FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
The best way to answer this question is to start with the best time to go. Generally late March to Early May is rainy with rains again in November. Every other time is great with different benefits. January-February and part of March is a good time, is less crowded and the wildebeest migration is in a more accessible part of the Serengeti. June-August is the dry season. The grass is low and water is less plentiful so you can observe wildlife congregating at the remaining watering holes. In September-October the Great Migration is up in the more remote northern part of the Serengeti, an optimal place to witness this spectacle. December-January is also a great time to go. Why not celebrate the holidays in Africa!
East Africa Entry Requirements A passport and visa are required for U.S. citizens traveling to Tanzania and Kenya. Your passport should be valid for at least six months past your arrival date. Please make sure you have at least 2 blank pages in your passport. Please note that all travelers flying to Tanzania via or in transit through a Yellow Fever Infected Country such as Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda are required to show proof of the Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate. For example, this would include those persons flying to Tanzania through Nairobi, Kenya on British Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Swiss Air, Kenya Airways, Brussels Airlines, KLM and Emirates. Please see the health section for further information. Tanzania Visas All Tanzania visa will be issued immediately upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport. Our dedicated visa specialist will meet you in the customs area upon arrival. He will have your name posted on a sign and will stamp your passport with your Tanzania Visa enabling you to avoid the long lines and confusion at customs. Each person will simply need to provide a valid passport and we will take care of everything else. Please make sure you have at least 2 blank pages in your passport. After your visa is issued, you will be escorted outside of customs and immediately transferred to your hotel. We are unable to issue Tanzania visas at the Dar es Salaam airport. For those persons arriving into Dar es Salaam, you will need to obtain your own individual Tanzania Visas upon arrival at a cost of $100 per person. Simply fill out the short form upon arrival into Dar es Salaam.
Participation on a safari requires that you be in generally good health. All guests must understand that while a high level of fitness is not required, a measure of physical activity is involved in all African Safaris. It is essential that persons with any medical problems and/or related dietary restrictions make them known to us well before departure. Pre-Trip Doctor Consultation You must seek medical advice from your doctor or a travel clinic before you depart on your safari. It is important to plan ahead as you may need vaccinations. For detailed health information for travelers to Tanzania visit cdc.gov/travel/. Go to tab for 'Destinations' and scroll down to Tanzania. Malaria is one of the greatest potential health risks in Tanzania and antimalarial drugs are recommended. The antimalarial drug named Malarone may be the best choice and it should be strongly considered as opposed to other types of antimalarial drugs - consult your doctor or travel clinic. Other antimalarial drugs include Larium and Doxycycline. For a detailed discussion on malaria and the different antimalarial drugs available, visit cdc.gov/malaria/travelers/. Whether or not you are taking antimalarial drugs, it is important to protect yourself from mosquito bites from dusk till dawn. This is when the type of mosquito whose bite transmits malaria is active. Precautionary measures include using DEET based insect repellant, covering up before dusk and wearing long sleeved shirts, trousers, socks and shoes in the evenings. You should certainly cover up and use insect repellant before going to dinner each evening. Pay particular attention to your ankles and legs as mosquitoes, if present, tend to hover at ankle level.
Tanzania is a very safe, secure and tourist friendly country. Tanzania has enjoyed a remarkable period of stability and growth since independence back in 1961 and is one of the safest countries in Africa. Tanzania has more than 132 distinct tribes that have lived in harmony for centuries. Tanzania has a founding philosophy from its first President, Julius Nyerere (a man who Nelson Mandela called his mentor and inspiration), which emphasized tolerance and the idea of a nation coming before any sense of tribal loyalty. His belief that "we are Tanzanians first and foremost", helped to create and encourage a national character of tribal, racial and religious tolerance. Tanzanians are very proud that they have never had a civil war and as they watch what happens in neighboring countries (Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and now Kenya), they are even more committed to the ideas of tolerance and peace. Nyerere insisted on a national language (Swahili) and insisted that the ruling power never show preference for their own tribal history. Power is shared most equitably in Tanzania and no one tribe is favored or has the majority of power. There are currently no travel warnings issued on Tanzania by the U.S. State Department. Kenya currently has a travel warning issued and those travelers seeking to add a safari extension to Kenya are advised to read the warning at travel.state.gov. Travel Warnings are issued when the State Department recommends that Americans avoid travel to a certain country. Though the risk of crime is minimal in Tanzania, some common sense precautions are recommended: Leave your expensive jewelry and watches at home Keep all your valuables (passport, wallet, etc.) in a money belt that you can hide under your clothes Make copies of all documentation (passport, air itinerary, travelers checks etc.) and keep segregated from the originals Carry a few dollars for spending money in an accessible pocket rather than accessing your money belt when shopping The majority of the costs on safari are included in your package. See your inclusions and exclusions section
The majority of the famous wildlife parks of Northern Tanzania (situated just south of the equator) rest upon an elevated plateau creating a wonderfully temperate climate. Average highs are in the low 80s and average lows are in the 50s and 60s. The temperatures are very comfortable and there is little humidity due to the high elevation. The moderate climate creates a comfortable environment for wildlife viewing throughout the entire day. Even during mid-day it is rarely too hot for game viewing and many animals remain active. Wildlife viewing is a year round event due to the equatorial climate and there really is no preferred season in terms of weather though some individuals prefer the green season as it's not as dry or dusty. Full rainy days are rare and even during the green season (November to May), there is a greater proportion of sunshine and only brief and refreshing showers are the norm.
