitute accommodations without liability to the Company. If an tour is canceled prior to departure, the tour operator will provide participants with a full refund of monies paid to the tour operator; except in the event that the cancellation is due to a significant event that makes it infeasible to operate the tour as planned, in which case the tour operator will provide participants with a refund and/or credit toward a future Makoye Safaris tour equivalent to monies paid to the tour operator. If Makoye Safaris tour cancels the tour in progress, participants will receive a prorated refund based on the number of days not completed on the tour. Except as outlined above when Makoye Safaris cancels an tour, Makoye Safaris and its designated tour operator has no responsibility for any expenses, including any non-refundable expenses, incurred by participants in preparing for a cancelled tour or for any additional arrangements should participants embark prior to the scheduled group departure date.
Travel Cancellation Insurance is strongly recommended. For more information, please check with your travel/airline agent or travel insurance websites for options.