What you need to know?
There are two rainy seasons: the short rains (mvuli) October through December and the long rains (masika) from late February to early May. Given the influence of global warming, these rains aren’t as regular or as intense as they once were. It’s best to avoid the two rainy seasons because many roads become impassable. Ngorongoro Crater is open all year, but the roads become extremely muddy and difficult to navigate during the wet seasons.
High season is January through the end of September, but prices are much higher during this time. Make sure you find out in advance when the lodge or destination of your choice is closed as many are open only during the dry season. The coast is always pretty hot and humid, particularly during the rains, but is cooler and more pleasant the rest of the year. The hottest time is December just before the long rains. In high-altitude areas such as Ngorongoro Highlands and Mt. Kilimanjaro, temperatures can fall below freezing.
Because telephone communications are difficult, many people in the travel business have mobile phones.
- Calling within Tanzania: The “0” in the regional code is used only for calls placed from other areas within the country.
- Calling Tanzania from abroad: To call from abroad, dial the international access number 00, then the country code 255, then the area code, (e.g., 22 for Dar es Salaam), and then the telephone number, which should have six or seven digits.
- Mobile Phones: Vodacom, Airtel Tanzania, and Zantel are the main service providers in Tanzania. The best option is to bring your own phone (if it’s not locked to a particular network) or rent a phone and buy a SIM card on arrival. The starter packs for pay-as-you-go cell phones are very reasonable. You’ll have to buy credit for your phone, but this is easily done at shops or roadside vendors.
Telephone service providers
You can bring in a liter of spirits or wine and 200 cigarettes duty-fee. The import of zebra skin or other tourist products requires a CITES (Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) permit. Although you can buy curios made from animal products in Tanzania, your home country may confiscate them on arrival. Don’t buy shells. It is illegal to export elephant ivory, wildlife skins, and sea turtle products without permits
Malaria is the biggest health threat in Tanzania, so be vigilant about taking antimalarials and applying bug spray. Consult with your doctor or travel clinic before leaving home for up-to-date antimalarial medication. At time of writing HIV/AIDS is less a risk than in some other African countries, but the golden rule is never to have sex with a stranger. It’s imperative to use strong sunscreen: remember you’re just below the equator, where the sun is at its hottest. Stick to bottled water and ensure that the bottle seal is unbroken. Put your personal medications in your carry-on and bring copies of prescriptions.
The Flying Doctors Service offered by AMREF provides air evacuation services for medical emergencies in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda or anywhere within a 1,000-km (621-mile) radius of Nairobi. The planes fly out of Nairobi’s Wilson Airport 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They also provide transportation between medical facilities, fly you back to Europe, Asia, or North America, or provide you with an escort if you’re flying on a commercial carrier.
Be up-to-date on yellow fever, polio, tetanus, typhoid, meningococcus, rabies, and Hepatitis A. It’s not necessary to have a cholera jab, but if you’re visiting Zanzibar it’s sensible to get a cholera exception form from your GP or travel clinic. Visit a travel clinic 8 to 10 weeks before you travel to find out your requirements. If you’re coming to Tanzania for a safari, chances are you’re heading to a malarial game reserve. Millions of travelers take oral prophylactic drugs before, during, and after their safaris. It’s up to you to weigh the risks and benefits of the type of antimalarial drug you choose to take. If you’re pregnant or traveling with small children, consider a nonmalarial region for your safari.
- S. Embassy (686 Old Bagamoyo Rd., Msasani, Dar es Salaam. 022/229–4000. tanzania.usembassy.gov.)
- German Embassy (Umoja House, Garden Ave. & Mirambo St., Msasani, Dar es Salaam. 022/211–2944. daressalam.diplo.de.)
- Italian Embassy (316 Lugalo Rd., Upanga, Msasani, Dar es Salaam. 022/211–5938. ambdaressalaam.esteri.it.)
- United Kingdom Embassy (Umoja House, Garden Ave., Msasani, Dar es Salaam. 022/229–0000. gov.uk/government/world/tanzania.)
- Police Hotline (112.)
- Medical-Assistance Companies
- The Flying Doctors Service (022/211–6610 in Dar es Salaam; 022/212–7187 in Arusha. flydoc.org.)
The regulated currency is the Tanzanian shilling (Tsh). Notes are 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, and 10,000. At this writing, the exchange rate was about Tsh 2,300 to US$1.
