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Tanzania

Tanzania is the largest country in East Africa, bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north; Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west; and Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to the south.

Modern Tanzania combines two areas that at other times have been governed separately: Tanganyika on the coast of the African mainland and the island of Zanzibar nearby.

Regions

Cities

  • Dodoma
  • Arusha
  • Dar es Salaam
  • Kigoma
  • Mbeya
  • Moshi
  • Morogoro
  • Mwanza
  • Mtwara

Other destinations

  • Arusha National Park
  • Mount Meru - Mount Meru is an active stratovolcano located 70 kilometres (43 mi) west of Mount Kilimanjaro in the nation of Tanzania.
  • Mikumi National Park
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Africa's highest peak and the world's highest freestanding mountain. You can climb it with the help of a guide.
  • Ngorongoro Conservation Area - includes the Ngorongoro Crater and the Olduvai Gorge
  • Ruaha National Park
  • Serengeti National Park
  • Stone Town
  • Tarangire National Park
  • Udzungwa Mountains National Park

See also African National Parks

Understand

History

This is probably one of the oldest known continuously inhabited areas on Earth; fossil remains of humans and pre-human hominids have been found dating back over two million years. More recently, Tanzania is believed to have been populated by hunter-gatherer communities, probably Cushitic and Khoisan speaking people. About 2000 years ago, Bantu-speaking people began to arrive from western Africa in a series of migrations. Later, Nilotic pastoralists arrived, and continued to immigrate into the area through to the 18th century.

Travellers and merchants from the Persian Gulf and Western India have visited the East African coast since early in the first millennium CE. Islam was practised on the Swahili coast as early as the eighth or ninth century CE.

In the late 19th century, Imperial Germany conquered the regions that are now Tanzania (minus Zanzibar), Rwanda, and Burundi, and incorporated them into German East Africa. The post-World War I accords and the League of Nations charter designated the area a British Mandate, except for a small area in the northwest, which was ceded to Belgium and later became Rwanda and Burundi).

British rule came to an end in 1961 after a relatively peaceful (compared with neighbouring Kenya, for instance) transition to independence. In 1954, Julius Nyerere transformed an organization into the politically oriented Tanganyika African National Union (TANU). Nyerere became Minister of British-administered Tanganyika in 1960 and continued as Prime Minister when Tanganyika became independent in 1961. After the Zanzibar Revolution overthrew the Arab dynasty in neighboring Zanzibar, which had become independent in 1963, the island merged with mainland Tanganyika to form the nation of Tanzania on 26 April 1964.

From the late 1970s, Tanzania's economy took a turn for the worse. Tanzania also aligned with China, seeking Chinese aid. The Chinese were quick to comply, but with the condition that all projects be completed by imported Chinese labor. From the mid 1980s, the regime financed itself by borrowing from the International Monetary Fund and underwent some reforms. From the mid 1980s Tanzania's GDP per capita has grown and poverty has been reduced.

Geography

A large central plateau makes up most of the mainland, at between 900 m and 1800 m. The mountain ranges of the Eastern Arc and the Southern and Northern Highlands cut across the country to form part of the Great Rift Valley.

A land of geographical extremes, Tanzania houses the highest peak (Mount Kilimanjaro), the lowest point (the lake bed of Lake Tanganyika), and a portion of the largest lake (Lake Victoria, shared with Uganda and Kenya) on the African continent.

Climate

Tanzania's weather varies from humid and hot in low lying areas, such as Dar es Salaam, to hot during the day and cool at night in Arusha. There are no discernible seasons, such as winter and summer -- only the dry and wet seasons. Tanzania has two rainy seasons: The short rains from late-October to late-December, a.k.a. the Mango Rains, and the long rains from March to May.

Many popular resorts and tourist attractions on Zanzibar and Mafia Island Marine Park close during the long rains season, and many trails in the national parks are impassable during this period. For that reason, in most cases tours are restricted to the main roads in the parks. Travelers should plan their trip accordingly.

During the dry season, temperatures can easily soar to above 35°C in Dar. You should seek shelter from the sun during the midday heat and use copious amounts of sunblock, SPF 30+.

Best times to visit are:

  • June to August: This is the tail-end of the long rainy season and the weather is at its best at this time of year -- bearable during the day and cool in the evening. However, this is not necessarily the best time of year for safaris, as water is plentiful in the parks and animals are not forced to congregate in a few locations to rehydrate, as they do in the middle of the dry season right after Christmas.
  • January to February: This is the best time to visit the Serengeti. It is usually at this time that huge herds of Wildebeest, Zebra and Buffalo migrate to better grazing areas. At this period you could observe some of the 1.5 million Wildebeest that inhabit the Serengeti undertake their epic journey. Be advised this is most likely the hottest time of year in Tanzania, when even the locals complain about the heat. You've been warned!

People

Tanzanians form more than 120 ethnic groups.

Get in

Visa

No visa is required for stays of less than 3 months for citizens of Namibia, Romania, Rwanda, Hong Kong, Malaysia and all commonwealth member states (except the United Kingdom, Canada, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Nigeria, India & South Africa). A Tourist Visa costs US$50 or US$100 for a three-month single entry and a three-month double entry visa, respectively. The visa can be obtained upon landing in Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, Mwanza and ports of entry. Be advised that the wait can be especially long if your flight arrives at the same time as other international flights. Visas are valid for the duration from the date of issuance. However, obtaining a visa before arrival is highly recommended. Holders of a US passport can only obtain a US$100 multiple-entry visa. US travellers departing from the U.S. can pay US$20 for a rush service, which takes three working days. The website of Tanzania Embassy in the U.S. gives the current requirements, . Visas may also be obtained from any of Tanzania's diplomatic mission abroad. Visa when entering Zanzibar is US$50 and US$25 when leaving.

Tanzania has extra requirements for anyone who is not visiting for tourism purposes. Any sort of business visit requires a temporary work permit called a CTA (Carrying on Temporary Assignment). This costs US$200 and required filling out a form. Up to 6 passport sized photos will also be required. Not having this can cause problems. Entering Zanzibar for example will be difficult without it if you are not a tourist. See the Tanzania Immigration Service web site for more details.

Note that when crossing by ground at the Namanga border crossing (e.g. traveling from Nairobi, Kenya to Arusha, Tanzania), you will need to cross the border on foot.  Scammers in the no man's land between the border control offices of Kenya and Tanzania will try several scams, including offering outrageously poor currency exchange rates and pretending to be officials selling Tanzania visa stamps.  Those attempting to sell the Tanzania visa stamps will act official and ask to see your passport, then they will place an item (a small Tanzanian bank note) in your passport, close the passport, and request the visa-on-arrival fee.  Only do business with the immigration offices and adjacent banks, located in established government buildings.  Do not stop or interact with people in the no man's land in between.

By plane

There are two major airports; one in Dar es Salaam, Julius Nyerere International Airport (IATA: DAR) (formerly known as Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere International Airport and Dar es Salaam International Airport), and one in Kilimanjaro, Kilimanjaro International Airport (IATA: JRO) , which is halfway between Arusha and Moshi.

Tanzania is served internationally from

Europe by

  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam), +255 22 213 9790 (Dar) & +255 27 223 8355 (Arusha). Daily flights with stopover in Kilimanjaro.
  • Swiss International Air Lines (Zurich), +255 22 211 8870. 5 flights a week (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday) with a stopover in Nairobi.
  • Turkish Airlines (Istanbul). Daily flights.

Middle East and Asia by

  • Emirates (Dubai), +255 22 211 6100. Daily flights.
  • Qatar Airways (Doha), +255 22 284 2675, 1019, Julius Nyerere International Airport, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Daily flights.
  • Oman Air.
  • Etihad airways.
  • Flydubai.

Africa by

  • Fast Jet, a low-cost airline.
  • South African Airways (Johannesburg), +255 22 211 7044. Twice daily flights.
  • Ethiopian Airlines (Addis Ababa), +255 22 211 7063. Daily flights (except for Monday) with a stopover in Kilimanjaro.
  • Kenya Airways (Nairobi), +255 22 211 9376 (Dar) & +255 24 223 8355 (Zanzibar). Three daily flights with some stopping in Kilimanjaro.
  • Egypt Air.
  • Air Seychelles.
  • Comores Aviation.
  • Carriers originating from Malawi, Mozambique also maintain regular flights to Dar es Salaam.

And domestically by

  • Air Tanzania, +255 22 211 8411, bookings@airtanzania.com.
  • Precision Air, +255 22 212 1718, Along Nyerere/Pugu Road, P.O Box 70770, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, info@precisionairtz.com or pwreservations@precisionairtz.com also flights to/from Kenya.
  • Coastal Aviation, +255 22 211 7959, P. O. Box 3052, 107 Upanga Road, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, safari@coastal.cc.
  • ZanAir, +255 24 223 3670, P.O.Box 2113, Zanzibar, Tanzania, reservations@zanair.com.
  • Regional Air provides almost daily service to all major cities, including Dar es SalaamArushaMwanzaMbeyaZanzibar, and most national parks.

Domestic flights are often late but generally reliable.

By train

The Tanzania - Zambia train service, known as TAZARA, operates trains twice a week between New Kapiri Mposhi, Zambia, and Dar es Salaam, leaving from Dar es Salaam on Tuesdays and Fridays.

A domestic Tanzania railways network links Tanzania's major cities, including KigomaMwanzaDodomaTabora, and Dar es Salaam. The domestic train service is usually reliable, and ticket prices are affordable. Ticket prices differ, however, according to 'class', typically first, second, and third. First and second classes offer cabins with two and six beds, respectively. Third class is open seating. Hot meals and beverages are usually available from the dining car. It is not uncommon for the train kitchen to purchase fresh produce at many of the stopping points along the way. You can also buy fruit and snacks directly from local vendors who frequent the many train stations on each of Tanzania's many train routes.

By car

Warning: It's not advised to drive in Tanzania, or throughout most of Africa, unless you have already experienced the driving conditions in developing countries. Nonetheless, here is some useful information for those thinking to undertake the challenge.

