Tanzanian shilling is the local currency, though the major foreign currencies particularly the US dollars, Euro, British pounds can easily be exchanged for Tanzania local currency and to make payments. However the US dollars are widely accepted and most services are paid for in dollars. It is therefore recommended cash is carried in US dollars. It is also useful to carry small changes with you of $1 to $5 bills as this would be handy to pay for small items such as tips and souvenirs. Visitors should be aware that US dollars dated before 2006 are not usually accepted. Credit cards, particularly Visa and Master Card are widely accepted in most hotels and lodges around the country; however surcharges are often quite high.
The international country dialing code for Tanzania is +255. The outgoing code is 000 followed by relevant country code. Mobile phones work in the main urban areas and Zanzibar. The network operators use GSM 900 networks. Internet cafes are available in the main towns and resorts.
Tanzania's official language is Swahili or Kiswahili. English is widely spoken in Tanzania, and especially so for those who work in the tourist areas. However, learning and mastering a few basic Swahili words is very much appreciated in Tanzania and will be rewarding. There are plenty of Swahili online courses.
Take medical advice at least six weeks before leaving for Tanzania and contact your Doctor for up to date travellers' medical advice. There is a legal requirement that visitors must produce a valid yellow fever certificate upon entering Tanzania. This applies to visitors arriving into the country from Yellow Fever infected countries such as (Kenya, Angola, Rwanda Ethiopia, Uganda) and marginal risk countries like Somalia and Zambia. If a certificate is not produced, entry is denied. You do not need the certificate if arriving from Europe or the US or flying between Zanzibar and mainland Tanzania.
Visitors should be aware that malaria is endemic in sub-Sahara countries and are advised to take anti-malaria tablets and make use of mosquito nets and insect sprays where provided. It is also crucial that you obtain malaria prophylactics before entering Tanzania. For those visiting the country for the purpose of climbing Mountain Kilimanjaro, please check with your doctor to ensure you are fully aware of the dangers of mountain climbing at higher altitude. Please note tap water is not safe for drinking or brushing your teeth. Drink only mineral water and bottled and canned drinks; all widely available and reasonably priced.
Security in Tanzania
Tanzania is a generally safe and friendly country. However this does not mean one is completely safe, you still need to be on alert. Visitors are advised to always keep an eye on their belongings. Use a Taxi at night in towns or cities instead of walking. If you are interested to visit any of many attractions around the city it is better to join organised visits. Do not carry valuables, cameras or large amounts of cash with you and always beware of pickpockets and hawkers. Use hotel safety deposit boxes to safeguard valuables and obtain a receipt.
Foreign visitors are required to have a passport, valid for the duration of their visit in Tanzania and still be valid for at least six months after completion of safaris. Passports should have two clean full pages for endorsement. A visa can be obtained in advance from any Tanzanian Embassy or Consulate abroad but where this is not possible, visas can be obtained on arrival at the Dar es Salaam Airport and Port, the Kilimanjaro International Airport, Zanzibar Airport and land borders. Visas are required for most nationalities except for some Commonwealth countries. Visas are valid for three months and cost between $20 and $60 depending on your nationality and $100 for United States visitors and have to be paid for in cash.
Please check with your local Tanzanian Embassy or Consulate before finalizing your travel arrangements regarding visa regulations. It is strongly advisable that you get your visa beforehand to avoid the long queues on arrival in the country and especially where you have to catch an onward connecting flight.
Tipping should be done at one's discretion as it is not compulsory. However, tips are expected in major towns and tourist centres although in up-market places a service charge have been included on the bill. Suggestions on how much to tip are given here as guidelines:
- US $10 to $15 per day for safari driver/guide; half of this for half-day activities
- US $5 per guest per day at beach hotels and resorts the money is shared among the general staff
- US $1to $2 per baggage movement for hotel and airport porter
- US $3 to $5 per person per day for camps and lodges paid in communal box - shared among staff
- US $3 to $5 per transfer for city transfer drivers in Arusha and Dar es Salaam - depends on time and distance
- 10% of total bill in restaurants
The Tanzanian climate is tropical. The coastal areas are hot and humid with an average day temperature of 30C. The central plateau is dry and arid with hot days and cool nights. In the northwest highlands around Arusha and Ngorongoro the climate is moderate and cooler between October and February. The country generally experiences two rainy seasons with long rains from March to May and short rains from October to December.
| COUNTRY FACTS
|International Access Code
||220 Volts AC, 50-60HZ
||Dar es Salaam
||Predominantly Christian followed by Islam and other faiths
||40 million people