Tanzania school trip preparation

This page gives you a first introduction to all the things that you will need to do in the lead up to your AfriCamp. The information here is fairly brief, but there are links to other pages that provide more detailed information about certain subjects. With all of these subjects, do speak to us if you have any queries. We give rough amounts of time before the trip that you need to be thinking about each item. However, with all of these it is a case of the earlier the better.

Flights (8-10 months before leaving)
It is a good idea to begin researching flights early as the prices can fluctuate. It is good to have this organized and sorted nice and early; perhaps even 8-10 months before departure.
The most conveinient places to fly to in order to access northern Tanzania is Kilimanjaro International (IATA Code JRO) which is between the towns of Arusha and Moshi. However, it is sometimes cheaper to fly to Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta (IATA Code NBO) in Kenya and travel overland south to Tanzania. You will need to discuss your arrival point with us at an early stage when planning the trip. It is often possible for us to meet the group in Nairobi if required and include transport to Tanzania within the itinerary.
For independent bookings it is worth trying flight comparison sites such as ebookers, Sky-Scanner and Kayak. Though do check terms and conditions if you fly with combinations of airlines.

Insurance (8-10 months before leaving)
It is essential that you have personal travel insurance to cover all the locations and activities on the trip. When getting quotes, you need to check the wording of the policy carefully and it is worth sending the company a copy of your itinerary and getting them to confirm in writing that a particular policy will cover it all.
You need to take out the insurance policy as soon as you have made any bookings with us or have bought any flights. Then the money you have spent is covered. If you had to pull out of the trip before you have insurance then anything you had spent on flights would be lost. 

Vaccinations & Medications (min 8 weeks before leaving)
You need to make an appointment to speak to your family doctor and/or a travel health centre at least 8 weeks prior to leaving. You can then ask them to advise you on what vaccinations you will need. You will also need to speak to them about the type of anti-malarials that are most suitable for you personally. The NHS publish guidance on their Fit For Travel website

Passport & Visas (min 3 months before leaving)
You need to make sure that your passport will not run out sooner than 6 months after your trip date, Do check this early as it can take a long time to process a new one.
You also need a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate if you are arriving from certain countries, including Kenya. If you are not flying straight from the UK/Europe then do check requirements.
UK passport holders can buy their visa before they travel but most people get it on arrival in Tanzania. All you will need to do is show your passport, fill out a form and pay the fee. The fee was $50 at the time of writing, bring good condition GBP, Euro or USD notes to change.
If you are not a UK passport holder then you need to check the specific requirements for your nationality. This is best done via your own embassy or the Tanzanian Ministry of Home Affairs.

Money (1 month before leaving)
The Tanzanian currency is the Tanzanian Shilling (TZS). At the time of writing there were 2,625 TZS to the GBP. You also have to be careful not to mix up Kenyan Shillings (KES) with Tanzanian Shillings - 1 KES = 18.5 TZS.
Officially it is a closed currency so you cannot get it before you travel to Tanzania. You can change money in country and most bank cards will allow you to withdraw money from ATMs. Our staff will assist you in getting or changing money after you arrive. But make sure you have some cash on you during the flight to pay for your visa with on arrival.

Research (3-10 months before leaving)
It is important that you are informed about the country and culture of Tanzania before you travel there. A good starting place is the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office 'Know Before Yoy Go' campaign. You can also find pages on our website giving information about the country, culture and language.Books like the Lonely Planet and Rough Guide are also good for a broad introduction. You will also be better prepared if you read up on subjects related to your activities, such as Safari Animals and going to high altitude. 

Fundraising (start 10 months before leaving)
Fundraising for the Moving Mountains Trust will form an important part of your preparation for the trip. Before you start, you first need to make sure that you know enough about Moving Mountains to be able to explain what you are doing to potential donors. If you have any questions about this then do contact us or Moving Mountains directly for information. You also need to be clear about exactly where the donor's money is going. 
You need to be organised and start early with your fundraising. It is much easier to do it over a longer period and in small amounts than to try and do it all in a rush at the last minute.

Training (start at least 6 months before leaving)
There are many different challenges on your AfriCamp and for some of them, some prior training will stand you in good stead. We can help to organise training days on things like International Development Work, Health, Food Hygiene, First Aid, Equipment, Mountain Walking, Camping and many other things. Please do speak to us about your requirements.
You also need to arrive on the trip with good fitness and health. This will be particularly important on the climb of Mt Meru, but will be relevant to staying healthy and comfortable throughout the trip.

Kit & Clothing (6-10 months before leaving)
Have a look at the trip page and detailed kit lists nice and early. Some of the kit you will probably already have, some you may be able to borrow and some you may need to buy. But before you spend lots of money on any new kit, do read our guidance information on things like Boots, Sleeping Bags etc. Do also speak to us about what level of performance the kit needs to be. For this trip alone, you do not need expensive top of the range gear. However, if you are likely to use it again and again over coming years then it might be worth the investment on some items. You need to make sure that you have tried and tested all the kit well before you leave to make sure it is right for you.

Electrical

In most parts of Tanzania they use the same 3-pin (type G) plugs as in the UK. The vast majority of UK electrical devices should charge and work fine. However, the electrical supply in Tanzania is not as closely controlled or as reliable as the UK. If you have any very expensive equipment then please be aware that an electrical surge or voltage/frequency change could potentially affect it. An expert might be able to advise on surge protectors.