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After moving to Tanzania over two years ago, there were a number of things that I wish I had known about beforehand. I’ve learned a thing or two about moving your life abroad and preparation is key! From planning where you are going to live, where you want to work, to how long you plan to stay. The number of things you need to think about can get overwhelming.

So if you have your heart set on moving to Tanzania, then read on! While I live in Moshi, which is the home to a smaller expat community, I have tried my best to give a well-rounded overview of expat life in Tanzania as a whole. In this article I cover the following points:

  • Country overview with key facts
  • Tanzania’s climate
  • Work and resident permits
  • Where to live in Tanzania
  • Searching for jobs in Tanzania
  • Transportation
  • Health precautions
  • Healthcare and insurance
  • Keeping safe in Tanzania
  • House hunting in Tanzania
  • International schools

A brief country overview of Tanzania Key facts:

Population: 55.5 million

Land area: 945 thousand sq. km

Major languages spoken: Swahili, English, and Arabic (in some regions)

Local currency: Tanzanian Shilling (although USD is accepted by some tour companies, restaurants, and hotels)

Time difference: GMT+3 hours (+2 in summer)

Capital city: Dodoma

Tanzania is a country located in East Africa. It borders Kenya and Uganda on the north, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique on the south. On the east, it borders the Indian Ocean where you’ll find the beautiful archipelago of Zanzibar just lying off the coast. With all this only a short plane journey away, it makes it a perfect base to explore other areas of the African continent.

Tanzania is the largest and most populated country in the East African Community (which also includes Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and Burundi). It is also the home to some of Africa’s largest national parks, including the world-famous Serengeti and the world’s highest freestanding mountain, Kilimanjaro.

For me, it has the perfect blend of all the things I love – adventure, friendly people, interesting culture, a relaxed pace of life, and some of the most amazing nature and wildlife spots. If this sounds like your ideal place, then moving to Tanzania might also be for you.

Mount Kilimanjaro’s summit peak Kibo


Tanzania’s climate

When people think of Africa, they usually imagine tropical weather all year round.

Tanzania does actually have two main seasons – hot and cold, where temperatures can vary drastically. The hottest time of year tends to be between November and February while the coldest period occurs between May and August.

The typography of Tanzania also means there are regional variations in temperatures. The coastal areas are particularly hot and humid, while the highlands are much cooler.

In the highlands, temperatures can range between 10 and 20 °C during the cold and hot seasons respectively. The rest of the country has temperatures that typically range between 20 °C to 35 °C.

There are also two main rainy seasons; the short rains are generally from November to December, while the long rains last from March to June. It’s usually cooler during the long rainy season too, particularly in the morning and evening (as I am writing this, I am sat in a big woolly jumper!)

So if you are moving to Tanzania with the expectation of sun all day, every day…then think again!

Rain clouds over Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania


Work and residence permits

If you are going to live and work in Tanzania, you will need a work permit and residence permit. While it isn’t the most straightforward process, your employer should be able to help you organise this. A tip from my own experience? Get your work permit sorted before moving to Tanzania and be aware that it could take several months to receive a decision.

You should always check what the current situation is with regards to working in Tanzania, as the government is in the process of changing immigration laws. Bureaucracy can be challenging here at times and recent trends seem to indicate tougher restrictions on expats working in Tanzania. Permits have drastically increased in price and there have also been talks about introducing a cap on how many times a visa can be renewed. So this is something to bear in mind when thinking about how long you wish to live in Tanzania.

There are three different classes of residence and work permits which you can apply for:

  • A: for foreign investors
  • B: for employees with special skills who have accepted a job for which no local Tanzanian could be found
  • C: for volunteers, missionaries, researchers, students, those seeking medical treatment, etc.

For Class B and C permits, you will need to provide your CV, referrals from previous employers, academic qualifications, a signed employment contract, passport (valid for at least a year) and passport photos along with your application forms.

If you are interested in investing in Tanzania, please see the Immigration Services Department website for a list of documents you will need to submit with your application.

There is also a ton of other information there (including costs) to assist with your application before moving to Tanzania. Although it’s always worthwhile checking things over with your employer, consulate, or lawyer first as I am not 100% confident that the website always has the most up-to-date info.

Work and residence permits are required before moving to Tanzania


Expat hotspots: where to live in Tanzania?

There are probably six main cities in Tanzania where you will find expat communities.

Most popular expat hubs:
  • Dar es Salaam – The largest and richest city in Tanzania, Dar es Salaam has been dubbed the “economic capital” and is the home to its largest expat community
  • Arusha – The second largest expat hub can be found in Arusha, Tanzania’s third largest city in the northern region. It is also within close reach of some of Tanzania’s major national parks
Other cities with sizeable expat communities include:
  • Mwanza – Tanzania’s second largest city and major trading centre
  • Dodoma – The country’s legislative capital
  • Moshi – A smaller city located in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro
  • Zanzibar City – located on Unguja Island, the main island of the Zanzibar archipelago

Where you live is completely down to personal preference. For example, do you prefer the big city life or a more relaxed pace on the coast?

For me, towns like Dar and Arusha were far too busy, noisy and chaotic. While Moshi can get hectic, it’s easier to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and it also has a more laid-back vibe. I like the small community-feel here, whereas in Arusha or Dar I would probably feel very much like a little fish in a big pond.

The key is to research, research, research. If you can visit and see what the different regions are like before moving to Tanzania, then that will also help with your decision.

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania


Searching for jobs in Tanzania

Tanzania’s main sectors include tourism, agriculture, fishing, mining, manufacturing, energy, telecommunications and IT.

The majority of expats in Tanzania work in tourism, education, manufacturing, construction, hospitality, wholesale and retail trade sectors. In Arusha and Moshi there are also a number of opportunities in the NGO sector and coffee agriculture.

The cost of living in Tanzania is generally cheaper than in most Western countries if you eat locally and take local transport. However, if you want to buy imported Western foods and goods, eat out at fancy restaurants, travel around the country, and live according to Western standards, it can get expensive. So keep this in mind when you are negotiating your contract.

For me, I found that building connections with people in Tanzania was the best way to find out about work. However, the following websites are also a good place to start when looking for a job in Tanzania:

Some expats (like myself) have found jobs working in the tourism sector


Transportation in Tanzania

There are four main ways to get around the urban and rural areas in Tanzania, and they are:

Dala Dala – The most popular and cheapest way to get around, dala dalas are minibuses that offer transport from the surrounding suburbs and villages to and from town.

Boda Boda (or Piki Piki) – These are motorcycle taxis which you can pretty much find everywhere in the main towns. Boda bodas probably aren’t the safest way to get around, but if you do decide to use them on a regular basis, find a good driver and make sure they have a safety helmet.

Bajajis – These are basically Tanzania’s version of the tuk-tuk; a three-wheeled motor rickshaw. Some regularly operate in certain suburbs/towns offering a service where you can share the ride with other passengers travelling the same route. Making it a super cheap and more reliable way to get around.

Taxi – Although more expensive than the above, taxis are probably the safest way to get around. Although they can be a nightmare during rush hour, particularly in the major cities like Dar es Salaam where it usually gets gridlocked. So it’s best to time your journey right. I also hear that Uber is now available in Dar es Salaam.

