United Republic of Tanzania
(formerly United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar)
9 December 1961
GMT +3 hours
33,945,640 (with the National Growth rate 2.8 %)
945,090 (886,040 square km land including
Zanzibar, Mafia and Pemba Islands; 59,050 square km water)
Tanzania shilling (TSh or TZS)
Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete ( Since December 2006)
New Year's Day 1 January
Zanzibar Revolution Day 12 January
Eid al Fitr (end of Ramadan) (varies)
Eid al Kebir (also called Eid al Haji) (varies)
Good Friday (varies)
Easter Monday (varies)
Union Day 26 April
Labour Day 1 May
Maulidi (Mohammed's Birthday) (varies)
Saba Saba (Peasant's Day) 7 July
Nane Nane (Farmer's Day) 8 August
Independence Day 9 December
Christmas 25 December
Boxing Day 26 December
Most safari lodges vary in size and style, and are built to blend in with the environment. Accommodation tends to be of rondavel or banda type, with a lounge, central dining and bar in single unit hotels. All major towns in Tanzania have excellent luxury hotels. All towns will at least have a good guesthouse.
National parks offer "ordinary" campsites, which provide toilets, fireplaces and usually water taps. "Special" campsites usually only have a pit toilet. It is necessary to pre-book special campsites, and advisable to book ordinary ones. Camping is limited outside the national parks. We offer accommodation in different categories of safari lodges and hotels. Please click on the link to see these safari lodges. Accommodation
Roads, Trains & Airplanes
Just south of the equator, Tanzania borders Kenya and Uganda in the north; Congo DRC -formerly known as Zaire, Rwanda and Burundi in the west; and Zambia, Malawi and Moçambique in the south. Namanga Gate (between Tanzania and Kenya) is open 24 hrs per day. If you carry firearms you will require a special permit.
The duty free allowance is limited to one litre of liquor; 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco; and 250ml of perfume. Any other items are subject to customs duty
Railways and Bus travel
Tanzania has two rail lines. The Tazara line links Dar es Salaam with New Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia via Mbeya and Tunduma. The central line links Dar es Salaam with Kigoma and Mwanza via Morogoro, Dodoma and Tabora. Rail is a safer, though a slower option of travel.
Express and ordinary buses operate along major long distance routes. Express buses are slightly more expensive but are more comfortable. Ordinary buses tend to make more stops. Reservations are not always possible, so get to the bus with plenty of time before the scheduled departure. Buses are not permitted to operate at night.
Domestic air services operate between the major airports:
Dar es Salaam (DAR)
Kishni, Zanzibar (ZNZ)
There are a total of 129 in Tanzania, of which only ten are paved. Air services have become the most significant form of internal transport for official and business travel. Small planes, from charter companies, fly to towns and to bush airstrips.
There are 88,200 km of highways in Tanzania, but only 3,704 km of these are tarred. The key roads are in good condition, though the majority are bad and hazardous. Road conditions in the reserves and national parks of Tanzania are rough. During the rainy season, many roads are passable only with four-wheel drive vehicles. Driving is on the left side of the road.
SUMMER: August - March RAINY: March - April WINTER: May - July
The climate is tropical on the coast, on the islands and in Selous. It is temperate in the other parks. Temperatures on Mount Kilimanjaro and Meru drop to below freezing. Late March - late May is traditionally the long rainy season and is considered the "winter period" in Tanzania. June - late October is the dry season. June, July and August can be very cold on the rim of Ngorongoro Crater. Mnemba Island, off the Zanzibar N.E coast, is lovely at this time of year; the evenings are cool (not cold) and the daytime can be hot. Late October - mid December is when the short rains occur. These are usually in the form of daily thunderstorms. The Ngorongoro Crater rim has a wonderful climate at this time of year. The Serengeti and Lake Manyara are quite warm and Mnemba is very hot. Mid December - March is summer weather. It is dry and very warm until March. Due to its altitude Ngorongoro Crater is much cooler than elsewhere.
Communication & Electricity
The international dialling code for Tanzania is +255. A direct international dialling service is available from the major hotels. Both local and long distance calls are metered on a time basis and you pay for every second. Satellite phones are available at certain lodges at a rate of US$10 per minute. The international exchange is unreliable outside of major towns. Mobile telephone services are also available. Telex and fax facilities are available. E-mail and Internet facilities are also available in major cities and Internet use has picked up rapidly in Tanzania and there are over 100 services providers in the country.
Electricity is available at 230/240 volts AC, 50 Hz. Plugs are square 3-pin, fused or unfused. British plugs are used.
The unit of currency is the Tanzanian Shilling (TSh). Notes are issued as TSh10, 000; 5000; 1000; 500; 200 and 100. Coins are TSh100; 50; 20, 10.
The unit of currency is the Tanzanian shilling (Tsh). There is no limit on the amount of foreign currency that can be imported.
Banks and forex bureaus are available at the airport and in all main towns.
