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FAQ for Victoria Expeditions

On this page, you will be able to get answers to some of the common questions you might have such as questions about the Safaris, Kilimanjaro, mount Meru treks, activities, beach holidays, and what clothes or equipment to bring with you, Privacy policies, and Terms and conditions. If you do not find answers to some of the questions you are welcome to write to us and ask them directly by filling out the form on our contact page.

FAQs

WHAT ABOUT VISA?
You can apply for Visa to Tanzania online via the governments own service here: https://eservices.immigration.go.tz/visa or you can get it on arrival at any Tanzanian International airport, or border crossing. It is more or less a standard service you do not need to use foreign companies to get your visa. Not all companies are secure.
Why are your tours and other items priced as they are?
Our prices are made up of different things that are included in our safaris, beach holidays, and trekking. Our prices reflect our level of service and we do not compromise on the service we include and give you so that you can enjoy your holiday as you deserve.
Among some of these services are the Flying Doctors Society Of Africa, extra amenities, and comfort included in the price, and if we were to reduce the price we would not be able to offer the service we do.
What is the Flying Doctors Society of Africa?
The Flying Doctors Society of Africa (FDSA) is a leading fundraising organization in East Africa, established in 1971 to spread Medical Outreach in Africa. They raise funds through the sale of membership to the Society, donations, sale of branded items, and fundraising activities/events. Through FDSA's free air evacuation service that covers a range within 500 to 1000 km radius of Nairobi, within the membership period, and depending on the membership, it covers Tanzania Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi only in the event of a life threatening medical emergency.
Patients are flown to Nairobi, usually to Wilson Airport but occasionally to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. At the airport, they are met by an AMREF Flying Doctor ambulance, in which the patients are transferred to the hospital of their choice. The ground ambulance is included as part of the free evacuation.
THIS SERVICE IS INCLUDED IN ALL OF OUR TOURS, TREKKING, AND OTHER PROGRAMS, THING NOT SINGLE ACTIVITIES.
Read more about them here https://www.flyingdoctorsafrica.org/about-fdsa/
What is included in a Safari tour or mountain trekking tour price?
In the tour price for safari, Trekking for Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru full board is included in the price, plus Water, and Juice. On luxury tours, wine and beer are also included.
Everything else included or not included is shown on each individual tour, trekking.
What is included in the beach holiday?
All beach holidays are on a B/B basis. Including normal food and drinks, any other alcohol, and extra's will cost extra and is paid directly to the hotel/lodge (Half board and Full board can be added as extra when booking). On a Luxury beach holiday, all normal alcoholic drinks are also included except for special requested alcohol (max 1 bottle of wine a day/8 beers/or 1 max 500ML bottle of alcohol). If you have special requests, please contact our sales department.
WHAT IS INCLUDED
All park entry fees, if for Kilimanjaro or Mount Meru all camping/hut fees, rescue fees, full-board accommodation, and if for Safaris all Accommodations on a full board basis, if your holiday includes a beach holiday or other activities outside the parks, all accommodation is on either B/B or Half board. English-speaking guides (Spanish and French-speaking guides are also available), porters, 4×4 vehicle, unlimited game viewing within park opening hours, camping equipment and Evacuation Insurance are included in the prices through the “Flying doctors society of Africa”.
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED
Personal requirements (beer, cigarettes, soap etc) and tipping are not included in the price. SEE BELOW FOR MORE INFO ON TIPPING. If you want to stop at Maasai villages and take photographs of the locals, you must pay an entrance fee and negotiate with them if they ask you to pay for taking photographs of the locals. If you want to have a stopover at Olduvai Gorge, you must pay a modest entrance fee.
What about tipping for drivers and guides on safari?
The guidelines for tipping are as follows. A tip is expected after the tour, and it is not included in the price. How much you tip depends on how satisfied you are with your safari, or a trekking tour.
For your safari guide, we recommend a tip of US$15-30 per day (this is per group, not per person.)
Again our drivers, guides, cooks, etc. are professional staff people, well educated, with years of experience and we also try to guide them in how to be with you as a client.
Many of the safari lodges operate a shared tip system, and there will be a box in the reception area where you can leave a tip for all staff. Check the information packs in your room as some lodges will specifically ask you not to tip individual staff members. Tips are always discretionary and if you are not happy with the service you have received you do not have to pay tips.
If you feel a guide, driver, or other staff does not approach you in the right way or give you the service you feel you are to have, we would like to hear from you, and also show us potential recordings of such if available, and we will deal with it appropriately.
What about tipping for Guides and porters on Mountain treks?
The following tipping procedure is recommended.
To give you a guide, KPAP recommended tips for porters are in the range of $6-10/day per porter. For other roles we recommend $20/day for guides, $12-15/day for assistant guides and $12-15/day for cooks. These figures are per group, not per climber.
We will try to send you a copy of the tip recommendations and the estimated crew numbers for your group.
The size of your crew can only be confirmed on the first day of the climb when everything have been weighed at the park gate. At the first camp you will be advised of the final number of crew and their position on the climb.

