Bush & Beach, Tanzania & Zanzibar  

October 11 -20, 2024  

Price listed below the daily itinerary. New AFS small group


Just the word “safari” conjures images of the sweeping plains of Africa teaming with exotic wildlife. The word “safari” actually means “to journey” in Swahili? This AFS Adventure takes us to the heart of Africa where you embrace all Africa to witnes one of nature’s most dramatic spectacles as countless wildebeest thunder across the sweeping plains of the Serengeti in their annual migration. And then end our journey on an island jewel with powdered sugar sand beaches at a 5-star resort. This small group offering is the perfect dual-destination vacation for both our seasoned Afrioholics, as well as first-time safari babies with the finest accommodations throughout. 

Karibu! A warm welcome awaits you as you personally meet the Maasai in their scarlet robes and learn their timeless culture. Tanzania is the largest country in East Africa, renowned for its magnificent mountains, scenery and wildlife. With majestic Mt. Kilimanjaro in the distance, you’ll see herds of elephants lumbering across the grasslands.  Prides of lions lounge in the bush while zebra, giraffe, antelope, warthogs, and gazelles frolic before them.  It’s an Instagramers dream. Sail above it all at dawn in a hot air balloon. Be guided by expert trackers who will show you all of the sites you’ve only witnessed before on National Geographic. 

At Lake Manyara, see the famous tree-climbing lions and vast herds of elephants. Then it’s on to the incomparable Serengeti, where it’s hard to fathom the amount of game that calls this park home. This is undoubtedly the most famous animal sanctuary in the world with the highest concentration of animals anywhere. We’ll stay in a stunning luxury Tented Camp for the ultimate safari experience under the stars, with bush dinners, spa and walking Safari. The massive Ngorongoro Crater World Heritage Site will blow you away with epic game viewing and experiences. Below its vast rim, our game drives reveal virtually all the African wildlife of predator and prey from hippos, rhinos, cheetahs and even flamingos. 

The perfect addition to any safari is a flight to dreamy Zanzibar in the warm Indian Ocean. Just the name conjures impressions of ancient trade caravans and salty ocean breezes. The mystique of magical Zanzibar holds legendary status among travelers as an island paradise with palm fringed shores, fishing villages and lush spice plantations of vanilla, ginger, cinnamon and more. Unwind at the brand new, all-inclusive resorts’ blissful beach that stretches to coral reefs waiting to be explored. Emerald Resort is our paradise!  

Discover a world of its own with an identity shaped by a fascinating history of sultans to pirates. It’s a melting pot of vibrant culture where Arabia meets Africa. There’s free time to explore historic Stone Town, sail the turquoise waters in traditional Dhow boats, snorkel or dive. Our stunning resort has a spa and dive center to meet your water needs. 

Hakuna Matata! No worries on this adventure on our new AFS Tanz & Zanz bush and beach adventure in October is part of the dry season, so you’re pretty much guaranteed to see scores of animals, including the Big Five -lion, elephant, rhino, African buffalo, and leopard. Many of you have come before and who wouldn’t want to return again and again? It’s wild. It’s exotic. Come get your wildlife on! If you are eyeing our Kenya trip prior to this, this is a perfect extension to continue experiencing the ULTIMATE safaris in all of Africa!





Our Glorious AFS Itinerary

Click here for the Trip Tips

Click to download itinerary


Depart the U.S. on an overnight flight to arrive in Kilimanjaro (Tanzania) airport on October 12 for the beginning of the tour.


Karibu!!! Welcome to Kilimanjaro! You’ll arrive at the international airport with the famous mountain in the distance and be greeted by our local guides before transferring to the lush Arusha Serena Lodge overlooking Lake Duluti. The rest of the day is free for you to either rest or take advantage of some of the optional activities the hotel offers. At the slopes of Mt Meru, you’ll love our stone cottages are crafted like a 1920’s lake resort. Stroll the flower gardens and enjoy lakeside sundowners.

Overnight: Arusha Serena Lodge

At our Lake Manyara lodge, you’ll find everything you need to chill, unwind, and explore the stunning beauty of this region. Our accommodation is designed in traditional circular two-story “rondavels” style, with a contemporary touch for added comfort. The Flamingo Restaurant, located at the center, serves scrumptious food and boasts a veranda with breathtaking views. Enjoy the spa and outdoor pool.  Get ready for the start of a vacation of a lifetime!


Oct-13 ARUSHA – LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK                             B/L/D

Following breakfast at the hotel, we proceed to Lake Manyara National Park. The 3-hour drive features stunning landscapes and quaint villages along the way, including the agricultural and fresh produce market town of Mto Wa Mbu, which is a souvenir hunter’s paradise and situated next to the entrance of the Lake Manyara National Park. Arriving in Manyara, we’ll enjoy the Great Rift Valley Escarpment view and be greeted by groups of baboons at the entrance of Manyara. We will arrive and take an afternoon game drive with a break for a picnic lunch. The drive takes us in search of the wildlife and birdlife that Manyara hosts along with a view of famous hot spring known as “Maji Moto.”

