Climate and Clothing
Tanzania enjoys a mild climate year round. The country lies just two degrees south of the equator so at lower elevations where the climate is tropical, temperatures and humidity can be quite high. On the northern safari circuit and at higher elevations temperatures are pleasant with lower temperatures morning and evening and the middle of the day getting nice and warm (up to 80◦F – 26 C). At very high elevations such as on Mt Meru and Kilimanjaro conditions are frigid.
The seasons are reversed from the northern hemisphere with the coldest months being July and August. Conversely the warmest months are December and January. There are two rainy periods, the “short” rains in November-December and the “long rains” in April-May. By the end of the dry seasons following the rains the dust can be quite irritating.
The currency in Tanzania is the Tanzanian shilling – TSH or /. = It comes in denominations of: 10,000; 5,000; 2,000; 1,000; and 500 notes
Rates fluctuate considerably and also fluctuate within the country, becoming higher in more remote areas. In the past several years the rate has gone from 900 TSH to 1600 + TSH per one US dollar.
You can exchange currency at most hotels and lodges as well as banks and bureaux de changes in Arusha. US dollars are preferred and almost anything in Tanzania can be purchased with US currency. Bring plenty of small notes for tips and incidentals but fifties and hundreds get a better rate of exchange. PLEASE NOTE: US bills must be issued after the year 2005 to be accepted in east Africa. Newer notes are always better.
Cash is the easiest, but less secure, so it is advisable to bring a mixture of traveller’s cheques and cash.
Bring your proof of purchase papers when bringing traveller’s cheques, as banks often want to see these. PLEASE NOTE: You CANNOT get US$ cash in exchange for traveller’s cheques, only Tanzanian shillings.
Credit cards are becoming more widely accepted in Tanzania but there are often additional charges and high rates of exchange associated with their use. There are a few ATM machines in Arusha, Karatu, Dar es Saalam and Zanzibar but they are not always working so bring enough $US cash or traveller’s cheques for your needs whiles travelling with you.
Depending on your type of safari, most things are included in your trip, however, you may need to pay for:
Health and Safety
Tanzania has been politically stable since independence. Caution should be taken in regards to your safety and belongings in all our major cities as in anywhere in the world. Generally the rural areas are free of trouble but always take care of your belongings. Remember that the animals you encounter are wild and you are in their environment. Please use common sense and always listen to the advice of your guide at all times.
Consult you doctor or Health Travel Advisory Service for advice on vaccination and malaria prophylaxis. Bring a personal first aid kit including any over-the-counter or prescription medications that you regularly use. Eyeglass wearers should bring an extra pair and contact lens wearers should bring glasses as well. There is a lot of dust and glare on safari that can affect sensitive eyes and eye drops are useful. A good pair of sunglasses and plenty of sunscreen are also essential, as is a broad-brimmed hat.
Commonly recommended vaccinations:
Currently a yellow fever vaccination is required to enter Tanzania or Zanzibar. Please allow plenty of time to obtain the necessary immunizations.
Malaria is a serious tropical disease that affects millions of people each year, mostly local residents. Certain areas in Tanzania are within a malarial zone, notably the coastal areas and lower elevations; and there are strains of malaria present that can be resistant to certain anti-malaria drugs. It is recommended that you take anti-malarial tablets before, during and after your stay in Tanzania. Please contact your doctor or International health clinic to get the best advice on which anti-malarial to take.
Malaria is spread by one species of mosquito (Anopheles gambiae) that feeds from dusk to dawn. The best way to prevent contracting malaria is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Follow these suggestions:
Use a mosquito net when provided (at the coast and low elevations)
Use insect repellent
Cover exposed skin after dark
For more travel health and malaria information visit the following websites:
Center for Disease Control www.cdc.gov/travel
World Health Organizationwww.who.int
Water and Food
While in Tanzania you should drink only commercially bottled water, which is available throughout the well-travelled areas. We choose lodges and camps that take the utmost care in choosing and preparing all food to a high standard. Please advise us if you have special dietary requests.
Bringing home great photos is one of the joys of safaris. Modern digital equipment allows for the possibility to capture all your safari memories easily. Be sure to bring adequate batteries and/or charging equipment. Remember Tanzania is on 220-240 volts and uses the 3 pin British type plugs. You’ll be able to recharge your batteries at most lodges and some camps. If possible look for a charger that utilises the vehicle battery through the cigarette lighter.
Your guide will help you to get into the best position possible when photographing wildlife from the vehicle. If you want to take photos of people or their livestock, it’s necessary to ask permission and often a fee will be demanded. Your guide can assist you but we remind you to please be respectful of a person’s feelings and cultural differences.
Citizens of most countries require a visa to enter Tanzania. Passports MUST be valid for at least six months after your date of entry. Check visa requirements/procedures/details with your nearest Tanzanian Consulate or Embassy. It’s currently possible to obtain a visa at the road border or on arrival by air. This will take some time and delay your entrance somewhat.