Read on for the lowdown on the practicalities on visiting Tanzania, including visa requirements, health considerations, and getting there.
– If your primary reason for travelling to Africa is to experience an abundance of African wildlife in unspoiled wilderness, then Tanzania should be your destination of choice.
– You simply cannot beat the wildlife concentrations found in Tanzania.
– The parks and wildlife reserves of Tanzania are inhabited by vast herds of wildebeest spread out across the Serengeti savannah, huge populations of elephants and buffalos, as well as plains game and their predators.
– All these animals interact and roam freely, the same as they have for thousands of years.
– Here you’ll witness an incredible diversity of ecology and will find the vegetation and bird life as fascinating as the big game.
– Tanzania is home to over 35 species of large four-legged mammals and has over 1000 species of birds listed.
Tanzania is a land without winter.
– Temperatures in Northern Tanzania range from 60-75 Degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 40-50 Degrees Fahrenheit at night from May to October.
– From November to March, the day time temperature varies from 70-90 Degrees Fahrenheit and 60 -75 Degrees Fahrenheit at Night. Please note that weather is highly unpredictable.
– English is widely spoken but a few words of Swahili are always appreciated.
– The unit of currency is Tanzania Shilling, which is divided in to 100 cents.
– Visitors can take in any amount of foreign currency, no currency declaration is required.
– Import & Export of Tanzanian currency is illegal.
– Most major foreign currencies particularly US Dollars, Pounds, Euro in cash or travellers’ cheques are accepted and are convertible at banks and bureau de change (“forex bureaux”), in the major towns, tourist areas, at the international airports, and border posts.
– Major credit cards are accepted in the larger hotels but it is however, advisable to carry cash in terms of American dollars.
– Credit cards are not widely accepted and carry poor exchange rates.
– Do NOT change money in the street.
– Most visitors require visas with the exception of citizens of certain countries of the Commonwealth.
– It is advisable to obtain them in advance from Embassies and High Commissions as several Airlines insist on them prior to departure.
– Visa can also be obtained on arrival at Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro airports and at the Namanga Gate on the Tanzania/Kenya border – single entry visa cost USD 50 per person for those of other nationalities, and the US passport holders are charged USD 100 per person.
– Requirements may change so you are advised to contact the appropriate diplomatic or consular authority before finalizing your travel arrangements.
– Although part of the union of Tanzania/Zanzibar remains independent, passports/ Tanzania visas are required even on a day’s visit.
– There are several airlines that fly from US, Europe, Middle East, Asia to Tanzania;
– To Kilimanjaro International Airport – KLM, Kenya Airways and Ethiopian Airlines.
– To Dar es salaam Airport – British Airways, Swiss Air, Emirates, Gulf Air
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Northwest Airlines) fly from major cities in the United States via Amsterdam to Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro.
– Whilst South African Airlines fly from the US via Johannesburg to Dar es Salaam.
– Tanzania can also be reached via African Regional Cities, served by Air Tanzania, Air Zimbabwe, Egypt Air, Ethiopian Air Lines, Kenya Airways, South African Airways, Air Kenya and Nationwide Airlines.
KLM is the only major international airline to fly directly into Kilimanjaro (JRO). Flights are from Amsterdam which has connections from most major International Airports (including Heathrow). This would always be our first recommendation availability allowing. For those short of time it is possible to arrive on the KLM flight landing 2030hrs in Kilimanjaro and start your trek or safari the very next day.
The next best option is usually to fly Kenya Airways to Nairobi and then on to Kilimanjaro (the second leg by Kenya Airways subsidiary Precision Air on a small prop plane). British Airways and Ethiopia Airlines also offer this route.
There are 4 major International Airports in Tanzania
– Kilimanjaro (JRO); 45min drive to Arusha.
– Dar es salaam (DAR); 10 minutes drive to city.
– Mwanza (MWZ); 10 minutes from City.
– Zanzibar (ZNZ); 10 minutes from Stone town.
– International Airport departure tax equivalent to US$ 40 per person is payable on departure from the International airports. A local airport service charge is also payable on departure for domestic flights. As this varies from country to country, please check with us on the prevailing amounts payable prior to your flight departure.
– Some Safaris/ Air charters limit baggage to a 10-15 kg maximum, so try to travel light.
– Bring along an extra bag in case you have extra items to be stored whilst on a scheduled trip.
– As in most major international cities, sensible security measures should be observed.
– Visitors are advised not to leave cash and valuables in their hotel rooms but to make use of safe deposit boxes and safes.
