Rebuilding lives with your Classic Safari…
At TrueToTanzania, we bridge skills gaps for Tanzanians with talents from around the world. Those who happen onto our path find creative ways to nurture their natural skills. Our logo is a reflection of our mission. Filbert Mlay was one of our original members. He provided for his family by selling numerous sketches. When one of our clients noticed his talent, she boosted his sales by sharing her own skills at sketching. Filbert drew this sketch for TrueToTanzania to honor his friend, our founder.
Meet our 2023 Summer Intern
Hello! My name is Harrison Hickman and I’m from Winston-Salem, NC. I spent this past summer as an intern at TheWateringHole in Moshi, Tanzania. I assisted with onsite operations, marketing, and social media development. It was my fourth time visiting and working in Tanzania and first time staying in Moshi. Check out my blog to find out more about my adventures!
Amazing people help themselves and share the uniqueness of Tanzania with others…that’s why I go back every chance I get.
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by Harrison for the best Tanzania experience!
Having been to Tanzania numerous times and witnessing its beauty firsthand, I highly recommend it as a travel destination for anyone looking for a unique, lifelong experience. My travels have taught me much about this place and its people and I’m happy to share all I’ve learned! While everyone will have a different experience, I’ve found these 11 tips and tricks to be particularly useful when visiting Tanzania!
photo by Shoshi Kamm
12 most FAQs about visiting Tanzania
1. What should I pack?
Pack smart and diverse- Tanzania is a massive country with many different climates and environments, and you never know what you might encounter each day. Although Tanzania is warm year-round, it can get chilly at times, especially at night, so a jacket or light cover-up is a good idea. Bringing a couple different types of shoes is also wise, hiking boots, and closed-toe athletic shoes are a must; sandals are also widely used by the locals and are a great option if you’re looking for an authentic experience.
2. How should I prepare for a typical day?
Bring a good water bottle- or two! Having a large water bottle is a necessity for a comfortable stay in Tanzania. Tap water in Tanzania can be unclean, and clean water might only be provided at your accommodation. So fill up your bottle in the morning before leaving and you’ll have your water for the day! Bottled water in Tanzania can also be bought at most stores and is also safe to drink. For an extra layer of protection, go for a water bottle with a built-in filtration system.
3. What is the best way to travel?
(If possible) Travel with a local- Traveling across Tanzania is a tall task for any foreigner. Make the experience easier in every way by traveling with a local. Each time I’ve traveled to Tanzania, I’ve been fortunate to have locals alongside me helping, explaining, and enhancing the experience at every turn. They can provide insights, help with transportation, and even help get you a better price on goods!
4. How do I get to see the wildlife?
[Not just the] Serengeti—On a popular day, the crowds will be there. Know that you can get much more one-on-one time with the wildlife by visiting other lesser-known parks. For massive herds of buffalo (and thousands of hippos), try Katavi, for big cats and vast savanna, venture to Ruaha. For a taste of the exotic and virgin Indian Ocean shore, stay in Saadani; for elephants and proximity to civilization, go to Mikumi, for total exoticism, delve into Udzungwa, and for chimpanzees, swing over to Mahale and Gombe National Parks.
5. What should be expected when I travel to Tanzania?
Be culturally prepared- Traveling to Tanzania is an enlightening cultural experience for the first-time visitor, but this can feel overwhelming at times. My first trip to Tanzania I felt very unprepared for all the sights, people and experiences I had, and I wish I had done a little bit of research before heading over. Having some idea of what to expect will definitely help mitigate some of the culture shock and will lead to having a better overall experience.
6. How’s the food?
The Tanzanian cuisine is diverse and extensive and I would encourage everyone to step outside their comfort zone and try some of the local dishes like chipsi mayai, nyama choma, and ugali to name a few. That being said, Tanzanian food isn’t for everyone and sometimes having a pack of crackers on a long safari day can prove invaluable. Snacking isn’t practiced often and can be considered snobbish, especially if you don’t have snacks to share, so be aware of your surroundings before chowing down!
7. Will I only see lions. leopards and elephants?
Mind the Little Stuff- Lions and leopards always seem to be the big prize on safari, but focusing all your energy on seeing the big stuff can make you miss the big picture of the complex ecosystems and diversity of Tanzania. For me, the real thrill of safari were the dik-dik, jackals, genet cats, bush babies, honey badgers, chameleons, antlions, reed frogs, water monitors and of course, the birds, which are glorious everywhere. Most parks in Tanzania average a staggering 400-500 different bird species! So make sure to take it all in!
8. How can I lower my costs?
Sleep Cheap- Going on safari doesn’t have to be a rich man’s game. By booking into the bandas (national park cottages), travelers only pay $30-$40/night compared to the $500-$1,000/night charged by some private safari lodges. Staying in the bandas offers total immersion into the park’s wildlife, as well as the authenticity and hospitality that makes Tanzania so special!
9. Is it safe to use credit cards or other modes of payment?
Carry Cash- The currency used in Tanzania is the Tanzanian Shilling (tsh) which has a very generous conversion rate to the United States dollar. Be sure to always have some shillings on hand as some places will accept American dollars, but the majority do not. Changing out money at a bank or exchange office usually offers a better exchange rate than a hotel, so take advantage of that as well. You can also withdraw shillings directly from an ATM, just make sure to alert your bank or credit card company that you will be staying in Tanzania, or your card might get declined.
10. How reliable are WiFi and cell phone towers?
Stay Connected- WiFi in Tanzania can be shoddy at times, especially in safari parks. Make sure that you stay connected by purchasing a Tanzanian sim card to enable data usage, or consider talking with your provider about an international data plan. Some providers offer a pay-per-day plan which can come in handy if you need data in a pinch!
11. Should I climb Kilimanjaro?
Climb Kilimanjaro- (at least some of it)—If I can do it, anybody can do it, however, if you’re not interested in conquering Africa’s tallest peak, you should still consider going and opting for a day hike near the base. It’s an amazing national park and well worth a visit simply for the landscapes and rare trees, plants and animals that surround the great mountain. In addition to being Africa’s tallest peak, it is surrounded by Tanzania’s most renowned national parks, making it easy to incorporate into a packed schedule!
12. Should I visit Tanzania?
YES! and most of all, have fun! I know I did. Tanzania is a beautiful country rich in social and ecological diversity and deserving of your vacation time! I cannot express enough gratitude to the people I can now call family, who accompanied me on my expeditions throughout Tanzania. To this day I treasure each and every memory I have from my time in Tanzania, and I recommend it as a life experience to everyone. For those daring to travel to one of the world’s hidden gems… Karibu sana!
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5335 Robinhood Village Dr.
#141 Winston Salem, NC 27106
Nothin' Like a LAND ROVER
Our guys at Kivuli Workshop restore our cars to maximize game viewing. Heri is a master at designing crash bars. Deo has a naturally analytical mind for engines, transmissions, and differentials. He won’t let you down. Saidi and Mramba complete the aesthetics with custom-made interiors, just right for you.
This year, we decided to feature the Barbour design and will entertain you in their classic edition.
Join us on our next Kilimanjaro Challenge!
Our very own Linda Parrish is taking yet another group up to Africa’s highest peak! Contact her to get on our mailchimp campaign.
This is an initiative started by our Sustainability Consultant. She wanted to make a real difference. She designed a cute tee, and they’re for sale! Proceeds go towards academic scholarships of students in a Wildlife College program. These students engage in conservation efforts of big game in Tanzania: elephant, rhino, giraffe, cheetah, leopard, lion, hippo, East African buffalo, gazelle and so on.
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