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Safari

Planning
Information

We all belong to Africa. It is the birthplace of humanity, the nursery where we learned to
walk, to talk, to play, to love. Our everyday life is founded upon a talent for innovation that
was first used to make stone tools in Africa nearly three million years ago. From those
beginnings we have colonized the globe, built modern civilizations and traveled to the moon.
The thread that joins us to our African ancestors stretches across thousands of generations,
but still tugs at the heartstrings as we marvel at Africas landscapes, wildlife, and people.

JOHN READER, AFRICA

Table of Contents
The anticipation and planning of any trip is a unique pleasure unto itself, but especially in the planning
of a safari with its thrill of the exotic and excitement of the wild. We hope this booklet serves to prepare
you for the adventure ahead, from the packing and planning stages to the discovery of an inspiring
safari based novel. Your course is set for Africaenjoy the ride!

TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO


Passports and Visas .................................................................................................................................2
Health Requirements .............................................................................................................................. 2
Weather in East Africa ............................................................................................................................ 2
What to Wear ......................................................................................................................................... 3
Cameras and Photography ..................................................................................................................... 3
Currency, Credit Cards, Banking ............................................................................................................ 6
Electricity............................................................................................................................................... 7
Time Zones ............................................................................................................................................ 8
Luggage on Safari ................................................................................................................................... 8
Luggage on International Flights ............................................................................................................ 9
Telephoning and Contact Information.................................................................................................... 10

ON SAFARI
International Arrivals and Departures .................................................................................................. 12
Safari Staff ............................................................................................................................................ 13
Micato Concierge ..................................................................................................................................13
Gratuities ..............................................................................................................................................14
Safari Vehicles .......................................................................................................................................14
Lodges and Camps ................................................................................................................................14
Food and Drink .................................................................................................................................... 15
Shopping and Bargaining ..................................................................................................................... 16
Medical Facilities ................................................................................................................................. 17
Safety .................................................................................................................................................... 17
Bush Practices ...................................................................................................................................... 18
African Wisdom ................................................................................................................................... 18

SAFARI PLANNING INFORMATION 1

To Know Before You Go


If birds travel without coordination, they beat each others wings.
Swahili proverb

PASSPORTS AND VISAS


Passports: Please ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your length of stay in
Tanzania. It is advisable to have two consecutive blank pages, lying side by side when the passport is open
(i.e. a left and a right hand page).
Visas: A visa is required for Tanzania. To facilitate the process, ZELTIQ has appointed Tangerine to secure
visas for US travelers. For your convenience, weve also provided a sample Tanzania visa application form
indicating some helpful hints and standard answers.
Parents Traveling with Minors: When applying for a Tanzania visa for a child under the age of 18, parents
must submit a notarized letter of consent to travel for each child; we also recommend carrying a copy of
this letter during your safari. Please refer to the detailed instructions in your visa information kit.

HEALTH REQUIREMENTS
No immunizations are required to enter Tanzania if arriving from the United States, Canada or Europe.
Additionally, we suggest that routine immunizations be up-to-date, and the Centers for Disease Control
(CDC) recommend a malaria prophylactic. While the chances of contracting malaria are highly unlikely,
travellers should nonetheless take precautions: mosquito repellent with a high DEET content should be
applied to exposed skin between dusk and dawn (when mosquitoes are typically active), and long sleeves,
socks and long trousers should be considered for evenings. Please contact your physician well in advance
of your departure to discuss these suggestions. You may also wish to review the CDC guidelines at www.
cdc.gov or by calling 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747).

WEATHER
The weather is practically perfect! Sunny and balmy throughout the year, average temperatures range
between 70-75 Fahrenheit year-round with slightly warmer temperatures in summer (November
through March) and slightly cooler temperatures in winter (May through August). Temperature
variance is determined more by region than by season: During winter months, temperatures are mild
in the lower-altitude game reserves, a little chillier in the northern highlands, and the coast offers
warm days and breezy nights. From December to March, days are regularly sunny throughout the
country and temperatures are generally in the seventies and eighties.
Travellers often ask about the romantic rains of East Africa. The short rains traditionally arrive in
November while the long rains arrive around April. Even during the rains, however, the sun usually

SAFARI PLANNING INFORMATION 2

shines for part of the day and many experienced Africa hands enjoy safariing during this time as the
bush is lush, green and quiet. Its worth nothing that worldwide changes in weather patterns due to
global warming have also affected East Africa. Weve noticed that the arrival of the rains is not as
predictable as in past years, which has also affected wildlife and migration patterns.
In Conclusion: Count on early mornings and evenings on safari to be chillier than expected especially
if travelling during May, June, July and August when youll be quite happy to have packed a heavy fleece
or lined jacket.

Birds of different rivers chatter differently.


