Frequently Asked Questions

Will I have a chance to interact with the local people of Tanzania?
The vast majority of East African people are still living very close to their traditional lifestyles. Most of the people are subsistence farmers. The Maasai people, favoured by photographers for their strikingly colorful décor, live a pastoral existence following their herds of cattle to better grazing areas, still adhering to the traditions and ceremonies of their ancestors. Their “villages” are located throughout northern Tanzania & /South-Western Kenya. Other small tribes of hunter-gatherers, living according to their ancient customs and traditions can also be found in this area.

At Terrapin Safaris we consider the cultural component of any safari to be subtle yet essential. All of our guides are East African born. They are an excellent resource to help you gain greater insight into the local culture. We don’t promote specially staged dances and tourist-oriented presentations. Instead, on most of our cultural trips, we begin with a visit to a traditional village where you are welcomed as friends of Terrapin Safaris into their lives and invited to get to know them as they get to know you.

As we drive between parks, we pass many villages and Masai Bomas giving you further glimpses into the lives of the East African people. We also offer a special trip in which our guests travel well off the beaten path to spend time among the Wa Hadzabe people and observe their ancient hunter-gatherer ways…

What if I want a custom safari? We would be delighted to work with you to help you and your family, friends or organization plan the best possible safari to match your interests and budget. We organize custom safaris for professional photographers, honeymoon couples and families…

Can I take my children on safari? YES! Terrapin Safaris has a personal understanding and deep commitment to meeting the special needs of families. We have designed family safari programmes to allow you and your children to experience the wonders of Africa together. You’ll have a chance to deepen your understanding of cultural diversity, discover the many miracles of nature, and at the same time play, laugh, and enjoy the pleasure of one another’s company. Our trips are well suited for children…

Will I stay in tents or lodges?
Our safaris offer a wide array of safari styles to suit your interests and budget. Please contact us for a description of the different types of accommodation we use on our trips.

How big are your safari groups?
Small. Our scheduled safaris vary in size depending on the nature of the safari. We keep our groups small (the very maximum is 15 people, minimum 2-5 people) to allow a more intimate connection with the African bush. …

What’s the weather like in East Africa?
Located at an altitude of 5,000 to 7,600 feet, Northern Tanzania’s dry sunny climate is nothing like the steamy African jungle of Tarzan movies. The weather is spring-like year round, with day time temperatures in the 24°c and27°c, evenings in the 20°c. From June until August, temperatures are slightly cooler, ranging from the 24°c and 30°c. The coastal and lowland areas tend to be more tropical in temperature 28°c and 36°c….

What clothes should I bring on safari?
Safari dress is comfortable and casual – layers are recommended. Keep it simple and bring things you don’t mind getting dusty. After you have booked your safari, we send you pre-departure information through emails to help you prepare for your safari.

What’s the food like on safari?
You will be pleasantly surprised by both the quality and the variety of the food available on safari. In most lodges, meals are served buffet-style so you can choose what you like. The food is prepared according to western tastes, with some curries and local cuisine included. If you choose a camping safari, fresh meat and produce is prepared by our expert chefs to the highest sanitary standards. Most returning guests rave about our camp food!

Can special dietary requirements be accommodated? Special dietary requirements such as vegetarian or diabetic meals can easily be arranged with advanced notice. If you are vegetarian or vegan you may wish to bring along some alternative protein sources. If you have multiple food allergies, you’ll definitely want to bring along supplementary snacks. It is important we know of any possible dietary restrictions as soon as possible.

Are safaris in East Africa safe? Today’s modern safari is a far cry from the rugged safaris of the past. After a stimulating day of game viewing, you can relax at comfortable, attractive lodges, with amenities like swimming pools, full service restaurants and en-suite bathrooms.

Located right in the scenic settings of the wildlife reserves, the lodges are close to nature… but not too close for comfort. East Africa is one of Africa’s most stable countries, where you’ll receive a warm welcome from its gracious people. Every care is taken to ensure your health and safety on safari.

Is it OK to drink the water? We provide bottled water on game drives and in Campsites, and you can purchase good quality bottled water at all the lodges and camps.

Are there a lot of bugs in East Africa?
There are more bugs in many places in the USA than you will encounter on safari. Again, remember that most of the areas you’ll be visiting are arid (especially from July – November). The bugs you will see are fascinating, but certainly not anything to be concerned about.

How far in advance should I book my safari? It is better to book as far in advance as possible to ensure availability at the time you wish to travel, especially during the peak seasons (July & August and Christmas time). This is especially important for those wishing to travel on private custom safaris and those adding extensions to the scheduled trips.

Can I use credit card to pay for my safari?Yes we accept Visa or Master Card for your safari deposit. The balance is due 60 days prior to departure and is payable through our Bank in Arusha & Nairobi.

What injections should I get?
For medical advice it is always best to consult your doctor or travel clinic. The minimum requirements for entry into East Africa are a Yellow Fever vaccination and anti-malarial medication. Bear in mind that you will be staying in camps and lodges oriented to meet the needs of American and European guests.

What additional costs can I expect when I travel with Terrapin Safaris?

Our safari packages include all accommodation and meals while on safari, airport transfers, park fees and services of guides and drivers. It is customary to tip your guide and driver, as well as the cook or camp staff if you are camping during your safari. You will also need to pay for your own beverages and personal items like laundry service and phone calls.

Before you go, you are responsible for any passport and visa fees. We also highly recommend you purchase travel protection insurance. And finally, if you know yourself to be a big souvenir shopper you’ll need to budget.