Tanzania Travel Guide

Know Tanzania travel guide for your next holiday. Tanzania, formally the United Republic of Tanzania (Swahili: Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a nation in East Africa within the African Great Lakes region. It borders Uganda toward the north; Kenya toward the upper east; the Comoro Islands and the Indian Ocean toward the east; Mozambique and Malawi toward the south; Zambia toward the southwest; and Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo toward the west. Tanzania boasts both the lowest and highest points in Africa, with Mount Kilimanjaro at 5,895m above sea level and the floor of Lake Tanganyika at 352m below sea level.

This large country is overflowing with unique sights, from the rambling beaches, towering Mount Kilimanjaro and glorious wildlife to the impressive ruins and interesting cultures. Most importantly, when it comes to the best safaris in Tanzania, this country can be termed as the land of safaris, as it offers its guests an impressive 16 national parks to explore.

Tanzania Travel Guide
History and Economy

From multiple points of view, Tanzanian history is the history of humankind. Fossils found at Olduvai Gorge, one of the world’s premier archaeological sites, recommend that Tanzania has been settled by hominids for more than 2 million years. Iron Age relocations from West Africa were followed by European and Arabian merchants, missionaries, and slave masters, and by the mid-1800s Zanzibar had gotten the focal point of the East African slave exchange. Colonized first by the Germans and then the British, independence came peacefully to mainland Tanganyika in 1961. The addition of Zanzibar in 1964 created the modern state of Tanzania.

Rich in mineral abundance and natural gas, Tanzania’s economy is by and by overwhelmed by farming, which employs 75% of the workforce and accounts for half the country’s GDP. Tanzania’s main exports include gold, coffee, tea, and cotton. But it’s tourism, increasing in importance year after year, that is the country’s biggest foreign exchange earner.

Tanzania travel guide-People and Culture

Some of Tanzania’s 120 ethnic groups make up the African population, with a significant number of Asians, Arabs, and Europeans too. Even with this mix of identities, Tanzania has long promoted a harmonious national culture, one that depends on an inconspicuous but strong social code of courtesy and respect. English and Swahili are the official languages.

Tarangire National park

Tanzania travel guide-Landscape and wildlife

The country Lying between the two arms of the Great Rift Valley, Tanzania’s huge central plateau is bounded on the west by Africa’s great lakes, the north by mountains (including Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak) and the Indian Ocean in the east. Most of the country is covered in grassland, open woodland and savannah, but significant pockets of rainforest exist in remote mountain ranges.

Tanzania contains about 20 percent of the species of Africa’s large mammal population, found over its 17 National parks, reserves, conservation areas, and marine parks. Spread over an area of more than 42,000 square kilometers (16,000 sq. mi) and shaping around 38% of the country’s territory.

Wildlife resources of Tanzania are described as “without parallel in Africa” and “the prime game viewing country”. Serengeti National Park, the country’s second-largest national park area at 14,763 square kilometers (5,700 sq. mi), is located in northern Tanzania and is famous for its extensive migratory herds of wildebeests and zebra while also having a reputation as one of the great natural wonders of the world. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area, established in 1959, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and inhabited by the Maasai people. Its Ngorongoro Crater is the largest intact caldera in the world.

The national parks are also part of the wetlands of Tanzania. The wild animals tend to be closer to the wetlands, particularly the water-loving species such as the hippopotamus, waterbuck, common warthog, elephant, crocodile, sitatunga as well as water birds such as flamingoes and ducks.

Tanzania travel guide-Climate

Tanzania’s Seasons:

Long Rains Short Rains Long Dry Short Dry
Months April to May November to December June to October January to March
Average 72–81°F 81–86°F 70–81°F 84°F
Temperatures 22–27°C 27–30°C 21–27°C 29°C

Tanzania travel guideWhat to pack

Packing for your first Tanzania safari can be somewhat overwhelming. What do you bring? What don’t you need? Below you’ll find our recommended list of things to bring along with you when you’re on safari. A backpack, a warm sweater or light fleece, a windbreaker or waterproof jacket, walking shoes or boots, a long-sleeve dres’ shirt and trousers, Sunglasses, Hat, Sunscreen and lip balm, Insect repellant, Camera, Binoculars, Batteries, and/or charger for your camera, A flashlight or headlamp, Guide books, Phone, and charger.

You may also wish to bring your own first aid kit. While all of our Zepisa African safaris vehicles have their own onboard first aid kit, it never hurts to be prepared. Anti-malarial medication, Painkillers, antihistamines for allergies and insect bites, cold and flu medications, anti-Diarrheal medication, Medicines for rehydration after diarrhea or sunstroke, Insect repellant, sunscreen, and lip balm, eye drops, moisturizer for treating sunburn, antiseptic lotion, rubbing alcohol, bandages, and plasters, scissors, tweezers.

