The name Tanzania conjures up images of wildebeest stampeding across vast savannah, rain forests teeming with monkeys and birdlife, and great plains brimming with legions of game. All of these natural wonders and more are on offer in this exceptionally diverse African nation. Visitors typically visit Tanzania to partake in at least one of the four well known Tanzanian tourist experiences: a relaxing seaside vacation on the picturesque island paradise of Zanzibar, an underwater tour of some of the world’s most renowned dive sites around the gorgeous Spice Islands, a safari adventure in some of Africa’s most impressive game reserves, or a hiking excursion around Mount Kilimanjaro National Park. Whichever of these incredible holidays you choose, you will undoubtedly be welcomed by some fabulously friendly and peaceful inhabitants who, despite being divided into 120 different ethnic groups and cultures, live in harmony with one another and provide some of the most wonderfully exotic local cuisine you could imagine. With all of this diversity on offer, the most difficult part of your Tanzanian holiday experience is likely to be deciding where to go!
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS AND VISA INFORMATION
Countries eligible for Visas and Fee rates
Visa Issuing Centers
Countries which require Referral Visa before coming to Tanzania
Any foreigner seeking to enter the United Republic of Tanzania is subject to the following entry requirements:
a passport or Travel Document which is valid for not less than six months issued by a State or an International Organization recognized by the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania and
that, he is a holder of or his name is endorsed upon a Residence Permit or a Pass issued in accordance with the provisions of the Immigration Act No. 7 of 1995; or
A valid Visa (for nationals whose country require visa) which is obtained at any Tanzania Mission abroad or on arrival at any designated entry points. Click here to see Official Entry Points
Upon complying with the entry requirements, a bonafide visitor is issued with a Visitor's Pass on arrival at the entry point into the United Republic of Tanzania for a validity not exceeding three months in first instance (and not exceeding six months for citizens of East African Community), provided that he is in possession of sufficient funds for subsistence while in the United Republic of Tanzania and a Return ticket or onward to ticket to his country of origin, domicile or destination as the case may be.
Purpose of Visa
A Visa is a permission granted to a foreigner other than a prohibited Immigrant (please click here to see the list of countries whose nationals require visa) to enter and remain in the United Republic of Tanzania for the purpose of visit, leisure, holiday, business, health treatment, studies, or any other activity which is not illegal under the Laws of the United Republic of Tanzania.
It should be noted that the possession of Visa is not a final authority to enter the United Republic of Tanzania. The Immigration Officer at the entry point may refuse such a person permission to enter if he is satisfied that he is unable to fulfill immigration entry requirements and that the presence of such person/visitor in the United Republic of Tanzania would be contrary to the national interests.
CATEGORIES OF VISAS
There are five categories of Visas which may be granted to foreigners other than prohibited immigrants who seek to enter the United Republic of Tanzania as follows:
Multiple Entry Visa
This is a Visa granted to foreigners other than prohibited immigrants seeking to enter the United Republic of Tanzania upon application for the purpose of visit, leisure, holiday, business, health treatment, studies, or any other activity legally recognized by the Laws of the United Republic of Tanzania for validity not exceeding three months for a single entry only.
This is a Visa granted to foreigners other than prohibited immigrants intending to pass through the United Republic of Tanzania to other destinations for a period not exceeding fourteen days provided that such persons should have onward tickets, sufficient fund for subsistence while in the United Republic of Tanzania and an entry Visa to the country of destination (where applicable) or any other proof to satisfy that such person will be allowed entry to that other country.
MULTIPLE ENTRY VISAS
This is a Visa granted to persons who are nationals of countries which require Visa for United Republic of Tanzania and who by nature of their businesses or circumstances require making frequent visits to the United Republic of Tanzania. Multiple Visas may be issued for a period of three, six or twelve months to permit the holder to enter and re-enter subject to the validity of the visa, provided that a single stay of the holder should not exceed three months.
This is a Visa granted to holders of Diplomatic or Official/Service Passports when travelling on official missions to the United Republic of Tanzania and it is granted free of charge. In some cases Gratis Visa may be granted to holders of Ordinary Passports where an exemption has been given by the Issuing Authority.
Holders of Diplomatic and Service/Official passports when travelling on private visits into the United Republic of Tanzania are required to apply for visa like holders of ordinary passport.
