Faq about Safaris
Most areas where safaris are organized are completely safe, and free from political conflicts. Uisso Adventures & Safaris Ltd only conducts safaris in countries which are politically stable and where it is safe to travel.
What will I see on safari?
You’ll see a great variety of animals, birds and plants. You’ll roam across the countryside in search of elephants, lions, rhinos, cape buffaloes and leopards (the so-called “Big Five”). On any given day, you will encounter blue wildebeest, zebra, and the large variety of antelope species, gazelle, giraffe, baboon and hippo. The bird life is fantastic as well – in some areas up to 400 bird species have been identified! You’ll also see majestic baobab trees and hundreds of varieties of thorn trees, the acacia-dotted landscape, endless plains, majestic mountains and the most beautiful sunsets and sunrises one could ever imagine. These can be seen in northern Tanzania’s National Parks, such as Serengeti, Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Arusha National Park and Ngorongoro Crater.
What are the Big Five?
The “Big Five” were originally the most sought after animals by hunters. They were the fiercest ones, the animals that hunted the hunters. They are rhino, elephant, lion, leopard and cape buffalo, and today these are the species that tourists want to see most when visiting Tanzania’s national parks. You can see all five of these animals during a visit to Northern Tanzania.
What is a bush walk?
A “bush walk” is a nature walk or walking safari, inside or nearby a national park. We can tailor a bush walk to your interests: if you are a bird watcher, we can arrange a bird walk; if you want to go near big game on foot, we can arrange a bush walk in a national park (these walks require an armed guard). A bush walk can be a leisurely stroll or strenuous hike, and ranges in length from thirty minutes to six hours.
Are we safe from the animals?
Our professional safari guides are well trained about wild animal behaviors and they have enough experience to lead our clients in the wilderness. Our vehicles are 4×4 Toyota Land Cruiser and Land Rover with hutched roof, to give maximum visibility during game views.
What about snakes and bugs?
This worry is quite overstated. You will rarely see a snake, and if you do, it will most likely from the safety of your safari vehicle. All tents and lodges have bug screens fitted to the windows. In most areas where bugs or mosquitoes are prevalent, rooms and tents are also equipped with mosquito nets. Just bear in mind that malaria is a threat in most wildlife areas, and it is necessary to consult your doctor for advice before embarking on your safari.
The weather is quite stable during the whole year, excluding the season of long rains – late March to late May, usually not the ideal time to plan a safari because of the hight probability of sudden downpours. After the long rains, however, it is a wonderful time to visit Tanzania’s national parks due to the abundance of wildflowers and vegetation. It is also a good time to go on safari, because the level of dust and the number of tourists is minimal.
From July to October it is dry season, and also the high season for tourism. This is the best time to view wildlife, because grass is quite short and sparse. It is usually very dusty and it can be cold at higher elevations, such as on Ngorongoro Crater. Short rains occur from late October to mid December. This is low season for tourism in Tanzania. From December to March is Tanzania’s “summer” and many tourists choose to visit during late December and January, because of optimal game viewing.
- Northern Tanzania National Parks – June to March
- Southern Tanzania National Parks – June to March
- Zanzibar and the coast – June to March
- Western Tanzania – June to March
- Mt. Kilimanjaro climbing – July to September / November to February
- Mt. Meru climbing – June to September / October to February
There are two factors to consider when choosing the right time to visit Tanzania: the wildlife and the crowds. For the best wildlife safari, visit Tanzania during the dry seasons from December to February, and from July to September. To avoid the crowds, plan your visit in May, June or November.
The wildebeest migration is the annual movement of 1.2 million wildebeest and zebra between Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park and Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Park. The migration is usually in the Serengeti from late December until late August, making these months the best for wildlife viewing in the Serengeti. The best months to view the migration are generally from January to March, when the migration is in larger herds. The highlight of the migration occurs during a two week period in February, when the wildebeest give birth to 8,000 babies daily.
Around the turn of the century (until the 30’s and 40’s), mobile tenting was the only option, and “camp as you go” was the standard practice. Over the years the luxury connected with the traditional mobile tenting safari has increased. By the same token, one can understand that the cost for having a “luxury hotel” following you around Africa is expensive. However, most of people settle for tented camps which are permanent. Because they are “permanent” they can be equipped with flush toilets and traditional bathroom fixtures and conveniences. Don’t be misled by terminology – a permanent tented camp offers the comfort of a 5-star hotel but with the romance and adventure of being surrounded by the sights and sounds of Africa.
Although more than 2000 languages and dialects are spoken throughout Africa, this is not a problem, because English is widely spoken throughout East and Southern Africa.
- Insect repellent (the best way to prevent malaria and other insect borne diseases)
- Cap or hat
- Detergent powder if you want to wash some clothes yourself
- Small flashlight
- Aspirin, diarrhea medicines
- Rain jacket, poncho or collapsible umbrella
- Plastic bags for wet clothes and swimsuit, and for keeping dust away from camera equipment
- Kleenex / toilet tissue
- A neck chain for eyeglasses, in case you take them off to use binoculars and cameras
- Any medical prescription you need to fill
- Masking tape or labels for marking exposed films cans
- Film, extra camera batteries, as well as light meter batteries
These are the recommended immunizations:
- Typhoid – Typhoid vaccination is good for three years. This inoculation consists of two shots given four weeks apart or four tablets taken orally, one pill every other day over the course of six days. The pills must be refrigerated.
- Hepatitis A – Should be taken just prior to departure as immunity becomes less effective with time.
- Hepatitis B – Is a viral disease transmitted mainly through blood or sexual contact. Vaccination lasts forever and is recommended by the CDC for long-term travelers to Africa who will have contact with the local population. Ideally the vaccine is administered over a six-month period.
- Meningitis – The vaccine for meningitis is called Menamune. It can cost up to $100 at clinics that don’t administer it frequently, or as a little as a third of that cost elsewhere. You may want to shop around. While this disease occurs only sporadically, it is fatal unless treated immediately.
- Yellow Fever – Proof of yellow fever vaccination is required for travelers arriving from or transiting through most African countries. Travelers arriving with KLM from Amsterdam or British Airways from London (direct flight) do not need to show proof of yellow fever vaccination.
- Malaria – The most common anti-malarial drug in the US is Mefloquine (Lariam). The prescribed dosage is one tablet (250mg) per week. It can cause side effects such as upset stomach or nightmares, and is not recommended for people suffering from and on medication for epilepsy or schizophrenia. It is not recommended for people on medication with beta-blockers, commonly prescribed for high blood pressure or heart disease. Please consult your physician before taking Lariam. Other drugs are available, though their effectiveness varies.