Tourist Info

Travel Tips

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Area and population
The mainland Tanganyika and the islands Zanzibar and Pemba comprise an area of 930.700 sq.km. The current population is around 34 million, with a national growth rate of 2.8 %.
Capital
Dar es Salaam is the major trading center and the main harbor, but Dodoma is the official capital.
When to go?
The coast, the islands and Selous have tropical climate year round, the other areas are temperate. Expect short rains in November, while the rainy season starts from mid March to the end of May. During rainy season it can get chilly in the northern mainland, especially in higher altitudes like the Ngorongoro.
High season is in December and January. The hottest months are from December to the end of March when humidity is high and decreases only by night.
Visas
Can be obtained at all points of entry (airports and borders). Your passport must be valid at least six months from your date of arrival. Your visa must be paid cash in US dollars.
Remember your yellow fever certificate !
Health
The yellow fever vaccine is no longer compulsory upon entering Tanzania and Zanzibar, but it is still recommended to get this vaccine . It should be taken at least 10 days before arrival. Visitors are advised to take anti malaria tablets, consult your doctor in good time before departure.
Common diseases in Tanzania: amoebae dysentery, bacteria dysentery, typhoid, cholera, malaria, yellow fever, hepatitis A, bilharzia and aids. These are all preventable, and in some instances, a vaccine can be given before departing. Note that some vaccines need to be taken six months before arrival.
Do not drink the water from the tap, nor brush you teeth with it. Use bottled mineral water, which is easily available. Do not share eating utensils or drink from the same glass/bottle. Salads, fruits and vegetables should be rinsed thoroughly in boiled or purified water. Meat must be thoroughly cooked. At evening time, wear trousers and long sleeves, and sleep under a mosquito net. Mosquito repellents should not contain more than 30% Deet, as it can harm your skin. Do not swim in lakes, which causes a high risk of contracting bilharzia.Booking a tour with Victoria Expeditions, you are covered by AAR Emergency Rescue and Evacuation insurance.
Money matters
The local currency is Tanzanian shillings, Tsh, notes in denominations of 500, 1000, 5000 and 10000. It is advisable to bring American dollars, though Banks and Forex Bureaus accept the major convertible currencies. Note that US$ bills printed before 1996 are no longer accepted in Tanzania, locals call these bills “kichwa kidogo” referring to the “small head” compared to the newer bills where the heads are bigger.
Travelers cheques are widely accepted. Credit cards are accepted in larger hotels and in some exchange facilities, but the rate is not as favorable as for cash or travelers cheques. You can find ATMs in Arusha, Moshi, Dar es Salaam and Stone Town.
What to bring?

In a warm and humid climate, cotton is the most comfortable fabric to wear. Avoid nylon and other synthetic fabrics. In the mainland the evenings get chilly, so bring a warm sweater or jacket. In exclusive restaurants, a jacket and tie is suitable, but elsewhere you can wear what you want. Don’t bring too much clothing. Laundry services are available in most hotels and guest houses, if you order it in the morning, you will have it back the same afternoon, at a reasonable price. Bring binoculars for the safari, along with extra film rolls and batteries.  Sandals, sunglasses, swimsuits, sun hats and sun cream with a high protection factor. A flash light can come in handy while on camping safari. A Swiss knife, an adapter, bottle for drinking water are other items which can be useful.

WHAT TO BRING ON A SAFARI?
Sleeping bag
Flashlight
Spare batteries
Sunglasses
Sun protection lotion
Mosquito repellent
Toiletry requirements
Towel
Wash kit
Long sleeved shirt/jumper
Trouser
Warm sweater
Hat
Binoculars
Camera
Films
Small daypack

