Tanzania Travel Update

We are delighted to announce that all of our safari guides have now been vaccinated with the single shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine and as an extra layer of precaution we are giving each guide a PCR test 3-days prior to the start of every safari. Rest assured that once you set foot on the tarmac at Kilimanjaro Airport in Tanzania, we will make you feel as safe as humanly possible with all the conveniences and safety precautions only a private safari company like ADS can provide. Please read our Tanzania Travel FAQs below for more information.

Tanzania Travel FAQs:

What are the covid safety protocols in Tanzania while on safari?
There are very strict safety protocols in place for the entire tourism industry in Tanzania which require masking, social distancing, disinfecting and daily screening/temperature checks. Basically, the requirements are very similar to many areas of the U.S. if you were staying at a resort (temperature and health screenings; masks required in all common areas; common touch surfaces are frequently disinfected), dining at restaurant (mainly outdoor dining options; tables spaced 6 feet apart; all staff wear masks) or traveling on a plane (temperature and health screenings prior to boarding; masks required).

What is ADS doing to keep guests safe?
In addition to the aforementioned covid safety protocols that all companies in Tanzania’s tourism industry are required to strictly follow, we have gone a step further and are rigorously testing all of our staff that come in contact with guests. Your dedicated private driver-guide, the only person who will be in the open vehicle with you, is given a PCR test (very accurate) 3 days prior to your arrival and a rapid antigen test immediately prior to your arrival. Furthermore, all of our staff including all safari guides, transfer drivers, meet and greet staff, etc. have now been vaccinated with the single shot Johnson & Johnson Vaccine.

Additional safety protocols we have implemented include thoroughly sanitizing vehicles after each safari, daily temperature checks for our staff, providing hand sanitizer, liquid soap and purified water in each vehicle for additional hand washing, teaching enhanced hygiene techniques to our staff and keeping ALL safaris on a private vehicle basis with one guide and one private vehicle for the duration of your trip.

What are the current requirements for travel from the U.S to Tanzania?
In short, you will need a valid passport, Tanzania visa and a negative PCR Covid-19 test. Please note that all travelers are required to present a negative COVID-19 test certificate upon arrival in Tanzania and international air carriers require passengers to show proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test prior to boarding. The test must be a Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test, with the sample collected within 96 hours before arrival into Tanzania. We recommend guests schedule a reservation for a same day PCR test in their home town 2 – 3 days before their flight departure from the U.S. (i.e. if your flight departs the U.S. on a Friday you would need to schedule your same day PCR test for Tuesday or Wednesday depending upon your specific flight schedule). Please contact us with any questions regarding the timing of your covid test or if you are having trouble finding a location that will guaranty timely results.

What are the current requirements for travel from Tanzania to the U.S.?
For the return trip from Tanzania to the U.S., travelers are simply required show proof of a negative Covid-19 test prior to boarding the flight at Kilimanjaro Airport. Our office staff in Tanzania will set up your Covid-19 testing appointment in Tanzania at the Northern Serengeti or Central Serengeti testing sites or at the FAME medical facility by the Ngorongoro Crater depending upon your specific itinerary. Our office in Tanzania will handle the appointment registration through the government website and will send you an electronic copy of the certificate once complete and they will also provide a paper copy when you are transferred to the airport on your final day. The cost of the test in Tanzania is $100 per person.

Are there many Covid cases currently in Tanzania?
In Northern Tanzania where we operate our private safaris, we are seeing relatively few cases of COVID-19 per the medical facilities in the area including FAME (Foundation for African Medicine and Education). FAME is a modern medical facility that was founded by doctors from the U.S. and is located near the Ngorongoro Crater in Northern Tanzania. Thanks to the new president of Tanzania, the government has begun sharing their covid case data again effective July 29, 2021 on a periodic basis. To see the current covid case count in Tanzania, simply type this search in Google: ‘Tanzania Covid Cases’

What is the status with Covid testing in Tanzania?
Testing in Tanzania is currently very robust along the main tourist circuit thanks to the addition of new and improved testing facilities in the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Arusha, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar. There is a universal online system for setting up a test reservation and for receiving the results via email and text. We’ve been testing all guests 3 days prior to their departure from Tanzania in accordance with the U.S. rules and we have received ALL test results in time before their flight home without any issues. So far, tests have been conducted at the North Serengeti, Central Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Zanzibar testing sites and the whole process takes no more than 30 minutes. We continue to take care of all the required testing reservations, logistics and paperwork making your departure back to the U.S. easy and efficient.

