Question Frequently asked about Tanzania Travel

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Frequently asked questions about Tanzania

  • What documents do I need to travel to Tanzania?
  • How do I get there/ Tanzania?
  • How safe is Tanzania?
  • What is the best time to travel to Tanzania?
  • What is the Local time in Tanzania?
  • Do I need to take medical care before going to Africa?
  • Is there access to medical facilities in Tanzania?
  • What sort of money, dollars or Tanzanian Shillings?
  • Is internet access available in Tanzania?
  • Can I use my mobile phone in Tanzania?
  • What is the best time to locate game on a Safari in Tanzania?
  • Am I allowed to feed the wild animals in Tanzania?
  • What sort of clothing should I take with me to Tanzania?
  • What should I pack to Tanzania?
  • Am I allowed to takePhotographs of the Tribal people?
  • What is the electricity supply?
  • What languages can I use, because they have so many different languages?
  • What sort of food can we expect?
  • What is Tanzanian food/cuisine like?
  • What are the sanitary conditions in Tanzania?
  • Is tap water safe to drink?
  • Which are the best Souvenirs I can bring back home?
  • What should I tip?

Question:- What Documents Do I Need?

The most important documents are your valid passport and Tanzanian visa. A 3 month tourist visa is usually approximately $50 (USD) and available at Tanzanian airports and consulates.

You could also check to confirm the current requirements with the nearest Tanzanian High Commission, Embassy or Consulate, or your travel agent.


Question:- How Do I Get There?

There are three international airports; at Dar es Salaam, Julius Kambarage Nyerere International (15 km from City center), at Kilimanjaro, Kilimanjaro International (42 kms from Arusha city) and at Zanzibar, Zanzibar International (8 kms from Stone town.

There are daily flights from Europe served by British Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, KLM, Swiss Air, Kenya Airways, Qatar, Egypt Air and Emirates among others.

British Airways ( has direct flights from Heathrow to Dar es Salaam overnight (just less than 10 hours) three times each week (Monday, Thursday & Saturday nights), the return flight is a day time flight (Tuesday, Friday and Sunday).

We book the internal flights DAR - ZNZ - DAR (20 minutes each way) and internal flights are especially scheduled for the incoming/outgoing BA flights.

Emirates ( fly to Dar es Salaam via Dubai, but this involves quite a lot of flying time.

Kenya Airways ( have flights every day of the week from Heathrow, overnight on the way out to Nairobi (8.5 hours) then connecting on to Dar es salaam or Zanzibar (1.5 hours). Return flight times depend on the day of the week, some days it is a day time flight with a short transit in Nairobi.

Ethiopian Airlines ( also flies direct into Dar es salaam then Zanzibar via Addis Ababa. Please check their website to find out further information on flight schedules to Zanzibar.


Question:- How safe is Tanzania?

Tanzania is a safe country, and you can relax while you are there. That being said, it's still important to use common sense.

• Be careful if traveling on buses, as petty theft is common.

• Ask for a receipt when you store your backpack or luggage.

• Do NOT carry your passport or any credit cards and cash that you will not need.

• Use only registered taxis.

• Do not walk into unknown areas by yourself at night.


Question:- What is the best time to travel to Tanzania? Climate in Tanzania is always wonderful, though you might have to avoid rains from mid April to end of May to climb Kilimanjaro; however the following prediction is based on the movement of animals. It is the best time for game viewing.

Northern Tanzania all year round except April and May.

Southern TanzaniaJune through October

Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia

June through October; December through March


Question:- What is the Local time?

GMT +3 hours. This means that the local time is 3 hours ahead of London, 8 hours ahead of New York and 11 hours ahead of Los Angeles. Tanzania does not observe Day light saving time therefore the difference changes by 1 hour in the European and North American summer.


Question:- Do I need to take medical care before going to Africa?

Please consult your doctor or health travel advisory service to get up to date advice on vaccination and malaria prophylaxis. You should travel with your own personal First Aid Kit including any over-the-counter or prescription medications that you regularly use or may need.

