General

How do I reserve?

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Reserve your place by getting in touch with us or email ​rebeca@patchadventures.com.au​. There is a maximum group size of 12.

Who are these trips for?

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Patch Adventures’ trips are designed for women who are curious about the world, love having a variety of experiences, enjoy interacting with other cultures, and are great travel buddies. They are flexible and open-minded with a sunny disposition.

Age is a number we aren’t worried about — some 30-year-olds struggle to walk a flight of stairs while some 70-year-olds are climbing Mount Everest. If you have a mature soul but are young at heart, you’ll make a great Patchie.

To enjoy our trips, you will need a base level of fitness — the kind you’d need to kayak for a few hours or enjoy a half-day trek. None of the activities we plan are designed to be competitive. We’ll go at each others’ pace and support each other to the end.

Please note: for any of our future “trek” trips — the Inca Trail, Everest Base Camp, etc. — the level of fitness required will naturally be higher.

How old should I be?

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Most people who show interest in a Patch Adventure are in the 35-55 range. However, we all know that many 70-year-olds can run rings around people half their age! This is why we’re looking for “mature-minded, young-hearted” travel buddies as our fellow Patchies. So, if you’ve read the itinerary and feel up to it, then we’ll see you there!

Do I need to get fit before the trip?

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Getting into nature — hiking, snorkelling, kayaking — is one of the most fun parts of any adventure. You’ll have a much better time if you come prepared in this way, but you don’t need to hire a Hollywood personal trainer either! (Although if Chris Hemsworth ends up being your training partner, feel free to invite him along…)

All activities are optional, so don’t deny yourself the pleasure of an amazing adventure because you’re worried about fitness.

Will I be alone?

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Patch Adventures are designed for solo travellers, but you can certainly feel free to bring friends. We’ll get to know each other quickly and will be well on the way to making great friendships within only a couple of days of starting.

Accommodation is shared, but you can take a single supplement if needed and available. You’ll most likely find that it’s not needed, however! Patch Adventures is all about joining together fun, adventurous, like-minded women.

Will I be sharing a room?

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Yes, unless you take the single supplement option! We work with a rotation system for room sharing in order to keep things fresh, so you do not need to book with a friend. If there are spots available, feel free to book immediately.

It’s natural to be a little nervous about sharing a room with someone you haven’t met. That being said, all the other guests are friends you haven’t met yet! Patch Adventures is for open-minded, friendly, curious women. If that sounds like you, you’re going to find yourself in great company and amongst like-minded friends in no time at all.

We’re going to get to know each other quickly — by the end of day one, we’ll know each other well, and by day three, the ice will be well broken.

What are the group sizes?

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This depends on the adventure, but to keep groups small, we are targeting a maximum of 12 on each trip. Check out the trip you’re interested in for confirmation.

I have a male companion that would like to come along. Can he?

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We will be offering mixed group options in the future, but we prefer to cater exclusively to females at this point. That being said, check in with us if you’d like to bring your partner.

What are the payment terms?

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You need to make a deposit to hold your spot (check the specific tour page to see how much the deposit is). From there, you need to pay the final balance of the trip at least 90 days before the start of the trip. This is not for our benefit — our suppliers require upfront payment well in advance to guarantee availability. You can pay with a major credit card such as Visa or Mastercard (fees apply) or with a bank deposit (please contact us to complete a bank transfer).

Note: Prior to the payment of your full balance, the final price may change if there is significant variation in the AUD:EUR exchange rate. Please refer to the full terms and conditions.

Do your guides take commissions or kick-backs?

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This is one of the most established yet disheartening practices of tourism worldwide. We aim to never take you to shops where you’ll be pressured and to always put your interests first. Again, if you ever have any concerns about this or need help negotiating the purchase of an item you fall in love with, we’ll be there. Most people who visit the countries that we travel to do want to visit shops and do end up buying exotic wares; that being said, we try our very best to avoid situations where you may feel uncomfortable.

What is your cancellation policy?

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Cancellation of your booking often does not allow time for the re-sale of your space on the trip. The deposit paid on booking your trip is non-refundable and non-transferable and serves as a cancellation fee.

All countries besides Iran

  • Cancellation 60 days or more prior to departure: loss of deposit up to $1000
  • Cancellation between 30 and 59 days: loss of 50% of trip price
  • Cancellation less than 30 days prior to departure: 100% loss of trip price

Iran

  • Cancellation 90 days or more prior to departure: loss of deposit up to $1,000
  • Cancellation 89 days or less prior to departure: 100% loss of trip price

If we are able to source a replacement guest, we will be able to refund 75% of the trip price to you. Any refund, be it part or whole, will be based on the payment originally received in our bank account. If the client leaves the trip voluntarily after its commencement, there will be no refund.