You may also find on your summit attempt that some of the porters accompany the group to provide additional assistance. This is an additional task that they carry out in order to support you having the best chance of reaching the summit.
Please show your appreciation for any help you receive by tipping these porters directly. We would suggest an extra tip of $20.

The tipping announcement will take place on the last night on the mountain when all the crew will gather together to celebrate with you. One representative from your group should say a few words of thanks, which will be translated by the lead guide into kiSwahili.

We advise our guests not to carry cash with them during the climb, and make the actual tip when you return to your hotel. Your group will be supplied with envelopes to assist with the distribution of tips – one envelope for the porters and a separate envelope that you can use to tip your lead guide, assistant guides and cook.
Three porter representatives will come to the hotel to accept the tip envelope on behalf of all the porters, and they will distribute the money themselves.
DO YOU GET A DISCOUNT FOR BIGGER GROUPS
The prices that are shown on our website as shown "FROM" are the lowest prices we offer if you only add 1 person you will get a higher price, as you add the number of people the price will drop towards the lowest price per person to a safari tour or package. You will usually reach the lowest price when you are 5-6 people or more, as that is the limit of the safari vehicles. When it comes to other activities the lowest price starts at other levels, but in general, you will reach the lowest price from around 5 people and up on Kilimanjaro, 6 to 8 people on what we call activities, and for Hotels/Lodges/Beach resorts the prices are according to the Hotels/Lodges/Resorts normal rates. NB: IF YOU ARE A BIGGER GROUP YOU CAN REQUEST A SPECIAL PRICE ON OUR PROGRAMS BY WRITING US AN EMAIL, WITH YOUR REQUEST. AT THE SAME TIME WE WILL SHORTLY START TO HAVE FIXED DEPARTURE DATES WHERE IT WILL BE THE SAME PRICE FOR ALL.
WHAT TO BRING ON A SAFARI:
Sleeping bag
Flashlight
Spare batteries
Sunglasses
Sun protection lotion
Mosquito repellent
Toiletry requirements
Towel
Wash kit
Long-sleeved shirt/jumper
Trouser
Warm sweater – The northern parks can be cold in the mornings, especially from May to September. (Late June 2022, 9 Degrees Celsius/50 degrees Fahrenheit was measured in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater highlands in the morning hours)
Hat
Binoculars
Camera
Small daypack
WHAT TO BRING ON A KILIMANJARO OR MERU TREK:
Waterproof rucksack & daypack
Boots and light trainers
Balaklava or woollen hat
Scarf
Snow-goggles/sunglasses
Gloves and mittens
Sweaters/jumpers Pants and jacket (water-and-windproof)
Long sleeved shirt
Anorak/raincoat
Thermal underwear
Several pairs of socks
Small towel and wash kit
Water bottle
First aid kit and insect repellent
Sun protection cream and lip salve
Flashlight (head mounted preferable)
Spare batteries
Whistle
Food Zip bags (Plastic bags are not allowed in Tanzania)
Wooden walking stick/ski pole
Toiletry requirements
Binoculars
Camera

