The official language in Tanzania is Kiswahili, but English is widely spoken. Most of the people in tourism speak English.
Local times is G.M.T +3HRS
The electricity is 230V. Please expect that power failure can happen in Tanzania. Most restaurants / hotels will have a generator and you will be relatively unaffected. It is advised to bring a universal adaptor with you. It is useful to bring a torch because Tanzania enjoys a lack of street lighting so you can truly enjoy the night sky!
The official currency is the Tanzanian Shilling (Tsh). Please check currency converter websites such as www.oanda.com for updates. Main towns and tourist areas have banks and bureau de change. Credit cards are not widely accepted (accept in most Safari Lodges) and they do carry high exchange rates. The best way is to have Tanzanian Shillings and US dollars with you. The higher the note in US dollars ($100 / $50), the better exchange rate you will get. Euros are also accepted and are easily changed in a bureau de change. Whereas many would advise to travel with travellers cheques, these are not always the best way in Tanzania and we would advise to carry cash where possible and to withdraw money in larger amounts so as to avoid charges for each withdrawal.
Tanzania is generally a safe and friendly country but requires common sense as when travelling to anywhere you are not familiar with. Our guides work hard to ensure you feel comfortable and will advise on places to go if you do find yourselves wanting to explore in your own time.
VISAS - To travel to Tanzania you will need a passport that has at least 6 months remaining on it after entering the country. The visa costs $50US for Tanzania and is valid for 3months. It can be paid for on arrival at all international airports and overland borders and you will just need to fill out the appropriate paperwork. If you wish to be more organised and to avoid queuing whilst in country, you can arrange to get your visa at the Tanzanian embassy or consulate in your own country. Please check the amount of time it may take.
In Tanzania there is a high risk of malaria. However, by visiting your doctor / tropical related travel clinic you can get advise on the different anti-malarial medication available. More of the modern anti-malarial tablets no longer cause adverse side effects and therefore shouldn't interfere with enjoyment of your time away. Also, please use insect repellent that contains a minimum of 50% DEET and, after the sun goes down, wear clothing that covers arms and legs. Mosquito nets are also important and in the majority of accommodation, including all those provided within our itineraries, hotels and lodges provide a mosquito net over each bed. It is a good idea to bring your own medical supplies such as for common problems like headache, stomach upset, cold/flu along with appropriate level of sun lotion. This can be bought in country but, again,you may have a personal choice to bring it from home.
INJECTIONS / IMMUNISATION
It is important to have the following injections for prevention: Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid, Tetanus, Polio and Meningitis. A Yellow Fever vaccination lasts for 10 years once done. The certicates are no longer requested on entry to mainland Tanzania depending on which country you are travelling from. They are still required for entry to Zanzibar Island. For more up to date information please contact your doctor or other relevant provider of advice and injections in your own country. Sometimes you may need to leave up to 3 months prior to travel to receive all injections such as Hepatitis B. Importantly, the longer you are in the country (ie. on project work or more than just touring) it is recommended that you are more likely to take the precautions and get immunised.
Africa can be quite dusty! This is more so on Safari and it's useful and practical to have enough light, easily washable clothes with you. Mornings and evenings can be cooler so it's advisable to pack items with longer sleeves and those that cover your legs. On the coast / Zanzibar, people do wear normal swimwear but we highlight that most areas follow the faith of Islam and it's therefore expected to respect local culture when taking your clothes off and to what degree!
BAGGAGE - whilst on tour
The baggage space is limited whilst on Safari and should not exceed more than 15 kilos, plus one small piece of hand luggage per person - excluding a camera bag. Please take a soft bag rather than a hard case / suitcase. While you are on trekking or safari it will be possible to leave part of your luggage in hotel storage so bear this in mind to perhaps bring a canvas bag or buy one locally on arrival to transfer what you need. This ensures more comfort and also safety in the vehicle.
Be aware that dust and heat can affect cameras so if you have appropriate cleaning equipment, remember to bring it.
It is important that you ask people if you can take their photograph. It's not always assumed, despite the number of amazing photographs of Tanzanian Tribes and people in general that they have given permission. There is also the issue of some people now asking for payment in return for their photograph being taken. In these circumstances, always speak to a member of our team who will guide you the right way!
We shouldn't need to remind you to take extra films or extra memory cards! However, recharging batteries can be difficult during a safari because, although the charger can be plugged in whilst driving, it does not always charge to the maximum and neither can it provide for all. Therefore, please consider this and any extra batteries / other options you have.
Tips are not compulsory but Tanzania is slightly different to countries where you are guaranteed a minimum wage and worker rights via employment legislation. It really is up to employers to treat their staff well. Happy staff provide a good service. However, we do advocate tipping for the simple reason of the nature of tourism, the commitment to service outside of normal hours and that you will seriously be helping for when it comes to low season to help workers sustain themselves and their families. Think of it as responsible tourism - what you take from being in a country, you can give back in kind. If you have been satisfied by the services and if you had good time, the staff will genuinely appreciate tips. When booking with us, we will provide guidelines on tipping that meet, or are above, industry standards, based on experience and local knowledge.
Tanzania has three main international airports: Kilimanjaro International Airport, Dar-es-Salaam International Airport and Zanzibar International Airport. There are daily flights from and to Europe, with several airlines (Kenyan Airways, Air France, KLM, British Airways, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Qatar Airlines...) The best starting point for a safari around the Northern Circuit or Mountain Trekking is Kilimanjaro International Airport. If you have chosen a Safari based in the South or West, Dar-es-Salaam is the best airport to fly into.
Another option is to fly to Jomo Kenyatta International airport in Nairobi, Kenya. Flights are usually less expensive and we are pleased to be able to provide a shuttle service from Nairobi to Arusha / Moshi. This may mean an overnight stay in Kenya on arrival but the difference in flight cost between airports (including transfer time and money) can still work out more reasonable. This is definitely something to get in contact with us to discuss prior to booking your flight.
For your own safety, it is better to take out comprehensive insurance that covers for most of the following: trip cancellation that includes for sickness/death, flight delays, lost or stolen baggage, emergency medical transportation, doctor or hospital payments. Some companies specialise in Africa and it's worth doing comparisons. Due to the nature of some of the activities you might undertake, there is an option for air ambulance / doctor which can help if you are based in remote areas. Membership can be short term and inexpensive and we can advise on this. In all cases our staff will be on hand to assist.