The crocodile-infested Mara River in Tanzania is not only famous for its scenic beauty but also for one of the most remarkable wildlife spectacles on Earth—the annual wildebeest migration. As thousands of wildebeest and other herbivores traverse the river, they must face the formidable Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) that lie in wait. Let’s delve into the thrilling experience of encountering Nile crocodiles during the wildebeest migration in the Mara River.

The Mara River in Tanzania is home to one of Africa’s most fearsome and iconic reptiles, the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus). This majestic creature, with its powerful build and ancient lineage, has adapted perfectly to its environment and plays a vital role in the ecosystem. Let’s explore the fascinating world of Nile crocodiles in the Mara River.

The Wildebeest Migration: A Test of Survival

Every year, millions of wildebeest, zebras, and other herbivores undertake a treacherous journey across the Serengeti plains in search of fresh grazing grounds. As they reach the Mara River, a significant obstacle stands in their way—the powerful currents and lurking Nile crocodiles.

The Nile Crocodiles of the Mara River

The Nile crocodile is a formidable predator and the largest crocodile species in Africa. The Mara River provides an ideal habitat for these apex predators. Here are some fascinating facts about Nile crocodiles:

  1. Size and Strength: Nile crocodiles can grow up to 20 feet in length and weigh over 1,500 pounds, making them an imposing presence in the river. Their muscular bodies and powerful jaws allow them to swiftly capture and overpower their prey.
  2. Ambush Predators: Nile crocodiles are patient hunters. They often conceal themselves underwater, with only their eyes and nostrils visible, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. Their camouflaged bodies blend seamlessly with the riverbank, making them difficult to spot.
  3. Feeding Frenzy: During the wildebeest migration, the Mara River becomes a feeding ground for Nile crocodiles. As the herds of wildebeest attempt to cross the river, the crocodiles seize the opportunity to ambush and feast on the vulnerable individuals that become entangled in the strong currents.
  4. Survival of the Fittest: Crossing the Mara River is a life-or-death challenge for the wildebeest. The crocodiles employ various hunting techniques, such as lunging, biting, and dragging their prey underwater. It’s a battle between predator and prey, where only the fittest and luckiest survive.

Navigating the Crocodile-Infested Waters of the Mara River

The Mara River in Tanzania is renowned for its breathtaking beauty and abundant wildlife. However, it is also home to a formidable predator—the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus). These ancient reptiles, with their powerful jaws and impressive size, make the river a challenging and dangerous crossing point for the migrating herds of wildebeest and other herbivores. Let’s explore the reality of navigating the crocodile-infested waters of the Mara River.

The Perilous Journey The wildebeest migration is a treacherous undertaking, and crossing the Mara River is one of its most dangerous obstacles. Thousands of wildebeest, zebras, and other herbivores must make their way across the river, where lurking beneath the surface are the stealthy Nile crocodiles, waiting for their chance to strike.

The Formidable Nile Crocodile Nile crocodiles are apex predators and have thrived in the Mara River for centuries. Here are some key characteristics of these formidable reptiles:

  1. Size and Strength: Nile crocodiles are among the largest crocodile species in the world. Males can reach lengths of up to 20 feet and weigh over a ton. Their sheer size and powerful bodies make them highly efficient hunters.
  2. Ambush Predators: Nile crocodiles are experts at camouflage and stealth. They lie partially submerged in the water, their eyes and nostrils the only visible parts above the surface, blending seamlessly with their surroundings. This makes them almost invisible to their prey.
  3. Patient Hunters: Nile crocodiles are known for their patience. They can wait motionless for hours or even days, conserving their energy until the perfect moment to strike. Their lightning-fast reflexes and powerful jaws allow them to snatch unsuspecting animals from the water’s edge.
  4. Feeding on the Migration: The annual wildebeest migration provides a veritable feast for the crocodiles. As the herds gather on the riverbanks, the crocodiles lie in wait, detecting any signs of weakness or vulnerability among the animals attempting to cross. They strike with astonishing speed, dragging their prey underwater to drown and consume it.

Crossing the Mara River: A Perilous Challenge

For the wildebeest and other herbivores, crossing the Mara River is a life-and-death gamble. Here are some factors that influence this risky undertaking:

  1. Currents and Turbulence: The Mara River is known for its strong currents and turbulent waters, which can disorient and exhaust the animals attempting to cross. These conditions make them easy targets for the waiting crocodiles.
  2. Safety in Numbers: Wildebeest and other herd animals rely on the strength of numbers to increase their chances of survival during the crossing. They gather in large groups, hoping that the sheer volume of bodies will deter the crocodiles or make it harder for them to choose their prey.
  3. Cunning Strategies: Despite the inherent risks, the herds employ various strategies to minimize casualties. They often send scouts to test the waters and identify the safest crossing points. These scouts face the greatest danger but provide crucial information to the rest of the herd.