The Serengeti National Park ranges in altitude from about 5,000 - 6,000 feet while Tarangire and Lake Manyara (situated in the rift valley) are lower in elevation (approximately 3,500 feet) and a little warmer. On the other hand, the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater is situated at 7,500 - 8,000 feet and is significantly colder especially in the early morning. During the slightly warmer months from October to March, the average high is 84 degrees while the average low is 60 degrees in the Serengeti. During the slightly cooler months from April to September, expect an average high of 81 degrees and an average low of 55 degrees in the Serengeti. However, the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater can get significantly colder due to the high elevation and one needs a heavy sweater here year round. June, July and August are the coldest months and lows can sometimes drop into the 30s and 40s at the Ngorongoro Crater though daily high temperatures are unaffected. Make sure to bring a heavy sweater, gloves and warm hat during June, July and August for those early morning game drives in the Ngorongoro Crater.
Telephone & Email Access The majority of the lodges and camps in Tanzania have a telephone on the premises that can be used if you need to communicate with someone from home.
Your cell phone is preloaded with approximately $10 to $20 in talk time, which is an ample amount of credit to call and receive several calls within Tanzania. You may also use the provided cell phone to make international calls to family and friends at home. Cost for outgoing international calls range from $2 to $4 per minute while incoming calls are free. Your driver-guide can assist you in purchasing additional talk time minutes as needed, which are sold at various locations throughout Tanzania including some lodges, ranger stations and visitor centers. Emergency Contact Information You will be provided with emergency contact information to give to your family and friends on how to contact you in the bush. In case of an emergency, a family member can contact our emergency mobile phone, which is carried by a member in Los Angeles 24 hours a day. We will then immediately relay the message to our Arusha office and they will contact your driver guide by long distance radio. We will also try telephoning the lodge or camp where you will be staying. Whether you are out game driving in the bush or residing at a lodge, we will be able to contact you in case of an emergency. Long Distance Radios Every vehicle is equipped with a long distance radio. These radios are used for communication between other driver-guides for game reports and with our main operational office in Arusha. If there is any problem on safari, your driver-guide can immediately handle the situation as he is trained and has the experience to handle any problem. He also can use his long distance radio to communicate with our operational office in Arusha. In-Country Emergency Contact Listing You will also be provided with our in-country emergency contact listing before your departure. This listing includes our office numbers in Arusha as well as several emergency mobile numbers that our senior staff in Arusha carry on them 24 hours a day. If you encounter a problem while in Africa when your driver-guide is not with you (i.e. on Zanzibar or in transit), the quickest solution would be to call one of these local numbers and you will be immediately assisted.
