You consider Tanzania as your holiday destination? This is great! But when to go? And how to prepare for a safari in Tanzania? What things do you need to take care of in advance? And what are useful tips and tricks during your holiday? We give you an overview of the most important things you need to know when travelling to Tanzania.
Travelers can visit Tanzania the whole year through, however it is good to keep in mind the pros and cons of the different seasons. The best time to visit Tanzania depends on what wildlife you’d like to spot. The country’s seasons and wildlife numbers are dictated by the rains, so you’ll have a slightly different experience depending on when you choose to travel.
Tanzania’s most well-known attraction is the Great Migration, which occurs year-round across the Serengeti. Many people flock here between July and September for a chance to witness huge herds of wildebeest and zebra crossing the Mara River — panic ensues as they try to avoid the jaws of crocodiles and other predators waiting to pounce. You’ll see lots of vehicles in the park at this time of year, though.
Tanzania’s ‘green season’, between November and March, is much quieter. While there’s a chance of rain showers, it’s a fantastic time for birdwatching as migratory species arrive in their thousands. You’ll also see Great Migration herds with their newly born calves. Be aware that between April and May heavy rains can occur, which might disrupt wildlife viewing.
For Tanzania, recommended vaccinations are yellow fever, hepatitis A and a combined tetanus, diphtheria, and inactivated polio vaccine (Td/IPV). Proof of yellow fever vaccination is only required if you are travelling to Tanzania from countries where yellow fever is endemic. Other diseases that occur in Tanzania are abdominal typhus, hepatitis B, tuberculosis, rabies and meningococcal disease.
It is best to consult a qualified travel medical specialist on whether immunization is relevant in your case. We recommend the use of anti-malarial medication, but it is best to take this up with a travel medical specialist.
When you travel with us to Tanzania, we will automatically insure you with AMREF Flying Doctors. It covers you in case of a medical emergency during your stay in Tanzania. Your benefits:
Access to our 24hr Medical Helpline anytime from anywhere for medical advice.
Unlimited evacuation flights during the subscription period.
Unlimited Ground Ambulance services.
Direct contact with AMREF Flying Doctors and the medical professional – third party involved.
The visa policy of Tanzania determines who may enter the country and how many types of visas for Tanzania are available for that purpose. Whether or not a visa is required for Tanzania depends on the traveler’s nationality as well as on the purpose and duration of the intended stay.
Citizens of over 40 countries do not need to meet any Tanzania visa requirements for short trips; they are visa-exempt for the country for stays up to 90 days (3 months).
All other foreign citizens must obtain a visa to visit Tanzania, whether an eVisa through an online application, an embassy visa from a Tanzanian diplomatic mission, or a visa on arrival at a border entry point. Citizens of over 150 countries are now able to submit an electronic application for a Tanzania visa online, eliminating the need to visit a government diplomatic office, or wait in line at the border to apply.
The option to apply for a Tanzania visa on arrival is still available, but this process can involve a lengthy wait at an immigration checkpoint for an application to be processed. It is also necessary to pay the visa-on-arrival fee in cash in US currency. The Tanzania eVisa option eliminates this need and allows expedited entry to the country.
Those not eligible for an electronic Tanzania visa must apply in person for an embassy visa from the nearest Tanzanian consulate by making an appointment in advance. You need to indicate the type of travel document that you need for your stay, i.e., whether a tourist visa, business visa, work visa, or study visa.
There are currently no Tanzania visa bans in place against any foreign nationalities. The Tanzania visa policy is the same as that of Zanzibar, so most travel permits allow the holder to visit both parts of the country.
The Tanzanian Shilling is the official currency of Tanzania, but US dollars are also widely accepted in tourist areas. Dollar notes printed before 2009 are usually not accepted. You can exchange money at many authorized dealers, banks and bureaux de change. Get a receipt after each transaction.
Most banks in major cities have ATMs, but they are not always reliable and sometimes break down or run out of money. To minimize the risk of card cloning, only use ATMs located within the bank. For your daily expenses it is always important to carry a wallet with small change and keep the rest of your cash separate and out of sight. Especially when you spend several days in more remote areas like game parks, ensure that you have enough cash on you.
Furthermore, it is recommended to take a ‘mix’ of means for payment, including cash, a world debit card and a credit card (VISA or MasterCard). Also, we recommend having American Dollars with you for emergencies, which you might also need when crossing borders.
