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TRAVEL ADVICE

Please note that this page is offered as help, we are not expert travel advisers and that especially in the case of medical and health matters, you should always consult your Doctor.

GENERAL

Language
English is widely spoken but a few Swahili words are always appreciated.

Tipping
In restaurants a tip for exceptional service – a maximum of 10% – will be appreciated.

Airport tax
For International flights an Airport tax of $30  is levied, which may be included in the price of an air ticket. When leaving on domestic flights from Dar or Zanzibar, an Airport tax of USD 13 is usually charged.

Religions in Tanzania
Christian, Indigenous Beliefs, predominantly Muslim in Zanzibar

Time
GMT + 3 hours

Opening hours in Tanzania
Government offices: 7.30am to 3.30pm Monday to Friday
Banks: 09:00 – 16:00
Businesses: 8.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 1.00pm Saturday
Shops often close for lunch and sometimes on Friday afternoons for mosque services.
Many are open for part of Saturdays and Sundays.

International Dialing Code +255

Radios
BBC KHz: (daytime) 17885,11940,9770, (evening) 21470,11940,6005

VISAS

In the United Republic of Tanzania (which includes Zanzibar) visas are required by almost all nationalities. The cost can be as high as USD 100, depending upon your nationality. Tourist visas usually have one-month validity, unless you request a longer period. Visas can be obtained before travel, from Tanzanian Embassies and High Commissions around the world.

If you have been unable or have not had time to procure a Visa in advance, it is possible to obtain a tourists’ single-entry visa at Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar or Kilimanjaro International Airports, and also at the Namanga entry point (Tanzanian-Kenya road border point) subject to the fulfillment of all immigration and health requirements. You will need to carry USD in cash to pay for these. (USD 50 – 100 depending on your country of origin)

DOCUMENTS

Driving License
if you intend to drive in Tanzania, international driving licenses are required. Failing this you can use your national license to get a temporary Tanzanian license from the traffic police, but this is much more hassle.

Health Card
Visitors from countries infected with Cholera and Yellow Fever must produce international certificates of vaccination.

Customs
it is illegal to export shells, coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Please don’t do it. Visitors arriving at Zanzibar pass through local Immigration and Customs, even if arriving from mainland Tanzania.

Baggage
It is a good idea to have smaller cases rather than one large one, if you are planning to take internal flights around Tanzania. Some safaris/air charters limit baggage to a 10 – 15 kilo maximum.

Currency
The unit of currency is the Tanzanian Shilling (TZS). Note denominations are 10,000, 5,000, 1,000 shillings nd coins of 500, 200, 100 and 50.

Changing money
It is best to carry your hard currency in US Dollars. Please note that in Tanzania US Dollar notes from 2009 or earlier are no longer legal tender and cannot be accepted by Tanzanian banks.
You can change hard currency, travellers cheques in plenty of places.
You cannot change travellers cheques for USD.
Keep hold of your changing receipts so that you can change your shillings back to hard currency when you leave.

Almost all hotels, car hire, diving, safari operators, airlines etc. will require you to pay in US Dollars currency. Traveller’s cheques are usually changed at around 5% to 10% lower than cash. Credit cards are accepted in many hotels etc. but a charge of up to 20% may be levied. Sometimes airport tax is only accepted in USD, which means you must have some with you. There is no black market of any note. Ignore offers on the street – it’s probably a set-up.

MEDICAL AND HEALTH

General
Don’t drink tap water – bottled water is widely available and should be used at all times.

Malaria
Malaria is endemic to the region, especially on the coast. It is transmitted by infected mosquitoes.
You are advised to take preventative medication Ask your doctor about prophylactic pills.
Remember that mosquitoes are most active during the evening and night

  • Wear light coloured clothing – mosquitoes don’t like to be seen
  • Wear long trousers and long sleeved shirts in the evening
  • Use mosquito repellents, preferably with natural ingredients, as some of the chemicals used in some brands can give unpleasant side-effects avoid wearing perfumes or aftershaves

If infection is suspected medical advice should be sought immediately. Malaria is detectable with a simple blood screen, but the sample is best taken during a high cycle of the fever, when the infection is at its most active.

VACCINATION TABLE

Type Vaccination Duration Comments
Cholera   No longer recommended. Only necessary if travelling from infected countries.
Diptheria & Tetanus 10 year booster For long stay visitors, rural travel
Hepatitis A Up to 10 years Recommended
Hepatitis B   For extended travel or high risk
Polio 10 year booster Recommended
Typhoid Up to 10 years Recommended
Meningitis A & C 3 years Long stay visitors, rural
Rabies   Long stay visitors, rural travel
Yellow Fever * Up to 10 years Recommended – now necessary if coming from area where this is endemic

Modern Medical services are available in Dar es Salaam, at the Aga Khan Hospital, the IST Clinic and the Nordic Clinic.
Visitors are advised to bring their own personal medicines with them.

