PLAN A TRIP YOU AFRICAN SELF DRIVE ON THE ROAD
Important information for self-drive in Tanzania. Covered in this section; How are the road conditions in Tanzania? How does it work with navigation? What happens in case of a breakdown or accident? How to deal with traffic police in Tanzania.
ROAD CONDITIONS IN TANZANIA
All of the primary roads connecting the parks are smooth asphalt and in good conditions. You can expect a lot of speed bumps and the occasional pothole. Usually, requires some driving on gravel roads to get to park entrance gate or lodge. Inside the parks it’s off-road driving on dirt roads. The conditions of these gravel and dirt roads tend to be variable from one season to the next and most difficult during the rainy season. Driving in some national parks is not technical.
HOW TO NAVIGATE IN TANZANIA
We recommend to use google maps or installing Maps.me on your mobile device before you travel to Tanzania. Maps.me it’s a free app, download the Tanzania maps and enjoy driving with GPS offline. Almost every lodge and campsite is plotted on Maps.me. There’s something to be said for going totally offline with a good old fashioned map on your lap. The road map that comes with your rental car is not very detailed, but main roads are highlighted properly. The biggest mistake travelers make is rushing and trying to cover too ground much in one trip. Have a look at our suggested tour package page for a realistic assessment of where you want to go and expect to cover during your self-drive in Tanzania. You might get stuck after heavy rains, and a flat tire can be part of the adventure. If you are trying to estimate your Tanzania travel itinerary with Google Maps, increase the suggested travel time by 30%. Always carry cash, water and a charged mobile phone with you! Although Tanzania’s asphalt roads are in good condition, you generally won’t reach more than 60 km/hour, due to the many speed bumps, the need to reduce speed when you’re passing through villages, and because you probably want to take a lot of pictures. Even the scenery from the highway is stunning! On gravel roads, you reach an average of 25km/hour.
WHAT HAPPENS IN CASE OF A BREAKDOWN OR ACCIDENT
In case of a breakdown, we will help you on your way as fast as we can. You can call us 24/7 for roadside assistance. There is network of mechanic workshops in Tanzania to assist you in case of any issues, and we will either direct you to the nearest workshop or send a mechanic to assist you on the spot. In case a car cannot be fixed on the spot, a replacement, car from Mili Adventure Africa head office Arusha will be provided so you can continue your journey. Please bear in mind that arranging one of the above takes some time, and might require some effort and patience from your side. Luckily, breakdowns are rare. In case of an accident, contact us immediately and we coach you through the process, take pictures of the damaged vehicle(s) and process a clear police report. Please refer to our policies.
HOW TO DEAL WITH POLICE IN TANZANIA
Traffic police in Tanzania, are recognize from a distance by their bright white uniform. Always wonder how they keep their uniforms so white on the dusty roads, but that’s not the answer to your question… So, advice which comes in handy when dealing with any kind of government official in Tanzania is remain patient and friendly, greet them in Swahili and make a joke, and you will have a new friend. Traffic police will frequently pull you over to check if your car is insured, if the tires look okay, and to check if you are carrying the required fire extinguisher, reflector triangles and first aid kit. Of course, that is taken care of if you rent a car from Mili Adventure Africa. They will also want to see your driving license. A valid driving license from your country of residence is accepted in Tanzania. If you didn’t break the law (speeding, dangerous overtaking, etc.), there is nothing they can accuse you of. In our experience, traffic police are friendly, curious and often just want to make chit chat. If you committed an offense, you have to pay the fine, which is usually around 30,000 Tanzanian Shillings ($ 13). Officially, this should be done at the nearest police station, which could be miles away and can be a very time consuming procedure.
TRAVELING TANZANIA ON A BUDGET
You will find plenty of decent budget and mid-range accommodation at a much lower price range from public campsites in the national parks to hotel which do not require any advance arrangements most of them can’t even be booked in advance. You’ll probably begin or end your self-drive tour in Arusha or any part in Tanzania. For first time visitors to Africa, Arusha is an agreeable introduction to urban Africa. It is an organized, green town, with a skyline dominated by the imposing Mount Meru. There are plenty of coffee bars, restaurants, souvenir shops and it’s nice to walk around. Many Tour Operators treat Arusha as an overnight staging point en route to the safari parks in the West, but the area is well worth exploring on its own right, with Arusha National Park, Moshi town, Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru at its doorstep.