Ethiopian proverb

WHAT TO WEAR ON SAFARI


An entire section has been devoted to the subject and included with your documents. Please refer to
the Safari Packing List for complete details. Suffice it to say that safari clothing should be comfortable
and casual and that fine jewellery should be left at home. Additionally, since laundry service is
available in virtually every lodge and camp, we urge you to resist the temptation to over pack, although
we know its difficult!
A common query is about dressing safari style. While its not actually necessary to dress like an old
safari hand, you wont feel out of place if you do since thats the everyday attire of the localsi.e., the
present-day old safari hands whose great-grandparents moved to Africa from England and points
beyond. And, in fact, there are valid reasons to do so. Wearing white increases your visibility to
wildlife, while bright colours particularly red can frighten animals. Khaki, olive, tans and browns
increase your chances of good game viewing (particularly on a walking safari), while offering the
added advantage of concealing dirt and dust. Not to mention that those multitude of pockets on
safari shirts, vests and jackets are infinitely useful in the bush. Darker colours, such as black or dark
blue, are not recommended as they can attract mosquitoes and flies.

He who asks questions cannot avoid the answers.


Tanzanian proverb

CAMERAS AND PHOTOGRAPHY


Depending upon the kind of photographic gear you use, be sure to take sufficient film or media, as the
brands that you use may not be available locally and you will unquestionably shoot more pictures than
you ever dreamed possible. Also bring extra batteries for all equipment, including your cameras, flash
attachment and video cameras. Keep in mind, however, that there is a weight limit for most bush flights,
so its best to limit your photo supplies to items you know you need and will use. Youll be moving
around quite a bit while on safari, and you really only want camera supplies that youre comfortable carrying. Photographic opportunities are boundless, and youll be loath to leave your camera behind.

SAFARI PLANNING INFORMATION 3

Electrical Requirements: For each plug-in electrical charger required, you will also need a convertor
and a country-specific adaptor (refer to the Electricity section for complete details.) Additionally, as many
camps and lodges use solar power or turn off generators at night, you should plan your charging needs
accordingly.
Digital Image Storage: Digital cmeras and memory cards fill up quickly, especially if using a high megapixel camera and in high resolution. Having enough camera memory is the biggest challenge when travelling and there is no perfect solution. Here are some of the possibilties:
Memory Cards: Estimate how many photos you would typically take each day and then double it,
because youll undoubtedly underestimate the remarkable photo opportunities on safari. Then buy
a suitable number of extra-large capacity (4GB and higher) memory cards. This is probably the
easiest solution.
Mini Photo Storage Hard Drives: Designed specifically for photo storage, these hard drives accept most
digital camera memory cards. Most models have screens for reviewing photos as well. A good option
but pricey.
iPods: Using the appropriate cable for your camera, photos may be downloaded to your music player.
(MP3 player, iPod, etc.). This option can be tricky, however, since not all players confirm the
successful file transfer of photos.
CD or DVD Burners: Compact, portable burners accept common digital camera memory cards.
Benefits: Discs are sold worldwide, and multiple copies of images can be written for safekeeping.
Disadvantages: The burning process is exceedingly slow and results in many dozens of bulky
discs to carry.
Laptop: Most of us download at home to our computer and a small notebook laptop can be carried on
safari, along with your memory card adaptor, USB card reader or USB cable. Disadvantages including
the weight and inconvenience of travelling with a laptop.
Solutions that will not work include uploading to the cloud: emailing images or creating web albums (e.g.
Picasa). High-speed internet service and the necessary bandwidth simply isnt available in the bushnot
even in all cities.
Travellers should avoid bringing digital cameras that require special software to process photosstandard
jpegs are simplest for travelling. If you are using a digital SLR camera and will shoot in RAW format, make
sure you have a plan for the very large file sizes and storage involved.
Film: If you use film, bring double the amount you think you will need. Its virtually impossible to hold
back when your vehicle is surrounded by a family of elephants! Two to three rolls per day is average, but
only you can judge for sureour very avid photographers bring five to ten. Do not count on buying film
locally as it is often unavailable, especially in the bush. If you shoot using print film, 100 or 200 speed is
most useful. For the low-lit early morning or late afternoon photographs (which is when youll be in the
bush), 400 speed or higher is advisable. If you shoot using slide film, 100 speed is a good overall choice,
but bring some rolls of 200 and 400 also for dawn and dusk. Print film allows for more mistakes, and is
therefore more highly recommended for shooting in the bush.

SAFARI PLANNING INFORMATION 4

Lenses: An upcoming African safari is often an incentive to invest in good camera equipment particularly a quality long lens. What do we suggest? If you choose a fixed focal length lens, it should be at least
300mm. You might also consider adding a 2X extender to convert your 300mm into 600mm. A very long
lens, 500-600mm, is costly, heavy and probably unnecessary unless you are a serious photographer
or wish to shoot many bird images. If you have the ability and urge to carry multiple lenses, we do
recommend it for truly stand-out shots. To capture the vast expanses of the endless savannahs, a wide to
medium zoom lens (28-35 mm) and a telephoto zoom (80-200mm, nothing bigger than 400) will work
nicely. Digital SLR cameras often feature a multiplier effect of 1.4, 1.5 or 1.6, converting a 400mm lens
into a 560mm, 600mm or a 640mm lens which is more than adequate for most wildlife shots. For even
tighter shots on moving wildlife, you might consider a camera with auto-focus and Auto Advance.
Filters: In the age of the digital photographer, filters are slowly going the way of the VHS tape, but there
are some effects that still cant be reproduced. Polarizing filters are the most practical in the bush, as
they reduce glare (excellent when shooting bodies of water) and deepen contrast (giving you brilliant
sky shots). Cheap polarizers are worse than no polarizer, so stick with well-known brand names such as
Singh-Ray, Tiffen, Hoya, Heliopan and B+W. Cokin also makes a blue-yellow polarizer that highlights blue
or yellow tones in a scene while adding a warm color cast to the entire scene, providing a neat effect in
the golden grasses of the savannah. You might also consider a UV filter for keeping out the dust.