Drive on the left side of the road

  • Tanzanians drive on the left (like in the UK, India, Australia, Japan, and other countries), as opposed to driving on the right, like in North America and most European countries. Experienced drivers from "right-hand drive" countries will need about half a day of driving around before adjusting to the change. Although the gear shift, windshield wipers and turn signal activators are reversed, luckily, the pedals are not. Just follow the traffic. However, even with some practice, you should always be vigilant, as you could easily find yourself disoriented, which could put you at risk of a head-on collision or hitting a pedestrian, if you are used to driving on the opposite side of the road.

Choice of vehicle

  • If you're hiring a car when you get here, your best option is a 4x4 sport utility vehicle with good road clearance, especially if you plan on going on safari in any of the national parks. Look for the Land Cruiser, Hilux Surf (4Runner), and Range Rover vehicles. Avoid mini-SUVs, such as the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CRV, because they can't always negotiate the poor road conditions in most of Tanzania's national parks. Another issue is 4-wheel drive options. Vehicles with always-on 4x4 are not the best choice for off-road driving. These vehicles were designed for driving in the snow on paved roads or through small mud holes. What you encounter in national parks in Tanzania is quite different and demands a proper 4-wheel drive vehicle capable of traversing large mud holes and sandy roads. Even then, you may still get stuck.

Navigation

  • Nelles Maps of Tanzania, Rwanda & Burundi is the best map. They've taken the time to locate the smallest of villages along the routes, which is great for navigating places where landmarks are scarce.
  • There are markers and white concrete pillions along the main roads. They identify the next major city or town along the route and how many kilometers remain.

Driving in the city

  • This only applies to Dar es Salaam, since all other cities and towns are relatively small and easy to get around in. The city center is extremely congested from 9AM-6PM, Monday to Friday. There are few traffic lights, and the streets are very narrow. It's a dog-eat-dog kind of place, so offensive driving skills are a must, as no one will let you pass if you just sit and wait at stops signs. Streets are crowded with parked and moving cars, SUVs, lorries, scooters, and very muscular men pulling insanely overloaded carts. People can spend hours stuck in traffic jams, especially around Kariakoo Market.
  • There are a few roundabouts in downtown, which the locals call "keeplefties" because they thought that the sign advising drivers to "Keep Left" when entering the roundabouts named this fascinating Mzungu invention. Mzungu is the Swahili word for "white" foreigners. It is not derogatory, and it's more along the lines of calling a white person a Caucasian.
  • When parking on the street in Dar, find a spot to park, then lock your doors and leave. When you return, a parking attendant wearing a yellow fluorescent vest will approach you for payment. The fee is 300 Tsh for two hours. The attendant should either hand you a ticket, or the ticked will already be on your windshield. Do not leave without paying if there is a ticket on your windshield. The attendant will most likely be forced to make up for the missing money, as he probably earns, at best, 3000 Tsh a day.
  • Carjacking is uncommon but opening doors or jumping through open windows to steal valuables is not. Keep your windows closed and the doors locked. When vehicles are stopped at traffic lights or parked on unattended locations, thieves have been known to steal mirrors, paneling, spare tires, and anything that is not either engraved with the license plate number or bolted into the vehicle's body. Choose your parking spots carefully and don't leave valuables in plain sight. You can either offer the parking attendant a small tip to watch your vehicle, 500 to 1000 Tsh, or find a secured parking lot, especially if you are leaving your vehicle overnight.

Routes

  • The two main roads are the "Dar es Salaam to Mbeya" road (A7/A17), which takes you to the Southern Highlands through the towns of MorogoroIringa, and Mikumi National Park, and near the Selous and Ruhaha National Parks. The other road is the "Dar to Arusha and the Serengeti" road (B1), which takes you to the Northern Circuit by the towns of Tanga and Moshi, and Mount Kilimanjaro, Saadani, Tanrangire, Ngorongoro and Serengeti National Parks.

Dangers and annoyances

  • Tanzanians drive very fast and won't hesitate to overtake in a blind curve. Also, most commercial vehicles are poorly maintained and overloaded, and you'll see many of them broken-down along the main highways. never assume their brakes are working or that the drivers have fully thought through the dangerous maneuver they are undertaking.
  • Most roads in Tanzania are poorly maintained and littered with potholes and dangerous grooves formed by overloaded transport vehicles. All main roads cut through towns and villages, and often traffic calming tools (a.k.a. speed or road humps) ensure vehicles reduce their speed when passing through. Unfortunately, few are clearly marked while most are hard to see until you are right upon them, and if you are coming too fast, you could be thrown off the road. Slow down when entering any town, or you might not be able to avoid these and other hazards. This defensive driving attitude is also prudent because animals and children often bolt out into the street.
  • If you are involved in an accident with a pedestrian, drive to the nearest police station to advise them. DO NOT exit your vehicle and attempt to resolve the situation, even if you are sure it was not your fault. Tanzanians are some of the nicest people you will ever meet in Africa, but they have been known to take matters into their own hands. This is largely due to their mistrust of the police and the belief that anyone with money, e.g. rich foreigners, can buy their way out of a problem.
  • If you encounter a convoy of government vehicles, move out of the way. They have priority, although this is debatable, and will not hesitate to run you off the road if you don't give way. You could also be fined by the police for your failure to give way.

In Tanzania, you can determine vehicle registration by the license plate colours. Yellow plates, starting with "T" and followed by three numbers, are privately owned vehicles. Official Tanzanian government plates are also yellow, but they display only letters and usually start with "S" (the fewer the letters, the higher up in the food chain the owner is). Green plates are diplomatic; Red are international development agencies; Blue are UN and similar organizations; White are taxis, buses and commercial (safari) vehicles, and Black are the military and the police. This coding does not apply in Zanzibar and Pemba.

Passing etiquette

  • Drivers following you will activate their right turn signal light to indicate they wish to pass you. If the road is clear, activate your left turn signal; if not, activate your right turn signal. Look for this when attempting to pass.

What to bring

  • A large jerry can (20 liters) with emergency fuel. (FYI - Don’t enter a national park without a full tank of gas.)
  • A shovel, a machete ("panga" in Swahili), and tow rope
  • Good road maps
  • First-aid kit
  • Drinking water, at least 5 liters, and non-perishable emergency food supplies.

By bus

The bus is a great way to get into Tanzania. Fly to a place like Nairobi, then you can catch a bus down to Arusha -- a great base for Mount Meru and Ngorongoro Crater. Also, you should not forget the south central part of Tanzania, away from tourist hawkers. Roads in Tanzania aren't in good condition; there are no highways, and there are very few multiple lane segments along main roads. Buses slow down or stop in most villages because of traffic, police, and speed calming tools. For your reference, the trip from Dar to Iringa takes at least 6 hours in a private vehicle. It's mostly a two-lane road, recently rebuilt by the Chinese, so it's in good condition for the most part.

Westbound and northbound buses leaving from Dar ply the same road (A7) until you get to Chalinze, which is about halfway, less than two hours, between Dar and Morogoro.

If you are going to Arusha, the bus will veer north on the A17. Other notable destinations along this route are Saandani National Park, Pangani, TangaLushoto, Kilimanjaro, and Moshi. From Arusha, you can also take a bus to Mwanza and Kigoma, but once you've past the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, the roads are in extremely poor condition, and you are in for a bumpy ride.

If you continue on past Chalinze you'll pass by Morogoro (also the turn off for Dodoma), the entry point into the Selous Game Reserve, Mikumi National Park, the old main gate to Udzungwa Mountains Parks, and Iringa, which is the turn off for Ruaha National Park.

Iringa is the place to explore the southern circuit, with a new campsite at the Msosa gate to the Uduzungwas (the Iringa side of the park) and the gateway to Ruaha (possibly Tanzania's best park). It is a great place to stay for a few days.

After Iringa, you'll either go west, to Mbeya, or south, to Songea. Head to Mbeya if you want to either visit Lake Tanganyika, enter into Malawi, or head north to Kigoma. North of Mbeya, the roads aren't sealed, so it will be a long and very unpleasant trip. If you want to see Lake Nyasa (a.k.a. Lake Malawi), take the bus to Songea. Although you are within a stone's throw of Mozambique, there are no official entry points into Mozambique.

Finally, if you're headed south of Dar, then you'll take the B2. This is the main route to the Selous and the Rufiji River. Along the way, you can also stop in Kilwa, Lindi, and, finally, Mtwara. The road isn't sealed the whole way, so, again, bring on a cushion.

Outside of the roads connecting Nairobi, Arusha, and Dar es Salaam, roads between other cities and villages are in very poor condition, although they are slowly being improved. For instance, traveling from Arusha to Dodoma is slow. It can be faster to return to Chalinze and then board a bus to Dodoma. This is pretty much the case for any travel between cities that are not located along the road to Dar.

The border town of Namanga is a hectic outpost that epitomizes much of Africa. The bus even waits here for you to cross the border. You can even get off on the Kenyan side, walk across the border, and get on the bus again on the Tanzanian side.

From Dar by bus it is also possible to travel to Malawi, Uganda, and Rwanda.

Useful information on the Dar es Salaam bus stand ("Ubungo") and some specific bus lines can be found in the Dar es Salaam article.

Be sure to go to the proper ticket sales desk to buy tickets, especially in larger cities.  Also, show up at the proper ticket sales desk well before the bus is scheduled to the depart, to ensure that you are directed to the correct bus and check in your luggage with the actual bus driver.  In Arusha's bus terminal, there is scam where people will attempt to impersonate the bus ticket sales people and the bus drives.

Bus lines

See specific cities for more information about the bus lines that serve them.

  • Tahmeed Buses connect Mombasa with Tanga and Dar in Tanzania.
  • Royal Coach travels to Arusha, and is one of the nicest buses available.
  • Dar Express services many cities, including Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Sumry, Sutco, and Upendo connect the beautiful southern part of Tanzania, Iringa and Mbeya to Dar and further S.W.

By boat

Azam Marine and Fast Ferries connect Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar. It's about 90 minutes sailing.

