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5 Tips on free independent travel in Tanzania.

5 Tips on free independent travel in Tanzania.

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Travel in Tanzania has become easier as many travelers prefer to book their flights, safaris, food, and accommodations in this day and age when they travel overseas. The traditional pocket tour whereby a large corporate travel agency organizes a package from start to finish for individuals is no longer standard.

The rise in technology and ease of acquiring information has given travelers the power to research, choose, organize, and customize their travel and tour packages. From Tripadvisor, Lonely Planet, Routard, Tripsavvy, and many more, internet platforms such as these enable travelers to have a hands-on approach on what they want in their package at the most flexible budget and time, right, at their fingertips.

Travelers can reach out to local tour operators, local airways, hotels, etc., directly without a merchant or intermediary travel organizer’s need. This concept is known as free independent travel. There is a rising trend for many tourists who are embracing this phenomenon. Tanzania has been receiving many free independent travelers over time, and below are a few tips on how to travel safely, smoothly, and conveniently in Tanzania with a strict budget.

Free independent travel in Tanzania:

Know your tuff by having preliminary research of Tanzania online and in books.

Information is Power! Before embarking on your journey to Tanzania, try to read a thing or two about your destination. Tanzania is a big country with over 900,000 km squared, more than 55 million people with over 120 ethnic tribes and cultures. The knowledge of the various statistics is not of paramount importance but get to know some particular facts about the vicinity of your final destination in Tanzania. Know about the dominant tribe, religion, and social dynamics of your locality.

Travel in Tanzania can be quite hectic because of the high diversity of cultures, especially if you plan to live with different local communities across the landscape. Zanzibar is highly Islamic, and Arabic and Islamic culture characterize its cultural environment. For example, eating pork is considered highly offensive in places like Zanzibar. Mainland Tanzania is over 70% Christian in most areas; hence, such differences can take a toll on one’s living dynamics.

Read about the food, restrictions and laws, fees of various services, and the locals’ proper social conduct. Things like where to go when in trouble, hours of staying out, Visa requirements, weather and seasons of the year, ways to greet locals, available modes of transport, and whatever you can get your hands on before boarding that flight. Useful information; Lonely Planet-Tanzania travel Guide.

Be sure to have trustworthy local friends, as you travel in Tanzania.

A friend in need is a friend indeed, but the question is, how can you find a trustworthy friend? As a foreigner, you need to know that as you travel in Tanzania, there is a common false stereotype common among many Tanzanians, and that is, all foreigners are rich people; in short, they are like walking ATMs.

This fallacy causes many to double their prices once they note that you are a foreigner as they try to entice you into a parasitic friendship. As sad as it is true, you need to have a local that can help you bargain and advise you on the right places to visit and shop. Finding a good friend in this world can be so uncertain to the extent that it comes down to luck and good fortune. Having a tip-off, review, and suggestion from a fellow traveler who has been here can help you find the right local friend.

Convert your money to the local currency.

Always deal in the local currency. Once you arrive at your location, try to get some cash in the local currency. Due to the inflation rate been at about 3.5%, most foreign currencies weigh more than Tanzanian shillings; hence, dealing in shillings can help you save some money, especially when shopping locally.

Download a convenient offline application on your phone so that you can use it to convert the price value of what you intend to purchase and compare it to your country’s currency, as you travel in Tanzania. By comparing prices with your home country’s money, you can quickly know whether you are paying too much or not on what you want to buy.

Don’t fully rely on online travel apps and travel guides.

Things change so quickly when in comes to travel in Tanzania, and what was true last year might be different today, as rules, roads, infrastructure, and customs vary day by day. Online guides and books can get outdated quickly, and sometimes it’s good to do trial and error to taste, try and explore new things. Having a reliable friend can prove to be very handy most of the time. Foreign travelers write most online guides, and no doubt they can be useful but not at all times.

Try to know a bit of the local language.

Many Tanzania’s don’t speak English, especially in rural regions, so knowing a bit of the local words can help you get around more comfortable and quicker. Get an offline dictionary to learn essential phrases, such as asking for directions and services.


Travel in Tanzania gets matured day by day, as travelers get hooked up to independent travel day by day, hence, developing and setting a platform which is rich in information, feedback, and reviews from various travelers, thus ensuring a convenient basis of an easier, quicker and accessible travel experience. Visit our offices or contact us now, to link up with Staajabu Travel team; your true Tanzanian friends. Tanzania is a safe destination!


