Travel tips

Tanzania offers a great variety of places of interest guaranteeing that your journey will be very memorable. At Soaring Flamingo we are well prepared to tailor a safari and trekking tour to your interests and wishes. If you have a hard time deciding on what you would like to see, we are happy to assist you in creating your journey. You will find examples of circuits in the “Tours” section, which can be done as is or can be modified : ultimately you should decide according to your interests what you want to experience during your stay in Tanzania. In any case, you will certainly enjoy your journey with Soaring Flamingo.

Yes! Your children will simply love seeing the animals in their stories, books and films live on a safari or live the adventure of a trekking tour in the African bush. Your children can easily take part in a safari. You will share the car with your children and they will be able to see the same things you do. However, we recommend adapting the safari to the needs of your family. Although your children will love to see all the African animals, they may become restless after some time in the car. Hence, it may be preferable to make more short game drives instead of long ones. Similarly, your children will love to accompany you on a trekking tour through the African bush. It will be exciting for them to see African nature close up. They may even be able to show you fascinating details you would have missed, for example some caterpillar crawling on a grass. However, depending on the age and fitness of your children, a short trekking tour may be just enough for your family. At Soaring Flamingo we are happy to tailor safaris and trekking tours for your family. Just contact us. To help us in designing the most enjoyable journey, we would be interested to know the age of your children and your interests.

On your safari, you will be able to choose the accommodation you want. In Northern Tanzania, there is accommodation of all kind available: the most luxurious lodges, regular tourist hotels, simple, but clean local hotels, luxury tented camps, public campsites and homestays. At Soaring Flamingo, we will organise the accommodation of your choice. However, on trekking tours and in certain little visited areas, the choice of accommodation is severely limited. In any case, we will always clearly inform you what kind of accommodation is waiting for you.

We strongly recommend going on your safari or trekking tour in a small group (minimum of 4 and a maximum of 10 participants). You will enjoy your safari and trekking tour much more when you can see and experience what you personally want. However, this does not mean that a bigger group cannot go on a safari or trekking tour at the same time. At Soaring Flamingo, we will split up big groups for the game drives and on the trekking tours in order to guarantee that you have a more intimate experience and your wishes can be taken care of. You will be able to meet up with all your friends back at the lodge where you are staying together and can swap your stories and pictures.

For your safari as well as for your trekking tour, we recommend that you pack lightweight. All your clothes should be comfortable and may be casual. Don’t forget that you will be outside in nature, so all your clothes may become dusty. However, there is no need to pack extra clothes to make up for it. It may just be easier to wash some clothes as you go. Overall, you are best off, if you have clothes that you can wear in layers. During the heat of the day you may want to wear something light. However, in the morning and in the evening it may get cool and you will want a warm sweater, in particular at higher altitudes. On Mount Kilimanjaro you will even encounter temperatures well below freezing. Furthermore, long sleeves and trousers in light-coloured fabrics help discourage insect bites. Similarly, you should be wearing modest length trousers in rural villages since clothes that are too revealing can cause offence, in particular in Muslim dominated Zanzibar. But don’t worry, on the beach, simple beachwear is acceptable (but nudity is clearly not). And do not forget sun protection! Although in high elevations it may be cool, you are still close to the equator and the sun is burning down on you. So bring along strong sunscreen, sunglasses and a sunhat, maybe even a fully brimmed hat that also protects your neck.

On a safari or trekking tour with Soaring Flamingo, all national park fees are included. However, please be aware that we have made our calculations based on a specific programme. National parks charge fees for every 24 hours and if you stay longer, additional fees are incurred. Thus we ask you to respect your driver guide’s advice on timing in order to keep the cost of your trip at the predetermined level.

Your guide is paid by the salary he receives from Soaring Flamingo. Nonetheless, he will appreciate any additional tip you give him to reward his service. As you recognise the service provided with your tip, you are free in the amount you want to give. As a general rule tips are USD 20 to 40 per driver guide per day (for the entire group) on safaris or USD 15-20 per guide per day, USD 10-15 per cook per day and USD 7-10 per porter per day (for the entire group) on a trekking tour. Exceptions are always possible. Clothing and equipment you leave are usually not considered part of your (cash) tip.

You will be pleasantly surprised by both the quality and the variety of the food available. In general, food is prepared to Western taste, with some curries and local cuisine included. In most lodges, you can choose your food from buffets. When camping, our chef will prepare some tasty food for you. In towns, you can also enjoy a meal at a restaurant. The restaurants at hotels and lodges usually provide nice Western style meals. In contrast, local restaurants will serve you local food. They are usually basic, but very clean and their food tasty, but different. However, there may be some challenges. You may have to place your order in Swahili because their English is limited and you must be aware that local table manners are different. In particular in local restaurants, tipping is not required. However, if you have been happy with the service, a small tip or increasing the amount to an even sum is certainly appreciated.