Witnessing the Crossing

Observing the wildebeest migration and crocodile encounters in the Mara River is a remarkable wildlife spectacle. Here are some tips for witnessing this awe-inspiring event safely:

  1. Safari Guides and Viewing Points: Engage the services of experienced safari guides who are familiar with the migration patterns and know the best vantage points for viewing the river crossings. They will prioritize your safety and ensure a memorable experience.
  2. Binoculars and Cameras: Bring binoculars or a good camera with a telephoto lens to enhance your viewing experience. This allows you to observe the action from a safe distance and capture stunning photographs.
  3. Respect Wildlife and Guidelines: While it is exciting to witness the drama of the crossing, it’s essential to respect the animals and their natural behaviors. Follow the instructions of your guide, maintain a safe distance, and never attempt to disturb or provoke the wildlife.
  4. Patience and Timing: River crossings are unpredictable, and timing plays a crucial role. Be patient and prepared to wait for hours or even days for the herds to gather and make their move. Trust the expertise of your guide, who can help you gauge the optimal time for observing the crossings.

A Reminder of Nature’s Balance

The Nile crocodiles and the wildebeest migration in the Mara River exemplify the delicate balance of nature. The crocodiles rely on the annual migration for their survival, while the wildebeest face the ultimate test of endurance and adaptation. Observing this primal struggle can evoke a sense of awe and respect for the intricacies of the natural world.

Adaptations of the Nile Crocodile:

The Nile crocodile possesses a range of remarkable adaptations that allow it to thrive in its aquatic habitat. Some of its key adaptations include:

    1. Powerful physique: Nile crocodiles are well-known for their robust bodies, with strong limbs and muscular tails that enable them to move swiftly in water and on land. Their streamlined shape makes them formidable swimmers.
    2. Jaws and teeth: The crocodile’s large, tooth-filled jaws are perfectly designed for capturing and subduing prey. Their sharp, conical teeth are ideal for gripping and tearing flesh, allowing them to feed on a variety of prey species.
    3. Eyes and nostrils: Positioned on top of the head, the crocodile’s eyes and nostrils are elevated above the waterline while the rest of the body remains submerged. This adaptation enables them to observe their surroundings without exposing their entire bodies.
    4. Camouflage: Nile crocodiles have a mottled brown coloration, blending in with their surroundings. This camouflage helps them remain hidden from both prey and potential predators.
    5. Temperature regulation: Nile crocodiles are ectothermic, meaning they rely on external sources of heat to regulate their body temperature. They bask in the sun to warm up and seek shade or water to cool down, ensuring optimal physiological functioning.

More about the Nile Crocodile can be found here.

Experiencing the Mara River Migration Encounter

If you’re planning to witness the dramatic Nile crocodile-wildebeest interaction in the Mara River, here are some tips for an unforgettable experience:

  1. Choose the Right Time: The wildebeest migration usually occurs between July and October. Plan your visit during this period to increase your chances of witnessing the river crossings and crocodile activity.
  2. Safari Guides and Tours: Engage the services of experienced safari guides who are knowledgeable about the migration patterns and crocodile behavior. They will take you to prime viewing spots along the river and provide valuable insights during the safari.
  3. Observe from Safe Viewing Points: It’s important to maintain a safe distance from the riverbanks and follow the instructions of your guide. Crocodiles are powerful predators, and your safety should be the top priority.
  4. Patience and Perseverance: River crossings can be unpredictable, and timing is crucial. Be prepared to spend several hours at the river, patiently waiting for the herds to gather the courage to take the plunge.
  5. Respect Wildlife: Remember that you are a guest in the animals’ natural habitat. Do not disturb or provoke the wildlife, including the crocodiles. Maintain a respectful distance and allow them to carry out their natural behaviors undisturbed.

The Importance of Nile Crocodiles in the Ecosystem:

Nile crocodiles play a vital role in maintaining the balance of the Mara River ecosystem. As apex predators, they regulate the populations of herbivores and help control disease spread. Additionally, crocodile nesting sites provide nesting opportunities for various bird species, contributing to biodiversity.

Encountering Nile crocodiles in the Mara River is a thrilling and awe-inspiring experience. However, it’s crucial to remember that these

Witnessing the Nile crocodiles and the wildebeest migration in the Mara River is a truly awe-inspiring experience. It’s a testament to the raw power and intricate balance of nature, where survival and adaptation are put to the ultimate test.

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Welcome to an exciting journey into the world of the White-faced Whistling-Duck! These charming waterfowls are known for their unique appearance and fascinating behaviors. In this article, we will explore interesting facts about the White-faced Whistling-Duck, shedding light on their habitat, physical characteristics, feeding habits, and much more. So, let’s dive in and discover the wonders of this captivating species!

The White-faced Whistling-Duck, scientifically known as Dendrocygna viduata, is a species of duck found in various parts of Africa, including sub-Saharan regions. These ducks are predominantly characterized by their distinct white face and crown, which contrasts beautifully with their dark plumage. Let’s delve into some fascinating facts about these delightful creatures.

