Tanzania

Capital

Administrative : Dodoma

Commercial capital: Dar es Salaam

Location

Tanzania comprised of the mainland and the Zanzibar archipelago, is the largest country in East Africa and borders Kenya to the north, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to the south. Tanzania is located between 29 and 41 degrees east and between 1 and 12 degrees south.

Time

Tanzania has only one time zone. Local time is GMT + 3 and Daylight Savings Time is not used.

Population:

Approximately 35 million

Area:

945, 000 sq km

Climate

The climate is tropical. The coastal areas are hot and humid with an average day temperature of 30 degrees centigrade. The central plateau is dry and arid with hot days and cool nights. In the northwest highlands around Arusha and Ngorongoro, the climate is temperate and cooler between June and September. The long rains are from March to May and the short rains fall between October and December. The hottest months are between October and February.

Ethnic Groups

Main Land: Native African 99% (of which 95% are Bantu consisting of more than 130 tribes), other 1 % (Asian, European and Arab).

Zanzibar: Swahili, native African, Arab, Indian and Chinese.

Religions

Mainland: Christianity 45%, Muslim 35 % , Indigenous beliefs 20%

Zanzibar: Over 99% Muslim, additional 1% made up of Hindu, Christian and Zoroastrian.

Official Language

Kiswahili and with English widely spoken.

Currency

The Tanzanian shilling (Tsh or TZS), divided  into 100 cents is the national currency.

Credit cards and travelers cheques

Credit cards (Access, MasterCard, Visa, American-Express, and Eurocard) are accepted only at major lodges and hotels. ATM and 24 – hour cash machines are available in branches of major banks. Traveler’s cheques in pounds sterling or US dollars are recommended, though it may be difficult to exchange them outside the main cities.

Banking

Banks and bureau de change are available at airports and in all major towns. Banking hours are from Monday – Friday 8.30 am – 3.00 pm, Saturday 8.30 am – 1.30 pm. A few branches in the major towns are open until 4.00 pm. Please note that banks are closed on Sunday.

Electricity

215 – 230 Volts, 50 Cycles AC

Travel Information

Visa Requirements

Prior to departing for Tanzania, it is essential that you check with the Tanzania embassy or consulate regarding the visa requirements for entry. It is advisable to purchase visas prior to departure for TZ in order to avoid any delays upon arrival. While it is possible to purchase a visa upon arrival in Tanzania, it can mean standing in a long queue after an international flight and only US dollars are accepted for visas.

Airport tax

Departure tax from mainland Tanzania is included in the price of your ticket, however in the Zanzibar there is a departure tax of USD 25 payable at the airport. There is a TSH 5,000 (approx USD 5) tax levied on passengers within Tanzania.

Health

Tanzania has a tropical climate and different bacteria, flora and fauna than most visitors are accustomed to, so it is advisable to take a few health precautions when travelling to make sure that your trip goes as comfortably and smoothly as possible.

Malaria is usually top on the list of visitor’s worries and prevention goes a long way toward keeping you protected. Make sure to visit your doctor to get a prescription for anti-malarial drugs that best suits you. The yellow fever vaccination, is no longer officially required when entering Tanzania, however, this is still a requirement if you wish to visit Zanzibar. Other vaccinations should be considered. For more information, contact your doctor well in advance of your visit.

Security

Tanzania is a safe country to travel in. Tanzanians are warm-hearted and generous people and are eager to help visitors get the most out of their stay. Tanzania is a politically stable, multi – democratic country. As in all countries, a little common sense goes a long way and reasonable precautions should still be taken, such as locking valuables in the hotel safe and not walking alone at night.

Wild animals

Many of the animals and reptiles you will see are potentially dangerous. Attacks by wild animals are rare.  However, no safari in Africa can guarantee that such incidents will not occur. Please note that most camps are unfenced.  Please make sure that you listen to and abide by the safety talks given by your guides or lodge/camp staff. Don’t wander off on your own without a guide – even to your room.  After retiring to your rooms at night, don’t leave your rooms without signaling for a guard to come and escort you. If you are sensible, you will be safe.

Water

Visitors to Tanzania are prohibited from taking tap water. Always go for bottled water. This is to avoid getting amoeba. Africa Classic Escapes will provide 2 bottles of ½ litre mineral water during the drives from one point to another.

Language used at the hotels / lodges / camps

English is widely spoken in lodges, camps and at the towns, but Swahili is a beautiful language, and you may want to learn some basic words. Here are some basic phrases to get you started.

 English Phrase

 Swahili

 Welcome  Karibu
 Thank you  Asante
 Thank you very much  Asante sana
 How many shillings?  Shilingi ngapi?
 How much money  Pesa ngapi?
 No  Hapana
 Yes  Ndiyo
 Please  Tafadhali
 Sorry  Pole
 Water  Maji
 Tea  Chai
 Coffee  Kahawa
 Beer  Pombe
 Goodbye  Kwaheri

Roads

When visiting remote areas or national parks and reserves, the roads will be rough and bumpy. Occasionally you will travel “off road”, where it is possible that injuries may occur – if for example a hidden pothole is struck. Most main roads are tarred, but not those in the national parks.