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Magical Sights Safaris

General Information for Visitors to Tanzania

Arrivals & Departures

Tanzania is readily accessed by air from Europe, the USA, Southern America, the Middle East and Australasia, often with a flight change in Nairobi (Kenya) to the two main ports of entry by air: Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), located 16 km from both Arusha and Moshi. and Julius Nyerere International Airport, Dar es Salaam (DAR), located 12 km from the city centre.


There is also a road transport link from Nairobi in Kenya to Arusha in Northern Tanzania.


Airport Departure Tax

Departure tax from mainland Tanzania is included in the price of your ticket, however, in the Zanzibar there is a departure tax of US$ 25 payable at the airport. There is a TSH 5,000 (approximately US$ 5) tax levied on passengers within Tanzania.


Visa Requirements

Prior to departing for Tanzania, it is essential that you check with the Tanzania embassy or consulate regarding the visa requirements for entry. It is advisable to purchase visas prior to departure for TZ in order to avoid any delays upon arrival. Whilst it is possible to purchase a visa upon arrival in Tanzania, it can mean standing in a long queue after an international flight and only US dollars are accepted for visas..


Health

Tanzania has a tropical climate and different bacteria, flora and fauna than most visitors are accustomed to, so it is advisable to take a few health precautions when travelling to make sure that your trip goes as comfortably and smoothly as possible.


Malaria is usually top on the list of visitor’s worries and prevention goes a long way toward keeping you protected. Make sure to visit your doctor to get a prescription for anti-malarial drugs that best suits you. Although a higher cost, Malerone normally has far less side effects than other malaria prophylactics. Insect repellents should be made use of after dusk and suitable cover up clothes should be worn in the evenings. The yellow fever vaccination, is no longer officially required when entering Tanzania, however, this is still a requirement if you wish to visit Zanzibar. Other vaccinations should be considered. For more information, contact your doctor well in advance of your visit.


Baggage

Baggage space on safari is restricted to one medium suitcase or holdall per person, plus hand baggage (private safaris where there are less than 7 persons in the vehicle are not subject to this restriction). Small duffel bags are however comfortable to travel with.


Hotels will normally store baggage at no extra cost. A baggage weight restriction of 15 kg per person applies on air safaris. Where very small aircraft are used this may be reduced to 10 kg!


Currency & Credit Cards

The official currency is the Tanzanian Shilling (Tsh or TZS). Visitors to Tanzania should change foreign currency at banks, bureau de change or authorized hotels. US Dollars and Sterling Pounds are most acceptable and will cause the least delay. Travellers cheques (US Dollar and pounds sterling only) may be difficult to exchange outside the main cities. Major hotels and lodges accept Visa, Mastercard, Access, American Express and Eurocard credit cards. As a norm, always ask what commission and charges will be deducted first and prior to any transaction.  Please make sure you have plenty of small notes for tips, such as 100 and 200 Tsh notes and 1 US Dollar bills.


Banking

Banks and bureau de change are available at airports and in all major towns. Banking hours are from Monday to Friday 8.30 am to 3.00 pm, Saturday 8.30 am to 1.30 pm. A few branches in the major towns are open until 4.00 pm. Please note that banks are closed on Sunday. Many banks are now equipped with 24 hour ATM machines.


Hotels & Accommodation

All over Tanzania there is accommodation that can cater for most budgets, taste, interest or preference. Hotels, hostels, luxury tented camps, guesthouses, resorts, campsites, backpacker lodges and more can be found in Tanzania.


Time

Tanzania has a single time zone which is GMT +3; there is no daylight saving.


Language

Swahili (Kiswahili) is the official language, but English is widely spoken. In addition, most Tanzanian tribes have their own language. Please see our Swahili Language Reference.


Telecommunications

Tanzania has a good network of telephone, Cellular and satellite connections. Many hotels and lodges offer international telephone and fax services. In larger towns, private telecommunication centres also offer international services. If you have a mobile phone with roaming connection, then you make use of Tanzania’s cellular networks which cover most larger towns and tourist areas. When dialling Tanzania, the international code is 255 + local area code.


Internet

Tanzania has good Internet service providers. Many hotels and lodges offer email and Internet services. In most towns, there are private business centres and cyber-cafes offering email and Internet access.


Electricity

The electricity supply in Tanzania is 220/240 @ 50 hz. Plugs are the British type 3 pin square. If you are planning to bring a video camera charger or any other electrical device, please bring voltage and plug adaptors where appropriate. Most large hotels and some game lodges provide shaving points with the normal 2 pin shaver socket.


Drinking Water

Visitors to Tanzania are prohibited from taking tap water. Always go for bottled water. We will provide 2 bottles of 500 ml mineral water during the drives from one point to another. Hotels and lodges usually supply bottled mineral water or safe (boiled) water in a thermos flask in guest rooms (for cleaning teeth only). Bottled mineral water is available in every hotel, lodge or camp and in supermarkets.


Cuisine

There is international cuisine at the hotels. Lodges and camps and most dietary needs are accommodated. If you have any particular dietary needs, please specify them when booking.


Security

Tanzania is a safe country to travel in. Tanzanians are warm-hearted and generous people and are eager to help visitors get the most out of their stay. Tanzania is a politically stable, multi-democratic country. As in all countries, a little common sense goes a long way and reasonable precautions should still be taken, such as locking valuables in the hotel safe and not walking alone at night. Before photographing local people, permission should be obtained and a fixed price agreed. Seek the assistance of your driver/guide in this matter.


Wild animals

Many of the animals and reptiles you will see are potentially dangerous. Attacks by wild animals are rare. However, no safari in Africa can guarantee that such incidents will not occur. Please note that most camps are unfenced. Please make sure that you listen to and abide by the safety talks given by your guides or lodge/camp staff. Don’t wander off on your own without a guide, even to your room. After retiring to your rooms at night, don’t leave your rooms without signalling for a guard (askari) to come and escort you. If you are sensible, you will be safe.


Tipping and Porterage

Although hotels and lodges include a service charge, it is customary to tip porters, waiters, housekeeping staff, taxi drivers, safari drivers/guides etc. Note: some staff are not paid a wage and rely solely on tips. Please use the following as a tipping guide (shown in dollars but can be Tsh):