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Tanzania Travel info

Essential Travel Information for Exploring Tanzania's Diverse Wonders
Blog Category: Family | Information

Tanzania Travel info

Southern Circuit
Southern Circuit

Visa and immigration requirements
All visitors to Tanzania originating from Europe, North America and Australasia are obliged to procure a visa. Visitors from other countries may be exempt from requiring a visa however they may still need entry permit clearance. Visas should be obtained beforehand from the nearest Tanzanian Visa Office within their region however if this is not possible, visas may also be obtained on arrival from the following entry points: Dar es Salaam International Airport, Kilimanjaro International Airport, Zanzibar International Airport and Namanga border crossing point (between Tanzania and Kenya). Tanzanian Visas are a form of pre-entry clearance and all relative documents submitted for their application should also be carried in case of possible immigration control. We can assist in obtaining a visa exemption. Passport details must be submitted through the incoming tour operator but the exemption cannot be guaranteed. The traveller must have money available to pay for the visa on arrival, if the exemption has been refused. The cost of the visa varies depending on country of origin however it should not exceed US$ 50.

Health requirements & medical
Those entering Tanzania from other neighbouring countries infected with Cholera and Yellow Fever, such as Kenya or Uganda, must provide international immunisation certificates. A Yellow Fever certificate is also obligatory for those travelling from mainland Tanzania to Zanzibar. Those travelling directly to Tanzania without passing through such countries are advised but not obliged to obtain a Yellow Fever Certificate. We also recommend that an anti-malaria treatment should be followed both before, during and after your visit (mosquitoes are concentrated in the coastal regions). Tetanus, typhoid and hepatitis vaccinations are also recommended yet not obligatory. It should also be noted that there is a high incidence of HIV/AIDS within Tanzania.

Medical services can be found in the major urban centres such as Dar es Salaam along with a small number of pharmacies. Insurance should however be purchased before arriving in the country. It is also advisable to carry a sterile first aid kit (including syringes) as well as a full supply of medicines as availability in Tanzania is not guaranteed (these can be brought through customs without difficulty).

If you are ill, on safari our staff are not allowed to give you medication but will accompany you to the nearest pharmacy. Most of the camp sites are close to an airstrip in case of emergency.

Customs
International travellers over the age of 16 may import the following items duty-free: 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 250 grammes of tobacco plus 1 bottle of spirits. Binoculars, cameras and film may also be brought in free of duty however firearms require a special permit. To ensure that the goods are re-exported a customs bond may be required for the following: video/filming equipment, radios, tape recorders & musical instruments. Receipts should be kept for possible customs inspection on departure for all local artefacts purchased.

International flights and arrivals
Tanzania has three international airports, Dar es Salaam (DIA), Kilimanjaro (KIA) & Zanzibar (ZIA) and more than fifty local airports throughout the country. Air Tanzania offers both international and domestic flights and is complemented by a series of smaller private air companies offering internal flights. Charter flights on five/six seater planes can also be commissioned for small groups.

For safaris in the South of Tanzania Dar Es Salaam is the most appropriated airport of entry and is often used for reaching Zanzibar which has limited direct international connections and which is only a short hop from Dar Es Salaam.

For safaris in Northern Tanzania, Arusha has two airports, Arusha domestic airport (ARS), used on domestic routes by private charters and Coastal Aviation and Precision Air and Mount Kilimanjaro Airport (KIA) about an hour from the centre of Arusha which as of going to press is served by KLM, East African Airways, Kenya Airways.

Alternatively Nairobi is only four hours from Arusha by road.
You can take a private car or travel by the regular bus which costs approx. US$30.00.
The journey is quite pleasant and the scenery beautiful.

Departure Tax
The departure Tax last time we checked was US$ 20 for international flights and US$ 5 for domestic departures.

Currency
The official currency is the Tanzania shilling (100 cents = 1 shilling) which is abbreviated to T.Shs. Tanzania Shilling exchange rate at January 2011: US$ 1 = T. Shs. 1,482

There is no limit on the amount of foreign currency, which can be brought into the country though it should be declared on arrival to prevent any restriction on the same amount being taken out when departing. The import and export of Tanzania currency is however illegal. Foreign currency can be exchanged in Tanzania, both in cash and travellers cheques, at the international airports and in the larger cities. It is advisable to carry US$ dollars.

Credit Cards
Major credit cards are accepted in the larger, international hotels however it is advisable to expect that most payments will tend to be in cash. The further one goes from the urban centres the less likely such forms of payment will be accepted.

Even when Credit Cards are accepted, a hefty commission up to 10% may be applied. This may seem rather extorsionate but credit companies do apply heavy charges on local companies in this part of the world.

Communications
There is a pretty good telephone network in Tanzania although this does not extend into the rural areas. Mobile telephone coverage is improving all the time and there is now total coverage in many areas including Zanzibar. Telex and fax services exist within the larger international hotels along with e-mail and internet facilities. Telegrams can also be sent from Post Offices within the larger cities.

