|Area and population|
|The mainland Tanganyika and the islands Zanzibar and Pemba comprise an area of 930.700 sq.km. The current population is around 34 million, with a national growth rate of 2.8 %.|
|Dar es Salaam is the major trading center and the main harbor, but Dodoma is the official capital.|
|When to go?|
|The coast, the islands and Selous have tropical climate year round, the other areas are temperate. Expect short rains in November, while the rainy season starts from mid March to the end of May. During rainy season it can get chilly in the northern mainland, especially in higher altitudes like the Ngorongoro.
High season is in December and January. The hottest months are from December to the end of March when humidity is high and decreases only by night.
|Can be obtained at all points of entry (airports and borders). Your passport must be valid at least six months from your date of arrival. Your visa must be paid cash in US dollars.
Remember your yellow fever certificate !
|The yellow fever vaccine is no longer compulsory upon entering Tanzania and Zanzibar, but it is still recommended to get this vaccine . It should be taken at least 10 days before arrival. Visitors are advised to take anti malaria tablets, consult your doctor in good time before departure.
Common diseases in Tanzania: amoebae dysentery, bacteria dysentery, typhoid, cholera, malaria, yellow fever, hepatitis A, bilharzia and aids. These are all preventable, and in some instances, a vaccine can be given before departing. Note that some vaccines need to be taken six months before arrival.
Do not drink the water from the tap, nor brush you teeth with it. Use bottled mineral water, which is easily available. Do not share eating utensils or drink from the same glass/bottle. Salads, fruits and vegetables should be rinsed thoroughly in boiled or purified water. Meat must be thoroughly cooked. At evening time, wear trousers and long sleeves, and sleep under a mosquito net. Mosquito repellents should not contain more than 30% Deet, as it can harm your skin. Do not swim in lakes, which causes a high risk of contracting bilharzia.Booking a tour with Victoria Expeditions, you are covered by AAR Emergency Rescue and Evacuation insurance.
|The local currency is Tanzanian shillings, Tsh, notes in denominations of 500, 1000, 5000 and 10000. It is advisable to bring American dollars, though Banks and Forex Bureaus accept the major convertible currencies. Note that US$ bills printed before 1996 are no longer accepted in Tanzania, locals call these bills “kichwa kidogo” referring to the “small head” compared to the newer bills where the heads are bigger.
Travelers cheques are widely accepted. Credit cards are accepted in larger hotels and in some exchange facilities, but the rate is not as favorable as for cash or travelers cheques. You can find ATMs in Arusha, Moshi, Dar es Salaam and Stone Town.
|What to bring?|
|In a warm and humid climate, cotton is the most comfortable fabric to wear. Avoid nylon and other synthetic fabrics. In the mainland the evenings get chilly, so bring a warm sweater or jacket. In exclusive restaurants, a jacket and tie is suitable, but elsewhere you can wear what you want. Don’t bring too much clothing. Laundry services are available in most hotels and guest houses, if you order it in the morning, you will have it back the same afternoon, at a reasonable price. Bring binoculars for the safari, along with extra film rolls and batteries. Sandals, sunglasses, swimsuits, sun hats and sun cream with a high protection factor. A flash light can come in handy while on camping safari. A Swiss knife, an adapter, bottle for drinking water are other items which can be useful.
WHAT TO BRING ON A SAFARI?
|When you’re hungry|
|Tanzania has lots to offer food wise. Exotic fruits and fresh fruit juices are good for breakfast, along with toast or omelet. Most hotels serve a standard continental breakfast. If you want to explore the traditional Tanzanian cuisine, there are countless places to eat. Portions are big, and consist mainly of potatoes, rice, beans, spinach, and ugali (a stiff maize porridge) along with chicken, beef, mutton or fish.
On the coast you can enjoy fresh tropical fish, lobster and shrimps. Larger towns have a good selection of Chinese, Italian and Indian restaurants. Some restaurants even serve game like crocodile, zebra and antelopes. Endangered species and the national symbol, the giraffe, do not appear on the menu, so enjoy your meal with a clean conscience.
Vegetarians will not have to survive on fruits and beans the whole stay, most restaurants cater well for vegetarians.
|When meeting, parting, passing and receiving anything, hands are always shaken. Use the right hand. This applies for rural areas as well as urban areas. If your right hand is occupied, offer your right elbow. Never offer your left hand, as it is used for hygienic purposes.
While in the national parks, always follow the park regulations. Do not litter. Do not collect or purchase any bones, skins, horns, teeth, feathers or shells, and on the coast, do not collect coral, shells or starfish.
Ask for permission before taking anyone’s photograph. Ask your guides about the local customs in the area you are visiting.
The majority of the population along the coast are Muslim, so avoid revealing clothing. Cover up your shoulders and knees while in this area. Topless and nude bathing are prohibited.
Gay and lesbian travelers should avoid showing affection, as this might cause unwanted attention.
