Tanzania Travel Tips
Name: The United Republic of Tanzania
Time: Zone GMT + 3
Capital City: Dodoma
Independence gained on 26 April 1964; Tanganyika became independent on 9 December 1961
Zanzibar: became independent on 19 December 1963 (from GB); Tanganyika united with Zanzibar on 26 April 1964.
National Language: Swahili or Swahili (official)
Official Language: English
Currency: Tanzanian shilling (TZS)
Land Area: Tanzania covers 945,087 sq km. This includes the islands of Mafia, Pemba, and Zanzibar
Drives on the: Left
Country Code: 255
Tanzania is in East Africa on the Indian Ocean. To the north are Uganda and Kenya; to the west, Burundi, Rwanda, and Congo; and to the south, Mozambique, Zambia, and Malawi.
International Flight & Domestic Flight
Several international airlines operate flights into Tanzania through Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, and Zanzibar International Airports.
British Airways fly direct to Dar es Salaam, from Heathrow, three times weekly. Other carriers operate in Tanzania via Europe. KLM, from Amsterdam to Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro daily and Swiss, from Zurich to Dar es Salaam five times a week. In addition, Emirates fly to Dar es Salaam via Dubai; Egyptian Air via Cairo; Ethiopian via Addis Ababa; Oman Air via Muscat; Qatar Airways via Doha; and Turkish Airlines via Istanbul.
Domestic carriers such as Coastal Aviation, Flightlink, Tropical Air, Fastjet, Precision Air, Regional Air Services, Safari Air link, Safari Plus, and ZanAir link the major cities, with tourist attractions and game parks. Air Tanzania, Coastal Aviation, Precision, and ZanAir fly between the mainland and Zanzibar.
International flights serve Dar es Salaam, eight miles from the city center, and Kilimanjaro, 31 miles from Arusha. Zanzibar airport is 5 miles from Stone Town.
An airport tax of USD 49 is levied on all visitors departing the country by air. In many instances, this fee is included in your airline ticket. Baggage is weighed at check-in counters and may be inspected by Customs officials. The airport departure tax for domestic flights is about USD 6. All fees are subject to change.
All visitors to Tanzania require a return or onward ticket and a valid passport with an entry or re-entry visa, duly endorsed. Visas are not required for visitors from some Commonwealth countries and other specified countries. Visas can be obtained from any Tanzania Diplomatic. Mission or Consulate abroad, and at main entry points including international airports, seaports, and border posts.
You can now apply for Tanzania Visa Online
The Tanzania Immigration Services have announced that visitors can now apply for an Online Visa to visit the United Republic of Tanzania (both Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar).
You are required to fill in the online form, make a payment, and submit your application online. Your form will be internally reviewed and processed.
Applicants will be notified through their e-mails whether their applications have been accepted or rejected. They may also track their application status through the online system. Applicants may as well be required to visit the nearest Tanzania Mission or Consulate for interviews.
To apply for your visa online visit the Tanzania Immigration website at the following link: https://eservices.immigration.go.tz/visa/
For details on Entry Requirements and Visa Information that needs to be considered before processing your application click the following
If you are flying, there are strict weight restrictions (15kg of luggage) whilst traveling on light aircraft for the following reasons:
- The aircraft is designed with maximum body weight and luggage weight allowance
- Some airfields are elevated and short and temperatures can be hot and therefore the permissible aircraft carrying capacity is reduced
- The aircraft have physical space restrictions.
It is highly recommended to bring soft-sided bags so that your bags can easily be bestowed. It is sometimes easier to carry two small bags rather than one large, and as most good camps have a laundry service, large amounts of clothing are not necessary.
All persons carried on the companies vehicles are governed by the respective laws of the land and all claims are subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of Tanzania.
It is strongly advised that you take out fully comprehensive insurance including death, medical expenses, injury, delays, loss, and damage of property. Afromasai Eastern Safaries will not be held responsible for any such claims.
What to take
Don’t forget the camera, camcorder, and binoculars, and take a torch for finding your way around the camp at night. Stock up with replacement batteries for all these goods. The main electricity supply is 220V, 50Hz. Plugs are usually the 13-amp 3-pin square (British) type.
