TANZANIA SAFARI PACKING LISTS
Travelling to your dream safari destination often involves long hours in a safari vehicle and catching small chartered flights. Not only are there strict weight limits on these flights, but lugging a heavy suitcase around will rapidly can become annoying.
As you excitedly plan your trip, our safari packing list for Tanzania below will ensure that you are fully equipped for this once-in-a-lifetime travel experience
What to Prepare For – East African Weather
The first thing to consider before you start packing is the time of year you plan to visit Tanzania. While average temperatures don’t change considerably throughout the year, the climate is notably marked by a rainy and dry season.
The best and most common time to visit East Africa is usually from mid-June to October. As East Africa’s dry season, this time of year has the most foreseeable weather and offers perfect safari conditions.
While early mornings and evenings might be cold, the temperature during this season is fairly predictable. Thermometer readings are often around 23°C/73°F, reaching a high of 28°C/82°F in the coastal areas.
The dry landscapes of Tanzania and Kenya are changed into a lush, green wonderland in the rainy season. Temperatures rise during this period and typically range between 24°C/75°F and 27°C/81°F, reaching highs of 30°C/86°F along the coast. There are two types of rainy periods in this season:
Short rains (November-December): Afternoon thunderstorms are often probable to take place.
Long rains (March-April): The long rains usher in the peak of the wet season, which is naturally marked by hot and moist situations.
No matter the length of your trip, you need only to pack a few of each of the following items.
- Comfortable short-sleeved and long-sleeved safari shirts,
- Short and Long trousers that can be rolled up – for men and women
- Simple, lightweight safari shoes: hiking boots or ankles-high trainers
- A dress / Business casual/Polo shirt if you feel like dressing up at night
- Underwear (including sports bras for women),
- Windbreaker / rain jacket for men and for women,
- Under garments for days on the trip
- Light clothing
- A sweater and long pants for evenings
- 5. Sturdy shoes and/or sandals
- 6. Sunscreen
- 7. Mosquito spray
- 8. Sun hat
- Warm jacket or fleece jacket and/or Scarf
- Hat ,
- Flip-flops/ Sandals
- Bags and Daypack,80-90L duffle bag ,20-30L day pack ,
- Travel bag organisers (optional),
- General Accessories,Baby wipe- Sunscreen,Insect repellent ,
- General medication (Imodium, Paracetamol),
- Reusable water bottle,
- Technology,Camera,GoPro (optional)
- Power bank
- Spare batteries and camera memory card
- Travel adaptor
- Bobs Ziplock bags for important possessions (passport, money, phone, etc.)
- Passport, visa, insurance, yellow fever card (if applicable
- Small lock for your duffle bag (essential),
If there are two words you need to keep in mind when packing for a safari, it’s comfort and colour. Breathable, moisture-wicking clothes are ideal for safaris and play an essential role in making the process of layering work.
At most lodges, there is also rarely a dress code (most people go straight to dinner after their afternoon safari) so packing in smart clothes is a nice-to-have but not a necessity.
For specific recommendations, see our guide to Safari Clothing.
Bag and Safari Carry On
There are two types of bags you need to have for your safari – a duffel bag and a daypack or safari carried on.
When it comes to choosing the right luggage for safari, it is easier to travel with a soft duffel bag than a hard suitcase. As everyone’s gear gets piled up in trucks and squeezed into small, chartered flights, duffel bags make the trip easier for everybody.
Generally, a duffel bag that exceeds an 80-litre capacity is the best to opt for. Make sure it has a strong zipper system that is not susceptible to breaking and can be easily locked. Take a small lock to secure your bag. Another thing to look out for is a hand and shoulder strapping system to provide extra versatility.
The REDCAMP Extra Large Duffel is a great quality 96L duffel bag that is perfect for safari trips. It is super durable and decently water-resistant. It comes with loads of storage and is equipped with three outside pockets and an interior pocket that the duffel bag folds into when not in use. In terms of value for money, the REDCAMP Duffel is hard to beat.
The North Face duffel bag is something that will never let you down, but it comes at the hefty cost of paying for the North Face brand. It is available in five sizes, but if you decide to go with the North Face duffel we would recommend the large version.
Tip: Consider investing in some packing cubes. Not only do these help keep your bag as organised as possible, but are also an excellent space-saving hack.
In addition to your duffle bag, you’ll need to bring a daypack. In your daypack, you should keep all important (sunscreen, sunglasses, snacks, water), personal (money, passport) or small breakable (camera, phone) items.
If you’re looking to invest in a good quality daypack, something like the Osprey Daylight Plus Daypack would be ideal. If you are going with the Osprey option, it’s a good idea to also get the Osprey Hi-Visibility Rain cover which retails for the standard backpack rain cover price and is super reliable.