Knowledge is better than riches.


African proverb
Tripod: A tripod probably isnt practical since most shots will be taken from the inside of a safari vehicle.
Flash: Separate flash units for fill-in lighting can be useful in wildlife photography, plus youll want the
flash for interior shots of friends and family in camps and lodges.
Photo/Safari Vests: Vests are not just for looking the part those multitudes of pockets are wonderfully
useful in the bush and on flights. Why flights? Travellers are restricted to one small carry-on per flight,
which can be a problem when travelling with a great deal of photographic equipment. A photo vest, however, with pockets stuffed with film and lenses, is like having a secret, second carry-on.
Flying with Camera Equipment: Navigating large international airports is much easier with camera
equipment stored inside a backpack. It is advisable to carry as much equipment with you on the plane instead of packing it into checked luggage. For added protection, wrap camera bodies and lenses in bubble
wrap. Important: checked luggage is subject to film-damaging x-rays. If you are travelling with film do
NOT pack it in your checked luggage.
Camera Bags for vehicles: You will want to ensure that your camera fits into the backpack or tote bag
that you plan to bring in the safari vehicle during game runs or in the car while sightseeing in the cities. It
is not advisable to have photographic equipment lying loose in the vehicle; cameras can easily get dusty,
wet or bounced off of seats during bumpy rides.
Plastic Bags: Plastic bags are very useful for photographers, especially to protect equipment from dust.
Gallon-size Ziploc bags accommodate film and small lenses, while 2-gallon Ziplocs can hold a camera
body. Pack plenty since they tear. (Plus you can use them for wet bathing suits, leaking lotion bottles, etc.)

SAFARI PLANNING INFORMATION 5

Cleaning supplies: The chief hindrance to nature photographers is nature itself specifically dust and
dirt. Be sure to bring along cleaning fluid, a lens cloth and an air blower ball.
Batteries: Bring extra. Common AA batteries may be available but lithium batteries can be rare. If you
use rechargeable batteries, bring at least two sets and ensure that your electrical battery chargers are dual
voltages. (Most are.) If not, however, you will need a transformer to convert the 200 volt electricity to
110 volts, plus an adaptor plug. (Refer to Electricity section below.)
Instruction Booklets: Bring your cameras instruction booklet because, even if you never needed to know
before, on this trip you will absolutely want to know how to increase your depth of field, i.e., to have in
focus both the elephant in the background and your spouse in the foreground. Ideally, you will read and
practice this technique at home first.
Point and Shoot Cameras: With all this talk about camera equipment, those of you with point-and-shoot
cameras must be wondering what sort of pictures you can possibly hope to obtain on safari. Rest assured,
you will also get great shots. Safari vehicles can often manoeuvre quite close to the wildlife and you will
undoubtedly capture many stunning images, even without a sophisticated photography kit.

Not all time is like the herding time.


Kenyan proverb

CURRENCY AND CREDIT CARDS


Major credit cards are widely accepted in large shops, restaurants and at most lodges and hotels (Diners
Club is not as commonly honoured.) Before departure, you should inform your credit card companies
about the countries you will be visiting to avoid your cards being stopped by fraud control. U.S. cash is
also widely accepted in shops and small denominations are suggested ($1 and $5) as change is usually
given in Tanzanian shillings.
The amount of cash you carry is at your discretion, and you may find it helpful to consider gratuities when
deciding how much to bring (more on gratuities later in this document). Please ensure that all bills in your
possession are the post-2000 series, as banknotes with a series date before the year 2000 will most likely
be declined. (These bills are easier to counterfeit.) Travellers cheques in small denominations from well
known banks can also be used in the larger shops but are often less useful than U.S. cash (for example, they
cannot be used for gratuities). Please exchange money only at authorised banks, hotels and exchange
facilities and always save your exchange receipts as they may be checked by Customs upon departure.
Please keep in mind that most establishments outside of some open-air markets take credit cards,
so a great deal of cash is not necessary. Most guests simply bring enough to cover gratuities and visa
fees with a modest amount left over for any incidentals they might encounter. While ATM machines are
available and generally reliable, finding one can be unpredictable so we recommend guests bring enough
cash for your trip. However, if you do need to visit an ATM, we will do our best to accommodate you.
Most ATMs will accept Visa and Mastercard international credit cards, paying out in local currency.
The hotels, lodges and camps on safari will gladly exchange money, but bear it mind that it is not
necessary to have large amounts of local currency on hand since dollars and credit cards are accepted
nearly everywhere. Re-exchanging local currency back to dollars at the end of the trip is inconvenient
and will also result in a financial loss.*

*$200-300 US is the recommended amount of cash to bring on a trip such as this.

