Fascinating Facts About Tanzania

Time Zone:

GMT + 3

Currencies:

Primary:  The currency is called “Tanzanian Shilling” abbreviated “TZS”, which is divided into 100 Cents.

Secondary: US Dollar

Link to Tanzania other major currency exchange rates

Cheetah in Tanzania
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Official languages:

Kiswahili and English

Even though Swahili is the official language in Tanzania, English is widely spoken and understood.

Driving System:

 Left drive

Electricity:

220 – 240 V AC, 50 Hz

Religion:

Predominantly Christianity and Islam

International Dialing code:

+ 255

Understanding the Best Time to Visit and Different Seasons:

The ideal time to visit Tanzania largely depends on the activities one has in mind. For wildlife enthusiasts, the dry season from June to October is perfect for game viewing, as animals congregate around water sources and the vegetation is less dense, making them easier to spot. This period also coincides with the spectacular wildebeest migration in the Serengeti. For those interested in bird watching, the months from October to February offer an excellent opportunity, with fewer tourists and a plethora of migratory birds present. Additionally, the wildebeest calving season from January to February is a remarkable time to witness new life and predator interactions in the Southern Serengeti.

Dry Season:

June to February:  Recommended for general Safaris

Wet Season:

March to May:
Recommended for special safaris like walking, cultural hikes, and related tours that do not require traveling to mountains or difficult drive areas.

Note: The estimate above may vary according to the year in question. The precise season can be obtained from the Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) Website: www.meteo.go.tz

Cultural Insights and Language:

With over 130 ethnic groups/tribes, Tanzania stands as a symbol of peaceful coexistence and unity in diversity. The nation’s history is deeply rooted in the Swahili coast, where Arab and African influences blend seamlessly, creating a unique cultural heritage that is evident in the language, cuisine, and arts. Traditional music and dance continue to play a significant role in Tanzanian society, celebrating the country’s history and traditions while embracing modern influences. The Maasai, known for their distinctive customs and attire, remains one of the most iconic ethnic groups, symbolizing the enduring spirit of Tanzania’s cultural legacy.

Kiswahili, a language with roots in the Bantu ethnic group, is a linguistic tapestry that reflects the rich history and cultural interactions of the African continent. Over time, it has absorbed elements from Arabic and Indian languages, creating a diverse and complex vocabulary. Today, Kiswahili stands as a testament to cultural exchange and adaptation, serving as a lingua franca for millions of people across East Africa and beyond.

Health and Safety

Precautions for Travelers

When planning a trip to Tanzania, it’s crucial to consider health and safety precautions to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Travelers should be aware of necessary vaccinations, including those for yellow fever, hepatitis A and B, typhoid, and rabies. Malaria is prevalent in many regions, so taking antimalarial medication and using insect repellent is highly recommended. It’s also advisable to drink bottled or purified water to avoid waterborne illnesses. Additionally, travelers should be cautious of their belongings and avoid displaying valuable items to minimize the risk of theft. Staying informed about local health advisories and registering with your embassy can provide added security during your visit.

For a safe and healthy trip to Tanzania, it’s important to take several precautions. Ensure you have all necessary vaccinations, such as yellow fever, hepatitis A and B, typhoid, and rabies. Malaria is a concern in many areas, so taking antimalarial medication and using insect repellent is essential. Always drink bottled or purified water to avoid waterborne diseases. Be mindful of your belongings and avoid flashing valuables to reduce the risk of theft. Staying updated with local health advisories and registering with your embassy can provide additional safety and peace of mind during your travels.

Budgeting for Your Trip

Cost Management Tips

Planning a budget for your trip to Tanzania involves considering various expenses, including accommodation, food, transportation, and activities. Accommodation options range from budget hostels to luxury lodges, catering to different financial plans. Street food and local restaurants offer affordable dining options, while high-end restaurants provide more expensive culinary experiences. Transportation costs can vary depending on whether you choose public buses, private taxis, or domestic flights. Additionally, budgeting for safari tours, park entrance fees, and cultural experiences is essential. It’s wise to set aside extra funds for unexpected expenses and souvenirs. Researching and planning ahead can help you make the most of your budget while enjoying all that Tanzania has to offer.