Displays of impatience or rage are frowned upon. When in a frustrating situation, e.g your vehicle is being stopped by traffic police officers and you are being fined for a genuine (or imaginary) fault, a smile will be more helpful than outbursts. Swearing and anger will only make the situation worse.
The justice mob: Unfortunately, thefts are common in larger towns, and should you be so unlucky to be pick pocketed or mugged, think twice before creating a stir. Making a crowd aware of the culprit by shouting “thief!” and pointing towards him, can encourage people to chase him and beat him to death before the police show up. In some cases, crowds shout for kerosene and burn the culprit alive. “The justice mob” refers to the frustration caused by the failure of the local authorities to prevent crime, to the extent that people take justice in their own hands. You may be angered by the loss of your brand new camera, but not to the extent that you want to witness the justice mob in action. It is a sad and brutal punishment not fitting the crime.
|Batiks, wood carvings, Zanzibar chests and Maasai jewelry are among the items worth taking a second look at. The price first offered will be considerably higher than the real price. Saying firmly ” I will pay two dollars only, not more” will get you nowhere, you are expected to bargain and in this “sport”, you have to give a little and take a little! Be friendly, a few phrases of Kiswahili will be greatly appreciated.|
|Christian, Muslim, Hindu and traditional beliefs.|
|Tanzania has two official languages, Kiswahili and English, though Kiswahili is the most widely spoken. In major cities, most people will know English, but if you are heading “off the beaten track”, some Kiswahili will be useful. In addition, the approximately 130 tribes have their own local language.|
|Your insurance should cover medical assistance, transportation home and theft.|
|1st of January New Years Day
12th of January Zanzibar Revolution
26th of April Union Day Anniversary
1st of May International Worker’s Day
7th of July Sabasaba (77) International Trade Fair
8th of July Peasants Day
9th of December Independence & Republic Day
25th of December Christmas Day
26th of December Boxing Day
In addition the Muslim holidays, depending on the sighting of the moon.
|International Airports, taxes and customs|
|There are three international airports, namely Kilimanjaro, Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar. Upon departing Tanzania via airports, a tax of 30 US$ is required. This can not be paid in local currency. Remember that import and export of the local currency is illegal.
1 liter of wine or spirit, 200 cigarettes (or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco) and 250ml of perfume can legally be imported to Tanzania.
Please remember that the following products can not be taken into the UK, USA and many other countries. They will be confiscated at your port of exit or entry and you could also face legal proceedings:
Elephant: all ivory products, leather, goods and tusks are prohibited
Rhino: All trade in rhino horn products is banned internationally.
Sea Turtle & Shells: Shells, shell jewelry, coral and turtle related products are prohibited.
Cats: The purchase of exotic cat fur is ill advised and few can be traded legally.
|Not feeling well?|
|There are medical centers in all the national parks and in all townships. A flying doctor can be called for emergencies in all areas. If you feel feverish, immediately seek a doctor.|
|Country telephone code: 255. Outgoing international code: 00. Phone lines are not always reliable, and the postal service is slow. Internet cafe’s are popping up everywhere, and the rates are favorable, for a little over 1 US$ you can surf for one hour. Some internet cafes also offer internet phone services, which is much cheaper than calling from a normal line.
Telefax facilities are available in many Government-and-business offices as well as tourist hotels. Telegrams can be sent from the post office.
BBC: MHZ 21.47 17.88 15.42 6.135
Voice of America: MHZ 17.89 15.60 9.575 6.035
|Please do not give money to the local people begging on the street. It encourages begging and is demeaning. Rather give them something to eat. Street children are visible in larger towns, and they can be quite persistent and sometimes rude if you give them nothing. Keep in mind that many of these children are orphans and victims of abuse and they are the most underprivileged members of society. A meal or friendly smile will be more helpful than money (which sometimes will be used to buy glue or drugs)
While on safari, you might find children on the roadside begging for ball pens and money. Bare in mind that if you give them anything, this encourages them to spend their day on the roadside waiting for tourists, instead of going to school or helping their family in the village. It is hard to pass without being tempted to give, but a donation in the right place is the best way to assist. If you wish to make a donation, go to the administrators of schools, hospitals etc.
|Tanzania is a peaceful country. However, there are precautions one should take when spending one’s holiday here, as you would in any unfamiliar area. Never show off your valuables, keep your money and passport in the hotel’s safe. Ask the locals which areas are not safe, and stay away from them. Always take a taxi after dark.|
|During weekdays, most shops are open from 9am to 8pm, often closed for lunch. Also open on Saturdays, some shops do business a few hours on Sundays. Banks are open from 8.30am to 4pm, Saturdays closing at 1pm.|
|GMT + 3 hours.
Things take time in Africa, so don’t bother to stress. People here don’t rush, and when they say “soon”, they usually mean in one hour or more, which can cause frustration when you need to move fast. We even have a different time system. The Swahili watch is set 6 hours ahead of normal time, so in Swahili 12 o’clock is really 6 o’clock. Confused? Don’t worry, when speaking English, most people use the normal time system.
|230 volts Ac, 50hz.|