SAFARI PLANNING INFORMATION 6

Seeing is different from being told.


Kenyan proverb

TANZANIAN CURRENCY
The shilling is the currency of Tanzania. It is subdivided into 100 cents. Its ISO code is TZS.
Tanzanian shillings are written in the form of x/y, with x being the amount above 1 shilling and y
being the amount of cents. An equals sign represents zero. For example, 50 cents is written as = / 50,
while 100 shillings is written as 100/=.
Currently in circulation:
Banknotes: 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10,000 shillings.
Coins: 50, 100, 200 shillings.
As of this writing, 1 U.S. dollar = 2,115 TZS.

One who greets another profits by it; one who does not, loses by it.
Ethiopian proverb

ELECTRICITY
The voltage and the frequency (the number of times the current changes direction per second) in
Tanzania is not the same as in the United States. Moreover, plug shapes, plug holes, plug sizes and sockets
are also different, not to mention it is possible to use several different types within the country itself.
A step-down converter or transformer and a plug adapter will be necessary to operate electrical
appliances or recharge camera batteries if they are not dual voltage. Even with step-down voltage
converters and transformers, however, many appliances still do not operate efficiently in some countries.
It is therefore wise to bring battery-operated appliances whenever possible. Also note that the electricity
in most bush lodges is provided by generator and may not be able to support the use of a hair dryer.
Additionally, camps and lodges will turn off their generator at various times of the day be sure to
inquire should you need to recharge camera batteries, for example, before your next game run. Most
hotels offer a 110-volt socket and U.S. style three flat-pronged outlet for shavers in the bathroom.
Electrical Voltage:
The voltage in Tanzania is 230-volts and 50 cycles.

SAFARI PLANNING INFORMATION 7

Tanzania Plug and Socket Type

Tanzania Plug and Socket Type

(Also found in Zambia, Kenya, United Kingdom,


Ireland, Cyprus, Malta, Malaysia, Singapore
and Hong Kong.)

(Also found in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal


and Namibia)

ABOUT CONVERTERS AND TRANSFORMERS


Converters and transformers both step up or down the voltage, but there is a difference in use between
them. Converters should be used only with electric products. Electric products are simple heating
devices or have mechanical motors. Examples are hair dryers, steam irons, shavers, toothbrushes or small
fans. Converters are not designed for continuous duty and should only be used for short periods of time
(1 to 2 hours). Additionally, most converters can only be used for ungrounded appliances (2 pins on
the plug). Converters must be unplugged from the wall when not in use. The advantage of converters,
however, is that they are lighter and less expensive than transformers.
Transformers also step up or down the voltage, but they are used with electronic products. Electronic
products have a chip or circuit. Examples are radios, CD or DVD players, shavers, camcorder battery
rechargers, computers, computer printers, fax machines, televisions and answering machines. (Note
however that computers and battery rechargers are often dual voltage now.) Transformers can also be used
with electric appliances and may be operated continually for many days. Transformers are sold in various
sizes based on how much wattage they can support. Therefore one must pay careful attention to the
wattage ratings of the appliances to be plugged into a transformer.

It is a blessing to have any visitors.


Swahili proverb

TIME ZONES
Tanzania is eight hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time and seven hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time.
(Greenwich Mean Time +3 hours in the winter and GMT+2 in the summer.)

LUGGAGE ON SAFARI
Theres a certain sense of freedom in travelling light, and not only do we encourage our guests to try it on
safari, its a requirement due to the small luggage compartments of the bush planes in which you will fly
between game parks. (But we think youll also enjoy the freedom of so little to pack!)
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Before departure, every traveller will receive an attractive and roomy ZELTIQ Safaris bag in which to pack
your belongings for the safari. This sturdy, wheeled bag will serve you well on safari and probably become
your favourite bag for local jaunts back home. It was designed to satisfy the needs of the bush airlines for
soft-sided, medium-sized bags, as well as to fit inside the luggage compartment of a safari vehicle. Please
attach a Micato luggage tag to an outside strap and place identification inside the bag as well. We urge
you to resist overstuffing your bag due to the strict weight allowance on flights within the countries we
will be visiting. You are allowed one piece of checked luggage and one small carry-on bag per person.
Important: The weight limit for your checked bag and carry-on is 33 pounds in Tan-zania so it is best
to keep your bag at or below this weight limit.