Get around

The bus is the most common way to travel around in Tanzania. Most buses have a simple design, and the roads are poor, although 1st class air-con buses are available on the Dar-Moshi-Arusha route (Dar Express - ticket office on Libya Street downtown or office no. 45 at Ubungo). Nearly all buses go in and out of Dar es Salaam. The main bus station in Dar (where all buses go), Ubungo, is 8 km west of the city center. A number of the better "intercity buses" provide you with complimentary drinks and biscuits. In Dar, minibuses called Dala-Dalas can be taken cheaply to most places within the city. The fare is written on the front next to the door - it's usually TSh 250 for adults (2011) except for longer distances. The route of the bus is also stenciled on the front and sides of the bus, e.g. 'Posta-Mwenge' and there's a colour coding system. Posta (outside the central post office on Azikiwe/Maktaba Street) is the main downtown daladala hub. Others are Kariakoo, Mwenge, Buguruni, and Ubungo. Hop on the daladala, take a seat if there is one, and pay the conductor ('konda') when he shakes his pile of coins at you in a meaningful way. The konda shouts the names of the stops - if you don't know where you are, or don't know the name of your destination stop, it'll be hard to know where to get off. If possible, it's worth asking someone at your destination, since the stops sometimes have no signs at all - people 'just know' that certain street corners are the daladala stop and the names are not obvious (e.g. 'Sudani' on the Masaki-Posta line - near the Sudanese ambassador's residence on Toure Drive). When you hear or see your stop and want to get off, shout 'Shusha!' (let me off), the konda will knock on the chassis twice, and the driver will immediately swerve to the side and stop. The daladalas don't run very late; on the east side of town the latest ones are the Msasani and Mwenge routes.

There are also three-wheeled tuktuks/baby taxis/CNGs/bajajis that zoom around. They are cheaper than a taxi, and can get past traffic jams. Probably not the safest option but I haven't heard of any bajaji-related problems. You can negotiate the fare in advance, but sometimes the driver doesn't know your destination 8there's no Dar es Salaam 'knowledge') and won't know how much to charge. The drivers I've taken have generally quoted pretty fair prices (maybe with a reasonable 'skin tax' for white people) at the destination and if they're trying to rip you off you can usually tell by the leer. It may be handy to know 'right' and 'left' in Swahili: kulia (right), kushoto (left), moja kwa moja (straight), simama (stop), asante kaka (thanks brother).

Private taxis are also a convenient choice, but be sure to negotiate the price before you use them. Fellow travelers might be able to offer advice about a reasonable fare. Some places (e.g. Dar es Salaam Airport) have a strong taxi cartel and post fixed prices.

If you can afford it, flying around Tanzania is faster and safer. See Tanzania#By_plane section above. Even the busiest roads are in poor condition, and bus drivers are not known for their patience or great driving skills. Road accidents claim more lives in Tanzania than any other cause of death.

Car hire - rent a car for private use.

Car hire in Tanzania is affordable and there are many reliable 4WD jeeps like Landcruisers and Landrovers available for hire. 4WD cars are comfortable and can withstand all weather road conditions in Tanzania. When you want to travel comfortably anywhere in Tanzania, being rural areas or National parks, choose private travel in a Landcruiser or Landrover.

There are several local Tour Operators (like [1]) which have fleet of cars for hire in major airports like Dar es Salaam Julius Nyerere Airport, Kilimanjaro International Airport, major cities and all towns which are peripheral to tourist destinations like MoshiMwanzaArusha, and Karatu around Ngorongoro.

See

Tanzania is a country with great national parks, where you can see some of the finest African flora and fauna. Tanzania is home to several national parks and game reserves. Safaris in Tanzania can be put into two categories, the Northern Circuit (Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Manyara and Tarangire) and the Southern Circuit (Selous, Mikumi and Ruaha). This is certainly an oversimplification and does not include other interesting but harder to reach parks such as Katavi and Gombe, just to name two. For tourist, the two first groupings are more accessible as several tour companies offer a variety a packages for these.

Safari prices

The cost of a safari can range from the basics (fly-tents, self-catering and guides with vehicles) to smaller parks like Manyara and Tarangire, to luxury lodges and tented camps in the Serengeti which can cost anywhere from US$250 to US$1,500 per person per night. You can use your own vehicle, provided it's a 4x4 with adequate clearance. There is a benefit to hiring a guide and a vehicle as safari vehicles are equipped with open rooftops which provide a much better vantage point for animal viewing. Also, many park will require that you hire a certified guide before you enter the park, even if you're using your own vehicle. Guides can cost around US$35 a day plus tip. Guides are good to have since they know the park and can help you locate some of the more sought after animals such as lions, leopards, rhinos, cheetahs and hyenas.

Park fees for Manyara and Tarangire are as of July 2008 US$35 per person and US$10,- for vehicle/driver fees. For Ngorongoro there is a US$200 vehicle fee as well, a $50 per person park fee as well as a $10,- vehicle/driver fee. For the Serengeti it's US$100 per person with and a $10 vehicle/driver fee. These fees are valid for 24 hours. If you arrive in the afternoon, you can return in the morning the next day and not pay again.

Some of the more popular safari companies are Warrior Trails, Ranger tours & Leopard tours. Other popular companies rated by the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators include Ajabu Adventures, Bush2Beach Safaris, Bushmen Expeditions, Fay Safaris and Tanzania Tour Company. Serena and Sopa are popular lodging spots and have facilities throughout the Northern Circuit. However, don't discount using smaller tours and lesser known lodging facilities which are just as good if not better than the larger tours and lodges.

For better prices and some of the most beautiful parks avoiding the traffic jams of safari vehicles, head for the southern circuit, particularly Ruaha National Park where fees are US$20 per person and the range of wildlife is much greater and the scenery spectacular. Iringa is a great place to base yourself to explore this area and sort out your safari trips.

For any of the following tours looking online you will find reputable companies such as Worldlink Travel and tours, who are reasonably priced and make the trip enjoyable and stress free.

Wildlife viewing

  • Serengeti National Park, made famous by numerous Discovery Channel specials, hosts a wide range of wildlife, including lions, cheetahs, leopards, hippopotamuses, elephants, zebra, buffalo, water buck, crocodiles, gazelle, warthogs, and wildebeest. One major attraction is the wildebeest migration, which occurs continuously between the Serengeti and Masai Mara (Kenya). Park fees are US$50/person/day as of July 2008, and a guide with a 4-wheel drive vehicle is required. If the migration is your main purpose for visiting the Serengeti, you should advise your tour company as this may require travel much further afield and could be more costly.
  • Ngorongoro Conservation Area also hosts an abundance of wildlife, particularly in the Ngorongoro crater. Formed by the same volcanic activity that generated Kilimanjaro and the Great Rift Valley, Ngorongoro consists of the highlands around the crater (rich in elephants) and the crater itself (similar animals to Serengeti, but at higher densities and with a small population of black rhino). Park fees are US$50/day/person as of July 2007, plus $200 per vehicle for a six-hour game drive in the crater.
  • Ruaha National Park and Selous Game Reserve are far less popular but very enjoyable. You will find much greater variety of wildlife than you would in the Serengeti, if you're looking for a destination with fewer tourists these parks are for you. Ruaha is known for having the largest elephant and giraffe population of any park in Africa and often goes by the name 'Giraffic Park', it is also a good place to see large prides of lion and the elusive and rare hunting dogs. Additionally, Selous is the only other place besides Ngorongoro where you may see a rhino. You can also visit the Uduzungwa Mountains Park for a truly wilderness hike through unspoiled and spectacular scenery. There are few places left in the world like this one. With new gates opened up on the Iringa side of the park with great camping it is a great addition to any visit to Tanzania.
  • Tarangire National Park is in the northern circuit of Tanzania and was named after the Tarangire river flowing within the park. The park area is approximately 2,600 km2. Similar to Serengeti, the park has a high concentrations of wildlife during the dry seasons. Also, over 570 bird species have been identified, and the place is surely a birdwatchers' paradise. Safari accommodation is available in quality safari lodges and campsites.

When visiting wildlife parks be sure to stay as close to the viewing areas (center of the parks) as possible and leave as soon as you can in the morning as animals are typically most active soon after sunrise.

Islands

  • Zanzibar is an island off the coast of Tanzania; it includes both Zanzibar and Pemba. Zanzibar has beautiful beaches and a historical Stone Town. Zanzibar is great for scuba diving, snorkeling, and swimming with dolphins. Other attractions include spice tours and the Jozani Forest, which shelters a small population of red Colobus monkeys.
  • Mafia Island Marine Park is south of Zanzibar and boasts some fantastic scuba diving and snorkeling. You may also get to swim with whale sharks, as this is one of the few areas in the world where they congregate annually.
  • Bongoyo Island is easy to get to with a boat from Slipway. It is has a remarkable beach with excellent snorkeling in clear water, although you may be better off taking your own snorkels as renting is costly. The island is not tide dependent, therefore you can swim at any time. There is a resident price and a 'muzungu' price' but still quite reasonable.
  • Sinda Island is a small uninhabited island of ínner sinder' and outer sinder'.
  • Mbudya Island can be accessed from Silver Sands hotel. The water is amazing although it looks clear you cannot snorkel in it as it is surprisingly murky underneath the surface.
  • Lazy Lagoon There are just 12 rooms on the private 9 km long white sandy island with deserted beaches. It boasts swimming at all tides in clear azure blue water, ideal for snorkelling to be mesmerized by the shoals of iridescent tropical fish hiding among the pristine coral gardens that protect the island. The island is accessed from the mainland, just south of Bagamoyo town 70km north of Dar es Salaam. It is home to bushbabies, wild pigs, genets, baboons, duiker, and Suni antelope. The bandas were well appointed and have solar-powered hot water, a large shady verandah with spacious rooms and big windows.

Mountains

  • Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa and one of the highest freestanding mountains in the world. Many people travel to Tanzania just to climb this mountain. Does tend to be crowded with tourists. You can either organize your trek up the mountain from your home country through a travel agency, but you'll pay a lot more for this convenience, or, if you've got a bit of time, hop on plane and save some money by organizing it in Arusha or in Dar. Be advised that there are as many incompetent and dishonest trek organizers as there are good ones. Ask around to make sure your guide will deliver on his promises.
  • Mt Meru is an active stratovolcano located 70 kilometres (43 mi) west of Mount Kilimanjaro in the nation of Tanzania. At a height of 4,565 metres (14,977 ft), it is visible from Mt Kilimanjaro on a clear day, and is the ninth or tenth highest mountain in Africa, dependent on definition. Much of its bulk was lost about 8,000 years ago due to an eastward volcanic blast, similar to the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in the U.S. state of Washington. Mount Meru most recently had a minor eruption in 1910. The several small cones and craters seen in the vicinity probably reflect numerous episodes of volcanic activity.