Supporting the Local Economy

Tipping and Contributions

Tipping and supporting the local economy play a significant role in enhancing your travel experience in Tanzania. Tipping is customary in many service industries, including restaurants, hotels, and safari tours. A general guideline is to tip 10-15% of the bill in restaurants and a few dollars per day for hotel staff. Safari guides and drivers often rely on tips as a substantial part of their income, so consider tipping them generously based on the quality of service. Additionally, purchasing local crafts and souvenirs from markets and shops supports local artisans and contributes to the community’s economic well-being. By being mindful of your spending and tipping practices, you can positively impact the lives of those who make your trip memorable.

When traveling in Tanzania, tipping and supporting the local economy are essential practices that benefit both travelers and locals. Tipping is appreciated in various service sectors, such as dining, accommodation, and guided tours. Typically, a 10-15% tip is appropriate in restaurants, while hotel staff and safari guides appreciate a few dollars per day. Supporting local businesses by purchasing handmade crafts and souvenirs helps sustain the livelihoods of artisans and vendors. By contributing to the local economy through thoughtful spending and tipping, you help foster a positive relationship with the communities you visit, ensuring a more enriching travel experience.

Navigating Transportation

Travel Options in Tanzania

When traveling by bus, plan to secure the best seats. If you’re self-driving, adhere to speed limits and equip your vehicle with safety essentials like a fire extinguisher, shoes, safety vest, and red triangles to avoid fines or bribes.

By Air:

From anywhere in the World:

The following companies are currently offering international scheduled flights to Tanzania

  • Ethiopian Airlines,
  • Kenya Airways,
  • Qatar Airways,
  • Oman Air
  • Emirates Airlines,
  • KLM,
  • Swiss
  • Turkish Airlines

      From anywhere in Africa:

      The following companies are currently offering international scheduled flights to Tanzania from other Africa countries.

      • Kenya Airways,
      • Precision Air
      • Ethiopian Airlines
      • Air Zimbabwe,
      • EgyptAir,
      • Air Malawi,
      • South African Airways,
      • Mango Airlines.

        Domestic Flights:

        These companies serve scheduled flights domestically

        • Precision Air,
        • Coastal Aviation
        • Air Tanzania
        • Air Excel
        • Air Zara International
        • As Salaam Air
        • Auric Air
        • Flight link
        • Regional Air
        • Safari Plus
        • Fly Safari Air Link Ltd
        • Tropical Air
        • ZanAir

        Wildlife and Conservation

        Tanzania's Natural Treasures

        Respect Tanzania’s wildlife and natural habitats by following park rules and guidelines. Remember that animals, like the wildebeest, follow their own internal clocks, so plan your trip with flexibility to accommodate nature’s unpredictability.

        In conclusion, a trip to Tanzania is more than just a vacation; it’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in the heart of Africa. By following these travel tips, you’ll be well-equipped to enjoy the splendors of Tanzania responsibly and respectfully. For more detailed information and personal anecdotes from seasoned travelers, consider exploring additional resources and travel accounts. Happy travels, and may your Tanzanian journey be filled with awe-inspiring moments and lasting memories.

        Top Destinations

        Must-Visit Places in Tanzania

        • Ngorongoro CA 38% 38%
        • Zanzibar 33% 33%
        • Serengeti National Park 18% 18%
        • Tarangire National Park 15% 15%
        • Kilimanjaro for Mountain Trekking 2% 2%

        Accommodations in Tanzania

        Exploring Your Stay Options in Tanzania

        When planning your trip to Tanzania, you’ll find a variety of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference. From budget-friendly hostels and guesthouses to mid-range hotels and luxurious lodges, Tanzania offers something for everyone. Budget accommodations provide basic amenities and a comfortable stay without breaking the bank. Standard mid-range options offer a balance of comfort and affordability, often featuring additional services such as dining and guided tours. For those seeking the ultimate in luxury, Tanzania boasts high-end lodges and resorts that offer exquisite amenities, stunning views, and top-notch service, ensuring a memorable stay.