Besides choosing the right clothing color, another way to ward off unwanted creepy crawlies is through Insect Shield – clothes that have been treated to bind permethrin into the fabric. Instead of having to worry about applying repellent, your garments act as the insect guard themselves.
If you’d prefer opting for the budget-friendly option, then there are two things you need to add to your packing list: permethrin and a DEET-based repellent.
Permethrin is used to treat your clothing as a spray and can be found at most outdoor stores. A major plus of permethrin is that it lasts through multiple washes – six washes or six weeks to be exact (whichever comes first).
Deet-based repellent is used on directly your skin. Deet wipes make the insect-repelling process effortless and provide easy on-the-go protection.
Adaptors and Chargers
While you can count on international adaptors and outlets being readily available at most new hotels, this is not often the case on safari. A travel adaptor suitable for the country you’re travelling to is essential. There are African specific travel adaptors or universal travel adaptors that are worth investing in.
A heavy-duty power bank is also a must-have, especially if you plan on using your phone to take photos and videos during your game drive or if you’re camping remotely.
Feel free to bring your credit cards and bank cards. We have international ATMs. This may be more convenient as to avoid loss of money and inconvenience. Please be advised that Neeko Tours is not responsible for any lost or theft of money. There is a safe provided for you to put all your valuables while on Safari or Kilimanjaro trek.
While many travellers use their phones to capture their safari experience, nothing quite matches the quality produced by a good camera. If you are passionate about photography, then you’ll find the experience of capturing the wildlife you encounter thrilling. For the best photos, you’ll definitely want to take a zoom lens of 300mm or more.
While binoculars are not a necessity, taking a good pair on your trip will certainly add to your safari experience.
When it comes to binoculars, an ‘all or nothing approach is the way to go. The best quality binoculars might add some weight to your suitcase, but cheaper ones will leave you disappointed.
The Sky Genius 10 x 50 Binoculars are easy to focus, reasonably priced and provide 10X magnification.
What you need to know When you are in Arusha
It’s brash, it’s colorful, and it’s full of vigor. Some call it a dusty town, while others find it a breath of fresh air, with its green covers and views of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Welcome to Arusha, the entry to the general safari circuit in northern Tanzania. Sitting comfortably at the slopes of Mount Meru, the small town is enclosed by some of the most well-known national parks in Africa. Almost everyone go to Tanzania’s northern parks will stop over here, but few really take the time to get to know it. Dig a little deeper, and you’ll be astonished at what you can do in and around Arusha.
Get vanished in the local markets
The best place to get a feel for local life in Africa is the market, and in Arusha they are as interesting and stimulating as they get. You’ll find everything from Maasai handicrafts and jewelry to fresh fruit, spices, carvings, and local textiles. Even if you’re not a shopper, go to the markets is memorable experience.
The Central Market on Bondeni Street also known as Soko Kuu or “Big Market” in the heart of the city can be a sensory overload, while the Kilombero Market on Sokione Road is smaller and a lot less overwhelming. Get ready to haggle — and beware of pickpockets.
Visit the Natural History Museum
This is an excellent spot to learn about the archaeological history of Arusha, and to pick up info on the city’s German colonial history. It’s housed in an old German boma (fort) that dates back to the early 1900s. The museum has three parts, including a wing dedicated to the evolution of humans; much of what we know about the topic comes from fossils unearthed in Tanzania.
Wander through the Cultural Heritage Centre
The best place to get a considerate of Tanzanian culture and pick up some souvenirs is the Cultural Heritage Centre on the outskirts of Arusha. This unique attraction is a mixture of mask museum, curio shop, spice center, antique store, and precious stone counter. The Centre has accommodated many famous people in the past.
Shop at the Maasai Women Fair Trade Centre
If you’re looking to buy handmade crafts from the local community, head to this little shop on Simeon Road. It was set up by the Maasai Women Development Organization (MWEDO), a non-governmental women-led organization customary to empower women through access to education and health. Shopping here means you’re supporting a good cause and helping Maasai women get a stronger footing in Tanzania.
Maasai Clean Cook stoves tour
Beyond Arusha, in Monduli, G Adventures and Planeterra set up a community tour to the Maasai Clean Cook stoves program. Our tours help these women-led engineer teams reduce the health impact of traditional cook stove smoke in Maasai households by generating revenue for clean stoves and solar-powered solutions.
Maasai women are empowering each other to improve the air quality of their homes.
Arusha National Park
For those looking to do day trips, Arusha National Park is a great disturbance for a full- or half-day wildlife safari drive. You can’t see all of the “big five” animals (elephant, leopard, lion, buffalo, and rhino) here, but it is home to the world’s largest population of giraffes! Favorable, there are zebras, elephants, flamingos, hippos and more. A classic day in Arusha National park is joint with a canoe safari on Small Momella Lake.
Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru
Arusha lies just 100km (62 mi) from Mount Kilimanjaro, the world’s tallest free-standing mountain and Africa’s highest peak at 5,895m (19,341 ft) above sea level. The most common route, known as the Coca-Cola route, starts from Marangu, which is just a two-hour drive from Arusha. The route is the eldest and most well established, and takes a minimum of five days to complete.
Mount Meru, while closer to Arusha at just 40 minutes away by car and shorter than Kilimanjaro (4,560m, or 14,961 ft), actually involves more of a practical climb and is well-matched to more skilled climbers only. It usually takes three or four days to complete the trek. If you want to take advantage of the altitude acclimatization effect, it’s advisable to climb Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro back to back.
Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, and Lake Manyara
Of all the national parks that are near Arusha, this tree is the most frequently visited, for good reason. You’re almost guaranteed to see the “big five” and there are remarkable landscapes and massive ribbons of wilderness to take in even if you don’t.
Serengeti Plains National Park is most well-known for the annual migration, where enormous herds of wildebeests and zebras cross its plains; the Ngorongoro Crater has one of the highest attentions of wildlife in Africa; Lake Manyara draws in thousands of flamingos during breeding season. You can effortlessly see all three on a four-day safari leaving from Arusha.
Serengeti is the place to be for huge herd migrations and elephant spotting.
Getting to Arusha
Arusha has two airports: Kilimanjaro International Airport, about 60km (37 mi) from the city center; Arusha Municipal Airport, which is on the outskirts of the city, only runs domestic flights, mostly from Zanzibar and Dar Es Salaam. Public coach services connect Arusha with other major cities in Tanzania and adjacent countries. Arusha is six hours from Nairobi, Kenya, 12 hours from Dar Es Salaam, and 17 hours from Kampala, Uganda.
Getting around Arusha
The main mode of public transport in Arusha is the daladala. These minibuses are universal all over Tanzania, and are very low-priced, at TZS400 about 25 cents for any trip around town. Though, they tend to stuff in as many people as possible, so care is a real anxiety, and pickpocketing can happen quickly, so store valuables in bags on your lap. Taxis are also low-priced and easily obtainable, but make sure to agree on a price before leaving for your destination.
Tips on Choosing a Tour Operator for Mount Kilimanjaro
The only most significant choice you will make in preparation to climb Kilimanjaro is determining on the best operator company to climb Kilimanjaro with.
We recommend you to check the following key issues
1.The best company to climb Kilimanjaro with will be a devoted operator not a Travel Agent
Agents just take your bookings – all the main adventure travel companies offering treks all around the world are just agents. They take your booking and then someone else you do not know is then commissioned to run your hike.
This may work out fine if you are fortunate but the agent cannot regulate what really happens on the mountain so you just have to hope. Not only that, but agents get commission from the operator that knocks up the price you pay. So when you are determining which company to pick for your Kilimanjaro climb selects one of the best operators: they can give you a good price and can directly control the quality of your climb.
2.Make Sure the Operators for your Kilimanjaro Climb meets the basic legal requirements
They should have financial bonding to protect your money if they go bust. They should have proper public liability insurance and also a Tanzanian Tourist Board license, both are required: all the best Kilimanjaro operators meet these basic legal requirements.
3.Check what is included in a quote from your favorite Kilimanjaro Operator
Big things that matter are whether airport transfers are included both coming and going, whether you have a good quality hotel before and after the climb and whether all the park fees are included. Even some of the best Kilimanjaro operators quote these as a local cost and given they are about $700 this is a huge cost to leave out.
4.Ask what guide to client relation, what food and what kit the operator Offers
This is critical to your security. We always have a minimum ratio of 1 guide for every 2 clients. And really good tents are essential, there is nothing worse than a leaky tent and of course you need good food and plenty of it to have the energy to summit.
5.Make sure they operate sensibly
This might seem like just a nice to have but the best Kilimanjaro operator will care about his guides and porters, about Kilimanjaro and about Tanzania. Membership of the Tanzania Porters Organization (TPO) and Kilimanjaro Guides Association (KGA), should be a minimum – TPO makes sure its members treat their porters well. The best Kilimanjaro Operators all sign up to TPO’s and KGA rules. (see Climb Kilimanjaro cost)
Also look at what they say about the environment, we follow the principles of the Leave no trace organization ensuring Kilimanjaro will be left unspoiled for future climbers. And the best Kilimanjaro operators also support local charities. We fund local children’s home and the porters association with a contribution for every climber.
