Tanzania Travel Tips
Tanzania's natural endowment as a wildlife safari destination is unrivalled. Wild animals roam in vast areas as God intended on that sixth day of the creation. These areas are designated as national parks and game reserves and have a high reputation for being uncrowded and unspoilt. The magnificent collection of game sanctuaries to the north of the country, near the border with Kenya, is referred to as The Northern Circuit. This is the most popular and accessible wildlife safari route in Tanzania. You can positively say that this is one of the finest game viewing areas anywhere in the world. The game aside, the spectacularly diverse cluster of eco-systems and habitats is a dazzling experience for many a visitor. Below is some basic travel info for the visitor to Tanzania
It is recommended to take vaccinations against hepatitis A, polio and typhoid. HIV-AIDS is prevalent in the country and I cannot emphasize enough the need for protection measures. Some fresh water lakes and rivers carry the risk of Bilharzia and you are advised not to swim in such areas. Though proof of vaccination is not required, cholera is a risk throughout the country and precautions are necessary. Modern hospitals and chemists are available in Dar es Salaam, Arusha and other major urban centres.
Arab and Persian influence is strong in Zanzibar. The interaction of Arabs and Bantu Africans has resulted in the Swahili language now widely spoken in Eastern and Central Africa. Those in the know say that the purest Swahili dialect is spoken in Zanzibar. Swahili is now the Lingua Franca of Tanzania although English is widely understood in urban centers.
Make sure to experience the traditional food at the coast and Zanzibar. This is quite good and is based on seafood and rice dishes. Food in the mainland is generally a little bit stodgy and less exciting. The most popular drink is a very decent brew known as Safari Lager. Tanzania music and dance is popular throughout Eastern Africa and this attests to its quality. The lyrics are usually in Swahili. Get to listen to some of it and this may even help improve on your Swahili.
Mobile phones are based on GSM 900/1800 network. Coverage is however limited and you are advised to check beforehand whether your GSM phone has access if you are traveling outside the main urban centres. Mobile telephony operators include Celtel, Mobitel, Tritel, Vodacom and Zanzibar Telecom. You can obtain a GSM card that will allow you to make international calls to any country. E-mail is accessible at Internet cafes to be found in urban centres around the country.
In Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar at the coast there is a wide range of accommodation to meet the needs of most travelers. Camping is however scarce outside the parks. Outside the main urban centres and tourist routes finding rated accommodation is a doubtful proposition. See our Tanzania Hotels & Lodges page to book accommodation for your business or leisure travel needs.
In Tanzania plastic is not highly rated and credit cards are not widely accepted. And when accepted the exchange rate is unfavorable. But it is still a good idea to carry your credit cards, as the conversion rate will not matter in case of urgent need. If saying at one of the bigger hotels, however, your card will very likely be honored. Do not be tempted to change money in the streets however favourable the exchange rate may appear.
The climate is temperate in the northern national parks. The central plateau suffers a dry and arid climate with hot days and cool nights. The highlands in the south and northeast are cool and temperate. For the country as a whole the hottest months are October to February. The long rains fall between March and May and the shorter wet season falls in November.
Tanzania can also be reached through regional hubs at Nairobi and Johannesburg and to a lesser extent Addis Ababa. There are more flights into Nairobi than Kilimanjaro and a popular route for those heading for the northern parks is to fly into Nairobi and then connect to Arusha by
The Tanzania - Zambia Railway Authority runs a passenger train service from Dar es Salaam to Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia. But note that you will need to change trains at the border. Tanzania has good road links to Kenya and Zambia. Road connections to Rwanda and Mozambique are poor and are adequate only for those traveling for adventure.
Rental cars are reliably available from Arusha, Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar. See our Tanzania Car Rental page to do your reservation for a self-drive or chauffer driven vehicle. Rail service is available to the main towns except Arusha. Long haul bus service can connect you to the main towns in the country. It is advisable to find out beforehand if the quality of rail and long haul bus service is acceptable to you. For short haul travel, the popular way to get around is by means of dalla dalla (shared taxi).
What to Wear
On safari, bright coloured clothing may get you in trouble with wild animals. If you are wise you will pack brown, beige and khaki clothing. Short sleeve shirts, shorts and trouser for men are sufficient. For ladies, short sleeve blouses, slacks and skirts are ideal though in the national
At the coast and Zanzibar where Muslims are predominant women need to dress modestly so as not to offend local sensibilities. But swimwear is perfectly acceptable at beaches and hotel premises. Nudity is totally unacceptable in the whole country. It is advisable to travel light and
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