Do

  • There are loads of National Parks for those wanting to watch Tanzania's wildlife. You can gain entry for around US$100 and benefit from a tour (and perhaps a night's accommodation). The better parks, though packed with tourists, are found in the north of the country. Ruaha National Park is the best in the south (locals actually say this is the best park, especially if you want to see wild animals as opposed to semi-tame ones in the northern parks). Don't just be sucked into the tourist circuit in the north; the south offers great parks and towns (base yourself out of Iringa), and you will feel less of a tourist and more of a guest if you travel this way.
  • Scuba diving in and around Pemba and Zanzibar is another good experience.
  • You can also visit numerous historical Slave Trade sites located in Bagamoyo, which could make for an interesting, if a little depressing, excursion.
  • Beaches: Did you know that Tanzania has some of the best, most unspoiled beaches in the world? They are stunning, with their white sand, palm trees, and cool Indian Ocean water!
  • Kayak the beautiful coastal waters with a tour operator.
  • Tanzania has two of the best Stone Age sites in the world: Isimila Gorge (near Iringa) and the earliest known examples of human art among the rock paintings, near Kolo, north of Kondoa, Dodoma -- some of which are reckoned to be around 30,000 years old.
  • Kilimanjaro is one of Tanzania's main attractions. Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa. Many visitors come to Tanzania to summit this great mountain. The main peak is estimated to be 5895m high making it a real challenge for mountaineers.
  • Kilimanjaro Travel (Camping Safaris), Boma Road, Rindi Lane, ☎ +255784559111. Camping safaris in Tanzania is most loved safari tours in Tanzania. Camping safaris is on several travel categories like luxury mobile camps, luxury tented camps. There is also most affordable and comfortable basic camping safaris. Basic camping safaris is also known as budget camping safaris.

Camping safaris is widely used for wildlife safaris and vacation holidays. Camping safaris can be planned for photographic safaris, ecotourism, budget Tanzania safaris, bird watching, walking safaris and responsible travel.

Talk

Swahili and English are the official languages of Tanzania. Swahili however is the dominant language of society, with English largely limited to commerce and higher education. Over 100 different languages are also spoken by individual ethnic groups, though Swahili is almost universally spoken across the country.

Time of day

This is where a little knowledge of Kiswahili can cause some inconveniences. Tanzanians don't function on the same time as Westerners. This doesn't mean Africa time, which is the notion that appointments are flexible and people can arrive when they please. For Tanzanians, it's illogical that the day would start in the middle of the night.

Since sunrise and sunset happen pretty much at the same time all year round, 6AM and 6PM, the day starts at 6AM which is 0 hours. So when telling time in Kiswahili, Tanzanians always subtracted 6 hours for western time. 11AM is 5a.m to a Tanzanian. To avoid any confusion, a Tanzanian will tell time in English if they want to use the western standard and in Kiswahili if they use local standard.

If you want to practice your Kiswahili, just keep this in mind if you discuss appointment times with a Tanzanian. If you say Saa kumi na moja asubuhi(11AM), instead of Saa tano asubuhi (5AM), you'll end up waiting for 6 h if the person arrives on time, plus however long it takes to arrive fashionably late!

Buy

Money

The currency of Tanzania is known as the Tanzanian shilling, denoted by the symbol "TSh" or by "/=" or "/-" following the number (ISO code:TSH). There are 5 notes and 6 coins:

  • Notes - 10000 (red); 5000 (violet); 2000 (brown); 1000 (blue), and 500 (green) denominations.
  • Coins - 200, 100, 50, 20, 10, and 5 denominations.

Notes and coins vary in size and color. In descending size order, 10 000 is the largest note, and 500 is the smallest.

In April 2011, one US dollar was worth about 1504 Tsh. [2] Tanzanian currency exchangers usually have a different exchange rate for different US$ denominations, larger and newer bills having a better exchange rate than older and smaller bills. The difference in exchange rate between $1/$5 bills and $50/$100 bills may exceed ten percent. Older US$100 notes are no longer accepted in Tanzania, and any note older than 2003 will most likely be refused everywhere. Also, it's best to avoid attempting to exchange notes with pen marks or any writing on them. Finally, be advised that if you withdraw a large amount of money, in the range of US$400, you'll have to carry over 40 notes around!

The 10000 and 5000 notes can be difficult to break when shopping in small shops, a.k.a. dukas. In Tanzania, it's usually the customer's responsibility to provide exact change. But if they do agree to provide change, you could be left with several 1000 and 500 notes of very poor quality. However, you won't have such problems in the large hotels and restaurants catering to foreigners.

In general, stores, restaurants, and hotels in Tanzania expect payment in Tsh. Exceptions include payment for travel visas, entry fees to national parks (which must be paid in US dollars by non-residents), and payments for safaris and Kilimanjaro treks, which are generally priced in US dollars (though payment will be also accepted in other currencies). On Zanzibar, prices are generally in US dollars (including the ferry fare from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar), and non-residents are required to pay for hotels with foreign currency (although the hotel will change Tsh for you).

Most hotels will exchange US dollars, euros and British pounds for Tanzanian shillings. Other currencies, such as Canadian or Australian dollars, may be accepted but at rates far below the going rate. ATMs are mostly located in the city center and on the Msasani Peninsula. For those wishing to withdraw money from bank accounts back home, in general, Equity Bank, Eco Bank, I&M Bank, KCB, Stanbic ATMs work with Master card, PLUS, Cirrus, Union Pay, American Express, JCB, Diners club compatible cards. Additionally, if you have a PIN code for your credit card, almost all Tanzanian banks with ATMs will allow cash advances on credit cards like Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Union Pay, JCB, Diners Club cards' If the ATM reports your home balance in TSh, you may be pleasantly surprised to find that you're a "shillionaire".

Traveler's checks have become virtually impossible to cash in all banks in Tanzania. Since ATMs are much more prevalent, using credit cards to withdrawals from your personal accounts is much easier now days.

Credit cards can be used in big supermarkets, malls, large hotels, resorts, and with certain travel agents.

Shopping

There are many markets in tourist cities that sell standard "African" goods. Beaded jewelry, carved soapstone, and Masai blankets make interesting gifts. Be aware that most "ebony" wood is fake (shoe polish) - the exception being in the far south-east of the country, where the Makonde tribe of Tanzania and Northern Mozambique create masks and other carvings from ebony and mpingo wood. Be prepared to bargain for everything. Masks are not typical of most East African groups, and the ones you find in the markets are either imported from West Africa or are strange things made just for tourists, with the exception of the Makonde masks.

Tinga Tinga paintings, named after the painter who originated that style, are for sale everywhere. Their distinctive style and colors make for attractive souvenirs. A standard size painting can be had for TSh5,000 - 10,000. There is a Tinga Tinga school in Dar es Salaam, where you can purchase paintings from the artists themselves.

Air freight

If you happen to buy too many goodies during your travels, it is possible to send them home air freight. Many airlines will allow you to check additional parcels when you fly, for a fee, which probably makes the most sense if you're going straight home. But if you're continuing on, air freight might be the way to go. Note that many listed rates do not include 20% VAT, or a "fuel surcharge", 13.5% as of December 2008.

  • DHL. Offers quite pricey service (e.g. about $300 for a 10kg package to the US) but is conveniently located in Dar city center, as well as in a bunch of other cities (see web site). Will deliver direct to the recipient in most countries.
  • KLM (go to the old terminal at DAR airport). Offers slightly more reasonable rates than DHL (e.g. about US$100 for a 10kg package to the US) but requires a trip to the airport and about 1 hour of paperwork & waiting. You must pay cash, in US dollars, plus some fees in shillings. Customs will want to go through the package, so bring something to (re)seal it. You can first go to the KLM freight office (look for the sign), then to the cargo building further down the same road, or call ahead and be met at cargo. If you just arrive at cargo you will be swarmed by freight forwarders - to find the KLM staff, look for the KLM logo (e.g. on a lanyard) or call ahead to Sameer (+255.714.474.617) who is quite helpful. Note that, despite what you might be told, someone will need to go to the destination airport to pick up the package - it will not be delivered to an address by KLM. Storage charges will accrue if it's left for very long.
  • EMS. EMS is a branch of the Tanzanian postal service, and is the cheapest way to send packages. It's available at most larger town post offices. But shipping time can be quite long, and delivery is not always reliable. Also there are size/weight restrictions. Packages will be transferred to the local postal service at destination, which usually provides direct delivery.

Eat

  • Produce is often of very high quality. Meat and milk can prove difficult for western taste and diets, so be sure that all meat is cooked through. At hotels, you won't 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 with meat or fish in it.
  • If there is anything that can be called Tanzania's national dish, then Ugali would most likely win out. A polenta-style dish made with corn flour, it accompanies cooked meat and a variety of stews, and it's 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.
  • Chai Maziwa (chai with milk) is a local favorite and well worth trying if you can handle the large amounts of sugar added to this drink.
  • Street food is also cheap and plentiful. Barbecued maize on the cob is very nice, as are the chipped potatoes (fries), cooked over a roaring fire.
  • Mandazi is a sweet doughnut-styled food that is mostly made fresh each morning. Great with coffee in the morning, it makes an ideal snack.
  • Tanzania's large South Asian community ensures that a great variety of restaurants offer cuisine from all parts of that region of the globe. All eateries near Hindu temples (particularly in Dar) are a good bet. Just watch where the local Indians go to eat, and you won't be disappointed. Most of the food is cooked in large amounts of Ghee, clarified butter, which can be hard for some people to digest.
  • Chips Mayai (chips cooked in an omelet) are served at nearly every African food stand in Tanzania and are considered a Tanzanian specialty. They're quite good with pili pili (hot sauce).