Take sun-glasses, hat, sun lotion, lip balm, and some insect repellent. It is better not to get stung, even if you are taking anti-malaria tablets.
A spare pair of glasses or contact lenses is also a good idea.
Take plenty of films; it can be difficult to obtain outside the main centers.
Credit cards are useful in most areas, Banking facilities in remote areas are restricted, so cash is useful too. In built-up urban areas, automated teller machines (ATMs) are available.
What to wear
It never gets really cold in Tanzania, so lightweight clothing is the norm. On safari, avoid brightly colored clothes, they may alarm the animals. Browns, beiges, and khaki are preferred. Short-sleeve shirts/blouses and shorts are ideal, but pack a sweater as it can be a bit chilly in the early morning and in the evening. Wear a hat to avoid sun-stroke and don’t forget a swimsuit. Women should carry a wrap to cover their legs (knees in particular) and shoulders in towns or villages as revealing clothes can cause offense, especially in Zanzibar and other Muslim areas.
On the beach, and within the confines of beach hotels, normal swimwear is acceptable, but topless or nude bathing is strictly forbidden.
Suggested packing list
Good quality sunglasses, Sun hat & suntan lotion, Insect repellent, T-shirts and long-sleeved cotton shirts, shorts/skirts, Long trousers, Good walking shoes (running/tennis shoes are fine), Sandals, Warm winter jersey or fleece, Light rain gear, Bathing suit/pool wear, Camera equipment and plenty of film /memory cards (batteries and chargers), Personal toiletries (basic amenities supplied by most establishments), Malaria tablets (if applicable) and any prescription medication you are taking, Basic medical kit (aspirins, plasters, Imodium, antiseptic cream and Antihistamine cream, etc), and Visas, tickets, passports, money & photocopies of all important documents, to keep separately
Immunization and Health
Visitors from countries infected with cholera and yellow fever must produce international certificates of vaccination. This is particularly relevant for those traveling from other African countries i.e. Tourists coming from Kenya into Tanzania will need to show their Yellow Fever inoculation at the Namanga border crossing.
No immunizations are required by law to enter Tanzania if you are traveling directly from Europe or the US. If you are traveling from a country where Yellow Fever is present you will need to prove you have had the inoculation.
Several vaccinations are highly recommended when traveling to Tanzania, they include:
- Yellow Fever, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, and Diphtheria
The UK Department of Health recommends vaccinations against hepatitis A, polio, and typhoid. It is essential for visitors to take a course of malaria prophylaxis.
Modern medical services are available in Dar es Salaam and other major centers. Visitors are advised to bring their own medicines with them. It is also recommended that you are up to date with your polio and tetanus vaccinations. Rabies is also prevalent and if you’re planning to spend a lot of time in Tanzania, it may be worth getting the rabies shots before you go. Visitors are also advised to take anti-malaria tablets and make use of mosquito nets, mosquito oil and insect sprays where provided. Comprehensive travel and medical insurance are recommended before travel.
Tanzanians are well known for their friendly, laid-back attitude. In most cases, you will be humbled by their hospitality despite the fact that most people are a lot poorer than you. As you travel in the touristy areas, you will probably attract your fair share of souvenir hawkers and beggars. Remember that these are poor people who are trying to earn money to feed their families. If you aren’t interested then say so, but try and remain polite.
Basic Safety Rules for Travelers to Tanzania
- Make a copy of your passport and keep it in your luggage
- Don’t walk on your own at night in the major cities or on empty beaches especially in Pemba and Zanzibar
- Don’t wear Jewellery
- Don’t carry too much cash with you
- Wear a money belt that fits under your clothes
- Don’t carry a lot of camera equipment especially in the major cities
- Beware of thieves posing as police officers.
Currency and Money Matters
The unit of currency is the Tanzanian Shilling (TShs), which is divided, into 100 cents. Visitors can take any amount of foreign currency, no currency declaration is required, but the import and export of Tanzanian currency are illegal.
