How to Pay for Your Safari

Step 1. Once we have received your booking details we will request from you a non-refundable booking deposit of USD 150 per person plus the value of the accommodation element of your safari. (Timely receipt of this enables us to obtain a firm booking at your chosen lodges and camps).

Step 2. The final balance of payment (ie the entire amount minus your deposit payment) must please reach us 30 days prior to your arrival into Arusha, or else can be paid in cash in US Dollars on arrival, if you would prefer this.

Payment Options

Important payment notes:

Deposit payments for climbs, safaris and accommodation

A) Where the deposit amount is under USD 600 it is usually most cost-efficient to pay this by credit card via PayPal. For values greater than around USD 600 – depending on the fee structure of the organisation that you bank with – it is usually more cost-effective to pay the deposit by wire transfer.

B) PayPal do not accept multiple currency accounts to be linked to their merchant accounts. This requires that we invoice PayPal invoices in Sterling. We obtain the Sterling rate by dividing the Dollar quoted value by [0.9865 x the live mid-market rate as published on] to obtain a commercial Sterling purchasing rate that is significantly more competitive than most UK High Street banks.

C) PayPal payments are subject to credit card surcharges of 3.9% of the value of the transaction.

D) Please note that PayPal’s security settings often disallow use of a credit card that is attempted to be used outside the country where that card is registered. PayPal’s algorithms are able to determine the country in which you are currently located through the IP address of the computer that you are using. If you are travelling away from home it will therefore be necessary to request a relative to pay on your behalf or else for you to effect a wire transfer if your banking facilities allow international payments over the internet or by phone.

Paying the final balance for your safari or climb

A) If you have not completed your booking more than 30 days prior to your proposed safari and we are still able to secure your dates and accommodation and therefore accept the booking, you will be required to pay a deposit using a credit card via PayPal (and not a PayPal bank transfer, as these take up to 9 days to clear), with the final payment for your safari being due strictly in cash in US Dollars on arrival as bank transfers to East Africa can be subject to long delays and bad routings which can take some time to correct.

B) Credit cards and travellers’ cheques cannot be accepted for payments made on arrival.

C) ATMs in Arusha should not be relied on as a means of obtaining cash for payments on arrival as they do not issue US Dollars and are often underfunded, with daily withdrawal limits being as low as TZS 200,000 (around USD 150).

D) Payments in cash are required to be in denominations of 100s and 50s only, with notes being printed in the year 2000 or later. The reason for requiring new notes is that Arusha banks have relatively primitive authentication technology and will not accept older notes. Similarly, most bureaux des changes will not accept older notes and where they do accept them, they will usually only pay around 70% of their face value. The reason for requiring denominations of 100s and 50s is that where local currency is required to be obtained by our representatives, bureax des changes will generally only pay some 70-85% of the face value of smaller denomination  notes. Denominations larger than 100s are generally not accepted by Arusha banks.

E) Please ensure that when initiating the wire transfer you stipulate the correct account name, and not any of our trading names, such as ‘Safari Tours | Tanzania’, etc. The correct account name is very clearly provided on the payment instructions that we will send you. If an incorrect account name is detailed on the remitting bank’s SWIFT instruction, the receiving bank will not be permitted to credit funds to the intended recipient account  without transgressing strictly enforced international anti-money laundering legislation.

F) When arranging the wire transfer please ensure that you instruct your bank to effect the transfer so as to arrive into our bank account free of bank charges. Should a climber’s bank be unable to effect these instructions, any outstanding bank charges incurred will be invoiced for payment in cash on arrival.

Frequently asked questions about payment for safaris and climbs

When I buy other stuff with PayPal I usually don’t have to pay any credit card surcharges or currency conversion charges. Why then, do you have to charge me these?

Most sellers cost the item being sold on the basis of the most expensive means of their receiving funds for that item, and factor these costs into the original item price calculation. Effectively, this means that everyone pays these invisible charges, whether they use an expensive transfer method or a more cost-effective method, so that there are no rewards for using more efficient payment methods. Conversely, the price of our safaris reflects the amount that we need to receive, not necessarily the amount that you will pay, and does not therefore include invisible variable surcharges that are applied on the basis of the least efficient payment method. Those people using more cost-efficient payment methods will therefore benefit, even though these transfer costs will appear to constitute an additional cost.

As a company that operates in Tanzania and has staff in the UK, why do STT choose to bank in Cyprus and not, say, in the UK or the USA?

At the risk of sounding like an advertisement for the excellent bank that we use, the reasons are several:

 The Cyprus bank that we use is one of very few that has branches both in the European Union and in Tanzania. This structure allows swift and reliable relay of funds. Payments from other banks into Tanzania tend to be slow with funds often sitting on the receiving bank’s system for several days before being credited to the recipient account holders.

 The bank that we use has excellent internet transfer facilities for international payments that allow transfers to be initiated from within any country, and on any day of the year.

 We have banked previously with two different UK banks. One bank required a representative to attend in person to initiate an international transfer – which increases our staffing costs and therefore our safari prices. The other UK bank, while claiming to be secure, evidently had little confidence in the security of its transfer initiation protocols as we grew to find that the majority of payments – while all being authentic – were nonetheless flagged, frozen and required a representative of the bank to call us and verify that the transfer was genuine, which procedure generally added two or three days to the time taken to send the funds. While currencies are fluctuating dramatically, a couple of days delay can easily incur a loss of some 5% of the original transaction’s value, and such losses are required to be passed on via the published prices for our services.

Why do safari-goers not simply send payments to a Tanzania-based bank directly?

While Tanzania is adequately equipped in terms of provision of essential services related to the tourism industry, the country’s infrastructure more generally speaking, is still very much of third world order. A couple of the more pertinent aspects of this fact as they apply to banking is that it is not unusual for the TANESCO mains electricity supply to drop below 150 volts and for servers to be reset.

Such is the unreliability in Tanzania of the hardware that developed countries rely on in order to provide reliable access to account enquiry and transfer services that last year we lost our internet banking facility on our Tanzanian account. Our branch assured us that service would be resumed imminently. We are still waiting for this event.

Additionally, payment attempts to Tanzanian accounts almost routinely get delayed for a number of days, and on occasions, these delays can run to a couple of weeks while the receiving bank tries to decipher the format that the sending bank has used and which is of course procedurally consistent with transfer remissions in the country from which it has been sent, but which is probably not a format that  the receiving bank is very well acquainted with.

We therefore aim to ensure that every funds transfer to our Tanzanian bank derives from a sole source and are now confident that the account operatives in Dar es Salaam at our bank’s national headquarters (with whom we are in direct and regular telephone contact) are thoroughly conversant with the sending format of our Cyprus bank and are aware of what to look for when we send payments. This relationship allows us to track all payments telephonically and without delay and to ensure that funds are credited within 24 hours of their reaching the bank’s national headquarters.