Tanzania Travel Info
Important information on the country and traveling in Tanzania
Name The United Republic of Tanzania
Time Zone GMT + 3.
Capital City Dodoma.
Independence gained on 26 April 1964; Tanganyika became independent 9 December 1961 (from GB); Zanzibar became independent 19 December 1963 (from GB); Tanganyika united with Zanzibar 26 April 1964.
National Language Kiswahili or Swahili (official), Kiunguja (name for Swahili in Zanzibar).
Official Language English.
Currency Tanzanian shilling (TSh) & cents.
Land Area Tanzania covers a total area of: 945,087 sq km. This includes the islands of Mafia, Pemba and Zanzibar.
Drives on the Left.
Calling 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.
Population & People
• The projection for the year 2010 is around 43 million people.
Vegetation & Special Natural Features
• Tanzania is home to Mt. Kilimanjaro, 19,340 ft (5,895 m) which is the highest point in Africa;
• Tanzania contains three of Africa's best-known lakes—Victoria in the north common to Kenya and Uganda, Tanganyika in the west, and Nyasa in the south.
• The island of Zanzibar is separated from the mainland by a 22-mile channel.
• The Climate varies from tropical along coast to temperate in highlands.
• Tanzanian shilling (TSh) & cents.
• Please make sure that the dollars you bring are minted after 2000 or they will not be accepted.
• There is no limit to the amount of currency or traveller’s cheques that you may bring into the country. Please always carry your passports when you would like to change them though.
• Most of the hotels, lodges and shops in Tanzania will take the major credit cards. The preferred cards are Visa and Mastercard and some hotels do charge a 5% surcharge to use the cards.
• Reverting your Tanzanian shillings into hard currency is easily done at the airport, hotels and banks. It is recommended that visitors DO NOT change money on the black market as they are more likely to receive a lower rate of exchange or fake notes.
Passport / Visa
• A valid passport is required.
• Visitors require a visa to enter Tanzania, which they can obtain at the Tanzanian embassy in their own country, or at the airport on arrival.
• There is no national welfare scheme and visitors to Tanzania are responsible for their own medical expenses.
• Tanzania is considered a generally healthy place to travel. The SAFARI Company’s clients automatically become members of the Flying Doctors Rescue Service for emergency evacuation. However, you should carry your own complete holiday/medical insurance.
• Malaria protection is imperative. We recommend Malarone as a prophylactic.
• Yellow Fever is a mandatory inoculation required for Tanzania but please contact your doctor or a specialised travel clinic for further advice.
• Voltage is 220-240 A.C.
• Please bring sufficient batteries for photographic equipment, many lodges have limited power supply, but all are capable of re-charging your electrical goods for you.
• Please also bring adapter plugs (square pin, English standard).
• Most lodges do have a mobile phone signal in the lodge or nearby (under a tree or on a hill) which sometimes can be weak, so please do not always rely on it.
• Vodacom and Zain are the best mobile networks.
• Most lodges and hotels also have internet access in case of emergencies.
• Please respect the local people with regards to photography and only use cameras if they have permission by “the models” to do so.
• Never try to “steal” a photo against the will of the person concerned. Let your guide help negotiate terms before you start shooting!
• In TZ it is prohibited to take photos of airports, anybody in official uniform or state buildings.
Food & Water
• Although tap water can be reasonably safe, whenever possible, we recommend you drink bottled water; this is available in all lodges and camps.
• Please advise us of any allergies, likes or dislikes before you embark on your holiday.
• Please ensure that baggage is packed in soft bags and should weigh no more than 15 kg per person.
• It is possible to store luggage not required during the safari with us at The SAFARI Company or at your hotel if you are returning there after your trip. Please see our recommended packing list.
• Tanzania offers a treasure of experiences, ecosystems, wildlife and cultures. The SAFARI Company encourages our guests to support our guides by learning and honoring their policies which helps preserve our precious environment. In order to promote responsible tourism, we ask that you join us in observing the following tips.
Whilst on a game drive
• Please do not interfere with animal behavior.
• No more than 5 vehicles around an animal at one time (please accept the decision of your guide to leave an animal if he feels it is becoming overcrowded).
• Please do not get too close to the animals, 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.
• Please minimize off road driving.
• No speeding! Limit in parks is 40 km per hour.
Protect the Environment
• Please do not litter, even cigarette butts.
• Please do not collect bones, feathers, stones or plants etc. they are all mini eco-systems.
• 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, do not feel obliged to donate anything.
• Please report back to us if you are harassed.
Television & Music
• Most places do not have either and some safari vehicles do not have radios.
• The sounds of the ‘bush’ are so special, unique and memorable, we advise against either, but if you are a ‘music addict’, we suggest you bring your Ipod and sufficient power supply.
• The first thing most visitors notice is that Tanzanian’s as a whole are extremely friendly, helpful people. Much of Tanzania’s population is extremely poor though so take good care of your valuables, especially money and travelers cheques. Please do not leave money in your room or unattended in a safari vehicle.
• If you are walking around any major city, please do not wear flashy jewelry, and hold on tight to your bags.
• We cannot accept responsibility for theft and all hotels and lodges have a security box for valuables and lock-up rooms for excess luggage storage.
Guide to Tipping
• Although tipping is a safari tradition, it is never compulsory and should only be done if you feel you have received good service.
• The staff very much appreciates receiving gratuity from you, our guests, because it is one way of assuring them they are doing a good job.
• Most lodges have a staff tip box located at reception, or in a central location. We recommend $5 per client per day in the tip box. These tips will be divided among all lodge staff.
• If you are satisfied with assistance received from someone in particular, a personal tip is acceptable.
• In most lodges the driver/guide is tipped individually.