Before you visit Tanzania, like anywhere in Africa, there are a few things you need to know to make your trip safe and stress free. Tanzania is a beautiful part of Africa with so much to offer international visitors, but before you arrive it is helpful to know where to go, pre-entry requirements, and how to stay safe on the ground. From safety precautions to necessary health requirements, this blog post will tell you everything you need to know before you go to Tanzania!
When to Go:
A visit to Tanzania can mean one of many things – it might be a city escape in Dar Es Salaam, a beach getaway in Zanzibar, a safari in Serengeti, a trek to the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro or a combination of all of the above! The seasons certainly play a detrimental role to what kind of experience will be had and when, so be sure to read ahead in advance to ensure you have the kind of trip you’re intending for!
Game Safaris: The best times are January-March for baby season and June through September for the tail end of the wet season
Kilimanjaro Treks: You can make the climb year round, however note rainy season runs March through end May
Birdwatching: The best time for bird watching is between October through April
Zanzibar & Dar Es Salaam: Year round!
Where to Go:
Most travellers visiting Tanzania will arrive firstly in Dar Es Salaam, though be sure to allow for a few days stopover to journey onwards to Zanzibar Island & Stone Town – a 1.5 hour ferry trip away or 30 minute flight from Dar Es Salaam.
For my game drive/safari experience in Tanzania, I made my way to Serengeti National Park in February – right in the midst of baby season and at the beginning of the migration season, with many zebra to be seen already!
Other National Parks that are popular for safari goers are Ruaha National Park and Gambe National Park.
Health, Language, Money & Visas:
Injections/Medications: Routine vaccinations, as well as Typhoid & Malaria (tablets)
Visa requirements: For nationals of Australia, United Kingdom and Canada, a visa upon entry is available for $50 USD. For nationals of the United States, a multiple-entries visa upon arrival is available for $100 USD. All nationalities should check with their consulate for the most up to date information.
Language: Swahili is the official language & English is widely spoken
Currency: Tanzanian Shilling
Avoid touching others of the opposite sex in public as this may offend some locals, particularly in busy cities.
Avoid taxis without a meter or at the very least, insist on an agreed price before embarking on your journey.
Women should dress modestly – especially in cities.
HELLO – hujambo (hoo-JAHM-boh)
GOODBYE – kwaheri (kwah-HAIR-ee)
PLEASE – tafadhali (tah-fah-DHAL-ee)
THANK YOU – asante (ah-SAHN-tay)
YOU’RE WELCOME – karibu (kah-REE-boo)
YES – ndio (nDEE-oh)
NO – hapana (hah-PAHN-ah)