Tips for your safari

What to bring

  • Passport
  • Money (See below)
  • Credit card (Visa, or else Mastercard)
  • Clothes
  • Toilettries
  • A shirt with long sleeves for the evening, and in Manyara/Tarangire NP to prevent tsetse flies to bite you (preferably not black or dark blue)
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunblock
  • Hat
  • Photocamera
  • Books about wildlife or bird species
  • Enough bottled water
  • Small packed snack or candy
Many people ask what kind of clothes to bring. In Tanzania it is during the day always warm enough to wear a T-shirt, short trousers and sandals. Most of your safari you will spend in the car, so it doesn’t matter what shoes you wear. A light long trousers is also fine for your safari. If you plan on walking or hiking it is wise to bring proper walking shoes and some warm clothes. Don’t forget a light but rain-proove jacket in the rainy season!  

Never forget your photocamera on your safari and take enough batteries or a charger (and extra accu). Photographing during your trip is very challenging but also very exciting.

Sometimes the animals are close by but for example the leopard or rhino can be further away from your safari car. And also birds, they usually don’t come very close to you. For that reason, take a camera with enough zoom. For a SLR try to take at least a lens of 200mm. Beside the lens, the number of pixels is also important. If you don’t have a large lens or much zoom, but your camera has for example 11 megapixel, than you can easily on your laptop cut the part that you want to see – which finally has the same effect as the zoom. For editing your pictures the Picasa program is one of the finest (free to download via

Health and hygiene

When you go on safari, you are in a different hygienic environment compared to your home town. Although most of us will stay and eat in lodges, you should always take your health into account. Some guidelines to stay healthy:

  • It is most safe to eat only cooked food: ‘cook it, boil it, peel it or leave it”.
  • Before coming to Tanzania, ask vaccination and travellers advise in your own country. Take some time for this, because you might need time to take malariaprophylaxis some weeks before departure.
  • Always wash your hands before meals.
  • Protect your body against the sun (hat, shirts with short sleeves, sunblock)
  • Sleep under a mosquito net (which are provided in the lodges and guesthouses)
  • Drink enough bottled water to prevent dehydration, especially when you might get diarrhoea
  • If you get fever during or after your safari, contact a doctor and test for malaria


The currency of Tanzania is Tanzanian Shilling (TSH). You can find the current rates on the internet. Roughly 1 euro is 2000 TSH and 1 dollar is 1600 TSH (rates of November 2012). Although you can pay with Tanzanian currency anywhere in Tanzania, the tourist business is usually focussed on dollars. For the National Parks you can only pay by creditcard in Lake Manyara, Serengeti and Tarangire. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area you can only pay cash in US$. Beside the parks, the rest of the trip you pay to Haydom Safaris. This can be either in US$ or TSH. When you have organised the accommodation yourself, you might be able to pay in US$ or TSH and sometimes (not everywhere) also with your creditcard. Most common is Visa, second is Mastercard.

In the towns you will find some ATM’s, like in Arusha and Karatu. Be sure you always have some cash as the ATM can be empty right on the moment that you need your money…


There are several books that can help you planning your safari or can be used as a reference during the safari. If you have some time in Arusha, you can visit the book shop on Boma street to buy some nice books. Some tips:


  • Birds of East Africa by Terry Stevenson
  • Birds of Kenia and Northern Tanzania by Donald A Turner


  • Wildlife of Kenia, Tanzania and Uganda by David Hosking
  • Lonely Planet East Africa Whatching Wildlife by Matthew Firestone
  • Kilimanjaro and Northern Tanzania by Lizzie Williams
  • The Bradt Travel Guide Northern Tanzania by Philip Briggs
  • East African Wildlife by Philip Briggs

Tanzania in general

  • Lonely Planet Tanzania by M. Fitzpatrick
  • Tanzania-Zanzibar Insight Guide
  • Trotter Kenia-Tanzania

Learning Kiswahili

  • Lonely Planet Swahili by Martin Benjamin
  • Rough Guide Phrasebook Swahili
  • Teach yourself complete Swahili