* Inoculation against Yellow Fever is required in Tanzania only if arriving from the Yellow Fever Endemic Zone which includes the following Countries: 

Angola, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil,   Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Congo, Cote D’Ivore, Democratic Republic of Congo,  Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, French Guiana and, Gabon, Gambia,   Ghana, Guines Bissau, Guyana, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Niger,  Nigeria, Panama, Peru,  Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somali, Sudan and Suriname, Togo, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela, Zambia

Travellers who happen to be on transit in any of the Yellow Fever Endemic Countries will be exempted from the requirement of inoculation against Yellow Fever. Inoculation service, in case required upon entry in Tanzania, will be offered FREE OF CHARGE at Dar es Salaam or Kilimanjaro Airports.

WHAT TO WEAR

It never gets really cold in Tanzania so lightweight clothing is normal. On safari avoid brightly coloured clothes, they may alarm the animals. Browns, beiges and khaki are preferred. Short-sleeved shirts or blouses, and shorts are ideal but do pack a warm sweater, it can be chilly in the early morning and in the evening, especially in northern Tanzania.

Wear a hat to avoid sunstroke and don’t forget sunglasses, sun cream and a swimsuit. Shoes should be sensible for walking in the bush. Shorts for women are acceptable – but not too short. Women should carry a wrap to cover their legs in towns or villages as revealing clothes 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 is not.

WEATHER

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Temperature (Fahrenheit)
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High 84 84 81 77 72 70 69 72 76 80 81 81
Low 77 76 75 74 72 68 67 67 67 70 73 76
Temperature (Celsius)
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High 30 31 30 29 28 28 27 27 28 30 30 30
Low 25 24 23 23 22 20 19 19 19 21 22 24
Precipitation
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Inches 2.8 2.5 5.0 10.6 7.2 1.3 1.1 1.0 1.1 1.9 3.3 3.7
Centimeters 7.0 6.0 12.0 26.0 18.0 3.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 4.0 8.0 9.0
Morning Humidity
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Percent 93 92 96 97 96 96 96 97 97 97 96 94
Evening Humidity
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Percent 64 60 67 73 67 59 56 54 54 57 60 65
Arusha, Tanzania
Temperature (Fahrenheit)
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High 84 84 81 77 72 70 69 72 76 80 81 81
Low 50 51 53 57 52 48 49 48 47 51 51 50
Temperature (Celsius)
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High 36 37 35 33 30 27 27 28 32 34 38 35
Low 10 8 8 11 10 7 7 7 8 9 10 10
Precipitation
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Inches 2.3 3.3 7.0 14.5 8.3 1.3 0.6 0.8 0.8 1.4 4.4 4.0
Centimeters 5.0 8.0 17.0 36.0 21.0 3.0 1.0 1.0 2.0 3.0 11.0 10.0
Humidity
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Percent 82 84 95 95 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 94 98 91

Frequently Asked Questions

The long dry season, which lasts from July through October, is the ideal time to visit Tanzania. The Great Migration, treks, safaris, and Zanzibar beach vacations are all at their best during these months. The busiest time of year to visit Tanzania is around July. Elephants are congregating at Tarangire National Park as the migration approaches Kenya. The Big Five are more likely to be seen in August because animals begin looking for water sources, making their movements predictable for guides.

Flamingos also flock in large numbers to Lake Natron because they may find food and refuge there. The migratory herds of wildebeest and zebra are dispersed across the Serengeti in September, the last month of the peak season. The Mara River, which flows from Kenya’s Northern Serengeti, is their main barrier. It can be thrilling to see herds of wildebeest desperately swim through crocodile-infested waters. For those fascinated by the wildebeest population, visiting near the end of January is a great time to see the calving season on the Ndutu Plains.

One of the top tourist towns in the world is Stone Town in Zanzibar. Visitors can interact with the welcoming residents, wander the narrow alleyways, or go to the Old Fort, a stunning historic structure in the town that was erected by the Omani Arabs to defend themselves from the Portuguese.

The picturesque Forodhani Night Food Market offers mouthwatering street food for visitors to savour. The town is spectacular and unique because of the gorgeous Swahili architecture, the vibrant and busy marketplaces, and the breathtaking ocean vista.

Tanzania genuinely has something to offer every kind of traveller. Incredible game reserves filled with wildlife, beautiful beaches, opulent lodging, and amazing culture and cuisine are just a few of the attractions.

When visiting Tanzania, it’s important to plan out everything you want to do to make the most of your trip. As you make your itinerary for your vacation, consider visiting these must-see tourist destinations.

Visiting each one of our list of 15 best things to do in Tanzania will give you an incredible insight into the country and will make your trip incredibly memorable.

READY TO PLAN YOUR TOUR?
YES, I WANT TO PLAN

GECKO ADVENTURE TO TANZANIA

There are lots of tour operators organising trips to Tanzania. It can be hard to choose who to go with! We can assure you that when Gecko Adventure to Tanzania, you are travelling with friends. Whether you are interested in climbing Kilimanjaro, going on safari in one of many beautiful national parks, or snorkelling in Zanzibar, we’ve got you covered.

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