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Tanzania - Info & Facts

Suggested Length of Stay

If you want a good overview of Tanzania, experiencing the cultural and natural wonders of the country a good length of stay is between 7-14 days.

Recommended length of stays in the more popular destinations are Ngorongoro Crater 2-3 Days, Serengeti National Park 3-4 Days, Mt Kilimanjaro National Park 2-3 Days, Zanzibar 1-5 Days.

Modes of transport

Road

Less than 15% of roads in Tanzania are paved and less than that outside of the main cities or highways. Majority of roads are all-weather however during the wet seasons some roads become almost impassable.

Air

Getting around in Tanzania by air is safe and straightforward. There are several air carriers that connect major Tanzanian cities as well as safari airstrips and islands like Pemba, Mafia and Zanzibar. Regional aircraft operate from terminal 1 Dar es Salaam Airport.

If you plan to visit Northern Circuit safari parks, the best airport to arrive is Kilimanjaro airport. While visiting southern Tanzania and Zanzibar only, best airport to arrive in Dar es Salaam or Zanzibar Airport.

Within Tanzania is possible to fly to other cities and towns as well as airstrips in National Parks, usually with small aircraft.

 

Climate

Tanzania has a tropical climate but has regional variations due to topography. In the highlands, temperatures range between 10 and 20 °C (50 and 68 °F) during cold and hot seasons respectively.

The rest of the country has temperatures rarely falling lower than 20 °C. The hottest period extends between November and February (25–31 °C) while the coldest period occurs between May and August (15–20 °C).

Seasonal rainfall is driven mainly by the migration of the Intertropical Convergence Zone. It migrates southwards through Tanzania in October to December, reaching the south of the country in January and February, and returning northwards in March, April, and May. This causes the north and east of Tanzania to experience two distinct wet periods – the short rains (or “Vuli”) in October to December and the long rains (or “Masika”) from March to May – while the southern, western, and central parts of the country experience one wet season that continues October through to April or May.

Health Precautions

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 your trip goes as comfortably and smooth as possible. Malaria is usually top on the list of visitors' worries, and prevention goes a long way towards keeping you protected. Make sure to visit your doctor to get a prescription for the anti-malarial drug the best suit you. 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 vaccination should be considered. 

Food

Tanzanian cuisine is both unique and widely varied. Along the coastal regions (Dar es Salaam, Tanga, Bagamoyo, Zanzibar, and Pemba), spicy foods are common, and there is also much use of coconut milk. Regions in Tanzania's mainland also have their own unique foods. Some typical mainland Tanzanian foods include wali (rice), ugali (maize porridge), chapati (a kind of bread), nyama choma (grilled meat), mshikaki (marinated beef), samaki (fish), pilau, biriyani, and ndizi-nyama (plantains with meat). Vegetables commonly used in Tanzania include bamia (okra), mchicha (a kind of spinach), njegere (green peas), maharage (beans), and kisamvu (cassava leaves). Tanzania grows at least 17 different types of bananas which is used for soup, stew, and chips.

Famous Tanzanian snack foods include maandazi (fried dough), isheti, kashata (coconut bars), kabaab (kebab), sambusa (samosa), mkate wa kumimina (Zanzibari rice bread), vileja, vitumbua (rice patties), bagia, and many others.

Money

Tanzania Shillings is the local currency; however, you are advised to carry American Dollars. Money changers do accept major convertible currencies including the EURO and the Australian Dollar. Major Credit Cards may also be acceptable in some large Hotels; however, it is advisable to carry Cash US Dollars.


Time Zone

Tanzania operates on GMT +3, 3 hours ahead of GMT and 7.5 hours behind AEST.


Visas

You need a visa to enter Tanzania.

 

Australian Embassy & Consulate contacts in Tanzania (located in Kenya)

Australian High Commission, Nairobi

Riverside Drive (400 metres off Chiromo Road)

Nairobi, KENYA

Telephone: +254 20 4277 100

Fax: +254 20 4277 139

Website: www.kenya.highcommission.gov.au

 

Tanzania Embassy contacts in Australia (located in Japan)

High Commission of the United Republic of Tanzania

21-9 Kamiyoga 4-Chome

Setagaya-ku Tokyo

158-0098 JAPAN

Email Address: tzrepjp@tanzaniaembassy.or.jp

Web Site: www.tanzaniaembassy.or.jp/english/e_index.html

Phone Number +81 3 3425 4531

Fax Number +61 +81 3 3425 7844

Hours of Business

Monday - Friday: 9.00 am - 12.00 pm / 1.00 pm - 5.00 pm 


Electricity

In Tanzania, the power sockets are of type D and G. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.


Getting there (stopovers)

Currently, there are no direct flights between Australian cities and Dar es Salaam. However, the best way would be either via Dubai or via South Africa.


A brief history

It is believed that modern humans originate from the rift valley region of East Africa, and as well as fossilized hominid remains, archaeologists have uncovered Africa's oldest human settlement in Tanzania.

Discovered at Olduvai Gorge in NE Tanzania the fossilized remains of what he called Homo habilis, who lived about 1.75 million years ago. Tanzania was later the site of Paleolithic cultures. By the beginning of the first millennium A.D. scattered parts of the country, including the coast, were thinly populated. At this time overseas trade seems to have been carried out between the coast and NE Africa, SW Asia, and India.

In 1498, Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese explorer, became the first European to visit the Tanzanian coast; in 1502, on his second visit there, he made Kilwa tributary. In 1505, Kilwa was sacked by Francisco d’Almeida, another Portuguese ex

Tanganyika as a geographical and political entity did not take shape before the period of High Imperialism; its name only came into use after German East Africa was transferred to the United Kingdom as a mandate by the League of Nations in 1920. What is referred to here, therefore, is the history of the region that was to become Tanzania. A part of the Great Lakes region, namely the western shore of Lake Victoria consisted of many small kingdoms, most notably Karagwe and Buzinza, which were dominated by their more powerful neighbours Rwanda, Burundi, and Buganda.plorer, and by 1506 Portugal controlled most of the coast of E Africa.

On 26 April 1964, Tanganyika united with Zanzibar to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. The country was renamed the United Republic of Tanzania on 29 October of that year. The name Tanzania is a blend of Tanganyika and Zanzibar and previously had no significance. Under the terms of this union, the Zanzibar Government retains considerable local autonomy.

 

Tipping Guideline

You should tip porters/bellboys $1 - $2 USD for each bag they carry.  Housekeeping should also receive a small tip for each day; about $2 - $4 USD is reasonable.  Many hotels will exchange money for the local currency.

At restaurants in Tanzania, especially in major cities, it is customary to tip 5%, if a service charge is not included. Alternatively, if you are satisfied with the service you can round the bill up to an even amount. Don't worry about tipping too much thought: locals tend to not tip at restaurants.

Tipping is an important part of the safari and trekking experiences in Tanzania.  As such you should tip the drivers, guides, porters and cooks on your tour. Many tour operators have tipping guidelines, so it is best to find out the tipping policy before your trip.  In general, you should expect to tip about $10 USD to $15 USD per group per day for the driver and/or guide.  For the cook, it is suggested you tip about $8 USD to $10 USD.