– Keep a close watch on purses, handbags, wallets and cameras. One should never carry large sums in cash and women should keep a tight grip on handbags in crowds or busy streets.
– Jewellery snatching is quite common in city streets.
– It is advisable to hire a taxi if you wish to move around at night and for your personal safety, avoid dark, deserted lanes and streets.
– If you are with our driver guides then it is best to leave the cameras and other equipment with him when you are walking around.
– As in all major cities walking alone or in small groups at night should be considered a hazard and avoided. Reliable taxis are available at all the principal hotels.
– Visitors from countries infected with cholera and yellow fever must produce international certificate of vaccination, this is particularly relevant for those travelling from neighbouring African countries.
– The UK department for health recommends vaccinations against hepatitis A, tetanus, polio and typhoid. Vaccines sometimes advised for Tanzania are: hepatitis B, and rabies.
– Malaria precautions are essential in all areas of Tanzania below 1800m, all year round.
– It is essential for visitors to take a course of anti malaria tablets, commencing two weeks before travel. Although Kilimanjaro is above that altitude, you will be spending time in a malarial area before and after the climb, so the sensible approach is to take anti-malarias.
– Modern medical services are available in Dar es Salaam and other major centres. There are only a limited number of chemists in the country, so visitors are advised to bring their own medicines with them.
– Don’t forget the camera, camcorder and binoculars and take a torch for finding your way around your camp at night.
– Stock up with replacement batteries for all these goods.
– Take Sunglasses, Sunscreen SPF 25+, Sun hat, Sun lotion SPF 25+, Lip Balm SPF 25+, and some insect repellent, it is better not to get stung even if you are taking anti-malaria tablets. It is best to take any medicines required for the duration of the visit.
– A spare pair of glasses or contact lenses is also a good idea.
Take plenty of film (if your camera is not digital type) – it is difficult to obtain outside centres.
– While travellers cheques can be exchanged in cities and towns, banking facilities in remote areas are restricted, so take plenty of cash.
– Distances in Tanzania are vast, and travel by road can be tiring.
– It is wise to spend more time in fewer parks. You will see more and won’t return home exhausted.
– Keep your distance from animals and be quiet to avoid distressing them.
– Always follow the instructions of your ranger or guide.
– Don’t leave your vehicle in the parks except in designated places.
– Keep to designated tracks to avoid damaging vegetation.
– It never gets really cold in Tanzania so lightweight clothing is the normal.
– Avoid brightly coloured cloths on safari, they may alarm the animals.
– Browns, beiges and khaki are preferred. Short-sleeve shirts / blouses and shorts are ideal, but pack a sweater it can be chilly in the early morning and in the evening.
– Wear a hat to avoid sun-stroke and don’t forget a swimsuit.
– Shoes should be sensible – walking through the dust is not like strolling through Hide Park.
– For climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Meru and O’ldonyo Lengai (please, go to ‘Useful Information’ then ‘Gear check-list’ section for all the gear you would need on the climb).
– Shorts for women are acceptable – but not too short.
-Women should carry a wrap to cover their legs in towns or villages as revealing cloths can cause offence, especially in Zanzibar and other Muslim areas.
– On the beach and within the confines of beach hotels, normal swimwear is acceptable but nudity certainly in not.
– Not normally obligatory but a tip for exceptional service – a maximum of 10% – will be appreciated.
– Tip $15-20 per day for a driver or tour guide and $10-15 per day for a cook (on a camping safari) but remember an excessive tip can make it difficult for the next customer.
– You are strongly advised to have your own insurance to cover travel, baggage, personal injury or accident and medical attention.
– It is prohibited to take pictures of State house, airports, military installations, police stations, the national flag, the State House, state lodges, any border post, soldiers, police, prisons and prisoners or any person. Before photographing local people, permission should be obtained and a fixed price agreed. Seek the assistance of your driver/guide in this matter.
– Please always seek advice from your driver guide before taking pictures.
– While on safari, make sure you have some way of protecting your camera from dust.
– As most of the safari game viewing takes place in the early morning and late afternoon, 100 or 200 ASA film is probably best to use.
– A telephoto or zoom lens is recommended.
Tanzania uses British square 3 pin plug sockets. Both mains electricity and generated supply in lodges provide 240 volts AC 50 cycles. Most large hotels and some game lodges provide shaving points with 110v 50 cycles. Sockets are normally three pin and of the ‘square’ variety.