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Information from A to Z

Useful information for your stay in Tanzania

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Due to limited space in a Safari Car, the Baggage on Tanzania safari is limited to one soft sided bag, plus one small piece of hang baggage per person (excluding a camera bag). Suitcases and other heavier items can be stored in our luggage storage. If a domestic flight is included in your safari itinerary, the luggage should not extend 15 kg for one piece per person.  On a flight to Zanzibar 20 – 23 kg per person are allowed.

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The climate is mainly tropical with little fluctuation in temperatures between summer and winter due to being near the equator. The coastal areas are hot and humid with average day time temperatures of 30 degrees celcius. The central plateau experiences hot days and cool nights. The hottest months are October to February. The coolest months are June, July and August. In high-altitude areas such as Kilimanjaro and the Ngorongoro Highlands, temperatures can fall below freezing. The main, long rainy season is from mid-March to late May when it can rain for hours, even days.


Pack lightweight, washable clothes plus a sweater for early morning game drives, a sun hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. Long sleeves and trousers in light-colour fabrics help discourage insect bites. Shorts for women are acceptable (but not too short). Women should carry a wrap to cover legs in the village and towns as revealing cloths can cause offence, especially in Zanzibar and Muslim areas. On the beach and within the confines of beach hotels normal swim wear (but not nudity) is acceptable. For climbing on Kilimanjaro and Meru, take thermal underwear, light layers, sweater, rain jacket, good socks and sturdy boots.

Currency in Tanzania:

Tanzania’s currency is the Tanzanian shilling (TZS). Most Camps and Lodges charge in US$; some few accept travellers’ cheques, although most accept credit cards (Visa or MasterCard) but may charge a fee to do so. Buying Tanzania’s currency in Europe or America can be difficult; many visitors will wait until they arrive in Tanzania to buy local currency. But check before you buy loal currency, if it is really necessary.

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The economy is still suffering from slow growth and a shortage of foreign exchange, and agriculture, in particular, from poor availability of credit and equipment. However, coffee, cotton, sisal, tea and diamonds are in rich supply and Zanzibar is the world’s third largest producer of cloves. State reforms have cut inflation and the budget deficit, bringing a rise in inward investment and a return to positive growth.


The voltage in Tanzania is 220-230 volts and sockets are three-pin. An adaptor may be required.

Embassies and consulates:

British High Commission – Umoja House – Garden Avenue – PO Box 9200 – Dar es-Salaam – (022) 211 0101 –
Embassy of Ireland – 353 Toure Drive – P.O. Box 9612 – Dar es-Salaam – (022) 2602 355 –

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Flag of Tanzania:

Food in Tanzania:

The food served in Tanzanian safari camps varies, but is very delicious – the equivalent of a reasonable Restaurant in Europe or America.

In Tanzania’s towns and villages, the food is usually simpler. Plain grilled meat, nyama ya kuchoma, is very popular, and often served with sauce, rice, chips, plantains or ugali (cornmeal or cassava mush). Indian cuisine is also wide spread. The locally brewed beer is good, including Serengeti, Safari, Kilimanjaro, mbege (homebrew from the Chagga people) and banana beer; imported beers (e.g. Tusker from Kenya) and wine are also excellent

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General information:

The name Tanzania is a portmanteau of the former Tanganyika and Zanzibar. The two States united in 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which later the same year was renamed the United Republic of Tanzania.

In Swahili language “Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania” means The United Republic of Tanzania situated in central East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the North, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country’s eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean. The official capital of Tanzania is City of Dodoma, where parliament and some government offices are located here.

Between independence and 1996 the major coastal city of Dar es Salaam had been the country’s political capital. Today Dar es Salaam remains the principal commercial city of Tanzania. It is the major seaport for the country and its landlocked neighbours.

Head of state: President Dr. Magufuli
Area: 945.203
Capital City: Dodoma
Commercial Cities: Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Tanga, Arusha, Mbeya, Zanzibar and Iringa
Population: Estimated 43.739,000
Official Language: kiswahili and English.
Currency: Tanzanian Shilling


A large central plateau makes up most of the mainland, at between 900 m and 1.800 m. The mountain ranges of the Eastern Arc and the southern and Northern Highlands cut across the country to form part of the Great Rift Valley. A land of geographical extremes, Tanzania houses the highest peak (Mount Kilimanjaro), the lowest point (the Lake bed of Lake Tanganyika), and a portion of the largest Lake (Lake Victoria, shared with Uganda and Kenya) on the African continent.