Lake Manyara National Park is one of Tanzania’s most dramatically located African wildlife areas, consisting of a massive but shallow soda lake (covering two-thirds of the park) at the foot of the Great Rift Valley’s western escarpment. The park’s varied habitat attracts a wide variety of animals; including one of Africa’s densely populated of herd of African elephant, famous tree-climbing lions, as well as large flocks of flamingos, attracted by the algae in the lake.

We’ll arrive at the Lake Manyara Hotel in the afternoon and in the evening, we will have one one-hour session to learn Swahili words that can be useful during safari. Note that in Africa, we move safari style to different camps and lodges. Our lodge offers a unique village lunch with guide, bush dinners and cultural tribal shows at night.

 Overnight: Lake Manyara Serena Lodge

Includes complimentary Wi-Fi and delicious breakfast.  Inspired by the vibrant bird life surrounding the beautifully soda-coated Lake Manyara and the pink-fringed flamingos that add a touch of charm, this extraordinary lodge boasts gracefully curving architecture that is beyond words. The lodge also offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Great Rift Valley, mesmerizing rose-gold sunsets over the Mto Wa Mbu escarpment, and the truly remarkable tree-climbing lions of Lake Manyara. Designed around a captivating vanishing horizon’ pool at its center, this unique lodge features a rustic African-style reception area constructed with timber, which can be reached by crossing a small stream via a charming bridge. Beyond the reception area lies the central dining room, bar, and veranda, overlooking the pool below. The pool bar and observation point, located at the very edge of the cliffs, offer awe-inspiring vistas of Lake Manyara National Park. Scattered around the grounds are a collection of circular two-story rondavels’ providing delightful accommodation options, each offering picturesque views of the lake.


Welcome to Africa’s most famous game reserve for its dense predator population (big cats) and migration of countless animals heading south in search of the rains. Look for the big five and the smaller critters like impala, gazelle, springboks, eland and the many species of giraffes.  Following breakfast, we travel to the legendary Serengeti National Park (2.5 hours), passing through Olduvai Gorge, the site of the Leakey’s family discovery of fossils of human and animal ancestors dating back to almost two million years. The Olduvai Gorge is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and features fascinating information about the earliest humans to walk our planet. We will have a picnic lunch on the way to Serengeti and be astounded at the countless animals we see in the park’s vast grasslands.

Our home tonight is the exclusive Mbuzi Mawe Serena Tented Camp, situated in the heart of the Serengeti. This deluxe encampment is the quintessential safari experience where we can take in our surroundings, enjoy a scrumptious dinner and go to sleep to the sounds of Africa. Then we head out for a late afternoon Game Drive.

Our beautiful tents are set on a stone platform with thatched roof, two queen beds with nets and a full bathroom. There’s free Wi-Fi and room service, bush breakfast, cooking lessons, sundowners around a campfire, bush bar and more. Staff can arrange a guided walking safari with a ranger into the wild bush.

Overnight: Mbuzi Mawe Serena Camp (2 Nights)

Guarded by three million year-old granite towers in the magnificent Serengeti National Park, Mbuzi Mawe Serena Camp offers the quintessential African Serengeri safari experience. Our elegant tented camp is located on one of the main annual migration corridors for over one million wildebeest, half a million zebras and gazelles and their accompanying cast of predators; the camp also offers close proximity to lions, giraffes, hippos and all of the other fascinating wildlife that inhabits this 14,763 square-kilometre park.

Oct 15 – SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK –                                  B/L.D

Welcome to the UNESCO world heritage site, the Serengeti, Africa’s oldest game reserve! It’s also the most famous for its dense population of predators (big cats) and prey, with the most spectacular game viewing.  On the annual migration, countless wildebeest, 200,000 zebra, 300,000 Thompson gazelle and more animals are on the move. In October, they head south following the rains. There is also a high concentration here of leopards and cheetahs.

We start early after breakfast for morning and afternoon game drives through the Serengeti National Park. The park is Tanzania’s largest, covering more than 14,000 square kilometers. Here, we will witness the annual great wildebeest migration where wildebeest, zebra and gazelle migrate from Serengeti National Park to Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya and come back later in the year. It takes place across the park’s endless plains which is full of wildlife and birdlife elsewhere in Africa.  The park supports many species of wildlife including lions, African leopards, African elephants, cheetahs, African buffalos, Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelles, topi, elands, water bucks, hyenas, baboons, impalas, African wild dogs, and giraffes. There are more than 500 bird species here, including ostriches, secretary birds, Kori bustards, crowned cranes, marabou storks, martial eagles, lovebirds, and many species of vultures. We’ll be back late in the afternoon in time for a hot shower and dinner.

Overnight: Mbuzi Mawe Serena Camp


Optional balloon Safari with champagne breakfast over the Serengeti national park this morning 4 AM to 9:30 AM. AFS discount cost $598. Once in a lifetime experience. See Trip Tip for details.

