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Tanzania Travel Resources - Articles and Advise
Whether you are traveling to Tanzania for business, pleasure or study, the best way to ensure a carefree and relaxing trip is to prevent problems before they happen. The more you learn about passports, visas, customs, immunizations, and other travel basics, the less likely you are to have difficulties during your travel. In order to assist you with the planning of your Tanzania safari, we have provided an extensive list of traveling tips to help your journey go as smooth as possible. Alternatively, feel free to contact us should you require more information.
Tanzania Travel Tips / FAQs
From the snows of Mount Kilimanjaro, the vast plains of the Serengeti and the unique Ngorongoro Crater, to the barefoot luxury of its Indian Ocean islands, Tanzania offers some of the most wonderful locations in Africa.

What are the main attractions in Tanzania?
Tanzania is home to one of Africa's most magnificent game reserves; the seemingly endless plains of the Serengeti, where one of the world's greatest natural spectacles, the annual migration of some two million wildebeest followed by their predators can be observed. The Serengeti holds some of the largest concentrations of lion, cheetah and leopard in Africa, and is probably the best game reserve on the continent to see these predators. Take a balloon trip across the Serengeti to get a birds eye view of the plains.

Close to the Serengeti is the Ngorongoro Crater, a microcosm of East African game and landscapes and, therefore, a photographer's paradise. It is the largest unbroken caldera in the world and, together with its 25,000 large mammals and 100 species of birds, many have described it as one of the wonders of the world.

The nearby Tarangire and Manyara National Parks hold a diverse range of flora and fauna. Manyara is famous for its tree climbing lions, its vast array of bird life (an estimated 350 species) and its widely contrasting landscapes. Tarangire is renowned for its dense wildlife population which is at its most spectacular between June and October, the dry period, when animals congregate at the river.

Any attractions in Southern Tanzania?
In the south of Tanzania lies an untouched and relatively unknown game reserve. Selous, is roughly the size of Switzerland and is an excellent park in which to see elephant. The Rufiji River flows through the reserve and during the rainy season it floods the park. This, and its remote location explain its isolation from human contact and the vast concentrations of game. The most popular way of viewing game is on guided walks and by boat.

Tanzania's parks can be explored from the privacy of your own Land Rover with driver/guide. Accommodation is in private mobile camps or permanent camps and lodges. Both Zanzibar and the Tanzanian coast boast magnificent tropical palm fringed beaches. South of Dar es Salaam is one such location - Ras Kutani - a secluded paradise on its own private beach overlooking a peaceful lagoon, another luxury island lodge being Mnemba Island Lodge.

Where is Zanzibar in Tanzania?
Zanzibar is a short flight from Dar es Salaam and is the perfect island on which to relax after a safari. Lapped by the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean, Zanzibar offers superb diving and snorkeling and the chance to swim with dolphins. The unspoilt beaches and rustic chalets are the perfect cure to the stress of modern life - wake to fresh mangoes and other fruits, sunbathe, swim and relax during the day, and feast on fresh lobster at night. Zanzibar's stone town, with its maze of alleys and tucked away craftsmen is a fascinating place to explore. The history and cultures of this unique island have left their mark for all to experience. Of course no visit to Zanzibar would be complete without a spice tour of the island and a trip to the forests of the interior. Tanzania and Zanzibar make an ideal 2 week destination, spend a week on safari, and then wind down on one of the most relaxing places on earth. Here are a few tips you should know;

What is the local language in Tanzania?
While the national language of Tanzania is Kiswahili, English is the official language and is widely spoken and understood across East Africa.

Is Tanzania a safe safari holiday destination?

In the cities, adhere to the following:
> Don't walk alone in apparently deserted areas, especially in and around the cities. It is preferable and usually more enjoyable to walk with company or in groups.
> Don't carry large sums of cash in your purse or pocket or display expensive jewelry.
> Be aware of the possibility of pick-pockets and bag snatchers in crowded areas.
> Make photocopies of the first few pages of your passport, air ticket and other important travel documents.
> Keep this separate from the originals.
> Don't leave money or valuables in a hotel room. Most hotels offer safety deposit box service, and ensure that you have adequate insurance coverage before leaving home.