If you are moving to Tanzania and plan on staying long-term, you may wish to look into buying your own car. There are many car dealers/brokers who can help out with this, although be aware that you (rather than the seller) might have to pay commission for their assistance. Prices also might be higher than what you are used to due to import taxes.

For the first six months, you can drive in Tanzania on your home country’s license or an international license. However, if you are living in Tanzania for longer, you will need to obtain a Tanzanian driver’s license.

Dala Dala and Boda Boda circling the Arusha Clock Tower, Tanzania. Photo credit: Roman Boed (click on photo to see full portfolio)


Health precautions

If you are planning to move to Tanzania, it’s best to go to your doctor to check that all your routine vaccinations are up to date and to discuss any other health precautions you may need to take. The risk of catching serious diseases like hepatitis A, typhoid fever, malaria, dengue fever, and rabies is quite high. The HIV/AIDS rate in the country is also high, affecting almost 5% of the population. Yellow fever is low risk in Tanzania, but you may want to consider getting vaccinated if you plan to visit yellow fever endemic countries that neighbour Tanzania (i.e. Kenya).

You may also want to consider anti-malarial medication. Personally, I do not take them as I live in a low-risk area and don’t want to pump my body with medication over an extended period of time. Instead, I take other precautions like regularly spraying my home and walls with insecticide, using mosquito repellent and long-sleeved clothes at night, and sleeping under a mosquito net. I do however use antimalarials if I am visiting high-risk zones near the coast or rural areas. Or you may just want to use them during the high malaria season from May to July. For more information on malaria, visit Malaria Spot. 

Malaria is high risk in most of Tanzania, so its best to speak to a doctor regarding health precautions


Healthcare and medical insurance

While the quality of most healthcare facilities is not quite up to the same standard as most Western countries, you will find some reputable hospitals/clinics in the major cities that are perfectly capable of dealing with most health issues. I found that talking to expats is the best way to find out which local GPs, private clinics and pediatricians to go to when certain medical care is needed. There are also plenty of pharmacies (duka la dawa) around to give advice and medication on minor complaints.

In more serious cases, you may be flown to Kenya or Johannesburg. Therefore it’s important that you have medical insurance that covers evacuation. There is public health insurance available in Tanzania, but you would have to discuss with your employer whether you will be covered or not. If not, then it’s advisable to sign up for a comprehensive private health insurance plan either with your company or on your own with an international insurance company. Make sure that you know exactly what your plan covers before moving to Tanzania.

A local pharmacy in Tanzania. Photo credit: Right to health (click on photo to see portfolio)


Keeping safe in Tanzania

Tanzania is said to be one of the safest countries in Africa, and while I have been living in Moshi, I have always felt relatively safe and have never faced any issues.

However like everywhere in the world, there is crime and you should always use your common sense and take precautions. Recent statistics have shown that house and street crime is on the rise in Tanzania, particularly in Dar es Salaam.

Some safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Rent a house in a gated compound with security guards and/or dogs. Alarms and CCTV would be an added bonus
  • Keep valuables out of sight on public transport and city centres
  • Do not walk around at night. Use taxis if you need to
  • Carry your consulate and doctors information with you at all times
  • Dress modestly, particularly in Zanzibar, to avoid unwanted attention
  • When driving in cities, keep your doors locked, your windows up, and your valuables out of sight
House hunting in Tanzania

Most expats will rent a house or apartment when they move to Tanzania. When you arrive, I would recommend staying in a hotel or temporary housing and search for your ideal home when you are here.

While you may be able to find adverts online or in expat forums, it’s best that you get to see the property in person before signing a contract. You can hire a local broker to assist with this or talk to other expats living in the area. Talking to expats is also a good way to gauge property prices in that area too.

But before you move in anywhere you need to ask:

  • Does the property get good and sufficient water and electricity?
  • Is it furnished/unfurnished?
  • Can you get internet in your area?
  • Who will pay for repairs – you or your landlord?
  • Are utilities included in the rental price?
  • How secure is the compound? Is there a house alarm and a security guard on duty 24 hours a day?

Once you have found somewhere that meets your requirements, you can then negotiate a rental price and draw up a contract with your landlord. Most will ask you to either sign up to a six or three-month lease and pay the money up front.

A typical home in urban Tanzania


International schools

If you are moving to Tanzania with your family, you may want to send your children to an international school. Below is a list of schools available in each region:

It’s worth noting that spaces in the schools can fill up quickly, so it’s good to get an application in before you move. Fees are also very high ranging from $5,000 USD to $10,000 USD per child per year. Some companies may be willing to..

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Tanzania has been my home for a little over two years now. One thing I have learned as an expat is that living in a country is a very different experience to simply visiting it.

I may be stating the complete obvious here to some. But having visited Tanzania a few times before settling here as an expat, I thought I knew the country quite well. However, living here has definitely made me see it from a completely different perspective. You get to understand a country, its culture and way of life on a much deeper level. Some of it has been incredibly eye-opening and positive. While other parts have been a real challenge.

But no matter where you are in the world, there are always going to be positives and negatives. And throughout the madness, there has been an abundance of great memories too. I have learned A LOT through living in Tanzania as an expat. Not just about the country, but about myself too. Also if I hadn’t come to Tanzania, I wouldn’t have met my boyfriend and we wouldn’t have our beautiful daughter Amelie now. So for this reason, Tanzania will forever hold a special place in my heart.

Recently I asked you on Instagram what you would like to know, and you had a lot of questions!!! So in this little Q&A with myself, I have tried to give a true picture of what it is like living in Tanzania – the good, the bad, and the ugly! I’ll be covering topics such as:

  • What it’s like where I live
  • Finding an expat job in Tanzania
  • Things I love about living in Tanzania
  • Transportation options
  • What the local food is like
  • Cost of living
  • Nightlife and social activities
  • Whether you need a visa
  • Expat challenges in Tanzania

**Disclaimer: This is a mammoth post with lots of info, so make sure you’re sitting down with a cup of tea or coffee!**

Life as an expat in Tanzania

Views of Mount Kilimanjaro, just outside of Moshi, Tanzania


Where do you live in Tanzania? What is it like?

When most people think of Africa, there is quite often this misconception that everyone lives in mud huts in the middle of nowhere. While this may be true in more rural areas, and for certain tribes like the Maasai; the cities and towns (such as Dar es Salaam, Arusha, and Moshi) are far more built up with an array of shops, restaurants, bars, street vendors, offices, markets, transport hubs, and housing.

I live in a town called Moshi, which is located in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. Our house is situated in one of the suburbs outside of the town centre. Like most houses here, we live in a one-storey brick/cement house with a corrugated iron roof. Inside is newly-refurbished with tiled floors. There’s an open plan living/dining space with a small kitchen and two bedrooms, each with their own bathroom. I love that there are also plenty of windows (although a cleaning nightmare), which makes the house feel very light and spacious. One thing westerners find quite quirky is that there is a sink in the dining area, which you’ll find in most houses here. Tanzanians take personal hygiene very seriously, and will always wash their hands before and after eating food (regardless of whether they plan to eat with their hands or cutlery).

