Full Name: United Republic of Tanzania
Capital City: Dodoma
Business Main City: Dar es salaam
Tourist Main Portal: Arusha
Time: GMT +3 hours
Mainland Independence: 9 December 1961
Union: April 25, 1964
Currency: Tanzania Shilling (TZS.)
Main activities: Agriculture, mining, tourism
Language and Culture
The official language is Kiswahili, which is generally spoken, and various local languages abound. Although English is the second official language, it is widely spoken and understood in the cities.
Tanzania’s culture is a result of African, Arab, European and Indian influences. The African people of Tanzania represent about 130 tribal groups. The Tanzanians are friendly people, to foreigners and amongst themselves. Politeness, respect and modesty are highly valued.
Immodest attire, public affection and open anger are disrespectful to the Tanzanian people. In Zanzibar, it is important for women to dress modestly out of respect for Muslim cultural beliefs. Men should not wear shorts on the main island, and women should wear dresses that cover their shoulders and knees.
Just south of the equator, Tanzania borders Kenya and Uganda in the north; Zaire, Rwanda and Burundi in the west; and Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique in the south.
Railways and Buses
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.
Express and ordinary buses operate along major long distance routes. Express buses are slightly more expensive but are more comfortable. Ordinary buses and dalla-dallas (minivans) serve shorter routes.
- Dar es Salaam International Airport
- Kilimanjaro International Airport
- Zanzibar International Airport
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.
The key roads are tarred and in good condition. Road conditions in the reserves and national parks of Tanzania are extremely rough. During the rainy season, many roads are passable only with four-wheel drive vehicles. Any four-wheel drive vehicles for safaris usually have to be hired with a driver. Driving is on the left side of the road.
Passports and Visas
Most visitors require visas with the exception of certain countries of the Commonwealth. It is advisable to obtain a visa in advance of travel as certain airlines insist on them prior to departure. Depending on nationality and country of origin, a visa may be obtained on arrival at Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro airports and at Namanga Gate on the Tanzania / Kenya border. Zanzibar remains independent although it is a part of the union of Tanzania. Passports and a Tanzanian visa are required even on a day’s visit. Requirements may change so you are advised to contact your nearest Tanzanian Consulate before finalizing your travel arrangements. Visas cost US$10-60 depending on nationality and are usually valid for three months. Requirements for obtaining a visa are: a passport, valid for six months beyond the intended length of stay, two passport photographs, proof of sufficient funds, two application forms and a detailed itinerary stating reason for visit. Sometimes, a copy of your airline tickets is required.
All major towns in Tanzania have excellent luxury hotels. All towns will at least have a good guest house. Hotels have their own restaurants. Local food is readily available and there are many restaurants serving various cuisines like Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Continental and many more.
It’s best to drink bottled water when travelling through Tanzania – numerous brands are widely available and served in all restaurants and lodges.
Visitors must produce a valid yellow fever certificate obtained no less than ten days prior to travel. It is imperative that you obtain malaria prophylactics before entering Tanzania. Precautionary measures to take to prevent contact with mosquitoes include: insect repellent, cover up at sundown, sleep under a mosquito net and wear long sleeve clothing and long trousers in the evenings. Immunization against cholera, polio, hepatitis A & B, typhoid and tetanus is recommended if traveling by road.
Hospital and Clinic
For minor aches and pains during your travels, there are many hospitals and clinics around the country which will care for you and prescribe any medicine you may need. For emergency or out-patient cases, Dar es Salaam’s Aga Khan Hospital provides excellent care.
African Air Rescue (AAR) have clinics and out-patient care in both Arusha and Dar es Salaam, and smaller clinics offer consultations and laboratory services around the country.
Tanzania is a safe country to travel in. Tanzanians are warm-hearted and generous people and are eager to help visitors get the most out of their stay. Tanzania is a true example of tolerance and cooperation in our modern world, with an evidenced multicultural diversity that has co-existed for centuries and has a lot to offer the world by its example.
As in all countries, a little common sense goes a long way and reasonable precautions should still be taken, such as locking valuables in the hotel safe, which frees your mind to absorb the natural beauty and incredible sights that will stay with you forever.