Yellow fever , a viral disease that occurs primarily in sub-Saharan Africa and tropical South America , is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected mosquitoes.

The virus is also present in Panama and Trinidad and Tobago. Yellow fever vaccination is recommended for travelers to endemic areas and may be required to cross certain international borders.

Vaccination should be given 10 days before travel and at 10 year intervals if there is on-going risk.

Malaria is endemic but preventable, it is advisable to take precaution medication for malaria and hepatitis. Use insect repellent, cover up at sundown, sleep under a mosquito net and take anti-malarial prophylactics as advised by your doctor.


Question:- Is there access to medical facilities?

In general, the larger cities have good medical facilities. It is advisable to get a medical cover and travelling insurance, which you can get in your own country.


Question:- What sort of money, dollars or Tanzanian Shillings?

Tanzania has the shilling which is divided into 100 cents. It is illegal to import or export the currency. Visitors may bring in as much foreign currency as they wish without declaration.

You may exchange money at the airport, banks, and some tourist places. You also can withdraw cash from most international banks' ATM machines, but $2-4 USD surcharges apply for each transaction. ATMs are available in the main cities.

Visa and MasterCard are accepted by most top hotels and lodges. Traveller cheques are recommended but have a poor exchange rate. In Zanzibarforeign currency has to be declared and changed at official exchange offices.

It is recommended to carry 2000 and above series US Dollar bills. The bills below 2000 series are not accepted at most banks, hotels and local shops.


Question:- Is internet access available?

Internet connections are becoming quite common across Tanzania / Zanzibar with internet cafes in all major towns. In the more developed hotels, you will also find internet and wireless services.


Can I use my mobile phone?

Tanzania is largely covered by mobile phone networks, though not everywhere. If you're mobile network back home offers Roaming services that could also be used.

If required, you can use a local Sim card for mobile phones which is available at a minimal cost.

For those calling into Tanzania, the country code is +255. The major city codes are as follows: Dar es salaam 22, Zanzibar 24, Arusha and Moshi 27.


Question:- What is the best time to locate game on a Safari?

The best times for game viewing are normally in the early morning or afternoon, as animals tend to hide up during the heat of mid-day


Question:- Am I allowed to feed the wild animals?

Approaching wild animals and direct contact with them can be extremely dangerous, so feeding them is prohibited.

During trips to the game reserves and parks, everyone needs to stay in the vehicle. There are "safe spots", like picnic and camping areas where tourists are allowed to walk around and explore.


Question:- What sort of clothing should I take with me?

The climate is generally warm and moist. Average temperature during the day is 30°C / 86F. The nights are cool.

Dry season starts in July and ends in February. Rainy season is from March until June, so depending on the season it is advisable to; pack lightweight between 15 to 20 Kilograms, washable clothes plus a sweater for early morning game drives as well as a sun hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. Long sleeves and trousers/pants in light-coloured fabrics to help discourage insect bites.

You can buy clothes in Dar es Salaam and Arusha. Shorts for women are acceptable (but not too short).

Women should carry a wrap to cover legs in the villages and towns as revealing clothes can cause offence, especially in Zanzibar and Muslim areas. On the beach and within the confines of the hotels normal swimwear is acceptable (but not nudity).

In colder areas such as Ngorongoro and for climbing Kilimanjaro or Meru, take thermal underclothes in light layers, sweater, rain jacket, good socks and sturdy boots.


Question:- What should I pack?

It is also recommended to take the camera with dust-proof bags, camcorder, binoculars, torch for finding your way in the lodges/camps at night. Stock up with replacement batteries all the above goods.

Even if you have taken anti-malaria tablets, please carry some insect repellent. A spare pair of spectacles or contact lenses is also a good idea.And a good deal of patience and a sense of humour - for this is AFRICA!


Question:- Am I allowed to take Photographs of the Tribal people?

When one takes a picture of the people, they feel offended. So it is extremely important to ask them before doing so. You can get your driver to ask for you.


Question:- What is the electricity supply?

The standard electricity supply is 220 - 240 volt AC. The power supply on the mainland and Zanzibar can sometimes be unreliable.