The currency in Tanzania is the Tanzania Shilling though the U.S. dollar is the most convenient and readily acceptable currency. Visa and MasterCard are accepted at some lodges and larger shops. Travelers checks are difficult to cash and are not recommended but you may wish to bring for emergency purposes. It is recommended to bring enough US dollars plus an additional cushion amount to cover all additional expenses just to be on the safe side. Please make sure to bring crisp, new vintage bills as many shops, hotels and banks in Tanzania will not accept older bills due to counterfeiting problems. Tipping on your Safari Tipping is just one way for guests to "give back" to the local people of Tanzania. It's true that tipping has become a customary and integral part of the safari industry, but it remains an excellent way to recognize one's appreciation for excellent service. Many guests express a desire to understand ahead of time what amounts and methods are appropriate or customary, which is the reason for the suggested guidelines expressed here. Please see below for recommended tipping guidelines for your safari: Driver-Guide: $20 to $40 per vehicle per day Walking Safaris: $20 per vehicle per walk Maasai Boma Visit: $20 per vehicle Ranger tip for Ngorongoro: $20 per group Meet and Greet Staff tip in Arusha: $10 to $20 per group Porterage/Baggage Handling: $2 to $4 per group per lodge
Souvenirs There are plenty of opportunities for shopping during the course of your safari. Some popular souvenir items in Tanzania include wooden animal carvings, postcards, African masks and picture frames, hand woven baskets, dining sets with tablecloths, local paintings, jewelry, safari books, and Maasai arts and crafts (beadwork, shields, spears, jewelry, etc.). Tsavorite and Tanzanite are two popular gemstones in East Africa. Tanzanite, a bluish gemstone, is mined only in Tanzania (next to Kilimanjaro Airport). Most lodges and camps have gift shops and some accept credit card. There are also a myriad of shops and markets in and around Arusha. One shop that we recommend is called 'Cultural Heritage'. You can negotiate at most shops and roadside stands except Cultural Heritage and many lodge gift shops, which have fixed prices. Cultural Heritage accepts credit cards and they can reliably ship large items. Some of the best deals and selections can actually be found at the airports including Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). There are several shops at JRO that you can peruse while waiting for your flight. Zanzibar also has great shopping opportunities and some good bargains. For unique items like tribal jewelry, small authentic carvings, etc., we recommend purchasing at one of the Maasai Villages you can visit in the Southern Serengeti / Ngorongoro Conservation Area or at the Esalali Women's Project in Karatu (between Lake Manyara and the Crater). Both places help the local economy including the Maasai and you can also help support the Women's Cooperative. Local Crafts & Jewelry As discussed, you'll have some shopping opportunities during your safari, such as local crafts and jewelry from the Maasai Village or the various lodge gift shops that often contain some nice hand selected local items. You'll see some road side shops along the main road as you are driving from The Ngorongoro Crater to Arusha, near the town of Karatu; just ask your guide to help you find a reputable shop. But by far the most popular place to buy local crafts (wood carvings, masks, artifacts, jewelry, etc.) is at the Cultural Heritage Center in Arusha.
School Supplies School supplies are in great need in Tanzania. You may wish to bring school supplies with you and present to a local school while on your safari. There are schools between the Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara as well as in Arusha. Some items you may wish to consider bringing include pens, crayons, exercise books, composition/spiral books, small backpacks, coloring books, colored markers, chalk, chalkboard and world maps (inflatable globes are always a big hit). Please note that our guests are increasingly being hassled to pay duty upon arrival at Kilimanjaro on donated school supplies. Accordingly, we recommend distributing school supplies among your regular clothes and luggage to reduce the chance of being asked to pay duty. A better alternative to bringing school supplies to Tanzania would be to bring a little extra cash and we can take you to a school supply shop in Arusha to purchase supplies and then assist you with delivering them. Contributions Rather than giving out school supplies on an impromptu basis along the way, you might consider a making a more organized contribution to one of the schools we work with on a regular basis. One worthy school we are working with at the moment is School of St. Jude's. If you want to stop by the school and visit them in person to see the kids or deliver supplies, please let us know and we can set up a tour for you with one of the school administrators, as long as school is in session during that time. Sponsor Opportunities If you want to lighten your load completely, one alternatively option would be to sponsor a child at St. Jude's or make a financial donation towards school supplies, which can help the school make curriculum specific purchases that you know will be used to their full potential. You can make a donation before your safari, while you are there.
