Use the information below to help you prepare for your Tanzanian safari.
A trained wildlife guide will accompany you during all our safaris. Duma's safari guides have from seven to twenty-five years of guiding experience in Northern Tanzania and all have taken numerous wildlife courses. The vehicle is equipped with binoculars, guidebooks and photography bean bags to make your wildlife viewing experience more enjoyable. We have also developed a safari reading list to help you prepare for your safari.
We recommend adding an cultural excursion or walking safari to your safari to allow for time outside the vehicle.
The Big Five
Once the most sought-after prizes for big game hunters, these majestic animals include the rhino, elephant, lion, leopard and cape buffalo. If you are lucky, you can see all five during a visit to Northern Tanzania.
The wildebeest migration is the annual movement of almost two million wildebeest and zebra between Tanzania's Serengeti National Park and Kenya's Maasai Mara National Park. The migration usually occurs from late December until late August, making this the best time to view wildlife in the Serengeti. The peak migration months are generally January through March when larger herds migrate – the highlight of this period is the fortnight in February when 8,000 wildebeest are born daily.
To view a map of the migration's path, please click here.
Vehicles, Road Conditions and Safety
We own a very reliable and well-maintained fleet of Toyota Land Cruisers. Each vehicle has been converted to allow for a comfortable ride and easy wildlife viewing during your safari. Our Cruisers have one, two or three roof openings depending on the vehicle model. Shade covers are available, as are inverters for charging appliances, and electric coolers. We can remove a seat to allow extra room for equipment during photography safaris. All vehicles are equipped with wildlife books, binoculars and photography bean bags.
In addition to consistent maintenance, we regularly replace parts and take great care to keep our vehicles in excellent condition. We have both extended Land Cruisers (three rows of two seats) and short Land Cruisers (two rows of two seats). We recommend that you don’t overload a car during your safari so that you have enough room to move around and view wildlife.
Each of our guides is trained to follow speed limits and the regulations of Tanzanian's National Parks. We cover all of our customers with Flying Doctors Evacuation Insurance for the duration of their stay in Tanzania.
Although the roads between cities and the national parks are generally well maintained, the roads inside the national parks are rough and dusty, and hence muddy during the rainy season. During game drives we drive slowly for a more comfortable journey. During the dry season you will get very dusty, so bring some moist cleansing cloths to clean up before meal times. Even though distances between parks and camps may be short, it often takes an hour to drive a short distance. We recommend flying one way from the Serengeti to minimize long road transfers.
A trained wildlife guide will accompany you during safaris. Our highly experienced guides have taken several language and wildlife courses. If you choose an adventure camping safari, you will also travel with a Duma chef who will prepare all of your delicious meals while in the bush. As with any Duma-arranged trip, we will only combine tourist groups at the client’s request. You can expect a private vehicle with your very own Duma guide.
We happily prepare tasty vegetarian food; just let us know in advance so we can make the necessary preparations.
On safari we provide bottled water in the vehicle.
During a camping safari, we provide three meals a day as well as afternoon snacks. We also supply all of your drinking water in the vehicle during a safari. After your game drive, tea or coffee and a tasty snack with of fresh popcorn, peanuts, cake or sliced fruits will be waiting for you at the campsite.
All meals are cooked with the freshest seasonal produce that is sourced locally whenever possible. All fruit and vegetables and most meat is purchased from local markets. While fruits are seasonal, most vegetables are obtained year round from local producers.
Non-vegetarian Sample Menu
Appetizer: Hot vegetable or chicken soup / Fresh mixed green salad
Main Course: Tasty beef stew and rice / Fish fillet with a side of baked potatoes topped with a vegetable sauce / Chicken quiche cooked in the 'bush oven' with a side salad / Roasted chicken or beef with a side of cooked bananas and potatoes
Dessert: African pancake with honey / Seasonal fruits / Fried bananas topped with chocolate / Caramel custard
Vegetarian Sample Menu
Appetizer: Hot vegetable, carrot or cucumber soup with bread / Fresh cucumber, tomato and carrot salad
Main Course: Vegetable quiche cooked in the 'bush oven' with a side salad / Rice with eggplant sauce, a side of vegetables and avocado salad / Spaghetti with tomato, carrot and pea sauce, a side of spinach and cucumber salad
Dessert: African pancake with honey / Seasonal fruits / Fried bananas topped with chocolate / Caramel custard
Tanzanian Food Sample Menu
Appetizer: Hot banana, pumpkin or peanut soup with bread / Stuffed beef chapati
Main Courses: Ndizi Nyama (Cooked bananas mixed with beef or vegetables) / Maharage Nazi (beans cooked in a coconut sauce) with rice / Wali Nyama (Spiced rice topped with a beef and tomato sauce) / Kichumbari (Cucumber, tomato and carrot salad) / Viazi Mboga: potatoes topped with a vegetable coconut sauce)
Dessert: Tanzanian pancake topped with honey / Seasonal fruits
Delicious staple foods found throughout Tanzania include ugali (maizemeal), chapati (thick naan-like bread), kichumbari (tomato, cucumber, bell pepper salad), nyama choma (barbecued meat - goat, chicken, beef) and mchicha (green vegetable stew). Dishes specific to Northern Tanzania include ndizi nyama (banana beef stew) and mahindi maharage (maize and bean stew). If you would like to try Tanzanian food, let us know prior to your climb or camping safari and we'll include some delectable local dishes on your menu.