The White-faced Whistling-Duck is a fascinating waterfowl species that captures the attention of bird enthusiasts around the world. Here are 10 intriguing facts about these remarkable ducks:

  1. Distinctive Appearance: The White-faced Whistling-Duck gets its name from the prominent white face and crown that contrast with its dark plumage. This striking feature makes them easily recognizable among other duck species.
  2. Wide Range of Distribution: These ducks are native to sub-Saharan Africa, with their distribution extending from Senegal and Sudan to South Africa. They can also be found in Madagascar and certain regions of the Arabian Peninsula.
  3. Social Birds: White-faced Whistling-Ducks are highly social creatures and are often seen in large flocks. They form strong pair bonds and engage in cooperative behaviors such as communal nesting and group defense against predators.
  4. Vocal Communication: Communication among White-faced Whistling-Ducks is accomplished through a series of high-pitched whistling calls. These vocalizations serve various purposes, including maintaining contact while in flight and establishing territorial boundaries.
  5. Adaptability to Different Habitats: These ducks are incredibly adaptable and can be found in diverse habitats. They thrive in freshwater lakes, swamps, marshes, and even man-made water bodies like reservoirs and rice fields.
  6. Noisy Takeoffs: When White-faced Whistling-Ducks take off from the water or land, their wings produce a distinct whirring noise. This sound is created by the rapid beating of their wings and adds to the spectacle of their flight.
  7. Dietary Preferences: Their diet primarily consists of plant matter, including seeds, aquatic vegetation, grasses, and agricultural crops like rice and wheat. Occasionally, they also consume small invertebrates and insects.
  8. Breeding Behavior: White-faced Whistling-Ducks engage in communal nesting, where multiple females lay their eggs in the same nest. This cooperative nesting behavior helps provide protection and increases the chances of successful reproduction.
  9. Migratory Patterns: While some populations of White-faced Whistling-Ducks are sedentary, others undertake seasonal migrations in response to changes in water availability and food resources. They can cover significant distances during migration.
  10. Conservation Status: Currently, the White-faced Whistling-Duck is classified as a species of “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. However, certain localized populations may face threats due to habitat loss, pollution, and hunting.

These intriguing facts about the White-faced Whistling-Duck showcase the unique characteristics and behaviors that make them a captivating species to observe in the wild. Their distinctive appearance, social nature, and adaptability to various habitats contribute to their charm and allure for bird enthusiasts worldwide.

More about the White-faced Whistling-Duck

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If you’re an avid birdwatcher or nature enthusiast, Tanzania offers excellent opportunities to observe the fascinating White-faced Whistling-Ducks. These beautiful waterfowl can be found in various locations across the country. Here are some places where you can spot them:
Tanzania’s diverse landscapes and rich biodiversity provide a haven for bird species like the White-faced Whistling-Duck. Whether you visit the Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Tarangire, Manyara, or Selous, keep your eyes and ears open to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of these remarkable waterfowl.

Tanzania’s diverse ecosystems and protected areas provide excellent opportunities to observe the White-faced Whistling-Ducks in their natural habitats. Whether you visit the Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Tarangire, Manyara, Selous, Ruaha, Arusha, or the Mahale Mountains, the beauty of these waterfowl and the surrounding wildlife will leave you in awe.

1. Serengeti National Park

The iconic Serengeti National Park is not only renowned for its wildebeest migration but also for its diverse birdlife. Within the park’s vast grasslands and wetland areas, including rivers and marshes, you have a good chance of encountering White-faced Whistling-Ducks. Keep an eye out for them near water bodies or grazing in the grassy plains.

2. Ngorongoro Conservation Area

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area, with its unique ecosystem and the famous Ngorongoro Crater, is another fantastic destination for birdwatching. The crater’s floor, along with its surrounding grasslands, provides an ideal habitat for a variety of bird species, including the White-faced Whistling-Duck. Take a leisurely game drive or explore the lakes and wetlands within the conservation area for a chance to spot these ducks.

3. Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park is renowned for its abundant wildlife, including elephants, giraffes, and a rich bird population. The park’s numerous water sources, such as the Tarangire River and swamps, attract a wide array of bird species, including the White-faced Whistling-Duck. Embark on a safari or take a guided birdwatching tour to explore the park’s diverse habitats and spot these elegant waterfowl.

4. Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara National Park is a birdwatcher’s paradise, with over 400 bird species recorded within its boundaries. The park’s centerpiece, Lake Manyara, is a magnet for water-dependent birds, including the White-faced Whistling-Duck. As you navigate through the park’s lush vegetation and along the lakeshore, keep your binoculars ready for sightings of these graceful ducks.

5. Selous Game Reserve

The expansive Selous Game Reserve, one of Tanzania’s largest protected areas, offers a unique opportunity to witness wildlife in a remote and pristine setting. Along with its diverse animal population, the reserve is home to numerous bird species, including the White-faced Whistling-Duck. Take a boat safari along the Rufiji River or explore the reserve’s lakes and wetlands to spot these beautiful waterfowl.

6. Ruaha National Park:

Located in central Tanzania, Ruaha National Park is known for its rugged landscapes and diverse wildlife. Look for White-faced Whistling-Ducks near the park’s rivers and waterholes, especially during the dry season.

7. Arusha National Park:

Situated near the town of Arusha, this park is a hidden gem for bird enthusiasts. Search for White-faced Whistling-Ducks around Momella Lakes and the park’s wetland areas.

8. Mahale Mountains National Park:

If you’re up for an adventure, head to Mahale Mountains National Park on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. While primarily known for its chimpanzees, the park also offers opportunities to spot White-faced Whistling-Ducks near the lake.

Remember to be patient and observant while birdwatching, as these ducks may be found near water bodies, feeding on aquatic vegetation or grazing on land. Hiring an experienced bird guide or joining a birdwatching tour can enhance your chances of spotting these birds and gaining insights into their behavior and habitat preferences.