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Health in Tanzania:

Tanzania is a tropical country and vaccines are sensible (typhoid, polio, tetanus and yellow fever). Malaria is common and occurs all year round; we recommend to take anti-malarial measures, especially in areas below 1.800m! Always check the latest recommendations with your clinic or doctor – more travel info on Tanzania is provided by the Scottish NHS.

In Tanzania, HIV infection rates are high; AIDS is prevalent here. This isn’t usually an issue for visitors, but they should be aware of the situation, and take the same sensible precautions to avoid infection which are wise in most countries. Blood supplies used by the private hospitals in Tanzania have been carefully screened for many years.

Basic medical care is provided by the state and private (mainly Christian) health centres. Rural areas are served by local clinics.


This is probably one of the oldest known continuously inhabited areas on Earth; fossil remains of humans and pre-human hominids have been found dating back over two million years. Tanzania is believed to have been populated by hunter-gatherer communities, probably Cushitic and Khoisan speaking people. About 2.000 years ago, it is believed that Bantu-speaking people began to arrive from western Africa in a series of migrations. Later, Nilotic pastoralists arrived, and continued to immigrate into the area through to the 18th century.

Travelers and merchants from the Persian Gulf and Western India have visited the East African coast since early in the first millennium CE. Islam was practised on the Swahili coast as early as the eighth or ninth century CE.

In the late 19th century, Imperial Germany conquered the regions that are now Tanzania (minus Zanzibar), Rwanda, and Burundi, and incorporated them into German East Africa. The post-World War I accords and the League of Nations charter designated the area a British Mandate, except for a small area in the northwest, which was ceded to Belgium and later became Rwanda and Burundi. British rule came to an end in 1961 after a relatively peaceful transition to independence. In 1954, Julius Nyerere transformed an organization into the politically oriented Tanganyika African National Union (TANU). Nyerere became Minister of British-administered Tanganyika in 1960 and continued as Prime Minister when Tanganyika became officially independent in 1961. After the Zanzibar Revolution overthrew the Arab dynasty in neighboring Zanzibar, which had become independent in 1963, the island merged with mainland Tanganyika to form the nation of Tanzania on 26. April 1964.

From the late 1970s, Tanzania’s economy took a turn for the worse. Tanzania aligned with China, seeking Chinese aid. The Chinese were quick to comply, but with the condition that all projects be completed by imported Chinese labor. From the mid 1980s, the regime financed itself by borrowing from the International Monetary Fund and underwent some reforms. From the mid 1980s Tanzania’s GDP per capita has grown and poverty has been reduced.

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Language in Tanzania:

Kiswahili and English are the official languages and spoken by most people living in Tanzania; as well as there are many ethnic groups, speaking localised languages and dialects. Try to learn some basic Kiswahili before you go, to help you enjoy your trip more like „jambo“ or karibu“!

Laundry in Tanzania:

Virtually all camps and lodges have a laundry service.

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The currency is the Tanzanian shilling (TSh or TZs)

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National Holidays:

  • New Year’s Day – January 1.
  • Zanzibar Revolution Day – January 12.
  • Birth of the Prophet – February 26.
  • Good Friday – April 2.
  • Easter Monday – April 5.
  • Union Day – April 26.
  • International Labor Day – May 1.
  • Saba Saba (Industry’s Day) – July 7.
  • Nane Nane (Farmers’ Day) – August 8.
  • Eid al-Fitr (Ramadan) – August 11.
  • Nyerere Day – October 14.
  • Eid al-Adha – November 16.-17.
  • Independence and Republic Day – December 9.
  • Christmas Day – December 25.
  • Boxing Day – December 26.

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Only 50% of the children attend primary schools, and just 4% the fee-paying secondary schools. However, adult literacy campaigns have achieved high levels of literacy.

Security in Tanzania:

Tanzania is a generally safe and friendly country but don’t be invite temptation. Keep your eye on your belongings. Don’t walk in the towns or cites at night – take a Taxi. Don’t carry valuables, cameras or large amounts of cash, beware of pickpockets and hawkers. Use hotel safety deposit boxes to safeguard valuables and obtain a receipt. Leave valuable jewellery at home.


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