Sadly we don’t have a garden, but we DO have a banana and mango tree, which is a real treat when the fruits are in season. When you step outside of our compound onto the main road, you can also get awesome views of Mount Kilimanjaro on a clear day. For me, that is the perfect way to start the day before heading to work.

Views of Moshi town from a rooftop bar


How do you make a living? Is it easy for expats to get jobs?

I currently work for a local tour operator that specializes in wildlife safaris, mountain climbs, beach holidays and cultural excursions. I am responsible for the company’s marketing and sales and a big part of my role is generating new business. Whether that’s dealing with client enquiries or finding new agents to work with. I also try to find ways to market the business through various online communication channels. All in all, it has been an interesting experience working in the tourism sector here and I love that I basically get to talk to people all day long about Tanzania.

I can’t really comment on how easy it is to find a job here. There are websites like Idealist and Zoom Tanzania where you may sometimes find jobs advertised. But from my own experience, I have found it is very much a case of “who you know” here. It also completely depends on which industry you want to work in. I found it relatively easy to find a job as I had already visited a handful of times before and had made various connections with people working in tourism here. There are jobs for expats here, but when it comes to getting a visa (see more below), your employer has to present sufficient evidence that you are not taking a job away from a local.

Job perks!


What do you love most about living as an expat in Tanzania?

There is so much I love about living in Tanzania, it’s really hard to pinpoint just one thing. Tanzanians are generally very warm and friendly people and will really go out of their way to help you. There is a real sense of community and everyone looks out for one another. It’s not uncommon to see total strangers striking up a conversation with one another in the street or on the bus. This is something I found very refreshing coming from a country where we will do almost anything just to avoid eye contact with someone we don’t know! One thing I find really charming is how Tanzanians greet one another. There are so many ways to say “hello” and “how are you” in Swahili, and they’ll spend the first minute of the conversation saying each one. Expect lots of “jambos” and “mambos” when walking down the street.

I also really love the laid-back lifestyle. You’ll often hear locals saying “pole, pole” (slowly, slowly) – a Swahili phrase that perfectly sums up the pace of life here. Tanzanians have really mastered the skill to just be in the present moment and slooooow down. There are times it can get a little frustrating (like when you are waiting an hour for a fruit smoothie). But generally, I have tried to find ways to adopt this mentality into my own lifestyle, while still maintaining some level of productivity.

The other thing I really love about living in Tanzania is the diverse countryside we have on our doorstep. Moshi itself can be a chaotic city at times, so when the opportunity arises it’s always good to get out of town and explore. There are so many lovely nature and hiking hotspots outside of Moshi, some of my favourites being the Kikuletwa Hotsprings, Materuni, and Lake Chala. And of course, there is Tanzania’s abundance of national parks and conservation areas where you can see plenty of African wildlife while on safari or hikes. Tanzania is a nature lovers dream!

The locals are some of the loveliest people you will meet!


What is the best way to get around?

There are many ways to get around in Moshi, and I have used them all at one point or another.

Dala Dalas (public minibuses) are the most popular form of transport for locals. They look well-used but are (usually) well-maintained (except the one where I had to climb out of the window because the door got completely jammed). There is an expression here that “a dala dala never gets full” – just as you think the bus is full, five more passengers cram in wherever physically possible (and probably their chickens too). While this doesn’t always make the most comfortable of journeys, they do provide the cheapest way to get around.

Boda Bodas (motorcycle taxis), and Bajajis (the local name for tuk-tuk) offer a more efficient way to get around. I used to use bodas quite often to get to and from work but after a couple of near misses, I now mainly use bajajis to get around town. There are also plenty of reliable taxi drivers you can call upon to get from A to B.

But now my partner drives a Toyota Corolla Spacio, I have my very own personal taxi driver!! I could probably drive myself around, but apparently, I am the only person in the world who finds it tricky to drive an automatic car. Plus the roads in the city centre are chaos and do scare me a little!

Let’s go, boda boda


What is the food like in Tanzania?

One of the things I love about Tanzania is the array of fresh produce you can get your hands on. I could happily just live off fruit salads made of mango, pineapple, avocado, oranges and banana here! Most meats here are also super fresh – you could buy a chicken from a local market that was literally slaughtered that morning.

Food and eating together is an important part of Tanzanian culture. At breakfast, it is quite common to see locals (particularly men) perched on plastic chairs outside street vendors. They’ll be chatting among themselves while sipping on chai (tea) or coffee (Tanzania grows some of the best coffee in the world) with either chapatti or mandazi (donuts).

When lunch and dinner come around, you’ll typically find locals eating their number one staple food: ugali, a starchy side made of cornmeal used to compliment a meat, fish or vegetable sauce. I wasn’t a fan to start with, but over time it has actually become a comfort food of mine.

Other firm favourites of Tanzanians are wali na maharage (rice and beans), pilau (rice made with a variety of spices and beef), nyama choma (grilled meats, such as beef, goat or chicken), and ndizi kaanga (fried bananas). Then there are dishes like chips mayai (basically a chip omelette) which are the perfect hangover food.

Most foods are cooked using a fire or gas stove top…which has been somewhat of a challenge for me when it comes to cooking. Without an oven, you really have to get creative (you can buy them here, but we haven’t got the space). Thankfully my boyfriend loves to be in the kitchen and is an excellent cook!

Samaki (fish) with ugali and spinach


What is the cost of living like compared to your home country?

Like some foreign workers, I didn’t come here on an “expat package” with an international organization. I work for a local company and earn a salary that is relative to the cost of living here. That does mean that I still have to be fairly budgeted with my spending and not indulge too much in unnecessary luxuries. But my money definitely does go further here when it comes to day-to-day expenses.

Rent probably costs a quarter of what it would back home; you can get a lot more for your money here in terms of accommodation. For the house I described in the first question, we pay approx £150 a month. Utility bills for water, gas and electricity are also fairly inexpensive. We pay around £20 a month for all three.

Fresh produce and meats are also very cheap. We can go to the local market and butchers and spend approximately £20 for weekly groceries for the whole family. Grains and legumes like rice, beans, maize cornflour and lentils are also super cheap costing less than £1 for 1kg. Beer and local spirits are also ridiculously affordable here. You can expect to pay £1 to £1.50 for a bottle of local beer or £2 for a small bottle of K Vant or Konyagi, which is best described as their version of gin.

You can also buy cheap clothes and household goods here if you look in the right places. There are plenty of second-hand markets and stores selling clothing, furnishings, electricals etc… in good condition. You can even find local fundis (handymen/seamstresses) to tailor-make clothes and furnishings to your particular taste and specifications. All at a much lower cost than you would pay in England. For example, I could get a beautiful dress made here for around £10 to £15 and our handmade dining table and chairs cost around £150.

However, if you want to buy a decent car, you are going to probably pay way above what you would in England due to import taxes. The same goes for various foods and products they have to import such as cheese, chocolate, cereals, condiments, baby products.

International school fees are also astronomical. You could be paying anything between £4,000 to £7,500 per child per year. Thankfully I don’t have to worry about that just yet. Before a child starts school, you can employ a dada (nanny) to help with childcare for up to £100 a month. Which would only just about cover two to three nursery days in England.

