TANZANIA ABC – The Ultimate safari guide on tours and travel in Tanzania
Sightseeing – Tanzania is indeed unsurpassed Africa in the bounty of its wildfe and the beauty of the land: Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, all of Africa’s Great Lakes; the best game parks in the world; hiking and nature trails such as in the Usambara Mountain, the fabulous Island of Zanzibar.
Watersports – with its 1000km Indian Ocean coastline and shores on the Great Lakes, Tanzania is a dream world for water enthusiasts: big – game fishing, freshwater fishing, diving, snorkeling, swimming, and just relaxing on the beaches.
Shopping – Locally made products are available at good prices: batiks, tingatinga paintings, carvings (especially the world – famous Makonde artwork), basket ware, jewellery of all kinds, textiles and more.
International air carriers serve Tanzania’s international airports from Europe, Asia, the Middle East and from the points in Africa.
Dar es salaam International Airport – situated 42 kilometres from Moshi town. Taxi and shuttle buses are available. Bargain your fares before embarking on the drive.
Kilimanjaro International Airport – Situated 42 kilometers from Arusha municipality and 40 kilometres from Moshi town. Taxis and shuttle buses are available. As the distance is long to either town make sure you have enough money from Stone Town. Taxis are available.
Zanzibar International Airport – Situated 8 kilometres from Stone Town. Taxis are available.
The protection of nature is everyone’s concern. On safari, do not collect or buy bones, skins, horns, teeth, feathers, or shells. And on the coast do not remove coral, shells, or starfish, which play an important role in the fragile ecosystem. Do no litter anywhere.
The protection of culture is also everyone’s concern. The guides know the local habits and customs. It is always advisable to ask someone’s permission before taking his or her photograph.
BANKING AND CURRENCY
Money can be changed freely at authorized dealers, banks, or bureaux de change but for safety insist on a receipt for the transaction. There are a few foreign banks in major towns, but local banks operate far into remote districts. Normally banks are open from 8.30 a.m. to noon on Monday to Friday, and 8.30a.m to noon on Saturday. Some branches open Sundays. Import and export of large sums of local currency is limited to US$10,000 or the amount declared on arrival. The basic unit is the Tanzania Shilling. Notes: shs.500, 100, 200: It is advisable to carry American dollars. Money changers also accept the major convertible currencies including pounds, euros, yen, etc.
Travellers’ cheques are exchangeable in some places. Major credit cards are accepted in some banks and larger hotels Visa cardholders can get local currency 24 hours a day at Standard chartered, NBC, NMB ATM’s. MasterCard is accepted at Barclays Bank distributors.
Tanzania climate is generally tropical in most areas while temperate climate is experienced in the highlands. The central plateau is dry and arid with hot days and cool nights. June to September is the cool season. The “long rains” are from March to May and the “short rains” are from October to December. The hottest months are between October and February. On the Coast, it rains in November and December and from March to May. Coastal areas are hot and humid although sea breezes cool the area pleasantly between June and September.
Holiday travelers – For safaris in northern Tanzania, during the day, light clothing, sturdy shoes and canvas hats are recommended. At night, casual wear with light cardigan or a pull over (for altitudes between 1,5000 metres in Arusha and 2,400 metres in Ngorongoro Crater and the Southern Highlands). On the coast, summer or beach wears. For Kilimanjaro or other treks, check with a mountain specialist before departure. To bring: sunscreen, lotion, sunglasses, mosquito cream, and binoculars.
On safaris, avoid brightly coloured clothes they may alarm the animals. Browns, beiges, and khaki are preferred. Short-sleeved shirts/blouses, and shorts are ideal, but pack a sweater: it can be evening. Don’t forget a swimsuit. Immodest clothing will offend local tradition.
Business travelers – Dressing general is informal in Tanzania, but business people and officers often choose to wear suits or coat and tie.
CUSTOMS, DUTY-FREE ITEMS
Personal effects, including binoculars, cameras, and film, may be brought in Tanzania free of duty. A custom’s bond may be demanded from those bringing in video/filming equipment to ensure that the goods are re-exported. Firearms require a special permit. Duty free allowances re 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 250 grammes of tobacco plus one pint of spirits, provided the traveler is over 16. Visitors buying local handicrafts must keep sales receipts for presentation to customs officials on departure.
239 volts AC, 50 Hz. Plugs may be round or square 3-pin, fused or un-fused.
There is a variety of food. You will find international cuisine in hotels, restaurants, and lodges. On the coast, fish and lobster with local dishes such as biryani and meat or fish curries. Dar es Salaam has a number of Chinese, Italian, Indian, Thai, Japanese and other traditional restaurants. If possible, sample such traditional Tanzanian food as ugali (a maize staple) or pure (maize and beans; pronounced POO-ray), yams, sweet potatoes, cassava, and various greens, and not to miss nyama choma barbecue.
By Air – Air Tanzania and Precisionair have scheduled service to all the major towns of Tanzania. There are also smaller companies with scheduled services and a number of charter companies based in Zanzibar, Dar es Salaam, Mwanza and Arusha.
By Rail – There are three main railway lines: the Northern, running from Tanga to Arusha; the Central (connecting to the Northern), from Dar es Salaam to Lake Tanganyika at Kigoma with a northern spur to Lake Victoria at Mwanza; and Tazara, the Tanzania – Zaambia railway service that runs from Dar es Salaam into central Zambia. Train travel is comfortable and reliable, though not as fast as most bus services.
By Bus – Intercity buses abound, and you can reach almost any town, big or small, by bus. Local buses (called daladala) operate in and around most towns, and are ubiquitous in Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar; and other cities. They are cheap, but not really recommended for visitors new to the country.