Mon - Fri: 08:30 - 12:30
Sat: 08:30 - 13:30
A few branches in the major towns open until 16:30 on weekdays. Foreign currency in cash or traveller's cheques may be exchanged through authorised dealers, commercial banks and at Bureau de Changes at the international airports, major towns and border posts. Visitors are strongly advised against changing money on the black market. Some of the black marketers are undercover policemen, while others are likely to be con artists.
Most top hotels and lodges around the country accept visa and Master Card. In addition to credit cards, clients should bring US dollars cash.
Service charges are included in the bill. Tipping is dependent on the clients' discretion and pleasure, and is accepted as a friendly gesture. Haggling is quite acceptable in shops selling local handcrafts.
The main souvenirs available in Tanzania are Makonde carvings of ebony wood, and Masai handicrafts (spears, bead belts and necklaces). Also Tanzania offers the visitor a treasure trove of art, spices, furniture and other collectibles. Curious are sold in markets and in city and town centers.
Another specialty of Tanzania is meerschaum, a low density rock mined in the country which is made into pipes, as trays and bead necklaces.
Batiks are another favourite, and range in size from small pictures to large wall hangings.
Three hours ahead of GMT.
Visas are required by all except citizens of Commonwealth and Scandinavian countries and the Republic of Ireland. They are obtainable from Tanzanian embassies. The visa fee depends on the type of passport held. A visitor's pass is required for all travellers.
This can be obtained free from any Tanzania diplomatic mission or point of entry. It is advisable to get one before you leave home.
Language & Cultures
The official language is Swahili (Kiswahili), which is generally spoken, and various local languages abound. Kiswahili is the language the primary schools teach in. English is the second official language and the country's commercial language as well as the main teaching language for all the scientific subjects in secondary schools and higher education institutions. Arabic is widely spoken in the coastal areas, particularly in Zanzibar.
Tanzania's culture is a result of African, Arab, European and Indian influences. The African people of Tanzania represent about 120 tribal groups. The largest groups are of Bantu origin including Sukuma, Nyamwezi, Makonde, Haya and Chagga. The Maasai are of Nilotic origin, as are the Wa-Arusha and the Samburu of Kenya.
Tanzania is one of the least urbanised countries in Sub- Saharan Africa, but traditional African ideals are being deliberately adapted to modern life. The Tanzanians are friendly people, to foreigners and amongst themselves. Politeness, respect and modesty are highly valued. It is recommended that you learn some Kiswahili greetings (see "Language"). Handshakes are very important and you may continue holding hands during conversation.
Muslim, Christian, Hindu and traditional beliefs.
Tanzania is considered to be generally safe, however extra care should be taken in Zanzibar and Dar Es Salaam.
We strongly recommend that you take anti-malaria tablets. Besides taking them whilst on safari, you must continue to take them for a further 6 weeks after your departure from Tanzania. If, on your return home, you develop influenza symptoms, please see your doctor immediately as you may have contracted malaria. Regulations and requirement may be subject to change at short notice and you are advised contact your travel agents or airlines or local mission of United Republic of Tanzania to avoid inconveniences.
Health Control Tanzania Mainland requires:
· A valid yellow fever Vaccination certificate.
· Cholera vaccination certificate is not required but is recommended.
Drink only boiled or bottled water, bottled or canned drinks. If camping - bring your own drinking water and all other camping provisions.
Visitors are required to have a valid passport and visa. They are obtainable from the Tanzanian High Commission in your country. Visas may be issued on arrival, however it is best to consult your Airline agent before making definite departure plans.
An airport departure tax of US$ 20 per person is applicable when departing out of the country and US$ 4 per person for local flights. Unless this is already paid for in your ticket.
Please take the same care that you would in any other part of the world
Do not leave valuables in your hotel rooms. We recommend that you keep your cash and travellers' cheques on you at all times, along with other valuables such as your passport and airline tickets.
We do not recommend that you walk around Arusha at night. Take a taxi instead.
Remember that the animals you see are wild, and that whilst in the vehicle, your smell is camouflaged by the petrol fumes. To approach animals on foot from the car, or to wander out of your lodge or camp is to court danger.
WHAT TO PACK
Generally, casual comfortable clothing is suitable throughout the year. The most practical items to pack are:
· Khaki, brown, white and beige colours.
· Light cotton tops and cotton trousers/shorts in summer.
· Long sleeved blouses/shirts for game drives; they will protect you from the sun and from mosquitoes.
· Safari trousers for evenings and cooler days.
· Fleece or sweater and a warm jacket for game drives (and at Ngorongoro Crater).
· Swimwear is a must for the beach and most safari lodges have decent pools.
· A hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.
· Comfortable walking shoes.
· For climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and Meru, thermal underwear, light layers, sweater, warm jacket, good socks and sturdy boots are recommended.
A FEW FINAL HELPFUL HINTS
i. Never destroy bank notes.
ii. Please show respect for local laws, customs and sensitivities of your host country.
iii. Do not get out of the vehicle in the parks, without asking the driver.