Trip Advices

Trip advice’s for tourists, visitors and travelers planning trips to East Africa.Here you may find some important answers about East Africa.
What are the Mlimani Safaris Africa vehicles looks like?
Mlimani Safaris Africa uses 4WD Land Cruisers and Land Rovers on safaris but sometimes in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda we use the safari mini van. We have made our vehicles safari ready by including comfortable seats with pop up open roof that allows better wild animal viewing and photographic. Each passenger is guaranteed a window seat and for a standard car it carries almost five passengers while the extended or stretched vehicles (war bus) carries maximum number of 7 passengers per vehicle.

About Safari Packing Details
Although there are no luggage weight restrictions on safari (unless you are taking a local flight) but we advise you to limit how much you bring on safari as the room in the car boot not that big, some roads are rough also you will be unpacking and repacking regularly, if starting and ending your trip in Arusha we recommend to leave the excess luggage at your hotel in Arusha. Please pack your luggage in soft duffel bags as they are easier to pack in the vehicle.

Also we recommend that you keep a small day pack in the car that contains the following items: lightweight rain jacket, 2 liters of water, camera, film, binoculars, guide books, sunblock, lunch, passport, money etc. You will not have access to the luggage in the car boot until you reach the lodge or the campsite. On safari you will have several opportunities to buy souvenirs on the way so if you plan to make purchases, plan your luggage and money accordingly.

Each of our safari cars has basic first aid kit but we recommend that you bring your own medical supplies. Mlimani Safaris Africa does not provide prescription medications in our first aid kits. Please visit our Tour packing list

Photographic Safari

I am planning to use a film camera. How much film should I bring?
It really depends on the passion you have for photography. As a general guideline, plan on shooting three to four rolls with 24 exposures per day; this is adequate for most people. Remember also that animals often move just when you want to shoot and don’t pose for you so you may waste some pictures.

Should I bring extra batteries for my camera or will they be available in Tanzania?
You can find AAA-D batteries 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.

What clothes shall I bring?
Bring the light tropical clothes, especially cotton slacks, T-shirts,shirts,shorts and skirts are most suitable. Some warm clothing is needed in the higher altitude areas around Ngorongoro Crater, Mt.Kilimanjaro, and Arusha, especially in the evenings and early in the morning. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended on safari and guests are advised to carry some insect repellents.

What extra camera equipment should I bring to Safari?
Small sand bag on which to rest your camera. The safari vehicles shake quite a bit and sometimes you may miss a great shot if you wait for the car to be turned off.
Lightweight tripod or mono pod.
Small can of compressed air to clean the camera. Be sure to clean your camera every night as it is usually very dusty while on safari.

What lenses should I bring?
This will depend on the type of photography you do. If you are interested in vegetation, you may want a macro lens. For animals, because you will be photographing from a distance, you will definitely want a long lens, at minimum 300 mm and up to 500 mm if possible. A zoom lens will provide you with the best flexibility.

What sort of film should I use?
Much of the time you will be in bright sunlight so ISO100 speed will give you the best quality. However, some of the best times to see animals is in the late afternoon or early morning and the light may be low. In this case, ISO 200 or ISO 400 would be better.

Will I be able to charge rechargeable batteries while in the bush?
Most lodges have outlets so you will be able to recharge batteries. However, because the lodges are run on generators, the electrical current is not as strong as traditional electrical currents. Some lodges turn off their generators at midnight. Keep in mind Tanzania uses 220 Volt electricity and you will need to bring necessary converters and plug adapters. Try to take as few electrical powered tools as possible.

Tipping guidelines

How much should I tip?
Gratuities in the Tanzanian tourism industry generally follow the American system. Tourists are expected to tip at restaurants and hotels, on safari, and while hiking Kilimanjaro. The following information provides a guide to tipping in Tanzania. The information is a collection of tipping recommendations from guidebooks as well as other Tourists companies experience with tipping in Tanzania and East Africa in general.
Please remember that all our staff is paid a wage and no one relies on tips as a substitute for wages. As with any tipping situation, if you enjoy your experience give a generous tip; if you do not enjoy your experience, adjust the tip accordingly. Mlimani Safaris Africa does not limit you to give big/more tip than the recommended one.

Hotels and Restaurants
Tips are expected at mid, high, top-end luxury hotels and lodges. It is customary to tip between 10% and 15% at these establishments. In budget tourist hotels and restaurants, 1000 shillings or $ 1 per meal is adequate.

Safari Staff
Driver/Guide: US $25 – US $30 per day per guide
Language Translator: US$20 – US$25 per day per guide
Chef/Cook: US $15 – US $25 per day per chef (adventure camping safari)

Mountain Staff
Generally, you should budget between 10% and 15% of your total climb cost for tips. If you are traveling in a small group, you should contribute more per person to the tip kitty. We provide a list of your crew as well as jobs performed on the day you begin your climb. Please use this list to allocate tips. Tips are generally distributed at the last camp or hut on Kilimanjaro and Meru. We recommend giving each staff person their tip. If you are part of a large group, you may also call a few people at a time to distribute tips.

Head Guide: US $25 – US $30 per day per guide
Assistant Guide: US $20 – US $25 per day per guide
Cook: US $15 – US $25 per day per cook
Porter: US $7 – US $10 per day per porter

Some porters perform extra jobs such as toilet cleaner, camp crew and waiting. Please tip these porters a bit more than porters who do not have additional jobs.
Please note: Tip amounts listed for safari and Kilimanjaro are per group, not per individual traveler. For instance, if five people are on safari, they should each contribute $5/day if they want to tip the driver, and the tips given/paid at the end of safari.