The ultimate shopping experience in Tanzania


What is the nightlife like? Are there any other social activities?

In the major cities and towns, there is a big nightlife and clubbing scene. In Moshi itself, there isn’t a huge amount of clubs, with everyone descending on the same few places every Friday and Saturday night. There is a big drinking culture in Tanzania (seriously, I thought England was bad until I came here), meaning there will be a party almost every night of the week somewhere as there are hundreds of local pubs scattered around the town. You can even just go to the local shop and sit there with a beer or two as most have tables and chairs set up. Not something I really get the chance to do much of these days (five months and counting #mumlife).

There are also an array of restaurants and cafes where you can just hang out with friends during the day. That is something which keeps me relatively sane here! There are fitness and hobby classes if you search for them. But what Tanzania misses (Moshi in particular) is having access to places like cinemas or parks where you can just unwind and relax. That is something I really miss about home.

***One word of caution to anyone planning to visit or live in Tanzania, please be aware that drink driving is the norm here. The police will turn a blind eye to it for the right amount of money. So whenever you go out with friends, ensure that you have reliable transportation home***

A night out with friends on my birthday (two years ago before coming a mum! ha)


Is there anything that you really struggle with as an expat?

I think the thing I struggle with the most, is that I will always just been seen as a “mzungu” (white person/foreigner). No matter how long I stay, or how much I try to integrate, I will never fit in. There is not a day that goes by where I’ll be walking down the street and hear “MZUNGU” or “HEY ‘ZUNGU”.

Constantly getting hassled for money because I am white does get pretty old, pretty quickly when you are faced with it every day. Generally, I choose not to respond, or if I am in a good mood I’ll offer a small smile in return. A habit I’ve acquired from years of living here.

I find it even more of a challenge when I get this treatment from children, who will often put their hands out and say “give me my money.” Or when mzungu hunters catcall you and say that you must find them a mzungu wife.

The absolute worst is when I am out and about with my boyfriend and people just assume he is with me because of money and the chance to have a better life. I’ll never forget the time someone heckled in Swahili “you should f**ck her better and she will give you more money” Not only is that just completely disgusting and disrespectful, but it’s also totally wrong. My boyfriend works incredibly hard and we share the cost of everything.

Yes, I am not poor, but I don’t have money just growing on trees either. The assumption that all mzungu have money they can give away is engrained in their culture. This view has been passed down from generation to generation. Without going into all the complexities of this issue, the irony is we (us mzungu) are partly to blame for this mentality. And sadly, I can’t see it changing any time soon.

Just another mzungu at Serengeti National Park


What is the biggest challenge you face as an expat mama?  

Definitely being away from my family and friends. Being a mum can feel fairly lonely sometimes, but as an expat mum, you really feel the distance when you are thousands of miles away from your biggest support network.

While I have a few mama friends here and our lovely nanny Doris, it has meant that I’ve had to largely figure out this whole motherhood thing on my own; whereas if I were in my home country then I would have plenty of help and support at my fingertips.

Of course, there is Whatsapp and Skype at your service to call for advice, but online babysitting is not exactly the same thing as having a real life bibi (grandma) by your side. I can’t just show up on their doorstep when things are getting a little too much or I need some adult conversation to regain my sanity.

Not having that support network also means that I rarely get time to myself. I can’t remember the last time I went out socializing with friends or we had a date night. Of course, our nanny is happy to babysit from time to time. But as she works full-time looking after Amelie during the week, I understand that she also needs a break!

Then there’s the guilt. There isn’t a day that passes where I don’t feel guilty about the fact my family don’t get the chance to build a relationship with Amelie. For me, that is the toughest part of being a mama abroad.

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Tanzania is a great holiday destination all year round. But there are certain times of year where some activities or attractions are best experienced.

Whether you’re looking to tick a wildlife safari off your bucket list, brave the mighty Mount Kilimanjaro or soak up some sun on the paradise island of Zanzibar, check out some of my advice below on when to time your trip to Tanzania.

When is the best time to go on safari in Tanzania?

A safari adventure on the Northern Circuit of Tanzania is possible throughout the year. That said, as a general rule of thumb, the dry season (from late June to October) is the most popular time of year for safari.

During the dry season, you will find that many animals congregate near water sources and vegetation is sparse, thus improving the visibility of animals. It’s also a great time of year to catch predators in action as they hunt for their prey near the water sources.

However, one thing to bear in mind is that there are more vehicles in the park during this season, meaning crowding can occur in certain reserves. If you are looking to avoid the crowds and visit Tanzania out of the dry season, it is worth noting that some lodges do close during the rainy season (usually March to May).

When is the best time to witness the great migration in Tanzania?

Photo by Piotr Usewicz on Unsplash

One of the biggest drawcards for any safari enthusiast is the migration, which passes through the famous Serengeti National Park. Known to be one of the greatest wildlife spectacles on earth, this annual occurrence sees millions of wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle migrate from Kenya into Tanzania in pursuit of fresh grasslands and water. If seeing the migration is your goal, then you need to be in the right place at the right time.

The migration takes one full year to complete before the cycle starts again. This means there is a good chance you can witness it throughout the year, but certain highlights only occur in certain months.

For instance, dramatic river crossings occur between July and August in the far west, and calving season starts from December to March. Between April and June, you’ll find huge herds migrating to the Grumeti region before making their way back to Kenya. Click here to see an interactive map illustrating the migration’s typical movements.

When is the best time to climb Kilimanjaro, Tanzania’s highest mountain?

Mount Kilimanjaro weather conditions can vary throughout the year, with each month providing different views of the surrounding region.

The best weather for climbing usually occurs from July to October, when there is generally little rain and the skies are mostly clear. Whereas it is best to avoid climbing from April to June when rain, mud, ice, and fog is common and can pose a risk for climbers.

However, December to February is also regarded by some as the best time to climb, as the weather is still dry and favourable and there are fewer groups on the mountain.

When is the best time to visit Zanzibar?

A Zanzibar island getaway is best experienced from June to October when the weather is generally cool to dry. During this time, the months of August and September offer amazing snorkeling conditions when the water is at its clearest.

However, it is also worth noting that some island restaurants do close during the Muslim festival of Ramadan (June/July) so do check before booking.

From December to February, temperatures can rocket up to 40 degrees Celsius making it very hot and dry. Wet season usually arrives in March and lasts until May, and you may find that some resorts close during these months.

My personal opinion? 

Having visited on multiple occasions (and now living here), I have two times of the year which are my personal favourites.

October/November time is a great time as you’ve just come out of the high season. While there aren’t as many crowds, there is still enough activity going on to experience the buzz. The weather is generally quite hot during this time and the skies are often clear enough to get good views of Mount Kilimanjaro from afar.

However, it is can be quite dry and dusty during this time, which is why I also like being here during the rainy season (April to June). The surrounding area springs to life and becomes a gorgeous lush green. And the weather is generally a little cooler (although you can experience very hot days here and there too!)

Mount Kilimanjaro is usually quite shy hiding behind the clouds this time of year, but you may get a surprise peak from time to time. The only downside to this time of year is that getting around does get trickier with all the mud and rain.

