News

OUR COMMITMENT TO ENVIRONMETAL SUSTAINABILITY

We at Banana Farm Eco Hostel understand that sustainability is a way of life and we as a farm should practice what we preach. These are some of our hostel eco-features;

  • We have a large farm where we grow our own organic vegetables and fruits. The rest we don’t grow we source them from organic farmers from the village. We keep cows on the farm and we use milk from the cows for making yoghurt while waste from their house is used to produce biogas and electricity.
  • 100% of the energy the hostel uses comes from renewable sources. We use both solar and biogas energy and we heat our water with biogas heating system that produces zero CO2 emissions. Our biogas plant tour can be given while you are staying with us.
  • We use low energy lighting inside the hostel and we activated lighting sensors in common areas such as corridors and garden.
  • We usually urge our guests to bring refill bottles with them as we have refill point for clean filtered water that is sourced from a fresh water spring in our farm. We also offer our guests reusable bottles to buy/ borrow during their stay, reducing the use of plastic by 850 bottles per month. No chemicals are used to treat water. Instead, we use a reverse osmosis and filtration system.
  • We have on site facilities for recycling including different disposal containers and information available to guests.
  • We recycle old clothes and turn them into amazing canvases for paintings that you can see in the rooms. Old towels are turned into flower pots.
  • We have used so much recycled materials to build and decorate the rooms ranging from reclaimed wood logs for beds, tables, chairs and benches and empty bottles of wine for flowers. This all can be seen around the farm
  • We are constantly raising awareness about the importance of sustainability, both to our  guests and through our  social networks in and around our village
  •  Kitchen waste, dead leaves from trees and food waste is composted on-site for making fertilizer for the garden and farm.
  • Toilet papers and cleaning products we use are completely biodegradable
  • We also have a reuse corner, where guests can leave what they no longer need and take whatever they do.
  • For serving breakfast and meals we use ceramic dishes (no single-use anything!)
  • Bicycle rentals on the farm. We try as much to promote sustainability among our guests by helping them find ecological means of transport like biking, walking and using local buses. We have painted canvases around the hostel that help guests save water, energy and point out interesting facts about the human impact on the environment.
  • Lastly we do offer ecological hiking, bike rides, book exchanges, and guided tours around the farm in the village to support eco-tourism among our guests making them ambassadors for eco travel while on their trips around the world.

COVID-19 Protocols & Entry Requirements for Tanzania

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

  • All travelers will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test certificate upon arrival. The test should be based on a RT PCR using sample collected within 72 hours before arrival in Tanzania.
  • All travelers entering the United Republic of Tanzania at any port of entry will be subjected to a rapid test. The cost is 25 USD per traveler payable in cash or card .We recommend having cash just in case the card system won’t work.
  • Guests are also required to fill out a Traveller’s Heath Declaration Form 24 hours before travelling. Upon completion, the website generates a control number which is required in order to pay for the rapid test. Guests will have the option of paying for their rapid test by credit card on the site. This is the preferred option to avoid long queues at the airport.  
  • Hand hygiene, wearing face masks and maintaining physical distance is required at all times while in public.

COVID19 TESTING IN  ARUSHA-TANZANIA

HOW TO TAKE A PCR TEST IN TANZANIA FROM ARUSHA

You can take PCR Test either at Mount Meru Regional Referral Hospital (government hospital) or Selian Hospital (this is a private hospital so there’s an extra charge for taking the test).

Since 4th of January 2021 new rules have been implemented by the Tanzanian government.
You need to register on the official test site:https://pimacovid.moh.go.tz, with your passport and telephone number.

Here you will register and choose a hospital where you want your test taken.

After you register you will get an amount to pay for your test reference number sent to your e-mail or sms.Please keep this reference number as you need it for payment before going to the hospital to take your test.

HOW PAYMENT IS DONE

Once you have a reference number you can make payment. Payments can be made vua banks like NMB or CRDB or via the Mpesa/Tigo Pesa/Airtel Money electronic payment system (for those who have access to a Tanzanian phone number/account.

If you want a paper receipt please use NMB payment at any of the agents in Arusha to make payment.

COVID19 TEST payment is 230,000/= Tsh and after making the payment you will get a confirmation message that you can go with it to the hospital and take your test.

PCR TESTING AT THE HOSPITAL

At the hospital; the samples are taken from your throat and nose. It will take up to 48 hours to get the results since the samples are sent to Dar es Salaam for testing.

 If your airline has strict regulations regarding the validity time of the certificate make sure you perform your sample taking in the morning – so it can be sent to Dar es Salaam the same day of the sample taking.

The date stated on your certificate is the date the test was performed in Dar es Salaam, not the date the sample was taken. So in short, yes you can meet all requirements of up to 72hours if you take your test at least 72 hours before your flight.

RAPID TESTING AT KILIMANJARO AIRPORT

Recently KLM and some other international airlines require a Rapid Covid-19 test as an additional obligation to the PCR test. This rapid test must be taken at least up to 2 hours before departure. Rapid testing is performed on all airports that KLM flies from and to: Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam. The cost for this test is 25 USD per person/test. To be paid in cash/card in USD /TSH at the airport.