Most hotels have back-up generators. In the parks most lodges and camps do not have mains electricity but have generators.

Some have very limited power relying on solar power and kerosene lamps at night, which is quite romantic. Plugs at hotels vary, and even within different parts of the same hotel they can vary.

In the main they are the 3 square pin plugs similar to the UK, but it is advisable to take a multi-adaptor.


Question:- What languages can I use, because they have so many different languages?

Kiswahili (also called Swahili), primary official language, developed along the coasts of Tanzania and Kenya as a trade language between Arabs and African. It is a mixture of various Bantu languages, Arabic and English.

Tanzanian Kiswahili follows a more traditional form than the Kiswahili spoken in Kenya. Zanzibar is considered to have the purest Kiswahili, which locals call Kiunguju. English, the second official language, is used in business, government, and higher education.

More than 100 languages are spoken in Tanzania. Most people speak the language associated with their ethnic group, but they generally also speak Kiswahili.

Tanzania's National language is Swahili. Kiswahili (Swahili) is the most appreciated language among the locals. It is helpful to learn few basic words. Some Swahili words are:


Question:- What sort of food can we expect?

While you are in Tanzania , food safety should be the major factor in your decision to abstain.

You can hardly resist the tempting novelty of street vendors and their food variety. Our suggestion is to avoid eating on the streets until you get familiar with the general situation.

Food safety problems can range from chemicals and contaminants, to bacteria as well as some other diseases. We do not suggest buying food from street vendors.

Tanzania has many restaurants and quality, understandably, is related to the price paid. Most of the restaurants will serve you a good mix of African, European and International cuisine. Fresh vegetables, seafood and meats make it an exceptional culinary experience to travel here.

Larger beach hotels tend to have buffet meals and usually good quality. Smaller hotels will have a limited menu which will mostly include a fish dish.


Question:- What is Tanzanian food/cuisine like?

Produce is often of very high quality. Meat and milk can be difficult for Western digestive systems, so be sure that all meat is cooked thoroughly.

At hotels, you will not have any trouble, but if you venture into small villages, make sure that all water is filtered or boiled before drinking, and all fruits and vegetables are peeled before eating.

Local dishes include Mtori , cooked beef and bananas, and Mchicha , a vegetable stew which can also contain meat or fish. If anything can be called Tanzania 's national dish Ugali would most likely win out.

A polenta-style dish made with corn flour, it accompanies a variety of stews, cooked meat and is eaten with your hands. Recipes vary from village to village and everyone has their own way of making it. Many foreigners find it bland and unappealing but it's worth a try, and some upscale establishments serve it.


Question:- What are the sanitary conditions in Tanzania?

Be prepared and never expect a clean toilet 100% of the time. Carry some tissue in-case you need to use the public toilet. Also, there may be no Western-style toilet or any toilet paper at all.

Use hotel lobby toilets; these are everywhere and are always clean. Still, they may not always have toilet paper. It depends on the class of hotel that you are using.


Question:- Is tap water safe to drink?

The Tanzanian tap water is generally not safe to drink. We urge people to drink only bottled water, also use bottled water to clean teeth. Many shops and stalls sell bottled water, as do hotels and restaurants, though it is cheaper to stock-up with bottles bought at shops / stalls. Make sure seals on water bottles are unbroken.


Question:- Which are the best Souvenirs I can bring back home?

You will find woodcarvings, leather goods, batik, souvenirs, jewelry and precious stones in shops inside most hotels and lodges throughout the countries. Anything you purchase, remember to keep a receipt with you for presentation at customs.


Question:- What should I tip?

We recommend that you tender small amounts to your lodge/hotel staff and lodge managers will provide you with guidelines for tipping if required.

Where restaurant meals are involved, the tipping standard is usually 10% of the bill. Bargaining for local handicrafts is commonplace.

The recommended tips per day (from the whole group) are: For safaris: -Driver: 15USD, and a cook if camping: 7USD. For Climbing: - Chief guide: 15USD, each assistant guide: 8USD, and each porter: 6USD. Sure, you can pay more if you are particularly impressed and less if you are not.

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