One camel does not make fun of the other camels hump.
Guinean proverb

LUGGAGE ON INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS


While travellers may be allowed a greater luggage allowance on international flights, we suggest that
Micato guests travel only with their one 33 pound safari bag, as this is all that can be taken into the bush.
Liquid Policy for Carry-on Luggage: Each country has its own regulations with regard to carrying
liquids, gels or pastes. For flights departing the USA, passengers may carry in their cabin bag limited
quantities of liquids, gels and aerosols, including travel-size toiletries such as shampoo, suntan lotion,
creams, toothpaste, hair gel and hair spray. Containers holding liquids must not exceed three ounces
(90ml). Liquid containers must be carried in a separate clear plastic zip-top bag that does not exceed
8 x 8 or quart size. Items must fit in the bag comfortably and the bag must be completely closed.
Should you need more than three ounces of essential liquid medicines during your flight, it may be
carried separately in your cabin bag (in a clear plastic bag.) Passengers may be asked to prove that the
medicine is for the individual traveling and is required during the flight. Should you require essential
medications during the flight, please consult with your travel agent or the airline about exceptions.

A crazy guest eats and leaves right away.


African proverb

SAFARI PLANNING INFORMATION 9

TELEPHONING AND CONTACT INFORMATION


A safari is a rare opportunity to get away from the constant contact of the technological age. That said,
Tanzania has experienced a communications renaissance in recent years and in many locations (but not
all), it is possible to stay in touch by the following means:
Your Personal Cell Phone
Most smart phones can be used internationally, but guests should be aware of the expensive data roaming
fees that can accumulate while traveling. Here are a few tips to staying in touch via your cell phone:
Contact your cell phone provider. International roaming service is not automatically enabled on
cell phones, so you will need to contact your service provider and ask them to activate the international
feature. Policies and fees vary by provider and phone. You can research online visit AT&T, Sprint, TMobile, Verizon or Virgin to find detailed webpages for overseas travel information or call your service
provider to learn your options.
Know how to turn off data roaming. Most smart phones ae always roaming accruing roaming chargesjust by being turned on. The only way to avoid this to turn off the phone or turn off your
phones data roaming and data synchronization whenever youre not using the internet or an application. You can usually find these options under settings on your phone. Find out how to do this before
you leave.
Monitor your mobile data usage. There are Smartphone apps for Android (3G Watchdog), iPhone
(Data Usage in the iTunes store), and BlackBerry (Data Monitor) that enable you to track your data usage
and roaming charges. If you have internet access, you can also visit the website of your provider, log into
your account, and check your data usage this way.
Consider Airplane Mode. If you just want to use the internet without making calls, Airplane Mode
is ideal if your phone features the option. It turns off the cellular and data radio but leaves your Wi-Fi
receptor on. This solution only works if youre in a location with Wi-Fi; ask your guide if youre unsure.
Skype or Google Voice. With access to Wi-Fi, you can use services like Skype and Google Voice to
make calls for a fraction of the costor free!
Via Micato Safaris
Should you need to be reached during your safari, we are happy to convey urgent or emergency messages
for guests. Friends and family can call Micatos U.S. toll-free number (800-MICATO-1) or our Nairobi of
fice directly. Micatos guides are all in regular contact with our offices, thus messages can also be conveyed
to guests in this manner if necessary.
The telephone country code for Tanzania is 255 and the city codes for Dar Es Salaam and Arusha are 51
and 57 respectively. If you happen to be flying through Nairobi, the telephone country code for Kenya is
254 and the city code for Nairobi is 20.

SAFARI PLANNING INFORMATION 10

MICATOS NAIROBI OFFICE:


Micato Safaris
Almont Park, 2nd Floor
Church Road, Westlands
Postal Box 43374
Phone: 011-254-20-444-5220
Emergency after hours / weekend: 011-254-733-623-340
Email: concierge@micato.co.ke
Hotel Telephones
City hotels offer international calling from guest rooms, but the cost is high and hotels levy a substantial
surcharge as well. Most bush lodges and camps do not have phones in rooms but most will attempt to
place an international call for you from the reception desk. Phone lines in the bush,
however, are frequently down.
Email and Internet in Lodges and Hotels
Computers with internet connections are available to guests in most city hotels, but availability is limited
in the bush. In general, travellers should not count on keeping in touch via hotel computers.

A hasty person misses the sweet things.


Swahili proverb

SAFARI PLANNING INFORMATION 11

On Safari
The person who has not traveled widely
thinks his mother is the only cook.
Ugandan proverb

INTERNATIONAL ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES


Kilimanjaro Airport Arrival: Your flight will likely arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), a
modern and efficient facility that serves northern Tanzania. Once you arrive, you will be directed from
the gate to the Immigration counters where there will be multiple queues for passport inspection, after
which you will proceed to the baggage claim area. The process is straightforward and simple to navigate.
There are luggage trolleys available in the baggage claim area. Once you have collected your luggage from
the carousel, you should wheel it toward the exit door, passing Customs along the way who may ask you
a question or two. Micato staff will be waiting for you directly outside of the Customs exit door and will
happily relieve you of your luggage and escort you to an awaiting vehicle.
The drive from Kilimanjaro Airport to your hotel takes about an hour. Your Micato Safari Director will
manage your hotel check-in, have your bags sent to the room and inform you of the days activities.

Anticipate the good so that you may enjoy it.


African proverb

SAFARI PLANNING INFORMATION 12

He who learns, teaches.