Safari Vehicle: 11 Important things to look for in a good safari car.

Safari Vehicle: 10 Important things to look for in a good safari car.

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Most of us are looking forward to that adventurous safari in the legendary African savannas, coupled with memorable scenes of great beasts roaming on endless plains and dusty Acacia landscapes, soaring over majestic rivers and mountains. One of th­­­e most important aspects to consider before embarking on a safari, is the condition and standard of your safari.

Most African wildlife parks have dusty, bumpy and rough terrain, which calls for a very specialized kind of vehicle unlike what we are accustomed to. Depending on the activities and duration of your safari, your vehicle defines the line between success or failure of your journey. Your safari vehicle should also maximize your photographic and filming aspect(Visibility factor), provide comfort and offer the adequate adventure, hence all our safari vehicles are custom-built to offer you a satisfying safari.

Features of a good safari vehicle

Strong custom-built Four-wheel(4X4) drive to conquer rough terrain, plus a secured steel frame chassis.

Tanzanian national parks and wildlife reserves don’t have tarred roads. The government believes in leaving the wildlife habitats as natural as they can be, which includes, restricting human infrastructure that can inhibit or alter wildlife ecosystems. Most of these roads are not even paved, hence they can be unpredictable, with the prevailing rapid weather changes. environment. Hence, having a strong and good 4X4 safari car is paramount in navigating wildlife parks. A good 4X4 safari vehicle is vital for avoiding getting stuck, accidents or even endangering tourists. 

Comfortable seats (5 to 7 seaters) with seat belts, arm rest and leg room.

Our safari cars have 5 to 7 passenger seats with enough leg room to facilitate a comfortable game drive. In most safaris, tourists can take from 5 to 8 hours on a safari car, hence a good comfortability factor is important in ensuring that tourists don’t get overly tied. All our vehicles are fitted with comfortable arm-rest and seat belts for your safety and easy ride.

360° View through a large pop-up roof hatch for enhanced game viewing. and photographic opportunities plus 2.5 ft windows.

All our vehicles are fitted with a pop-up roof that can open and close during rain or extreme sunshine. The pop-up roof provides tourists with a 360° view and room to stand upright while in the car, coupled with big window, which is key on a game drive.

Good shock-absorbers for a comfortable journey.

As said earlier on, some terrains can be very bumpy, such as the stretch from Ngorongoro to Serengeti, also known as the “African massage”. If a car doesn’t have a good shock-absorber, it can lead to a noisy and shaky ride, which is not safe for the tourists or the car.

Binoculars included in every vehicle.

Our safari vehicles are come with 3 pairs of binoculars to enhance the game viewing experience. Tracing wildlife in the savanna, can be tricky if one doesn’t have a pair of binoculars, since animals are mostly camouflaged into their surroundings while some may be far from the vehicle, hence having a good set of binoculars can richly enhance your safari experience.

Fridge and cooler box for constant chilled supply of soft drinks.

We supply chilled soft drinks and water on our safari through a fitted fridge and cooler box in each of our safari vehicles. Sometimes in can get very sunny and arid during a safari, hence having a fridge to provide a constant supply of chilled drinks is a game changer. The fridge is connected to an inventor, which always runs when the car is on.

Charging ports for your electronic devices, Wi-Fi and air conditioning.

In this day and age, we all want to have our communication devices and cameras charged at all times. Just because you are far from the lodge, deep in the African wilderness, shouldn’t mean you can’t get your devices charged. All our vehicles are fitted with numerous charging ports for ensure that you stay powered-up.

Strong and durable tires plus spare tires.

Due to the gravel and rough nature of the terrain, we use durable thick tires that can handle rugged roads. Not only that, all our safari cars, are fitted with extra two spare tires attached to the back of the vehicle.

Comprehensive first aid kit, fire extinguishers, tool kits and VHF radios.

The health and safety of our clients is very important to us. Our vehicles are health kits and VHF radios that can ensure proper communication with safety officers where there is no telecommunication network coverage. Our company has a membership access to AMREF flying doctors that can transfer clients with flights to the nearest health centers incase of any health problem coupled by their travel insurance.

Supply of soft drinks, bites and snacks, coffee and water on the go.

We provide a good supply of water, soft drinks and much more during the whole time of your safari.


