English is widely spoken but a few words of Swahili can be useful and will be appreciated greatly by locals.
Major foreign currencies - particularly US$ - and travelers cheques are accepted and are convertible at banks and bureaux de changes in the main towns and tourist areas. Credit cards are not widely accepted and carry poor exchange rates. Some banks in Arusha, Dar es Salaam and Moshi offer ATM facilities against international credit cards, but ATMs are not available elsewhere. Visitors may be expected to pay in foreign currency for game parks. Don’t change money in the street.
Yellow fever vaccination is no longer compulsory. Malaria is endemic but is preventable: use insect repellent, cover up at sundown, sleep under a mosquito net and take anti-malaria prophylactics as advised by your doctor. Bring prescription medicines, spare glasses, contact lenses and solution as well as sunscreen, a first aid kit, cream for bites/stings and diarrhoea remedy. Drink only boiled or bottled water, bottled or canned drinks, avoid ice cubes and salads.
HIV/Aids is widespread, especially in the main tourist areas.
Generally dry and hot with cool nights/mornings June-October; short rains November to mid-December; long rains March-May but the seasons can vary.
The coastal strip is hot and humid all year round. Temperatures on Mount Kilimanjaro and Meru drop to below freezing.
Pack lightweight, washable clothes plus a sweater for early morning game drives, as well as a sun hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. Long sleeves and trousers in light-colored fabrics help discourage insect bites. You can buy clothes in Dar es Salaam and Arusha.
Shorts for women are acceptable (but not too short!). Women should carry a wrap to cover legs in the villages and towns as revealing clothes can cause offence, especially in Zanzibar and Moslem areas. On the beach and within the confi nes of beach hotels normal swimwear is acceptable (but not nudity).
For climbing on Kilimanjaro or Meru, take thermal underwear, light layers, sweater, rain jacket, good socks and sturdy boots.
Distances in Tanzania are vast, and travel by road can be wearing. Plan to spend more time in fewer parks. You’ll see more and won’t return home exhausted. Keep your distance from animals and be quiet to avoid distressing the wildlife. Follow instructions of rangers or guides. Don’t leave your vehicle in the parks except in designated places. Keep to recognized tracks to avoid damaging vegetation.
Bring film and batteries for your camera with you. Protect your cameras from dust and keep equipment and fi lm cool. It is courteous to ask permission before photographing local people. If you intend to take a lot of people pictures, be sure to bring an instant camera with you so that you can leave a picture with the people you photograph.
Take out travel insurance to cover loss of baggage or valuables, personal accident and medical expenses.
TRAVEL WITH CHILDREN
Tanzanians love children and are especially helpful to mothers. However, canned baby foods, powdered milk and disposable nappies may not be available outside major towns.
Check current requirements with the nearest Tanzanian High Commission, embassy or consulate, or your travel agent. Visas, if required, can be bought on arrival at all international airports and overland borders.
Tanzania is a generally safe country, but don’t invite temptation. Keep an eye on your belongings. Don’t walk in the towns or cities at night - take a taxi. Don’t carry cameras or large amounts of cash; beware of pickpockets. Use hotel safety deposit boxes to safeguard valuables and obtain a receipt. Leave valuable jewellery at home.
Don’t indiscriminately hand out pens, money and sweets like a wealthy Western Santa Claus - it just encourages begging. As anywhere, gifts should be given as a true expression of friendship, appreciation or thanks.
The tourist areas and hotels sell a wide range of souvenirs, jewellery and trinkets.
Don’t be afraid to haggle at roadside curio stalls.
Not obligatory, but a tip for exceptional service (max 10%) will be appreciated.
$10 - $20 per day for driver or tour guide. An excessive tip can make it difficult for the next customer.
3 hrs + GMT.
230V, but power failures, surges and troughs are common. Bring a universal adaptor and a torch (flashlight) or headlamp.
Self-drive vehicles are available mainly for local running or tarmac use. 4x4 vehicles for safaris usually have to be hired with a driver.
On the left. An international licence is required. Plan long safaris carefully, ensuring your vehicle is road worthy with two spare tyres, an operational jack and tool kit. Carry extra fuel, spares and water.