Special dietary requirements such as vegetarian or diabetic meals or restrictions due to allergies can easily be accommodated on advance notice. Nonetheless, you may want to bring along your own food supplements, for example alternative protein sources if you are vegetarian or supplemental snacks fitting your allergy, because the availability of special foods may be restricted in Tanzania. In any case, it is important that you inform us well in advance. We need to inform your lodges and on trekking tours and other camping trips to purchase the proper food in advance for the entire trip.

Tap water is not safe in all places in Tanzania. Therefore it is best avoided for drinking. You can easily purchase bottled water in towns and in your lodges. On our safaris and trekking tours, Soaring Flamingo will provide you with some beverages. If you are forced to use tap water, you should purify it or boil it for at least half an hour.

To go on a safari, you don’t need to be particularly fit. However, you must be aware that there are strenuous sides to a safari, too. You spend quite some time in the car and the roads can be bumpy. At the same time, you will be exposed to the tropical sun on your game drives. Trekking tours can be made at any level of fitness. If you want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, you do need general fitness and some stamina. However, there are many shorter and less strenuous trekking tours available with Soaring Flamingo. If you have any doubts, just contact us. We will help you find a suitable trekking tour. If you are concerned if your fitness allows for a safari or trekking tour, talk to your doctor.

It is imperative to consult your doctor or travel clinic for medical advice well in advance of your departure. Recommended vaccinations include jabs against hepatitis A, typhoid and tetanus and polio boosters. However, there are no mandatory vaccinations for visitors from Europe or the USA. From other countries a yellow fever vaccination certificate may be required. In any case, it will pay to ask your local Tanzanian embassy about entry restrictions. In addition to vaccinations, you may want to take malaria prophylaxis. 

Despite efforts to eradicate the disease, malaria is still spread in tropical Africa and so in Tanzania. The disease carrying Anopheles mosquito is most prevalent in the low-lying areas, in particular around big bodies of water, like on the coast or around the big lakes, and tends to bite in the evening and at night. At altitudes over 1,800m it is practically non-existent. To protect yourself from malaria, you can take prophylaxis. The prophylaxis must be taken in advance of your journey and you must not stop taking them until some time after the end of your journey in order to maintain the required level of prophylaxis. However, prophylaxis may have considerable side effects. Thus, some people carry emergency medication with them instead of taking prophylaxis. The necessary tests and medication are also available in many places in Tanzania. Nonetheless, it is important that you talk to your doctor about malaria and medication against it before you go to Tanzania. In addition to medical preparations, you can protect yourself against malaria by avoiding to get bitten by mosquitoes. Cover yourself with long pants and long sleeves in the evening and at night and use insect repellent. In addition, many accommodations are equipped with mosquito nets.

All cities in Tanzania have some medical centres, like hospitals and general practitioners, that provide medical care, and pharmacies to get some medication. However, when you are on safari or on a trekking tour, only basic medical care provided by your hotel, the national park authority or your guides may be available. Nonetheless, their medical service will take care of your problems in most instances. In addition, if necessary, you will be brought to the closest hospital, be it by car or even with the ‘flying doctors’.

Tanzania is one of Africa’s most stable countries. In fact, it is said to be the safest, friendliest, and most secure country in all of Africa. Nonetheless, ordinary precautions apply: Certain areas are best avoided, in particular at night, and you should not show off your valuables. However, as long as you are within the regular tourist routes you are generally safe and the local staff of Soaring Flamingo or at your lodge can give you the current local information.

You need not worry, if your car breaks down during your safari. We will have the car repaired or send a replacement vehicle as quickly as possible. In case your safari is materially impaired we will also provide adequate compensation.

The currency of Tanzania is the Tanzanian Shilling. You can use it for any purchase in Tanzania and in local business, for example to purchase souvenirs, only Tanzanian Shilling may be accepted. However, in your lodges, you may be asked to pay extra services in US dollars.

You can easily change your money in a bank, one of the many exchange bureaus in the cities or at your hotel. In particular the exchange bureaus usually offer better rates for big bills than for small amounts. In addition, some banks in the cities have ATMs where you can withdraw money with your debit card. Ask your personal bank about this service before you leave home.

In most hotels and lodges you can pay with your credit card. However, in stores, for example when purchasing souvenirs, and in local restaurants only cash will be accepted.

In most stores, you can bargain about your purchase, in particular when buying souvenirs. In case of doubt, ask your guide if it is appropriate to bargain in a specific place.


Soaring Flamingo Co. Ltd.


P.O. Box 16196
Arusha Tanzania