The African safari is an outdoor adventure in a natural unenclosed zoo, hence keen measures have to be taken in choosing the adequate safari vehicle, so as to ensure safety, comfort and a satisfying safari experience.

What to pack for a safari to Africa-by Staajabu Travel

Safari in Africa: 5 Most important facts you need to know before you pack.

Safari in Africa: 5 Most important facts you need to know before you pack.

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You have all your hotel bookings, itinerary and flight tickets ready; you are so excited for your upcoming safari but one question lingers; what should I pack for my safari? To most travelers, Africa has proved to be a surprising destination. They expected it to be very hot, yet it can get very cold in some places; they expected all-day blazing sun but found long periods of rain. In short, you need expert advice to know how to prepare and pack for your safari, as small details such as the color, texture, and scent of your clothes can matter in the African savanna. Below is comprehensive information on some of the most important facts and items you need to know before you pack for your safari in Africa.

What to pack?


Have the appropriate texture and color of clothing. A safari is packed with outdoor activities, with exposure to nature and wildlife, hence having the right color, scent, and texture of the clothing is vital for the comfort of the tourist and wildlife as well.

The lighter you pack the better. Whether you are on a day trip or multiday safari, all safaris entail long drives across the African savanna, which means carrying a lot of clothes won’t be necessary. The lighter you pack the easier it gets when moving from one lodge to another, across different wildlife parks on your itinerary. Lighter luggage also offsets your carbon footprint and fuel consumption. If you are going to have flights on caravans to other parks, the baggage allowance is normally very limited in these small planes hence having a small load will always work in your favor.

Pack also a few clothes on your carry-on bag during your long-haul flight to Tanzania just in case your checked-in bag arrives late at the destination. Not to worry, in case your luggage is misplaced or arrives late, be sure to continue your safari as the Staajabu team will track and bring your baggage right to your lodge at any point on your itinerary.

Have layers of clothes because the weather fluctuates across the day. Most safari destinations start chilly in the morning and get very warm in the afternoon, then subsequently cooler in the evening and very cold at the night; hence having different layers of clothing will be functional. Rather than packing 1 big jacket or 1 pair of heavy socks, we advise you to pack several light pairs which you can wear on top of others in layers, thus making it easy to remove or add as the temperature gradually changes. For example, 1 t-shirt for every day of the safari. In some places, temperatures can range from 30°C during the warmest days to 0°C at night in places such as the Ngorongoro highlands.

You can have a light raincoat or poncho, scarf which can cover you in case of light showers to aid your viewing of wildlife from our pop-up roof vehicles, and a windbreaker and warm gloves if you plan to have a walking safari on early cold mornings. Most countries around the equator receive not less than 60 mm a month with annual precipitation getting over 2000mm.

Avoid high heels or fashion sneakers. Get good outdoor shoes with rugged soles and comfortable for long walks on walking safaris but also allow comfortable wear for long periods. Have a pair of flip-flops or sandals and light outdoor sneakers for moving around with ease outside lodges or beaches, plus casual swimwear which you can use at the lodge swimming pool or waterfalls, where swimming is allowed.

For ladies, have sports bras which can be very useful on bumpy road trips on rough terrain. Make sure your clothes are neither too tight nor too loose. Due to warm weather, we advise you avoid jeans or PVC clothes which can hinder the circulation of air to your skin.

Avoid very bright colors such as full white, neon green, etc., which can disrupt the comfort of animals due to their high visual sensitivity. We encourage khaki, brown, beige, grey, leaf green colors which blend with the surroundings and ensure the most minimum disturbance during a game drive. Choose light clothing that won’t insulate you a lot to avoid over sweating in semi-arid areas. Wildlife are normally color blind, but they are very sensitive to bright colors, loud patterns, high contrasts, or black and white which can cause them to spot you as unfamiliar, consequently signaling dangerous causing them to flee.

Avoid blue or black clothes since they attract tsetse flies. These flies have a painful sting which can make your tour uncomfortable. Their sting is not infectious unless you get bitten over long periods, which can lead to sleeping sickness.

Avoid military camouflage clothing as some military units don’t allow civilians to wear camouflaged clothing on common grounds.

Avoid large animal prints, such as leopard skin print on t-shirts which can spook some animals, especially baboons, which make them shout alarm calls, leading other animals to hide.