We head to the Ngorongoro Conservations area after breakfast (90 minutes). We will check into Ngorongoro Serena Lodge, located on the rim of the crater, offering incredible vistas of the caldera below.

This is a day of leisure where you can explore or relax.  Groups love this classic property.  The NGO Crater is a UNESCO world heritage site. Some call it the 8th wonder of the world in “a land that time forgot.” Our lodge rooms with private balconies offer magnificent views of the crater. There’s a spa, evening dance shows and wildlife & Tanzania culture talks at 9 PM in the bar.

 Overnight: Ngorongoro Serena Lodge (2 nights)

Nestled high above the plains into the Crater’s jagged rim, cloaked in river stone and indigenous vines, Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge is barely visible to the naked eye. Framed by arched stone passages and timbered decks, its torch-lit walls are adorned with stylized cave paintings. At the stone heart of the lodge burns a glowing fire, which is kept constantly alight. Rooms are looped around the Crater rim. Each has its own rock-enclosed balcony, and all enjoy completely uninterrupted views of the volcanic amphitheater far below. Our Ngorongoro hotel lodge is a place that feels as ancient as the Crater itself, yet no modern comfort has been spared in an effort to bring you the best safari adventure in Africa and one of the most unique travel experiences in the world.

Oct 17 – NGORONGORO CRATER –                     B/L/D

After early breakfast, we collect our picnic lunch and set out for the day to explore the Ngorongoro Crater. Teaming with wildlife, the Ngorongoro Crater is the largest intact caldera in the world, measuring over 600m deep and some 8-19Km in diameter. It is believed to be about 8 million years old. The steep descent into the crater is almost as exciting as the scene that awaits us within. We’ll experience a fantastic showcase of nature’s best.

The diverse landscape within the crater, in which the savannah blends into swamps, rivers, marshes, forests, and cliffs, provides sanctuary for the black-maned lions, cheetahs, buffalos, elephants, and leopards that live side by side with thousands of wildebeest, gazelles and zebras, both black-backed and golden jackals. The Crater is also home to some of Tanzania’s last remaining rhinos. Flamingos and hippos inhabit the alkaline lakes and freshwater pools. Old elephants can be seen patiently wading through the papyrus ponds, while way up, on the slopes of the crater, unique and beautiful Afro-Alpine vegetation blankets the ground in a rich green cover, occasionally hidden by the mist and fog that occurs at the rim, which stands at over 7500 feet above.

Later afternoon, we ascend to the crater rim and exit to drive back to our lodge and dinner.

 Overnight: Ngorongoro Serena Lodge

Oct- 18 NGORONGORO – ZANZIBAR BY FLIGHT.                      B/L/D

 After breakfast, we head to Arusha and board our flight to Zanzibar and our exclusive beach resort, the Emerald Zanzibar Resort and Spa! Newly opened in 2022, this all-inclusive resort offers a chance for you to be pampered and enjoy the gorgeous beaches of a paradise in the Indian Ocean. (Domestic flight details will be in trip tips. Pack only soft side luggage. Maximum bag weight will be 32 pounds).

Zanzibar Island is a jewel in the ocean, surrounded by beaches that rate among the finest in the world. Here we can swim, snorkel, or just lounge the hours away, while shoals of luminous fish graze over nearby coral gardens and pods of dolphins frolic offshore.  In the island’s capital, Zanzibar Town, sits the historic quarter of Stone Town, with a mesmerizing mix of influences from Africa, Arabia, India and Europe. For these reasons and more, Zanzibar Island (officially called Unguja) is the archipelago’s focal point, and the most popular destination for visitors, but choose your spot carefully. While it’s easy to find tranquil beauty or party buzz (or both), increasing development threatens the island’s ineluctable magic and fragile community resources.

 Overnight: 5-Star Emerald Zanzibar Resort and Spa (all-inclusive resort, 2 nights)

Our luxury resort and spa is under the brand of leading hotels of the world. Set an expensive pure white sandy beach, surrounded by an oval reef for calm waters. Enjoy for gourmet restaurants, three beach bars, gelato shop, spa, water sports Center for your gear and snorkeling or diving and more. This is a deluxe all inclusive heaven!



Oct- 19  ZANZIBAR – Free day  B/L/D

After breakfast at resort. This is a free day to take in everything the resort has to offer. Take in the spa or enjoy the countless watersports. If you want to explore the island and take in Stone Town, that can also be arranged. The concierge staff can arrange anything for you like a dhow sunset cruise, jungle walk at Jozani Forest, a visit to see the turtles at Prison Island and much more.

 Overnight: Emerald Zanzibar Resort and Spa


Breakfast is at our beach resort and later we bid goodbye to Zanzibar and proceed to the airport to connect to flights back home..


Land price $4695 plus $275 internal air  per person twin share, gratuities of around $70 has been added to final invoice,

Small group.  Price based on minimum 20 participants. Deposit $500, 2nd deposit of 50% due Jun 11, final payment due Jul 11.  Single supplement limited to two, $898 additional.