Be sure to wash your hands often with soap and avoid eating raw vegetables and fruits. Before meals, wash and dry your hands before touching your food. Do not eat food sold by street vendors. Wipe the mouth of soda and alcohol bottles before drinking and ensure that water bottles are sealed properly before purchasing. Also, eat fruit that can be peeled, such as bananas, unless it is fruit prepared by Duma. Please ask our cooks and guides if you are unsure about any food.
You can get occasional cell phone reception in the national parks as well as on Kilimanjaro. Ask your guide about the best location to pick up a network.
Wireless is available at most hotels in town and some of the larger safari lodges. Wireless is generally not available at tented camps and small lodges in the parks.
Cars are outfitted with inverters that allow you to charge your camera batteries or laptop right in the car.
Extra camera batteries
AAA-D batteries are available in Arusha, including Energizer and Duracell brands. Batteries are probably cheaper in your home country, so you may want to bring them with you. It is difficult to find high quality batteries outside major cities.
Charging rechargeable batteries
Most lodges have power outlets so you will be able to recharge batteries in the bush. Some lodges and most tented camps turn off their generators around 11pm. Tanzania uses 220 Volt electricity and you will need to bring necessary converters and plug adaptors. Please bring only essential electrical devices. Our vehicles have power inverters that allow you to charge appliances, but we recommend using the lodge outlets whenever possible as the inverters sometimes overheat.
Extra camera equipment
1. A small sand bag on which to rest your camera. Safari vehicles shake a lot, so you may miss a great shot if you wait for the car to be turned off.
2. Lightweight tripod or monopod.
3. Small can of compressed air to clean the camera. Be sure to clean your camera nightly as it gets very dusty while on safari.
Duma vehicles are equipped with photography bean bags and we can remove a seat to give you extra room for photography equipment.
It depends on the type of photography. If you are interested in vegetation, you may want a macro lens. For animals, because you will shoot from a distance, you will need a long lens –minimum 300 mm, and up to 500 mm if possible. A zoom lens will provide you with the greatest flexibility.
You will have many opportunities to purchase souvenirs in Arusha and while on safari. The souvenir market with the best prices is located in the center of Arusha town, about 500 meters southwest of the central post office/clock tower on Sinoni Road. You will have to bargain at this market; you should pay about 50% of the asking price.
There are also many opportunities to purchase souvenirs while on safari. Most hotels have souvenir shops, and there are a couple of large souvenir shops along the way: Oldonyo Orok and Cultural Heritage (expensive).
We also recommend Shanga River House and Blue Heron in Arusha for small but interesting souvenirs. Both souvenir stores have restaurants.
Lodge Safari Packing list
Below is a list of items Duma Explorer recommends bringing on a lodge safari. Duma provides the following items in its vehicles: inverter to 220V electricity, binoculars, guide books, photography bean bags and a basic first aid kit. We do not provide prescription medications in our first aid kits.
Although there are no luggage weight restrictions on safari, please try to limit your luggage as you will be unpacking and repacking quite a lot. If starting and ending your trip in Arusha, please leave excess luggage at your hotel in Arusha. We recommend that you keep a small day pack in the car that contains the following items: lightweight jacket, 2 liters of water (provided), camera, binoculars, guidebooks, sunblock, lunch, passport, money. You will not have access to the luggage in the boot of the car until you reach the lodge each night. There will be several opportunities to buy souvenirs on safari so plan your luggage and money accordingly if you plan to make purchases.
• Long sleeved lightweight shirt for protection from the sun
• Sweater/jacket and pants for cold temperatures at night
• Hat with hard brim
• Bathing suit
• Sandals for wear during safari
• Tennis shoes
• Lightweight pants for sun/insect protection
• Short pants
• Reading glasses (if you wear contacts please bring glasses also as it can be very dusty)
• Sunscreen/Sunblock, SPF 30+
• Toiletries such as toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo
• Bug repellant
• HandiWipes (for dust)
• Visine (for dust)
• Camera and film. 300 mm lens recommended. Bring plenty of film/memory cards (At least 2GB recommended)
• Extra camera batteries
• Locks for baggage
• Video camera (professional cameras incur additional fees in national parks)
• US cash or ATM with visa/mastercard logo and 4 digit pin
• Wildlife guides (see suggested safari reading list)
• Small backpack for car
• Money belt