There are ATM´s (Automated Teller Machines) available in the larger cities of Tanzania. Remember that for every transaction you will be charged additional banking fees. Please do not forget to change the security settings of your bankcards to ‘worldwide’ if necessary – ask your local bank for instructions.
There are many good guidebooks about Tanzania, such as the Rough Guide, Lonely Planet and Bradt. For those guides that are specifically about Tanzania’s nature you can always visit a local bookstore.
Ensure that you are well prepared to have a secure journey. The chance that something happens to you or your family before or during the trip is small, however, it is important to get the right insurance. It can save you costs and a lot of trouble! We strongly recommend a travel and cancellation insurance, so that any unexpected costs due to illness or accidents, costs of replacing stolen or lost baggage or necessary repatriation are covered.
We advise you to contact your local insurance agent for information about the different options. Also, we recommend that you contact your healthcare provider to inform you about the coverage of possible medical expenses.
Camera with extra SD card
Cap or hat
CD’s or USB with African beats
Water bottle with filter
Tanzania guarantees you the most beautiful pictures. For the real hobbyists, a telephoto lens is a must for wildlife-photography. However, keep some rules in mind when taking pictures. If you want to take pictures of people, always ask for their permission first. Especially at popular tourist places locals may ask for money if you want to take a photo of them. Negotiate friendly and do not secretly take a picture.
Tanzania observes Eastern Africa Time (EAT) all year. Daylight Saving Time is currently not applicable.
Wake up with the sound of singing birds and the trumpeting of elephants while first rays of sunlight turn the dark night into a golden burst of color.
While you are enjoying your breakfast, your personal guide is preparing the car before you hit the road. You will be taken through far stretching landscapes and ever-changing sceneries while enjoying some good African music in the background.
You are on the lookout for wildlife crossing the road and with some luck may have to give ‘right of way’ to some elephants.
You arrive at your next destination, join a game drive, and see many antelopes and some big game up close. After the excitement, you can have a refreshing swim in the pool, followed by relaxing with a good book under the shade of huge acacia trees.
At sunset, this landscape shows its most beautiful side. Make some time to watch this natural wonder of changing colors see how shadows grow longer; listen to the howling of the hyena calling in the ending of another adventurous day in Tanzania..
Time for dinner around a roaring campfire complimented by fine South African wine or an ice-cold beer!
Finally, fully satisfied, fall asleep under the starry sky and the sound of chirping crickets knowing that Tanzania waits for tomorrow, with more adventures and unforgettable memories.
Tanzania is not only the destination of choice for safaris but offers a unique culinary experience as well. Tanzanian cuisine reflects its cultural diversity and is delicious, nutritious, and quite filling. The reason for this is the use of starches such as millet, beans, cornmeal, sorghum, and pilaf in almost every dish.
The national dish of Tanzania is Ugali, which is a dough made of cornmeal, served with a sauce made of either meat, fish, beans, or veggies. The traditional way of eating Ugali is with your right hand by forming a ball with a dent and dip it into the sauce.
The Samosa is a very popular snack and is made of minced beef, onions, garlic, and spices all enclosed in a pastry shell and deep-fried. There is also a veggie version of the Samosa.
The most popular drink in Tanzania is by far the Chai (tea), which is of an incredibly high quality. It is advisable to avoid drinking tap water. Rather drink bottled water when travelling through Tanzania. The Mbege (banana beer) is among the favorite drinks of the Tanzanians. This local brew consists of fermented bananas and originates from the Kilimanjaro region. Good beers are commonly brewed in Tanzania, and Kilimanjaro Beer, Serengeti Beer and Safari Lager are the most common beers in the country.
Electricity in Tanzania is based on English standards, meaning it is supplied at 230Volts, 50Hz. This means that all European equipment should work here, from laptop power supplies to mobile phone chargers. Wall sockets use a 3-pin fused plug, which necessitates the use of travel adapters for people (and equipment) from other countries. Please note that the power supply in East-Africa is notoriously unreliable, so a flashlight or headlamp is very useful at night.
The international code for Tanzania when dialing from abroad is +255. Telephone calls within Tanzania are inexpensive and the network between main cities is reliable.
There are five network providers operating in the country (Vodacom, Airtel, Tigo, Zantel, and Halotel). Vodacom has the widest coverage in the country, and Zantel has the best coverage for Zanzibar. Local SIMs and credit are widely available.