By Water – There are India Ocean ferries connecting Mtwara, Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Pemba and Tanga. There are several choices every day between Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar. There are ferry services on the Great Lakes, including MV. Liemba on Lake Tanganyika.
Car Hire – There are many car hire companies in Dar es Salaam, Arusha, and other major towns. They can be hired with or without drivers. An international driver’s licence is required, and driving is on the left hand side of the road.
Taxis – Taxis abound but fares must be negotiated. Try to learn the fair fare before bargaining.
Visitors from countries infected with yellow fever must produce international certificates of vaccination. This is particularly relevant for those traveling from neighbouring African countries. If visiting Zanzibar from mainland Tanzania, a yellow fever certificate must be produced. The British Department of health recommends vaccinations against hepatitis A, polio, and typhoid. It is essential for visitors to take a course of anti-malaria tablets, commencing two weeks before travel. Modern medical services are available in Dar es Salaam, Arusha and other major centers. Visitors are advised to bring their own medicine with them, but there are major pharmacies in the big cities. Doctor/population ratio: 1 per 25,000 people. Basic medical care is provided by the state and by religious organisations. Rural areas are served by local clinics.
Swahili and English, in major towns and tourist areas, a visitor should be able to get along quite well with English only.
GMT plus 3 hours.
There are several English-language daily and weekly newspapers. There are also several Swahili-language dailies and a large number of weeklies and semiweeklies. Electronic media include ITV, DTV, Channel 10, TBC 1, and Television Zanzibar; many local and national radio stations, including radio TBC 2, Radio One, Radio Tumaini, Radio free Africa; international Radio services such as BBC World Service, voice of America, and other international stations; and various international television services via satellite transmission (especially common in larger hotels).
Locally made products are available at good prices. On the Mainland, you can find batiks, Tingatinga paintings, objects in ebony (cutlery, bracelets, sculptures, furniture), basket wear (hats, rugs), beaded Maasai necklaces, goldwork, diamonds, tanzanite, and other precious stones. In Zanzibar, you can find textiles (wrap arounds: kikois for men and khangas for women), carved chests, perfurmes, natural lotions, and spices. Opening and closing time for shopping centres vary between 8:00a.m and 5 or 6 p.m., later in some places; many stores close for lunch.
Most of Tanzania is now on the direct-dail system. In major towns, there are facilities for local and international calls, either through communication companies or by phone cards. For those calling into Tanzania, the country code is +255. The major city codes are as follows; Dar es Salaam 22, Arusha and Moshi 27, and Zanzibar 24. There are four mobile phone services with widespread coverage and usage in the country and visitors can purchase temporary telephone lines.
TANZANIA TOURIST BOARD
Main office, Dar es Salaam – I.P.S.,
Building, Third Floor; and Tourist Information Centre Samora Avenue.
Tel: (255-22) 211 1224/5 or (255-22)213 1555/213 491-3,
Branch office, Arusha – Boma Road near Clock Tower, P.O. Box 2348, Arusha, Tanzania. Tel: (255-27) 250 3842/3), Fax: (255-27) 8256. E-mail: email@example.com.
VISA AND PASSES
Entry Requirements – Foreigners seeking to enter Tanzania should be in possession of a valid passport. The passport must be presented to the immigration control office at any entry point – border station, airport, harbour – with one of the following : a valid visa, a resident’s permit, a pass. A visitor must also present an onward or return ticket together with proof that the visitor has sufficient funds to support himself or herself while in Tanzania.
Those who require a Visa – All foreigners are required to have a valid visa unless their countries have agreements with Tanzania under which the visa requirement is waived. The common types of visa are these:
Ordinary visa: An ordinary visa is issued at any Tanzania mission abroad. It enables the holder to be granted a visitor’s pass at any entry point (border, airport, harbour). A person coming from a country where there is no Tanzania mission may be issued a visa at the entry point in Tanzania.
Business Visa: The business visa is issued to prospective investors who intend to visit Tanzania for such purposes as making feasibility studies, establishing professional and business contacts, and making arrangements for investments during the start-up period. The validity of the visa can vary from one to six months. The fees for the visa are determined administratively, so it is advised that prospective investors consult the appropriate authorities before making application for visas.
Multiple Entry Visa: Foreigners who, because of their business or investments, need to make frequent visits to Tanzania are issued multiple-entry visas. Their validity ranges from one month to a year. Applications for multiple-entry visas are usually submitted by local contacts on behalf of the applicants. The fees for the visa are determined administratively, so it is advised that prospective investors consult the appropriate authorities before making application for visas.
Visa – Issuing Station and Authorities: Tanzania Mission abroad; the office of the Director of Immigration Services, Dar es Salaam, and the office of the Principal Immigration Officer, Zanzibar; entry points to the United Republic of Tanzania: principally Namanga, Tunduma, Sirari, Horohoro, Kigoma port, Zanzibar Harbour, and Zanzibar Airport; and any other gazetted entry points.
Residence Permits for Self-employed foreigners (investors): Applications are submitted to the Tanzania Immigration office. The following items must be attached to the application form: Certificate of competence from the Tanzania Investment Centre (T.I.C), a covering letter from the applicant, six photographs, a curriculum vitae, education certificates (if appropriate), company registration, memorandum and articles of association, evidence of the business premises, sectoral approval from any relevant ministry, share certificating nationality and validity of passport. Those who so not qualify under the T.I.C should provide bank proof or US$300,000 to be considered for the class A permit by the director of Immigration services.
Travel between Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar: Daily flights are operated by Air Tanzania from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar and several other privately owned services. There are many ferries, including hydrofoils. Schedules are given at the booking offices near the main passenger port in Dar es Salaam. Tickets are sold there as well.
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