Have you ever visited Tanzania? When did you go and what was it like during this time? 

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Like many people, a Tanzanian safari had been on my bucket list for as long as I could remember.

I have visited Tanzania a handful of times. I am now lucky enough to live here, right on the doorstep of some of its major national parks. As a result, I have a few safaris under my belt now. YAY for the perks of working for a safari company!

Every day I get asked about what makes an ideal Tanzania safari itinerary. The great thing about northern Tanzania is all of its parks are unique and have something different to offer.


But choosing the right length of time all depends on what your goals are.

Personally, for me, 4 to 5 days is enough time to see plenty of wildlife in the main areas. Especially if you are camping;  by the fifth day you may be desperate for a long, warm shower. Plus your bum might be starting to feel a little sore from all the bumpy African roads!

If seeing the wildebeest migration is your dream, then you may wish to add more days in the Serengeti. (Note – it’s important to plan your safari at the right time of year during the migration. But more on that below!).

However, if you are interested in just seeing the highlights, the following safari itinerary is a good place to start.

My Perfect 5 Day Tanzania Safari Itinerary

Pick your accommodation package: First things first. When planning a safari, there are usually two main accommodation options. You can either choose a basic package and sleep in portable tents at public campsites located within or outside the park. Or if you prefer a little more comfort, you can pick from a wide variety of lodges/luxury tented camps. Below I have included a few of my own recommendations for budget-friendly lodges.

Where should you stay before and after your safari? The ideal place to start your safari is either in Moshi or Arusha, two towns located in northern Tanzania. Arusha is closer so will save more on driving time. However, Moshi is also an ideal base for anyone interested in other cultural/nature activities or climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. So it’s worth factoring this in when you decide which town you would like to start from.

Day 1: Moshi/Arusha to Tarangire National Park

In the morning, you will get picked up from your hotel and driven to the first stop on the safari, Tarangire National Park. Often considered Tanzania’s most underrated park, the Tarangire is one of Africa’s gems, known for its huge Baobab trees and large herds of elephants.

The park owes its name to Tarangire River which flows across the area and attracts high numbers of animals during the dry months. Its sparse vegetation scattered with Acacia trees and mixed woodland makes it a beautiful location.

Here, up to 300 elephants can be found, looking for underground streams in the riverbeds. During the drier months, migratory wildebeest, zebra, and buffalo can also be seen crowding the shrinking lagoons.

Best time to visit: Tarangire is excellent year-round for game viewing. However, during the dry season (August to October) the wildlife is at its most concentrated and wildlife viewing is best. You may find some safari operators will advise skipping this park during the wetter months (April to June). This is because overgrown vegetation will make it more difficult to see some animals.

Most common animals: elephants, giraffes, hippos, buffalo, zebra, wildebeest, lion

Where to stay: Bougainvillea Safari Lodge, or Kudu Lodge 

Day 2 – Tarangire to Serengeti National Park

On the second day, you will drive to one of the most famous game parks in Africa, the Serengeti! Known to host one of the most incredible wildlife spectacles on earth – the great migration of wildebeest and zebra – the Serengeti’s vast plains and grasslands are also home to a haven of other wildlife, including lions, cheetahs, leopards, and many other predators.

Stretching across 14,763 sq km, it is impossible to see it all in just one day. But this itinerary includes two game drives, which is a good amount of time to see the best of the Serengeti.

As for the scenery? It is truly mind-blowing and is definitely the place to be if you want to feel like you are in the heart of the African bush. When the weather is hot and dry, the savannah is a dusty sunburnt red. Then after the rains have visited, the plains transform to lush, green grassland dotted with pretty wildflowers and blooming Fig and Acacia trees.

Best time to visit: A Serengeti safari offers top wildlife viewing all year-round. However, if your goal is to witness the wildebeest migration, you need to time it right. The wildebeest migration takes one full year to complete before the cycle starts again. This means there is a good chance you can witness it throughout the year. But certain highlights only occur in certain months. For instance, dramatic river crossings occur between July and August in the far west. And calving season starts from December to March. Between April and June, you’ll find huge herds migrating to the Grumeti region before making their way back to Kenya. Click here to see an interactive map illustrating the wildebeest migration’s typical movements.

Most common animals: elephants, giraffes, hippos, buffalo, zebra, wildebeest, lion, cheetah, hyena, ostrich.

Where to stay: Serengeti Tortilis Camp or Serengeti Kati Kati Tented Camp 

Day 3: Serengeti to Ngorongoro Highlands

After spending a night in the heart of the African bush, you will rise early and hopefully catch a glimpse of lions and other predators on their morning hunt during your first game drive.

After brunch, you’ll then leave the park and go for the final game drive in the Serengeti while on your way to Ngorongoro Crater. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is often labeled one of the most beautiful and unique places in Africa.

The Ngorongoro Crater was once a huge supervolcano that stood higher than Mount Kilimanjaro. However, over three million years ago the volcano erupted. This caused it to implode, covering the Serengeti in ash while the crater floor sank into the mountain. It is now the world’s largest complete volcanic caldera, with a rim of just over 600 meters.

Today you won’t be venturing into the crater itself. You will head straight to your lodge or campsite where you can enjoy epic views from the crater rim.

Where to stay: Ngorongoro Rhino Lodge or Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge

Day 4: Ngorongoro Crater

Today you’ll rise early in the morning to descend to the floor of the crater and get up close with one of Africa’s seven natural wonders! When you enter the crater floor, you will really feel like you have never seen anything quite like it. There is so much life in one single space. For the Maasai, who arrived there two thousand years ago, they call it “el-Nkoronkoro”, which means “gift of life”

Amidst the haven of African wildlife, you might also be lucky enough to witness the endangered black rhino. It is not unusual to see the Big Five in one day at Ngorongoro – and all this in the most amazing setting with a backdrop of the 600m high crater wall.

You will also get the chance to enjoy a picnic lunch down by the hippo pool before leaving the crater and making your way to the outskirts of Lake Manyara.

Best time to visit: You can spot wildlife down on the crater floor at any time of year. But the viewing is better during the dry season (June to October) when the undergrowth has receded and animals tend to gather around waterholes and riverbeds. However, if you do travel in the wetter months, there are fewer tourists and you might be able to find some good rates on accommodation.

Most common animals: elephants, black rhino, hippos, buffalo, zebra, wildebeest, lion, cheetah, hyena, lesser flamingo

Where to stay: Kudu Lodge or Tloma Lodge.

Day 5: Ngorongoro Crater to Lake Manyara to Moshi/Arusha

In the morning, you will drive to Lake Manyara National Park, which is located within the Great Rift Valley.

Lake Manyara boasts a spectacular scenery – its lush groundwater forest, makes it a nice change of scenery from the more savannah-dominated parks. Lake Manyara is also famous for its alkaline lake, which covers a large area of the park. Time the season right and you’ll be rewarded by sights of thousands of flamingos and over 500 other bird species.

Like the Tarangire, the park has a large elephant population. However, the park is most well-known for its tree-climbing lions, although spotting them can be difficult.

In the afternoon, you will then drive back to Moshi or Arusha where your safari ends.