Have a Cap or hat with a brim that can also cover your neck and ears, because the African sun can be brutal especially for people that will do walking safaris and open-roof game drives. Have a beanie for dawn cold morning game drives.

For Mount Kilimanjaro please, read on our checklist of the required mountain gear.

Medication and body creams.

Malaria is a deadly disease and mosquitos are everywhere in this tropical part of the world. Having antimalarial drugs such as Lariam or Malarone is vital. You may also carry motion sickness drugs if you are prone to nausea or discomfort while in cars or boats. If you are allergic to certain things, we advise you have antihistamines for allergies such as Loratadine, Azelastine, or Claritin because some of these drugs may be difficult to find in Tanzania. For asthmatic patients, please have your inhaler with you at all times as some safaris can get very dusty; a handkerchief or bandana can also be helpful. You can also have a potable insect repellant at your disposal, which you can spray on the go to ward off bugs but wearing a long-sleeved shirt and trousers can protect you from this.

All our tours come with available hand sanitizers in each vehicle. Get odorless deodorants since some animals are sensitive to strong perfumes and scents. Get a good sunscreen with the matching SPF for your skin as the African sun can get very hot.

Toiletries: Most of our partner lodges and hotels on safari provide the soaps, shampoos, lotions, toothpaste, towels, body creams, and other toiletries in each room, but packing a small toiletry bag with your essentials can be most convenient.

All our vehicles have first aid kits and all our guides have first aid training just in case of an emergency, plus an AMREF membership for serious issues that need tourists to be flown out of the park for medical intervention.

Documents and Equipment.

Have physical and electronic copies of your passport, visa, hotel booking, itinerary and flight details just in case your device runs out of battery.

All our vehicles have binoculars and charging ports for your electronic devices. Off-roading is not allowed under strict regulations in case you want to get very close to the animals, thus a good zoom lens will be very handy.

Get a universal travel adapter that will come in handy to match your country’s plug type. Tanzania uses two types of plugs, namely types D and G. Plug type D has three round pings in a triangle pattern, while plug G, has two parallel pins and a grounding pin. Tanzania’s supply voltage is 230V and 50Hz.

Make sure to carry your camera (To match your photographic needs), but most travelers use their smartphones to capture and post on social media on the go. Don’t take pictures on military grounds as this is strictly prohibited. When approaching army grounds, your guide will let you know. Please do notify us, in case you want to fly your drone as you will need a permit from the government to fly it. Our team can get this permit for you before your arrival to avoid fines and penalties, as drones have special rules and places where they can be flown.

Avoid carrying expensive jewelry, electric toothbrush, flat irons, hairdryers, as most of these are included in your hotel room (Please confirm with us if such are a necessity). Another alternative is to have battery-powered options for such equipment.

Money: On arrival, your guide will take you to a bureau de change or local ATM where you can acquire local currency as most local shops, groceries, restaurants don’t accept foreign currency. Quickly know the exchange rates of your currency and compare the prices for items you want to purchase. Please do get advice from your guide on places you can buy what you want because there is a tendency for some local vendors to inflate local prices, two or three-fold when they notice foreigners.

You can also pack some miscellaneous items such as a penknife, tablet or notebook for taking notes, animal guide and identification books, water bottles, pair of sunglasses, headlamp or solar-powered reading lamps as some eco-friendly lodges switch off electricity late in the night.


We recommend canvas bags rather than fiber or plastic suitcases which can break and also cause a lot of noise on bumpy roads as they hit each other or against the car. Get lightweight strong bags that are cushioned to protect your gear and equipment from the shaky and bumpy rough terrain during long drives. The cushion should always be a priority when it comes to bag choices.


All our partner hotels and lodges serve 3 premium meals and water to our guests but having extra snacks, dried fruits, mixed nuts or biscuits won’t hurt. During our safaris, the guest will also stop by shopping malls or shops in adjacent villages just in case you would want to get local fruits or snacks. Please consult our guide before consuming any local foods or drinks.


In conclusion, the African safari is an outdoor adventure in a natural unenclosed zoo, hence keen measures have to be taken to ensure both the traveler and wildlife maintain their comfort zones, hence packing the right thing is vital to ease your travel and ensure the maximum amount of tour satisfaction. If you have a certain item that you are unsure whether to carry or not, please do contact us anytime and our safari experts will get back to you immediately.