This is a Visa granted to nationals of Countries which require a special clearance and approval from the Principal Commissioner of Immigration Services or the Commissioner of Immigration Services (Zanzibar) prior to the issuance of Visa. (Click here to see the List of Countries which requires Referral Visa).
Possession of a Visa for United Republic of Tanzania does not provide automatic right of entry for the holder into the Country. Accordingly, an Immigration Officer at the Entry Point may refuse any person regardless whether he holds a Visa or not, if he is satisfied that such a person is unable to fulfill the immigration requirements and/or that such person's/visitor's presence in the United Republic of Tanzania would be contrary to national interests.
REQUIREMENTS FOR VISA
An application of Visa for United Republic of Tanzania should be accompanied with:
application form duly filled in;
security Bond duly filled in(for Multiple Visa);
five passport size photographs (if required);
copy of the Applicant's valid Passport;
copy of the valid Passport or any other identity of the person to be visited (applicant's host if required);
documents of the Company or Business to be visited; (for Multiple Visa)
any other evidence to prove that the applicant is bound to travel frequently into the United Republic of Tanzania(for Multiple Visa)
VISA ISSUING CENTRES:
A Visa may be obtained at any United Republic of Tanzania Missions abroad or Consulates (click here to see the List of Tanzania Missions abroad) and also on arrival at all designated Entry Points. In case of Referral and Multiple Visas applicants are required to submit their applications to the office of the Principal Commissioner of Immigration Services Dar es Salaam or at the office of the Commissioner of Immigration Services Zanzibar. Click here to see Visa Issuing Centers.
Standard fee rate for Ordinary Visa is US $ 50, for Multiple Entry Visa is US $ 100 and for Transit visa is US $ 30. However a different fee may be set in accordance with the rules guiding Visa issuance or on the basis of reciprocity. Click here for more details on Visa eligibility and fee rates.
Visa fees are payable at Issuing Centers and an Exchequer Receipt should be provided for the payment made.
Banking and Currency
The local currency is the Kenyan shilling, and the Tanzanian shilling respectively.
1 US dollar = 2180 Tanzanian shillings (or as per current currency flactuation).
Please respect the local currency and note that it is a criminal offence in both countries to damage or tear the local currency.
Money may be changed easily at airports, hotels, banks and forex bureau. Please avoid changing money in the street with money vendors, as they are operating illegally.
It is unnecessary to carry excessive amounts of money (on safari, all meals are included, except for the drinks) and credit cards are widely accepted for payment of meals outside the meal plan, hotel extras, shopping etc
The equivalent of USD 100 per person is a guideline for exchange, as you may use your credit cards such as VISA or MASTERCARD for any additional costs, in most of the places you will visit.
Traveller´s Cheques are also a safe and simple method of payment; however you may have some problems with regard to their acceptance whilst on safari.
If at the end of the safari, you have any left over local currency, this may be changed back into dollars, at the airport.
Travel, Transport and Getting Around
If you are visiting a number of parks and reserves in Tanzania, you can either drive or fly between them. Roads in most of the wilderness areas are in poor condition and unmarked, and self-driving is not recommended. Operators will supply you with a driver who doubles as an informal guide; alternatively, you can arrange to fly to your destination and utilize a car and driver supplied by the lodgings. Elsewhere in Tanzania, towns and cities are linked by a steady stream of buses and dala-dalas (minibuses), and in the cities, there is public transport in the way of buses, dala-dalas, taxis, and, in some places, bicycles or tuk-tuks.
Precision Air run regular services, mostly via Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro or Zanzibar, to all main towns and other destinations in East Africa and beyond. All national parks and some of the top-end luxury lodges have airstrips and Coastal Air and Regional Air operates between these and the main airports on the mainland and the islands of Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia. ZanAir has frequent connections between Zanzibar, Pemba and the mainland.
Driving is on the left hand side of the road
Health and Medical Information
A certificate of vaccination against Yellow Fever is required. Malaria is endemic to Kenya and Tanzania, so please remember to take anti-malaria tablets. In case of any medical emergency, your hotel will have a doctor on call, or will have the medicine you may require, including the parks on safari.
All the same, please take the following precautions:
Dress in warm clothing in the evenings and at night; use repellants against mosquitoes and use insecticide sprays in rooms before sleeping (or before going for dinner). This area is right at the Equator, and the hot sun can cause sunburn very quickly- including on cloudy days.
Sun creams, lip balm, hats and sunglasses are recommended.