Ethiopian proverb

SAFARI STAFF
Travellers generally travel to Africa for the love of wildlife, but return home in love with the people.
And it starts with your Safari Director and Driver Guides. Nowhere on earth will you find people
more genuinely hospitable and friendly, nor individuals more devoted to the success of your holiday
and enjoyment of Africa. Most travellers return home assuming they were lucky enough to have been
assigned the best guide in the companywhich would make them all the best!
Safari Director: The finest Safari Directors in Africa are keen to work for Micato as the company voted
Worlds Best Tour Operator & Safari Outfitter by Travel+Leisure magazine for the past eight years. The
award brings prestige to them and their family, so we are privileged to have our choice of the best.
Micatos Safari Directors are graduates of Africas finest wildlife management and tourism colleges and
the majority have been with us for 10-15 years. Their presence on safari ensures a seamless operation in
every way. Not only are they wildlife experts, they are also highly experienced in the logistics of a safari on
a management level. They fly between game parks with you, handle camp and lodge check-ins, oversee
luggage, organize Driver Guides, provide bush insights while rotating between safari vehicles, discuss
wildlife issues with guests during free time in camp, and share sundowners and stories at night around
the campfire.
Driver Guides: Your Driver Guide will be a central and delightful part of your days on safari. Youll
spend many an enjoyable hour in the bush together, engaged in conversations about everything from
wildlife and its habitat to global warming, politics, his tribe, family, folklore and way of life. Youll
marvel at his uncanny ability to sniff out elusive animals, his encyclopedic knowledge of flora and fauna,
not to mention birdlife and wildlife. Your Driver Guide will be the face of your Africa and the key to its
secrets. We guarantee that you will be spellbound.
Driver Guides are stationed at each game park; when you fly to the next region on your itinerary, you will
say goodbye to your Driver Guide and probably be sad to do so. In the next location however, another
wonderful Driver Guide awaits, ready and eager to share his vision of Africa with you. And again, we
guarantee that you will be spellbound

The friends of our friends are our friends.


Kenyan proverb

MICATO CONCIERGE
Your Micato Concierge is available via telephone 24 hours a day to help with anything you may need:
lost medicine, flight changes, a private car, dinner reservations or just a simple question. Our Concierges
know the areas we travel, and they have access to any number of helpful resources. Please feel free to call
with questions or quandaries.

SAFARI PLANNING INFORMATION 13

After arriving at your hotel in Tanzania, you will receive information detailing how to telephone the
Micato Concierge from anywhere on your journey, at any time during your safari.

GRATUITIES
Micato offers the virtually unprecedented luxury of including all tips during your trip even to Safari
Directors and Driver Guides a feature rarely offered anywhere in the world. But, lets face it... its inconvenient to carry so much cash, or to wonder if youll be seeing a certain guide again, or to realize that
youve missed the chance. Instead, Micato guests can relax and leave the tipping to us. Its all included,
from gratuities to the Micato staff: our Concierges, Safari Directors and Driver Guides, to the waiters at
included meals and porters at lodges, camps and airports. In short, everyone.
Guests occasionally ask us about the General Tip Box they notice at lodges for behind-the-scenes staff,
or wonder about leaving something extra for a staff member who may have been particularly attentive,
such as a room attendant or barman. We have included these tips in your safari too, so an additional donation is not necessary. If you are inspired to give above and beyond the call of duty, a few dollars per day
is a lovely gesture. That said, please dont ever feel pressured to do so. Should you sense that any lodging
staff person is expecting a tip (service staff at lodges often change, and some may be unfamiliar with our
no tipping policy) suggest the staffer speak with the Micato concierge. Also feel free to ask our concierge
or your Safari Director to clarify any confusion.

SAFARI VEHICLES
A safari involves exhilarating and pleasurable days on the trail of wildlife, as well as the occasional long
day driving between locations. Each comfortable nine-passenger Micato vehicle is limited to six guests,
affording all travellers a window seat and access to an overhead roof hatch. Moreover, each vehicle carries
a pair of Bushnell binoculars for every traveller, a cooler of mineral water and soft drinks, chips and other
munchies, beanbags to stablise long camera lenses, plus a set of field reference books on birds, animals
and flora. Vehicles are equipped with long-range VHF radios for communication between other Micato
vehicles and our head office, while Driver Guides also carry cell phones.
There are three rows of seats within a safari vehicle, and we ask that travellers make a point of rotating
rows with each game drive and park transfer. While the view is exactly the same from every seat, its nice
for everyone to have a chance to be seated near to the Driver Guide in the front.

LODGES AND CAMPS


Each of Micato Safaris carefully chosen hotels, camps and lodges adds to the flavour and romance
of your program. They are comfortable, often luxurious, and the hotels in the cities are 5-star.
Some of the services that you may encounter at bush hostelries will range from the discovery of a hot
water bottle under your bedcovers at night (so English!) to a tray of steaming tea, coffee and sweet
biscuits on your verandah in the morning along with your sunrise wake-up call. Most lodges and
camps offer swimming pools, cozy lounges (many with fireplaces for cool evenings), al fresco dining at
lunchtime, private verandahs overlooking the savannahs, and occasionally, water holes, rivers or salt
licks for game viewing from the lodge.