Tanzania is a very child friendly and makes a great safari destination for families. A safari to the African wilderness of Tanzania can be the single most rewarding family vacation experience. The educational opportunities and enriching activities are endless. The guides and lodge staff love children and they will receive lots of extra attention and careful looking after. However, special consideration must be given to safety when traveling with young children. Please note that many safari lodges and camps are not fenced and that wildlife does move freely in and around these areas. Under no circumstances should you let your child wander alone or out of your sight. When traveling with children it is important to follow the safety instructions of your guide and from the lodge and camp staff with regard to moving to and from your tent and while on wildlife game drives. You should not move to and from your tent/room during the night without being escorted. Some specific recommendations to make your family safari more rewarding are noted below: Diversify your safari experience with cultural activities including visiting a Maasai village and a local Tanzanian school (come prepared with school supplies) along with traditional wildlife game drives. It's an enlightening experience for children to see how other children live including both the Maasai and rural children. Incorporate educational nature walks guided by traditional Maasai warriors where kids can track footprints and learn about the little things like dung beetles and various medicinal plants. Plan a diverse itinerary including lodges with swimming pools and try to group lodges in two night bundles where feasible. One or two nights private camping makes a wonderful family experience with roaring campfires, bush dinners and thrilling nocturnal sounds. We do recommend our private luxury camp for young children, as the bathrooms are ensuite. Zanzibar makes a great post safari extension including some time on the beach and a historical and cultural walking tour of ancient Stone Town. Have your driver-guide teach a few Swahili words each day. Please let us know any special dietary requirements in advance. We recommend to pack snacks and other comfort foods to supplement meals and they also come in handy on longer game drives. Some suggestions include granola bars, trail mix, crackers, candy, nuts and fruit rolls. Additionally, you can purchase chips, candy bars and crackers at the various ranger stations and visitors centers throughout the national park system. Bring small games like hand held video games, walkmans and other items to pass the time in transit. Dehydration and sunburns can be a problem so make sure they drink lots of water and use ample amounts of sun block. Walkie-talkies (two-way radios) are a good idea to keep in contact between rooms and tents. Request adjoining rooms and family suites. Mbalageti Safari Camp (ideal for a family of four) offers the best family suite with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, dining room and a family room with TV. Its good idea for each child to have their own camera and binoculars as this makes things more interesting and interactive.
There are two options for bathrooms while on game drives. Since you will be conducting a private safari with plenty of opportunities where there will be no other vehicles in sight, the easiest, safest and most private spot is directly behind the vehicle. At any time, your driver-guide can find a safe and private area and you may simply just exit the vehicle and walk to the rear. There are large double spare tires at the back of each vehicle blocking the view from anyone else within the vehicle. Alternatively, you may also use a bush bathroom away from the vehicle that your guide checks first and deems safe. Every vehicle does come equipped with a roll of toilet paper but it's a good idea to pack a few miniature travel type rolls. Please act in an eco-friendly manner and bring small bags with you to carry out any tissue paper. The second option would be to plan each day with your driver-guide to make sure that you pass by a bathroom every hour or when needed. This can easily be accommodated as there are ranger stations, lodges, camps, museums, visitor centers, etc. spaced throughout the various areas of your safari and each has public bathroom facilities. You might want to bring a zip lock bag with a bar of soap as some places are sometimes missing soap. Our driver-guides are extremely sympathetic to the bathroom dilemma and will bend over backwards to make sure you are completely comfortable and accommodated with your bathroom needs. Most folks are a bit shy at first but then quickly adapt and become comfortable with bush bathrooms. Others are more inclined towards proper facilities. Regardless of your personal preferences, please rest assured that your requirements will be completely accommodated by our courteous and professional guides.
No. While you may encounter the occasional fly or mosquito the areas we travel are relatively bug free. As for snakes, you are not wandering around in tall grass and they avoid heavily trafficked areas so there are no worries. Insects The fear of bugs and insects is generally much greater than the reality of what you will encounter. However, tolerances differ widely from individual to individual. The temperate climate and high elevation of Tanzania's Northern Parks mean that insect concentrations are significantly less then other areas of Africa. Please be aware though that insects can be present in significant numbers depending upon your location and current weather patterns. This could pose to be an annoyance for some individuals.
Early Morning Game Viewing The first thing to keep in mind is that the moderate climate in Tanzania creates a comfortable environment for wildlife viewing throughout the entire day. In many parts of Africa, animals are not active during the afternoon because of the excessive heat. This is not the case in Tanzania due to temperate climate and some of the most amazing sightings do happen in the afternoon. However, the overall best time for wildlife viewing is certainly in the early morning from 6.00am to 9.00am when many animals are most active. It is a magical feeling to be game driving during the still dawn as the sun breaks the horizon while a pride of lion stirs to go hunting or a family of elephants begins their daily migration for water and forage. We highly recommend early morning game drives each day and especially in the Serengeti National Park and Crater. All lodges and camps can prepare breakfast boxes to go (versus breakfast at the lodge) so you can maximize wildlife viewing during these critical early morning hours. Your driver-guide will certainly recommend early morning game drives each day but feel free to decline if you would rather have a more leisurely morning. Additionally, some of the more adventurous may wish to embark on full day game drives to the most remote areas of the Serengeti which will require a lunch box as well.