To avoid administrative hassles, keep all foreign-exchange receipts until you leave the region, as you may need them as proof when changing any unspent local currency back into your own currency at the airport when you leave. Don’t leave yourself with any shillings—you won’t be able to change them outside of Tanzania.
Bargaining, especially at marketplaces, is part of the shopping experience. But always be aware of the exchange rate and pay appropriately—you don’t want to underpay, but you also don’t want to be charged exorbitant “tourist” prices.
Most large hotels accept U.S. dollars and Tanzanian shillings and take all major credit cards; all budget hotels will accept Tanzanian shillings.
There are banks and ATMs in all major cities; you can draw cash directly from an ATM in Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Mwanza, and Stone Town in Zanzibar. Most ATMs accept Cirrus, Plus, Maestro, Visa Electron, Visa, and MasterCard. The best place to withdraw cash is at an indoor ATM, preferably one guarded by a security officer. Most machines won’t let you withdraw more than the equivalent of about $200 at a time. Don’t leave withdrawing money to the last minute or late on Friday when everyone gets paid their salaries.
Most visitors require a visa to enter Tanzania. You can buy one on arrival—at the time of writing it is $50, and two passport pictures (though you might not need them). However, if possible, get your visa ahead of time to avoid long lines and headaches. Visas are valid for three months and allow multiple entries. Passports must be valid for six months after your planned departure date from Tanzania. You will need a valid yellow fever certificate to enter and exit Tanzania.
While On Safari
Please make sure that you keep your passport, documents and any other valuables with you at all times! We recommend that a copy of these documents should be made and kept in another safe place in case something happens to the originals. Never leave valuables alone and remember you are on safari, so expensive and valuable jewellery is not necessary.
Every area (anywhere in the world) can be unsafe at times. Please take common precautions at all times and never walk alone especially at night or in run-down areas. The animals in the bush and the ones that you may see on safari are wild and should not be approached! Animals may roam freely around so be observant and cautious when walking from place to place. As for photographers don’t get too close to the animals when trying to get a clear shot.
Please be on time when you meet your vehicles for the game drives. If you run late you may delay the rest of the trip or miss something wonderful!
In built-up areas the water is safe to drink , however, some areas it is not safe to drink the tap water at all! So we rather recommend that you drink bottled water at all times to prevent any illness. Do not use the tap water to rinse your mouth when brushing your teeth! Every lodges/camps provides bottle water in the rooms. Ice is generally fine to consume, but sometimes it is better to be cautious. We advise you to rather drink bottled water at all times in Tanzania!
Africa is famous for its fruit and fresh vegetables – which can be enjoyed all around Africa. Fruit and Vegetables should be peeled before eating. Drinks (including spirits) and cigarettes can be bought in most areas but are normally quite expensive. On our Safaris we do provide most/all meals which are prepared by our guide or at a lodge.
A lot of areas in Africa are affected by Malaria – we strongly recommend that you take your anti-malaria medication. Take your medication exactly as its prescribed and directed, don’t skip any medication! At the end of your safari, if at any time you develop influenza symptoms please consult your doctor immediately.
Most places (hotels, lodges) have electricity. But we always recommend that you should take a flash light with you on safari. Always remember if you plug something in (e.g.: One of your appliances) there may be a different voltage! The usual voltage is 220-240 AC. If you appliance does not match this voltage you need to bring a converter with as some lodges may not have a converter for you to use…
There will be many amazing photo’s that you will want to capture along the way on your safari. But, you need to make sure you don’t take any photos of any people without their permission. Also, never take pictures of anyone/anything in the military, police force, armed forces, government, presidents or airports.
For a two- or three-night stay at a lodge or hotel, tip a couple of dollars for small services and US$2–US$5 per day for room steward and waiter. A good guide should get a tip of US$ 20–US$25 per day per person; if he’s gone out of his way for you, then you may wish to give him more. It’s a good idea to carry a number of small-denomination bills. U.S. dollars are acceptable almost everywhere, but if you’re planning to go to more remote places, then shillings are preferred. Tipping is not included in meals unless there is a service charge included in the bill – then you don’t need to tip. Normal tipping is 10% of the bill for drinks and food.
Your driver and guide is complete with experience, information and knowledge of all the areas that you will travel to. Be sure to ask them lots of questions and feel free to chat to them about anything.
Guides will do their best to ensure you encounter a wide range of wildlife, but animal behavior can be unpredictable. Instead of becoming frustrated when you don’t see the big 5, simply take the time to appreciate the beauty and nature around you, we don’t want you to destroy your mood as you never know what you may experience further in your safari