SAFARI PLANNING INFORMATION 14

A big blanket encourages sleeping in the morning.


Kenyan Proverb

FOOD AND DRINK


East Africa is a culinary delight. Its history of settlement has created a cuisine that blends the spicy and
aromatic foods of the Oriental and Arab world with traditional European and local fare. Around 1000
years ago the Arab traders settled along the coast and Persian influences are reflected in the Swahili
cuisine of steamed cooked rice infused with saffron, cloves and cinnamon. In the 16th century the
Portuguese seized areas along the coast, introducing techniques of roasting, marinating and the use
of spices to turn bland meals into aromatic stewed dishes. From their Asian colonies, the Portuguese
brought fruits such as orange, lemon and lime and from their colonies in the New World came exotic
items chilies, peppers, maize, tomatoes, cashews, pineapple, bananas and the domestic pignow all
a part of a traditional East African meal. Centuries later in the late 1800s, the British and Indians arrived
and brought their foods as well. Indian cuisine in particularspiced vegetable curries, lentils, chapattis
and a variety of pickleshas become a staple on the tables of most Tanzanians.
An ordinary Tanzanian fast food meal today consists of chicken or fried fish and chips, or rice and
beans. You will see many signboards along roadsides for Nyama Choma, a popular African meal of
charcoal roasted goat or beef. A banana stew boiled bananas and meat is also a staple, as is ugali, a
starchy cornmeal mush regularly prepared as an accompaniment to meat, stews or greens.
Meals: Every day begins with a hearty breakfast buffet served after returning from the morning game run
and includes hot and cold cereals, toasts, fruits and meats, accompanied by a chef preparing eggs to
order. Lunches are also usually buffets served al fresco around the swimming pool. Lunch offerings
include soups, various salads of meat, vegetables or fish, cold sliced meats, cheese platters and a choice of hot
entrees, perhaps including an African or Indian specialty. Trays of sweets and fruits tempt diners
thereafter. For dinner we move into the dining room of the lodge or camp and enjoy a sit-down, threecourse meal.
Most fruits and vegetables are grown locally on small family farms, making the produce on safari especially
fresh and delicious. In particular, we highly recommend pineapple, mangoes, avocados, bananas and
passion fruits when ripe and in season.
Afternoon tea is another pleasant East African tradition, served every afternoon around 4:00 pm with
cakes and cookies to send you off contentedly on your afternoon game drive.

SAFARI PLANNING INFORMATION 15

Included Bottled Water: For your convenience we are happy to offer Micato guests complimentary bottled
water and soft drinks at every meal on safari, as well as in safari vehicles. It is wise not to drink local tap
water or even the thermos of safe water placed in your room by hotels and camps.
Drinks: Tea and coffee, both grown in Tanzania and generally outstanding, are included with every
meal. Decaffeinated coffee is not usually available; you will be offered Sanka or instant Nescafe instead.
Popular American sodas are available but diet versions are often difficult to find with the exception,
perhaps, of Diet Coke (called Coke Light).

Great events may stem from words of no importance.


African proverb

SHOPPING AND BARGAINING


An African shopping expedition is rich and diverse! Throughout your journey, you will find traditional
artefacts, fantastic jewellery, beautiful carvings, stunning beadwork, the worlds best coffee and tea,
precious stones, furniture, beautiful cloth, excellent local music, wonderful modern art and so much
more. When will you have time to shop? Be ready to shop on the fly and buy the moment something
strikes your fancy since its unlikely youll find the time to return.
You can find unique objects throughout Tanzania gourds and spears from northern Tanzania, woven
mats on the coast, handmade baskets in Dar es Salaam and Arusha. Zanzibar offers a wealth of shopping
choicesespecially among Stone Towns winding streetsincluding great jewellery, antiques, spices and
clothing. We suggest that you take any goods you purchase with you as shipping and duty costs may
easily exceed the cost of the item. Please note: when purchasing large pieces, the freight on items you ship
can run into many hundreds of dollars.

The salesperson does not have only one door.


Tanzanian proverb
Bargaining: Bargaining is so at odds with our life in America that most of us dont want to attempt it (or
do so only halfheartedly), even when we know that its not only acceptable but expected. This is certainly
the case in Tanzanian open-air markets, and often the case in shopsrarely is bargaining considered
offensive. It is an art with roots deep in the African culture and regarded as an essential business skill.
Opening prices are always an exaggerated gambit and considered the first step in a long process.
The real price is usually somewhere in the lower vicinity of half the initial price. How close you come
to the real price is up to you. Bargaining can be a long and convoluted process, involving protracted
negotiations. Westerners often find this frustrating, but it is an essential and always amicable custom.
You may get a better price if you buy more than one item from the shop.
If you are in a hurry and need to move on, it is the usual practice to finalise proceedings by declaring
your absolute final price (the Bei ya Mwisho) and asking for theirs. If you can both agree on a figure
between the two then the deal is done.

