Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Yes. At present we are offering treks to the summit of Kilimanjaro all routes, as well as animal safaris and trips to Zanzibar. If you are interested in a variation on these, please contact us. We will work hard to accommodate your needs.

Because our trips book up months in advance, we recommend booking early to avoid disappointment. We will of course make every effort to accommodate last minute bookings.

Not usually. Our trips are priced to be as affordable as possible and further discounting is not usually offered. The groups are small and therefore space is limited. We actually have a $50 late booking fee, so book early!

It is important to follow the park regulations. The guide is not allowed to drive off the tracks to approach animals. Normally, the guide should keep a distance of at least 25 meters from the animals; however, some animals actually come near vehicles or stay close to the tracks. So, you will most likely get up close and personal with the wildlife, sometimes close enough to reach out and touch the animals. As much as it sounds good, it is not a good idea; remember that the parks are not Zoos, animals are not tamed and close encounters can be dangerous! It is much better to stick to your camera!

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 January through 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.

The Big Five were originally the animals most sought after by hunters. They were the fiercest animals, the animals that hunted the hunters. They include rhino, elephant, lion, leopard and Cape buffalo and today are the animals that tourists most want to see when visiting Tanzania’s national parks. You can see all five of these animals during a visit to Northern Tanzania.

This will depend on the destination and your spending habits. However our trip notes / dossiers will give you an idea of how to budget for additional meals, optional excursions, and extra expenses you might incur on any specific trip.

Since travelers book from many different countries, exact numbers are not available. We know when the trip is almost full and when completely full.

Not all departures are guaranteed. However very few trips are cancelled.

Yes, we can arrange additional accommodation at the joining hotel if you plan to arrive early.

On some trips yes, but others, especially camping trips, no.

It really depends on what type of safari you have chosen. In any case, the following is recommended: Flashlight; Sunscreen, Lip salve; Sunglasses, Sun hat; Insect repellent; Binoculars; Camera with zoom lenses; Spare film and batteries; Towel, Toiletries; Long sleeved shirt; Long trousers; Warm sweater; Sleeping bag; Small daypack.

We organize your holiday or honeymoon specifically to your requirements. With our detailed knowledge of the country and the lodges we will make sure that you visit the area that you want to see and stay in the lodges most suited to you and your budget. We also make sure that you visit the right place at the right time of year and take the right type of transport to get to your destination. We have no affiliation with any of the lodges so are totally objective in our choice. We try to visit all the lodges regularly and we judge them solely on quality of the accommodation, service and value for money.
Our experienced and professional consultants are committed to matching your every need, rather than simply prescribing set itineraries.

Single supplements are only available on a few select trips and lodge/tented camp accommodated safaris. On most of our trips if you are traveling alone you will share a room or tent with another same sex solo traveler and will not be charged for, a single supplement.

A variety of local style accommodations are used including hotels, guesthouses, pensions, hostels, home-stays and of course camping. Most hotels are tourist class, offering clean secure accommodation but with few amenities.

On a camping safari, guests and staff sleep in private tents in designated campsites in or near the national parks. Next African Safaris setup the camp and prepare all meals while you relax, read and eat snacks. Bush camps consist of tents set up around tables and chairs. Whenever possible, Bush ‘s uses more remote campsites to make your camping experience more private. There are toilet and shower facilities at almost all the campsites although the level of cleanliness varies.

To protect your trip from any interruption or cancellation, we HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU to enroll or buy insurance before you leave home. This insurance will give you and your personal effects full coverage for things such as accidents, death, theft, etc while on your trip. The tour price does not cover insurance or a Travel Protection Plan.

We strongly advise you to consult your physician for a medical checkup several months before your trip. It’s wise to inform your doctor that you’ll be travelling to Africa especially if you have problems with heart, respiratory, diabetes etc. This trip will take you to elevations between 4000-7600 feet. During your medical checkup discuss the vaccines and medicines you may need. MOST TRAVELERS visiting Tanzania get a yellow fever vaccination and anti-malaria tablets. A visit to the CDC website at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel will educate you on different recommendations about preventing illness while traveling.