Please read our complete terms and conditions for more information.

Are you going to charge extortionate rates for optional add-ons?

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No! As much as possible, activities are included in your trip price. Any additional add-ons will be as reasonable as possible, and alternatives will be provided where requested and practical.

What is your policy regarding environmental/social impact?

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We believe strongly in the principles of sustainable tourism. All our guides are certified (where relevant), trained, and well-paid in their local context. Beware of a tour that is suspiciously cheap – this is the first place that less reputable operators will go to cut expenses.

We strongly believe in the humane treatment of animals. We have verified that the animals whose help we enjoy on any of our trips (for example, the camels and mules on our Morocco itinerary) are treated well, fed properly, and cared for.

If you have any concerns, at any time, about the treatment of animals or the environmental impact of an activity managed by us, ​please​ raise them. We love this Earth and the gifts it has provided. Protecting those things is critical to the mission of Patch.

Do you offer private/customised tours?

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If you have a group and want to travel privately on any of our itineraries, that’s not a problem. Contact us for a quote if you’re interested, and we’ll customise to your needs. Note: all pricing on our website is based on groups of 12 people. Costs will vary for different amounts of people, but please keep in mind that a guide’s salary does not vary with trip numbers. This means that the per person price for a very small group might be significantly higher.

Your trips look great, but I don’t see the country I want to go to. Can I request a certain country?

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Yes! Feel free to reach out with any requests as we’re always investigating new destinations.

Is airfare included in the price?

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Unless specifically mentioned, airfares are not included. You can connect with the specialist travel agents in our network to get your flights organised — just ask and we’ll put you through to someone.

Do I need to tip my guides?

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Tipping is a part of the tourism industry, and it’s here to stay… as much as we Aussies hate it! This is why for each trip, there is a trip kitty with a suggested amount. This is given to the guide, who then manages the tips from there on.

Morocco

What is the quality of accommodation on this trip?

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We are proud to feature boutique accommodation on this trip so that you stay with local businesses rather than international corporations. We guarantee 4-star quality with each of our hotel locations.

Will I be sharing a room on this trip?

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Yes, unless you take the single supplement option! We work with a rotation system for room sharing in order to keep things fresh, so you do not need to book with a friend. If there are spots available, feel free to book immediately.

It’s natural to be a little nervous about sharing a room with someone you haven’t met. That being said, all the other guests are friends you haven’t met yet! Patch Adventures is for open-minded, friendly, curious women. If that sounds like you, you’re going to find yourself in great company and amongst like-minded friends in no time at all.

We’re going to get to know each other quickly — by the end of day one we’ll know each other well, and by day three the ice will be well broken.

What should I bring to wear?

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Morocco is a conservative country, so we recommend you dress reasonably conservatively — that is, cover your shoulders and knees. That being said, Morocco receives many visitors, and the locals have a relaxed attitude when it comes to visitors and tourism in general.

Since the weather can vary significantly from place to place (also depending on the time of year), we recommend that you bring a variety of clothing — some pieces for warm weather and some for cooler weather. Remember that quality rain gear is essential for any destination — you’ll enjoy your holiday to the fullest if you’re prepared for all kinds of weather! Laundry facilities are available in some destinations.

Is there a single supplement available?

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Yes, at $1855 AUD with two spots available. This is a condition placed by our accommodation providers, so we offer this at cost. Contact us to get this organised for you!

Do I need to wear a hijab?

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No, but we do recommend you dress reasonably conservatively. That is, cover your shoulders and knees. That being said, Morocco receives many tourists and the locals have a more relaxed attitude when it comes to visitors and tourism in general.

Is Morocco safe for women?

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Morocco is a highly popular destination for both men and women, so you’ll only need to undertake the typical precautions that you would when visiting any country. That being said, travelling alone as a woman can be uncomfortable, so we always recommend travelling to Morocco in the company of others. While some incidents have occurred, you only need to think about what’s happened in Australia and New Zealand lately to realise that wherever we go, there will always be risks.

When's the best time to travel to Morocco?

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Spring, autumn, and winter are all great times of year to travel to Morocco. We do not recommend travelling in summer as the Moroccan heat is, for most, quite difficult to bear.

How is the weather in Morocco?

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Bear in mind that the weather will vary significantly from place to place and throughout the year. Morocco is a dry country, but rain is possible anywhere — please come prepared for this eventuality. Laundry facilities are available in some destinations.