6.Check out what they will do when things go wrong
Things that do go wrong are flights are delayed – the best Kilimanjaro operators will reschedule your climb right down to the last moment at no extra cost; luggage is lost or arrives late – a good operator should be set up to deal with this and some people in a group can get ill – the best Kilimanjaro companies will always be able to split a group so that not everyone has to descend.
7.Get proper References
Don’t just rely on testimonials they are too easy to make up. Get real emails and contact people yourself and if you use facebook or Tripadvisor check out an operator’s page as you can see precisely what other hikers have said. This is a great way to check out the best and trustworthy Kilimanjaro operators company to climb Kilimanjaro with. So there you have it the tips to get yourself the best operator to climb Kilimanjaro. Book with an operator not an agent, make sure they operate legally, check exactly what they include, find out if they are socially responsible, ask what they do when things go wrong, and last but by no means list get some references.
Best Places to Visit in Tanzania
When you travel to Tanzania, the best places to visit and appreciate a safari include Tarangire, Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Katavi, Selous. Sequence, the best ones are the Serengeti where you can witness the great annual migration of millions of wildebeest. Some of the best beaches on earth can be found in the Zanzibar archipelago, and Mafia Island is equally relaxing. For more action, you can hike up Africa’s tallest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro. Other unbelievable mountains include Mahale, where you can visit the largest outstanding population of chimpanzees in the wild.
The Serengeti, Northern Tanzania
The Serengeti National Park proposals the complete definitive African safari scenery. The migration of millions of wildebeest and zebra begins here. The massive vastness of grasslands makes the Serengeti fanciful for spotting lion kills because you can see the whole vision clearly. There are mobile camps that are worth staying at because the wildlife deliberates in certain parts of the park provisional on the time of year and the rains. The best time to go is between December and June, but you can’t really go wrong any time of the year. A hot-air balloon ride at dawn is a truly magnificent experience
Mount Kilimanjaro,Northern Tanzania
Africa is known as one of the best destinations for exploration travel and what can be more adventurous than hiking up the world’s tallest free-standing mountain? Africa’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, stands at 19,340 feet (5896m) and will take you 6 days to defeat. The thrilling thing about this mountain is that anyone who is fit and strong-minded can make it up. No special mountaineering gear or expertize is needed. Serious hikers sometimes use nearby Mount Meru as a preparation climb.
Zanzibar is one of Tanzania’s topmost last stop because of its attractive past and its unbelievable beaches. Zanzibar’s location in the Indian Ocean has completed it a natural trading center throughout its history. Well-known for its spices, Zanzibar also became a significant slave trading post under its Arab rulers. Stone Town, Zanzibar’s capital, is a World Heritage site and claims beautiful traditional houses, narrow alleyways, a Sultan’s palace, and many mosques.
Zanzibar has many beautiful beaches that can be enjoyed on any budget. Some of the nearby islands offer a total paradise for the luxury traveler, Mnemba island is undeniably idyllic for a romantic vacation.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Northern Tanzania
The Ngorongoro Conservation area margins the Serengeti in northern Tanzania and comprises the world’s largest crater which acts as a natural attachment for almost every species of wildlife found in East Africa. This includes the very rare black rhino. The Ngorongoro Crater is where you’ll witness some of the densest populace of wildlife in the world and it’s a truly astonishing place for photographers. The Maasai still live within the conservation area, and it’s also home to Oldupai where some of the man’s earliest ruins have been found
Tarangire National Park,Northern Tanzania
Tarangire is a widespread day trip for those following a standard northern safari schedule, but its baobab dotted the landscape and frequent dry riverbeds are worth much more time. During the dry season Tarangire has one of the highest concentrations of wildlife in Tanzania. It’s an outstanding spot for those who love viewing elephants, zebra, giraffe, impala, and wildebeest.
Tarangire is a decent place to enjoy walking safaris and an excellent birding destination. Be ready to swat tsetse flies here, at certain times of the year they can get annoying.
Accommodations in Tarangire include lodges, campsites, and luxury tented camps.
The best time to visit Tanzania depends on what wildlife you’d like to spot. The country’s seasons and wildlife numbers are dictated by the rains, so you’ll have a slightly different experience depending on when you choose to visit.
Tanzania’s headline attraction is the Great Migration, which occurs year-round across the Serengeti. Many people flock here between July and September for a chance to witness huge herds of wildebeest and zebra crossing the Mara River — panic ensues as they try to avoid the jaws of crocodiles and other predators waiting to pounce. You’ll see lots of vehicles in the park at this time of year, though.
Tanzania’s ‘green season’, between November and March, is much quieter. While there’s a chance of rain showers, it’s a fantastic time for birdwatching as migratory species arrive in their thousands. You’ll also see Great Migration herds with their newly born calves.
The only time we tend to avoid Tanzania is between April and May, when heavy rains can disrupt wildlife viewing.