When you’re hungry
Tanzania has lots to offer food wise. Exotic fruits and fresh fruit juices are good for breakfast, along with toast or omelet. Most hotels serve a standard continental breakfast. If you want to explore the traditional Tanzanian cuisine, there are countless places to eat. Portions are big, and consist mainly of potatoes, rice, beans, spinach, and ugali (a stiff maize porridge) along with chicken, beef, mutton or fish.
On the coast you can enjoy fresh tropical fish, lobster and shrimps. Larger towns have a good selection of Chinese, Italian and Indian restaurants. Some restaurants even serve game like crocodile, zebra and antelopes. Endangered species and the national symbol, the giraffe, do not appear on the menu, so enjoy your meal with a clean conscience.
Vegetarians will not have to survive on fruits and beans the whole stay, most restaurants cater well for vegetarians.
Culture
When meeting, parting, passing and receiving anything, hands are always shaken. Use the right hand. This applies for rural areas as well as urban areas. If your right hand is occupied, offer your right elbow. Never offer your left hand, as it is used for hygienic purposes.
While in the national parks, always follow the park regulations. Do not litter. Do not collect or purchase any bones, skins, horns, teeth, feathers or shells, and on the coast, do not collect coral, shells or starfish.
Ask for permission before taking anyone’s photograph. Ask your guides about the local customs in the area you are visiting.
The majority of the population along the coast are Muslim, so avoid revealing clothing. Cover up your shoulders and knees while in this area. Topless and nude bathing are prohibited.
Gay and lesbian travelers should avoid showing affection, as this might cause unwanted attention.
Displays of impatience or rage are frowned upon. When in a frustrating situation, e.g your vehicle is being stopped by traffic police officers and you are being fined for a genuine (or imaginary) fault, a smile will be more helpful than outbursts. Swearing and anger will only make the situation worse.
The justice mob: Unfortunately, thefts are common in larger towns, and should you be so unlucky to be pick pocketed or mugged, think twice before creating a stir. Making a crowd aware of the culprit by shouting “thief!” and pointing towards him, can encourage people to chase him and beat him to death before the police show up. In some cases, crowds shout for kerosene and burn the culprit alive. “The justice mob” refers to the frustration caused by the failure of the local authorities to prevent crime, to the extent that people take justice in their own hands. You may be angered by the loss of your brand new camera, but not to the extent that you want to witness the justice mob in action. It is a sad and brutal punishment not fitting the crime.
Souvenirs
Batiks, wood carvings, Zanzibar chests and Maasai jewelry are among the items worth taking a second look at. The price first offered will be considerably higher than the real price. Saying firmly ” I will pay two dollars only, not more” will get you nowhere, you are expected to bargain and in this “sport”, you have to give a little and take a little! Be friendly, a few phrases of Kiswahili will be greatly appreciated.
Religion
Christian, Muslim, Hindu and traditional beliefs.
Language
Tanzania has two official languages, Kiswahili and English, though Kiswahili is the most widely spoken. In major cities, most people will know English, but if you are heading “off the beaten track”, some Kiswahili will be useful. In addition, the approximately 130 tribes have their own local language.
Insurance
Your insurance should cover medical assistance, transportation home and theft.
National Holidays
1st of January          New Years Day
12th of January        Zanzibar Revolution
Good Friday
Easter Monday
26th of  April            Union Day Anniversary
1st of May               International Worker’s Day
7th of July               Sabasaba (77) International Trade Fair
8th of July               Peasants Day
9th of December      Independence & Republic Day
25th of December    Christmas Day
26th of December    Boxing Day
In addition the Muslim holidays, depending on the sighting of the moon.
International Airports, taxes and customs
There are three international airports, namely Kilimanjaro, Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar. Upon departing Tanzania via airports, a tax of 30 US$ is required. This can not be paid in local currency. Remember that import and export of the local currency is illegal.
1 liter of wine or spirit, 200 cigarettes (or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco) and 250ml of perfume can legally be imported to Tanzania.
Please remember that the following products can not be taken into the UK, USA and many other countries. They will be confiscated at your port of exit or entry and you could also face legal proceedings:
Elephant: all ivory products, leather, goods and tusks are prohibited
Rhino: All trade in rhino horn products is banned internationally.
Sea Turtle & Shells: Shells, shell jewelry, coral and turtle related products are prohibited.
Cats: The purchase of exotic cat fur is ill advised and few can be traded legally.
Not feeling well?
There are medical centers in all the national parks and in all townships. A flying doctor can be called for emergencies in all areas. If you feel feverish, immediately seek a doctor.
Communication
Country telephone code: 255. Outgoing international code: 00. Phone lines are not always reliable, and the postal service is slow. Internet cafe’s are popping up everywhere, and the rates are favorable, for a little over 1 US$ you can surf for one hour. Some internet cafes also offer internet phone services, which is much cheaper than calling from a normal line.
Telefax facilities are available in many Government-and-business offices as well as tourist hotels. Telegrams can be sent from the post office.
Radio frequencies:
BBC:                    MHZ 21.47   17.88   15.42   6.135
Voice of America:  MHZ 17.89   15.60   9.575   6.035
Begging
Please do not give money to the local people begging on the street. It encourages begging and is demeaning. Rather give them something to eat. Street children are visible in larger towns, and they can be quite persistent and sometimes rude if you give them nothing. Keep in mind that many of these children are orphans and victims of abuse and they are the most underprivileged members of society. A meal or friendly smile will be more helpful than money (which sometimes will be used to buy glue or drugs)
While on safari, you might find children on the roadside begging for ball pens and money. Bare in mind that if you give them anything, this encourages them to spend their day on the roadside waiting for tourists, instead of going to school or helping their family in the village. It is hard to pass without being tempted to give, but a donation in the right place is the best way to assist. If you wish to make a donation, go to the administrators of schools, hospitals etc.
Safety
Tanzania is a peaceful country. However, there are precautions one should take when spending one’s holiday here, as you would in any unfamiliar area. Never show off your valuables, keep your money and passport in the hotel’s safe. Ask the locals which areas are not safe, and stay away from them. Always take a taxi after dark.
Opening hours
During weekdays, most shops are open from 9am to 8pm, often closed for lunch. Also open on Saturdays, some shops do business a few hours on Sundays. Banks are open from 8.30am to 4pm, Saturdays closing at 1pm.
Local time
GMT + 3 hours.
Things take time in Africa, so don’t bother to stress. People here don’t rush, and when they say “soon”, they usually mean in one hour or more, which can cause frustration when you need to move fast. We even have a different time system. The Swahili watch is set 6 hours ahead of normal time, so in Swahili 12 o’clock is really 6 o’clock. Confused? Don’t worry, when speaking English, most people use the normal time system.
Electricity
230 volts Ac, 50hz.
EMBASSIES & HIGH COMMISSIONS in Dar es Salaam
COUNTRYLOCATIONTELEPHONEFAX
Algeria34 Ali Hassan Mwinyi Road21176192117620
Angola78 Lugalo Road, Upanga2117674 
Belgium5 Ocean Road, Upanga2112688/21134662117621
BurundiPlot No. 1007, Lugalo Rd, Upanga0812 2417772121499
Canada38 Mirambo Street2112831/52116897
China2 Kajificheni Close2667586/26676942666353
Cuba313 Lugalo Road, Upanga21159282667026
DenmarkGhana Avenue2113887/922116433
Egypt24 Ghana Avenue2113591/21176222112543
FinlandMirambo Street, Garden Avenue21191702119173
FranceAli Hassan Mwinyi Road26660122668435
GermanyNIC Invest. House, Samora Avenue2117409/152112951
Great BritainSocial Security House, Samora Avenue2117659/642112951
Hungary204 Chake Chake Road, Oysterbay26685732267214
IndiaNIC Invest. House, Samora Avenue2117175/62118761
Indonesia299 Ali Hassan Mwinyi Road21191192115849
Ireland1131 Msanani Road2666211/26663482667852
Italy316 Lugalo Road, Upanga2115935/62115938
Japan299 Ali Hassan Mwinyi Road2115827/21158292115830
KenyaNIC Invest. House, Samora Avenue2112955/72113098
MalawiNIC Life House, Sokoine Drive21132402113360
Mozambique25 Garden Avenue21165022116502
NetherlandsATC House, Ohio Street2130428/2118566/82112828
NigeriaKaribu Hotel, Haile Selassie Avenue26676202668947
NorwayMirambo Street2113366/21136102116564
Pakistan149 Malik Road, Upanga21176302113205
Poland63 Aly Khan Road, Upanga21152712115812
Romania11 Ocean Road, Upanga21158992113866
Russia73 Ali Hassan Mwinyi Riad2666005/62666818
Rwanda32 Ali hassan Mwinyi Riad21301192115888
South AfricaMwaya Road, Msanani2600484/52600684
South Korea1349 Haile Selassie Avenue2600496/26020002600559
Spain99B Kinondoni Road2666936/26660182666938
Sudan64 Ali Hassan Mwinyi Road21176412115811
SwedenMirambo Street, Garden Avenue21112352113420
Switzerland79 Kinondoni Road2666088/92666736
Syria276 Aly Khan Road, Upanga2117656/21187822115860
UgandaExtelcoms House, Samora Avenue21176672112947
U.S.A140 Msese Road, Kinondoni2666010/52666701
Yemen135 United Nations Road21106152115924
ZambiaOhio Street/Sokoine Drive2118481/22112977
ZimbabweNIC Life House, Sokoine Drive