Always follow your guide’s advice; stay in the vehicle if they say so must, do not hang your head out of the windows, never stand up in the vehicle or sit on the roof.

Stay with your group on a walking safari, do not wander off on your own, and always walk in a single line

Predators can easily track sudden movements, so do not run or jog in the wildlife park or reserves, walk at a steady pace with your group.

Never come between a hippo and the water; blocking their path could cause panic and the hippo might charge.

If you’re driving yourself on safari, ensure that your vehicle maintains a safe distance from wildlife and always park in a designated area.

Avoid bringing or wearing expensive jewelry in Tanzania. If necessary lock it in a hotel safe when you go out and about. The same goes for any other valuables such as cameras, phones, passports, credit cards and wallets. Carry only what is necessary and keep it out of sight or under your clothes.

Carry copies of important documents, such as passport and visa, in your luggage.

Tourists need to be vaccinated against diseases such as hepatitis A&B, meningitis, rabies, malaria, yellow fever, and typhoid. Speak with your doctor and make sure all vaccinations are up to date before your tripIn Tanzania, it’s illegal to urinate in public.

Using, buying, and selling drugs is against the country’s rules.

Tourists are forbidden to speak on their phones in a bank.

Tanzania travel guide-Currency

The official Tanzanian currency is the Tanzanian Shilling. They have coins for 50, 100, and 500 shillings; and notes for 1000, 2000, 5000, and 10,000 shillings.The US Dollar is widely used, but may not be accepted in some establishments. It is also important to note that most businesses that do accept US currency will not do so if it is torn or wrinkled. Notes must not be older than 2006, as local businesses will automatically reject these due to a past counterfeiting problem. Currency can be exchanged at banks. Banks in Tanzania are open from 9am until 3.30pm Monday to Friday, and from 9am until 11am on SaturdaysTanzania travel guideTanzania travel guide-Visa and Passport

Almost all visitors to Tanzania require a visa. You should contact the relevant issuing authorities in good time (ideally, several months in advance) to ascertain the entry requirements to Tanzania, and to arrange the necessary permits and visas. We strongly encourage all clients entering Tanzania via Kilimanjaro International Airport to obtain their visas online at Tanzania Immigration Department before arriving in Tanzania. E-visas can take 2 to 3 weeks to be issued.Visitors to Tanzania must possess a passport that is valid for six months after the initial date of travel. The cost of a visa upon arrival is $50 for non-US citizens, and $100 for US citizens. This should be paid in USD. Other currencies are not accepted. If you have any further questions about the visa process, please don’t hesitate to contact us. That’s what we’re here for!

Tanzania travel guide-Religion of Tanzania

One-third of Tanzanians are Christians, another third are Muslim. The remaining third pursue one of the numerous indigenous religions. In rural places, some people express their faith in an animistic religion. Hinduism and Buddhism are also found among the members of the Asian minorities. Most Muslims live on the coast and in Zanzibar; visitors should be aware of the conservative nature of these destinations – especially Stone Town – and dress and behave accordingly.Tanzanians are renowned for being friendly and harmonious people, however, it is courteous to ask permission before photographing people.

Tanzania travel guide-Electricity and Devices

These days electricity in Tanzania is a good deal more reliable than it used to be. The vast majority of travelers should experience little or no inconvenience due to interruptions to supplies. Nevertheless, you do need to be prepared for potential power outages. Similarly, you need to understand that some more remote lodges and camps may only offer centralized charging facilities, may not operate power around the clock, and may not permit you to use high current devices such as hair-dryers. Tanzania uses the 3 pin ‘British’ plug, which is comprised of three square/rectangular pegs. Travel adaptors can be purchased at airports and at most larger department stores.A few bivouac camps do not have any electricity, but usually offer charging facilities in vehicles. Always bring multiple spare batteries to provide you with at least 48hrs of operation for your cameras and other critical devices, more if you are on longer treks or expeditions to remote locations.

Tanzania travel guide-Tipping

Tipping is customary in Tanzania and is very much a part of the incomes of many people in the hospitality and travel industry. Tipping should always depend on the quality of service received, and it is your choice whether or not to tip. Of course, we encourage our travelers to appreciate good service, but we also try to make them aware of the impact of tipping on the local community.Given that, we’d recommend that for good service, our travelers tip around:

US$8–10 per guest per day for a group guide

US$15–20 per guest per day for a private guide

US$5–10 per guest per day for a safari chef

US$1–2 per guest per day for the general staff

US$3–5 per city transfer