Tanzania is Africa to the power of ten. Within its borders
are Africa's highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro; Africa's biggest lake,
Lake Victoria; Africa's longest and the world's second deepest lake, Lake
Tanganyika; and the world's biggest concentration of wild animals and most
spectacular mammal migration in the Serengeti.
Tanzania's highlights include the Serengeti National
Park and the Ngorongoro Crater...
Tanzania lies on the Indian Ocean and incorporates the
Zanzibar archipelago (the fertile, coral islands of Zanzibar and Pemba).
The mainland consists of several clearly defined regions. The plains along
the coast have lush, tropical vegetation; half the country is savannah
and bush and other regions are semi-desert.
About 6% of mainland Tanzania is lakes, including Africa’s
largest lake, Lake Victoria, in the north-west; Lake Tanganyika, the world’s
longest lake, in the east and Lake Malawi in the south.
The main mountain ranges are found in the north-eastern,
central and southern sections, with a volcanic belt in the centre of the
country near the Ngorongoro Crater. Africa’s highest mountain, Mount
is found in the Eastern Arc range, in the north-east.
SUMMER:October – March
WINTER: April – September
The climate is tropical on the coast, on the islands and
in Selous. It is temperate in the other parks. Temperatures on Mount Kilimanjaro
and Meru drop to below freezing.
Late March to late May is traditionally the long rainy
season and is considered the winter period in Tanzania. June to late October
is the dry season. June, July and August can be very cold on the rim of
Ngorongoro Crater. Mnemba Island is lovely at this time of year; the evenings
are cool (not cold) and the daytime temperatures can be hot. Late October
to mid-December is when the short rains occur. These are usually in the
form of daily thunderstorms. The Ngorongoro Crater rim has a wonderful
climate at this time of year. The Serengeti and Lake Manyara are quite
warm and Mnemba is very hot. Mid- December to March is summer weather.
It is dry and very warm until March. Due to its altitude, Ngorongoro Crater
is much cooler than elsewhere.
Generally, casual comfortable clothing is suitable throughout the year.
The most practical items to pack are:
Khaki, brown, white and beige colours
Light cotton tops and cotton trousers/shorts in summer
Long-sleeved blouses/shirts for game drives; they will
protect you from the sun and from mosquitoes
Safari trousers for evenings and cooler days
Fleece or sweater and a warm windbreaker for game drives
(and at Ngorongoro Crater)
Swimwear is a must for the beach and at Klein’s and Grumeti which have a pool
A hat, sunglasses and sunscreen
Comfortable, walking shoes
For climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and Meru, thermal underwear, light layers, sweater, warm jacket, good socks and sturdy boots.
When visiting Zanzibar, it is important for women to
dress modestly out of respect for Muslim cultural beliefs. Men should not
wear shorts on the main island and women should wear dresses that cover
their shoulders and knees. This does not apply on Mnemba Island.
Most visitors require visas with the exception
of certain countries of the Commonwealth. Zanzibar remains independent,
although it is a part of the union of Tanzania:
British, Canadian and South African nationals require
visas for Tanzania
Passports and a Tanzanian visa are required even on a day’s visit to Zanzibar
It is advisable to obtain a visa in advance of travel as certain airlines insist on them prior to departure. Depending on nationality
and country of origin, a visa may be obtained on arrival at Dar es Salaam
and Kilimanjaro airports, and at Namanga Gate on the Tanzania/Kenya border.
Visas cost US$10–60 depending on nationality and are usually
valid for three months.
Requirements for obtaining a visa are:
a passport valid for six months beyond the intended length
two passport photographs
two application forms and a detailed itinerary stating
reason for visit
This is a guide only – please check with your nearest
Tanzanian consulate for up-to-date information.
Driving is on the left hand side and an International
Driving Licence is required and before hiring a car, most establishment
require that these are endorsed by the police. Self drive car hire is expensive
but most companies offer car with driver.
Visitors must produce a valid yellow fever
certificate obtained no less than ten days prior to travel.
You will have to get malaria prophylactics before entering
Tanzania. When purchasing these, tell your doctor or pharmacist that you
intend visiting Tanzania. Precautionary measures to take to prevent contact
with mosquitoes include: insect repellent, cover up at sundown, sleep under
a mosquito net and wear long-sleeved clothing and long trousers in the
Immunisation against cholera, polio, hepatitis A &
B, typhoid and tetanus is recommended if travelling by road. It is advisable
to obtain medical insurance prior to travel. Emergency services and first
aid is difficult to obtain outside major cities and tourist areas, so bring
with you any medication which you may require.
The unit of currency is the Tanzanian shilling (Tsh). There is no limit on the amount of foreign currency that can be
Notes are issued as TSh10 000, 5 000, 1 000, 500, 200
and 100. Coins are TSh100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1.
Visa and MasterCard are accepted by most top hotels and
lodges around the country. In addition to credit cards, clients should
bring US dollars cash and traveller’s cheques.
Banks and forex bureaux are available at the airport
and in all main towns.
Mon – Fri: 08:30 – 12:30
Sat: 08:30 – 13:30
A few branches in the major towns open until 16:30 on
Foreign currency in cash or traveller’s cheques may be
exchanged through authorised dealers, commercial banks and at Bureau de
Change at the international airports, major towns and border posts.
Visitors are strongly advised against changing money on
the black market. Some of the black marketers are undercover policemen,
while others are likely to be con artists.
The official language is Swahili (KiSwahili), which is
generally spoken, and various local languages abound.
Swahili is the language the primary schools teach in.
English is the second official language and the country’s commercial language
as well as the main teaching language for all the scientific subjects in
secondary schools and higher education institutions.
Arabic is widely spoken in the coastal areas, particularly in Zanzibar.
sun block, sunglasses, hat, insect repellent - essentials!
binoculars and a camera are a must
track suit - good for sleeping in during winter months
light, compact raincoat is a good idea for the summer
swimsuit and snorkelling and diving gear
towel, torch and sleeping bag for camping safaris (sleeping
bags can be hired from most safari operators)