...European price tag...that is it, expect to pay more for items than the locals, haggle and haggle a bit more but there is no harm in being a little generous.
I was informed by a local Danish man who has lived in Tanzania for 25 years that still to this day his wife will get a better price when out shopping than he does, purely because she is a native Tanzanian.
An example: We were quoted 80 000 shillings to hire a boat one night, that was until our friend, a Tanzanian lady, stepped in the price dropped to 6,000 shillings.
Be prepared to smile at these survival techniques of the locals, it is not done aggressively in the main.
Professional photographers dont charge so much!!
The trap is simple, most digital cameras dont function at the top of Kili due to the cold weather!! This is where your guide will pull out a camera uve never seen before!! take the picture of u at the top!! And then on your return trip ask for +200 us for the photo!!
Unique Suggestions: Try and bring your camera inside your your clothes, keep the battery nice and warm!!!
Fun Alternatives: Ýf that doesnt work::: The suggestion is refuse to pay any tip to the guide, as a tip is for your appriactýon of ones help. A tip ýs not a must!!! My guide oppted to depose of the film, i dont care!!! Ý got the cert at the bottom anyway!!!! Just becare ful, trust me your guide is not your friend, to him your a fast buck... He will not even remember your name in a week after climbing!! Be careful!!!!!!!!!!
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Visit to Maasai villages
The Serenguetti and Ngorongoro areas are Maasai country. While you drive on the dusty tracks, you occasionally stumble across one of their villages and often encounter some of the young warriors undergoing their initiatory adventures in the savannah.
A visit to one of the local villages is usually offered by the guide to the tourists exploring the area. The price is not set, but we were explained that, for cultural reasons, they would only accept dollar notes in large enough denominations. We were certainly encouraged to do the visit because this money would be invested in medicines and other basic needs for the community.
The price includes a performance of their traditional dances and tourists are allowed to go at their ease around the village, even to indiscreetly peek into the dung-made huts, and take as many pictures as they like.
I have always had contradictory feelings about this kind of cultural visit. It is certainly interesting to appreciate this totally different way of life and to attend their dances on-spot, even if they do not have any other purpose than entertaining the visitors. However, I cannot help feeling that this is an intrusion in somebody else's life merely justified by the biggest purchase power of the visitors from overseas. And something like this would never be accepted in our Western societies.
Fun Alternatives: All the lodges include in their entertainning program a performance of traditional maasai dances. They are done in the lodge's garden, of course, but under the African moon light, they are much more impressive than in the middle of the day. It is indeed much less genuine, but perfectly fine with me as a tourist.
Zanzibar is no longer a remote and exotic place. Many resorts have been built in the last years and there are charter flights from many European cities. It has indeed become a very popular destination with European honeymooners. However, you can still find there the old traditions of the Swahili culture and lovely and pristine beaches with white sand.
Unique Suggestions: A relaxing week on the beach is still a good complement to the safari tours in mainland Tanzania. For those with a limited amount of time, it is also possible to organise two-or-three day safari trips from Zanzibar in the Selous Game Reserve.
Road Side Souvenir Shops
On our various road trips (Nairobi to Arusha, Arusha to Moshi, Moshi on safari), our drivers stopped at a number of road side souvenir shops. These places offer free (although not necessarily nice or clean) bathrooms and light refreshments (free to the drivers we suspect_. Of course, in order to reach either of those destinations, you are forced to walk through a large shop. Really, a very clever strategy.
Our advice: look but think twice about purchasing. Although we did come across a couple of nice finds, we saw the majority of the items in shops in other areas for less.
Unique Suggestions: If you must buy something (we did), make sure you love it and don't be afraid to bargain hard. You might feel guilty about this, but don't worry, the shop owners will never sell something for less than it is worth!
Fun Alternatives: Shop where the locals shop by exploring some of the larger towns. On our last day, we found an incredible little store was in Arusha, packed floor to ceiling with great items at a fair price.
Beware of Mako Safari Tours in Dar es Salaam
Don't buy your safari or a Kilimanjaro trip from anyone at the Dar es Salaam airport. My wife and I trusted Mako, Francisco and others from Mako Safari Tours (www.makosafaris.com) we met at the airport to put together a great 10-day safari package. On the first day, we were 2 hrs late leaving for cultural safari then we had moldy tents, broken air mattresses, and dirty sleeping bags. There was no "driver" as promised and we had to rely on the dhala dhala to get back to Moshi from the first two days of the tour. We were expecting to spend our 3rd day in the Serengeti on Christmas! We were told that we would be held up at the hotel for a day and would not start until the following day. Very disappointed, we then heard stories from others we met at the hotel who also booked with Mako - people climbing Kili, others on a safari said that their experience was poor. One couple paid Mako for a whole safari package and when their driver picked them up to go on Safari, he said they had to pay his company because Mako Tours did not pay them for the safari they were about to embark on. He said Mako Tours has a history of not paying. We waited a week to hear from Mako but no one had returned our calls. We also never got our money back. We had to book with another tour operator.