        Culinary Delights in Tanzania

        Savoring Tanzanian Cuisine

        Tanzania’s culinary scene is a delightful blend of flavors and influences, reflecting its rich cultural heritage. From street food to fine dining, you’ll find a variety of dishes to tantalize your taste buds. Local specialties include Ugali, a maize flour porridge, and Nyama Choma, which is grilled meat often served with a side of vegetables. Seafood lovers will enjoy fresh catches from the Indian Ocean, especially in coastal areas like Zanzibar. Don’t miss trying the exotic fruits and spices that are abundant in the region. Whether you’re dining at a local eatery or a high-end restaurant, Tanzanian cuisine offers a unique and flavorful experience.

        For a truly unique culinary experience, consider visiting a local market where you can sample a variety of fresh produce and traditional snacks. The vibrant colors and aromas are sure to enhance your culinary adventure. Additionally, many lodges and hotels offer cooking classes where you can learn to prepare traditional Tanzanian dishes, providing a hands-on way to immerse yourself in the local culture.

        Beverage options in Tanzania are equally diverse. Enjoy a cup of locally grown coffee or tea, or try a refreshing glass of sugarcane juice. For something stronger, sample the local beers or the traditional banana beer known as Mbege. Whether you’re a food enthusiast or just looking to try something new, Tanzania’s food and drink scene has something to offer everyone.

        Seasons in Northern Tanzania

        Northern Tanzania experiences two main seasons: the dry season and the wet season. Each season offers unique opportunities for different activities, making it important to plan your visit according to your interests.

        Dry Season: June to February

        The dry season, which runs from June to February, is ideal for general safaris. During this time, the weather is mostly sunny and the wildlife is easier to spot as animals gather around water sources. This season is perfect for game drives in national parks like Serengeti and Tarangire, as well as for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. The dry conditions also make it a great time for beach holidays in Zanzibar.

        Wet Season: March to May

        The wet season, from March to May, brings lush landscapes and fewer tourists, offering a more serene experience. This season is recommended for special safaris such as walking tours and cultural hikes, which allow you to explore the rich flora and fauna up close. While some areas may be difficult to access due to muddy roads, the wet season is also a great time for bird watching as migratory birds arrive in large numbers. Always check the latest weather updates from the Tanzania Meteorological Agency to plan your activities accordingly.

        Insurance Requirements

        Health and Travel Insurance for Tanzania

        When traveling to Tanzania, securing health and travel insurance is a prudent decision. Comprehensive travel insurance can cover trip cancellations, interruptions, delays, medical emergencies, and evacuations. It’s advisable to consider policies that offer coverage for both medical issues and trip disruptions to ensure peace of mind during your travels. While it’s not legally required, having insurance can protect against unforeseen expenses and provide access to quality healthcare, which is particularly important in areas where medical facilities may be limited. For personalized insurance plans, local brokers in Arusha can offer tailored advice and options.

        Entry Requirements

        Passport, VISA, and Entry Permits

        Travelers to Tanzania must have a valid passport with at least six months of validity remaining from the date of entry. A visa is required for most nationalities and can be obtained either online through the Tanzania eVisa portal or upon arrival at major entry points. Additionally, visitors may need to provide proof of onward travel and sufficient funds for their stay. It is advisable to check with the Tanzanian embassy or consulate for the latest entry requirements and any specific documentation needed.

        Getting to Tanzania

        Transportation Options and Entry Points

        Tanzania is accessible by air, land, and sea. The main international airports are Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) in Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) near Arusha, and Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (ZNZ) in Zanzibar. Major airlines operate flights to these airports from various global destinations. Overland travel is possible from neighboring countries such as Kenya, Uganda, and Zambia, with several border crossings available. Additionally, ferry services connect Tanzania with nearby islands and coastal regions. Ensure you have all necessary travel documents and permits before embarking on your journey.

