Before arrival

Tanzania is suitable for people of any age, but the question is which part of it. Kilimanjaro is suitable only for very fit passengers, it is a difficult climb and from 10 climbers only 2-3 manage to reach the top. Elder people with any kind of heart problems are not advised to do it. The best solution is to talk to your personal doctor that knows your health situation. Safari is not recommended for people with spine problems because of rough roads and long drives, otherwise safari is easy to do, there is not much walking and you don’t have to be very fit to enjoy it. Zanzibar is suitable for everybody, but you should take care of strong sun, sun protection, wearing a hat and drinking enough.

All travellers to Africa require a passport valid for at least 6 month more from the day of arrival to Africa. If you are planning to stay more then six month, your passport has to be valid for the duration of your tour or vacation in Africa and it can not expire before your arrival back home.

Most of the travellers must obtain visa in order to enter Tanzania, but some nationalities do not require visas, so it is advisable to consult and check with your Airline agent, your local Tanzanian Embassy or nearest Tanzanian High Commission before making your reservation. Keep in mind that visas for some nationalities can be issued on arrival, at the point of entry. You need a passport and payment of 50$ or 50€ in cash. Check the exchange rate of both of the currencies but most of the time is better to pay in American dollars. Some nationalities like American citizens have to pay more for their visa (100$ since September 2007). Obtaining visa at arrival in most of the cases take 30 minutes time but can take longer if there is several air planes arriving at the same time. Visas are valid for 6 month and you can obtain it at one of the main entry points:

  • Dar Es Salaam port
  • Dar Es Salaam airport
  • Kilimanjaro International airport
  • Namanga Entry Point (on the road border with Kenya)
  • Zanzibar International Airport

If you are flying to Kenya and then coming to Tanzania by land, you need to obtain a multiple entry visa also for Kenya (even if you are planning to stay in Kenya only a few hours on arrival and departure). The cost is also 50$ for most of the nationalities. For all other entry points in Tanzania, travellers must obtain visa from local Tanzania Embassy in their country or if travelling in more African countries then from Tanzania Embassy in one of neighbouring countries. Travellers must hold valid visa prior to arrival at those entry points.

Please keep in mind that visa regulations are subject to change at short notice, so check latest information before departure.

If you will ask to meet with our representative at the airport, the meeting point will be just after you will pass through the secured passenger area.

No vaccinations are currently required to enter Tanzania if you are flying from Europe or North America.

  • yellow fever vaccination (recommended)
  • anti-malarial medication (highly recommended)
  • cholera vaccination (recommended)

Please read following information:

Yellow fever: Since 2005 Tanzania is no longer on the WHO list for compulsory yellow fever vaccination, but most of the countries have still a law that requires it. Consult your doctor or local health organization if you need vaccination or not. If required by your country then you have to have an International Yellow Fever Immunization Certificate obtained no less than ten days before travel.

Malaria: It is also advisable to take anti-malarial precautions before departure. Malaria occurs below 1800 meters especially on Zanzibar, so you should use the recommended prophylactics. Larium is well-known and famous but should be taken with care because some people do have side effects. There is some other medicine but again is the best way to consult your doctor what to do on your trip to Africa. The best way to protect you from malaria is:

  • to try to avoid mosquito bites by using good and strong insect repellent containing at least 20% to 35% of active ingredient DEET
  • by sleeping under a mosquito net
  • to wear proper clothes especially after sunset (Wear long sleeved clothing and long trousers in the evenings.)
  • to not use perfumes, sprays, and other products that attract mosquitoes

Be aware that side effects of medicine may lessen your chances of a successful climb on the mountain. By consulting your doctor make sure you are fully aware of the danger of climbing mountains at higher altitude.

Other diseases: Vaccination against cholera, polio, hepatitis A & B, typhoid, and tetanus is recommended if you often travel and if you are planning to travel a lot by road in Tanzania. Please bring your own medicine with you, don’t count on buying them in Tanzania, because a number of a chemists is very limited.

Health regulations and requirements may be subject to change at short notice. You are advised to check the latest information before departure.

Drinking water: Do not drink water tap . Don’t use it even for brushing your teeth.

Generally Tanzania is dry and hot tropical country. It doesn’t have winter time. Coastal area has a tropical climate, the highlands in the north have a temperate climate and the vast central plateau is hot and arid. Maximum temperatures are 32˚C / 90˚F, early morning and late evenings can be cold with minimum temperature of 12˚C / 54˚F especially from June to October. Tanzania doesn’t really have seasons because of it position close to equator. It has colder and warmer part of the year, month with shorter and longer rains.

From July to October is dry season. It might be short rain from November to middle of December and much longer one from middle March to May. In between is approximately 2 month of dry season. April to June is a green season but with a climate changes all over the world also seasons in Tanzania can vary. The long rains fall in heavy downpours often accompanied by violent storms and lightning. The short rain is much less severe and doesn’t affect your trip to much. The coastal part of Tanzania which covers also Dar Es Salaam, Zanzibar and Mafia is hot and humid all year around. If you are planning to some climbing consider that temperatures on Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru etc. drop below freezing at higher altitude.

The official languages are Swahili and English. In primary schools all the lessons are in Swahili. English is widely spoken and understood. It’s used as second official language, as commercial language as well as teaching language for some subjects in secondary school. Your effort to speak Swahili or few words of Swahili will be appreciated. Otherwise there are more then 120 tribal languages and dialects. Arabic language is widely spoken in the coastal areas, especially on Zanzibar.