British Air ways fly direct to Dar es Salaam , From Heathrow, three times weekly. Flying time is 9 hours 40 minutes. Other carriers operate to Tanzania via Europe. KLM from Amsterdam to Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro. Swiss Air from Zurich To Dar es Salaam. Air India fly to Dar es Salaam via Mumbai ; Emirates via Dubai; Ethiopian via Addis Ababa and Qatar Airways via Doha. Regional carriers into Tanzania include Air Tanzania, Air Kenya, Kenyan Airways, Precision Air and South African Airways. Domestic carriers Air Tanzania, Coastal Aviation, Precision Air, Coastal Aviation and Zan Air fly between the mainland and Zanzibar.
International Flights serve Dar es Salaam (DAR), eight miles from the city centre and Kilimanjaro (JRO),31 miles from Arusha. Zanzibar (ZNZ) Airport is five miles from Kisauni.
Immunization and Health
The UK Department of Health recommends vaccinations against hepatitis A, polio and typhoid. It is essential for visitors to take a course Of anti-malaria tablets, commencing two weeks before travel.
Travelers arriving from, or via, Countries where yellow fever is endemic will need a certificate of vaccination. Vaccination is available on arrival at a cost of $US 50 per person.
Modern medical services are available in Dar es Salaam and other major cities but tourists are likely to find themselves in remote locations far from these major centers. Cover for medical evacuation is therefore recommended in case of medical emergency. This is especially relevant to those climbing Kilimanjaro.
There are only a limited number of chemists in the country so visitors are advised to bring their own medicine with them.
What to Take
Don’t forget the camera, camcorder and binoculars and take a torch for finding your way around camp at night. Stock up with replacement batteries for all these goods.
Take sun glasses, hat, sun lotion, lip balm-and some insect repellent, it is better not to get stung even if your are taken anti-malaria tablets.
It’s best to take any medicines required for the duration of the visit. A spare pair of glasses or contact lenses is also a good idea. Take plenty of film, it is difficult to obtain outside the main centers. While traveler’s cheques can be exchanged in cities and towns, banking facilities in remote areas are restricted, so take plenty of cash.
Some safaris / air charters limit baggage to a 10-15 kilo maximum.
English is widely spoken but a few words of Swahili are always appreciated.
The unit of currency is the Tanzania shilling which is divided into 100 cents. Visitors can take it any amount of foreign currency. No currency declaration is required, but import and export of Tanzanian currency is illegal. Most major currencies particularly US dollars – and travelers cheques are accepted and are convertible at banks and bureaux de change in the main towns and tourist areas. DO NOT change money in the street however favorable the rates appears.
Distances in Tanzania are vast, and travel by road can be tiring. It is wise to spend more time in fewer parks. You will see more time in fewer park. You will see more and won’t return home exhausted. Keep your distance from animals and be quiet to avoid distressing them . Always follow the instructions s of your ranger or guide. Don’t leave your vehicle in the parks except in designated places. Keep to recognized tracks to avoid damaging vegetation.
What to Wear
It never get really cold in Tanzania, lightweight clothing is the norm. In any case it is wise to carry one heavy jacket or sweater to avoid weather extremes which could un expectantly creep in, especially if you are traveling to Arusha. On safari avoid brightly colored clothes, they may alarm the animals. Browns, beiges and khaki are preferred. Short-sleeve shirts/blouses and shorts are ideal, but pack a sweater, it can be chilly in the early morning and in the evening. Wear a hat to avoid sunstroke to and don’t forget a swimsuit. Shoes should be sensible– walking through the bush is not like strolling through Hyde park – and for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or Mount Meru take thermal underwear, a rain jacket, good socks and sturdy boots.
Short for women are acceptable but not too short. Women should carry a wrap to cover their legs in towns or villages as revealing clothes can cause offence, especially in Zanzibar and other Muslims areas. On the beach, and within the confines of beach hotels, normal swim wear is acceptable but nudity certainly is not.
Not normally obligatory but a tip for exceptional services – a maximum of 10% – will be appreciated. Tip $ 10 – $ 15 for drivers or tour guides but remember an excessive tip can make it difficult for the next customer.