Most major currencies, particularly US Dollars are accepted and are convertible at banks and bureau de change in the main towns and tourist areas. Credit cards, mainly Visa and master cards, are generally only accepted in larger establishments but may attract a surcharge for processing. Keep small bills in handy for tips and please note that US$ notes are only accepted from the year 2000 onwards, older notes are not taken in most bureau de changes, banks, offices and camps/lodges/hotels.
Major foreign currencies are convertible at banks and Bureau DE Changes in the main towns and tourist areas. Credit cards, particularly Visa, are accepted at most upmarket Lodges but not at more low-key enterprises. In large towns, several banks offer ATM facilities against international credit cards. National park fees for the main northern circuit parks (Serengeti, Tarangire, Manyara, Arusha, Kilimanjaro) are payable only by Master Card, Visa Card or customized Tanapa cards sold at all branches of the EXIM Bank/CRDB Bank.
Yellow fever vaccination is no longer compulsory. Malaria is endemic but is preventable. Use insect repellent, cover up at sundown, sleep under a mosquito net and take anti-malaria prophylactics as advised by your doctor. Bring prescription medicines, spare glasses, contact lenses and solution as well as sunscreen, a first aid kit, cream for bites/stings and diarrhea remedy. Drink only boiled or bottled water, bottled or canned drinks, avoid ice cubes and salads. HIV/Aids is widespread, especially in the main tourist areas. (See Mt. Kilimanjaro section for altitude sickness advice.)
Tanzania has an equatorial climate but has regional variations due to topography. In the highlands, temperatures range between 10 and 20 °C (50 and 68 °F) during cold and hot seasons respectively. The rest of the country has temperatures rarely falling lower than 20 °C (68 °F). The hottest period extends between November and February (25–31 °C or 77.0–87.8 °F) while the coldest period occurs between May and August (15–20 °C or 59–68 °F).
Seasonal rainfall is driven mainly by the migration of the Intertropical Convergence Zone. It migrates southwards through Tanzania in October to December, reaching the south of the country in January and February, and returning northwards in March, April, and May. This causes the north and east of Tanzania to experience two distinct wet periods – the short rains (or “Vuli”) in October to December and the long rains (or “Masika”) from March to May – while the southern, western, and central parts of the country experienced one wet season that continues October through to April or May.
The onset of the long rains averages 25 March and the cessation averages 21 May. A warmer-than-normal South Atlantic Ocean coupled with a cooler-than-normal Eastern Indian Ocean often causes the onset to be delayed.
The national language is Kiswahili but English is widely spoken and is the language of the tourist trade. Afromasai Eastern Safaris, however, we have selections of multilingual driver-guides who are fluent in other foreign languages such as Spanish, French, German, Italian, Rusian, etc (apart from English International Language, the rest should be requested).
Pack lightweight, washable clothes plus a sweater for early morning game drives, as well as a sun hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. Long sleeves and trousers in light-colored fabrics help discourage insect bites. You can buy clothes all the major cities. Shorts for women are acceptable (but not too short). Women should carry a wrap to cover legs in the villages and towns are revealing clothes can cause offense, especially in Zanzibar and Muslim areas. On the beach and within the confines of beach hotels normal swimwear is acceptable (but not nudity). For climbing on Kilimanjaro or Meru, take thermal underwear, light layers, sweater, rain jacket, good socks and sturdy boots.
Distances in Tanzania are vast, and travel by road can be tiring. Plan to spend more time in fewer parks. You’ll see more and won’t return home exhausted. Keep your distance from animals and be quiet to avoid distressing the wildlife. Follow instructions of ranger or guides. Don’t leave your vehicle in the parks except in designated places. Keep to recognized tracks to avoid damaging vegetation.
Whilst on a game drive
- Please minimize off-road driving.
- Please do not interfere with animal behavior.
- No speeding! The speed limit in the parks is 40kph.
- Please do not get too close to the animals as this may distress them.
- Please do not get out of the vehicle without consulting your guide.
- Please try to be as quiet as possible when viewing wildlife close up, Your guide will turn off the vehicle’s engine whenever possible.
