General Info

Getting There

Tanzania’s air hub is Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) in Dar es Salaam. Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), between Arusha and Moshi, also handles international flights, and is the best option for itineraries in Arusha and the northern safari circuit. It shouldn’t be confused with the smaller Arusha Airport (ARK), 8km west of Arusha, which handles some domestic flights. KLM, Ethiopian Airlines and Turkish Airlines have direct daily flights into JRO.

Visa

Almost everyone needs a visa, which costs between US$20 and US$100, depending on nationality, for a single-entry visa valid for up to three months. It’s best to get the visa in advance (and necessary if you want multiple entry), though visas are currently readily issued at Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro airports and at most border crossings (all nationalities US$50, US dollars cash only, single-entry only).

When To Go

Tanzania can be visited during all seasons. The weather is coolest and driest from late June to September, although in July and August, hotels and park lodges, especially in the north, are at their fullest. October and November are very pleasant, with fewer crowds and a slowly greening-up landscape as the short rains begin in many areas. From late December until February, temperatures are high, but not oppressive. Watch out for high-season hotel prices around the Christmas–New Year holidays, as well as during the July-August peak.

During the main rainy season (March to May), you can save substantially on accommodation costs, and enjoy landscapes that are green and full of life. However, some secondary roads may be impassable, and this is the time when many hotels close for a month or so, especially along the coast. Malaria risk, especially in coastal and low-lying areas, also tends to be higher at this time.

Money

Tanzania’s currency is the Tanzanian shilling (Tsh). Prices can be high in Tanzania, and credit cards are not widely accepted, even at many upmarket hotels. If they are accepted, it’s often only with steep commissions, which means that you will need to rely more heavily on cash. ATM’s are widely available in cities. The best currency to bring is US dollars. $50 and $100 notes are changed at the best rate. All US dollar bills need to be 2009 or newer. Euros are easily changed as well.

Safety

Tanzania is in general a safe, hassle-free country. That said, you do need to take the usual precautions. Avoid isolated areas, especially stretches of beach, and in cities and tourist areas take a taxi at night. In tourist areas – especially Arusha, Moshi and Zanzibar – touts and flycatchers can be extremely aggressive. Take requests for donations from ‘refugees’, ‘students’ or others with a grain of salt. Contributions to humanitarian causes are best done through an established agency or project. Keep the side windows up in vehicles when stopped in traffic and keep your bags out of sight.

Medical Preparations

Vaccinations
The following are recommended:
•    Hepatitis A
•    Polio
•    Typhoid
•    Tetanus
•    Diphtheria
•    Yellow Fever

TANZANIA YELLOW FEVER VACCINATION CERTIFICATES

All passengers en route to Tanzania, who have passed through an Endemic Yellow Fever zone(s) and have left the airport of that endemic country, will be required to show yellow fever certificates on their arrival in Tanzania. Otherwise they will require a vaccination at the entry point of arrival in Tanzania (vaccination fee USD 50.00).

We personally recommend you to get your Yellow Fever Certificate anyway, to be on the safe side, as it is valid for 10 years and you might be delayed in an endemic country for more than 12h if your flight get delayed and then you will need to provide it.

Please be aware that we had reports of Arusha airport abusive practices and if you get asked for your Yellow Fever Certificate and you don’t have it, argue that you were only transiting in Kenya or Ethiopia and did not leave the airport and therefore aren’t entitled to provide such certificate and will NOT purchase it at the airport.

We advise that you check with your nearest specialist travel clinic 4-6 weeks before departure to get up-to-date information. A specialist travel clinic should also be able to advise regarding any special vaccination requirements for your children.

International rules for carrying medicines vary. Some countries do not allow certain medicines to be imported, or require official documents, such as a doctor’s letter, to prove drugs have been prescribed by a doctor and obtained legally. It is sensible to contact the relevant embassy or high commission of your destination to check what their drug transportation rules are before you travel.

MALARIA

Malaria is a serious problem in East Africa. Talk to your doctor about how to prevent malaria while traveling. You may need to take prescription medicine before, during, and after your trip to prevent malaria, especially if you are visiting low-altitude areas.

You can find detailed information here Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

TRAVEL MEDICINE CHECKLIST

Following is a list of items to consider packing:

  • Acetaminophen (paracetamol) or aspirin
  • Acetazolamide (Diamox) for altitude sickness
  • Antibacterial ointment (eg Bactroban) for cuts and abrasions
  • Antibiotics eg ciprofloxacin (Ciproxin) or norfloxacin (Utinor)
  • Antidiarrhoeal drugs
  • Antihistamines (for hay fever and allergic reactions)
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs (eg ibuprofen)
  • Iodine tablets (for water purification)
  • Oral rehydration salts

Find out in advance if your insurance plan will make payments directly to providers or reimburse you later for overseas health expenditures. Most doctors in Tanzania expect payment in cash. It’s vital to ensure that your travel insurance will cover any emergency transport required to get you at least as far as Nairobi (Kenya), or – preferably – all the way home, by air and with a medical attendant if necessary.