Includes:  8 nights accommodation, all meals throughout the tour starting on day 2, five-game drives (two game drives in Manyara, one morning and two afternoon game drives) in Serengeti National Park, full day crater tour in Ngorongoro Conservancy, Tour manager and AFS GTL, Swahili lesson, all-inclusive stay at Emerald Zanzibar bar resort.  Internal air:  18 Oct-24 – Arusha – Zanzibar by flight PW423

Not Included – Air from USA,  Visa (details in trip tips)

We have reserved 26 air seats for flight from Arusha to Zanzibar for our group on Precision Air. Any cancellations prior to June 1will incur an extra $100 penalty along with AFS terms. Any cancellations after June 1, your $275 air ticket in your name is nonrefundable.  Itineraries are prepared up to a year ahead and things can change.  Modifications may be made.

Have you read the Trip Tips yet? Then Click Here


Tanzania Trip Tips  2024

Thank you for booking Serengeti Under Canvas. Tanzania is gloriously wild with show-stopping nature! Add in a spice of life visit to the paradise of Zanzibar and you have the perfect Africa Bush and Beach safari experience of all. All our past AFS groups loved our Ttanz and Zanz trips but you my friends have even more with new activities and the finest properties. 

At present, we have a wonderful group of 25 travelers lovers with space for one man left. We need a minimum of 24 to protect our price so we are good. Connect with each other now on your private Facebook page link instruction below. We’ll be sending you more details by email as departure nears. Anticipation is half the fun! 

Trip Tips are designed to answer trip-related questions. It’s your responsibility to read this information.  Updates and addendums will be posted here.  Some travelers have lost their entire trip for not reading what we send on visas, air details, inoculations, etc.  Check back from time to time.

  • PAYMENT DATES: The is a 2nd deposit of 50% due June 1 and Final Payment due July 11   Wetravel is our booking management company. It allows you to pay by check electronically without a fee. Please follow the instructions below. If you choose to pay with a credit card, a processing fee at the time of purchase the amount displayed in the upper right-hand corner of your payment screen. To pay online for free, simply enter your checking account routing and account numbers. Alternatively, you can write a check to Adventures For Solo Travelers. Include trip name of country name so that we can apply it correctly. Then text a picture of the check to 770-432-8225, and we will enter your payment without any processing fee.

Your fearless GTL (Gracious Trip Leader, not a guide but a liaison between our guides and group to ensure things run smoothly).

GTL SalandaSalanda – has decades of experience in the travel industry and has worked over 12 years as a travel consultant for one of the world’s largest management companies.  She has been traveling with AFS tours since the year 2000 and leading many of our groups. With over 40 trips under her belt, she always adds value to the client experience introducing them to new things during the tours.   With a passion for exotic places and unique culture, she loves to lead some of our most exciting adventures – (Kilimanjaro, Mt Everest base camp and Galapagos to name a few.)

Trip Prep:
• Read the revised Heading Abroad with AFS, especially if you are new to AFS.
• Ensure your passport is valid 6 months after return date with two blank pages – these are Visa pages, not addendum pages.  Take a photo of your passport to store in the cloud or bring a copy. If you lose your passport, US embassies now except a digital copy from your email.
• To speed through US Customs download Mobile Passport. Look in your App Store for details.
• Notify bank and cc company of travel dates so they don’t block charges.
• All airline rules differ. It is imperative to read your airline rules on their website to ensure a smooth departure! Always check your flight before departure.

Visa – All visitors need a visa.  Passport must be valid to April 2025 with one blank page. Complete online e-visa application at www.immigration.go.tz. Or US citizens can also obtain visa on airport arrival for $100. Bring cash in newer bills. However, please wait until we advise you of all details on this this fall as visa rules often change.

Travel Meds – visitors need to show a yellow fever certificate to enter unless you are flying direct from USA to Tanzania. If you stop over 12 hours or more in another African country, you also need it. If you cannot get the vaccine, get a doctor’s note. See details on this below.  Anti-malaria pills are recommended but not required. Your healthcare provider can give you a prescription. It’s your choice. After dusk, wear long pants and sleeves with repellent. See more below.

Fitness level – most activities are from safari vehicle so little walking.  (Know your limits! AFS trips are generally soft adventure with moderate activity. All included extensive walking. As we age, we think we can do what we used to do but discover on the trip an activity is too strenuous and are slowing down the entire group. You may consider Elder Trek. We cannot be responsible for booking a trip beyond your skill level and physical stamina. Please be respectful of you of your fellow AFS Travelers and consider choosing an itinerary that is more conducive to your needs so you can thoroughly enjoy your trip!)

General Air Info – Route changes can happen now. Airlines must notify you of such and protect you if problem with flight.  Consider flying in early to ensure you’ll be there once trip begins.   Always download and use your airlines app! Use app to track your booking, delays, bags, to show boarding pass and to contact them. Also, premium credit cards often offer many air perks, assistance, insurance, lounge passes, global entry and more. Read more at www.tpg.com for best cards.