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The Kopjes of the Serengeti stand out on the vast and endless plain of this magnificent park in Northern Tanzania. They are massive rocks that rise from the savannah terrain creating a dramatic scenery among the acacia trees and the grassland vegetation that span across the plains, into the horizon, and as far as your eyes can see. You have probably been fascinated by these kopjes while on safari game drives in Tanzania.  Welcome to our guide on the Kopjes of Serengeti! Here, we’ll take you on a journey to explore the fascinating geological formations that dot the Serengeti landscape. Our goal is to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the kopjes, their formation, and their significance to the Serengeti ecosystem.

What are the Kopjes?

The kopjes are rocky outcroppings that rise up from the Serengeti plains. These formations are made up of granite, which was formed from the cooling of magma deep beneath the Earth’s surface. Over time, erosion has weathered away the softer rock, leaving behind the more resistant granite.

The kopjes vary in size, from small, isolated formations to large clusters that cover several acres. They can be found throughout the Serengeti, but are most abundant in the central and northern regions of the park.

How were they formed?

The kopjes are the result of millions of years of geological activity. The granite that makes up the Kopjes was formed around 500 million years ago, during a period of intense volcanic activity in the region. As the magma cooled and solidified, it formed a large granite pluton beneath the Earth’s surface.

Over time, the overlying rock was eroded away, exposing the granite pluton. As the exposed granite was further weathered by wind and rain, it was gradually broken down into smaller and smaller pieces. The resulting debris was then transported away by streams and rivers, leaving behind the larger, more resistant rocks that we see today as the kopjes.

Why are they important?

The kopjes are an integral part of the Serengeti ecosystem. They provide a unique habitat for a wide variety of plant and animal species, many of which are found nowhere else in the park.

The rocky crevices and outcroppings of the kopjes provide shelter and protection for a number of species, including hyraxes, snakes, and birds. The hyraxes, in particular, are an important food source for predators such as leopards and lions.

In addition to their ecological significance, the kopjes also have cultural and historical importance. The Maasai people, who have lived in the region for centuries, consider the kopjes to be sacred and use them in their traditional ceremonies and rituals.


In conclusion, the kopjes of Serengeti are a unique and important feature of the park’s landscape. Their geological origins, ecological significance, and cultural importance make them a fascinating subject for study and exploration. We hope that this guide has provided you with a better understanding of the kopjes and their role in the Serengeti ecosystem.

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As we delve into the fascinating world of prehistoric Africa, one of the most intriguing discoveries of the past century is the Laetoli footprints in Tanzania. These 3.6 million-year-old tracks belong to early human ancestors who once roamed the vast plains of East Africa, and they provide a rare glimpse into the daily lives of our distant relatives.

The Laetoli footprints are a remarkable example of how scientific discoveries can provide insights into our shared human heritage. These ancient footprints have helped us understand the evolution of bipedalism, the morphology of early hominins, and the daily lives of our distant ancestors. If you have the opportunity to visit Laetoli, you will be able to stand in the footsteps of history and witness one of the most significant archaeological discoveries of the modern era. However, even if you are unable to visit the site in person, the Laetoli footprints continue to capture the imagination of people around the world and provide a unique window into our shared evolutionary past.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the Laetoli footprints, the scientific discoveries and implications, and how you can visit this historic site for yourself.

History of the Laetoli Footprints

In 1974, a team of archaeologists led by Mary Leakey discovered a series of fossilized footprints in the Laetoli region of Tanzania, approximately 45 kilometers south of Olduvai Gorge. The prints were preserved in volcanic ash, and they represented the earliest known evidence of bipedalism – the ability to walk on two legs – in our evolutionary history. The footprints were dated to around 3.6 million years ago, which meant they were made by Australopithecus afarensis, a species of early hominins that are believed to be the direct ancestors of modern humans.

The Laetoli footprints were made by three individuals – two adults and a child – who walked across the ash-covered landscape. The footprints were remarkably well-preserved, with clear outlines of the toes, heels, and arches. Analysis of the prints revealed that the individuals walked upright, with a gait similar to that of modern humans. They also showed that the individuals had a small body size and a unique foot shape that was adapted to walking on two legs.

Scientific Discoveries and Implications

The Laetoli footprints have provided scientists with a wealth of information about early hominin behavior and morphology. The fact that the footprints were made by individuals who walked upright suggests that bipedalism was an important evolutionary development that helped our ancestors survive and thrive in their environment. The footprints also shed light on the gait, body size, and foot shape of early hominins, which can be used to reconstruct their anatomy and movement patterns.

In addition to their scientific significance, the Laetoli footprints have captured the public imagination and inspired generations of people to learn more about human evolution. They have been featured in countless books, documentaries, and museum exhibits, and they continue to be a source of fascination for scientists and laypeople alike.

Visiting Laetoli

If you are interested in seeing the Laetoli footprints for yourself, there are a few things you should know. The site is located in a remote area of Tanzania, and access is restricted to protect the fragile fossilized footprints. Visitors must obtain a permit from the Tanzanian government and be accompanied by a licensed guide. The site itself is a flat, open plain, with no shade or amenities, so visitors should come prepared with sunscreen, water, and appropriate clothing.

Despite the challenges of visiting Laetoli, seeing the footprints in person is an unforgettable experience that brings us closer to our evolutionary origins. Standing in the footsteps of our ancient ancestors, we can feel a connection to the distant past and gain a deeper appreciation for the journey that has led us to where we are today.