All of your traveling is done in our safari vehicles and internal air transportation. We recommend that you pack lightly and pack in a soft-sided duffel bag that will allow for easier packing on your vehicle and in the plane. We prefer to keep the weight to about 35 pounds per person. As you get closer to your departure date we will provide you with a detailed packing list but are happy to answer questions at any time. For clothing, all you need during your travel is light weigh safari pants and shirts. It is warm there. At night on the Ngorongoro Crater rim it can become chilly so we recommend one lightweight fleece jacket. One of our “tricks” is to recommend slip-on walking shoes so you can easily take them on and off if you want to stand on the seat to get a better photographic angle! For your specialized adventures (climbing, kayaking, etc.) we can advise you on what you need to bring though most gear and equipment will be provided for you. Safaris are extremely informal vacations and the main goal is to pack lightly and smartly. Most lodges and camps will launder your clothes for free or a small fee ($2 - $3 per item) within 24-hours. Loose fitting, casual and comfortable clothing is recommended, as you will be spending the majority of your safari wildlife viewing in a vehicle. Be prepared for daily highs ranging from the mid 70's to the mid 80's and lows in the 50's and 60's except during the cold season (June, July and August) when the lows can drop down into the 40's. The rim of the Ngorongoro Crater can get significantly colder during the night and early mornings due to the high elevation (7,500 - 8,000 feet). Safari Clothing There is little or no opportunity for fashion while on safari though you may wish to bring a nice outfit for a special dinner. All the lodges allow casual clothing and traditional safari wear while dining. There is a large temperature range each day and it is recommended to wear layers enabling you to adjust to the varying temperatures. It can be quite cold on early morning game drives and long pants and a warm sweater are needed. In contrast, shorts and t-shirts can be worn on afternoon game drives as it can get hot during midday especially with the strong equatorial sun shining down in a convertible vehicle. It is important that you wear a wide brimmed hat and apply sun block frequently to all exposed areas. Dark colors do tend to attract unwanted attention from certain insects. The tsetse fly (active only during the day) is attracted to dark colors (primarily dark blue) so these should be avoided when game driving. Tsetse areas including the woodlands of the West Serengeti, Tarangire and a few parts of the North Serengeti. The plains of the south and east Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and the southern areas of the Central Serengeti are tsetse fly free. It is recommended to wear long pants and shirts when game driving an area known for concentrations of tsetse flies. Lighter and more natural colors such as khaki, brown, beige, olive and green should be worn during the day. During the nights, the color of your clothing is irrelevant. From dusk to dawn, it is recommended that you protect yourself from mosquitoes by wearing pants, long sleeved shirts, socks and shoes plus insect repellent.
Nikon Action 7 x 35 Ultra Wide View Binoculars are available for each person to use while on safari in Northern Tanzania. Your safari vehicle will be stocked with enough binoculars so that everyone will have their own pair. Binoculars are essential for game viewing. You need them to see small or distant animals clearly and they greatly increase your ability to observe behavior of larger animals. In addition, binoculars enable you to see much better in dim light. Binoculars between 7 and 12-power are suitable for game viewing. The higher the number, the greater the magnification will be. However, unless you have very steady hands, you may have trouble seeing clearly with a 10 or 12-power binoculars. Accordingly, we recommend 7 power binoculars for the average person. The second number on binoculars refers to the diameter of the larger, objective lens. The larger the objective lens, the more light is transmitted and the greater the relative brightness of the image. At the same time, though, the field of view becomes much smaller and the binoculars need to be much bigger. A good compromise is somewhere in the 30's. Putting both numbers together, we recommend a 7x35 or perhaps an 8x32. For those seeking more powerful binoculars, we recommend that you purchase a pair of binoculars with image stabilization (IS). The more powerful the binoculars, the more vibrations are magnified and even a slight movement of your hands will shake the image. With higher magnification binoculars, the image shake may quickly become intolerable. However, image stabilized binoculars offer a solution to this problem and even powerful 12x binoculars become instantly sharp and steady once the 'IS' is initiated. Our personal favorite 'IS' binoculars are the Canon 10x30 IS Image Stabilized binocular and especially the Canon 12x36 IS Image Stabilized binocular. These binoculars are powerful enough to spot a leopard at 500 meters while at the same time remaining perfectly steady so that you can enjoy hours of wildlife watching. We find that www.binoculars.com seems to have the best prices on these Canon Image Stabilized binoculars.
