WHAT IS THE BEST SEASON FOR A 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.
WHEN AND WHERE 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.
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 per person cost of a custom safari reduces the more clients that are sharing the vehicle (maximum in one vehicle is 7).
CAN I HAVE MY OWN ITINERARY?
If you are arranging an exclusive vehicle (custom) safari, then you are free to arrange whatever itinerary you choose, within logistical constraints. Season Master Adventure 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.
SHOULD I TAKE A CAMPING SAFARI?
This options is 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.
CAN I TAKE A SAFARI AS A SINGLE TRAVELLER?
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.
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.
Do your Tanzania trips include any transfer for those arriving in Nairobi, Kenya?
No, but we can schedule transfer from Nairobi either by land or air for an additional charge.
What is there to do in Moshi? Is it safe to walk around on my own?
It is safe to walk around the main area of town during the day with valuables well hidden, but it not advised to be walk around at night for your own safety.
Can I get to Zanzibar after my safari/trek? Can you arrange that?
We can book your flights to Zanzibar from Kilimanjaro and your Zanzibar hotels.
What is the migration?
The migration in East Africa is world-renowned. Millions of wildebeests participate in the migration through Tanzania and Kenya. Hundreds of thousands of zebra join them. Although lions and other carnivores do not migrate with the grazing animals, they feast on them when their paths cross.
When is the best time to see the migration?
The best time to see the migration in Tanzania is often January-March and June-August. In the Kenya, it is often best September-October. These are also the most popular times to go, so you will need to book well in advance. You will see an abundance of wildlife all year round.
What's the food like on the safari?
Lodges and tented camps serve breakfast and dinner, typically buffet-style. Lunches are often a box lunch eaten while on your game drive.
What type of vehicles do you provide?
We use 4 or 7 passenger, 4-wheel-drive Land Cruisers, all with viewing roofs for the safaris.
Are the guides on safari certified?
They are licensed, trained, friendly, and have years of experience!
Can I get a visa in Tanzania?
Yes, you can get a visa at major airports and at border crossings, but try to get one ahead of time to make your entry into the country as easy as possible
Do you customize a tour?
Yes, just let us know what’s in your mind and we will put all together for you!
Can we leave excess luggage behind while on safari or Kilimanjaro?
Extra luggage can be stored in a locked storage room at your Moshi hotel at no charge. Valuables should be left in a safe deposit box at your hotel in Moshi ($1/day)
Will I have a chance to interact with the local people of Tanzania?
Feel free to interact with your safari guide and Kilimanjaro guides and porters! There are other unique ways to meet local people.
Visit the outdoor markets in Moshi and Arusha
Donate or volunteer to local school, orphanage, or non-profit in Tanzania.
Visit a Maasai village
Visit the Bushman tribe at Lake Eyasi
I am a solo (single) traveler, how can I join your tour?
We can add solo travelers to a group, or we can arrange a private trip for you. '
Do you accommodate people with dietary restrictions?
Vegetarian and other special diets can be accommodated. Please let us know ahead of time. Protein options may be minimal on a vegetarian diet, so you may want to bring protein supplements.
How soon do I have to book your tour?
We recommend booking your trip as soon as possible. Lodges and tented camps on safari are booked quickly, so we need to reserve those before they fill up. However, sometimes we do have space last minute as well.
Tanzania is great to visit any time of year. Most people avoid the rainy months of April, May, and November. Some people like to go during peak migration season.
Kilimanjaro is climbable all year round. The best months to climb are December-March, and September-October, which are the warmest and driest months. The next best are June to August, but they are colder. July, August, and September are the busiest months. Summiting on or soon after a full moon is very beautiful and helps illuminate the landscape without using headlamps. However, it is also very bright for sleeping and stars are not as visible.
Malaria is a serious problem in East Africa so you must consult your doctor about getting effective malaria prophylaxis for your visit. Many people are avoiding Lariam nowadays and using Malarone. You cannot catch malaria above 3000 meters on Kilimanjaro, but you must be careful below that altitude, particularly if you visit the coast where the strains of malaria tend to be especially virulent.
Temperatures range from 25 to 30 degrees Celsius at the foot of the mountain and -15 to -20 degrees Celsius on top plus wind chill. Lower down, it can be wet and humid, but higher up, there can be snow. Rain and snow may be encountered any time of the year!
It requires no technical climbing experience, and any moderately fit person can summit the mountain.
The six Mount Kilimanjaro climbing routes vary not only in length, cost and scenery.
They also have different difficulty levels and different success rates. Selecting a Kilimanjaro climb route is one of the most important decisions you have to make.
There is no single best Mt. Kilimanjaro climb route. Which route up Kilimanjaro is the best for you depends on several factors:
The time and money you have available, previous experience, fitness, the time of the year and personal preference.