Languages
Although there are over a hundred languages in Tanzania, the main languages used are Swahili and English. English is the second official language and is widely understood throughout the country.

Energy
Electricity is widely available in most of the tourist destinations but not in the temporary camps.

220 – 240 V AC, 50 Hz. Traditionally British wiring has been used in Tanzania and three pin UK style plugs are the norm. Some of the more recent hotels have been wired for continental plugs. Those coming from continental Europe should bring an adaptor or change the plug on arrival, visitors from the USA will need a transformer and an adaptor. There are occasional power cuts in Tanzania but the situation has improved recently. In addition those using expensive electrical equipment need to be aware that there are occasional power surges which can damage electrical equipment although this is unusual and most modern equipment is designed to protect from this.

Security
Tanzania is an extremely poor country and what may seem small sums of money to us are a lifetimes savings to them. Therefore we ask you to take care of your possessions and not to put temptation in the way of people who are by nature extremely honest. There are however genuine security issues in Tanzania, particularly in the rougher areas of Dar Es Salaam and in general it is best to take local advice before going out in a city you do not know. It is advisable to use the same rule before going on beaches after dark or walking around Stone Town in Zanzibar late at night.

At the time of writing the security situation in all the parks is excellent, should this change we reserve the right in discussion with yourselves to modify routes or itineraries even at the last minute to guarantee your security.

Things to take
Men’s clothing
– Comfortable walking shoes
– Sandals
– Hat
– Windbreaker / jacket
– Pullover sweater / sweatshirt/fleece
– 2 pr. safari pants
– 2 pr. safari shorts
– 4 pr. safari socks
– 3 short sleeve shirts
– 1 long sleeve shirt
– 2 T-shirts
– Pyjamas
– Swim trunks
– 1 pr. casual slacks (for evening)
– 6 sets underwear
– Belt

Toiletries (Men/Women)
– Malaria prophylaxis
– Motion sickness pills
– Insect repellent
– Sun screen
– Lip balm
– Shampoo / conditioner
– Deodorant
– Toothpaste / toothbrush
– Dental floss
– Hair brush / comb
– Razor
– Emery boards
– Tweezers
– Fem. Hygiene supplies
– Due to limited power sources, most of the time you will not be able to use a hair dryer

Please remember that on some small charter flights the luggage limit is 12kg per person in soft bags. Flexibility is usually applied, but in extreme cases luggage will have to be sent separately at significant extra cost.

Women’s clothing
– Comfortable walking shoes
– Sandals
– Hat
– Windbreaker / jacket
– Pullover sweater / sweatshirt / fleece
– 2 pr. Safari pants
– 2 pr. safari shorts
– 4 pr. Sport socks
– 2 short sleeves shirt
– 1 long sleeve shirt
– 2 T-shirts
– Pyjamas
– Swimsuit
– 1 casual evening outfit
– 6 sets underwear
– Bras (sports type)
– Belt

Sundries
– Passport
– Health card
– Air tickets / vouchers
– Money pouch
– Credit cards
– Travellers checks
– Calculator
– Sun glasses / case
– Prescription glasses / case
– Books / Magazines / journals
– Converter / plug set
– Binoculars – one pair per person
– Flashlight (small, with extra batteries)
– Sewing kit
– Small scissors

Camera Equipment
– Camera (with extra batteries)
– Camera bag
– Telephoto lenses
– Lens cleaning equipment
– Films (double what you think you need)
– Extra camera batteries
– Battery Charger for video cameras
(12V or 220A)
– Extra video batteries
– Zip lock bags

Time and daylight hours
Tanzania time is Greenwich Mean Time plus three hours. Given the proximity to the equator there is pretty much 12 hours of daylight every 24 hours.

Climate
Tanzania has a tropical climate with variations depending on altitude. In the higher regions temperatures can range from 10-20°C throughout the year whereas in the lower regions temperatures rarely fall beneath 20°C. Humidity increases closer to the coastal regions. The hottest period of the year tends to be from November to February (25°-31°C). The two main rain seasons are between March to May (the Long rains or Masika) and October and February (the Short Rains or Vuli). For details of how the climate can affect your safari see Northern Climate or Southern Climate.

How to dress
Safari
During the day time light clothing such as T-shirts is recommended. For the evenings a warm light jacket is sufficient. A warm jacket or jumper should also be packed as some early morning excursions can prove to be slightly chilly. During the evenings at the bar and dining room, guests should dress casually smart. Laundry services are available in all Lodges and bush camps and will return your items within 24 hours, allowing you to take fewer clothes on your Safari. During walking safaris it is advisable to wear neutral colours that blend in with those of the bush, since they are less visible to wild animals. Make sure you take a pair of comfortable shoes as safari boots or trainers.

Zanzibar
Zanzibar is a Muslim country and although attitudes are fairly relaxed women are asked to cover their shoulders and avoid exaggeratedly provocative clothing when in town. Nudism on the beaches is disapproved of and should be avoided.

Park Fees
Park fees are paid by us on your behalf with no commission for this service. These vary from location to location and are per vehicle and per guest.