We strongly suggest you book your safari as far in advance as possible especially if you are coming during the peak season and high season (June-March). This will help us handle the different logistics of your trip; especially your accommodations which during peak and high seasons are in a great demand. Advanced booking of between six months to a year is preferred. We will accept last minute bookings but your safari confirmation will be subject to the availability of the accommodations.

Simple, casual, comfortable and easy to wash clothes (especially clothes made of synthetics or tropical cotton) that will dry overnight. Plan to dress in layers so you can adjust to temperature changes. You may need a wool sweater as well as a warm fleece jacket depending on the time of year that you travel to Tanzania. We will advise you on the proper clothing once you have booked your safari with us. As a rule of thumb, your choice of color is very important for game parks. Neutral/khaki colors are your best choice. Avoid wearing dark blue colors or black clothes as these tend to attract biting Tsetse flies. Long pants, shorts, long and short sleeve shirts, are all comfortable, supportive shoes and hats are recommended. Sun glasses, sunscreen and insect repellent are a must. To make your vacation as convenient and as pleasant as possible please review a list of travel gear here.

A child at the minimum age of six is old enough to appreciate what mother nature offers. Our selection of itineraries are suitable for families for an experience of a lifetime. On top of our already set itineraries, we can design a tailor-made program for your family preference. Different families have different backgrounds and interests, so every family is different. We’re happy to accommodate your wishes.

More than 35 species of large mammals and over 1018 species of birds MAY BE SEEN in the Tanzania game parks.

Insect life is also very diverse. The Serengeti alone has recorded more than 80 species of dung beetles. If you happen to be on the right spot at the right time, you may also see snakes, crocodiles, lizards, etc.

In a typical game run in Northern Tanzania you can expect to see giant African elephants, zebras, buffalo, giraffes, antelope, hippos, baboons, monkeys, and cats such as the elusive leopard, lion, cheetah, etc. The African garden of Eden (Ngorongoro Crater) may reveal the rare Black rhino and one of highest concentrations of wildlife on earth. If you are a bird watcher, Tanzania is the destination you should choose. There are many varieties of beautiful bird species such as the Lilac-breasted roller, African hoopoe, Fischer’s lovebird, Grey-headed kingfisher, Pearl-spotted owlet, Martial eagle and African fish Eagle just to mention a few. Most bird watching groups such as the Audubon and others find Tanzania an amazing AVIFAUNA STRONGHOLD!

Tanzania has two major seasons; the dry season (June-October) and the wet season (divided into two seasons, short rainy seasons, November-December, and the long rain season, March-May).The peak rainy season is April. Although it is periodically raining during the month, the most adventurous people come on safaris to view wildebeest migration and also take advantage of the low season rates.

Each season provides its own style of adventure. There is no game drive that is alike in terms of animals you will see. Each safari provides different opportunities for national geographic shots. While most animals concentrate around bodies of water areas during the dry season, wet season grazers scatter evenly in various habitats. In a nutshell, ANYTIME is a terrific time to be on a game run. In the African wilderness it is all about being IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME!

Yes. Tour members are restricted to one soft-sided duffel bag with a weight limit of 44 pounds when packed and one carry-on bag. Hard-sided suitcases are not recommended for our safari vehicles because they are bulky to store. For itineraries that include a local flight, the weight limit is strictly enforced.

You will be doing your game drives in enclosed top-quality four wheel-drive land cruisers with a roof hatch. Each traveler is guaranteed a window seat. We have two choices of land cruisers, one can carry a maximum number of 4 passengers and the other can carry 6 passengers. During a game drive the roof will be hatched up for unrestricted viewing. While most safari companies limit the kilometers that you can do on a game drive, ours are unlimited.