Let's look at the individual Kilimanjaro climbing routes and who they are suitable for:
There has been a lot of negative press about Marangu. In our view, and we arrange treks on all the routes, it is very unfair. This is the only route that uses huts rather than tents and some years ago there was a serious problem with overcrowding in the huts. In those years the Machame route was much less frequented. But we think the main reason that some operators speak against the Marangu and boost the Machame is that the booking system for Marangu is demanding of operators' time. There is no booking system for Machame (nor the other camping routes). You just show up at the Machame gate the first morning of the trek. No one ever knows how many people will be on the trail until the gate closes for that day. There is a daily quota of only about 70 climbers allowed to start on the Marangu route on any day (this is why booking is not always easy). There are many days in the season when there are many more climbers on the Machame route than on the Marangu. This is not in any way to denigrate the very beautiful Machame route. But these are things to bear in mind when hearing the Marangu route described as the tourist, easy or Coca Cola route and the Machame as the scenic or the whiskey route! It is true that you will hear many people who have climbed Machame say that it is better than Marangu, and this is conveyed to many of the guide book writers. But remember that the overwhelming majority of climbers only ever climb one route. The chances are that the climbers who say this have never been on the Marangu route and are simply repeating what they have been told or have read.
Physically, the Marangu and Machame routes are rather different. The main force of Kibo's volcanic activity occurred out towards the west (the Machame side) and so Machame is steeper - especially in the first day and a half - and more rugged than Marangu. It is often considered more scenic because the views of Kibo are more impressive than from the south-east (the Marangu approach), but many consider the vegetation on day 2 of the Marangu route to be more attractive than anything seen on the western side. As always with mountains, every route has its advantages and drawbacks. The difficulty grading has Marangu as a 1, and Machame a 1+, so there's not a great deal in it.
Always remember to maintain a slow, steady pace from beginning to end. Going slowly allows the body to acclimatize while hiking. Those who start out too quickly will have troubles higher up the mountain as the body will be overexerted. This still holds true if you are spending an extra day on the mountain.
It will depend on the route you pick and your pace. It can take from 4-8 hours to reach the summit from the high camp.
A weatherproof jacket, such as Gore-tex.
Most groups will start for the summit on ascent day at 11 PM to 12:30AM, depending on the perceived fitness of the group, the weather and the route. The pre-dawn hours, while cold, are also the calmest and clearest. The best views from the summit are at dawn. Often clouds and high winds develop not long after sunrise making the summit much less attractive and the descent more difficult. Guides who have been to the summit scores of times report that it is very rare to find it cloudy at the summit at dawn in any season. The ascent day is a very long day of hiking. Some people may require 15 hours to reach the summit and descend to the campsite for that day.
Talk to your doctor about getting
MMR (measles, mumps, rubella)
Meningococcal Meningitis (Africa/Asia)
The minimum age set by the National park Authorities for summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro is 12 years old. However, younger children can attempt the summit with special permission. Younger children can also trek on the mountain without reaching the summit.
The number of staff that you will have depends on how much gear and weight is brought up the mountain, the route chosen and number of days on the mountain; however a typical trek will have (per 4 persons); 1 guide, 1 assistant guide, 1 cook, 1 waiter and 9 porters.
Kilimanjaro guides are trained in acute mountain sickness (AMS) and basic mountain first aid. However, they are not doctors or paramedics. Climbers are responsible for bringing their own first aid kit and medical supplies.
Kilimanjaro guides are trained and certified by the Kilimanjaro National Park. They start out as porters and work their way up to assistant guide. When they are ready (after about 2-4 years), they go through the national park certification process.
If a client cannot walk because they are injured or sick, at least two support staff will assist this climber down. There is no extra charge for coming down and taken back to the hotel, but you will get no money back for that mountain days you missed, and you will be responsible for medical assistance and extra hotel nights. We highly recommend travel insurance to cover any medical expenses and further evacuation.
Extra expenses include:
Tips for guides, cook and porters
Rental equipment (sleeping bags, hiking poles, etc.)
Lunches, dinners and drinks at your hotel in Moshi.
Any personal expenses (visas, airport taxes, etc.).
The typical tip is:
Porters $5 per day per porter
Cooks $8 to $10 per cook
Assistant Guides $8 to $10 per guide
Kilimanjaro Guides $20 per day and up per guide
*Tip amounts listed for Kilimanjaro are per group, not per individual traveler. For instance, if four people are on Kili, they should each contribute $5/day if they want to tip the lead guide $20.
A 10% deposit is required at time of booking to hold your climb/safari.
Final (90%) payment to be made in cash on your arrival in Tanzania.
On the Marangu Route, the first two huts sleep four people each, and the last hut is dorm-style with bunk beds. While on the other routes, you sleep in 3-person 4-season dome-style mountain tents, two people each.
Vegetarian and other special diets can be accommodated. Please let us know ahead of time and remind your guide during your trek briefing. Protein options may be minimal on a vegetarian diet, so you may want to bring protein supplements.
Donations are easier to take with you when you travel to Tanzania rather than mailing them after you get back from your trip. Porters welcome old hiking boots, warm clothing, and cash donations.