How do I get to Arusha?
There are many ways you can get to Arusha. The easiest is to fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) from Nairobi or Dar es Salaam. If you choose to fly in we can pick you up from the Kilimanjaro Airport for US$50 which is included in the program fees for any Maasai Challenge volunteer
If you are flying from Dar es Salaam or somewhere else within Tanzania such as Zanzibar you can fly into the Arusha airport. We can pick you up from the Arusha Airport for US$20 which is included in the program fees for any Maasai Challenge volunteer
Alternatively, you can take the bus. From Nairobi the bus takes approximately 5-6hrs and costs around US$25. From Dar es Salaam the bus takes approximately 8hrs and costs around US$20. If you choose to take the bus we can pick you up from the Arusha bus stop free of charge.
If you are coming from another direction please let us know and we will do our best to help you with transport information.
Can I access the internet in Arusha?
We do have internet access at the hostel; however there are a wide range of internet cafes in town, just a 10min walk from the hostel.
What is there to do in my free time?
Arusha has a large number of supermarkets including one very large one where you can find just about anything you need. Prices can be higher than expected so be don’t be surprised. There are also a number of Internet cafes, restaurants, bars/pubs, an ice-cream parlour (with awesome gelato!), a movie theatre and some nice hotels that, for a small fee, will let you spend the day by their pool.
There are also a range of local day trips and Safaris that can be organized. If you are interested in Safari information we recommend you contact us via; firstname.lastname@example.org and we are always happy to help you.
What kind of food can I expect?
At the hostel we serve a mix of Western and African meals. Vegetarians are catered for and if you have other specific dietary requirements we will do our best to meet them.
Outside the hostel you can find a wide range of western food including; Italian, Continental and Chinese cuisines. It is also fun to sample the local food as well which includes a lot of barbequed meat, rice, beans, chapati and vegetables.
How can I call my family and friends?
The simplest way to stay in contact with people here or at home is to buy a Tanzanian Sim Card. Sims are very cheap to buy and you just buy pre-paid credit to make calls or send an sms. Phone credit is available everywhere.
If your phone is locked or does not work internationally you can easily buy a cheap phone in town for about US$50.
Is Tanzania safe?
Tanzania is a reasonably safe country and is not plagued with the civil unrest present in many African countries. However, it is important to always be aware of your surroundings. During the day you are generally very safe, but keep your valuables hidden from sight whenever possible. It is not safe to walk around at night; however it is quite safe to take a taxi in or out of town for dinner, a movie or to go to the pub.
Tanzania is quite a conservative society so please respect this by not wearing shorts or skirts above the knee, bare mid-riff tops or anything too revealing. Obviously, this is simply a guideline, but if you wear these sorts of things you are likely to attract even more attention to yourself and you may end up feeling uncomfortable.
What type of transport is there in Arusha?
Arusha is a reasonably small town, so for many of the places you need to go you can simply walk. There are also local public buses called a Daladala which can be very crowded, but are also very cheap, approx 20-50cents per journey.
Arusha also has some bicycle taxis known as a Bodaboda and also a lot of regular taxis, so you should have no problems getting around town. The staff that the hostel are always happy to show you around town and help you find somewhere if you are unsure of where it is. We also provide free maps upon arrival to help you get your bearings.
Do I need a VISA to come to Tanzania?
Most countries require a Tourist Visa to enter the country. This can be obtained through a Tanzanian Embassy in your home country before you leave or at the border/airport when you arrive. A Tourist Visa generally costs around US$50 depending on which country you are coming from.
If you are volunteering, we recommend you get a Volunteer Visa (which is called a Class C Work Permit) because you are not allowed to volunteer in Tanzania when you only have a Tourist Visa. You can usually apply for this Visa in your home country and Arusha hostel via Maasai Challenge can provide you with a letter of invitation in this instance. Alternatively, Maasai Challenge can process your Volunteer Visa in Tanzania and send it to you via email before you arrive. If you would like to do this, Maasai Challenge will send you all the relevant documentation. The cost of this visa is US$120.
How do I pay for my accommodation?
We accept cash payments in either Tanzanian Shillings (preferred) or US Dollars. We also accept payment online via PayPal.
What type of money will I need?
The currency in Tanzania is the Tanzanian Shilling (Tsh). Here are some approximate exchange rates, but please check the current exchange rate for a more accurate amount.
1 US Dollar = 2290 Tsh
1 Pound = 27,00Tsh
1 Euro = 2500 Tsh
1 Australian Dollar = 1800 Tsh
Most Safari companies will expect payment in US Dollars so it is worthwhile bringing some cash with you. Travelers Cheques are also quite easy to cash if you would prefer not to bring currency. There are a large number of Foreign Exchange Bureaus so you can exchange local currency into US Dollars if you need to, though the exchange rate may not be very appealing.
Are there ATMs in Arusha?
Tanzania is almost a completely cash-based society so you will need to have the cash to pay for anything you buy here. There are a number of ATMs in Arusha so it is very easy to take out cash in local currency. However, Visa-related cards are much more commonly accepted than MasterCard. Amex and Diners are non-existent here so there is no point in bringing them at all.
What health concerns are there?
It is important to discuss any health concerns with your Doctor. There are a number of Hospitals and Clinics in town where you can get any medical assistance you need in-country. There are also a number of pharmacies in town however they don’t have the range of products you may be used to, so it is worthwhile bringing what you can from home.
Here are some suggestions that may be helpful.
* It is a requirement to have a Yellow Fever vaccination to enter Tanzania and you will probably be asked to provide proof of this upon entry
* There are a range of other vaccinations that may be useful such as Hepatitis, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Typhoid and Polio; however you need to discuss these with your Doctor
* Malaria is very common here so it is worthwhile discussing an anti-malarial treatment with your Doctor. The hostel provides a mosquito net on every bed. Insect repellent is also recommended.
* Amoebas can be quite common so be sure to always wash your hands before eating. Anti-bacterial wipes or hand wash can be very useful.
* Stomach upsets are common when adjusting to a new environment so assume that at some point you will get diarrhea. Be prepared with Imodium and Gastrolyte to replenish your body if this occurs.
* We suggest that you don’t drink the local water; however most people find that it is ok to brush their teeth with it. Bottled water is readily available and the hostel also provides boiled drinking water if required.
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