Although tap water in the big towns is potable, we advise you to drink mineral water always. In the hotels/ lodges during the safaris, there is always a jar/bottle/thermos of filtered water in the rooms, which is convenient for using for cleaning your teeth.
The mineral water in the hotels/ lodges has quite an elevated price. You may buy some bottled water at the local supermarkets at a more reasonable price.
As it is the case in most regions of the world, security is a topic that should be kept in mind. Nairobi and Mombasa are generally safe during the day, as long as narrow alleys or isolated streets are avoided. We advise you not to walk in the streets in the dark. If you wish to travel by night, always call for a taxi.
Don’t carry a lot of money with you when you go out; only the amount you think you will spend. While walking in the streets, don’t wear jewellery or valuables that bring attention to you.
Please leave all valuables (jewellery, travel documents, cameras etc) in the safes or safety deposit boxes of the hotel you are staying at.
Please don’t leave anything of value lying around your hotel room.
Food, Drink and Cuisine Advice
Most camps, lodges or hotels cater specifically to tourists and serve Western-style food, ranging in standard, but generally are excellent. Game lodges tend to offer a daily set menu with a limited selection, so it is advisable to have your tour operator specify in advance if you are a vegetarian or have other specific dietary requirements. First-time visitors to Africa might take note that most game lodges in and around the national parks have isolated locations, and driving within the parks is neither permitted nor advisable after dark, so that there is no realistic alternative to eating at your lodge.
Tap water in Tanzania is generally not safe to drink, and most travellers try to stick to mineral water. Filtered and bottled water can be difficult to find you are travelling outside of main town and so it is advisable to stock up. Most camps, lodges and hotels have bottled water readily available.
Climate and Weather
The average temperature oscillates between 25º C during the day and 10º C during the night in the interior and between 30º C and 15º C at the coast with a high level of humidity seemingly intensifying the heat.
Some of the areas that you may visit, stands at high latitiudes, for example the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania stand at around 2000 metres above sea level, and the nights are chilly and humid.
The rainy seasons are between April and June, and November to the middle of December. The coldest months are July and August, while the hottest are January and February.
Clothing and Dress Recommendations
It never gets really cold in Tanzania so lightweight clothing, preferably cotton or linen, is recommended. While on a game viewing safari, avoid brightly coloured clothing, stick to whites, beiges, khakis and browns. There may be long days sitting in safari vehicles, so it is advisable to wear light comfortable clothing such as short sleeved shirts and cotton/linen trousers or shorts. Denim will become too hot and extremely uncomfortable. Walking shoes and socks will be required.
The evenings will be chilly, so long sleeved shirts and trousers should be worn. A sweater may be needed. These will also prevent you being bitten by insects. A hat should be worn at all times outside. The sun may sometimes not feel hot, but it can still easily burn, especially if it is cloudy and overcast.
If on a safari or visiting Zanzibar or any coastal town don't forget to take a swimsuit. Zanzibar or any other coastal town is invariably warm. Ladies are recommended to take cotton skirts, blouses and dresses. Sandals are a must for this environment! On the beaches and within the confines of hotels, normal swimwear is acceptable but nudity is not.
As over a third of the population in Tanzania is Muslim, it is therefore not etiquette for ladies to walk around in public displaying their legs and shoulders. Remember to dress modestly as short shorts, miniskirts, vests and tank tops will be frowned upon.
Tanzania has good Internet Service Providers with email and internet services offered by many hotels and lodges (free / paid). In most towns there are plenty of private business centres and cyber cafes offering email and internet access, although the speeds might be somewhat slower than what you are used to.
Electricity and Plug Standards
Most hotels use generators which function only in the morning, and at night. We use 240 volts and plugs with three spokes (UK). An adapter is all that you will need and are mostly available at the hotel receptions if you forget to carry one. A small deposit is required as security when you borrow the transformer, which is refundable.
IT IS CONVENIENT TO TRAVEL LIGHT:
The safari vehicles do not have a lot of luggage capacity and for this reason, we recommend soft, light luggage. In any hotel with a stay of 2 days or more, laundry service is available.
WE RECOMMEND YOU CARRY:
Many more rolls of film than what you thought enough! up to 100 Photos per day during the safari. (It
doesn’t weigh much, and could be slightly more expensive here).
Lip balms and sun creams.
Coloured biro pens, pencils, pictures, small books, balloons, etc. to give out as presents in case you visit a local village (they are more appropriate than sweets, and are more appreciated).
