Tanzanian International Airports
Tanzania has Three international airports
- Julius Nyerere International Airport
- Kilimanjaro International Airport
- Abeid Amani Karume International Airport
Carriers that operate to Tanzania via Europe: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (from Amsterdam) to Dar-es-Salaam and Kilimanjaro; Swiss airlines (from Zurich) to Dar es Salaam. Gulf Air serves Dar-es-Salaam and Zanzibar via Muscat or Abu Dhabi. Emirates serve Dar-es-salaam via Dubai. Tanzania can also be reached via African gateways served by Air Zimbabwe, Egypt Air, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways and South African Air ways.
International flights serve Dar es Salaam 10 km from the city center and Kilimanjaro-50 Km. from Arusha. Zanzibar airport is five miles from Kisauni.
By Air – Air Tanzania and Precision air have scheduled services to all the major towns of Tanzania. There are also smaller companies with scheduled services, and a number of charter companies based in Zanzibar, Dar es Salaam and Arusha.
By Rail – There are three main railway lines: the Northern, running from Tanga to Arusha; the Central (connecting to the North), which runs from Dar es Salaam to Lake Tanganyika at Kigoma and has a northern spur that runs to Lake Victoria at Mwanza; and TAZARA, the Tanzania – Zambia railway service that runs from Dar es Salaam into central Zambia. Train travel is comfortable and reliable, though not as fast as most bus services.
By Bus – Intercity buses abound, and you can reach almost any town, big or small, by bus.
By Water – There are Indian Ocean ferries connecting Mtwara, Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Pemba, and Tanga. Tanzania Railway Corporation operates ferries on the Great Lakes.
Car Hire – There are many car hire companies in Dar es Salaam, Arusha and other major towns. They can be hired with or without drivers. An International. Driver’s License is required, and the driving is on the left-hand side of the road.
Some safaris/air charters limit baggage to a 10-15 kilo maximum.
What to Take
Do not forget to take the camera, camcorder, and binoculars and take a torch for finding your way around your camp at night. Stock up with replacement batteries for all these equipment.
Take sunglasses, hat, sun lotion, lip-balm and some insect repellent, it is better not to be stung by a mosquito even if you are taking malaria tablets.
It is best to take some medicines required for the duration of the visit. A spare pair of glasses or contact lenses is also a good idea. Take plenty of films. While traveler’s cheques can be exchanged in cities and towns, banking facilities in remote areas are restricted, so take enough cash.
Swahili is the official and main language in Tanzania, English is also used as the official language but most locals use Swahili.
The unit of currency is the Tanzanian shilling (TZS), which is divided in into 100 cents. Visitors can take in any amount of foreign currency, no currency declaration is required, but import and export of Tanzanian currency is illegal. Visitors are advised to bring a sensible mix of hard currency traveler’s cheques and cash. These are easily changed into local currency in Bureaux de Change or Banks. US Dollars are recommended for the best rates of exchange.
Most major currencies particularly US dollars – and travelers’ cheques are accepted and convertible at banks and bureaux de change in the main towns and tourist areas. Credit cards are not widely accepted and carry poor exchange rates. Visitors will probably be expected to pay park entrance fees in foreign currency.
You can use credit cards only at larger establishments (not widely accepted)- Visa, MasterCard, and JCB are the most widely accepted, but American Express and Diners Club cards can also come in handy. There are currently ATM’s (cash machines) by Barclays Bank and Standard Chartered in Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Arusha, Moshi, and Mwanza.
Visitors will probably be expected to pay park entrance fees in foreign currency. DO NOT change money in the street however favorable the rate appears
There are many tour operators who can arrange your safaris in Tanzania. Distances in Tanzania are vast, and travel by road can be tiring. It is wise to spend more time in fewer parks. Keep your distance from animals and be quiet to avoid distressing them. Always follow the instructions of your ranger or guide. Do not leave your vehicle in the parks except in designated places. Keep to recognized tracks to avoid damaging the vegetation.
Driving Through Tanzania
To bring an automobile into Tanzania from a neighboring country, it is recommended to obtain a valid carnet. This is available from most travel clubs or associations. If you have a carnet, you only need to show a valid drivers license and be able to present valid vehicle registration and plates. For further carnet information, please contact the Automobile Association of Tanzania Motoring Organization, P.O. Box 3004, Dar es Salaam, phone +255 22 2127727.
According to Tanzanian authorities, out-of-country automobile insurance is honored in Tanzania; short-term tourists do not need to obtain local Tanzanian insurance. Automobiles are admitted into Tanzania for 14 days, with extensions of 14 days up to a total of three months. Failure to depart within the specified period can result in confiscation of the automobile pending payment of duty.
When traveling within the country you may need to pay for road tolls. There are a few road toll stations on the main roads in Tanzania.
What to Wear
It never gets cold in Tanzania so lightweight clothing is the norm. On safaris avoid brightly colored clothes as they may alarm animals. Browns, beiges, and khaki are preferred. Short sleeve shirts/blouses and shorts are ideal, but pack a sweater; it can be chilly in the early morning and in the evening. Wear a hat to avoid sunstroke and do not forget a swimsuit. Shoes should be fit for walking in the bush.
For climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro or Mt. Meru take thermal under wear, a rain jacket, good socks and sturdy boots. Shorts for women are acceptable – but not too short. Women should carry raps to cover their legs in towns or villages as revealing clothes can cause offense, especially in Zanzibar and other Muslim areas. On the beach, and within the confines of the beach hotels, normal swimwear is acceptable but nudity is certainly not acceptable.