BEST TIME TO VISIT TANZANIA
Tanzania is nice and cool to visit all year round. The entire country has a pleasant tropical climate, but there are large regional climatic variations, mostly influenced by elevation. The hottest and most humid part of the country is the coast, with temperatures around 30C and little temperature drop in the evenings. Low lying areas like Lake Eyasi and Moshi are also hot, but less humid.
WEATHER IN TANZANIA
In general, the hottest time of the year in Tanzania is from November till March. The coolest months are from May to July, when it gets cold in the evenings at higher altitudes Arusha, Usambara Mountains, Ngorongoro Crater. Most of the rain falls between November and May, with the short rains in November and December, and the long rains from March to May. April and May are not a good time to visit the coast, as most lodges close down because of the rainy season.
WHEN IS HIGH SEASON IN TANZANIA?
Tourists come to visit Tanzania all year round. Peak season is around Christmas, July and August. Be sure to book our rental cars for peak season many months in advance. If you’re not camping, you will need to reserve your lodges in advance as well. The Ngorongoro Crater feels crowded at that time of the year.
BEST TIME TO VISIT FOR GAME VIEWING IN TANZANIA
The safari parks in Tanzania which are most seasonal in terms of game viewing are Serengeti, Selous and Tarangire national parks and other national parks. Serengeti National Park The Serengeti is famous for its annual migration of millions of wildebeest and other plains grazers on the move to find fresh grass and water, with predators like lions following in their footsteps. Whether it’s worth planning your safari dates around the Serengeti migration is a matter of choice. With the best will in the world, it would be practically impossible to coincide your few days in the Serengeti with the river crossing. However, dictated by local rainfall patterns, the migration does follow a pretty predictable pattern; December – May: Southeast (Veronese, Ndutu) May-July: Western corridor July – October: Mara river October -November: Lobo area. In our experience, irrespective of season, the Serengeti always offers excellent game viewing opportunities. Selous Game Reserve Selous Game Reserve is a highly seasonal game-viewing destination and it tends to be hotter than any other reserve in Tanzania due to its low altitude. The optimum time to visit is during the dry season of June to September, when wildlife is abundant and temperatures tolerable. Game viewing is just as good from October till early November. Roads tend to become impassable and lodges are closed during April and May. Tarangire National Park Tarangire National Park lies within the Central Rift Valley, only 100 km southwest of Arusha. Tarangire is best known for its large herds of elephants. During dry season, the park have the largest concentration of elephants in the world! Another striking feature of the park is the abundance of baobab trees. There are also some beautiful stands of acacia tortillis trees, the flat-topped acacias which are so reminiscent of films like the Lion King and Out of Africa. Animal concentration peaks between July till the start of the rains in November, early December. From November to May, much of the game leaves the park.
FLIGHTS TO TANZANIA
Many airlines fly to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO – Arusha) and Julius Nyerere International Airport (Dar es Salaam) and other small airports for domestic. Mili Adventure Africa head office and vehicles are located in Arusha, Tanzania.
DELIVERY N’ DROP OFF SERVICES IN TANZANIA
It is possible to start or end your self-drive tour from another location other than Arusha. The costs are forwarded to the hire. Note that your car rental agreement starts and ends on the date the car leaves and returns to our office. The days required to bring back the car to our office are added as rental days. Delivery or drop off at Mili Adventure Office in Arusha, free. Airport transfer (JRO), one way USD 30. Delivery or drop off Dar es Salaam USD 200. Have an other location in mind for your one-way car rental? Contact us to inquire about the possibilities.
PACKING LIST FOR TRAVELING TO TANZANIA
Our rental cars have a cigarette lighter to power your devices, but you’ll need to bring your own audio and USB cables. If you use Spotify, don’t forget to download your favorite road trip songs so you can listen to them offline. Audio books are also great fun to listen to during long drives, or whilst sitting around a campfire or lying in your tent (try a thriller!). You can install Maps.me on your mobile device and download the Tanzania maps so you can drive and walk around using GPS offline. Take a look at our camping equipments to check whether it contains everything you want on your camping holiday in Tanzania. A Power bank comes in handy if you plan to camp a lot. A fleece blanket is nice for chilling on the grass or to cover up during the chillier nights. Definitely bring insect repellent and sun block or you buy here in Tanzania. The interior highlands are cooler in the evenings, so bring a fleece or jumper. Arusha and Dar es Salaam have many well-stocked supermarkets and pharmacies where you can buy all the essentials, in case you forget anything.