Drink

  • Bottled water is cheap and widely available throughout the country. You shouldn't drink the tap water unless you have no other option, and it must either be filtered with a high quality filter and purifier or brought to a boil before consumption. Recent tests on tap water have found it contaminated with e-coli bacteria.
  • Konyagi is a wonderful gin-like beverage, sold only in Tanzania.
  • Domestic beers are Kilimanjaro, Serengeti and Safari, which are western-style and very good. Imports include Tusker, Stella Artois, and Castle.
  • Locally produced banana-beer is also available at times, but questionably safe to drink. Traditionally, you will drink this out of a hollowed gourd. First drink the guests, who then pass it to the elders. In some parts of Tanzania, fermented bamboo juice (Pombe) is the common tipple.
  • Passion fruit, mango, and orange juices are available in many restaurants, and excellent when the fruits are in season.
  • Soft drinks are widely available; Stoney Tangawizi (ginger ale - tangawizi means 'ginger', in Swahili) is one of the most popular.
  • Other popular beverages are Orange Fanta, Bitter Lemon, Soda Water, Tonic Water, and Lassi (a sweet or salty yogurt drink).
  • Northern Tanzania has a number of great coffee plantations. Although coffee does not have the same popularity in Tanzania as it has in Ethiopia, with a bit of searching you can find a decent cup of java, instead of the instant "Africa" coffee that is served in most restaurants. All large hotels in Dar make good coffee. If you want to brew your own cup, Msumbi Coffee Shop, +255 22 260 0380, Sea Cliff Village, sells Tanzanian coffee beans ground or whole, roasted on the premises.

Sleep

Be sure to avoid touts. If you are travelling as a couple, a good idea is for one person to sit in a lobby or restaurant with the bags, while the other scopes out rooms. You are likely to get a cheaper price without the bags, and not be targeted by sneaky touts that will raise the price US$5-10 for you for their commission.

Learn

Various schools and volunteer programs offer courses ranging from Beginners Swahili to Economic Development. Dar es Salaam also has a well-established University, which has exchange programs with several universities in the US and other countries.

Work

There is a wide assortment of volunteer organisations sending volunteers and interns to Tanzania to do work in health care, orphanages, education, and development projects. Finding a paying job may be more of a daunting task, taking more time and making use of local connections, but a job could be certainly obtainable when sought hard enough.

Stay safe

Theft

As in many impoverished countries, caution should always be exercised, particularly in tourist areas, such as Arusha, Stone Town (Zanzibar), and Dar es Salaam. Violent crime against foreigners is not uncommon, particularly against those walking alone at night, which is not recommended. Pickpocketing and con artists are also common. Pickpockets work crowded markets, like Kariakoo, and bus stations. Don't be fooled by small children who are often forced into a life of crime by older kids or parents -- never carry anything of value in your pockets and don't let expensive camera equipment dangle from your neck. Don't leave bags unattended or even out of your sight when on the beach.

See specific area or city articles for details.

In general, avoid isolated areas, especially after dark. Travelling in large groups is safer. If there are many people or security guards around (e.g. city center areas) you should be relatively safe.

The safest way to travel is by taxi with a driver you know, especially when it's dark out (late night or early morning). Although it's uncommon, taxi drivers have been known to rob tourists. Get the number for a taxi you trust, from your hotel or a local.

Buses have infrequently been stopped by robbers on long-distance (often overnight) routes. If you have to travel a long distance by bus, it might be better to break it into multiple day-only trips, or to travel by plane or train.

In the event of an incident, the police may or may not make a strong effort to identify the culprits, but obtaining a police report is necessary if you plan on filing an insurance claim later, or if important documents are stolen. Make sure the police report indicates if your papers were stolen; otherwise you may have difficulty leaving the country. You should immediately contact your local embassy or consulate in the event that your passport is taken.

Walking

There are very few sidewalks in Tanzania, always pay careful attention to the traffic and be prepared to move out of the way, as vehicles do not make much effort to avoid pedestrians. In Tanzania, cars have priority.

The best way to avoid touts, sellers, dealers etc., when they inevitably come up to you and say "jambo" is to either say nothing, or to say "thank you" or "asante", and to keep moving. Some may be offended by 'no', and persistent touts will be encouraged by any kind of interaction at all.

Corruption

Tanzania, like many developing countries, suffers from corruption. Police are poorly paid - many make less than $40/month. You may be solicited for a bribe by an official willing to turn a blind eye to your infraction, fabricated or otherwise. Some travellers are very much averse to paying bribes to anyone, especially in a country with so many needy but honest citizens.

Fraudsters are known to impersonate police, sometimes in the guise of an "immigration official" who identifies a problem with your documents. They will flash official-looking papers at you. But there are many plainclothes officers as well. And if you are confronted with someone in uniform, they will almost certainly be an actual officer.

On-the-spot-fine is one term used for a bribe. Those words are meant to initiate a conversation about money. You may be told that the real fine is TSh40,000 or more and that for TSh20,000 or 30,000, paid immediately, you can be on your way and avoid a trip to the Police Station to pay a higher fine.

If you are certain you are in the right, and do not want to pay a bribe, some strategies are:

  • Involve other people. Fraudsters or corrupt officials are unlikely to pursue their schemes near an audience. You can ask bystanders for help on the pretext of not understanding the officer.
  • Invoke higher powers. Insisting on going to the local police station is a good way to make an illegitimate issue go away. Suggesting a visit to your country's embassy (e.g. to have an official there help translate the conversation, due to one's poor knowledge of the local language and laws) is also effective. At this point, they usually have a look of horror on their face, since they don't want any real officials involved. Asking for bribes is illegal, and there is an office of corruption where they can be reported.
  • Play dumb. Politely explain to the person that you don't understand the nature of the infraction, even if you do. Tanzanians are not direct, and prefer to imply what they want, instead of asking outright. Tell them you've only just arrived in the country, even if it's your 100th visit. If you know some Kiswahili, don't let on. It may only make things harder.
  • Insist a receipt with an official stamp -- a request that is most likely to be met with confusion and concern. The idea is to show that you don’t know that this is actually a bribe and that you simply try to play by the rules. Hopefully, after 10 or 20 minutes of a circular, but always polite, conversation, they may send you on your merry way. A word of caution about this approach. Corrupt officials have become wise to this and in one case a person requesting a receipt was told the cashier's office was closed and would not open until the next morning. The options were to pay the fine or spend the night in prison. It appears this was not a bluff on the part of the officer. The fine was paid and no receipt was issued. Be aware that the game is constantly changing.

Also keep in mind that:

  • Discussing money or negotiating the fine may encourage the perception that you understand the nature of the conversation (i.e. you are willing to pay a bribe).
  • Directly accusing the officer of corruption is likely to be counter-productive; it is important that you allow the officer to save face.
  • If you insist on going to the police station, you may be expected to give the officer a ride. If you are alone, and especially if the "officer" is plainclothes, this may not be a good idea. If you are approached by multiple people and are alone, under no circumstances get in their vehicle - insist on taking a taxi. And once you get to the station, just pay whatever fine is quoted and insist on a receipt. This may end up costing you more than the bribe, but at least this cop won't get any money out of you, and he/she may think twice before flagging down other foreigners. Also, demonstrate respect for their authority, never raise your voice, and never swear or insult them. Whether you are right or not does not matter at that point.

Finally: incidents of excessive force involving tourists are rare, but that doesn’t mean it cannot happen. For instance, police have been known to be drunk on the job, which can seriously inhibit their ability to reason. As in any situation where someone is trying to get money out of you, by force or threat of force, it's better to be safe than sorry; it's only money.

Stay healthy

Illnesses and diseases

As in most African countries, the AIDS/HIV infection rate is high. Tanzania's HIV/AIDS infection rate was 9% at the end of 2003 UNAIDS [3] . This figure is deceiving, however, since several distinct segments of the population, such as artisanal miners, itinerant fisherman, truck drivers, and sex workers, have HIV infection rates significantly higher than the national average. Do not have unprotected sex in Tanzania or anywhere else, for that matter.

After food-borne illnesses, malaria should be your greatest concern. Malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes and is endemic to Tanzania. You may find yourself at risk in almost every part of the country, although this risk is diminished at altitudes above 2000 m. Care should always be taken between sunset and sunrise, especially during the rainy season. Always sleep under a treated net; wear trousers and closed footwear, and use an effective repellent. It's amazing, but many large hotels don’t automatically install mosquito nets in their rooms. However, a call to the reception requesting one is seldom ignored. In some cases, the nets have several large holes, but a bit of adhesive tape or tying a small knot to cover the hole should do the trick.

Prior to leaving for Tanzania, you may also wish to consult a physician about taking some anti-malarial medication -- before, during, and after your trip. If, in spite of your best efforts, you do contract malaria, it is usually easily treated with medication that is readily available throughout most of the country. If you plan on being in isolated locations, you may wish to drop by a clinic and purchase a batch. Note that symptoms associated with malaria can take up to two weeks before manifesting themselves. The rule of thumb for ex-pats living in Tanzania is this: Any fever lasting more than a day should be cause for concern and necessitate a trip to the clinic for a malaria test. Upon your return home, should you show signs of a possible malaria infection, notify your doctor that you’ve visited a malaria-infected country.

Other major illnesses to avoid are typhoid and cholera. In theory, typhoid can be avoided by carefully selecting food and drink and by avoiding consumption of anything unclean. Typhoid infection, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) [4], is marked by 'persistent, high fevers...headache, malaise, anorexia, splenomegaly, and relative bradycardia.'

Cholera infection is marked by vomiting and sudden, uncontrollable bowel movements, which can dehydrate and ultimately kill the sufferer within 48 hours. It is important to seek medical attention as quickly as possible. Cholera is more or less a seasonal phenomenon in Zanzibar, where outbreaks frequently occur during the rainy seasons. Vaccines and/or oral prevention are available for both typhoid and cholera.

Yellow fever is an acute viral disease transmitted through the bite of a particular mosquito. Although not as common as malaria, it is nonetheless a serious disease, and travelers to Africa should consult a physician about being vaccinated against it. If you plan on traveling to other countries after your stay in Tanzania, be advised that some countries, such as South Africa, may require proof that you’ve been vaccinated against Yellow Fever before allowing you to enter the country. If you aren’t or can’t prove it, you will be offered two options: 1) receive the Yellow Fever vaccination at the airport, and 2) immediately leave the country. The Yellow Fever vaccine (as any cavvine) can have side effects for some people, so you may wish to get the vaccine in your home country, under controlled conditions. Most physicians will not administer the Yellow Fever vaccine to children under the age of 1 year, and a letter from a physician explaining this will ensure that your infant child will not receive the vaccine at the airport. - People travelling to Tanzania from India, There is acute shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in India so please get yourself vaccinated at the airport in Dar-es-Salaam as soon as you land there.