Want to fly business class?  Many but don’t realize fares range from 4K to 9K. We do have two good contacts for AFS that can get seats at nearly half cost by combining award miles….  ali@above9.travel  Ph. (855) 777-6336 or britney@business-class.com 305-390-4132 or see skylux.com or business-class.com.  Tell them Suzy sent you.

Group Air –due to smaller group size there will be no group air.

Important Air Dates –  Fly round-trip USA to Kilimanjaro JRO October 11.  On Oct 20 fly home from Zanzibar.  Land starts October 12.  You can search round-trip flights to Tanzania and get a one-way flight on Precision Air from Zanzibar back to JRO.

Doing Own Air & A/p Transfers–  many airlines fly USA to Kilimanjaro JRO – KLM and Ethiopia have a great routes. Consider also Turkish, Kenya Airways, American, United, Qatar, Lufthansa or Emirates.

** For those that booked AFS Kenya too. You will fly from Nairobi to JRO, October 12.  Transfer with our group to the Nairobi airport. You check in at Precision Air. Fly 8 PM to 9 PM to Kilimanjaro. Meet your guy team on arrival and transfer to Serena Lodge. At present, ticket cost $255 subject to change until ticketed and will be nonrefundable. We will email you each more details on this.

I like to add a stop over pre-or post trip to break up the long journey and augment my vacation. Prices are high now. It’s a difficult call to get your seat now or to wait until a fare sale. You can put in dates at Google flights for “fare alerts” when prices drop. Fly from your hometown to the cheapest major gateway for best fares. Check credit cards to combine miles and points with cash.

We like Google Flights.  3rd-party booking engines like Expedia, make it easy to book, but it is nearly impossible to handle air problems.  Buy direct from airline or pay a travel agent to ticket you.  If you need help air with the economy seat,  our guy in Delhi can help; email flights@diversedestination.com with your exact air dates, destination, passport name, and details with birthdate.

Meet Up With Group– Again, we meet on Oct 12 at Arusha Serena Lodge.  Salanda will be reaching out to you with more details later.

Airport Transfers- We will have one group airport pick-up based on the group air schedule.

(With travelers arriving and departing on different days and times, it is insurmountable to manage. Group air airport transfers are based on set time. Without group air, there can no longer be any pick-ups or drop-offs.  Unfortunately, now like other tour companies, transfers are your responsibility. (We’ve spent weeks each trip making spreadsheets of each person’s air to send to the supplier and then flights change. We then hire a guide, driver and pay airport parking fees. Last year in groups only half showed up as guides waited hours looking for others. Sometimes no AFSers showed up without informing us.) Transfers are not expensive. First, google your arrival airport website to see transfer tab. Suggestions to appear like airport bus, taxi details, Uber and more. Then connect on group Facebook page to set up sharing transfer cost if you like.  If you go early and check-in AFS hotel before group arrives, it’s your responsibility to change rooms with your roommate if necessary day one when trip begins.)

weather – June to October is peak season with the migration on! Sunny weather and a great time to visit.

Internal Flight:  Group flies from Arusha, Tanzania, direct to Zanzibar. We booked 26 seats on Precision Air in your name $275. Baggage allowance is strict to 23 KG checked bag or 46lbs and 7 kg for carry-on at 15lbs.  Any cancellations now until June 1 will incur a $100 penalty for your air booking in your name on top of normal trip cancellation fee.  After June 1, your $275 ticket is nonrefundable.

Baggage– Think light to ease your burden, not like you’re fleeing your homeland.  You change hotel properties several times. 1 carry-on bag & 1 medium suitcase not to exceed 45lb checked bag – weigh on a bathroom scale.   Leave space for great souvenirs. Be sure to attach ID inside and out of carry-on and checked bag.

Weather – June to October is peak season with the migration on! Sunny weather and a great time to visit.

Packing-  Totally casual trip and easy to pack. Shorts and short sleeve tops by day. Jeans and long sleeves at night. Early morning game drives are cold. Bring warm jacket. Footwear – no hiking boots, sandals or sneakers are fine. Bring hat with chinstrap, daypack, sunglasses, insect repellent, umbrella, swimsuit, flashlight. Please bring gifts for visit to children’s home. See more packing tips below.

Read Packing 101 in Heading Abroad with AFS

Cool travel hacks from our AFSers! Pack overnight outfit in your carry-on, liquid IV packets to hydrate, use packing cubes, downy wrinkle spray, Apple AirTags, extra nylon bag to check laundry home, tons of US dollars for extra tips, fully charged travel banks, less is more, get global entry.

Electric– In Tanzania, power plugs and sockets (outlets) of type G are used.  Don’t forget a portable backup charger, cords, gadgets, etc. Cell phones and tablets do not need a converter; you only need an adapter plug.  AFSers often leave charger cords in room, so be sure to double-check your room before check out. All properties have hairdryers.  See https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com

Money Matters – Always bring some cash!  You will need some cash for personal tipping, meals, and shopping. $300 cash should suffice.    Change currency on arrival at airport, bank, or hotels or withdraw local currency from an ATM.  Note -independent ATMs are risky due to skimmer scams. Safest ATMs are at airport and banks. Always shield your pin number when entering.

