Tanzania is the largest country in East Africa, bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north; Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. This is probably one of the oldest known continuously inhabited areas on Earth; fossil remains of humans and pre-human hominids have been found dating back over two million years. Tanzania is believed to have been populated by hunter-gatherer communities, probably Cushitic and Khoisan speaking people.
About 2000 years ago, it is believed that Bantu-speaking people began to arrive from western Africa in a series of migrations. Later, Nilotic pastoralists arrived, and continued to immigrate into the area through to the 18th century.
Travelers and merchants from the Persian Gulf and Western India have visited the East African coast since early in the first millennium CE. Islam was practised on the Swahili coast as early as the eighth or ninth century CE.
Terrorist incidents, including the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassies in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi, as well as occasional attacks by extremists on police stations and mosques, among other targets, highlight the threat posed by terrorism in East Africa and underscore the capacity of terrorist groups to carry out such attacks against Westerners.
All foreign citizens should take precaution when traveling between Julius Nyerere International Airport and Dar es Salaam. There have been incidents of robberies while cars are stopped at traffic lights. Drivers should lock their doors and keep windows up at all times.
Tanzanians are welcoming and well disposed towards visitors, but you should be sensitive to local culture. Loud or aggressive behaviour, drunkenness, foul language and disrespect, especially towards older people, will cause offence.
There is a high proportion of Muslims in Tanzania, especially along the coast and on Zanzibar and Pemba. Respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure that they don’t offend, especially during the holy month of Ramadan or if you intend to visit religious areas.
You should dress modestly. Women should avoid wearing shorts and sleeveless tops away from tourist resorts, and particularly in Stone Town and other places where the local population may be offended.
There are criminal laws on the protection of wildlife and fauna in Tanzania. Avoid bringing wildlife products such as jewellery into Tanzania as you risk delay, questioning or detention when trying to leave the country. These products, whether bought or received as a gift in Tanzania, are illegal.
The unit of currency is the Tanzanian shilling, divided into 100 cents. The exchange rate of around US$1 = Tsh 2,300 is reasonably stable. It is often very difficult to find change for larger bills, so carry a spread of notes.
Our company as well as tourist-class hotels quote rates in US dollars, and many will expect to be paid in hard currency. National park fees and port and airport taxes must be paid in hard currency, and are treated as foreign exchange transactions. Otherwise, restaurant or bar bills, goods bought at a market or shop, and most other casual purchases are best paid for in local currency.
Credit cards are widely accepted in at tourist-oriented shops and similar facilities in Arusha, Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar, as well as most game lodges and upper range hotels. Visa is the most widely accepted card by a long chalk, but MasterCard and American Express are also accepted at a limited number of outlets.
Visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures.
No immunizations are required by law to enter Tanzania if you are traveling directly from Europe or the US. If you are traveling from a country where Yellow Fever is present you will need to prove you have had the inoculation.
Several vaccinations are highly recommended when traveling to Tanzania, they include:
It is also recommended that you are up to date with your polio and tetanus vaccinations. Rabies is also prevalent and if you're planning to spend a lot of time in Tanzania, it may be worth getting the rabies shots before you go.
There's a risk of catching malaria pretty much everywhere you travel in Tanzania. While it's true that areas of high altitude like the Ngorongoro Conservation Area are relatively malaria-free, you will usually be passing through areas where malaria is prevalent in order to get there.
Tanzania is home to the chloroquine-resistant strain of malaria as well as several others. Make sure your doctor or travel clinic knows you are traveling to Tanzania (don't just say Africa) so s/he can prescribe the right anti-malarial medication
A valid passport is mandatory, and it shouldn’t expire within six months of your intended date of departure from Tanzania.
Visas are required by most visitors and cost US$ 50-100, depending on your nationality. They can be obtained on arrival at any international airport or land border - a straightforward procedure that requires no photographs, nor any other documentation aside from a passport.
A standard tourist visa is normally valid for three months after arrival and allows for multiple entries to Tanzania from neighbouring Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, but not from other countries.
For those who prefer to arrange a visa in advance, Tanzanian embassies or high commissions exist in Angola, Belgium, Britain, Burundi, Canada, China, CIS, Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Guinea, India, Japan, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sudan, Sweden, Uganda, USA, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
There are three international airports. Dar es Salaam is used by most international airlines, and is convenient for business travellers or those exploring the southern safari circuit. The mainland alternative is Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA), which lies midway between Moshi and Arusha and is well placed as a springboard for safaris to the Serengeti and other northern reserves. Some international flights land at Zanzibar.
Once in Tanzania, a good network of domestic flights connects Kilimanjaro, Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar, as well as other less visited towns. Private airlines also run scheduled flights connecting to most parts of the country, including Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Pemba, Mafia, Serengeti (Grumeti and Seronera), Ngorongoro, Lake Manyara, Mwanza, Rubondo Island, Kigoma, Selous, Ruaha, Katavi and Mahale.
Anybody who intends to climb Kilimanjaro should check here.
Anybody who intends to Go on Safari should check here.
The predominantly Islamic inhabitants of the coast and offshore islands are used to tourists and are reasonably tolerant of Western dress codes. Nevertheless, it is still advisable to err on the side of modesty, especially in urban settings and inhabited areas.
If you wear contact lenses, bring all the fluids you need, possibly a pair of glasses as a fallback - many safarigoers find the combination of sun, dust and dryness irritates their eyes.
Cash, travellers’ cheques, credit cards, passport and other important documentation are best carried in a money belt that can be hidden beneath your clothing. This should be made of cotton or another natural fabric, and the contents could be wrapped in plastic to protect it against sweat.
Internet cafés are wildly available in larger towns such as Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Arusha, Mwanza and Moshi, and browsing is faster and more affordable than in most African countries, though it may seem rather slow compare to Europe , America or Asia.
Tanzanian numbers starting with 07 are mobile, while all other numbers are land lines. In both cases, the leading zero must be dropped and an international code of +255 added if you are dialling from outside of Tanzania (e.g. 0741 461148 becomes 00255 741 461148 dialled from the UK or other EU-countries).Three zeros must be prefixed to any international number dialled from within Tanzania
Crime levels are relatively low, though it’s wise not to walk around an unfamiliar town after dark – taxis are readily available.
The risk of casual theft is greatest in bus stations and markets, where you should avoid carrying loose valuables in your pocket or daypack
In any urban situation, try to avoid advertising your wealth in the form a dangling camera, expensive jewellery, handbag, or externally worn money-belt.
Basic Safety Rules for Travelers to Tanzania :