Please also bring appropriate footwear for your trip and remember that we’ll be engaging in multiple walking tours and hiking activities. Bring comfortable shoes that support your feet/ankles. Your body will thank you!

Being a desert country, Morocco can have a lot of variation in its weather conditions. The night time in winter (November through March) can be quite cold, with temperatures dropping to 5 degrees or less overnight. This is especially the case in mountainous or desert regions.

Summer can be very hot everywhere we go, and it can get quite uncomfortable. You’ll need to come prepared for this, remembering the cultural standards of dress in Morocco. Don’t forget to bring sunscreen and a hat!

What level of fitness is required? Will I hold anyone back?

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This tour is not a hiking contest, but it does require a simple base level of fitness. If you are in the condition to undertake a casual 5-8km day hike with some ups and downs, you’ll be fine. This tour is not designed or recommended for anyone with heart or movement impediments. None of the trips are designed for competitive athletes, to be a race, or to be physical endurance tests. All those things are certainly fun, in the right context, but that’s not what Patch is about. Let’s get outdoors and have fun together while doing it!

Can my dietary requirements be accommodated on this Morocco itinerary?

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Please note that, if you have any special dietary requirements, you should inform us prior to the trip. Vegans and those on gluten-free diets may find this region very challenging and may need to supplement meals with their own supplies from supermarkets and markets. Wherever possible, we will cater to dietary needs for any included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own food.

More about Moroccan food

Moroccan food is, generally speaking, excellent though not particularly varied. Breakfasts usually consist of bread and jam with coffee or tea. Meals eaten out are reasonably priced — kebabs and bread cost only about MAD 30. In main towns, it is possible to find very good French and Moroccan restaurants where a meal and French wine will cost anything from Mad 220 upwards. Generally, dinner is likely to cost between MAD 80-120 depending on what you drink. An overall food budget estimate would be about MAD 150-200 a day. Soft drinks are available at very reasonable prices, but generally speaking alcohol is not widely available in Morocco due to cultural and religious reasons. Still, in some hotels and restaurants you will be able to purchase beers, wines, and spirits, but you can pay Western prices or more for imported alcohol. Please be aware of local laws, beliefs, and traditions by being respectful while consuming alcohol. Your leader can help recommend restaurants each evening. Vegetarians can be catered for, but there is a fairly limited choice (mainly vegetarian couscous and tajine or omelettes). This is particularly the case in rural parts of this itinerary.

Should I organise my own flights? When should I book them?

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You can book your flight whenever you like. We’re not accredited to book flights, but we can recommend an agent for you. Aim to arrive on the first day of the tour, ideally mid-morning to early afternoon. If you arrive too early, you may need to wait for your hotel room to be ready (check-in is normally around 12-2pm). If you arrive very early in the morning, you will possibly need to pay for an extra night at the hotel — check with us and we’ll arrange whatever you require.

On the first afternoon/evening, we’ll take it easy and check out a few local sights. If your flights are delayed or unforeseen delays occur, we’ll take it as it comes — so don’t worry! If you choose to arrive early or very early on day one (or earlier), we can pre-book extra accommodation for you. We can book almost any additional travel before and after your tour in Morocco. Just ask!

How much money should I bring? Can I bring my bank cards?

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We recommend being prepared to spend the equivalent of around 500 euro. It’s possible to spend ​much​ less, but you’ll most likely find yourself buying souvenirs, gifts, or treats. Bank cards are generally usable in Morocco, and ATMs are generally, but not always, available. It is better to change your money on arrival, or you can simply make withdrawals at ATMs before heading into areas with less coverage.

Iran

What level of fitness is required? Will I hold anyone back?

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This tour doesn’t have any dedicated exercise component. So long as you’re capable of walking for several hours with breaks around a town, you’ll be fine. This trip is sadly not appropriate for those who need to use walking aids: in signing up, you confirm that you have the basic fitness level required to do a 2-3 hour walking tour.

Is Iran safe for women?

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Iran is a country that feels as safe as Australia and safer than other popular destinations such as Italy or Spain. Iranians are very grateful for their growing tourism industry and are determined to prove that the world’s perception is wrong. Don’t take our word for it — Google and you’ll find hundreds of blogs saying the same thing. That being said, just like with all travel, you need to keep your head on your shoulders and take all necessary precautions.

Do I need to wear a scarf/hijab?

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Yes. This is compulsory, as is wearing a long blouse that covers your bosom and, yes, the shape of your bottom (seriously!)

Iranians in general are very forgiving regarding these rules, as they understand how unusual it is for foreigners. You’ll be asked gently to adjust your hijab or blouse, perhaps. That really is as bad as it gets.