What is the status of vaccinations in Tanzania?
Mainland Tanzania has received a little over 1 million doses of the single jab Johnson & Johnson vaccine thanks to a generous donation by the United States while Zanzibar Island has received the Sputnik and Sinovac Vaccine. Additional doses have been ordered and are expected later this year. Currently individuals working in the tourism industry are being prioritized including safari guides and the various staff that work in the tourist hotels, camps and restaurants. By the end of September we anticipate that roughly 95% of the staff that work in the Northern Tanzania safari circuit to be fully vaccinated. Again, all of our safari guides, transfer drivers and meet and greet staff have now been fully vaccinated.

Why has the U.S. State Department issued a travel advisory for Tanzania?
The travel advisory was issued due to Covid-19. To put things in perspective, the U.S. currently has a level 4 travel advisory in place due to Covid-19 and most of the countries in the world have been put on either a level 3 or level 4 travel advisory. Please refer to the CDC Travelers Map

As alarming as most of the world being put on a level 3 or level 4 travel advisory may seem, we believe that blanket travel warnings may not be a fair representation of risks given the diversity of regions within a specific country (from rural to urban) along with the many types of travel activities available (from city tours to wilderness experiences). For example, taking a private wilderness tour of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming would certainly carry different risks in comparison with a trip to Disneyworld in Florida.

Has the travel advisory impacted your safaris?
As we conduct private safaris in the remote wilderness areas of Northern Tanzania, we have not been impacted by the travel advisory nor do we believe there is any increased risk for guests given the safety protocols we have implemented including the rigorous testing of our staff. Furthermore, all of our safari guides, transfer drivers and meet and greet staff have now been vaccinated with the single shot Johnson & Johnson Vaccine.

We are operating safaris as normal in Tanzania with guests currently out in the bush and other groups having just returned home. As of September 15th, we’ve had about 200 guests (all from the U.S.) travel with us in 2021 and not one person has tested positive for Covid-19 before departing Tanzania or upon returning home to the U.S. We’d be happy to put you in touch with one of our guests that returned home recently. Sometimes it’s better hearing directly from a fellow customer about all the precautions that are being taken to keep everyone safe.

To read about our guest’s recent safari experiences in Tanzania, please access the following social media accounts:

Safari Stories

Are the lodges and camps open?
All the lodges and camps we typically incorporate into our itineraries have now reopened under the government’s new and strict operating procedures. These include screening and temperature checks for all staff and guests, frequent disinfecting of high touch surfaces, limiting the number of guests for dining services and wearing recommended protective gear. By the end of September we anticipate that roughly 95% of the staff that work at the lodges along the Northern Tanzania safari circuit will be fully vaccinated.

Why is a private safari important?
Given the importance of social distancing, we would be remiss to not point out the inherent advantages of a private safari, which we pioneered in the Serengeti National Park over 20 years ago. With ADS you’ll never be shuffled together in a vehicle with strangers. Private vehicle safaris are ALL we do here and they really are the ultimate in secluded wilderness experiences especially when combined with smaller camps and tented lodges in the remote areas of the Serengeti. Talk about extreme social distancing!

Do I need to wear a mask while in the vehicle on game drives?
Since all our safaris are private and there won’t be any other guests in the vehicle, we do not have a mask requirement for guests while in the vehicle. Your guide will wear his mask and you’ll be asked to wear a mask while in the common areas of all the lodges except when eating or drinking, of course. Note that the vehicles have an open top and game drives are mostly conducted with the windows open.

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