Information you need to know before traveling to Tanzania
Tanzania Safari and Tours, Tanzania is an African country located in the east Africa Basic it’s officially known as the united republic of Tanzania covering an area of about 947,300sq km.
It has a population of about 48.3 million according to the last estimate conducted in July 2013. The capital city of Tanzania is Dodoma, other largest city in Tanzania include, Dar es Salaam with a population of about 4,364,541, Mwanza with a population of about 706,543, and Arusha its population stands at 416,442 an est. of 2012.
Muslim takes the highest percentage they covers about 35%, Christian covers 30%, Ethno-religionists or indigenous beliefs 30%, other 5%
Tanzania is one of the closest countries to the Equator and so it has a humid climate with an average temperature range of less than five degrees throughout the year.
Meanwhile the coastal area and the islands of Zanzibar are warm and moist with temperatures between 22 and 30°C and a humidity between 75 and 80% almost year round. In mountainous areas, including Mount Kilimanjaro, the Usambara Mountains and the northern and southern highlands, the temperature between May and August can get below 12°C with regular frost.
The warmest time of the year is typically October and February however in some places, in the interior the temperature can be as high as 40oc the country has two rainy seasons which is October to November with the so-called small rains mainly from March to May, with the so-called big rains. Rainfall varies widely and is irregularly spread over the country.
Visas to Tanzania can be obtained upon arrival at the international airports in Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar. The costs for the Visa varies per nationality.
So before traveling, you are advised to contact the embassy in your home country for more information about the costs. It should be noted that only large dollar notes are accepted printed after 2006. Visa are also obtained at all border entries to Tanzania.
You must have a valid passport of at least 6 months beyond your arrival date. Without this, it will be very difficult to allow boarding on your international flight into the country.
However for the current rates, please refer to Internet sites such as xe.com
Many lodges and restaurant prices in Tanzania are set in US dollars while outside of lodges (souvenirs, snacks, etc.) Shillings (TZs) will be necessary.
When you need to exchange money, always use big notes which is between $50 and $100 US dollar. Small notes comes with a lower rate and make sure your notes are not cut, or damaged in any way. They will not be accepted.
Dollars, pounds and Euros can be exchanged everywhere in Tanzania, however the best exchange rates can be found in Arusha and Dar es Salaam. It’s good to have some US dollars with you at all times.
Exchange Rate are written on all board or you can check on (xe.com):
Before leaving the Tanzania, you may exchange Shillings into Euros, dollars or pounds (obviously at a less favorable rate).
ATM & Credit Cards
ATM cards are available in all cities and big towns, you find ATM machines from Stanbic Bank. They mostly accept international bank cards and Visa.
The amount you can take out per day is sometimes limited to about $100. However note that ATMs can get emptied or not working due to power cuts. Make sure you always have enough cash with you as a backup!
Credit cards are less used in Tanzania. However, only at mayor hotels and upmarket lodges can use these and these will add an extra 5 to 10% to the bill.
Traveler Cheques: these are only accepted in a few banks in Dar es Salaam and they will give you a terrible rate, it incur an extra charge.
In Tanzania, it is normal and often expected that you give a tip to the local staff such as guides, rangers, and drivers. Tipping is a sign of appreciation of the service offered. Tips can range from 10-15 per day for your driver/guide on a safari to Tanzania
For your entire tour group, a common tip of US$10 per day can be expected for your driver / guide.
When travelling on a fly-in safari it is also common to tip the ranger / guide who works for the lodge about US$ 10 to 15. In restaurants, we recommend a tip of about 10% of the bill.
Plugs and voltage
Tanzania has British-style plugs with three square pins 240 V, 50 Hz are the norm.
Internet cafes can be found in most parts of Tanzania although in some parts connections is generally very slow.
WIFI is mostly available in lodges/hotels and it is possible to buy a 3G mobile internet USB dongle to be used with your laptop. This cost around US$ 30 and is for sale in most towns including Arusha and Dar es Salaam.
Charging camera and phone
Phones, cameras and other electric items can be charged in hotels or Lodges. If you bring a couple of chargeable items you might consider bringing an adaptor with extra outlets since the amount of outlets is often limited.
You are advised to bring spare batteries for your camera, since some hotels don’t have power and power cuts might occur.
We request you to bring a bag or suitcase made from a soft material. Hard cover suitcases are difficult to place in the car and are likely to break on the bumpy roads. When traveling with 4 persons or more we request you to limit the weight of your bag/suitcase to 15 kg.
Mobile telephone has become very big in Tanzania. Throughout the country sim cards sell for less than a US dollar which you then can top up with credit and make reasonably priced calls to most international destinations. Most urban areas have reception.
Gay travelers are allowed to travel freely in Tanzania and the all of Africa although homosexuality is not accepted in Tanzania it is not advisable to openly speak about it or show any of your sexual partiality.