In the wildlife areas adhere to the following:
Always remember that while some animals have become accustomed to the presence of people they are still wild animals.
Keep your distance. It is illegal to feed any animal, make excessive noise to attract their attention, or deviate from designated roads for that closer photograph.
Never get out of your vehicle except at designated points.
Close all windows and zippers when you leave your room or tent and spray it with insect repellant.

The best way to get the most out of your safari is to take an active interest in everything going on around you, not just the number of species you can see in the shortest possible time. Ask all the questions you can think of and take reference books on not only wildlife but birds, insects and trees and read up about everything you see.

Health Precautions when planning a visit to Tanzania
It is advisable to take out emergency medical insurance prior to entering Tanzania.
Bilharzia: The bilharzia parasite is found in many lakes, streams and rivers on the continent. Avoid swimming in them!
Vaccinations for cholera, tetanus and yellow fever are advised.
Malaria is virulent in Tanzania. Take prophylactics two weeks before arrival and continue two weeks after leaving. Your chemist or doctor can advise you of the most suitable drug available as certain drugs lose their effectiveness.
Tap water in the major towns is purified and perfectly safe to drink. In the more remote areas always boil it first, except if you’re staying at a lodge or hotel where drinking water is perfectly safe. Bottled water is readily available in the bigger towns.
It is advisable to buy travel insurance covering accidents, illness or hospitalization for the period of your stay. Temporary membership in East African Flying Doctors' Service is also recommended for safari goers. Members who require emergency medical attention on safari are flown to Nairobi in Kenya for the best medical attention available in the East Africa.

What about Drinking Water?
Drink only bottled water or from flasks of filtered and boiled water provided by most hotels and lodges.

Are there Chemists / Pharmacies?
Travellers should carry an adequate supply of medicines and first aid accessories with them as supplies are limited in Tanzania. Most chemists in the major towns are open from 08h30 to 12h30 and 14h00 to 17h00. Monday to Friday and 08h00 to 13h00 on Saturdays. There are no emergency chemists open after office hours or Sundays.

What about the accommodations?
Standards and services range from up-market to tourist. Deluxe and first class hotels are found in the main cities and the resorts on the coastline of the country. Luxurious lodges are set in exotic locations, while comfortable tented camps are found in the main game parks.

Tips on Electricity?
Power supply is 220/240 volt 50 cycle. Plugs are usually 13-amp 3 pin square (British type)

Banking Hours
There are numerous banks in the major towns as well as many bureau de change. Hours of business vary from bank to bank, but most are open from 9h00 to 14h30, Mondays to Fridays, and 9h00 - 11h30 on Saturdays. Hotels and lodges change money outside these hours.

What is the Currency in Tanzania?
Currency unit is the shilling, comprising 100 cents. Coins are in denominations of 5c, 10c, 50c and 1 and 5 shillings. Bank notes are in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500,1,000 and 10,000 shillings. Importation of foreign currency is unlimited and has to be declared on arrival. The importation and exportation of Tanzania currency is illegal. Please note that visitors to Zanzibar are required to pay for their services in foreign currency. It's best to come into the country with either Travellers checks or dollars or pounds which can be exchanged at any of the many Bureau de Change in the main Towns. If you are offered an exchange on the black market at the borders, exercise extreme caution as they are notorious for cheating you without you even realizing it.

Credit Cards, Cash and Traveler's Checks
International credit cards are accepted by most restaurants, stores, hotels, lodges, camps, car rental firms, etc. However, many small shops in rural areas will not accept them. American Express, Thomas Cook, Visa and MasterCard Traveler's Checks are widely accepted.

Tipping in Tanzania?
A tip of 10% for good service is adequate. Service charges are frequently added and it is usual to tip a tour driver or guide at least US $5 a day.