Language The official language in Tanzania is Swahili but there are hundreds of other local dialects. English is the second official language and the country's commercial language. It is also the main teaching language used for all higher education institutions. You will find that the majority of the people that you come in contact with are fluent in English and have a surprisingly good command of the language. Some useful and fun Swahili words and phrases are as follows: English / Swahili Hello / Jambo Response to Jambo / Jambo or SiJambo How are you? / Habari? Good / Nzuri How's Things? (fun slang) / Mambo? Good (fun reply to Mambo) / Poa Have a good trip (safe journey) / Safari Njema Thank You / Asante Sana You're Welcome / Karibu Sana Yes / Ndiyo No / Hapana OK / Sawa No Problem / Hakuna Noma Good Night / La La Salama Culture Tanzania's culture is a result of African, European, Arabic and Indian influences. The mainland population is comprised of over 100 tribal groups. The Tanzanians are friendly people (especially to foreigners). Politeness, respect and modesty are highly valued. Handshakes are very important and it is also kind if you learn a few basic Swahili greetings before you arrive. Immodest attire or tattered clothing and open anger are disrespectful to the Tanzanian people.
The "Maasai Village visit" is an optional activity we offer to enhance the cultural aspect of a client's safari. It is fairly easy to incorporate a visit to a Maasai village on a traditional wildlife safari, as there are several villages dotting the NCA landscape on the drive between the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater. However, based on recent feedback from returning clients, the Maasai village seems to be falling short of most visitors' expectations. Although the villages we take our clients to are authentic, residents are beginning to get used to tourists stopping by. Tourists are often willing to pay money in exchange for Maasai jewelry and other wares. As a result, many of the Maasai residents have started soliciting our guests for such transactions. Although completely harmless and without foul intention, such solicitations can still make many guests feel uncomfortable. In an effort to mitigate our clients' exposure to such behavior, we have strived to take our clients further and further off the beaten path to more remote villages where the residents are less likely to solicit our guests. It was only a matter of time, however, before residents of the more remote villages started soliciting behaviors as well. We will continue to offer a visit to a Maasai Village to all interested clients. However it is important that all guests' expectations are in line with reality before making the choice about how to best spend their time on safari. If you choose to incorporate a village visit, you can expect to see real Maasai residents in an authentic setting. You can expect to see how these unique people live, where they sleep, and maybe even see a school in session. However, you should also expect to be approached by at least some residents selling their wares. If this type of solicitation makes you uncomfortable, we recommend skipping the optional visit to a Maasai village. Please don't hesitate to discuss with your driver-guide if you have additional questions or concerns about the option of incorporating a Maasai Village visit into your safari.
East African Wildlife (Bradt Travel Guide) by Philip Briggs The 'East African Wildlife' is the most practical and useful field guide available on the flora and fauna of East Africa. It is a must for every wildlife enthusiast embarking on a safari to Tanzania! This new visitor's guide provides a colorful overview of the region's variety of large mammals together with an insight into their habits and habitats. The book also provides an excellent introduction to the region's less heralded variety of 'small stuff' - including 1,500 bird species and butterflies. Accessible and beautifully illustrated, the guide will appeal both to the first-time visitor and to the serious naturalist seeking a compact volume to carry around. Our favorite aspect of this field guide is the fact that all photos were taken in East Africa and 'stock' photos or photos from other regions in Africa were not used. Wildlife of East Africa by Martin B. Withers and David Hosiking This handy little field guide is the perfect match for those mainly interested in animal identification and short descriptions on each species behavior and ecology. This is a compact and concise field guide with beautiful color photographs and descriptions identifying each animal. The 'Wildlife of East Africa' includes mammals, birds, plants and reptiles and focuses on East Africa making it extremely useful while out on safari in Tanzania, Kenya or Uganda. The color pictures and easy to read descriptions are extremely helpful in terms of identifying common animal species that are similar in appearance. For example, there are several species of regularly encountered antelopes that look similar to each other at first glance including the Grant's Gazelle, Thomson's Gazelle, Steenbok, Oribi, Reedbuck, Klipspringer, Duiker and Dik-Dik. Your safari guide will certainly be impressed as you call out each species with the use of this handy little field guide by your side. The Safari Companion by Richard D. Estes The 'Safari Companion' is the most comprehensive field guide on African mammals. A detailed analysis is provided on each mammal (excludes birds, reptiles and plants) that you will encounter on your safari. Black and white sketches and descriptions are provided for each animal as well as information on each particular animal's social / mating system, reproduction, communication and ecology. There is also a superb and fascinating discussion on each animal's behavior. A downside with this guide is the poor black and white sketches with regards to identifying common animals species. Another minor problem with the 'Safari Companion' is that it covers all of Africa and can be a bit complicated for first time visitor to East Africa.