Before traveling, it’s always better to Contact your general practitioner at least 8 weeks whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures, this will help travelers to travel when safe.
Country specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre, and useful information about healthcare abroad, including a country-by-country guide of reciprocal health care agreements with the UK, is available from NHS Choices.
Tanzania has limited facilities especially outside major towns. Medical help at the scene of accident is likely to be limited.
Make sure your Yellow Fever vaccination is up to date before arriving in Tanzania as this is often asked for by immigration officials.
You are required to travel with healthy insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad or repatriation. In the case of a serious accident or illness, evacuation by air ambulance may be required.
Safety and Risks
Tanzania is regarded as one of the safest countries to travel in. The people of Tanzania are commonly considered to be very polite and friendly.
Right from the airport, you will be received by Mum and Dad Uganda Tour’s representatives who will welcome you politely and do feel free to meet and talk to Tanzanians, as they will be most honored.
However much Tanzania is safe, always take care of your belongings. Some areas of Dar es Salaam are reported to be insecure for travelers walking the streets especially at night.
Be responsible and sensitive during your tour and use taxis when you are going out at night. Traffic in Arusha or Dar es Salaam is sometimes frantic and sometimes even dangerous when using motor bike taxis.
In case you need to know more contact your local embassy for more safety instructions during your tour.
Tanzania is known for having three safari circuits, and each one of them is rewarding with fantastic view to plenty of animals hence making Tanzania a top wildlife destination.
The popular Northern circuit is where you can find the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater which offers one of the best classical safaris in Africa, especially the annual wildebeest migration if timed.
In Tanzania, You’ll have few problems spotting the more-prominent African animals in Tanzania, including lion, elephant, giraffe and buffalo. For big cats, you’ll want to head to the Serengeti, while Ngorongoro Crater is where you want to be for a chance of seeing black rhino.
Other wildlife highlights include chimpanzee trekking, checking out African wild dogs, and being awestruck by the several million wildebeest, gazelle and zebra on their annual migration.
Tanzania offers outstanding wildlife viewing. There are three different safari circuits, and each one of them alone would make Tanzania a great wildlife destination.
The Big Five and most other sought-after safari animals are easily seen. Tanzania Safari and Tours , The black rhino is very rare throughout, with the exclusion of the Ngorongoro Crater.
The wildebeest migration is specifically one of Africa’s greatest wildlife sights and this activity happens annular and a must to attend by any tourist wishing to visit Tanzania.
At least two million ungulates mainly wildebeest can be seen at ounce, but also zebra and gazelle move around the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem.
The large attentions of wildebeest and their calves attract many opportunistic predators including leopard, lions, crocodiles are very eager to attack the wildebeest and zebras, and this is a good time to see some action.
The Serengeti national park is commonly known for its profusion of big cats and the highly endangered African Wild Dog is relatively easy to find in Selous and Ruaha national parks where their numbers are quite healthy. Gombe Stream and Mahale reserves are known for housing the chimpanzee.
The best time for game viewing is during the Dry season that’s from late June to October thirsty draws most of the animals to the drinking points making viewing superb.
The Wet season is from November-May is often more beautiful and tourist numbers are lesser. However, the best chance for seeing the wildebeest migration is during June and July.
The parks in the Southern and Western route impassable in the long rains that’s March to May and some lodges close in that period.
Weather & Climate
However Tanzania has a favorable climate and the country can be visited any time of the year. The Dry season which is June to October sees the temperature vary between 20°C/68°F and 30°C/86°F.
The Wet season (November to May) starts with baths (this is always ‘short rains’), followed by a drier interim and then heavy ruins (the ‘long rains’) from March.
The Dry season –June to October
Tanzania Safari and Tours, There is relatively very little rainfall during this period and humidity is always very low. It always cools off at nigh so you are advised to come with warm clothing because morning game drives is done in an open vehicles and it’s always cold especially in the northern parks,
January & February
During these months especially in the northern parks and coastal areas there is always a break in the rainy season. The other parks don’t really experience a dry spell.
March, April & May
These months are relatively known for receiving ‘Long rains‘and generally the wettest months. It tends to rain heavily almost every day, though not often for the whole day. Moisture tends to be high, particularly in the hotter southern and western parks
June, July, August, September & October
During these month in the Afternoon the temperatures are usually between 20°C/68°F and 30°C/86°F and vary greatly according to altitude and location. Most days have a fine, clear sky and sunny weather.
Wet season November to May
During most of the Wet season period, most of the afternoon temperatures are reliably hot which is above or below 30°C/86°F however it is colder above 1,300m/4,265ft. Morning hours are colder in most northern parks due to the high altitude.
November & December
These months receives relatively Short rains‘between November and December. However, its timing is erratic and, in the Northern part of Tanzania, it can even rain in October. The rains will rarely inhibit with your safari.
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