NOTE: It is recommended that you take several thin layers of clothing as opposed to a few thick ones. Try and get clothed to allow ventilation. You may also want to get clothing made of synthetic materials because woollen clothing takes a long to dry. Your boots should be well “broken into” to avoid irritation, blisters and pain
WHAT IF IT RAINS
The rain season starts in mid-March and ends in late May. There is also a short rain season of two weeks in November. Contrary to beliefs, it does not pour down all day long, but one can expect rain showers in the early mornings and in the evenings. Normally, it doesn’t affect the game viewing. If you are planning on going on a camping safari, be prepared for the rains, and bring waterproof gear. Our tents are all waterproof and can stand heavy showers.
CAN I BRING MY CHILDREN ON A SAFARI/TREKKING?
There are no age restrictions in the national parks. However, children below 10 are not allowed to trek Kilimanjaro or Mount Meru. When choosing a safari itinerary, keep in mind that young children often get tired on long transit drives, so it is better to focus on parks close to each other and spend more time in each of them. Once the animals start appearing, the hours fly by and a day in a car will not be tiresome to children (or adults!).
I AM ALONE AND ON A BUDGET WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR ME
We will soon have fixed departure dates for most of our programs to be booked as well, and you are free to join one of these programs as you will get the lowest price possible.
WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT THE PARKS, AND BEACH RESORTS?
Serengeti: Serengeti is good all year round. (The big Migration is though usually between May and Mid to end of August. It fluctuates from year to year) Ngorongoro: All year round Lake Manyara: All year round Tarangire: Dry season – June to End March Arusha Park: All year round Kilimanjaro: All year round, but the rainy season is generally harder due to snow and rainfall. Mount Meru: All year round, but the rainy season is generally harder due to snow and rainfall. Beach resorts are generally available all year round, though some are closed for maintenance between mid-April and to end of May. If you go in the rain season, there will be rains, but not all the time and the temperatures will still be high around 28 to 36 degrees in the daytime, and 19 to 23 degrees at night-time. These temperatures are along the mainland coast and on the islands of Zanzibar (the main island Uguja, Pemba) and mafia Island
I AM A FEMALE TRAVELER, ANY ADVICE?
Prepare yourself for attention and marriage proposals! OK, seriously: Take precautions, as you would in an unfamiliar area. Don’t walk alone after dark, don’t show off your valuables, and don’t leave your drink on the table while you go to the toilet. Follow the dress code: Don’t wear skimpy outfits, it will only bring unwanted attention. In Muslim areas, cover your knees and shoulders. (This is a good idea in remote villages as well). For some reason, locals get excited when they see women in tight trousers/shorts. Be firm, but polite when saying no to an invitation (and you can expect many to invite you to the disco). Be smart and avoid uncomfortable situations. Most important of all: Don’t walk around with constant fear, the odds are that nothing will happen. Enjoy your holiday and relax TO MAKE YOU AS COMFORTABLE AS POSSIBLE IF YOU ARE A GROUP OF LADIES, WE WILL FROM AROUND 1st OF NOVEMBER 2022 OFFER FEMALE DRIVER/GUIDES.
SUITCASE OR BACKPACK?
It depends where you are going and how you are getting there. If you are going on a lodge safari and flying between the mainland and the coast, a suitcase will be fine. If you are “roughing it”, bring a backpack. Remember that suitcases are not allowed up Kilimanjaro.
WHICH ROUTE DO YOU RECOMMEND FOR KILIMANJARO?
Machame route is known as the “Whisky route”, while Marangu is known as the “Coca-Cola route”. There is a great difference between the two most popular routes. Machame route lets you see more of the mountain, as you are ascending Machame but descending Mweka. On the Marangu route, you are ascending and descending on the same path. By choosing Machame, you will see more of the scenery, and acclimatization is done while you are walking, as opposed to resting days where you stay at the huts on the Marangu route. While walking up the Machame route, you are trekking through Karranga Valley for acclimatization, you are gaining minimal height while keeping yourself active and enjoying the scenery. The trek to the summit is hard on both routes, but Machame has its advantages: it is less steep than the Marangu route, and most people spend less time reaching the peak than in Marangu. So we highly recommend the Machame route, as long as it is done in 6 days and you avoid taking the Arrow Glacier shortcut. For those of you who want to have the comfort of sleeping in huts, the Marangu route is the only option. The are several other routes up the Kilimanjaro, and they tend to be more challenging but just as rewarding. Notice that the Marangu route might be called the Coca-Cola route, but since you stay in huts which cost more than the tents on the other routes and it is, therefore, higher priced.