Best time to visit: Seeing wildlife in Lake Manyara National Park is good all year, but at its best during the dry season, from late June to October. However, personally, I think this park really springs to life during the wetter months (April to early June) when the vegetation is lush and waterfalls cascade down the escarpment.

Most common animals: monkeys, giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, buffaloes, elephants, lesser flamingoes, lions

Have you ever been on a safari adventure in Tanzania? What were your favourite national parks? Let us know your suggestions below! 

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When I think of Italy, the first things that come to mind are incredible food, gorgeous landscapes, friendly people and “La Dolce Vita”. Most people that I talk to actually think of the same!

Here are three of the top spots in Italy to go to for a dreamy holiday: Sicily

With its rich history, Greek, Roman, Spanish and Arabic influences are engrained into the Sicilian culture and architecture, making it particularly unique. The island has sandy beaches, a cuisine different than anywhere else in Italy (or the world), UNESCO World Heritage Sites throughout, volcanoes, and so much more. Where you stay on the island can make a big difference. If you plan ahead and with the help of tools like Wishsicily, you can rent one of the many villas with pools typically found in Sicily in a spot that is conveniently located for your interests and even enjoy some extra privacy. Surprisingly, it is not expensive at all and can actually be a great way to save some money.

Tuscany

Tuscany is simply a must. When I think back on all the artwork I have seen, one setting stands out the most – the rolling green hills of Tuscany, with gorgeous trees lining a curved driveway that lead to a home perched just on top of a hill. I think we all have seen some version of this! Florence is the bigger town in Tuscany, but I would say the magic happens as you explore the countryside of the small towns, Siena and San Gimignano included. You can eat and drink your way through Tuscany and then want to do it all over again.

Veneto

The famous canals of Venice are a famous part of Veneto, but the region offers so much more. Lake Garda (the largest lake in Italy), the city of Verona (Romeo & Juliet, anyone?), the hill towns and beautiful architecture throughout.

There is so much beauty in Italy, so for first-time visitors it is important to keep in mind a few things so your visit can go as smoothly as possible!

  • Italy was only unified in the late 1800s so each region has its own characteristics and typical dishes.
  • When you’re out at restaurants, there is a cover charge (you’ll see coperto) that is especially high in touristy areas.
  • Bring a water bottle and fill up at local fountains, for free! You will have to pay for water in restaurants so it is worth filling up outside.
  • Café = bar. At most bars (and gelaterias for that matter), you order your coffee (or gelato) from the cashier, take your ticket to the barista and get your order there. It costs more to sit down and enjoy a drink, so stand up at the bar to save some money.
  • Italians only drink a cappuccino before 11 am. You may get a silly look if you order one afterwards.
  • When it comes to pizza, it will probably be very different than what you get at home! If you like a fluffy crust, that is Naples-style. Thin crust is Roman-style.
  • If you’re on the go, visit a local market for some items or a bakery (panificio) for a slice of pizza.
  • The main cities in Italy are very well connected. Look for the fast train to make the best time.

There are so many spots to visit in Italy and the regions are so different that I can’t imagine one or even two trips to Italy could ever be enough.

Have you ever been to Italy? What was your favourite place? 

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Tanzania is a great holiday destination all year round. But there are certain times of year where some activities or attractions are best experienced.

Whether you’re looking to tick a wildlife safari off your bucket list, brave the mighty Mount Kilimanjaro or soak up some sun on the paradise island of Zanzibar, check out some of my advice below on when to time your trip to Tanzania.

When is the best time to go on safari in Tanzania?

A safari adventure on the Northern Circuit of Tanzania is possible throughout the year. That said, as a general rule of thumb, the dry season (from late June to October) is the most popular time of year for safari.

During the dry season, you will find that many animals congregate near water sources and vegetation is sparse, thus improving the visibility of animals. It’s also a great time of year to catch predators in action as they hunt for their prey near the water sources.

However, one thing to bear in mind is that there are more vehicles in the park during this season, meaning crowding can occur in certain reserves. If you are looking to avoid the crowds and visit Tanzania out of the dry season, it is worth noting that some lodges do close during the rainy season (usually March to May).

When is the best time to witness the great migration in Tanzania?

Photo by Piotr Usewicz on Unsplash

One of the biggest drawcards for any safari enthusiast is the migration, which passes through the famous Serengeti National Park. Known to be one of the greatest wildlife spectacles on earth, this annual occurrence sees millions of wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle migrate from Kenya into Tanzania in pursuit of fresh grasslands and water. If seeing the migration is your goal, then you need to be in the right place at the right time.

The migration takes one full year to complete before the cycle starts again. This means there is a good chance you can witness it throughout the year, but certain highlights only occur in certain months.

For instance, dramatic river crossings occur between July and August in the far west, and calving season starts from December to March. Between April and June, you’ll find huge herds migrating to the Grumeti region before making their way back to Kenya. Click here to see an interactive map illustrating the migration’s typical movements.

When is the best time to climb Kilimanjaro, Tanzania’s highest mountain?

Mount Kilimanjaro weather conditions can vary throughout the year, with each month providing different views of the surrounding region.

The best weather for climbing usually occurs from July to October, when there is generally little rain and the skies are mostly clear. Whereas it is best to avoid climbing from April to June when rain, mud, ice, and fog is common and can pose a risk for climbers.

However, December to February is also regarded by some as the best time to climb, as the weather is still dry and favourable and there are fewer groups on the mountain.

When is the best time to visit Zanzibar?

A Zanzibar island getaway is best experienced from June to October when the weather is generally cool to dry. During this time, the months of August and September offer amazing snorkeling conditions when the water is at its clearest.

However, it is also worth noting that some island restaurants do close during the Muslim festival of Ramadan (June/July) so do check before booking.

From December to February, temperatures can rocket up to 40 degrees Celsius making it very hot and dry. Wet season usually arrives in March and lasts until May, and you may find that some resorts close during these months.

My personal opinion? 

Having visited on multiple occasions (and now living here), I have two times of the year which are my personal favourites.

October/November time is a great time as you’ve just come out of the high season. While there aren’t as many crowds, there is still enough activity going on to experience the buzz. The weather is generally quite hot during this time and the skies are often clear enough to get good views of Mount Kilimanjaro from afar.

However, it is can be quite dry and dusty during this time, which is why I also like being here during the rainy season (April to June). The surrounding area springs to life and becomes a gorgeous lush green. And the weather is generally a little cooler (although you can experience very hot days here and there too!)

Mount Kilimanjaro is usually quite shy hiding behind the clouds this time of year, but you may get a surprise peak from time to time. The only downside to this time of year is that getting around does get trickier with all the mud and rain.

Have you ever visited Tanzania? When did you go and what was it like during this time? 

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Georgia is a small country hidden among the high peaks of the Caucasus. Due to its geographic position, it features diverse nature: here you can find high mountain ranges and alpine meadows, dense evergreen forests and plains, warm caressing sea and days full of sunshine.

Nowadays in Georgia, there are 16 protected areas which include national parks and nature reserves. If you want to unravel the best destinations for spending an unforgettable time at Georgia’s Nature Reserves then read on!

And if you want to have a tour around these amazing places listed below just contact any Georgian tour agency to have everything arranged in a great way.