The local currency is Tanzanian Shilling (Tsh). The most accepted foreign currencies are US$ and Є. There is no limit on the amount of foreign currency that can be imported, no currency declaration is required, but import and export of Tanzanian local currency is prohibited.

Traveller checks and cash in foreign currencies are recommended. It’s possible to change them to local currency at banks and exchange office (bureau de change) in the main towns and tourist areas. Exchange offices have faster service and usually better rate then banks and hotels. The exchange rates change from day to day. We don’t recommend you to change money on the street. It is prohibited and dangerous. Please note that US$ notes issued before 2000 are not accepted everywhere.

Tour packages and safaris are paid in foreign currency, but most of other things in local currency. Credit cards are not widely accepted and usually carry poor exchange rate. In most of the cases a surcharge between 5-15% will be added to credit card payment. Credit cards are accepted by the major airline companies, bigger hotels and lodges. You shouldn’t rely on credit cards, while travelling in Tanzania they should be used only as back-up. There are not many ATM facilities. You can find them in Arusha, Dar and Zanzibar where you can get local currency with your Visa or Mastercard.

Try to you use all local currency before departure because exchange rate from shilling back to dollar is not good and they don’t accept coins for exchange only paper currency.

The current exchange rate is approximately Tsh 1160 = 1 US$, Tsh 1680 = 1 Є. Notes are issued for 10.000, 5.000, 1.000, 500, 200 and 100 Tsh and coins for 100, 50, 20 and 10 Tsh.

We advise you to arrange travel insurance before arriving in Tanzania. Usually, everything is ok, but sometimes thing happened before or on your trip that is out of our control. For situations like that we cannot be held responsible, so it is strongly advised to arrange a suitable travel insurance that will cover difficulties like:

  • trip cancellation, delay or interruption
  • emergency medical transportation
  • lost, stolen, damaged or delayed baggage
  • personal accidents travel accidents and medical expenses including hospital payments
  • health insurance for your expedition to Kilimanjaro, if you are planning to climb the highest mountain in Africa
  • weather interruptions and delays

A travel agent can not be held responsible for any of above written or similar cases.

Tanzania is in general safe country, people are friendly but precaution is still necessary and you should take care like in any part of the world. You shouldn’t bring any unnecessary valuable things like expensive jewelry etc. on your trip. Make sure your belongings are always close to you and keep your eye on them. Beware of pickpockets! If you need to move around the town in the night, you should leave your valuables in safe deposit box of your hotel, obtain a receipt and then take a taxi. Don’t walk alone at night in any city especially in Dar es Salaam and Stone town. It depends on situation but the best way to protect your belongings is to either keep all you valuables with you or put them in safe deposit box of your hotel (don’t forget receipt). Hotel rooms are not very safe. It is advised to refuse any drink or food from strangers on the street.

On safari remember that all animals in national parks are wild. It’s prohibited to leave the car while on game drive. Safari guides are trained and know when is safe and when not. Follow instructions of your safari guide while camping in national parks and don’t make walks outside of camping area late in the evening or in the night. Don’t try to approach animals. If you are not sure how to do right, ask your safari guide to help you.

For all your documents (passport, visa, insurance, travellers checks, credit cards etc.) you should make photocopies. Leave one at home and take the other one with you.

Most of the travellers want to have photos from their trip and game drive is one of the best places to get fantastic photos of animals. Many animals are possible to see fairly close. Most of the travellers make much more photos that they were planning before coming to Tanzania, so bring enough films, memory cards, extra batteries with you. You can get some films in Tanzania, but before not during safari, prices are high and some stocks are old. You will be in Tanzania either in rainy or dry season, so bring protection against dust or rain for your camera and equipment, because safari vehicles have a pop-up or removable roof to make photography easier. For most of the animals camera with a 75-300 lens and for landscape a wide-angle lens will give you opportunity for good shots. You should ask permission before taking pictures of local people. You can charge your camera at lodges and at rare camping sites, but when there are many people is hard to get a free plug, so bring enough batteries with you.

It is not allowed to take photos of government buildings, offices, vehicles and also anything belonging to Tanzanian military. This includes post offices, banks, bridges etc.

The local electricity supply is 220 volts and 50Hz. Plugs are square 3-pin. Power failures and surges are common. Most of the bigger hotels have adaptor, but we recommend you to bring your own universal adaptor for your electrical appliances. These are available from better electrical stores or at many international airports (but not at arrival to Tanzania). In some safari cars you can recharge your batteries, but you should let us know before in case you need to do so. At rare camping sites is also possible to recharge batteries but keep in mind that one camp can have many people who will try to do same, so if you can is better to bring sufficient supply of batteries with you. Don’t forget to bring your torch or headlamp.

In Tanzania travellers are required to pay International Airport Departure Tax and Domestic Airport Departure Tax (on local flights). International Airport Departure Tax of 30 US$ per person is applicable for scheduled and chartered flights, it has to be paid at the airport before leaving Tanzania and is payable only in US$. Coins are not accepted. Sometimes air plane companies include departure tax in price of flight ticket. You should check with your local agent, if departure tax is included in price of your international ticket. In this case you don’t have to pay it at the airport. Departure tax for local flights is 6 US$ per person.

Please keep in mind that airport departure tax is subject to change without notice.