        Packing Essentials

        What to Pack for Your Trip to Tanzania

        When preparing for your Tanzanian adventure, it’s crucial to pack wisely to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable trip. Start with lightweight, breathable clothing suitable for the warm climate. Include long-sleeved shirts and pants to protect against mosquitoes, especially during the evenings. A wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses are essential for sun protection.

        Don’t forget sturdy walking shoes for safaris and hikes, as well as a swimsuit for coastal visits. Pack a light jacket or sweater for cooler nights and higher altitudes. Essential items also include a high-SPF sunscreen, insect repellent, and a basic first-aid kit. Remember to bring any prescription medications, along with a copy of your prescriptions.

        For those planning to visit rural areas or engage in cultural tours, modest clothing is recommended to respect local customs. A reusable water bottle, binoculars for wildlife viewing, and a good-quality camera are also valuable additions to your packing list. Lastly, ensure you have all necessary travel documents, including your passport, visa, and travel insurance details.

        Smart Packing Tips

        Photography Tips

        Capturing Memories in Tanzania

        Photography in Tanzania offers a unique opportunity to capture stunning landscapes, vibrant wildlife, and rich cultural moments. When taking photos of people, always ask for permission first to show respect for their privacy and customs. In some areas, especially rural villages, locals may be uncomfortable with being photographed.

        For wildlife photography, a good zoom lens is essential to capture animals from a safe distance without disturbing them. Early mornings and late afternoons provide the best natural light for photography. Be mindful of your surroundings and avoid using flash, as it can startle animals and disrupt their natural behavior.

        Respecting the environment is also crucial. Stick to designated paths and avoid disturbing natural habitats. When photographing in national parks, follow the guidelines provided by your guide or park authorities. Lastly, always carry extra batteries and memory cards to ensure you don’t miss any special moments.

        Public Holidays

        Tanzania's Public Holidays and Their Significance

        Communication Options

        Mobile Network Providers in Tanzania

        Staying connected while traveling in Tanzania is quite straightforward, thanks to the availability of several reliable mobile network providers. The major players in the Tanzanian telecommunications market include Vodacom Tanzania, Airtel Tanzania, Halotel, TIGO, TTCL, and Zantel. Each of these providers offers a range of services, from voice calls and SMS to high-speed internet access.

        For travelers, purchasing a local SIM card is highly recommended. These are readily available at airports, major towns, and cities. Ensure your phone is unlocked before you travel. Here are the calling codes for the main providers:

        • Vodacom: 075
        • Airtel: 078
        • Halotel: 062
        • TIGO: 071
        • TTCL: 073
        • Zantel: 077

        With a local SIM card, you can easily stay in touch with family and friends, access maps, and make reservations. Most providers offer affordable data packages, making it convenient to stay online throughout your trip.

        Craft Shopping

        Guide to Craft Shopping in Tanzania

        Tanzania is a treasure trove of unique and beautiful crafts that reflect the rich cultural heritage of the country. When shopping for crafts, you will find a variety of items such as handwoven baskets, Maasai beadwork, Tinga Tinga paintings, and intricately carved wooden sculptures. These items make for perfect souvenirs and gifts.

        Popular shopping spots include local markets, craft villages, and specialized shops in cities like Dar es Salaam, Arusha, and Zanzibar. When shopping, it’s customary to engage in polite bargaining. Start with a friendly greeting and ask for the price. Offer a counter price respectfully, and enjoy the process as it is part of the local culture.

        Remember to support local artisans by purchasing directly from them whenever possible. This not only ensures you get authentic products but also helps sustain the local economy. Always be respectful and appreciative of the craftsmanship and effort that goes into each piece.