Tusheti Protected Area

Lovers of untouched nature, especially fans of ecotourism, will probably appreciate visiting Tusheti National Park. Tusheti is situated about 205 km to the north-east from Tbilisi.

It is considered one of the most difficult parts of Georgia to access. But it is worth conquering, as once you get there, the nature will make you speechless.

Tusheti is surrounded by high mountains laced with numerous gorges. Here you can enjoy trekking and horse-riding through the untouched gorges, admire the beauty of authentic Georgian villages which have preserved its unique cultural heritage, traditions and ceremonies.

Villages in Tusheti region resemble those in Svaneti from an architectural point of view: houses here have towers, which serve either a religious or military purpose.  The most popular villages are Dartlo, Shenako and Omalo. Only here you can taste the traditional beer and rare cheese, “dhambal hacho”, known for its spicy flavor. This technology of cheese-making is even included in the UNESCO list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Mtirala National Park

Mtirala National Reserve is situated in Adjara region, near the popular Black Sea resorts of Batumi and Kobuleti, right at the place where the Black Sea meets Adjara Mountains covered with luscious forests.

The park is named after the Mount Mtirala which in Georgian means «the crying mountain». Indeed, the level of humidity is extremely high here and the area is considered the rainiest part of Georgia.

Mtirala Park is home to unspoiled «Colchis» humid broad-leaved and mixed forests. Mtirala Park offers various activities for the lovers of eco-tourism: you can go hiking and boating along the swift clear waters of steep rivers; you can arrange horse-riding tours to the most picturesque waterfalls; take a dip in a cold mountain lake; and enjoy the breathtaking views.

Sataplia Cave and Nature Reserve

The Georgian analog of Jurassic Park is situated not far from Kutaisi town, in Sataplia Natural Reserve Park. The reserve was established in 1935 with the aim to protect geological, paleontological, speleological and botanical monuments.

Sataplia reserve is rich in “Colchian forests”. It is a valuable experience for fans of relic and endemic plants. You can expand the program and arrange a small trip through the “wild” part of the reserve.

Visiting Sataplia Natural Reserve will be great especially when traveling with children: they will be very excited to see the 120 million-year-old giant dinosaurs’ footprints! Another exciting part of the Sataplia reserve is the eponymous huge cave which is 900m in length, 10m in height and 12m wide. This is only the visible part of the cave: during the centuries it formed a system of caves resembling an underground kingdom.

Sataplia cave is open for visitors who can admire stalagmites and stalactites of eccentric shapes. The permitted territory for visitors is only open for 300m. Inside the cave is decorated with various lights: great shots are guaranteed!

 Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park

The balneal resort of Borjomi with the world known mineral water has become one of the most illustrious trademarks of Georgia. It is considered the largest national park in Europe where you can see the high mountain peaks, dense forests, beautiful temples and fortresses.

You can get to Borjomi from Tbilisi any day from the central railway station or the bus station in Didube, taking a train or minibus to Borjomi. It goes without saying that the flora and fauna of the reserve is very diverse:  it is home to bears, wolves, wild boars, deer, squirrels, martens.

Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park has the highest level of developed infrastructure. The lovers of trekking will appreciate the quality and quantity of trails. There are 11 hiking trails with varying degrees of complexity. The longest route is about 54 km, the shortest one, for the beginners is 3 km. In the information center of the park you can rent a tent, rucksacks and other equipment necessary for the traveler. The main entrance to the park is located in Borjomi, in the settlement of Likani.

Kazbegi National Park

Mount Kazbek is the third highest peak in Georgia and one of the most prominent in the Caucuses. The area surrounding the mount which is more than 9 thousand hectares is part of the Kazbegi National Park.

Kazbegi National Park is located in the highlands. 1/3 of the national park is covered with forest and the rest is occupied by alpine meadowlands or eternally snow-covered peaks and inaccessible rocks. The flora and fauna are rich with rare species such as east Caucasian mountain goat, chamois, brown bear, lynx. Here you can find a forest marten, a forest cat, a hare, a squirrel and others included in the “Red List” of Georgia.

The tourist infrastructure is actively developing, nevertheless, Mount Kazbek and the surrounding area is one of the main touristic destinations of the country. The main reason lies in the fact that Kazbek is technically easy for climbing and attracts a lot of amateur climbers and lovers of extreme sports. Walking tours and hiking, horseback riding, specialized educational tours to observe the representatives of the flora and fauna are held in the reserve.

As you have seen there are lots of unique corners in Georgia that are really worth visiting. It’s also worth combining your Georgian tour with the visit to Armenia – the other no less beautiful country of the South Caucasus. Its lush nature, majestic mountains and hospitable atmosphere will undoubtedly give you unforgettable memories. Armenia is also a great place for rural and extreme tourism.

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It’s been over three months since we welcomed our mini explorer, Amelie Rose Jackson Mmari, into the world. Just like her dad, she arrived on “Tanzanian Time”, eleven days late on Saturday 10 February at 9.29am, weighing a whopping 9lbs and 12oz.

The months that have followed have been a completely new adventure and I have loved every second of being a mum (well perhaps with the exception of the sleep deprivation and poop explosions).

Our little bundle of joy is a complete dream, and although I am biased, I can’t help but stare at her for hours and melt over just how beautiful she is. Creating a human being is truly a miraculous thing, and I still can’t quite get my head around how we made something so perfect!

And yes, that mop of hair! She came out with gorgeous long dark locks, so the months and months of heartburn were completely worth it in the end!

She is just the happiest, smiliest little baby and has been so alert and on the ball since day one. Even the midwives were surprised by how forward she was from just a few days old.

As each day passes her smiles keep getting bigger and she just gets smarter and chattier. Sometimes I really have to remind myself that she is only three months old!

Needless to say, we are TOTALLY smitten and in love.

My New Adventure in Motherhood

I will spare you all the gory details about the birth itself. But I will say that although it didn’t turn out to be quite the natural water birth I had hoped for, it was still a truly magical experience. I must be mad to say this, but despite the undeniable crippling pain a mother goes through during labour, I would do it all again just for the moment I got to look into her eyes for the first time.

After four days in the hospital (Amelie was in the special care unit for breathing difficulties and swallowing her own poop, and I was recovering from an emergency c-section) we finally went home. I was staying with my parents in the UK, who were putting a roof over our head until I returned to Tanzania to see her dad (for those of you who are new here, I moved to Tanzania last year and fell pregnant within a few months of living there – you can read more about that by clicking here)

Having my parents around for the first two months of Amelie’s life was truly special. It was a unique situation in the sense that they got to spend so much time with her and it was wonderful for me to see them form such a close bond. My mum, in particular, was my rock – she was there for me during the labour and helped out on many occasions to give me some much-needed rest. Without their support, I am certain I would have been a broken woman!

Our Family Reunion in Tanzania

However, on the flip-side, those first months were also quite challenging for me and the father as unfortunately, he couldn’t come to the UK due to various visa constraints. Long distance relationships are tough at the best of times, but trying to be new parents from afar as well…that was pretty hard. I can only imagine how much more difficult it must have been for him, not being able to cuddle his daughter and only seeing her on FaceTime.