Fun Alternatives: Do yourself a favor and avoid Mako Safari Tours, there are plenty of reputable places in Arusha and Moshi and we would recommend the Kenyatta Court Hotel as a great place to stay - very helpful friendly staff! If we do get a refund, I will be sure to update this page.Related to:
- Mountain Climbing
The gateway to Kili!
Moshi is a bit too touristy! It is better to head straight for Marangu as there seems to be a lot more charm here. You can always get a local taxi which very regularly runs between the two.
Unique Suggestions: Explore a little bit, you can find things to do.
Fun Alternatives: Head for Marangu.
tanga and arusha bus station
i found them quite intimidating, because there were few dozens o people trying to get you to the bus they want it to, taxi, hotel, offering safari etc.. i was with my ex-woman and i was scared because of her. try to avoid it by stopping in a stop before, give to someone in the bus some money to take you out from thereRelated to:
Booking your trip safely...
Don t be fooled by salesmen in Dar Es Salam trying to sell tour packages to where ever you are going.
Don t even give them a chance to explain or give an offer - youýll wont get rid of them before you take the offer.
They could be selling a "ghost - trip"....
Unique Suggestions: Book your tour at the spot. Say you have already got a trip...Related to:
- National/State Park
Buying an airfare way more expensive than necessary.
Unique Suggestions: If you´re in Arusha and want to fly out of there, you can actually "bargain" youself to a ticket.
However you might need a middleman (fx hotel or tour operator). They´ll offer you the price meant for foreigners, but as you tell them that it´s waaaay to expensive - they can offer you the price for locals (probably including a heavy comission for themselves).
Depending on your bargaining skills - you can lower the price even further.
Fun Alternatives: You can try directly with the company - I havn´t tried it myself, but you never know, it might work out even cheeper as there is no middleman to get comission....
Most of the companies are private, so I figure everything is possible...they´re all on the same street.
The view is amazing from above - especially flying over Killimanjaro...
Don't go for Lonely Planet blindly!
This tip refers to:
* Lonely Planet's Tanzania Guide;
* Lonely Planet East Africa Guide (Tanzania chapter);
I met a lot of backpackers (LP-users) telling me to rush in 3 days through Tanzania because it's too expensive and there's nothing special to do. What a terrible mistake!
There's more than Serengeti, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar only. But LP-readers just don't know about it or are not made enthusiastic by the writer(s).
The Cultural Tourism Programme for example is hardly referred to in LP, while it offers for $10-$20 a day brilliant off the beaten track tours in more than a dozen places, that also benefits the local communities. A shame!
Unique Suggestions: if you don't plan to do "something different" you probably will enjoy your LP-it's quite a good book after all
Fun Alternatives: Check out the Cultural Tourism Programmes at the TTB in Arusha or on the internet at:
Footprints East Africa (Tanzania chapter) and Bradt Guide offers more off the beaten track suggestions.
I really didn't spend too much time shopping as we weren't near any places to shop. However, we did stop at a gift shop on the way back to Arusha. Items were seriously overpriced, and they didn't bargain down very much.
Unique Suggestions: Check what things should cost locally either with your guides if you have them or do some research (through Virtual Tourist perhaps). Then, if the shop won't come down, just leave and find what you are looking for someplace else. Give yourself lots of time and compare.
Fun Alternatives: Try to get to the bazaars. Take a local with you to bargain.
Nagged in Arusha.
Arusha - in many ways Arusha has been ruined by tourism. The town is crawling with aggressive touts who'll practically insist that you go on this tour or that tour. If you arrive in town via the bus station don't let the touts talk you into immediately taking a bus to another town unless that's what you want to do. They are simply out for money and don't care where you're going or what you plan to do as long as they can make some money. As politely as you can- decline their offers and simply walk away. If you stay there longer than a few days the touts will eventually stop bothering you and focus their attention on the "new" arrivals instead.
Fun Alternatives: Head straight to Moshi instead. That's the best base for a climb anyway.
You'll soon get to know the...
You'll soon get to know the familiar site of stalls along the side of the road selling african curios. Take time to 'shop around' and try your luck at bartering...often you can reduce the prices to something more resonable.
Unfortunately, no matter where...
Unfortunately, no matter where you go, when you pay with your credit card they'll charge you a very high 'tax' percentage, which may change depending on the place. It could even reach 15%!! Cash is warmly welcome, especially because the whole island is very safe. Stonetown is the only area where there's sometimes pickpocketing.
Chumbe Island, Tanzania
Good for: Business
Good for: Business
Typical very nice Serena lodge: Good food, included in the price Stunning grounds and views All...more
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