Master Card and Visa widely accepted.  Amex rarely accepted except at hotels.   Credit cards are far safer than using your debit card. I use my credit card for most purchases.  Many cards now offer no foreign transaction fees. (Some countries in Africa and Asia require new bills dated after 2016. Older bills not accepted when changing money.)

Currency  Exchange Rate   $1  = 2535 Tanzanian shilling

Gratuities – It’s protocol to tip our local guides, drivers, rangers, assistant porters, lodge staff, waitstaff and other ground services. $70 is added to your invoice. We divide into small groups of 6 to 7 people. For your daily game drives with your own personal Ranger, please tip $5 to $10 per day pp directly to him. Your GTL will advise. Bring an envelope of 60 to 70 USD to draw from.

Tipping on own – If service is stellar, feel free to give more directly.  All we tourists leave behind is our reputation. I carry a stash of US ones in an envelope to draw from as needed. Porters – AFSers roll bags to their room.  If you use a porter, please tip.  For group lunches or dinners included, please leave $2 for waitstaff!

Websites – go to www.tanzaniatourism.com is an excellent site to explore countless places and activities in all Tanzania and Zanzabar. Bar.

Communication– Internet is available throughout. With smartphones, be sure to check with your provider for rates and coverage for international phone plans before departure. Data Roaming rates can be expensive. To reach home – Texting, iMessage, WhatsApp, and Facebook messaging when using WIFI. Be cautious using public Wi-Fi without using VPN. Without VPN never open attachments or view financial or personal accounts on the Internet while abroad.  Phone calls, text messages, and data usage of all kinds, it is crucial to understand that, unless you are connected to Wi-Fi, every use of your phone incurs a data toll. That means that viewing and downloading email, browsing the web, viewing social media, and mapping all incur data charges, as do applications that we sometimes assume to be “free,” such as Skype and WhatsApp. Unless you are connected to Wi-Fi, however, WhatsApp is using cellular data, so you are getting charged at your provider’s international roaming data rate.  Facebook Messenger Phone is an easy free way to make calls.

Retail Therapy – In Tanzania, AFSers have purchased several souvenirs or mementos of their trip. Maasai beadwork, which includes colorful jewelry, belts, and other accessories handmade by the Maasai people. Another sought-after item is traditional African artwork, such as wood carvings, masks, and paintings, which showcase the rich cultural heritage of Tanzania.  Finally, Tanzanian coffee and tea are also popular purchases, as the country is known for its high-quality and flavorful beverages. These items not only make great souvenirs but also support local artisans and communities.  Bargain all.

Accommodations –– Our itinerary has links to hotel.  Note that hotels can change, but it’s rare.

Leisure – You have a full leisure day in Zanzibar. Go to www.emeraldzanzabar.com. Relax and enjoy the fun activities here. All snorkel or scuba equipment is provided here.  Or the concierge can assist with any optional tours if you like; historic Stone Town, Spice tour, fabulous Prison Island with turtles, Jozini forest trip with monkeys, dolphin or a sunset cruise.

Optional October 16 or 17 (depending on weather)– Hot air balloon safari with champagne breakfast! Join us on a once in a lifetime experience. It’s always expensive but our past groups loved it. AFS discount price $598, including transfers and based on minimum 15 people. Viator is $660. Times are 4:30 AM to 9:30 AM and you will not miss any game drives. We will get a headcount next month.

Amending tour pre-or post-trip. We honor your independent spirit but encourage you to extend more days at the trip’s end when you’re acclimated well to the destination.  If you add another country, we often see many AFSers on Facebook urging others to join them what do you consider the cost of tours, transport, hotels, etc.  Stopovers are great to add, but understand AFS has no responsibility for the quality of your trip.

Private Facebook Group Page  –  The benefit of the Private FB Group Page is that you have an opportunity to introduce yourself to your fellow travelers before departure and share trip photos during and after the tour.  The link can be found in your Wetravel welcome letter after your initial deposit.  (We found that some never read the Trip Tips jumping right to the Private FB Group Page assuming they will get all trip info needed. Often, they only receive rumors or misinformation. All important information is ALWAYS emailed to each participant and posted in Trip Tips under UPDATES. Nobody misses a thing.)

Emergency Contact – AFS phone or text 770-432-8225, or email us at https://afstravelers.com/contact-us/    More contacts will be provided with your Final Docs email 2 to 3 weeks before departure. Your guide can handle a call home for a true emergency. Do not expect to use your trip leader’s cell phone; you’ll need to use your own.

Cancellation Penalty –  At booking, we sent you our terms and conditions. Click here for our Terms & Conditions   . Briefly, on land packages, we’ll refund your deposit less than $155 until 5 weeks prior to the trip’s final payment due date.   Any cancellation after this date will result in full forfeiture of your deposit. AFS reserves the right to resell or otherwise use the canceled space at our discretion.