But while it was hard, I was thankful to have my friends and family around me who always show their unconditional support. And luckily Amelie kept me on my toes enough for the time to pass quickly and before we knew it, we were embarking on our first big adventure together and hopped on a plane to meet daddy for the first time!

I already have a feeling that Amelie is going to be a natural explorer – she took everything in her stride and was as good as gold throughout the entire 15-hour journey. A journey I was completely dreading with a young baby, but my little girl did me proud! At the end of the flight, it was lovely how all the hostesses and other passengers complimented Amelie on how well she behaved.

When we finally arrived at Kilimanjaro Airport in Tanzania, it was an emotional reunion, to say the least! And while it took Amelie a few days to settle into her new home and get to know her daddy, it’s been lovely to see their relationship grow over the weeks.

So why Amelie Rose Jackson?

Some of you may be curious to know the reasoning behind her full name. “Amelie” was a name that I have loved for a very long time (inspired by one of my favourite films starring Audrey Tatou) and thankfully Dad was a fan of the name Emily, so this slight adaptation didn’t take much convincing. As for her first middle name “Rose”, well I just thought it sounded pretty and rolled off the tongue quite nicely following “Amelie.”

So what about Jackson Mmari? In Tanzanian tradition, it is common for children to take both of their father’s names. Regardless of whether they are a girl or a boy!

Although Jackson couldn’t quite get his head around the reasoning behind my random middle name choice, and I couldn’t understand why it was important for our daughter to take both his “boy” names, we decided to meet in the middle (like many things in an intercultural relationship!!) and hence Amelie Rose Jackson Mmari was born.

So What’s Next?

The blogging and social media activity has definitely slowed down in recent months as Amelie has been keeping us very busy! But I am sure as things get more settled, I will try and find the time to share more about life in Tanzania as “Mama Amelie”  (it’s a tradition here for mums to be called the “mother of” their firstborn’s name).

One thing is for sure, we can’t wait to start showing Amelie more of the world and we hope she will enjoy exploring just as much as we do. So watch this space!

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Many mamas-to-be might be put off by the idea of flying while pregnant, especially long-haul flights that can take several hours or longer.

But maybe you booked a holiday before falling pregnant, or perhaps your job involves a lot of air travel. Or (like I did) you’ve found yourself in a situation where you fell pregnant abroad and you’re travelling back home for the birth.

Whatever your reason for wanting to travel by plane, you may be wondering, whether it’s actually safe for you to fly such long distances while pregnant or whether it could cause harm to you are your baby.

But according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynocologists (ACOG), it can be perfectly safe to fly during your pregnancy, and even well into your third trimester.

However, there are some things to consider when flying abroad when pregnant that will help your journey be more comfortable and hassle-free.

Check out my little guide to flying long haul below…

Check the airline’s flying when pregnant policy

The first thing you should do before booking a flight is to check the airline’s policy, as some may differ in their requirements. Most will allow travel up to 36 weeks, but for some, the cutoff is 34 weeks. If you are pregnant with multiples, then they may not let you fly after 20 to 24 weeks.

If you’re planning to fly over 28 weeks pregnant, generally most airlines will require a letter from your midwife or doctor to say that your pregnancy is low-risk and healthy. This is simply so that they can be reassured there’s little risk of you going into early labour or your waters breaking early during the flight.

Depending on what stage you are at in your pregnancy, some airlines may also wish for you to see their own medical advisor as well. This is just an extra precaution and can be easily arranged with one of their local booking agents prior to your flight. Do check with the airline to see whether you will need to do this and bring your signed forms with you to avoid any delay at the airport.

Another thing worth noting is to check the length of your gestation still meets the airline’s requirements when flying overnight. I found out the hard way when travelling back to the UK from Tanzania and almost didn’t get allowed on my connecting flight because I was technically classed as 32 weeks pregnant at that stage of the journey and hadn’t seen one of their own medical practitioners.

Don’t forget your paperwork

As well as any signed forms you might need from doctors or medical practitioners, it’s essential to keep your maternity notes with you. Therefore should you run into any unlikely issues during your flights, they will be able to know how to best assist you.

It’s also worth checking that your travel insurance covers any pregnancy-related medical care and keeping these documents close to hand as well.

Book a seat with more leg room

Not all of us have the budget to book business class. But if possible, try to reserve a seat at the front of the aisles. Generally, there is more leg room here, and if you have a particularly nice air hostess (like I did when flying with Qatar) then they will do their best to make you as comfortable as possible by giving you some props to keep your legs elevated during the flight. This will help reduce the risk of swelling (something I suffered from quite badly during the later stages of my pregnancy!).

Keep yourself mobile 

Another trick for reducing the risk of swelling is by keeping yourself moving. Whenever it is safe to do so (when the seat-belt sign goes off) try to walk up and down the aisles when you aren’t resting or having a meal.

If you’re heavily pregnant and struggling to walk, try to do small stints here and there as every little helps. It’s important to keep your blood circulation going as much as possible to reduce the risk of clots, which in severe cases can travel to your lungs.

You may also want to consider compression socks which will all help when it comes to looking after your health during the flight.

Drink plenty of water 

I would generally advise this on any flight, pregnant or not. However it is especially important to keep yourself hydrated during long haul flights as the pressurised cabin on a plane can make you more dehydrated and lead to oedema (water retention in the lower limbs). It not only reduces the risk of swelling, it will help prevent headaches and keep you feeling perky and refreshed. Just think of all those extra trips to the toilet as your excuse to get up moving! (And on that note, you may also want to consider booking an aisle seat so that you don’t have to repeatedly disturb other passengers when you do feel the need to go!)

Take lots of snacks

If you’re travelling for a long period of time, it’s also important to keep your energy levels up so be sure to stock up on duty free snacks after you have been through security. Nibbling on ginger biscuits are my top recommendation as they are great for easing nausea if you are prone to motion sickness. Pumpkin seeds and bananas, both rich in tryptophan, are also good for helping your body produce melatonin and serotonin, boosting feelings of well-being.

If you don’t manage to get any or want to avoid the added expense, don’t hesitate to ask the air hostesses if they could supply you with some extra snacks throughout your journey. Usually, they are pretty generous and good at checking up on you. When I recently flew with Qatar, they were kind enough to give me a goodies bag full of fruits, cereal bars and chocolate!

Try to get enough rest

When you’re not walking around or stuffing your face with snacks, try to get enough shut-eye. Especially if you are travelling overnight. Easier said than done I know! But try booking a seat where you think you’ll be most comfortable. I found that listening to some relaxing music would drown out the sound of the engine and other passengers and help me drift off. Keeping calm and relaxed throughout your flights is important as the stress hormone cortisol can cross your placenta and affect your unborn baby.

Last but not least, enjoy your trip!

If this is your first baby, now’s your chance to enjoy the luxury of uninterrupted time alone, with your partner or with friends. It’s also the last opportunity to make the most of travelling light! For the next few years, you’ll have to take a car seat, pushchair, nappies and toys with you wherever you go!

Have you ever flown while pregnant? Share your tips below. 

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The post A Guide To Flying Long Haul When Pregnant appeared first on Where Is Nikki?.

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