How to Get a PCR Test in the Serengeti
As from March 2021, PCR testing (or rather, sample-taking) is now available at Seronera and Ndutu airstrips in the Serengeti. This facility has been implemented to prevent clients having to either curtail their safaris or dissect their safaris with a journey to Arusha or, more recently, Karatu (FAME Hospital), mid-safari - so as to satisfy the "less than 72 hours old" validity rule that most airlines are required to enforce.
What time can I get a test?
- The centre is open from 0800 to 1200 daily
When will I get my test results?
In theory, it is claimed that you may expect results to be emailed to you within 48 hours of the sample being taken. However, we recommend budgeting for a 72 hour turnaround time, but don't worry - the "test" date will be the date the sample is tested at the lab, not the day you visited the clinic.
Once the sample is tested, you'll receive a link to a URL on the Ministry of Health's website. Unfortunately, mobile devices currently cannot download these results as PDF files, so you need someone to access the results through a laptop or desktop, save them as a PDF and send this PDF to you. Once you receive the PDF you'll need to print this out and present it when boarding your homebound flight.
If you are on safari with TK we'll obtain the results for you in PDF format, and will WhatsApp these to you (if you have signal), and / or your driver, who will arrange to print them for you.
I've read about fake certificates. How do I prove mine is real?
Occasionally, when boarding, certificates are simply reviewed briefly and passengers are permitted to pass. However, increasingly, airline staff will verify the validity of certificates. This is simple to do by simply adding your passport number (in this example, 12345678) to the end of this URL: https://pimacovid.moh.go.tz/#/certificate/12345678
Additionally, airport staff may ask you for evidence of having paid for your test. If you're on safari with TK we will send you your receipt electronically, to satisfy this scrutiny.
How do I book an appointment & pay?
- For Team Kilimanjaro clients you can pay us directly. We'll book your appointment, obtain your control number, pay for the test, and liaise with the laboratory to ensure you obtain your results in time.
- If you're not on safari with Team Kilimanjaro, you should book an appointment 4 days before the date of sampling through the official website. You will need to select Mara Region > Musoma Regional Referral Hospital when booking an appointment. After registering, a control number will be generated and emailed / SMS'd to you. When filling in the appointment form - and this applies especially if using a mobile device - you need to be extremely careful. If any typing errors are identified at the clinic you'll be required to book and pay USD 100 again. There is no grace applied to human error.
- Use the control number to pay the government fee of USD 100 (TZS 230,000) via Mpesa, or at NMB or CRDB. If paying via Vodacom Mpesa, select the options Move money > Make payment > Pay government. Then paste the control number contained within the automatically generated SMS or email you should have received instantly after booking the appointment, and input the amount of 230,000. Then press Continue and confirm by entering your PIN code. Paying via Vodacom Mpesa will incur a charge of TZS 4,000 per TZS 230,000.
- Pay the additional handling fee applicable to Seronera of TZS 40,000 through Vodacom Mpesa using Merchant Number 5106362 (Tanzania Association of Tour Operators). To do this with Vodacom Mpesa, go to Move money > Make payment > Pay by M-Pesa, then select the Pay merchant tab. Enter the Till number as 5106362 and input the amount of 40,000 TZS (unless you're a TATO member, in which case enter only 20,000 TZS). Continue and confirm. Paying TATO via Mpesa will cost TZS 200 per TZS 40,000. There is no way to input a reference number when paying TATO, so you need to show your payment receipt at the clinic when being sampled.
- Keep the digital copy of your receipts for presentation in case these are requested when boarding.