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Coastal and Beaches
Tanzania is located about 2 degrees south of the equator on the east coast of Africa. The local time is GMT +3. Daylight saving time is not observed.
Passport and Visas All visitors to Tanzania require a passport valid for six months beyond the duration of their stay. Visas are required by most nationalities so it is advisable to check with your local Tanzanian Embassy well before your departure. Currently visas are obtainable on entry at Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro International airports, and the road border between Tanzania and Kenya at Namanga.
LanguageEnglish and Ki-Swahili are the national languages of Tanzania. English is widely spoken but a few basic words of Swahili are always appreciated.
MoneyThe currency in Tanzania is the Tanzanian shilling in denominations of: 10,000 - 5,000 -1,000 and 500 notes. Major foreign currencies (particularly US$ and Euros) and traveller’s cheques are widely accepted and are convertible at banks and bureau de changes in the main towns and tourist areas. Traveller’s cheques normally get a much lower rate of exchange. Credit cards are sometimes accepted but it’s best not to count on their use. Banks seldom offer ATM facilities. Visitors may be requested to pay in foreign currency at some lodges. The best suggestion is to come with adequate amount of dollars or euros in a mix of cash and traveller’s cheques. Don't change money in the street. You’ll need money mainly for tips and souvenirs as most expenses are covered in the cost of your safari.
HealthAll visitors are required to present an International Yellow Fever Immunization Certificate upon arrival in Tanzania. Malaria is a serious tropical disease prevalent in Tanzania; it is a must that you take anti malarial precautions. Use insect repellant in the evening and sleep under a net when provided. It’s always a good idea to be up to date on tetanus and other immunizations. It’s unlikely you’ll encounter more serious diseases on the tourist circuit. Before departure to East Africa consult your doctor or overseas travel clinic for their recommendations and make your personal health choices accordingly.
Food and drinks on safari are generally safe and prepared to international standards. It’s advisable to drink and brush your teeth with bottled water. This is readily available throughout Tanzania.
ClimateGenerally dry and warm with cool nights/mornings from June-October and warmer temperatures October-May. The short rains occur from November to mid-December and the long rains from April to May but the seasons can vary. The climate on the coast and Zanzibar is tropical and humid. You’ll be at elevation (+5000 ft and as high as 7,000 ft) on many areas in the northern circuit.
ClothingPack lightweight, washable clothes plus a sweater or fleece for early morning game drives, a sunhat, sunglasses and sunscreen. Long sleeves and trousers in light-colored fabrics help discourage insect bites. Shorts for women are acceptable (but not too short). Women should carry a wrap to cover legs in the village and towns as revealing clothing such as shorts can cause offence. If you’re staying at a lodge or visiting the coast or islands, bring your swimsuit along. Laundry is available throughout your stay. On booking you’ll be sent a detailed packing list.
BaggageBaggage on safari is limited to one small/medium soft-sided duffle type bag, plus one piece of hand baggage per person (excluding a camera bag). In total this should not weight more then 15 kg or 33 lbs. Depending on your itinerary it may be possible to store some luggage while you’re on safari but bear in mind that if you’re flying internally on regional airlines in small aircraft the luggage is STRICTLY limited to the above amount.
PhotographyBring film and batteries for your camera with you. Protect your camera from dust and keep equipment and film spools cool. It is courteous to ask permission before photographing local people. If you intend to take a lot of people pictures, try to bring an instant camera with you so that you can leave a picture with people you photograph.
ElectricityTanzania voltage is 220-240 volts with British type plugs. Power failures, surges and troughs are common and many lodges work on a generator. There is generally no electricity available in camps. Bring a universal adaptor and a torch (flashlight) or headlamp with extra batteries. Be sure to bring adequate batteries for your camera equipment or a 12-volt car adapter for charging your video or camera batteries.
SecurityTanzania is a generally safe country but don't invite temptation. Keep your eyes 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 and beware of pickpockets and hawkers. Use hotel safety deposit boxes to safeguard valuables and obtain a receipt. Leave valuables and jewelry at home.
ShoppingTourist areas and hotels sell a wide range of souvenirs, jewelry and trinkets. Don't be afraid to haggle at roadside stalls (your driver/ guide will advise you where to shop and on a reasonable price). The most popular souvenirs are wooden carvings, fabrics and beaded jewelry. Tanzania is famous for the well-known gemstone "Tanzanite". Be sure to go to a reputable dealer in the larger towns if you wish to purchase gemstones.
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