Kenya & Tanzania travel tips

Just got back from Kenya & Tanzania (February 2018) and offer the following tips:
- Plastic bag ban
Applies to single use bags (kind you get from a pharmacy or grocery store) NOT to zip lock bags.
- Maleria meds
Take with a meal, with some dairy - otherwise you might get intestinal distress
- Dust
Buy a lightweight cotton "gator", rather than a bandana or dust mask (I got ours at REI).
- Motion sickness
The roads are really bumpy; bring a patch or take pills if motions sickness is an issue. Also ask to go in the front seat, as you'll be able to see the horizon.
- Camera
The trip is so dusty you can't change lenses in the vehicle, so bring two cameras, or use your phone and one with a telephoto lens.
- Go in early
The flights to Arusha gets to the hotel at 1:30 AM (Amsterdam) or 3:30 AM (Istanbul). As the bag pull is at 6:30 in the morning and an 7-8 hour trip awaits you, having a day to crash really helps. On our trip they also had a unscheduled trip to the Cultural Center, which was a big hit for those that went.
Enjoy! It's a trip of a lifetime!


  • Thank you so much for info. Really appreciate the tip on Ziplock bags. We are going June 30. Did most people get the yellow fever vaccination or skip it? Thanks, Chris
  • It’s up to you to decide on this not what others do, it’s your health plus chance of being denied entry into Kenya.
  • edited February 2018
    Maura C wrote:
    The flights to Arusha gets to the hotel at 1:30 AM (Amsterdam) or 3:30 AM (Istanbul). As the bag pull is at 6:30 in the morning and an 7-8 hour trip awaits you, having a day to crash really helps. On our trip they also had a unscheduled trip to the Cultural Center, which was a big hit for those that went.
    Enjoy! It's a trip of a lifetime!

    One exception is Ethiopian Airlines (from LA, Toronto, DC and soon Chicago) which arrives at Kilimanjaro (Arusha) just after lunch at 12:40 pm. I would still go a day or two early.
  • Perhaps there are more options, but my KLM flight from Amsterdam arrives at Arusha at 8:00 PM.
  • We used shower caps to cover our cameras since the roads are very dusty. They can be taken on and off quickly and it prevents some serious dust from getting into expensive equipment.

  • My flight also arrives then (thru Amsterdam with a 1 night layover). We arrive in Arusha 2 days early. Thursday July 18. Anyone else?

  • There have been several mentions on these pages about flying Ethiopian. I’m a retired airline pilot with 25,000 hours of flying experience. Although Ethiopian had enjoyed a good safety record, the co-pilot (first officer) on the recently crashed Ethiopian 737 had around 360 hours of flight time. That is a ridiculously small amount of experience to be flying these airplanes. The captain of that airplane was flying ‘solo’. I would never even consider flying that airline or putting my family on that airline. Ethiopian has insisted their pilots followed the proper procedures. I have 5,000 hours in that airplane, and retired off of that airplane (the 737-800) In my opinion they did not follow proper procedures. If they were flying with me, they would still be here.

  • edited June 2019

    The last two times we flew to Tanzania it was on Delta, KLM. Economy the first time, the second time Economy going and Business class coming back. Our upcoming trip, the K and T Rwanda, we are flying Qatar Air, business class.

  • The media is having fun pillorying Boeing over the poorly designed MCAS stall prevention system. The fact that it was poorly designed is undisputed even by Boeing. It caused a problem, but the problem had a simple solution, if you properly performed the ‘runaway stabilizer’ procedure. This is ‘737 one 0 one. Trust me ... this ‘runaway’ would not have even increased my pulse rate. You’ve got a spinning manual trim wheel next to your leg that you don’t want to be spinning. If you can’t remember the proper procedure, or you are confused, or distracted ... just grab the wheel. You will stop it and the problem is solved. Those were two totally flyable aircraft if flown by properly trained aircrew. The cause of the problem was Boeing’s fault. The ‘cause’ of the crashes was inadequate training or experience. I have performed this procedure in the simulator a number of times, and it is a ‘yawn’ compared to some of the really exciting things we do in there. I could chronicle for you the real emergencies I have had in airplanes, but it would probably come across as braggadocio. The jump seat pilot on the Lion Air flight the day before the crash knew the procedure, saved the airplane, and they even continued to their destination. You will not find me on Ethiopian nor Lion Air.

  • Thanks Sealord, very interesting indeed. I looked at a Costco safari trip once and noticed they use Lion air.

  • The above is the reason why everyone (all 30 of us) on our Kenya and Tanzania trip last July (2018) wanted to fly with Sealord on the 10 person airplane from the Serengeti back to Arusha. We all followed Sealord to ONE plane and our TD had to separate us all and send 20 others to the other 2 planes. It was hysterical ! Sealord is the man !!!

  • Do you remember the person who hauled Tauck over the coals for going on planes without a manifest. 😜

  • I think I know who it was. LOL

  • Virginia Travelers ... I don’t know if you noticed, but the TD was on my airplane. (;-)

  • LOL. We didn't really notice he was as we were too worried about getting on that darn plane !! I'm guessing he was in the front of the line of our travel mates. Good to hear from you Sealord. We leave for the Best of Ireland tour next week!

  • VT ... we leave for “The Treasures of Spain and Portugal” the day after tomorrow. We are traveling with people that we went with down the Danube, and across the Baltic to St. Petersburg. This trip is a small boat cruise aboard our favorite ship the Wind Surf ... the world’s largest sail boat. (It has a sister at Club Med). We have cruised on the Wind Surf seven times, so this will be like going home. How large is large? The Wind Surf is 550 feet long, and has five masts that are 220 feet high. Very spacious and they serve great food. She carries about 300 passengers ... and everyone is outside when they set twenty-six thousand square feet of sail to the tunes of “Conquest of Paradise”. Awesome!

  • Have a great time Sealord! That sounds great. We've thought about that trip but have Best of Ireland (7/2019) - Romantic Germany and Oberammagu (7/2020) and Australia, Kangaroo Island and Tasmania (2/2021) (care to join us?) lined up. Say hello to Mrs. Sealord from Mrs VA Travelers. Enjoy your trip.

  • We have Spain and Portugal tomorrow, Treasures of the Med. in 2020, and Antarctica in 2021. Traveling with two other couples I think on all three.

  • This is for the Bridges Tanzanian tour. Three of the 4 hotels used are not air conditioned. Although the hotels will give you a fan if requested, there are only so many of them to give out. I recommend a portable, personal fan - would make things just a little bit more comfortable. Tour was fantastic but I would have liked it just a little bit cooler when we slept.

  • edited July 2019

    It usually cools down at night, maybe it is extra hot at the moment. The regular tour stays in more tents.

  • Off topic but we don’t have an active sight. Just arrived Lisbon. Terminal jet lag. Intercontinental Lisbon is great.

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