Yes you would. All of our trips include visits with some of the local people so you can appreciate their cultures and traditions. During your trip, you’ll get a chance to visit Maasai Villages, local markets, local schools, home visits; when possible. At the end of the day, we want you to learn, understand and appreciate what the different cultures have to offer.

The tour package covers land only (i.e.: lodging and food as shown in the itineraries), all park entrance fees, game drives in 4X4 vehicles, bottled water during game drives and during meals, gratuities for luggage handling and waiters, Maasai Village visit, flying doctors and emergency evacuation service.

The following things are NOT included: A round trip international flight, Visa fee (you can get a Visa at the country’s entry point but it will involve standing in long lines between 30-45 minutes), soft drinks and alcoholic beverages, gratuities for your naturalist guide/driver guides and any other items not mentioned in this list.

15% deposit (to confirm the Trip) is non-refundable.
Cancellation should be done not less than 15 days before the trip start date.

We prefer wire transfer. A 30% non-refundable deposit is necessary when you book your trip. The remaining balance needs to be paid 90 days before the tour’s starting date.

It all depends on the day plan and wildlife pattern at the time of visit. Normally, our game drives start as early as 6:30am or earlier, with a picnic breakfast, lunch at noon, a short break, and then go out again for an afternoon game drive at 4:00pm until around 6:00pm. Sometimes we start the drive at 7:30am or 8:00am, have a picnic lunch, then go safari for the rest of the day. In general, our game drive plans are flexible, we work to provide the best sightings and pace so our guests are comfortable.

When you book your safari with us, we normally ask tour members of any special need that they may have. Examples are: allergic reactions to certain types of food, a need for full-time electricity at night to run sleeping machine, wheelchairs, etc. When we know your specific needs, we can advise you on how best to assist you.

All of our guides have first aid training, and each vehicle contains a first aid kit. We still recommend you have your own medical kit with various medicines and other items. Your doctor can recommend items to take. We will be in remote areas, so being prepared for anything is recommended.

Almost all the lodges and camps use generators for electricity. Some lodges and camps provide power 24 hours a day and some cut power at certain times during the day and at midnight. In East Africa 220-250V systems are used, you will need a universal adaptor for charging your batteries, shaving etc. Power sockets also vary but are usually the three-square pin variety.

Tanzania offers a lot of locally handmade crafts. During your visit you will have time to shop in various curio shops located along the major roads heading to the national parks. You will see different kinds of carvings, masks, antique, beadwork, paintings etc. If you are fond of jewelry, then Tanzanite, a unique precious gemstone only found in Tanzania, is awaiting for you. It’s a beautiful dark blue stone that travelers must have before returning home. Major credit cards are accepted by most of the larger curio shops and you can negotiate the price for most items.

Our safari offers a wide choice of accommodation categories to suit your interest and budget. We use standard lodges/tented camps, deluxe lodges/tented camps, and luxury lodges/tented camps.

Each property is beautiful and comfortable in its own way; all of them include bathroom facilities. The rooms are fairly big, furnished with twin beds, (king-size beds are limited, must be requested in advance). A dressing table and wardrobe are safe places to store your luggage. A balcony facing different landscapes with a reading table are available for your comfort. Lodges and tented camps found in the national parks use generators for power, while some properties have a hot shower for 24 hours; some have hot showers at a set time, both in the morning and evening.

A selection of western tastes and local food is served with a vegetarian choice available on each meal. Any special dietary requirements can be accommodated with a request in advance. Please see our accommodations page for a description of the different types of accommodations we use.

Roads in Tanzania are generally not paved especially inside the national parks. You should be prepared to ride over rough and bumpy roads during game drives and some transfers. However, this is part of your African massage, which you only get in Africa.


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Tel - +255 754 583455 / +255 685 496297
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www.meruslopestours.com

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 Sokoine Road Arusha 
P.O. Box 10395,
Arusha - Tanzaania