Gastrointestinal Distress, a.k.a. traveler’s diarrhea, is the result of one, some, or all of the following factors: Unhygienic food preparation and storage, changes in diet, fatigue, dehydration, and excessive alcohol consumption. Prevention is your best defense. Eat only raw vegetables and fruits you can peel and which have been rinsed in clean water. Avoid street or restaurant food that appears to have been left in the open for an extended period of time. Eat only freshly fried or steamed food. You should drink only bottled water, which is available throughout the country. You should even brush your teeth with it. If you must drink tap or well water, boil it for a minimum of 10 minutes or use a high quality filter.

Rift Valley Fever: In January 2007, there was an outbreak of RFV in the Kilimanjaro area. Consumption of unpasteurized milk and improperly cooked meat from infected cows led to a number of deaths in the area. Following the deaths, beef sales dropped sharply all over the country, despite the limited scope of the infection. In general, meat served in upscale restaurants is of superior quality. However, care should be taken when indulging in street foods or when eating in remote areas.

Insects and animals

Tanzania has its fair share of venomous and deadly insects and animals, such as Black and Green Mambas, scorpions, spiders, stinging ants, lions, sharks, and others. You should take care when walking through high grass; when visiting national parks, or when shoving your hand under rocks or into dark holes -- unless you know what you are doing. In actuality, the likelihood of encountering these and other similar dangers is remote.

The insect/animal most residents fear is the mosquito.

Medical facilities

Hospitals and dispensaries in Tanzania do not meet western standards. If you require surgery or any complex medical procedure you will have to be evacuated to Kenya, South Africa or Europe. You should ensure your medical insurance covers such expenses. Outside of Dar es Salaam, and especially outside of the larger cities and towns, you will be hard pressed to get even basic medical help as many doctors are poorly trained and/or have limited equipment and medication. You should ensure you have your own medical kit to hold you over in case of an emergency. Misdiagnoses are frequent for even common ailments such as malaria, as high as 70% of the cases.

Dar es Salaam is served by a few clinics staffed by western trained physicians. However, some surgical procedures still require evacuation out of Tanzania.

  • IST Medical Clinic: Just off Haile Selassie Road past the Chole Road intersection, behind the International School of Tanganyika, Msasani Pinensula, Tel: +255 22 260 1307, Emergency: +255 754 783 393.
  • Premier Care Clinic Limited: 259 Ali Hassan Mwinyi Road, Namanga, Kinondoni, P.O. Box 220, Dar es Salaam, Tel: +255 22 266 8385, Mobile: +255 748 254 642.
  • Aga Khan Hospital: Corner of Ocean Road & Sea View Road, Tel: +255 22 211 5151.

Government hospitals

  • Bugando Hospital, Mwanza, Tanzania Tel: +255 68 40610. The University College of Health Sciences at Bugando Medical Center is established as a Catholic college having four schools: Medical, Nursing, Pharmacotherapy and Dental.
  • Mbeya Referral Hospital, PO Box 419, Mbeya, Tanzania Tel: +255 65 3576.
  • Mnazi Mmoja Hospital, PO Box 338, Zanzibar, Tanzania Tel: +255 54 31071.

Other Government run hospitals used for electives:

  • Hindu Mandal Hospital, PO Box 581, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Tel: +255 51 110237/110428.
  • Agha Khan Hospital, PO Box 2289, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Tel: +255 51 114096.
  • Nachingwea District General Hospital, Nachingwea, Lindi, South Tanzania
  • Teule District Designated Hospital, Muheza, Tanga Region, Tanzania.

Mission hospitals

  • Berega Mission Hospital, Berega, Morogoro, Tanzania.
  • St Anne’s Hospital, PO Box 2, Liuli (via Songea), Tanzania (connected via USPG charity).
  • St Francis Hospital, Kwo Mkono, Handeni District, Tanzania.
  • A flying doctor service is based in Arusha, Tel: +255 2548578.

For any medical issues please don't hesitate to contact: Ministry of Health, PO Box 9083, Dar es Salaam Tel: +255 51 20261 Fax: 51 39951

In Moshi Municipality (Kilimanjaro Region) there is the renowned KCMC - Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre which is in the foothills of the snow capped, Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. It was opened in March 1971 by the Good Samaritan Foundation, who planned and raised large funds to build and equip it.

Respect

In general, tourists should wear modest or conservative attire, especially in Zanzibar, which is a conservative Muslim society. Western women should not wear clothing that reveals too much skin. 'Kangas', brightly-colored wrap-around cloth, are affordable, available throughout the country, and can serve as a discreet covering.

The Masai people, with their colorful clothing, are tempting targets for any tourist with a camera. However, they expect to be paid for it, and you should always ask before taking pictures.

It is common practice among Swahili-speakers to use 'shikamoo' (prounounced 'she ka moe' and literally meaning, 'I hold your feet') when greeting elders or superiors. The usual response from an elder will be 'marahaba'. In Zanzibar, the equivalent of 'shikamoo' is 'chei chei'. The traveler will get along very well when using these verbal expressions of respect. In addition, a title after the 'shikamoo' is also a useful indicator that you are not just a dumb tourist -- 'shikamoo bwana' for the gents, and, when addressing a female elder, 'shikamoo mama'.

Tanzanians will also comment if you are doing any work while they are not, with the phrase "pole na kazi". It literally means "I'm sorry you have to work". A simple "asante", or "thanks", will suffice in reply.

Many Tanzanian sellers are persistent and, ordinarily, a simple head shake, accompanied by "asante sana", should settle it. However, as a last resort, a firm "hapana", meaning "no", will do the trick. Tanzanians find the word "hapana" quite rude, so please don't use it casually -- only as a last resort. Whatever you plan to do, do not tell someone you will come back to buy from them later when you have no such intention; better to be honest and say 'no' than having to avoid someone for days. They somehow have a funny way of finding you when you promised to visit their stall or shop!

The most polite way to refuse something is to say "sihitaji" (pronounced see-hih-tah-jee)- "I don't need it".

Connect

Keeping in touch while traveling in Tanzania is rarely a problem. You can get decent mobile phone reception even in some national parks.

Telephone calls

The "Tanzania Telecommunications Company Ltd" (TTCL) is the state owned telecom, operating all pay phones and landlines in Tanzania. As it is the case with most developing countries, telephone fixed-lines are not affordable for many ordinary people. However, the mobile network has blossomed throughout Africa in the past five years, and this is equally true of Tanzania. With many used mobile phones for sale and the very low cost of getting a SIM card, 2000 Tsh, this is the popular choice of most Tanzanians. For many, a mobile phone is the first large purchase when they get a job. The major mobile service providers operate all over the country, even in some of the most remote areas, although service interruptions are common.

If you find a taxi driver or tour guide that you like, ask for his/her mobile number. This is often the best way to reach them.

Using a mobile phone If you have an "unlocked" GSM 900/1800MHz frequency mobile phone (the same frequency as used in the rest of the world, apart from USA and Canada), you can purchase a local SIM card for 500 Tsh from a series of Tanzanian service providers. The most popular are Airtel, Vodacom, and Tigo. Zantel is a new arrival on the mainland and, through the national roaming agreement with Vodacom, currently has the largest network coverage.

Air time You can recharge your "Prepaid" mobile phone account by using "scratch-cards", which are available everywhere. Just look for shops or even small tables set up along the road, with posters for the various mobile service providers. Those cards come in the following denominations: 500, 1000, 5000, 10000, 20000, and 50000 Tsh. If you plan on making frequent calls outside of Africa, you will need at least a 10000 Tsh-card.

Making calls within Tanzania to a mobile phone Dial "0 & (telephone number)" or "+255 & (telephone number)" Making calls within Tanzania to a landline Dial "0 & (city code) & (telephone number)" or "+255 & (city code) & (telephone number)" Telephone codes for the Tanzanian cities (These numbers are only used when calling landlines) Dar es Salaam (22), Morogoro & Mtwara (23), Zanzibar & Pemba (24), Mbeya (25), Iringa (26), Arusha & Tanga (27), and Mwanza (28). Making international calls Dial "+ & (country code) & (area code, if any) & (telephone number)" or "000 & (country code) & (area code, if any) & (telephone number)"

Internet

With the advent of Internet-equipped cell phones, internet cafés are dying out throughout Tanzania. They used to be easy to find in major urban areas, like Dar es Salaam and Arusha, and may persist.

International telecommunications have low capacity, and can be unreliable

Some mobile providers have started offering wireless internet service. Zantel, Vodacom, Tigo, and Airtel are the main providers. All urban areas and many rural areas that have mobile phone coverage also have mobile internet coverage. Wireless 3G coverage is available in many areas of Dar es SalaamArusha, many smaller centres, and Zanzibar town.

To use this service you can use your phone's mobile browser. To use it with a computer, you must first purchase a CDMA PC Card or USB mobile receiver which plugs into your computer. This will set you back about 200,000 Tsh. If you have an unlocked CDMA phone with a modem cable, that will also work.

Airtime is obtained using scratch cards just like mobile phones. Connection rates are about 60 Tsh for 1 Mb or US$0.05 per MB. So 1 GB of download and upload will set you back US$50. Not cheap.

For mobile phone use however, a Tanzanian pay-as-you-go SIM card is a very good solution. A call to Europe is cheaper than the other way, and data is cheap enough to use for email and web browsing.

Wireless (WIFI) is also provided by some providers mainly Powernet (Bibi Titi Mohammed Road, Elia Complex) 0658769376, 0787769376, 0757769376, 0777769376, Unlimited Internet Access anywhere in the Urban Areas of Dar-Es-Salam costing Tsh 30,000 (US$20).

Emergency

  • Emergency Services: 112

In 2006, there was a huge scandal involving the emergency service number, a scandal that saw the resignation of the Chief of Police. During an armed robbery at a popular Indian restaurant, an employee dialed 112 to notify the police that a crime was in progress. He let the phone ring for over 30 minutes before hanging up. The following day, the media reported that the emergency number had been disconnected for over a month, and the police had not advised the public.

