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huladolphin Jul 11th, 2006 08:51 AM

Help! Safety for lone females!
Hi! I'm a lone female traveller keen to travel to Tanzania in January on a safari. I know there have been lots of threads about safety and all that, but I'm going to ask anyways. How safe is it, really, for a single, 20 year-old woman, to travel in Tanzania? I plan on booking with a safari group, maybe Sunny Safaris, and staying in lodges (I'm not much of a camper), but my family is certain that they will need to repatriate my bones from the heart of Africa. And, on another note, I would be flying in Dar Es Salaam (FF miles)? How close is that to Arusha? Thanks!

Leely Jul 11th, 2006 09:53 AM

You will have to fly to Arusha from Dar. There are also busses; I think the quickest/nicest is Scandinavian but it still takes around 12 hours.

I have been to Tanzania for safari twice, never solo but with other female friends. I wouldn't think worry about going alone (except for the single supplements!).

It's safe and you'll be on an organized trip anyway. Tourists are well looked after. In fact, you might feel a bit like a baby on safari: you are driven around, fed at the appropriate times, walked to bed, woken in the mornings, etc. :D

As everyone says, don't leave your common sense at home.

LilyLace Jul 11th, 2006 09:54 AM

Hi Huladolphin,

First let me congratulate you for your decision to travel! I travel for business alone all the time and although I did travel with my family to Tanzania in January I can give you a few tips.

My father lives in Tanzania and has 3 wives. My brother is living there as well and has a Zimbabwean wife. I tell you this because Dad and my brother are both white men married to black women. Some people may be upset by this statement but it does make a difference. Your dress will also make a difference. I know many people take the safari tours and really don't "get away" from the group and I'm sure that makes safety much less of an issue.

If you do plan to wonder off on your own in any town please remember that Tanzania is a very poor country and many people will steal if they get the chance. It's important to remember to not wear any jewery. My father' wife tells me that some thieves will cut a finger off for a ring in Dar.

I had my necklace pulled off my neck while riding in the back Land rover. The guy just reached in and yanked it off at an intersection.

Bill_H Jul 11th, 2006 11:11 AM

"How safe is it, really, for a single, 20 year-old woman, to travel in Tanzania? I plan on booking with a safari group, maybe Sunny Safaris, and staying in lodges"

Once outside Dar and Arusha you should be fine ... I'd let my wife or daughter (if I had one) take such a trip alone without any qualms, so long as she was picked up by the company at the airport.

TzGuy Jul 14th, 2006 08:43 AM

Hula, You will be as safe as you make it. If you fly into Dar es Salaam you will need to act like you do in any big city (don't walk about after dark, don't show expensive possessions, take taxis and make certain that they are really taxis, etc.) When you're in Arusha there are a lot of street children and they are always looking for a way to get some money; so beware of them.

For traveling from Dar to Arusha, you can either catch a flight or take a bus. However, you would be much better flying into either Nairobi or Kilimanjaro airport just outside Arusha (to do that you need to be taking KLM). BA flies a lot into Nairobi, and I assume that your FF miles are on BA since the KLM flight always stops at JRO before going to DAR. Remember, if you fly into Dar and go to Arusha then you will need to return to Dar when you finish your safari.

If you need to book a flight between DAR (Dar es Salaam) and JRO (Kilimanjaro just outside Arusha) then you can fly either Air Tanzania or Precision Air (do a google search and you can book from their web site and pay when you get there.) I think that the fares are about $250 for a return ticket. I am certain that Sunny Safaris can also assist you with transportation between Dar and Arusha.

If you fly into Nairobi you can get a shuttle bus to Arusha, takes about 4 to 5 hours and costs about $20. Some of the shuttle companies are Riverside (they have a web site), Danovan (typically a larger bus so it's a tad more comfortable), and Impala. Search the web for these and you may be able to book on the web. You can also get a shuttle ticket at the Nairobi airport. There's a lot of kiosks for hotels and transportation just outside customs. You will need a transit visa in Kenya if you go through Nairobi and leave the terminal. I think the cost is $20 for the transit visa. You can purchase it there, as well as purchasing the Tanzania visa at the Tanzania passport control desk.

If you do go into Dar airport there are many busses that go between Dar and Arusha. The best bus is either Scandanavia or Royal Coach. Takes about 12 - 13 hours. There's also the Dar Express which gets there faster (but try to sleep on the bus as it may be freightening to you the way they drive.) I think the Dar Express makes it a bit over about one-half of that time.

TheLionLady Jul 17th, 2006 02:45 PM

I have traveled many times (10+)over the past nine years, on safari in Tanzania in January as a single woman and have never had any problems. I was not with a group but I alone with the guide and driver on custom 30 day safaris mostly staying in the Serengeti. You will be very safe at the Serena properties but I do HIGHLY recommend traveling with a first class tour operator.I fly into Kilimanjaro and am met by the company rep.

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