Travel Insurance– While travel insurance is optional, in today’s world, we highly encourage you to get standard coverage to cover trip interruption and cancellation.  The best source for all is www.insuremytrip.com.   CFAR or cancel for any reason covers Covid but is expensive.  Note that no company covers for fear.

Preexisting conditions – If you would like the security of travel insurance and have a pre-existing condition (elderly parent, medical, etc.), you must purchase insurance within 15 days from your initial trip deposit in order to assure full coverage.  The trip cost can be amended or adjusted as needed after your initial purchase (eg. like adding an air ticket cost later). You can buy travel insurance at any time, just know that there may be some possible limitations if purchased outside the 15 day period.  We like TravelSafe, Allianz or Seven Corners.

Travel Psychology 101  – Prepare for your departure joyfully with no contempt before investigation upon arrival. Please understand that with travel, things are not like at home and changes may occur. Great trips work best for those with an open mind, flexible attitude and adventuresome spirit.  If changes occur, embrace them with serendipity. Who knows?… The unexpected may prove to be a better experience.  Adapt and go with the flow with a laid-back attitude.  Be spontaneous. Be tolerant of foreign cultures in respecting their centuries of traditions. Embrace the differences. Be curious, not shy. Smile – locals will sense your energy of kindness and kindness always begets kindness.  Our common goal is to experience different cultures, make new friends, get great photos, have large fun, and return home safely with memories worthy of recollection.

The best spirit of an Explorer requires the openness of a child – Suzy

“When traveling, remember that a foreign country isn’t designed to make you comfortable.  It’s designed to make its own people comfortable.” – Clinton Fadiman

Please note that AFS is non-partisan – With our homogeneous groups, we all want to focus on the common denominator – our love of travel.  In today’s divisive world, we suggest members not discuss politics and if you must, please practice my rule of TOK:  Tolerance, Open-mindedness and Kindness.

Please be advised that the operation of some tours may need to be rearranged or modified to suit local conditions, but all activities stated will be included.  We are here for you to address any questions about your trip. In time, we believe travel will begin to normalize with less rules and we appreciate your cooperation until then.  Now more than ever before, travelers value the privilege of travel to explore our world. You’ve been waiting so long, it’s time for recess!

Suzy’s Africa Travel Tips

General Stuff

Suzy’s Africa Travel Tips

(2024)  “The only man I envy is the man who has not yet been to Africa. For he has so much to look forward to.”
“Africa changes you forever, like nowhere else. How can you describe its magic? How can you explain the fascination of the past and noble dusty continent, whose oldest roads are elephant paths? How are experiences here in a way no other place can? Maybe it’s because Africa is the place of all our beginnings, the cradle of mankind. The happiest years of my life were spent here.” Paul Theroux

Studies reveal the most meaningful and memorable journeys always end in the same place – Africa! You go for the animals but you remember the people most. Our AFS “Afriholics” get hooked for life.  Some travelers who’ve never been to Africa think a safari is non-stop action. Behold the stunning boredom! The fact is there’s a lot of glorious downtime between early morning and evening game drives. Time in the bush is like entering a remnant of an earlier era. Everything slows down. Shade seeking lions flop over like house cats, zebras stand still as statues, leopards drape over branches to sleep. All game rests. With them, we engage in a communion of laziness. We relax. We observe.

Wildlife Encounters – All animals are wild and you are prey. Respect proximity. Wild animals are totally unpredictable. If you ever encounter a predator in the bush-never run! You will always be the slowest. Animals may roam into lodge camp. Never deviate off path or walk alone at night. Guards will escort you. Never walk near a riverbank or swim in lakes. Hippos hide well.

Game Drives – You will be divided into groups of 4-6 per safari vehicle. Do not interfere with or direct your expert rangers – guide who lived there. He’s far more than a driver with years of experience and intense certifications. Your safety is their number one concern. They can spot everything from ground to sky. Suggested tip is $5 per game drive. If several days of drives, wait until the end. Give direct to your ranger in US dollars, newer bills not torn.

Animal sightings are not guaranteed. AFS past groups have been extremely successful on all. Over 3 decades, we never had a bad safari. Big cats are usually present, but leopards and cheetahs tend to hide. Don’t just search out the big mammals. You’ll miss the marvels of small creatures like badgers to bushbabies and spectacular birdlife.

Photography– Rather than hauling big lenses, small digital cameras get incredible shots nowadays. Edit/delete each night. On drives, keep camera in the bag to protect it from dust and sun. Don’t forget extra batteries! Best light on safaris is 6 to 10 AM and 4 to 6 PM. Rangers will assist with the best vantage points. There is usually a pair of binoculars to share in jeep. Always get consent before photographing local people.  On return home, share your pics on AFS private Facebook page. (I have over 8000 photos of elephants and lions. Please take human photos as well as wildlife. Better yet, take photos AFS humans with the wildlife.)

Expert Africa Packing: Suitcases are stowed in our 6 to 7 safari vehicles or jeeps. New hard cases don’t fit.  Bring only soft-sided luggage or duffels are best.  If we use small charter aircraft deep into bush like Botswana, I’ll advise strict weight restrictions for both bag and carry-on. Pack light and wear the same clothes more than once. Laundry is always available.

