In terms of our self-drive safaris, we provide a complete service from picking up clients at the airport to planning itineraries and booking accommodation whilst on safari. We are not just a car hire firm in Tanzania but Destination Expert for Private Guided Safaris at a Very Discounted Price.
Our vehicles are all 110 Landrover defenders and fully kitted out with all the camping equipment you need for 2 people. Each vehicle has a roof top tent (sleep 2 only) and we are preparing 1 vehicle with 2 roof top tents. Extra camping equipment is rented out at US$50 per day, say for a family of 4, so they could take 1 roof tent and 1 ground or the vehicle with 2 roof tents (subject to availability). The vehicle includes a GPS, mobile phone with dual SIM cards, 240 volt invertor for charging cameras etc, stereo with IPOD connection, fridge/freezer and food starter box. For a full list please refer to our website www.selfdrivetanzania.com The vehicle comes with a full tank of fuel and needs to be returned with a full tank. These include unlimited mileage. I have attached the STO and Rack rates. Clients can also drive themselves and stay in lodges only which refers to the rate without the camping equipment. They still get the fridge/freezer, phone, tool boxes etc.
Before the clients leave for safari, we will send them a trip manual which covers everything from setting up camp, driving in the national parks and being aware of the animals to road conditions in Tanzania. They also receive a full briefing on the vehicle and all its equipment before they depart for safari, so that they are fully prepared, without spoiling the adventure! I have attached this also.
For this reason, the majority of our clients stay with us at our small lodge/bush home called Twiga Lodge, which is based right on the boundary of Arusha National Park. All our vehicles need to be collected from the lodge due to the briefing session. Our viewing platform looks directly into the park and we often see giraffe and elephant. During this time, we also go through the itinerary and where to stop for extra food and fuel etc. Then, the majority stay with us on the last night of their safari for a de-brief etc and we take them to the airport the next day. I will attach our lodge rates for 2015. We can arrange airport transfers and the cost will depend on how many guests there are and how many vehicles we need to send to collect them. An airport transfer to/from KIA (one way) for 2 people is $75.
From working with some tour agents in Europe that plan the client’s itinerary, we do ask you to check the itinerary with us first, as some agents have not presented realistic safaris to clients and they have involved alot of driving. Too many hours behind the wheel make it unsafe and uncomfortable for the clients. I know you are very aware of the distances involved but we don’t like clients to be driving long stretches between parks as it is very tiring for them on terrible roads and then accidents occur. There is no driving after dark and they will be fined within the parks if they are caught. We also ask that if you prepare an Itinerary, that you put a contact number of all lodge accommodation on their paperwork. If we do not think an itinerary is realistic or safe for the clients, we reserve the right to withdraw the hire of the vehicle.
Potential clients should have experience of driving in Africa and better still, off-road driving skills. As you are probably aware the road between the Ngorongoro and Serengeti is VERY bad, corrugated and dusty! It has got much worse in the last year with no sign of improvement and you need to know how to handle the vehicle under such bad terrain. Driving too fast under these conditions will cause the vehicle to roll!
Our vehicles are regularly maintained and serviced, but due to the state of the roads some problems are un-forseeable. Despite every attempt to tighten everything, things do rattle loose on the roads and due to the dust, door locks can become clogged up.
In the Northern circuit we have a network of people we can call on to assist you should a problem occur. The road between Ngorongoro and the Serengeti is VERY corrugated and dusty and accidents occur if you drive too fast. When we say the road is bad, we mean really terrible so please prepare your clients for this! Some mechanical knowledge is essential. Self-drive is about independent travel and so they need to be confident in the vehicle (and know their way around under the bonnet) and understand and respect the local culture.
We also ask that you inform the clients of payment methods to the National Parks, so that they do not come armed with lots of Cash as no park will accept cash anymore. All our clients use their own credit card to pay for the entrance and camping fees within the National Parks.
In the Ngorongoro Conservation Area payment is by a “smart card” only issued by Shaw Safaris ltd. I deposit the exact fees onto this card and then the client uses it like a debit card. The fees will be added to the invoice. They must get an exit receipt when they leave the Ngorongoro Conservation Area otherwise they will be charged for additional days. We explain all this during the briefing session. The Ngorongoro is very strict on time.
Again, I am sure you know this but just in case!! There are 2 sorts of campsites within the National Parks. Public campsites have a few amenities like toilets, showers and running water and cost US$30 per adult per night and $5 per child per night. These are paid for at the Park entrance gate along with your park fees. Then, there are special campsites which need to be pre-booked and cost US$50 per adult per night, $10 per child. Here, you have no facilities at all and are completely on your own. They are just a clearing in the bush, in some very beautiful spots. Both campsites are unfenced and so you can expect wild game to enter the campsites at night.
We do offer collection of the vehicle from other areas such as Dar or the Serengeti for an additional charge depending on the distance involved. For both places we charge $400 one way pick-up or collection of the vehicle. We only allow clients to take our vehicles to the South if they have experience of traveling/driving in Africa and have mechanical knowledge. We cannot provide any back-up service out of the Northern circuit, apart from advice over the phone.
The vehicles are Tanzanian registered.
The vehicle is fully comprehensively insured, but should an accident occur or they damage the vehicle, the clients are liable for the 10% excess of the total claim (maximum US$5000). Tyre and wheel damage is not included in the insurance. They will also be charged for damage to any equipment other than due to wear and tear or loss of equipment and fuel replacement if the vehicle does not come back with a full tank. A refundable cash deposit of $500 is taken from the client before they leave for safari and returned to them once we have inspected the vehicle and equipment on their return. It is unfortunate that we have to add this on, but we have had clients accept responsibility for the damages they incurred and then refuse to pay when they get home. Most of our camp equipment is imported and not easy to replace in Tanzania. There is a reason why we show them how to pack the vehicle! The deposit will also be deducted if the vehicle is not returned with a full tank of fuel.
To confirm a booking a 40% deposit is required. The remainder is due 31 days prior to travel start date. All clients must have flying doctors membership and an International Driving Permit.