You need to have a hijab on before your plane lands in Iran. Don’t worry about buying one: a hijab is included in the trip price and we’ll send it to you in the mail, complete with instructions about how to put it on. If you have any questions about any of your clothing or blouses, you can send any questions or photos through.

Please understand that Rebeca was also nervous before going to Iran the first time. She wished she had someone that she could check in with — at Patch, we’ll be that someone for you.

Is the hijab worn everywhere?

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In all public places, yes.

I have a male companion, can he come?

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Unfortunately, to keep with cultural and legal norms in Iran, it won’t be possible to offer this trip as a mixed group. We will, however, from time to time offer some mixed group trips. Keep an eye on the website for more. Alternatively, you can sign up to be a Patchie by using the form below!

Should I change into USD or EUR before arriving?

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AUD can buy Iranian rials without any problems, but the exchange rate may not be favourable. Those who bring EUR or USD will find it easier to change money and get better rates, so this is truly up to you. Our guide will assist you in changing money while on the ground. It’s also possible and recommended to change at least some money at Tehran airport. Money changers are both present and reputable.

Note: Only bank notes in perfect condition will be accepted. That is, they need to be clean and unmarked, i.e., not written on or marked in any way.

The tour ends up in Shiraz. What next?

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Fear not – we start and end the tour in different locations so you get the most out of your time in Iran. Shiraz is a well-connected city with many transport options, including multiple flights daily to major airline hubs such as Dubai and Istanbul. If you need to return to Tehran, regular buses, trains, and flights will easily get you there. We will assist you in booking transportation from Shiraz that works best for you.

Who are our guides?

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Our local guides are genuine experts. We only use guides who are independent, freelance, and love their job. They are fluent in English (and other languages) and always have a friendly and relaxed disposition. Since they are qualified in areas such as architecture and Persian history, they’re highly experienced and happy to provide guidance for tourists of all nationalities.

Most importantly, our guides understand the atmosphere and experience of Patch Adventures – when you want to relax and take in Iran in your own way, they’ll give you plenty of time and space. When you need info or advice, they’ll be magically nearby. Our prediction is that you’ll want to spend as much time as possible with your guide.

How much money should I bring? Can I bring my bank cards?

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You will not be able to use ANY bank card or credit card in any place in Iran. Prepaid travel cards will not work and you won’t have access to any additional source of funds.

We recommend being prepared to spend the equivalent of around $500 AUD. It’s possible to spend much less, but you’ll most likely find yourself buying souvenirs or food, and it’s good to not have to stress about not having brought enough. If you want to buy a rug, and we recommend that you do, you’ll need to bring more.

Note: The price of a Persian rug varies significantly according to quality and size. Rebeca’s rug cost $260 AUD and is small (approximately 1.2m by 0.7m). Rugs of higher quality and size can cost thousands of dollars.

Will I be able to buy a rug?

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Absolutely! Our guide will help you get a great deal, so don’t be scared about rip-offs or fakes.

What about the visa?

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Australian passport holders generally find it simple to acquire a visa to enter Iran. It’s a 2-step process — first, you receive a “visa grant notice”, and then you apply for your visa. For Australian passport holders, you can get it at the Embassy in Canberra or get a “visa on arrival” at the Tehran airport. To complete your “visa grant notice” application form and to learn more about the process, please get in touch. US, Canada, and UK passport holders should check in with us before booking.

What is the quality of accommodation on this trip?

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Iran has a developing travel industry, meaning that the standards are quite different. Wherever possible, we have focused on finding memorable accommodation that is full of life. In other cities, we’ll mix of clean and comfortable 3- and 4-star hotels.

Will I be sharing a room?

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Yes, unless you take the single supplement option! We work with a rotation system for room sharing in order to keep things fresh, so you do not need to book with a friend. If there are spots available, feel free to book immediately.

Is there a single supplement available?

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Yes, at $651 AUD with two spots available. This is a condition placed by our accommodation providers, so we offer this at cost. Contact us to get this organised for you!

When's the best time to travel to Iran?

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Spring, autumn, and winter are all great times of year to travel to Iran. We do not recommend travelling in summer as the Iranian heat is, for most, quite difficult to bear.

Should I organise my own flights? When should I book them?

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You can book your flight whenever you like. We’re not accredited to book flights, but we can recommend an agent for you. Aim to arrive on the first day of the tour, ideally mid-morning to early afternoon. If you arrive too early, you may need to wait for your hotel room to be ready (check-in is normally around 12-2pm). If you arrive very early in the morning, you will possibly need to pay for an extra night at the hotel – check with us and we’ll arrange whatever you require.