HOW MANY PEOPLE MAKE IT TO THE TOP OF MOUNT KILIMANJARO?
Our statistics are good so far: 85% of our clients have reached Uhuru Peak since January 2001. The people who did not make it, either got too exhausted or were suffering from strong headaches and nausea due to the altitude. There is no telling who will make it, but the best advice is to take it slow, drink lots of water and pay attention to symptoms of altitude sickness.
CAN I CLIMB MOUNT KILIMANJARO AND MOUNT MERU INDEPENDENTLY?
You cannot climb Kilimanjaro without the organization of a licensed company. There are strict rules regarding guides, porters and weight-limit of the luggage. Guides are mandatory for every trek up Mount Meru. They are armed and are there to protect you from the mountain's abundant wildlife (including buffalos, leopards, and baboons). Porters will carry your supplies and you are in safe hands should anything happen. There are rules to be followed: An armed ranger must accompany you, and you are not allowed to carry more than 15kg.
HOW CLOSE DO I GET TO THE ANIMALS?
It is important to carefully follow the park regulations. Therefore, the guide is not allowed to drive off the tracks to approach animals. Generally, the guide should keep a distance of at least 25 metres from the animals, but some animals approach vehicles or stay close to the tracks, so you will probably get up and close to the wildlife. We have had clients surrounded by herds of elephants and lions, close enough to reach out and touch them (this is not a good idea!). Remember that the parks are not zoos and that close encounters are not guaranteed!
WILL THERE BE A LOT OF DRIVING BETWEEN THE PARKS?
It depends on your itinerary. If you are short on time and want to see as many parks as possible, you will be spending more time on transfers between the parks compared to longer itineraries. Lake Manyara, Tarangire and Arusha National Park is situated not far from Arusha (45 minutes up to 3 hours). Serengeti and Ngorongoro are further away, and to fully enjoy these parks you should go for a 4-5 day tour at the minimum. The national parks are open from 07:00 to 18:00 (07:00 am to 06:00 pm), and we do our best to create itineraries where you’ll spend most of your time in the wild! IT IS POSSIBLE TO FLY BETWEEN THE PARKS, IT WILL INCREASE THE PRICE PER PERSON CONSIDERABLY
DO YOUR VEHICLES HAVE AN OPEN ROOF?
All our vehicles are custom-made for safaris. They have pop-up roofs for excellent viewing. On most of our vehicles, you can completely remove the roof, to get maximum views and the opportunity to work on your tan! (Remember sun protection lotion)
DO I HAVE TO PAY TO TAKE PICTURES INSIDE THE PARKS?
No. You can film and photograph as much as you want. If you are taking pictures of locals, you might be asked to pay them for the privilege.
WE ARE INTERESTED IN THE HADZABE BUSHMEN AT LAKE EYASI. HOW DO WE GET THERE AND WHAT KIND OF ACTIVITIES ARE OFFERED?
Booking a normal safari tour, you can add 2 days to visit the Hadzabe tribe in Lake Eyasi. The guide will drive to Lake Eyasi after visiting Lake Manyara on your way to Ngorongoro and Serengeti. In Lake Eyasi, you can hunt with the bushmen, learn about their local traditions, and get sightseeing at Lake Eyasi, where numerous flamingos can be spotted. You will overnight on the shores of Lake Eyasi.
WHY IS THE TREK THROUGH THE NGORONGORO CRATER HIGHLAND SO EXPENSIVE?
Because of the camping fees and the number of people/donkeys escorting you. You are camping in special campsites, which are twice the price of normal campsites. You are escorted by a trained guide from our office, an armed ranger from the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority, and Maasai warriors and donkeys (to carry your supplies).
CAN YOU PICK ME UP AT THE AIRPORT?
Yes. We arrange transfers from Kilimanjaro, Dar es Salaam and The airport in Zanzibar to your hotel/Lodge/Beach resort, for Nairobi International Airports we arrange shuttle busses to and from Arusha, or private transport. Booking a tour with us, the pickup from Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar is complimentary. Transfers from these and other airports can also be done by private vehicle, flight, or shuttle bus. Contact us for more details.
WILL YOU SUB-CONTRACT ME TO OTHER COMPANIES?
No. We however lease in extra vehicles when the need arises when the number of guests is high and we have permanently employed guides and cooks. We do at times work together with other safari operators in other locations of the country, Operators we have a long-standing contract with within areas where they are strong and which we also perform assignments for in our area. We do regularly make quality control checks on their services so that we can guarantee you the best holiday adventure.
HOW DO I PAY YOU?
For booking from abroad, we require a 35-50% deposit, on some bookings, we require full payment depending on the departure time and the itinerary (paid online through our service provider DPO Group or a bank transfer) upon booking. The balance should be paid at least 50 days before arrival, or right away if there are less than 50 days until you arrive. See our Terms and conditions for more information.