Further Research on Laetoli

Since their discovery, the Laetoli footprints have continued to be the subject of extensive research and scientific inquiry. In recent years, new technologies such as 3D scanning and photogrammetry have allowed scientists to create highly detailed digital models of the footprints, which can be used to study their structure and movement in greater detail than ever before.

Researchers have also used the footprints to gain insights into early hominin social behavior. For example, in 2016, a team of scientists published a study in the journal Scientific Reports that analyzed the footprints for evidence of group behavior. They found that the footprints were made by individuals who were walking together, suggesting that early hominins may have lived in social groups similar to those of modern humans.

The Laetoli footprints have also played a key role in debates about the origins of bipedalism. While it is generally agreed that bipedalism was a crucial evolutionary development, there is still much debate about why it emerged and how it evolved. The Laetoli footprints, along with other fossil evidence, provide important clues about the evolution of bipedalism and the factors that drove its emergence.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, the Laetoli footprints are a remarkable testament to our shared evolutionary history. They provide a rare glimpse into the lives of our distant ancestors, and they continue to inspire scientific research and public fascination more than 40 years after their discovery. Whether you are a scientist studying early human evolution or a curious traveler seeking to learn more about the world around us, the Laetoli footprints are a fascinating and important destination that should not be missed.

If you are interested in visiting Laetoli or learning more about the footprints and their scientific significance, there are many resources available online and in print. Whether you are an experienced scientist or a curious layperson, the Laetoli footprints are a testament to the enduring power of human curiosity and the importance of understanding our shared evolutionary history.

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Even amid the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, going on a safari in Tanzania is a major decision that many people make once in a lifetime especially when new variants like Delta and Omicron are evolving every now and then. Tranquil Journeys is dedicated to ensuring that your journey is as safe and pleasurable as possible. While we have always considered that our visitors’ safety is vital in allowing them to fully enjoy and make the most of their safari experiences, we have taken a number of new precautions to ensure the safety of our clients and employees during these unpredictable times.

We can assist you in finding answers to your inquiries or contacting the appropriate authorities on your behalf.

Tanzania Covid-19 Restrictions

Upon arrival in Tanzania, all passengers must provide a COVID-19 PCR test certificate that is negative. Within 96 hours of arriving in Tanzania, you must take the test. An online Traveller’s Surveillance Form is required for all travelers traveling to Tanzania. This form must be filed at least 24 hours prior to your arrival.

How much do PCR tests and Rapid testing cost?

All passengers entering Tanzania will undergo enhanced COVID-19 screening, which will include a mandatory rapid test. Rapid testing costs 10 USD per traveller for mainland Tanzania arrivals and 25 USD for Zanzibar arrivals. The charge can be paid in cash on arrival or online through the Traveller Surveillance Form.

Do children also require PCR tests to travel to Tanzania?

Children under the age of five are exempt from both pre-departure PCR tests and fast arrival tests.

Temperature scanning is also being implemented by the Tanzanian government for all international travelers arriving in the country.

Airports in Tanzania that conduct PCR tests

Below are the airports that provide PCR testing services.

Julius Nyerere International Airport (Dar es Salaam)
+255 22 284 2402/3

Kilimanjaro International Airport
+255 27 255 4252

You can read more about Kilimanjaro International Airport here.

Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (Zanzibar)
+255 24 223 3674

Where to get PCR tests in Tanzania

We are only acting as a middleman to assist travelers who have booked a safari with us in passing the COVID-19 exam. Because all testing is done by third parties with no relation or affiliation with us, we are not liable or responsible for any defects, delays, or problems encountered during the testing process, or for the performance or non-performance of the testing facilities. Please follow the guidelines set forth by the Ministry of Health and the airlines.

Please note that the information provided has been well investigated. We cannot, however, guarantee accuracy because information and details change frequently. Always double-check travel restrictions before booking and leaving, both in your home country and in the country you’re visiting.

Arusha: PCR Testing is done at Selian Hospital and Mount Meru Hospital. Cost: USD 90 per person. Open daily 08:00 to 15:00.

Rapid test that is required by KLM is done at Kilimanjaro International Airport. Cost: USD 25 per person. Guests must arrive 6 hours before their flight to do the test. We suggest booking a day room at Airport Planet Lodge for the guests to use whilst waiting for their test results.

Moshi: PCR Testing is done at KMCM Hospital. Cost: USD 90 per person. Open daily 08:00 to 15:00.

Karatu: PCR Testing is done at Family Clinic. Cost: USD 90 per person. Open daily 08:00 to 15:00.

Dar es Salaam: PCR Testing is conducted at Aga Khan Hospital and IST Clinic. Cost: USD 100 per person to be paid at the center via credit card. Hospital facilitation fee: 50 USD per person. Transport fee: will be advised at time of booking. Cash or Card accepted. Open daily 08:00 to 15:00.

A PCR rapid test that is required by KLM is done at Dar es Salaam International Airport. Cost: USD 25 per person. Guests must arrive 6 hours before their flight to do the test. Due to the high traffic levels in Dar es Salaam guests will have to wait at the airport until their flight departure.

Zanzibar:  PCR and RAT Testing is done at Migombani COVID-19 Centre. Cost: A PCR test costs USD 80 while RAT test costs USD 25 per person to be paid online via credit card at the time of booking the test. Transport fee: will be advised at time of booking.  Open daily 08:00 to 15:00.