On the first afternoon/evening, we’ll take it easy and check out a few local sights. If your flights are delayed or unforeseen delays occur, we’ll take it as it comes — so don’t worry! If you choose to arrive early or very early on day one (or earlier), we can pre-book extra accommodation for you. We can book almost any additional travel before and after your tour in Iran. Just ask!

What about internet access?

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WiFi in Iran is accessible but not always very fast. You will have free WiFi at almost every hotel we’re staying at, and many cafes also have free WiFi.

Facebook, Twitter, and many news sites are blocked. If you want to access “blocked” sites, you will need a VPN installed on your laptop and mobile devices you use. There are two VPNs we recommend for Iran: ExpressVPN and NordVPN.

We strongly recommend installing a VPN whether you think you need it or not — the two options we mention are both inexpensive. Make sure you download it before you leave and ensure that it is working for you.

While in the country, it’s not recommended to login to your online banking. Your account might be blocked, whether it be for logging in from a suspicious location or because of economic sanctions.

Tanzania

What level of fitness is required? Will I hold anyone back?

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This tour doesn’t have any dedicated exercise component. So long as you’re capable of walking for several hours with breaks. This trip is sadly not appropriate for those who need to use walking aids: in signing up, you confirm that you have the basic fitness level required to do walk for a couple of hours, if necessary.

Are airfares included? Can you help organise them for me?

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Airfares are not included. We have a travel agent that we partner with that can help arrange your flights.

Is there a private room supplement available?

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Yes, $600 USD, and two are available. This is a condition placed by our accommodation providers.

What should I wear?

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You need to wear clothes with muted, earthy tones. Clothing that is too dark attracts flies and mosquitoes. Bright clothing (including white clothes) makes animals nervous. Your goal should be to blend in with nature. It’s important to bring lots of layers — during the day, the temperature can reach the low 30s,and a t-shirt is recommended for comfort. From there, the evenings cool down and a warm jumper will do the trick.

Is Arusha safe? Can I come early?

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Arusha is a very tranquil city, so don’t worry about safety. Absolutely come early! We can organise a local tour for you to fill the day. One extra night is enough.

What about the currency?

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Tanzania has their own currency, but major credit cards and USD are both widely accepted. Because meals are included, you’ll rarely need cash.

Will it be packed with tourists?

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Tanzania is not over-visited in general, and the Serengeti itself is the size of a small country at 19,000 square kilometers. The guides know where to go to get away from the crowd, and they stay in touch with their contacts via radio. If something fascinating is happening, we’ll gather and disperse in different directions. The smaller parks have more people, but a much less packed experience than what you see in Kenya and South Africa — Tanzania charges higher park fees which reduces budget travel groups.

What animals will I see?

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Picture the Lion King without the meerkats. You’ll definitely see 4 of the big 5: lions, hippos, cape buffalo, and elephants. You’ll also see giraffes, which are mysteriously not part of the designated “big 5” but are most definitely in glorious abundance. You’ll also see hyenas, cheetahs, wildebeest, impala, and a bunch of other animals you’ve never heard of before such as eland, kopi, and kongoni. Rhinos and leopards are 50-50 — better to be honest — but we’ll do our absolute best!

What is the food like?

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Very tasty, but this trip is not a “food experience” per se. You’ll eat a mix of Western-style food: pasta/rice, meat dishes, curry, hot chips, vegetables, and soups, plus desserts and alcohol — estimate $4-6 for a big bottle of beer. The local cuisine is extremely simple (unless in Zanzibar). Breakfast consists of fruit, vegetables, sausages, bacon, and eggs.

I'm a vegetarian/vegan/coeliac -- will there be options for me?

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To all three, absolutely yes! Just let us know. Note that in Zanzibar, meals are not included, but feel free to check with us as to the difficulty of catering to your dietary or allergenic needs.

Should I drink the water?

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No, so we provide drinking water for the entire trip.

Will I be safe?

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Scott and his team have had zero injuries in 10 years of safaris. Your safety is of total importance, so you’ll be thoroughly briefed on the first evening and on an ongoing basis as to how to keep secure.

What will the weather be like?

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We’ve picked the absolute best time of year to come to Tanzania. Both Arusha and the Serengeti are at around 1800 metres of elevation, which means pleasant days, cool evenings, and not much humidity. Bring a jacket for the evenings.

How much money do I need to bring?

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$200-300 USD should do it — you’ll really only need money for souvenirs and additional alcohol plus $150 USD for the tipping kitty.

What about the visa?

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Australian passport holders generally find it simple to acquire a visa.

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