VISA AND INSURANCE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TANZANIA TOUR.
Do I need a visa to enter Tanzania? Yes, you need a visa to enter Tanzania. You can buy this upon arrival at the airport or when entering the country by land. The cost is $ 50, cash only and $ 100 for USA citizens. You can also apply for your visa online in advance at https://eservices.immigration.go.tz/visa
TANZANIA PLASTIC BAGS BAN
Effective 1st June 2019, plastic bags are banned in Tanzania. The notice by the Tanzanian Government is really strict and warns that people can get fines and/ or experience delay at the airport, if they arrive with plastic bags, in any shape or form, in their suitcases. We have to see how this works out in practice, but nevertheless, it is advisable not to arrive with any plastics in your suitcases.
CROSS BORDER WITH MILL ADVENTURE AFRICA CAR
It is possible to cross Tanzanian border with a Mili Adventure Africa car to all East Africa countries and Zambia. If you want to do a multiple country self-drive with our vehicle, you do need to let us know in advance as we have to arrange a border crossing document, and an extension of the car insurance for your vehicle. Without our consent you are not allowed to cross the border and you are not insured for any damage. Please contact us for more information.
HOW ABOUT INSURANCE?
Our cars are comprehensively insured against damage as a result of accident or fire, and third party liability to property. Personal injury and possessions are not covered and fall under your medical and travel insurance. The hire is fully liable for any damage to Mili Adventure Africa car and / or third party property if; Driving in excess of speed limits. Single vehicle incidents or rollover (these are always considered a result of reckless driving). Damage to the vehicle is caused by lack of proper care / maintenance of the vehicle. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Driving on restricted roads/areas. Our teams & conditions are included in the car rental agreement. You can also consult them here.
NATIONAL PARKS AND GAME RESERVE
In this section, you’ll find all the information you need to visit the national parks and game reserve of Tanzania on an independent self-drive safari, including; Park entrance fees. How to obtain your park permits for Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Lake Natron, Selous Game Reserve and other national parks in Tanzania. The top 5 national parks in Tanzania
HOW MUCH ARE THE PARKS FEES IN TANZANIA? TANAPA
manages the Tanzanian National Parks. Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Lake Natron and Selous Game Reserve are managed by separate organizations. The TANAPA entry fees as of 2019/2020 are as follows: Kilimanjaro – $ 82.60 Serengeti – $ 71 Arusha, Tarangire and Lake Manyara – $ 54 Ruaha, Saadani, Mkomazi, Udzunga, Katavi – $ 36 Fees are quoted per person incl VAT, per single entry up to 24 hours. Further TANAPA Fees Vehicle entry fee at the national parks for your self-drive $ 10 per day for the Suzuki Escudo, RAV4 and $ 20 per day for the Land cruiser. Public campsites managed by TANAPA cost $ 35.40 per person/night. Special campsites costs $ 59 per person/night. If you are staying in a lodge or private mobile camp inside the TANAPA national parks, you also need to pay concession fees. These are $ 59 / person / night for class B and C parks and $ 35.40 for class D parks. Check with the accommodation that you have booked, if the concession fees are included in their price. Ngorongoro Conservation Area Fees The fee for the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is $ 71 per person per 24 hours, plus the vehicle fee as mentioned above. If you are planning to visit the Serengeti and are only in transit through the NCA, you still have to pay the NCA fee twice on your way going to the Serengeti and on your way returning from the Serengeti. If you want to enter the crater for a game drive in the Ngorongoro crater, you have to pay the additional Crater Service Fee of $ 295 per vehicle each time you go down the crater. Selous Game Reserve Fees Selous is a private game reserve and the largest game reserve in Africa. The entrance fee (conservation fee) is $ 88.50 per person, vehicle entrance fee is $ 10, public campsites and/ or concession fee costs $ 35.40 per person/night, private campsite costs $ 59 / person / night. Lake Natron Fees To enter the Natron area, a Wildlife Management Association (WMA) permit is required. The costs for the WMA permits, valid for 24 hours, are as follows: Entrance adult (wildlife activity fee): $ 11.80 Entrance child (5-17 years): $ 5.90. Kids below 5 years free of charge In case you go camping, adult fee $ 23.60, child $11.80. Kids below 5 years free of charge There are also village fees which need to be paid on the road to Lake Natron. There are three separate gates and the costs will be $ 15 + $ 15 + $10 per person. The village fees are paid in cash on arrival to the gates in either US Dollars or Tanzanian Shillings, and are not covered by the WMA permit. Gombe National Park Fees Gombe Stream National Park, located on the western border of Tanzania on the tropical Lake Tanganyika, is the best park in Tanzania to spot chimps. Also, hiking through the lush forest and swimming in the crystal clear lake are popular activities here. It’s a real off the beaten track experience, but comes at a price. The entrance fee is $ 118 per person, concession fee is $ 35.40 per person/night. You can’t take your Tanzania rental car into Gombe Stream National Park. You park your vehicle at Kigoma and take a boat. This costs $ 33 per person for a boat taking up to 11 people.