Disposable lighters, caps, scarves, T-shirts, etc. as “barter material” in souvenir shops (although in actuality, no “barter” without some money changing hands, exists!).
Waist pouches for carrying money, passports and small valuables are very practical.
Your gold Communion medal, diamonds, Grandmother’s pearls, gold watches, $200 sunglasses, etc.
In other words, carry things that will not be sorely missed in case of loss.
Most people, when visiting a foreign country, like to be given some guideline regarding tipping. Yet, this is truly voluntary and extremely personal matter. A tip is an indication of appreciation on the part of the guest for the services given and IS ONLY GIVEN WHEN THE SERVICE WAS UP TO YOUR EXPECTATIONS, and is paid after all the services have been completed, and is NEVER OBLIGATORY. A guideline for each traveler follows below:-
Restaurants: These guidelines are for lunches and dinners you may enjoy on your own, which are not included in your itinerary. If the menu says 10% service charge included, you do not need to tip. Otherwise, between 5 and 10 % of the total bill is considered usual and customary.
Hotels’ Camps’ & Lodges’ staff: 2 – 5 dollars per person per day.
Safari driver and Guide: Ever since the early days of safari-ing, driver-guide and naturalist/tour guide in Africa have had their expert bush skills acknowledged in form of tips. We recommend 5 – 10 dollars per person per day, but this is entirely at your own discretion.
Arrival Transfer: 5 dollars per person per day.
Communication is as sophisticated here as it is in Europe or the States, but it is however more expensive. It is possible to make international calls from most of the hotels, but the price is between USD 7- 10 per minute, for a minimum of 3 minutes. It is mostly automatically billed.
However in the era of smart phones and what's app, as long you have internet - which is now available in most camps and lodges, communication is cheap and easy.
Mobile Phones: The mobile network coverage in Tanzania is no longer limited. Right now there is network almost in all the safari circuit areas. Just incase your cell phone provider has roaming contract with some of the few providers in Tanzania (Which mostly is the case); most of the places have network coverage including in the parks and all the cities.
Numerous shops and stalls selling a variety of souvenirs can be found in the towns and en route during the safaris. You can buy both traditional and modern jewellery, wood carvings, sculptures, soapstone figures, baskets and bags, safari attire, articles made from banana fibre, khangas and kikois
(khangas are the colourful wraps worn by women especially at the coast and in the countryside, while kikois are the wraps worn by men at the coast), precious stones like Tanzanite (violet/blue), semi precious stones such as green Tsavorite, Tiger Eye and Malachite etc
It is important to bargain in most of the shops for a better price.
We also have some small “markets”, where you can not only enjoy the hectic atmosphere but also find all types of arts and cratfs for sale. This market is open air, operating at designated areas and are through out the week (please ask your guide for a recommendation).
Most hotels also have gift shops that sell souvenirs, T-shirts etc
In case you happen to purchase items of African craft while on safari and you decide you want the purchased items to be send to your home country, please make sure you clarify and confirm that the entire shipping costs are included in your invoice just to avoid any inconveniences upon delivery. Mostly, the shipping charges are normally done at the destination airport so as to be able to go through customs inspections and formalities. Kindly note that we take our clients to shopping areas that are highly recommendable for shopping, however Classic Safaris will not be held responsible for any damages caused during the shipping period of the said items. At the same time, the company shall not be held responsible for the non-sending of the purchased items to the agreed destination and will not accept any responsibility for shipment or customs charges.
Shopping hours are from 0830hrs to 1230hrs and 1400hrs to 1700hrs. Mondays to Fridays and from 0830hrs to 1300hrs on Saturdays. The bigger supermarkets do not shut over lunchtime.
WILDLIFE, NATIONAL PARKS:
Please refrain from disturbing or feeding the animals in the parks. It is dangerous to try to touch them- they ARE wild. Please stay in the vehicle during game drives in the park.
It is prohibited to sit on top of the vehicles, even while they are stationary.
REGISTRATION AND HOTEL CHECK OUTS:
On arrival, you will fill in a registration card at the reception in order to obtain the room key. Room occupancy is only guaranteed after 1100hrs, and on check out must be done by 1000hrs or 1800hrs, if you have contracted a day room.
Extras bills will be paid at the reception. When this is cleared and the room key has been handed in, you will receive a luggage ticket which allows your luggage to leave the hotel, as it indicates all bills and outstanding matters have been cleared.