The rapid test required by KLM is conducted at the Migombani COVID-19 Centre. Cost: USD 25 per person. Guests must arrive 6 hours before their flight to do the test. We suggest booking a day room in Stone Town for the guests to use whilst waiting for their test results.

Quarantine regulations

If you test positive for COVID-19 when you arrive in Tanzania, you may be required to quarantine in a government-designated hotel at your own expense. You will be required to self-isolate for 14 days if you are a returning resident.

You must follow any additional screening procedures imposed by the authorities.

Data Collection

Tanzania’s government is compiling information on all overseas travellers coming into the country.

Tanzania Entry Requirements


Tanzania requires a tourist or business visa for all American and British passport holders. Tanzania has implemented an e-visa system, in which applications can be submitted and approved online prior to travel. The Tanzanian High Commission in London is no longer able to issue visas.

It is also feasible to obtain a single-entry tourist or business visa upon arrival at Tanzania’s principal ports of entry, provided that all immigration conditions are met. It’s possible that you’ll be required to show documentation of your return trip. On arrival, you will not be able to obtain a multiple entry visa.

Visit the Tanzanian Immigration website for further information about visas.

If you want to work or volunteer in Tanzania, you’ll need a legal work permit, which you can apply for online through Tanzania’s immigration website. This should be arranged by your employment or volunteer organization prior to your departure.

You can be arrested, detained, and fined before being deported if you overstay the validity of your visa or permit. Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) British passport holders have reported to the British High Commission that they are subjected to increased levels of harassment from immigration officials. In these circumstances, you should remain cool and request that the British High Commission’s Consular Section be notified immediately.

Passport Validity

From the date of your arrival in Tanzania, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months.

Emergency Travel Documents for the United Kingdom & USA

For entry, airside transit, and exit from Tanzania, USA, and UK Emergency Travel Documents with a minimum validity of six months are acceptable.

Requirements for yellow fever certificates

Visit the CDC, TravelHealthPro website of the National Travel Health Network and Centre to see if you require a yellow fever certificate.

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Richard Leakey, a world-famous Kenyan conservationist, and fossil hunter, passed away at the age of 77.

His breakthrough work aided in the acknowledgment of Africa as the cradle of civilization.

He also led anti-poaching initiatives in Kenya, including the famous burning of the country’s stockpile of poached ivory.

Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya’s president, said Leakey “served our country with distinction.”

Richard Leakey at Kenya Wildlife Service, KWSLeakey worked for the Kenyan government in a variety of capacities, including the National Museums of Kenya, the Kenya Wildlife Service, and as the civil service’s chief.

“Dr Leakey is known for his significant involvement in Kenya’s civil society, where he built and effectively led a number of organizations,” Mr Kenyatta added, in addition to his outstanding career in public service.

In his twenties, Leakey made his own significant discoveries, and he described the emergence of Homo erectus, an ancestor of modern humans, in two groundbreaking books (Origins and People of the Lake).

His findings added to the increasing body of evidence indicating the continent of Africa was home to the first humans.
In 1981, he starred in “The Making of Mankind,” a seven-part BBC television series that made him a household figure.

He changed occupations in the late 1980s to become the head of Kenya’s Wildlife Service, at a time when poachers were annihilating the country’s elephant and rhino herds.

He ordered his rangers to shoot poachers on sight, and he orchestrated a dramatic public burning of a massive collection of ivory.

The little plane he was piloting lost power and crashed in 1993. He lived, but both of his legs below the knee were amputated.

Richard Leakey & Kenyan Politics

Richard Leakey with the late Kenyan President Moi in politicsThat didn’t stop him from joining Kenyan politics and founding the Safina party. But his political career was short-lived, and in 1998 he was appointed head of Kenya’s civil service, with the objective of combating official corruption.

He stayed in the position for three years before returning to the Kenya Wildlife Service.

He was the chairman of the Turkana Basin Institute at Stony Brook University in the United States when he died. The institution promotes palaeontology and archaeology research and teaching in northern Kenya.

Leakey, according to Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto, “His devotion to his homeland inspired many Kenyans. He adored the country of Kenya “..

The Duke of Cambridge expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to meet him and applauded his efforts to combat elephant poaching. In a tweet, Prince William remarked, “Conservation has lost a real visionary.”
Richard Leakey was a strongly autonomous thinker from an early age. His parents’ well-known archaeology work undoubtedly influenced his career choice.

Even though he was only in his early twenties, he established his own voice and made important discoveries.

He was a fighter as well. He cracked his head as a youngster after falling from a horse. He endured kidney and liver transplants later in life, as well as battling cancer and surviving an aircraft catastrophe in which he lost both legs. But he didn’t lose sight of his goals.

Kenyan politics, on the other hand, proved difficult. Leakey was a vocal opponent of Daniel Arap Moi’s administration. He even started his own political party to fight it.

He accepted, though, when Moi urged him to command the public service and battle corruption. Foreign financing that had been halted owing to corruption began to flow once more. However, he was abruptly cut off. Leakey quit after being outmaneuvered.

But he leaves an indelible influence on science and conservation.

In paleoanthropology, Leakey followed in his parents’ footsteps, examining fossils and old artifacts to better understand human evolution.

