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10 important things to consider when selecting a Tanzania tour operator post coronovirus pandemic

As the world is now adopting the “new normal”. Statistics from Google Trends shows that people are using this time to research for their next holiday in 2021. Also, there is another group who postponed their trips early this year that and forced to travel within a year before they lose their tickets. Without forgetting people who wish to travel to meet their friends and families. All these show the brighter side of the travel industry for the year 2021.

Tanzania Safari has always been and still a premium destination for many holiday dreamers. To save the Tanzania Tourism Sector, the industry has been advising its travelers not to cancel their trip rather postpone till next year. For tour operators, hotels and domestic flights are now offering flexible payment terms so you can still book your dream holiday.
Pre-pandemic travelers around the world selected Tanzania Operators based on the size of the company, the number of online reviews, the recommendation from friends or family members, price, website, responsiveness, and among other factors. Now, the coin has turned as post corona safety is the major factor to all travelers.

As we see, the prices for airlines and tour packages are too attractive to say no for early bookers. You may ask yourself in this uncertain time, is it worth to commit? Having in mind if you pay later, you might end up paying twice the price. This a question that a right Tour Operator can clarify for you.

On your behalf, we have compiled a list of important things to consider before selecting a Tour Operator. This is just for you to gain confidence and to make sure you are not compromising anything. We want to assure you that Tanzania is safe to travel as reported by various sources, including the Anadolu Agency. However, before arriving to Tanzania travelers have to pass through risk areas, which may cause health concern. The guideline below addresses your safety and ours, which is our primary concern. See them below;

  1. Company Standard Operating Procedure; the right company will have Operating Procedures right in place to guide them on their daily tour operations. This will give you a clear picture of how safe you will be on their hands during the safari. Few things to consider on their SOP are; Daily Temperature Screening using a non-contact thermometer, wearing a mask, frequently luggage and safari vehicle sanitization.
  1. Quality of the Itinerary: The itinerary should be crafted in consideration of the COVID Impact. Itinerary can focus on a less crowded season, and high season period your driver-guide should focus on less crowded areas.
  2. Type of Tour: They should offer you a private tour instead of joining a group. Also, camping safari (budget tour) is not ideal since you will share bathroom facilities with other travelers. Instead, they should advise midrange tour upward, which includes the use of lodges or tented camps as this you will have an en-suite room
  3. Lodge Selection: The right operator will offer you boutique accommodation rather than hotels with over 30 rooms. Also, they should make sure the hotels suggested to you have Standard Operating Producers for both guests and staff.

5. Your safety during the game drive: The Tour should also consider your safety during a game drive. At popular viewpoints, your driver guides should know the requirements for social distancing and to ensure that there is no pressure on the capacity limit of the viewpoint. If there are too many visitors at the viewpoint, it may be necessary for guests to wait, or occasionally to abandon the proposed visit to the viewpoint. Safety will always be the number one priority.

  1. Your safety during lunchtime: In Public designated areas you will have lunch whereas your driver-guide will assess whether this is appropriate according to the capacity of the specific site and the number of other people using it. If you cannot maintain social distancing at the site, then the picnic will be served in an isolated area. If a hot lunch is being provided, the driver-guide will choose a spot away from other vehicles to set up lunch.
  2. Flexible Payment: The right Tour operator must have a flexible payment that will work for both parties, but the payment terms must give you the confidence to commit yourself in these uncertain times. Keep in mind an excellent company will have long-standing relationships with hotels and other suppliers, whom they should work closely to give you the flexibility you expect.
  3. Emergency procedures in place: Despite having medical evacuation procedures in place set by the collaboration of Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO), the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, and the Ministry of Health as explained by this website TATO. Your booking should include Fly Doctor Insurance booked by the company.
  4. Kilimanjaro Trekking: If possible to avoid Marangu Route as accommodations style is the use of huts which you will share with other travelers
  5. Check if the company is still operational: Many Safari Companies have stopped operations due to bankruptcy after the lockdown measure that the world had to take, which in adverse effect heavily Tourism sector in Tanzania and the world. Hence it is important to make sure the company you selected is still operating. This way you will avoid any inconvenience.

We know deciding on the best tour operator for your safari or trekking trip is not a simple decision with the world current situation. We hope the above information together with the previous tips that you had used, or you planned to follow before the pandemic will guide you. You can look forward to an experience trip of a lifetime!

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