Travel Tips Tanzania

Through years of experience traveling in Tanzania, Ajabu Adventures has collected tips for you that are given below. Keep these tips in mind as you prepare for your trip to this beautiful country.

Flight
You can book your flight depending on where your safari brings you, arrival and departure may be different. We can give you a fitting travel advice based on your trip. There is not only a difference in destination airport but also in airlines. The airlines that are utilized most by our guests are: KLM, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines. There is a quality and price difference between the different airlines. Ajabu Adventures will arrange all the transfers for you from arrival to departure.

Visa requirements
Every “foreigner” is expected to have a valid visa to entry the country unless the country of origin has a treaty with Tanzania under which the visa is not required. Please note that your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your date of departure from Tanzania.
There are several ways of obtaining a visa:

  • Through the Embassy/Consulate of the United Republic of Tanzania.
  • At the immigration service at the arrival airport in Tanzania or Kenya. Please make sure that if you travel via Kenya you also get a so-called transit visa in Kenya, and you get a travel visa once arrived at the Tanzanian airport or the border of Tanzania. The costs of a visa is USD $50 per person, with the exception of US citizens whom pay USD $100 for a single entry visa (to be paid in cash). It is advisable to double check the price before you leave.

Travel insurance
We advise you to take a travel and cancellation insurance during your stay in Tanzania, which covers Africa. If you are planning to climb the Kilimanjaro or Mount Meru you should check with you travel insurance company if it covers mountain climbing or if you need an extra package for this. If you are planning to dive, you also need to check if you need an additional insurance.

Health
When traveling to Tanzania we advise you to contact your doctor or travel advice center for information, prevention and vaccination, because this depends on where you are planning to go to. Additionally in Tanzania it may be dusty. If you are allergic to pollen and dust, you wisely take medication. If you are going to climb Mount Kilimanjaro or Mount Meru with Ajabu Adventures we do twice a day, or more often if necessary, a medical check-up. Your guides during the climb are medically trained in altitude sickness and we always take oxygen on to the mountain. When arriving in Tanzania it is advisable to plan a day for resting, to ensure that you can get used to the new environment. Change of food and high altitude can cause diarrhea, headaches or a loss of appetite. Be aware of the intense sunrays in Africa, if possible wear a hat or cap, keep drinking enough water and use if necessary some extra salt. Drinking ice-cold beverages is not recommended, because your stomach and intestines can be surtaxed. It is absolutely not recommended to drink water out of the faucet in Tanzania, only drink mineral water from sealed bottles.

Languages
Swahili and English are the official languages of Tanzania. Most of the people working in the tourism industry are fluent in English and very often they speak another foreign language.

Luggage
Ajabu Adventures does not have any luggage restrictions, however airlines companies do. Please note, if you also have a domestic flight it is important to check the limitations for this company as well, since these limitations often vary from international flights.

Photography
It is important to keep you camera and other equipment dust free and in cool places, to ensure a longer lifespan of the equipment. We offer the possibility to recharge your batteries in our safari car, and it is also possible to charge them at your hotel/lodge. If you would like to take a picture of the local people, please ask for permission.
It is not permitted to take pictures of formal people/objects, such as police officers, military, barracks, airports or national flags. If in doubt, do not do it, it is not worth the trouble.

Tips
It is normal to tip in Tanzania. In small and simple restaurants and bars a tip is not necessarily expected. In touristic areas in it common to tip bellman, maids, taxi drivers or bus drivers, an amount of about USD $1, 1 Euro or 1,000 TZS is a normal amount. A tip like this is also given to people on the streets that are helping out. A larger tip 5-10% is given in luxurious restaurants. Safari guides normally receive a tip somewhere between the USD $20 and $25 per safari car per day. Tips for climbing crew are given if you ask for a quote.

Safety
Tanzania is a safe, stable and friendly country. In large cities and busy areas such as markets and bus stations it is advised to keep your eye on your belongings. Please leave valuable jewelry at home. In the parks it is not dangerous if you take the following points in consideration:

  • Always listen to the advice your guide gives you.
  • Do not get out of the vehicle when you are in a park, without the permission of the guide.
  • Follow the rules that are set by accommodations or tented camps.
  • Do not go for a walk at night on your own.
  • During hike, walking and canoe safaris you should stick to the rules that are given before starting these safaris by the guides.

Clothing
Pack as light as possible. Take lightweight, easily washable cotton clothes and a sweater since it can cool down in the evening. To protect yourself against the sun we advise you to pack a sunhat or cap, sunglasses and sunscreen. Normally, people in Tanzania wear flip-flops or sandals. However if you are planning to walk long distances it is advisable to bring along hiking shoes or trainers.

Colors like blue and black should be avoided during game drives, since they attract tsetse flies and other insects. Tsetse flies like to linger around your feet and ankles. If you visit a park where the tsetse fly could potentially be active (like Tarangire), it is recommended to tuck your long pants into your socks (not blue or black). Neutral colors like light brown, olive green and khaki are good for safari activities and are highly recommended.

If you are planning to climb the Kilimanjaro we will send you extra clothing advice attached to your itinerary.

Money
The currency of Tanzania is the Tanzanian Shilling (TZS). There are coins of 50, 100 and 200 TZS and bank notes of 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000 and 10,000 TZS. The Foreign currencies, particularly Euros and US Dollars, are generally accepted and are convertible to Tanzanian Shillings (TZS) at banks and currency exchange offices. Please note that no dollar bills are accepted older than 2006. Credit cards are quite accepted in mid-range and accepted in high-end lodges. In the larger cities there are good ATM facilities. If you are planning to use your debit or credit card be sure to notify your bank you will be traveling abroad, because most banks will deactivate your card if you have not notified them.

Electricity
Electricity in Tanzania is 220-240v. Power failures can occur; therefore bringing a flashlight is advisable. Most places will have a generator to keep the power going, however during the night hours these are often turned off. We advise you to take a universal adapter in order to be able to use your electrical appliances.

Shopping
Tourist areas and hotels/lodges sell a wide range of souvenirs, jewelry and drinks. Be aware that Tanzania has an export ban on souvenirs made of protected animals and plant species. Don not be afraid to haggle, the sales man will never sell the product for a price that is too low. If necessary your guide will be more than happy to help you obtaining a reasonable price.

Calling
Tanzania has a very good cell phone coverage. The international code for Tanzania is 00255 or +255. Tanzanian prepaid sim card can be bought pretty much anywhere and makes calling to each other in Tanzania much cheaper.

Internet
In general the internet connections in Tanzania are reasonable. Most lodges and hotels offer WiFi. In  larger towns you will find internet cafes.

Climate
Tanzania is close to the equator; the climate at the coast of Tanzania and on the islands is a tropical climate and therefore the country is warm all year round. The temperature high and low difference normally is about 5 degrees. In the northern parks it is not as hot as in the south, generally the temperature lies between 23-32 degrees and this is very pleasant.There is a temperature difference between areas; such as on the Ngorongoro Crater rim it is always a bit cooler. Normally during the dry season (form June – October) the temperatures are a bit lower. Temperatures on Mount Kilimanjaro (always covered in snow and ice) and Mount Meru are much lower and drop below zero.
There are two rainy seasons in Tanzania. The smaller rainy season is from October to November and the bigger rainy season from March to May.

Time zone
The time zone in which Tanzania is located is GMD+3. Please be aware that Tanzania does not change the clock to winter or summer time. Besides this there is also a time called Swahili time, which can lead to confusion. If a time mentioned that does not sound right, it is wisely to ask if they are talking about Swahili time.