For safaris in the north, during the day, light clothing. Sturdy shoes are recommended. Canvas hats. At night, casual wear with a light cardigan or a pull over (for altitudes between 1500m in Arusha and 2400m in Ngorongoro). On the coast, summer wear. For Kilimanjaro or other treks, check with a mountain specialist before departure. To bring sunscreen, lotions, sunglasses, mosquito cream and binoculars.
On safari, avoid brightly colored clothes, they may alarm the animals, browns, beiges, and khaki is preferred. Short-sleeve shirts/blouses and shorts are ideal but pack a sweater, it can be chilly in the early morning and in the evening. Don’t forget a swimsuit. Immodest clothing will offend local tradition.
Not normally obligatory but a tip for exceptional service – a maximum of 10% – will be appreciated. Tip $10-$15 per day for drivers or tour guide but remember an excessive tip can make it difficult for the next customer.
Sightseeing – Tanzania is indeed Unsurpassed Africa in the bounty of its wildlife and the beauty of the land: Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain; all of Africa’s Great Lakes; the best game parks in the world; hiking and nature trails such as the Usambara Mountains; the fabulous island of Zanzibar.
Water sports – With its long Indian Ocean coast and its shores on the Great Lakes, Tanzania is a dream world for water enthusiasts: big-game fishing, freshwater fishing, diving, snorkeling, swimming and just relaxing on the beaches.
Shopping – Locally made products are available at good prices: batiks, Tingatinga paintings, carvings (especially the Makonde artwork), basket ware, jewelers of all kinds, textiles, and more.
Inter-continental flights serve Dar es Salaam, eight miles from the city center, and Kilimanjaro, 31 miles from Arusha. Zanzibar Airport is five miles from town.
The protection of nature is everyone’s concern. On safari do not collect or buy bones, skins, horns, teeth, feathers, or shells. And on the coast do not bring back coral, shells, or starfish, which play an important role in the fragile ecosystem. Do not litter where others are expected to visit.
The protection of cultures is also everyone’s concern. The guides know the local habits and customs. It is always advisable to ask someone’s permission before taking his or her photograph.
The Tanzanian climate is tropical. The central plateau is dry and arid with hot days and cool nights, while the northwest highlands are cool and temperate. June to September is the cooler season. The “long rains’ are from-March to May and the “short rains” are between October and December. The hottest months are between October and February. On the coast, it rains in November and December and from March to May. Coastal areas are hot and humid although sea breezes cool the area pleasantly between June and September.
Best Times to Visit Tanzania
July through October; December through March
June through October
Zanzibar, Pemba, and Mafia
July through October; December through March
May through October
It should be possible for you to visit Tanzania any time of the year but it also depends on which part of Tanzania.
The short rains come in December-January and the long rains around March till May. It is NOT a predictable pattern, and at any time it is not easy to promise it will not rain.
All of Tanzania suffers from the rains which generally fall from March to May in the North, and from November to May in the South and West.
Yes roads in the parks although are regularly repaired, when it’s too heavy rains they get washed out. In National Parks, therefore, the animals tend to spread out, and this makes wildlife viewing less satisfying if you’re expecting to see big numbers of animals.
December through March can get quite hot and humid, especially in Western and Southern Tanzania which makes it a little uncomfortable to spend a lot of time in the bush.
Best Time to Go on Safari in Tanzania
Therefore the best time to visit Tanzania is during the main dry season, from May to October. The rains make access to some of Tanzania’s parks and reserves difficult, and trekking also becomes cumbersome.
If you want to see the Great Annual Migration of millions of zebra and wildebeest in the Tanzania’s northern parks – the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Conservation Areas, the best time February – March when the wildebeest and zebra have their young. At this time the herds concentrate in the south of the Serengeti, and it’s easy to plan your wildlife viewing in that area. The migration usually moves out of the Serengeti area by the end of June and doesn’t return until December.
Tanzania’s dry season is the best time to visit all the parks, but especially Tanzania’s Southern Parks. They become more difficult to reach during the wet season and during the dry season the animals tend to congregate around permanent water and it isn’t so hot and humid.
If you want to track chimps in Western Tanzania, the best time to go is the dry season, June – November for better access to the parks. However, the wet-season (December to April) makes it a little easier to find the chimps since they don’t have to roam too far to get water.
Best Time to Trek Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru
Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru’s trekking seasons are basically the same. The best time to trek is January – March, and September – October.
Best Time to Enjoy a Beach Holiday in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar
The coastal city of Dar es Salaam and the islands of Zanzibar are warm and humid year round. The Indian Ocean breeze off-set some humidity and makes your visit comfortable. Rainfall can happen any month but the heavy rains fall from mid-March to May and November to January. Best times to visit Zanzibar is during one of the cultural festivals that take place in February (Sauti za Busara), and in June (Zanzibar International Film Festival).
Custom Duty-Free Items
Personal effects, including binoculars, cameras, and film, may be brought in free of duty. A custom’s bond may be demanded from those bringing in video/ filming equipment, radios, tape recorders and musical instruments to ensure the goods are re-exported. Firearms require a special permit. Duty-free allowances are 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 250 grams of tobacco plus one pint of spirits, provided the traveler is over 16. Visitors buying local handcraft must keep sales receipts for presentation to customs officials on departure.
Electricity and Plug Types.
230 volts AC, 50 Hz
Common Type – Rectangular blade plug
Not very common –
Round pin plug w/ ground round plug is except in older houses/buildings
Tanzania is one of the most peaceful countries in the world characterized by a Stable political system. However, visitors and tourists should be very careful with things in cities and where thuggery incidences occur they should report them to the nearest Police Station.