Reserve enough time for this test to prevent any issues, and arrive at the airport at least 4 hours before departure.

TESTING TIME

Any time between 8:00 AM and 15:30 PM, 7 days of the week.

COVID19 TESTING IN THE SERENGETI

As of February 13th, PCR-type COVID-19 coronavirus tests are available in central Serengeti National Park, at Seronera Village. This testing facility has been set up in response to increasing need for Coronavirus testing prior to guest’s return flights to their home countries. As of late all tourists and locals , require proof of a negative COVID test within 72 hours prior to flight departure. Prior to this move by the Tanzanian government, the only options for testing were in the main cities, which would be prohibitive for those in the country with a strict sightseeing schedule.

COVID-19 TESTING PROCEDURE

Testing is available for all guests regardless of showing symptoms or not, and regardless if they need the test to fly onward to their next destination or not. The Seronera testing facility in the Serengeti is open between 8:00 am and 12:00 pm daily. No prior appointment is needed, but they are recommended.

Testing will be done by a qualified medical professional via a nasal swab. Samples will be flown express to Dar es Salaam city for analysis, and results will be delivered via e-mail or Whatsapp within 48 hours. (So, if you are scheduled for a departure flight on Thursday, you should get tested on the Monday to allow enough time for results to be delivered.)

COVID-19 TEST COSTS

The fee for COVID test, whether in the city or at the new testing facility in the Serengeti, is USD$100 (or the Tanzanian shilling equivalent, approximately Tsh230,000). Payments can be made in cash or via the Mpesa electronic payment system (for those who have access to a Tanzanian phone number/account). MasterCard or Visa credit or debit card payments will be charged a separate fee to cover the cost of payment processing.

In addition to this there is a fee that must be paid, which differs according to your tour provider’s TATO (Tanzanian Association of Tour Operators) classification status. Non members must pay and additional Tsh40,000 per guest tested, while members need pay only Tsh20,000 per person.

COVID-19 TEST SCHEDULING

If you need, or want, a COVID test prior to departing the country, please let us know prior to arrival, and we will set everything up for you in order to get your results back before your departing flight. We will then do all of the scheduling on our end, through the electronic registration system.

We are merely acting as a facilitator in order to assist Guests who require a COVID-19 test. Guests are solely liable for settling all COVID-19 related fees and costs which are paid for on the ground at the time of testing. All testing is carried out by third parties with no association or affiliation to us and we are not liable or responsible for any issues, delays or problems encountered during the testing process or the performance or non-performance of the testing facilities.

Please note: The above information has been researched with the utmost care. However, we can provide no guarantee of accuracy and the information and detail change regularly. Please always check travel restrictions both in your home country and the destination you are travelling to before you book and before travel.

Have any questions regarding Corona Virus testing? Just let us know!

www.bananafarm.eco

Biogas plant

While staying at Banana Farm Eco Hostel please take time to learn or see our biogas system. Biogas is a clean and renewable fuel that you can make yourself. You will be able to cook all of your normal meals with it, light your house or even heat your water for shower. Biogas is a type of bio-fuel that is naturally produced from the decomposition of organic waste.

When organic matter, such as food scraps and animal waste, break down in an anaerobic environment (an environment absent of oxygen) they release a blend of gases, primarily methane and carbon dioxide. 

Because this decomposition happens in an anaerobic environment, the process of producing biogas is also known as anaerobic digestion.

We make biogas here at my hostel and we use it for cooking by refilling the gas cylinder to use in our kitchen. We also provide gas to the villagers for free whenever they run out of cooking gas in their houses but they must have special tanks for refilling.

How Is Biogas Made?

Our Biogas is made in a biogas digester. We call it a digester because it is a large tank filled with bacteria that eats (or digests) organic waste and gives a flammable gas, called biogas. The bacteria in the biogas digester need to be cared for like you would care for an animal. If the bacteria have too much or too little food they get sick. You must feed the bacteria every day with a mixture of food waste and water. In addition to biogas, the systems make waste that is rich in nutrients.

Biogas systems make use of a relatively simple, well-known, and mature technology. The main part of a biogas system is a large tank, or digester. Inside this tank, bacteria convert organic waste into methane gas through the process of anaerobic digestion.

Each day, Ali who takes care of the cows feeds the digester with manure and urine from our cows. The methane gas produced inside biogas system is used in our eco hostel for cooking and soon we will start using it for lights and water heating for shower.

Waste that has been fully digested exits the biogas system in the form of organic fertilizer. We use this waste to grow our bananas, vegetables and most of the fruits you have for breakfast/lunch/dinner at our eco hostel. It’s an eco friendly organic fertilizer.

Guest Review Award 2018

After heaving 215 reviews on Airbnb and Godwin being a Superhost since more than 3 years the hostel now got it’s first Booking.com Guest Review Award for 2018. 

Guess what? It’s 9,9 out of 10! 

Thanks a lot to everyone who stayed with us in 2018 and will stay at Banana Farm Eco Hostel in the future. We’re looking forward to host all of you in the lovely Ambureni close to Arusha, Tanzania.