Tanzania has a population of roughly 43.2 million people and is situated in East Africa. It is officially known as United Republic of Tanzania and is also locally known as Tanzania. Tanzania shares its border with Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia
Tanzania’s climate varies from tropical along coast to temperate in highlands.
The terrain in Tanzania is plains along coast; central is plateau; highlands in north and south.
Swahili and English are the official languages of Tanzania. However, the former is the national language. English is widely spoken but a few words of Swahili can be useful and will be appreciated greatly by locals.
Major foreign currencies; particularly US dollars and traveller cheques are accepted and are convertible at banks and bureau de changes in the main towns and tourist areas.
Credit cards are not widely accepted and carry poor exchange rates.
Some banks in major towns offer ATM facilities for international credit cards.
Visitors may be expected to pay in foreign currency for game parks.
Don’t change money in the street.
Please consult your doctor for all medical questions concerning your trip in a tropical country. Please be aware that the following does NOT replace professional medical advice!
- All visitors who travel from Yellow Fever Endemic Areas, by land or sea are required to have a Yellow Fever Certificate.
- Malaria is endemic but is preventable; use insect repellent, cover up at sundown, sleep under a mosquito net and take anti-malaria prophylactics as advised by your doctor.
- Bring prescription medicines, spare glasses, contact lenses and solution as well as sunscreen, a first aid kit, cream for bites/stings and diarrhea remedy.
- Drink only boiled or bottled water, bottled or canned drinks, avoid ice cubes and salads. HIV/Aids is widespread, especially in the main tourist areas. (See Mt. Kilimanjaro section for altitude sickness advice.)
- Generally dry and hot with cool nights/mornings from June-October.
- Short rains November - Mid-December.
- Long rains March - May but the seasons can vary.
- The coastal strip is hot and humid all year round.
- Temperatures on Mount Kilimanjaro and Meru drop to below freezing.
Pack lightweight, washable clothes plus a sweater for early morning game drives, as well as a sun hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. Long sleeves and trousers in light-coloured fabrics help discourage insect bites. You can buy clothes in Dar es Salaam and Arusha.
Shorts for women are acceptable – but not too short, please accept the local traditions and wear decent clothes that cover your thighs and shoulders. Women should carry a wrap to cover legs in the villages and towns as revealing clothes can cause offence, especially in Zanzibar and Muslim areas.
On the beach and within the confines of beach hotels normal swimwear is acceptable (but not nudity).
For climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or Meru, view our Kilimanjaro Packing List.
- Distances in Tanzania are vast, and travel by road can be tiring. Plan to spend more time in fewer parks; you’ll see more and won’t return home exhausted.
- Keep your distance from animals and be quiet to avoid distressing the wildlife.
- Follow instructions of rangers or guides.
- Don’t leave the vehicle while in the park, except in designated places.
- Stick to recognised tracks to avoid damaging vegetation.
Bring film (especially slide film) and batteries for your camera with you. Protect your cameras from dust and keep equipment and film cool.
Please ask kindly for permission before photographing local people and if you intend to take a lot of people pictures, be sure to bring an instant camera with you so that you can leave a picture with the people you photograph.
It is recommended to take out travel insurance to cover loss of baggage or valuables, personal accident and medical expenses.
Not obligatory, but a tip for exceptional service will be appreciated. Please note; an excessive tip can make it difficult for the next customer.
Tanzania Time Zone: UTC +03:00 hours.
230V (Plugs D & G.), but power failures, surges and troughs are common. Bring a universal adaptor and a torch (flashlight) or headlamp.
Self-drive vehicles are available mainly for tarmac use. 4x4 vehicles for safaris usually have to be hired with a driver.
Driving in Tanzania is on the left and an international license is required. Plan long safaris carefully; ensure your vehicle is road worthy with two spare tires, an operational jack and tool kit. Carry extra fuel, spares and water.
Travelling with Children:
Tanzanians love children and are especially helpful to mothers. However, canned baby foods, powdered milk and disposable nappies may not be available outside major towns.
Check current requirements with the nearest Tanzanian High Commission, embassy or consulate, or your travel agent. See the Tanzania High Commission Page for information on passports and visas to Tanzania.
Tanzania is a generally safe country, but don’t invite temptation. Keep an eye on your belongings. Don’t walk in the towns or cities at night - take a taxi. Don’t carry cameras or large amounts of cash; beware of pickpockets. Use hotel safety deposit boxes to safeguard valuables and obtain a receipt. Leave valuable jewellery at home.
Don’t indiscriminately hand out pens, money and sweets like a wealthy Western Santa Claus - it just encourages begging. As anywhere, gifts should be given as a true expression of friendship, appreciation or thanks.
If you feel that you have to do something and want to donate money in a useful way, please talk to us – we do maintain close, personal contacts with projects that really help the local people.
The tourist areas and hotels sell a wide range of souvenirs, jewellery and trinkets. Don’t be afraid to haggle at roadside curio stalls though.