Spice tours – Muscat, vanilla, cinnamon, pepper, ginger and other spices and fruits so exotic that they don’t have an English name,  can be explored in the many plantations.

The slave chambers – The underground slave chambers in Mangapwani was the center of the illegal slave trade up until 1909.

Persian baths – On the highest point of the island, Kidichi, the sultan Sayyind Said built Persian baths in 1850, one for him and one for his wife. They are still in a good condition with splendid Persian architecture, so a visit here will be more than worth your time.

Prison Island – In the middle of this island,  you will find the remains of an old prison built in 1893. Half an hour by boat, you pay a modest fee to enter the island, which is ideal for snorkeling and watching giant turtles, imported from the Seychelles at the end of the century.

Jozani Forest – The only remaining natural forest on Zanzibar, where the rare red guerexa monkeys habituate. The best time to go to Jozani is in the early morning hours, when the monkeys are active.

Swimming with dolphins – Taking place in the southern part of the island, the boat ride is long, and you are not guaranteed to find dolphins, but when you finally do, and if you get the chance to join them in the water, it will be an extraordinary experience.

Deep sea fishing – Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia are excellent islands for sports fishing. Do as Ernest Hemingway and catch sailfish, mackerel, kingfish and marlin among others.

Diving – Coral reefs, tropical fish and clear water make this area ideal for scuba diving. Take a diving course, get your certificate and jump in the Indian Ocean.

Sailing and water sports – Windsurfing and sailing are popular activities, and can be organized many places.

ZIFF – The Zanzibar International Film Festival was established in 1997 to promote the art and culture of the Dhow region. The Dhow region consists of the Arabian Peninsula, the Indian sub-continent, Asia, Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands.

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