Luckily, the emergency number has been reactivated; however, if you can, it's probably better to go straight to the nearest police station, instead of dialing 112.

Go next

Lonely Planet Tanzania (Travel Guide)

Lonely Planet

#1 best-selling guide to Tanzania*

Lonely Planet Tanzania is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Watch East Africa's greatest natural dramas play out on the Serengeti plains, sip sundowners near Mt Kilimanjaro, or explore the narrow alleyways of Zanzibar; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Tanzania and begin your journey now!

Inside Lonely Planet Tanzania Travel Guide:

Colour maps and images throughout Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots Essential info at your fingertips - hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices Honest reviews for all budgets - eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss Cultural insights give you a richer, more rewarding travel experience - including customs, history, religion, art, music, dance, politics, landscapes, wildlife, cuisine Over 50 maps Covers of Dar es Salaam, Mt Kilimanjaro, the Ngorongoro  Conservation Area, the Zanzibar Archipelago, Stone Town, Lake Victoria, the  Serengeti Plains, Selous Highlands and more

The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet Tanzania, our most comprehensive guide to Tanzania, is perfect for both exploring top sights and taking roads less travelled.

Looking for more extensive coverage? Check out our Lonely Planet East Africa guide for a comprehensive look at all the region has to offer.

Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet, Mary Fitzpatrick, Stuart Butler, Anthony Ham, Paula Hardy.

About Lonely Planet: Since 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel media company with guidebooks to every destination, an award-winning website, mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet covers must-see spots but also enables curious travellers to get off beaten paths to understand more of the culture of the places in which they find themselves.

*Best-selling guide to Tanzania. Source: Nielsen BookScan. Australia, UK and USA, December 2013 to November 2014

Tanzania - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

Quintin Winks

Culture Smart! provides essential information on attitudes, beliefs and behavior in different countries, ensuring that you arrive at your destination aware of basic manners, common courtesies, and sensitive issues. These concise guides tell you what to expect, how to behave, and how to establish a rapport with your hosts. This inside knowledge will enable you to steer clear of embarrassing gaffes and mistakes, feel confident in unfamiliar situations, and develop trust, friendships, and successful business relationships. Culture Smart! offers illuminating insights into the culture and society of a particular country. It will help you to turn your visit-whether on business or for pleasure-into a memorable and enriching experience. Contents include: * customs, values, and traditions * historical, religious, and political background * life at home * leisure, social, and cultural life * eating and drinking * do's, don'ts, and taboos * business practices * communication, spoken and unspoken

The Tree Where Man Was Born (Penguin Classics)

Peter Matthiessen

A timeless and majestic portrait of Africa by renowned writer Peter Matthiessen (1927-2014), author of the National Book Award-winning The Snow Leopard and the new novel In Paradise A finalist for the National Book Award when it was released in 1972, this vivid portrait of East Africa remains as fresh and revelatory now as on the day it was first published. Peter Matthiessen exquisitely combines nature and travel writing to portray the sights, scenes, and people he observed firsthand in several trips over the course of a dozen years. From the daily lives of wild herdsmen and the drama of predator kills to the field biologists investigating wild creatures and the anthropologists seeking humanity's origins in the rift valley, The Tree Where Man Was Born is a classic of journalistic observation. This Penguin Classics edition features an introduction by groundbreaking British primatologist Jane Goodall.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Tanzania Safari Guide: With Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar and the coast (Bradt Travel Guide)

Philip Briggs

Tanzania is one of Africa's greatest safari destinations, home to the legendary Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater and Mount Kilimanjaro as well as the 'spice island' of Zanzibar. This fully revised edition of the guide covers every accessible national park, reserve and safari destination as well as popular and off-the-beaten-track tourist attractions. It includes in-depth coverage of wildlife and natural history, background information on the Maasai and other tribes, archaeological points of interest and an introduction to the Swahili language. It is the only guidebook to include the many new private concessions around the major reserves.

The Rough Guide to Tanzania

Rough Guides

The Rough Guide to Tanzania is the definitive guide to one of Africa's most beautiful destinations, with clear maps and detailed coverage of all the best attractions from climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to the exotic Indian Ocean beaches of Zanzibar. You'll also find an in-depth and full-colour guide to Tanzania's spectacular wildlife and national parks, and the most accurate map of the magically labyrinthine Stone Town based on satellite imagery.

From Tanzania's volcanic landscapes of Ngorongoro Crater to arranging a Serengeti safari, the guide includes practical information on getting there and around, plus reviews of the best Tanzanian hotels, restaurants, bars and shopping for all budgets.

You'll find introductory sections on Tanzania's cultural customs, health, food, drink and outdoor activities as well as specialist Tanzanian tour operators and an introduction to learning Kiswahili. You can rely on expert background information on everything from bull-fighting in Pemba through to the mosaic of ethnic groups in Tanzania. You can explore all corners of this fascinating country with the clearest maps of any guide. Make the most of your holiday with The Rough Guide to Tanzania.

Tanzania & Zanzibar (Insight Guides)

Insight Guides

Whether you want to scale the heights of Mount Kilimanjaro, enjoy spectacular game viewing on safari, or simply lie on a beautiful beach, you can do it all in Tanzania and Zanzibar. This book has been fully overhauled by an expert Africa author and is packed with stunning new pictures bringing this breathtaking country and its people to life. It gives you more background on the country’s fascinating history and culture than any other guide. From the vibrant capital of Dar es Salaam to the plains of the Serengeti, all the country's top destinations are covered. You'll get the lowdown on unmissable Tanzania experiences like coral diving off the coast of Pemba and chimpanzee tracking in the Mahale Mountains, and there’s fully illustrated gazetteer detailing Tanzania’s fabulous wildlife. Maps throughout will help you get around and travel tips give you all the essential information.

Lonely Planet Swahili Phrasebook & Dictionary

Lonely Planet

Lonely Planet: The world's #1 phrasebook publisher*

Lonely Planet's Swahili Phrasebook & Dictionary is your handy passport to culturally enriching travels with the most relevant and useful Swahili phrases and vocabulary for all your travel needs. Learn that the word for stranger in Swahili is also the same word for guest, make the most of your wildlife safari with our special sustainable travel section, while learning the names of some of the animals you're likely to see; all with your trusted travel companion. With language tools in your back pocket, you can truly get to the heart of wherever you go, so begin your journey now!

Get More From Your Trip with Easy-to-Find Phrases for Every Travel Situation!

Feel at ease with essential tips on culture, manners, idioms and multiple meanings Order with confidence, explain food allergies, and try new foods with the menu decoder Save time and hassles with vital phrases at your fingertips Never get stuck for words with the 3500-word two-way, quick-reference dictionary Be prepared for both common and emergency travel situations with practical phrases and terminology Meet friends with conversation starter phrases Get your message across with easy-to-use pronunciation guides

Inside Lonely Planet's Swahili Phrasebook & Dictionary:

Colour throughout User-friendly layout organised by travel scenario categories Survival phrases inside front cover for at-a-glance on-the-fly cues Convenient features Key Patterns Sustainable Travel & Responsible Tourism Listen For - phrases you may hear Look For - phrases you may see on signs Shortcuts - easy-to-remember alternatives to the full phrases Q&A - suggested answers to questions asked Covers Basics - time, dates, numbers, amounts, pronunciation, reading tips, grammar rules Practical - travel with kids, disabled travellers, sightseeing, business, banking, post office, internet, phones, repairs, bargaining, accommodation, directions, border crossing, transport Social - meeting people, interests, feelings, opinions, going out, romance, culture, activities, weather Safe Travel - emergencies, police, doctor, chemist, dentist, symptoms, conditions Food - ordering, at the market, at the bar, dishes, ingredients

The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet's Swahili Phrasebook & Dictionary, a pocket-sized comprehensive language guide, provides on-the-go language assistance; great for language students and travellers looking to interact with locals and immerse themselves in local culture.

Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet and Dr Martin Benjamin.

About Lonely Planet: Started in 1973, Lonely Planet is the world's leading travel guide publisher with guidebooks to every destination on the planet, and has been connecting travellers and locals for over 25 years with phrasebooks for 120 languages, more than any other publisher! With an award-winning website, a suite of mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community, Lonely Planet enables curious travellers to experience the world and to truly get to the heart of the places they find themselves. The world awaits!

Check out our Fast Talk Phrasebook mobile app for on-the-go language needs. (Available languages: German, Latin Spanish, European Spanish, French, and Italian.)

*#1 phrasebook publisher. Source: Nielsen Bookscan UK, US & AUS

TANZANIA Country Studies: A brief, comprehensive study of Tanzania

CIA

A brief yet detailed report on the country of Tanzania with updated information on the map, flag, history, people, economics, political conditions in government, foreign affairs, and U.S. relations.

Exercise a high degree of caution

The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The purpose of this Travel Advice is to provide up-to-date information to enable you to make well-informed decisions.

Explosions reportedly killed three people and injured many more at a political rally in Arusha on June 15, 2013.

Sectarian violence

In recent years, Tanzania has seen a slight increase in sectarian violence between Christians and Muslims, including in places of worship. Take this information into consideration when planning your trip.

Terrorism

Regional terror groups, including those associated with al Qaeda and al-Shabaab, continue to threaten Western interests and other potential targets in Tanzania. The September 21, 2013 attack on an upscale Nairobi mall illustrates the threat of attacks on civilians in East Africa.

On February 23-24, 2014, three explosions were reported in Zanzibar. They occurred outside the Tanzania Assemblies of God Church, at the entrance of the Anglican Church compound and in a popular restaurant in Stone Town. Further attacks cannot be ruled out. Be vigilant in crowded places and monitor local media.

Crime

Violent crime has increased throughout the country, both in the country and in main cities. Exercise a high degree of caution, especially in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar, and in public places such as hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, cinemas and shopping centres. Muggings, attacks and hold-ups occur occasionally in Dar es Salaam, Stone Town and in the immediate vicinity of the coastal resorts on Unguja. You should be vigilant, particularly in Stone Town after dark. Avoid deserted beaches.

In Dar es Salaam, particular caution is warranted on Toure Drive (Msasani Peninsula) where muggings and attacks, including attacks on moving vehicles, have recently been reported.

