Tanzania is an East African country known for its vast wilderness areas. They include the plains of Serengeti National Park, a safari mecca populated by the “big five” game (elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino), and Kilimanjaro National Park, home to Africa’s highest mountain. Offshore lie the tropical islands of Zanzibar and Mafia Marine Park, where whale sharks swim through reefs.
Things to Know Before Visiting Tanzania
1.Your Health Is Vital
Before coming to Tanzania you will have to take few health precautions. Because Tanzania is in the tropical environments which favour growth of different bacteria, flora and fauna that most visitors are accustomed to.
This is the most feared disease to most of the visitors, Aren’t you?. Make sure that before you travel you visit your doctor to get ant-malaria tablets. Also you can buy mosquito sprays. All the accommodation places now days have mosquito nets fixed to your beds and the rooms are sprayed with mosquito repellents too. And just for your information malaria transmitting mosquitos only bites at late nights so its likely that you won’t be exposed if all the precautions are taken care of.
The yellow-fever vaccination is no longer officially required when entering Tanzania, yet because the disease is endemic many doctors will recommend it as a precaution. Other vaccinations that might be considered before you travel include typhoid, hepatitis A and B, meningitis, and tetanus. For more information, contact your doctor.
Food and Water:
While on trip in Tanzania make sure that you drink bottled water, there are many brands available at every retail shop/kiosk. Make sure that if you eat on streets the food is hot, avoid eating salads, juices on streets because its likely that they were not prepared in a hygienic way. Most standard and high end restaurants prepare their food at a required hygienic standards so you shouldn’t worry about eating anything there. But be advised that if you are not sure of what you ordered don’t eat it. Most places you will eat during your organised safari measures and research have been made by your trip organizer to make sure that the food meets the required standard for you to eat. Mainly each safaris organizer will make sure that both dietary requirements are taken care during your trip.
2. Your Money
The unit of currency is the Tanzanian shilling (TZS) and there are no smaller denominations. Average exchange rate for those coming from UK is TZS 2000/ 1 UK pound and as by November 2010 the exchange rate for a dollar was TZS 2,185/ $ 1, please incquire for current rates at the time of your trip.
That said, major currencies (like the USA Dollar, the English Pound, and the Euro) are easily changed in large towns and mainly in bureau de changes. It takes longer to change money in the banks than in the bureau de change. With dollars make sure that you bring new notes not bellow series year 2000. Most places will give low, flat rate for older notes (some place will not buy them). Several banks which includes Standard Chartered Banks, CRDB, National Bank of Commerce (NBC), FMBE, EXIM, Barclays Banks around the country have ATM machines that allow you to withdraw cash from your VISA card and/or MasterCard accounts. Credit cards are accepted only at major lodges, hotels, and travel agents. Travellers checks are not accepted now days in most places even banks and would advice you to carry no or little amount of travellers checks. One Bank which still does traveller’s checks is Kenya Commercial Bank (KBC).
While travelling in Tanzania always make sure that your money is secured on your money belt or bag and only have some few notes close by for immediate use if need be. While your safari organizer works hard to make sure that your trip is as safe as possible exposing lots of money on streets or congested areas may attract opportunists, so take care!
3. Visa Information
In Tanzania, visas are required by most foreign nationals whether visiting for a holiday or to conduct business.
Tanzania does permit some foreign nationals (mostly African and Asian) visa free travel for up to three months, however, except for Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda, they still need to obtain entry permit clearance.
For more detailed information about Visa please visit the Tanzania Tourist Board visa section.
4. Security During Your Safari
Tanzania is the most peaceful country in East Africa and Africa. While Tanzania police and military forces work hard to make sure that the country is at peace all the time but also the citizens are very friendly and willing to help any time there is problem. Most places have police posts close by and especially all major tourist places. Tanzania Safari organizers works with all peace keepers to make sure that all guests are safe all the time and if any problem arises there is immediate coordination to solve it. Also during your organised trip you will always be accompanied by professional guide who will make sure that you have a safe, enjoyable trip.
This is all for today friends, would love to hear what you think!
5. Culture of local people
Usually you will spend your holiday in Tourist destinations such as Game parks. Around these game parks are villages which local people reside. Example at slopes of Kilimanjaro are Chagga tribe, Ngorongoro conservation area are Masai poeple. So your destination guide will give you briefing on what to do and how to behave when you meet with local people. These helps to create love, trust and harmony with local people. You can read more from Tanzania Travel wiki and tour forum.Try also learning a few words the most widely spoken native African language in Africa The Swahili Language.