The First Family of Paleontology

Richard Leakey anti poaching, elephant tusks and ivoryBecause much of their life, and subsequently the lives of their children, centred around Olduvai Gorge, Louis and Mary (Nicol) Leakey are frequently referred to as the “first family of paleontology.” The pair met on a dig in England, and both worked at the Olduvai Gorge for a short time before marrying in 1937 in England.

Louis was born in Kenya in 1903 to missionary parents from England. While out bird watching, he would frequently come across prehistoric stone implements. He undertook a fossil-finding trip to what is now Tanzania after graduating from university in England, which ignited his interest in human origins.

The Leakeys discovered stone tools in Olduvai and elsewhere in the 1930s. Several ancient species, notably the 25-million-year-old Pronconsul primate, one of the earliest and rare fossil ape skulls found, were among their most famous discovery.

They had to put their work on hold due to political upheaval in Kenya, but they returned to Olduvai Gorge in the late 1950s. While their prior investigation at the gorge had centered on tools, they returned to seek for further traces of human existence.

Mary went to work as normal one day in 1959, leaving Louis behind with a headache. She uncovered fossilized portions of a hominin’s cranium and upper teeth that had never been recognized before.

The Leakeys discovered roughly 400 parts of a virtually complete skull over the next few weeks. Other findings, such as those made in South Africa by Raymond Dart in 1924 and Robert Broom in 1936, have parallels. The Leakeys, on the other hand, categorized their discovery as a new species of hominid, naming it Zinjanthropus boisei.

Although it was not the direct ancestor of humanity that the Leakeys had hoped for, it did provide the couple some prominence and sparked public interest in human origins research.

They estimated the find to be 1.75 million years old. Although a lack of fossil-dating equipment made determining the age of Dart’s and Broom’s previous discovery problematic, this made it the oldest hominin known to that moment.

The work of the Leakeys, Dart, and Broom combined to provide a compelling argument that humans originated in Africa.

Louis Leakey became ill in 1960, and Mary took over the majority of the enterprise. Several things happened during this time period. They found a well-preserved fossil foot with arches, supporting the notion that hominins walked erect.

During this period, Mary Leakey and her son Jonathan discovered a smaller hominid they named Homo habilis, which means “handy human” since he appeared to be able to use tools. The age of this fossil is estimated to be around 2 million years old. When another son, Richard, discovered another Homo habilis in 1972, this was verified.

This finding in 1972 backed up the older Leakey’s claim that numerous hominid lineages evolved at the same time and that the Homo genus did not arise from Australopithecus.


In 1968, Peter Nzube, a member of the Leakey team, unearthed a 1.8-million-year-old skull. The skull was flattened and had to be rebuilt from hundreds of bits, earning it the nickname Twiggy after the slender British model. Twiggy was thought to have been an adult when she died since her third set of teeth had erupted. The molars, on the other hand, showed little damage, indicating that she had plenty of opportunity to use them.

However, the Leakeys were not responsible for the most important and noteworthy discoveries in Olduvai Gorge, according to some experts. A team of Tanzanian and American archeologists discovered 302 bones and teeth belonging to a female estimated to be 1.8 million years old in 1986.

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if you are wondering whether lions kill and eat other predators like cheetahs, leopards, and hyenas. The answer is simple, No, they don’t.

This raises the question of why, after killing hyenas, cheetahs, leopards, or African wild dogs (adults or pups), lions never consume them. The truth is that they just will not eat them.

A lion won’t gain much by consuming the flesh of another predator, considering that cheetahs, leopards, hyenas, and African wild dogs aren’t exactly a well-deserved meal or a wanted snack – and their flesh isn’t nutritious or provide the promise of sustenance, no matter how hungry the golden cat becomes. So it contented itself with viciously murdering that carnivore and letting its uneaten carcass rot, comfortable in the knowledge that it had just eliminated another rival for food and territory, as well as another possible threat to its young.

Also, lions (like most carnivores) don’t eat other carnivores because of a rule known as “The 10% Energy Rule in the Food Chain,” which states that the higher the trophic level, the lower the energy – thus, predators like lions derive more energy from eating herbivores rather than other carnivores; and in some extreme cases, breaking the skin, removing the flesh, and digesting it are all energy-

Other carnivores, on the other hand, have a larger parasite and disease load than herbivores.

Any animal at the top of the food chain picks up illnesses from the other animals it eats. On the evolutionary scale, eating another predator has a far larger survival cost than eating herbivores, which are likely to have less sickness in general.

Top predators with a proclivity to consume other top predators are at a higher risk of both physical injury and illness accumulation. Those who do not consume them survive longer and so have the opportunity to reproduce, passing on their genetics and overall disposition to their children.

That’s why, after killing them, lions never eat leopards, cheetahs, African wild dogs, or hyenas.

Edit: Other huge predators, such as hyenas, have been consumed by lions on a few instances, as demonstrated in this video (also shared by Rebecca):

Though I still think it’s a rare instance because lions aren’t known to eat hyenas after they’ve been killed (the males here must have been desperate).

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An Austrian man, attempting to smuggle 74 protected chameleons from Africa’s Usambara Mountains in Tanzania into Austria was intercepted at the airport and stopped.