Neutral color clothing (no bright colors or fragrances to alarm animals.) Light cotton shorts and T-shirts by day. Jeans/pants with a long sleeve top at night. Early-morning drives always cold-bring warm jacket, fleece or sweater. Smart outfit for evening functions.  Hat with a brim for sun protection and chinstrap for drives. Bring a simple light day pack on drives. Sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellent with DEET, swimsuit, adapter plugs, mini flashlight, toiletries.

Lodges or Camps – All first-class properties or “glamping” style tents. All food and water is purified.  Tap water – Cover bathroom sink with a washcloth as a reminder not to use. Bottled water in the rooms and always available daily. Hydrate! African air is dry and sun is strong. Know that massages at the lodges are usually subpar. Save your spa visits for Europe, Asia and cruises.  Lodges have a staff tip box. $5 to $10 is generous to give and will be shared with all staff.  Ask reception for charging station to plug-in phones, cameras and tablets.

Be mindful of everything around you, not just the Big 5. I’m a primate girl myself. In times gone by European hunters used to search out for the most difficult animals to hunt in Africa which led Safari club supreme a list of five key animals that were challenged to shoot. These were considered difficult for a number of reasons, including ferocity, visibility, and elusiveness.

Lions really are the kings of the savanna and are at the top of the food chain. As such, they need no introduction. Lions are widespread throughout southern and eastern Africa and you’ll have a good chance of seeing them in most safari locations.

Black Rhino now critically endangered, the black rhino is not actually black, but more off-white. Despite its huge bulk and dangerous reputation, rhinos are herbivores who would rather graze on some grass than attack a person. There are a few rhinos left in a wild due to large increase in poachers hunting them for their horns.

Leopards are nocturnal and secretive, making them the most difficult number of the Big 5 to actually spot. When you do see one, chances are it will be lounging in a tree at sunset having just eaten dinner.

African Elephants as most people know are large thick-skinned herbivores. Elephants are numerous in Africa but nevertheless can be hard to spot in some areas due to their ability to hide in the bush and long grasses. Despite being widespread, elephants face a growing threat from poachers who hunt them for their ivory.

Cape Buffalo considered by many to be the most dangerous of the big five, reportedly causing the most hunter deaths, with wounded animals reported to ambush and attack pursuers.

Meds – Since 1989, we never had travel diseases with our travelers. But we do advise you discuss your trip with your doctor or healthcare provider. After that, any specific questions you have, text your name to 770-432-8225 and we will call you back.  Some clients go to CDC website which prepares all for the worst and creates unnecessary fear. We only stay in fine properties with clean food and water. We do not use needles, swim in rivers, work with the sick or have sex with locals.  I don’t want you to over immunize yourself sick, spending hundreds for unnecessary dollars. Over 2 decades selling Africa and South America, no AFS client has ever contracted any disease. Ultimately, it’s your decision on what’s best for you.

About Anti-malaria drugs
This is a common question from our travelers to parts of Africa and So. America. It is a serious disease that can happen when being bitten by an infected female mosquito. However, it’s extremely rare. While locals, tourism staff and guides there do not take pills, many travelers prefer to play it safe with either weekly or daily pills which starts a week before your arrival.  In the US, we are limited to only 3 choices; Malarone, Doxycycline or Atovaquone (Larium). Malarone can be costly, but now there’s a generic. Wal-Mart or Kroger have best prices. See your doctor for a prescription. Sometimes one only needs a strong DEET repellent (roll-on best) and wearing pants and long sleeves at dusk.

Yellow Fever – each country differs and rules change constantly. You may need to get a yellow fever shot if you are traveling from one African country to another. Check your rules. These vaccines found at local health departments are nearly impossible now to get in the USA. If you are over age 60, they won’t give you the shot. Get a doctor’s note. If you can obtain the yellow fever vaccine, bring the yellow card which is proof with you. A change made recently if you have an old yellow fever card it’s good forever.

Travelers’ diarrhea can happen anywhere outside USA. It can be caused from the stress of travel, different diets and water that is contaminated. However, all lodge meals are hygienic clean meals. (Cause of infection may be a virus, parasitic or bacterial, so don’t think Cipro is a cure-all.) You all know not to drink untreated tap water, use ice cubes, or brush your teeth with it.  Guides will remind. you, though few get sick in Africa.  If you get sick, rehydrate with oral rehydration salts, take Imodium or Lomatil. If it doesn’t pass in a week, see doctor. Don’t reach for ‘’stoppers’’ right away. Allow toxins to pass. Fluids are essential.

Things for Children – Bring anything as all we be used. Think Dollar Store or Target. Some stores will even donate. (Get creative. (I bring hair scrunchies and mirrors for girls and balloons for kids.). In poor places, school supplies can be useless with no paper to draw on. They need shoes, socks, clothes etc. They love caps, toys and inflatable balls. You can always donate cash to the headmaster or visit Packwithapurpose.com to see who needs what in each country.