Communications in Tanzania
Postal services are fairly well organized in Tanzania and you should have no problem sending or receiving letters. Telegrams are less certain. Public telephones are in a bad state of repair and you could wait hours for a line. Rather make international calls from your hotel. All major hotels have fax machines at the disposal of their guests as well as telex services. Telephone directories will list all the international dialing codes. Both local and long-distance calls are metered on a time basis. (Note the surcharge at hotels is quite high, but it will cost less in frustration).

When to Visit Tanzania
Between December and mid-March, the days are sunny, hot and dry and the nights are cool. Best time for deep sea fishing and scuba diving is between August and March when the ocean is calm and water is clear. Rains fall mainly from April to June.

Tanzania Climate
Although Tanzania is considered to fall in the tropics, climate and temperature varies depending on altitude and proximity to the ocean. Coastal regions are hot and humid while the central plateaus are warm and dry, with cool nights.

Dressing Code in Tanzania
Lightweight casual clothes can be worn all year round, with a jacket or sweater for early winter mornings and evenings. On safari keep clothes to a minimum and mostly of neutral coloring - khakis, browns and greens. A sunhat, sunglasses, sunscreen and insect repellant are a must. Bring a hat, good walking shoes and sun screen. Don't forget swim wear and binoculars. Some city restaurants and clubs have dress codes - casual jacket and tie for men, informal dresses for women.

Laundry Services in Tanzania
Most hotels and lodges will offer a laundry service. For low budget travelers there are no coin operated laundromats at all so consider drip dry clothing and be prepared for hand washing. In most places one could hire someone to do your washing.

Photography in Tanzania
Tanzania is considered to be a photographers dream destination. From panoramic scenery, wildlife and birds to people and vibrant ceremonies. Rich color and good low lighting conditions abound. It is considered rude to take pictures of people without asking them first. Members of local tribes will expect payment for posing. Always bring plenty of film and video cassettes if you're bringing a camcorder as well as batteries - as these items are difficult to get in Tanzania. Keep your cameras in a dust resistant, padded case and out of the midday sun. A 200mm (or longer) telephoto lens will prove very useful on safari, and an ultra violet filter and lens cap are strongly recommended. Please note that taking pictures of government and military personnel and installations is prohibited!

Driving and Road Conditions
Driving is done on the left side of the road. Drivers require a valid license that must include a picture of the holder. Road conditions are bad though slowly improving. If you’re doing a vehicle trip through Tanzania it is a good idea to carry a range of tools and essential spares with you. Two spare wheels and a couple of spare tubes are a must due to the condition of the roads. Spare jerry cans of fuel and water, a tow rope, compressor, winch and a spotlight are useful items to have. Many of the villages along the main routes offer tire mending services at a very reasonable fee. Be very careful in towns and villages not to leave your vehicle open and unattended. People with no money are easily tempted. You should have no problem sleeping outdoors in designated camping areas or remote places along the way, but get into the habit of locking things away before you go to sleep.

Car Rental in Tanzania
Car rental companies are represented at the major airports and in the cities, as are taxis. More >>>

Transportation by Air in Tanzania
Kilimanjaro International Airport, Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar are the main points of entry. Scheduled services link these cities to Arusha, the gateway to Tanzania's game parks, Mount Kilimanjaro, and other centers. Alliance, South African Airways' associate airline, links Johannesburg and Dar es Salaam with regularly scheduled air services. Air Tanzania is the national airline.

Departure Tax
An airport departure tax of U.S. $20 is levied when leaving the country. Please confirm with your travel agent if this tax is included in your air ticket fare.

Customs Requirements
All visitors must have a valid passport and are subject to clearance through customs. In addition, all non-Commonwealth citizens require a visa, to be obtained from Tanzanian Missions abroad or at the post of entry. Personal effects, including cameras, binoculars and film are allowed into the country duty free.

Time Differences
Throughout the year, Standard Time in Tanzania is three hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time, two hours ahead of Central European Winter Time, and eight hours ahead of Eastern Standard Winter Time in the U.S.

Related Pages:
Frequently Asked Safari Travel Questions
Kenya Travel Tips & Advice
Uganda Travel Tips & Advice

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