At a glance …
“The Land of Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar and the Serengeti” may be Tanzania’s tourism slogan, but it is so much more!
Undoubtedly the snow capped peak of Kilimanjaro, the azure seas and white sand beaches of Zanzibar and the rolling plains of the Serengeti are iconic images of Africa. However, there is so much more for the visitor to this great country.
Along with the Serengeti and its famous wildebeest migration, you can visit the incredible Ngorongoro Crater, the tree climbing lions of Manyara and the scenically beautiful Tarangire. This is just the “northern circuit”.
Further south, away from the crowds the massive Selous, the Mahale Mountains (home to some of Africa’s last remaining wild chimpanzees), Ruaha and the wild Katavi. Saadani National Park even combines the traditional safari with Indian Ocean beachfront!
Add to this amazing wildlife offering the enchanting island of Zanzibar. With its centuries of history, and famous spices, Zanzibar is a gem in the Indian Ocean.
Let’s explore Tanzania!
Serengeti National Park
- Ngorongoro Crater
Selous Game Reserve
Lake Manyara National Park
Saadani National Park
Tarangire National Park
Katavi National Park
Pemba and Mafia Islands
Ol Donyo Lengai Volcano
Hot Air ballooning over the Serengeti
Snorkeling and diving in the Indian Ocean
Lake and ocean fishing
Travel info …
You can buy a local Vodacom sim from any Vodacom shop (which you will find in every town of any size throughout the country). Vodacom also has a shop at Dar-es-Salaam airport.
The sim should costs around Ks1000 (although sometimes at the airports they charge a lot more). Bundles with calls and data are relatively cheap. Coverage is surprisingly good. You are likely to have signal in most areas, including some of the national parks.
Most of the hotels and lodges in Tanzania offer wifi facilities somewhere on the property. This is not always the case with mobile camps and in some of the most remote areas.
In line with the International Health Regulations (2005), Tanzania requires a valid yellow fever certificate from all citizens and non-citizens (over one year of age) travelling from a yellow fever risk country. Vaccination certificates are routinely checked at the Tanzanian port of entry for travellers arriving from countries designated as high risk for yellow fever transmission. NOTE – Kenya is a yellow fever risk country, and you will have to have a yellow fever certificate if travelling to Tanzania from Kenya. For full details please click here. Please note that if you are coming from a yellow fever risk country that you need to carry your yellow fever certificate with you!
Year round we recommend you take anti-malaria medications, for all areas. Please consult your doctor. Both malaria and dengue fever are common in Tanzania.
In northern Tanzania in particular you are also likely to encounter tse-tse flies, which have a nasty bite and can lead to sleeping sickness. Insect repellents are highly recommended and do not wear blue (particularly light blue) as this attracts tse-tse flies.
Although generally considered safe there has been an escalation in recent years of petty theft, and some aggravated theft on tourists.
Do not carry large sums of money with you, or conspicuous amounts of jewellery/camera equipment etc. Avoid walking at night if possible, especially in larger towns and cities.
While on tour in the safari areas, there is little threat of anything more than petty theft. Always keep valuables locked in your hotel safe.
There have been some recent reports of harassment of tourists on the beaches of Zanzibar – just be vigilant, but don’t let is spoil your enjoyment.
As with all other destinations, be aware of your surroundings, and if a situation doesn’t feel right move on.
US$ will be accepted at many tourist lodges and agencies. In many of these establishments prices will be displayed in US$. In these establishments it is also common practice to tip in US$ (although TSh will also be happily accepted). However, most everywhere else you will need to use Tanzanian Shillings.
Exchanging money is best done at bureau de change (airports and main towns). The best rates tend to be given for US$100 and US$50 notes. BUT, only notes issued 2006 and later are accepted!! Note they must also be in good condition – torn or marked notes will not be accepted.
Many of the lodges and hotels (and some high end shops and restaurants) will accept payment by credit or debit card, however, many levy a fee from 5%, up to as much as 15% to use the card! VISA is the most widely accepted, Mastercard less so, and do not bother with American Express or Diners.
ATM/cash point machines are available in most towns, and main airports. We recommend only using Barclay’s machines or Standard Charter if Barclay’s not available. Again, VISA cards are the best, some machines will accept Mastercard.
Citizens of nearly all countries need a visa to visit Tanzania. For the majority of countries you can obtain your visa on arrival in Tanzania at the main international airports and border crossings. You will need at least 1 completely blank page for the visa. The cost of a single visa (valid for 3 months) is US$50.00 (US$100 for US citizens). Make sure you have the cash in US$ to pay the visa – do not rely on being able to pay by card. This visa is only applicable for genuine tourist purposes – for everything else you will need to apply for a visa in advance.
Note that you can re-enter Tanzania (once) on your single entry visa if you have made a side-trip to Kenya, during your stay (you must stay within the validity of the original visa).
The official Tanzanian immigration website can be found here – although it is not very clear on visas on arrival. If in any doubt, contact your local Tanzanian embassy or consulate.
Poor road conditions and poor driving standard through much of the country prevail. There is a high fatality level on Tanzanian roads.
We are able to assist with 4×4 vehicle rental in Tanzania for experienced 4×4 drivers who are used to African road conditions. Ask us for more information.
In Tanzania the standard voltage is 230 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. You can use your electric appliances in Tanzania, if the standard voltage in your country is in between 220 – 240 V (as is in the UK, Europe, Australia and most of Asia and Africa). If the standard voltage in your country is in the range of 100 V – 127 V (as is in the US, Canada and most South American countries), you may need a voltage converter in Tanzania. Many small electronic devices now have dual voltage converters as standard.
The standard plug in Tanzania is a three square pinned plug as show above – often referred to as a type G (as used in the UK). There are some Type D sockets, however, the majority are type G. We suggest travelling with an adaptor – although most hotels and lodges will be able to assist (a deposit may be required).
It is more correct to speak of wet and dry seasons in Tanzania, although there are distinct temperature differences. There is also considerable variation in climate from the north to the south and from the inland to the coastal regions.
The most popular time to visit is June to October. This is the main dry season. There is little rainfall over the entire country. Temperatures during the day are pleasantly warm, with mostly clear skies and cooler night time temperatures. It is also the least humid time at the coast.
November (sometimes late October) usually is the start of what are called the “short rains” – this is more true in the north. In the south, it is more the start if the rainy season. In the northern areas there is usually rain for about a month, coinciding with the migration moving back south through the Serengeti.
December to February are the hotter months. Humidity increases along the coast. It is mostly dry in the north with continued sporadic rain in the south.
March to May is the “long rains” – with April usually being the wettest month. The whole country usually experiences downpours (sometimes extremely heavy) during this period. Many roads become impassable and some safari activities stop altogether.
Note that the parks in the northern circuit are at a higher altitude to those further south. As such they experience generally cooler temperatures.