SAFARI PLANNING INFORMATION 16

Talking doesnt fill the basket in the farm.


Kenyan proverb

HOSPITALS AND MEDICAL CARE


Should you require medical services while on safari, you can depend upon the highest standards of safe,
professional care and treatment.
Camps and lodges have doctors on call, experienced in travel-related and common ailments. Micato guests
are also covered by the services of the Flying Doctors, an emergency airborne medical team created to bring
first-rate medical care to outlying areas. This assures Micato guests in remote destinations of prompt medical
attention and air transportation to the nearest medical facility in the unlikely event of an emergency.
In East Africa, Nairobi offers good quality medical facilities. Additionally, as Jane and Felix Pinto reside
in Nairobi, it is reassuring to know that they can put travellers in touch with the finest local physicians
should the need arise. In the case of an emergency, they will provide prompt medical attention and
transport by air to the nearest medical facility.
Please note: Clients must have adequate health insurance to cover the fees private hospitals charge. Any
hospitalization would need to be covered by your personal insurance, cash or credit card.

SAFETY
Travellers should exercise the same common-sense precautions as they always do when travelling
internationally. Pickpockets are present worldwide and Africa is no exception, so we urge guests to be
aware in shops and crowded locations. Fine jewellery should be left at home and replaced by stylish
African wooden and beaded bangles while on safari. When in hotels and bush properties, it is never wise
to leave cash, jewellery or travellers cheques unattended, even if locked in your suitcase. Every lodge or
hotel has safe deposit facilities for your valuables.
A Word About Wildlife: Bush lodges and camps are located in wildlife regions and game reserves, hence
guests should follow the directives of the lodge staff regarding walking the grounds after dark. Some bush
properties allow game to graze on their property please do not mistake these animals for tame pets! Any
wildlife along your path should always be given an extremely wide berth; you should make no attempt
whatsoever to interact with wild animals. Additionally, young children should not walk the property
unattended, especially at nighttime.

U.S. CUSTOMS
Upon their return home, U.S. residents are allowed to bring back $800 worth of merchandise duty-free.
Regulations frequently change so we suggest you check with the U.S. Customs website or call a local
office to obtain a set of current regulations.
The Generalized System of Preference (GSP), administered by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative,
is a trade preference program that provides for duty-free entry of over 5,000 products from nearly 150

SAFARI PLANNING INFORMATION 17

countries and territories. Tanzania is an eligible beneficiary of this program, which means that many
items purchased in these countries can be brought back to the United States duty free. For more
information, please visit www.ustr.gov.

BUSH PRACTICES & MORE RANDOM MUSINGS.


Morning game drives set out at first light, as the sun rises. For early risers, its an ideal schedule.
But for night owls, so many early mornings can be tiring. Thus, while it sounds obvious, please
remember that you dont have to participate on every game drive! Relax one morning, sleep in,
enjoy the quiet and have the camp virtually to yourself.
Welcome improvements in the realm of cell phone service have unwittingly created a curious
problem for safari guests: that of the overly-zealous cell-phone talker and fellow-traveller.
Accordingly, we ask that guests refrain from dialing friends and family back home from safari
vehicles during game drives. The use of cell phones in the lounges of small lodges and camps
is also discouraged. Instead, kindly share your experiences via cell phone from the privacy of your
tent or room.
National game park regulations forbid smoking in the reserves; there is also no smoking
in safari vehicles.
Numerous game parks prohibit safari vehicles from driving off-road but this is rarely a problem
thanks to the intricate series of dirt roads traversing parks. Please do not ask your Micato Driver
Guides to violate this regulation in pursuit of better wildlife shots they are so eager to assist that
it will be difficult for them to say no, which they ultimately must.
When in the presence of wildlife, please speak in low voices and avoid abrupt movements outside
of the vehicles window or roof hatch. It is our goal to create as little disruption as possible to the
natural patterns of wildlife and to keep our impact on the land to a minimum.
On game drives, we encourage travellers to slow the pace and observe an animal for extended
periods of time to gain a meaningful sense of its behaviour and interactions with other animals. It
is far more fascinating than you might have imagined, and soon you will find yourself detecting
patterns of behaviours and perhaps even recognising individuals from prior game runs.
As Kenyans are fond of saying, Haraka haraka haina baraka. (Hurry, hurry has no blessing.)
Throw out your smartphone and savour the splendid isolation of the savannahs.

AFRICAN WISDOM
Throughout this booklet, we hope you have enjoyed the African proverbs sprinkled here and there.
The languages of Africa are rich in proverbs and quite frequently employed. Indeed, proverbs are a
powerful way of saying something without saying something or giving offense. Fascinating, colourful
and often amusing, we hope these proverbs have served to provide you with an insight into African
traditional values. Of clear importance are friends, visitors, hospitality, polite greetings, hard work and
taking time to enjoy life. In short, good lessons for all of us!

SAFARI PLANNING INFORMATION 18

15 West 26th Street, New York, NY 10010 telephone 212-545-7111 facsimile 212-545-8297
email inquiries@micato.com www.micato.com