- No more than 5 vehicles around an animal at one time (please accept the decision of your guide to leaving an animal if he feels it is becoming overcrowded).
Protect the Environment
- Please do not litter, especially cigarette butts.
- Please do not collect bones, feathers, stones or plants, etc; they are all mini-ecosystems.
• Please do not buy bones, stones, feather displays or plants, etc.
- Please do not take photographs of the local people without asking their permission first.
• Please do not encourage trade or give personal items away to the local people (if we support begging we promote begging).
- If you have brought gifts to give to the local people, please give them to your guide for proper distribution.
• Beware of anyone asking you for gifts or money and do not feel obliged to donate anything.
• Please report back to us if you are harassed.
All of our safari vehicles are supplied with 3-pin with inventor for charging batteries (UK type) 230 Volt A/C sockets, which are available to clients for the charging of mobile phones and small electrical equipment. The Company owns a fleet of 4×4 vehicles driven by trained and experienced driver cum guides. Toyota Land Cruiser 4×4 jeep with pop-up roof, freezer or cooler box, binoculars, 1.5 litter per person per day drinking water during on game drives.
If you still use, film, bring all you need with you. For digital photography, most Lodges and Tented Camps now have facilities to charge camera batteries and the like. Protect your cameras from dust and keep equipment and film cool. It is courteous to ask permission before photographing local people.
3 hrs + GMT.
The electricity situation in Tanzania is based on English standards, meaning it is (usually) supplied at 230Volts, 50Hz. This means that all European equipment should work, from laptop power supplies to mobile phone chargers. 3 square pin plug outlets are the main source of electricity. Your appliances should therefore have plugs as per illustration. Therefore it is advisable to bring along a “multiple travel adapter”.
Travel with Children
Tanzanians love children and are especially helpful to mothers. However, canned baby foods, powdered milk, and disposable nappies may not be available outside major towns.
Tanzania is a generally safe country, but don’t invite temptation. Keep an eye on your belongings. Don’t walk in the town or cities at night take taxi. Don’t carry cameras or large amounts of cash; beware of pickpockets. Use hotel safety deposit boxes to safeguard valuables and obtain a receipt. Leave valuable jewelry at home.
Tanzania is a country that is growing and developing rapidly by world standards and so the relative value of a currency is beginning to come in line with the rest of the world gradually. With this in mind, we have put a few recommendations below as to what we tell our clients to budget. Please remember that all of our staff are paid and no one relies on tips as a substitute for wages. As with any tipping situation, if you enjoy your experience, give a generous tip, if you do not enjoy your experience, adjust the tip accordingly.
Below is a recommended guideline for tipping:
US$10 to $15 per day.
US$10 to $15 per day
US$10 per day per guide from group
US$10-$12 per day per cook from group
Assistant Mt. Guide:
US$8 per day per asst guide from group
Porters on Mountain:
US$15-$20 per porter for duration from group
Porters at Lodges:
These are found at most lodges. We recommend these as your tip is then distributed fairly among all the staff We recommend that tipping is usually done at the end of the trip and given directly to the person it is meant for. Whilst larger denomination bills are acceptable, we recommend you also bring some smaller denomination bills as sometimes change is not easily attainable.
Tanzania Plastics Bags Ban
Plastic Bag Ban with effect from 1st June 2019: – tourists, can face very heavy fines for using Plastic bags. Using, manufacture, or importation of plastic bags, including garbage bags and shopping bags, is illegal. Convicted offenders, including tourists, can face very heavy fines, imprisonment for up to two years, or both. Learn more about the plastic bag ban. Visitors are advised to avoid packing any plastic bags in their suitcases or in carry-on hand luggage before flying to Tanzania. Items purchased at the airport before boarding the aircraft should be removed from plastic bags. Please check hand luggage before disembarking at entry points and any plastic bags should be left in the plane. Similarly, the transparent “zip-lock” plastic bags that some airlines require passengers to use for keeping liquids, cosmetics, toiletries, etc separately in hand luggage are also not permitted to be brought and should be removed and left on the plane before disembarking.