        Travel Etiquette

        When traveling in Tanzania, understanding and respecting local customs and etiquette is essential. Tanzanians are known for their hospitality and friendliness, and reciprocating this respect will enhance your travel experience. Here are some key etiquette tips:

        1. Greetings: Always greet people with a smile and a handshake. It’s polite to ask about someone’s well-being before jumping into a conversation.

        2. Dress Modestly: Especially in rural areas and places of worship, dress conservatively. Women should avoid wearing revealing clothing.

        3. Respect for Elders: Show respect to elders by addressing them with appropriate titles and allowing them to speak first in conversations.

        4. Photography: Always ask for permission before taking photos of people, especially in rural areas and Maasai villages.

        5. Tipping: While not mandatory, tipping is appreciated in restaurants, hotels, and by guides. A small tip can go a long way in showing your appreciation for good service.

        6. Public Behavior: Avoid public displays of affection and loud behavior. Tanzanians value modesty and politeness in public spaces.

        By following these guidelines, you will show respect for Tanzanian culture and enjoy a more enriching travel experience.

        Safety Tips

        Crime and Safety in Tanzania

        While Tanzania is generally a safe destination for tourists, it is important to be aware of certain crime risks and take precautions to ensure your safety. Petty crimes such as pickpocketing and bag snatching can occur, particularly in crowded areas and tourist hotspots. To minimize risk, avoid displaying valuable items like jewelry and electronics, and keep your belongings secure. Use reputable transportation services and avoid walking alone at night. Additionally, be cautious when using ATMs and avoid carrying large amounts of cash. By staying vigilant and following these guidelines, you can enjoy a safe and memorable trip to Tanzania.

        To further enhance your safety while traveling in Tanzania, consider staying in well-reviewed accommodations and using tour operators with good reputations. Always keep copies of important documents such as your passport and travel insurance, and be aware of your surroundings at all times. If you encounter any issues, contact local authorities or your embassy for assistance. By taking these precautions, you can significantly reduce the risk of encountering crime during your visit.

        Health Tips

        Health Considerations for Travelers

        When traveling to Tanzania, it is essential to consider health precautions to ensure a safe and healthy trip. Malaria is prevalent in many regions, so taking antimalarial medication and using mosquito repellent is highly recommended. Vaccinations for diseases such as yellow fever, hepatitis A, and typhoid are also advised. Ensure you drink only bottled or purified water and avoid consuming raw or undercooked foods to prevent foodborne illnesses. Additionally, carry a basic first aid kit and any personal medications you may need. By taking these health measures, you can enjoy a worry-free journey in Tanzania.

        Further Reading

        Resources for Travelers

        For travelers interested in learning more about Tanzania, there are numerous resources available to enhance your knowledge and experience. Consider reading travel guides such as Lonely Planet’s ‘Tanzania’ or the Bradt Travel Guide to Tanzania for in-depth information on destinations, culture, and practical tips. Online resources like the Tanzania Tourist Board’s website and travel forums such as TripAdvisor can provide up-to-date advice and recommendations from fellow travelers. Additionally, documentaries and travel blogs offer personal insights and visual inspiration to help you plan your trip. By exploring these resources, you can gain a deeper understanding of Tanzania and make the most of your adventure.

        For those who prefer a more interactive approach, consider joining travel groups or forums where you can connect with other travelers and share experiences. Websites like Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree forum and Facebook groups dedicated to Tanzanian travel are excellent platforms for asking questions and getting advice. Additionally, local libraries and bookstores often have a selection of travel literature and maps that can be useful for planning your itinerary. By utilizing these resources, you can ensure a well-informed and enriching travel experience in Tanzania.

        Plan Your Dream Safari Today

        Ready to explore the wonders of Tanzania? Contact Jev Tours and Safaris to book your unforgettable adventure. Whether you’re interested in a wildlife safari, trekking Mount Kilimanjaro, or relaxing on Zanzibar’s pristine beaches, we’re here to help you every step of the way. Reach out to us for personalized travel packages and expert advice.

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