Petty crime is prevalent. Muggings, pickpocketing and theft are common in crowded areas, on public transportation and on public beaches.

Sexual assaults involving tourists have been reported.

An increasing number of Canadians have reported being taken to automated banking machines (ABMs) and forced to withdraw funds from their account after accepting a ride from a stranger, a local taxi or a recent acquaintance. Incidents are most often reported at ferry, bus and train terminals in Dar es Salaam. Use only licensed taxis selected by a reputable hotel or restaurant, or one located at an official taxi stand.  Always ask for identification before accepting transportation and check that the driver's ID matches the name of the car registration and taxi license. Avoid taking a taxi that has been hailed for you by a recent acquaintance. Instead, hail your own taxi. A licensed taxi is a white car with a white (never yellow) license plate, a colored stripe running laterally on the side panels of the vehicle, and a number inside a circle on both passenger doors. 

Armed robbery, although rare, can also occur in parks and nature reserves, including the northern circuit in the vicinity of Serengeti National Park, Ngogongoro and Arusha National Parks, and regions surrounding Mount Kilimanjaro. Organized tours and independent travellers have been targeted. You should only travel with a reputable tour company (hotels can make recommendations). Avoid camping or travelling alone.

Remain on tourist routes and avoid remote areas. Exercise caution in and around Arusha, where armed robberies and carjackings have been reported. Should you find yourself on less-travelled roads and trails, avoid stopping since armed robberies and carjackings may occur. Keep doors locked and windows up at all times and do not pick up strangers. Travel in a convoy between cities, and avoid travelling after dark.

Travel near refugee camps in the northwestern area bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi (in the region of Kigoma and to the west of Kagera) is dangerous due to banditry.

Demonstrations

Demonstrations occur and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. Canadians should avoid all large gatherings and demonstrations, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media.

Corruption

Be careful when going through Customs at airports, as officials have been known to solicit bribes. In a common scheme, an official will ask the visitor to produce a certificate of proof of inoculation against yellow fever, even though a yellow fever certificate is only required if arriving from a country where yellow fever is endemic. If such a scheme occurs, you may request to speak to a senior official. However, if this does not work, be patient and negotiate with the official.

You may be approached by police officers requesting money for alleged offences. We recommend that you insist on proper identification before proceeding to a police station. You may also inform the police officers that you will contact the High Commission for advice. This tends to dissuade them from soliciting bribes. Report all such incidents to the High Commission of Canada in Dar es Salaam.

Road travel

Traffic drives on the left. Road conditions are poor and road signs are often missing. For travel outside main cities, use a four-wheel-drive vehicle. Excessive speeds, driving habits, poor lighting, lack of vehicle maintenance, roaming wildlife and livestock, cyclists and pedestrians pose risks. Travel by road at night should be avoided. Within cities, travel with licensed taxis and ask for identification. Avoid driving unless you are familiar with local conditions.

Other transportation

Bus travel is not recommended, as bus accidents often result in fatalities. Rail service is limited, uncomfortable, and unreliable.

Use only licensed taxis selected by a reputable hotel or restaurant, or one located at an official taxi stand (see Crime section above).

Ferries

While there are regular ferries travelling between Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar, Tanzania ports are often frequented by persuasive ticket scalpers. Passengers should only use reputable ferry companies, as two local ferries with foreign national passengers have capsized in 2012. If you believe a ferry to be overloaded or unsafe, refrain from boarding and make alternative travel arrangements. Vessels travelling between Zanzibar/Pemba, Tanga/Pemba and Mafia/Mainland Tanzania are reported to be less reliable and often overcrowded.

Air travel

Domestic flights may be subject to delays and cancellations.

Consult our Transportation FAQ in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.

Piracy

Pirate attacks occur in coastal waters, and in some cases, further out at sea. Mariners should take appropriate precautions. For additional information, consult the Live Piracy Report published by the International Maritime Bureau.

General safety information

Leave personal belongings, including cash, passports and airline tickets, in a hotel safe or other secure location.

Avoid walking after dark. Do not accept food or drink from strangers as they may be drugged.

Seek local advice on the security situation prior to visiting beaches.

Tourist facilities are adequate in major cities but limited in remote areas, with the exception of principal game lodges and beach resorts.

Wild animals can be dangerous. When visiting parks or nature reserves, follow the advice and warnings of local tour guides.

If you are considering climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, carefully consider the inherent risks involved, primarily altitude sickness and hypothermia. It is important to investigate the numerous tour operators in order to find a reputable guide. Each year people are seriously injured or killed on the mountain and emergency assistance is severely limited.

Due to power shortages, power cuts may occur on a daily basis. Travellers should expect occasional disruptions in power, as not all businesses are equipped with a generator.

Emergency services

In an emergency, dial 112 for police.

Health

Related Travel Health Notices
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
Vaccines

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Vaccines to Consider

You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread by contaminated food or water. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.

Influenza

Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or through personal contact with unwashed hands. Get the flu shot.

Measles

Measles occurs worldwide but is a common disease in developing countries, particularly in parts of Africa and Asia. Measles is a highly contagious disease. Be sure your vaccination against measles is up-to-date regardless of the travel destination.
 

Polio

There is a risk of polio in this country. Be sure that your vaccination against polio is up-to-date.

Rabies

Rabies is a disease that attacks the central nervous system spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from a rabid animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (i.e., close contact with animals, occupational risk, and children).

Typhoid

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives, or with weakened immune systems. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should consider getting vaccinated.

Yellow Fever Vaccination

Yellow fever is a disease caused by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Risk
  • There is low potential for yellow fever exposure in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
  • Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from a country where yellow fever occurs.
Recommendation
  • Vaccination may be recommended depending on your itinerary.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care provider.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites.
Food/Water

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in East Africa, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in East Africa. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!

Cholera

There have been cases of cholera reported in this country in the last year. Cholera is a bacterial disease that typically causes diarrhea. In severe cases it can lead to dehydration and even death.

Most travellers are generally at low risk. Humanitarian workers and those visiting areas with limited access to safe food and water are at higher risk. Practise safe food and water precautions. Travellers at high risk should get vaccinated.

Schistosomiasis

Schistosomiasis is caused by blood flukes (tiny worms) spread to humans through contaminated water. The eggs of the worms can cause stomach illnesses like diarrhea and cramps or urinary problems. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Avoid swimming in contaminated water. There is no vaccine available for schistosomiasis.

Travellers' diarrhea
  • Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
  • Risk of developing travellers’ diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
  • The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Insects

Insects and Illness

In some areas in East Africa, certain insects carry and spread diseases like African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), chikungunya, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria, onchocerciasis (river blindness), Rift Valley feverWest Nile virus and yellow fever.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.

African trypanosomiasis

African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) is caused by a parasite spread through the bite of a tsetse fly. Tsetse fly bites are painful and if the disease is left untreated it is eventually fatal. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from bites especially in game parks and rural areas during the day. Avoid wearing bright or dark-coloured clothing as these colours attract tsetse flies. There is no vaccine available for this disease.

Dengue fever
  • Dengue fever occurs in this country. Dengue fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases it leads to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.  
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue bite during the daytime. They breed in standing water and are often found in urban areas.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine available for dengue fever.
Onchoceriasis

Onchocerciasis (river blindness) is an eye and skin disease caused by a parasite spread through the bite of an infected female blackfly.  Onchocerciasis often leads to blindness if left untreated. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from blackfly bites, which are most common during the daytime and close to running water. There is no vaccine available for onchocerciasis although drug treatments exist.


Malaria

Malaria

  • There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in this country.
  • Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by mosquitoes. There is no vaccine against malaria.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in well-screened, air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider sleeping under an insecticide-treated bed net or pre-treating travel gear with insecticides.
  • Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss your options.

Animals

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in East Africa, like avian influenza and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.


Person-to-Person

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.

HIV

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). 

Practise safe sex while travelling, and don’t share needles, razors, or other objects which could transmit infection.

Remember that HIV can also be spread through the use of unsterile medical equipment during medical and dental procedures, tattooing, body piercing or acupuncture. Diseases can also be spread though blood transfusions and organ transplantation if the blood or organs are not screened for HIV or other blood-borne pathogens.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.

For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.

Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care provider.

High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.


Medical services and facilities

Medical services and facilities

Medical facilities are limited and medicines are often unavailable, even in Dar es Salaam.

Medical evacuation may be necessary in the event of an accident or sickness.

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You are subject to local laws. Consult our Arrest and Detention page for more information.

Alcohol is not sold in some parts of Zanzibar. Avoid consuming alcohol in those areas.

The use of non-prescription drugs is prohibited.

Penalties for drug-related offences can be severe.

Homosexual activity is illegal and is subject to significant penalty.

Possession of pornographic material is illegal.

The export of hunting “trophies” is strictly regulated. Contact the High Commission for the United Republic of Tanzania for specific information regarding customs requirements.

Photography of military installations is forbidden. Individuals have been detained and/or had their cameras and film confiscated for taking pictures of hospitals, schools, bridges, industrial sites and airports. Always ask permission before photographing individuals.

An International Driving Permit is required.

Culture

In Zanzibar, Islamic practices and beliefs are particularly influential. Exercise common sense and discretion in dress and behaviour throughout Tanzania. Respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities. Visitors should dress conservatively. Women should cover their shoulders and refrain from wearing shorts.

 

Money

The currency is the Tanzanian shilling (TZS). The use of credit cards is very limited. However, they are generally accepted at larger hotels, European carriers and other businesses that cater to international clientele. There may be an additional fee of up to 5% when using credit cards.

Outside of Dar es Salaam and at smaller establishments, cash in either Tanzanian shillings or U.S. dollars is the preferred method of payment, particularly for hotel bills, domestic airline tickets and entry to national parks. Canadian dollar traveller’s cheques are not accepted. Automated banking machines (ABMs) are becoming more widely available, although only in main cities, and some can be used to access Canadian bank accounts; however, they are subject to breakdowns. We recommend that you carry a small supply of cash in U.S. dollars for use in airports and at borders.

Climate

Coastal areas and islands are subject to monsoons between June and October. In most areas, the long rainy season occurs from March to May and short rains last from November to December. Roads may be impassable during the rainy season without the use of a four-wheel-drive vehicle. Keep informed of regional weather forecasts and plan accordingly.