HOW TO ARRANGE YOUR PARK ENTRANCE FEES TANAPA PARKS
Permits are paid at the entrance gate by credit card (Visa or MasterCard). Cash is NOT accepted; neither are debit cards. Ngorongoro Conservation Area For the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, you will need to obtain an entrance quote first, before going to the park gate to actually pay for park entry. The NCA office is based in Arusha and Karatu and open from Monday – Friday. It is not possible to get an NCA entrance quote online. Mili Adventure Africa will be happy to arrange the Ngorongoro quote on your behalf. This option is included in the online quiriny form when you book a car with us. Lake Natron National Park To enter the Lake Natron area, a Wildlife Management Association (WMA) permit is required. These need to be organized and paid for in advance in Arusha before driving to Lake Natron. It’s quite a tedious task to go to their office in Arusha and get these WMA permits. We can help you to obtain it. This option is included in the online iquniry form when you book a car with us. Selous Game Reserve Selous entrance fees must be paid in advance into the Selous bank account (NBC Bank), which you can find in any of the bigger towns. When you arrive at the entrance gate, you will show the deposit slip. They do NOT accept cash or credit card payments at the gate.
PREPARING FOR YOUR CAMPING SAFARI IN TANZANIA
Whether you are on a budget, love the outdoors, or just don’t want to have to book your accommodation ahead of time, road tripping with a full set of camping gear in the back of the car gives you a great sense of flexibility. Covered in this section; What is included when hiring camp gear from Mili Adventure Africa? Are campsites widely available in Tanzania? Do I need to book my campsites in advance? How can I book a special campsite in the national parks of Tanzania? Tanzania camping fees
CAMPING GEARS INCLUDED WHEN RENTING A VEHICLE
Our vehicles are equip with all necessary equipment needed for camping including the rooftop tent. All tents come with a full set of quality and camping gear consisting of the following items; 26 liters of the fridge. Charging system. Cooking utensils. Cooking banner stove. 40 liters jerrycan of water. 2 camping chairs and table. Head lights. Shovel, panga, and hammer. Tow rope. Note: rooftop tent is for hire at $ 25 per day and other camping gears are within the vehicles.
CAMPSITES AVAILABLE WIDELY IN TANZANIA
Lodges in the National Parks might be expensive. Good to know that Tanzania is a great country for camping safaris! There are numerous campsites all over the country, so it is possible to explore Tanzania on a budget. From basic bush campsites inside the parks to private campsites operated by lodge owners, enabling you to stay at a secured site with good amenities whilst sleeping for a dime. Moreover, the opportunities to camp are year round because of Tanzania’s warm climate.
DO I NEED TO BOOK MY CAMPSITE IN ADVANCE?
You don’t need to book your public campsites in advance. There are several public campsites in every national park and you will always be assigned a campsite when you arrive at the park entrance. It works a bit different if you want to stay inside the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and/or the Wildlife Management Association (which is Lake Natron). If you want to visit these conservation areas, you need to obtain a reservation quote first, before you can go to the gate to pay for the park entrance. On this reservation quote, you have to mention the campsite where you will be staying.
HOW TO BOOK A SPECIAL CAMPSITE IN THE NATIONAL PARK.
The so-called special campsites are largely reserved by private safari companies who bid on those for the season. As an individual traveler, you can’t stay there. The less interesting special campsites are not taken by the safari companies and are available to book by individual travelers. It is not easy to secure a spot and these camps are more expensive, but you will enjoy a true wilderness experience camping at an isolated location. If you prefer to stay at a special campsite instead of staying at one of the public campsites, we advise you to spend time check out what is available and try to secure a spot on Tanzania National Parks Website. There is no possibility to organize the special campsite permit online. Mili Adventure Africa does not assist in booking special campsites for its clients, apart from keeping the information on how to do it yourself up to date on this website.