The 56-year-old man, whose identity has not been revealed to the public is believed to have the intention of selling the chameleons and lizards in the Czech Republic and other countries.
Upon x-raying his luggage, they discovered that he had stuffed some of the chameleons in socks and empty ice cream boxes.
The said man was caught by customs officials at Vienna Airport, coming from Tanzania via Ethiopia.

smuggled chameleons

The chameleons are now under the care of the Austrian capital’s Schoenbrunn Zoo, which said that unfortunately three of the animals did not make it alive. The Chameleons and lizards were illegally acquired from the Usambara Mountains in Tanzania and ranged in age from one week old to adult animals.

chameleon hidden

The black market value of the reptiles would fetch about 37,000 euros (£32,860), officials said.

The Austrian man who smuggled the animals into Austria from Tanzania has now to settle a fine of up to 6,000 euros, the Austrian finance ministry said in a statement.

The Tanzanian highlands are popular for being home to a rare and a newly discovered species of chameleons known as Kinyongia msuyae, a small, elongated chameleon (about 16 cm long), lacking distinctive colours or pattern.

Kinyongia Msuyae Chameleon

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What you need to know if you’re on a Tanzania Safari tour with the failed travel agent.

The travel giant company,  Thomas Cook collapses after last-minute bailout plans to save the failing firm which has been running for 178-years. The tour company based in the U.K has ceased to trade with immediate effect, this is according to the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority. Thomas Cook has gone ahead to publish travel advice for tourists on holiday with the affected company at the following website

Apart from Tanzania Safari holiday goers that have booked with Thomas Cook, many tourists around the world have also been affected by this situation either while on holiday or with long term plans of coming to Tanzania for Tanzania Safari tours with Thomas Cook. Fortunately, we can advise you what to do next and to claim a refund on your tour to Kilimanjaro if Thomas Cook goes into administration.

Atol protection for Kilimanjaro climbers

The Atol travel plan protects people who buy Tanzania tour package holidays that are all-inclusive plus a flight, through UK tour operators and agents like in the case of Thomas Cook. If you have booked a Tanzania safari or just a flight to Tanzania through the Thomas cook, Atol protection ensures you do not lose your money or be left stranded in Tanzania as Atol protection means they will be flown back home free of charge.

Clients who have already booked and actually paid for an upcoming Tanzania safari with Thomas Cook should a right to a refund as part of the Atol scheme.

Unfortunately, if you didn’t book your tour as part of a package you might not be Atol protected, but you may still be able to claim a refund of some sort through your travel insurance or credit card issuer – as per your booking terms and agreements.’ For more information about the Atol scheme and protection, read here.

What to do if you’re already in Tanzania for your safari

Now that, unfortunately, Thomas Cook has gone into administration, this is what you should do:

  1. Continue your Tanzania safari as normal.
  2. Arrive for your return flight as normal unless something changes and you receive an official update. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will try their best to get you on a return flight as close to your original departure time as possible.
  3. Your costs for returning home will be covered. Keep receipts of any additional costs you may be asked to pay as a result. Send a claim to The Civil Aviation Authority on your return home so that a refund can be arranged for all reasonable expenses.

Here’s more information on how to make an Atol claim if you’re currently abroad. 

Do I have to pay for my hotel/camp/lodge during and after a safari?

Since most Tanzania safari itineraries include your hotel accommodation in Tanzania (Arusha) before and after your climb it will not be necessary to pay but if you’re experiencing any difficulties with your Atol-protected hotel, or if your hotel is requesting payment from you, you can call the CAA call centre on the following line: +44 1753 330 330. NB: It may take the Civil Aviation Authority a few days to secure new payment arrangements for your accommodation. Do not proceed to pay your accommodation unless given the green-light by the CAA team. If your trip is not covered by the Atol scheme, you are not entitled to make a claim for your extra expenses and additional nights of hotel accommodation under the Atol protection, but you may be able to claim for a refund or payment from your travel insurer as per the booking terms and conditions, bank or your credit card issuer. Here’s more information on how to make an Atol claim if you’re currently abroad. 

What to do if you’re planning to travel soon for a safari in Tanzania

If you’re due to travel with Thomas Cook in the near future, here is what you should do:

From 23 September 2019, all flights and Tanzania safari tours will be cancelled.

All Thomas Cook arline flights will not operate anymore, so if you have booked on a Thomas Cook Airlines flight, please do not go to your UK airport. Please double-check with your accommodation/flight provider to check if your booking is on record. Keep all your booking information and make a record of all emails and replies. If will not continue with your safari in Tanzania, make a claim under the Atol plan to get a refund.

Here’s more information on how to make an Atol claim if you’re currently abroad. 

Why has Thomas Cook collapsed?

The troubled tour company, Thomas Cook tried to secure a £750m cash injection to see it safe for low season of winter 2019-20 when the number of bookings goes down. Thomas Cook’s chief executive, Peter Fankhauser, said the company’s collapse was a ‘matter of profound regret’. Commenting as the company entered compulsory liquidation, Mr Fankhauser also had words of apology to Thomas Cook’s ‘millions of customers and thousands of employed staff’. If the company does go bust it would be the biggest-ever repatriation, with an estimated 150,000 tourists of British origin currently abroad on a variety Thomas Cook holidays that include Tanzania safari holidays. The government has 45  jets ready to bring clients back home and with 64 routes being flown today. The size of the fleet will make it UK’s fifth-largest airline. The collapse has put over 20,000 jobs at risk, including 9,000 in the United Kingdom alone.

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