Horseback riding in Tanzania

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Equestrian tours in Tanzania

Tanzania Mini Guide
   Source: World Travel Guide

Overview

If you close your eyes and conjure up the quintessential romantic image of Africa, what you'll most likely imagine is Tanzania: the drama of the wildebeest migration along a seemingly-endless savannah; the incongruous snow and glaciers of Mt Kilimanjaro; the iconic and statuesque Maasai warriors; the exotic palm-fringed beaches on the spice islands of Zanzibar. It's all here.

Tanzania boasts some of the most impressive national parks and game reserves in Africa. The Serengeti National Park is considered the continent's premier sot to see wildlife roam unheeded across vast open plains.

Nearby, within the steep walls of the Ngorongoro Crater lies the most densely concentrated population of African mammals on earth. Not to be forgotten, the Selous Game Reserve is larger than Switzerland, and is wild, remote and still virtually untouched by humans.

Even further from the beaten path are parks in the extreme west of the country which offer unique opportunity to track chimpanzees in their natural habitat on the fringes of Lake Tanganyika, one of Africa's Great lakes.

beyond its safari stalwarts, Tanzania has no less than 804km (503 miles) of sublime coastline and pearly white beaches with some magnificent islands offshore. Known as the Swahili Coast, this was favored stop on ancient trading routes between the Indian sub-continent and the middle East. Spices, jewels and slaves once passed though, bringing with them a mélange of cultural riches that remain today.

Tanzania's not short on mountains either. The striking and snow-capped Mt Kilimanjaro is Africa's tallest at 5,895m (19,341ft) and climbing it is an unforgettable experience. Its slightly smaller sister Mt Meru is arguably even prettier, and a quicker climb.

Tanzania is home to more than 120 different ethnic groups and cultures, but it has seen little of the ethic or religious-based violence that has afflicted certain other nations in the region. In fact, the country is an inherently peaceful place and embraces its multicultural heritage, which ads to its broad appeal.

Passport/Visa

 

Passport Required?

British

Yes

Australian

Yes

Canadian

Yes

USA

Yes

Other EU

Yes

Visa Required?

British

Yes

Australian

Yes

Canadian

Yes

USA

Yes

Other EU

Yes/1

Return Ticket Required?

British

Yes

Australian

Yes

Canadian

Yes

USA

Yes

Other EU

Yes

 

Passports

Passport valid for at least six months required by all nationals referred to in the chart above.

Visas

Visas for Tanzania are required by all nationals referred to in the chart above, except:

1. Nationals of Cyprus and Malta, who do not require a visa.

You can obtain single-entry and transit visas on arrival at the port of entry into Tanzania. Passport photos are not required; all other requirements must be in place. However, multiple-entry business visas cannot be issued at the point of entry and you must obtain these in advance through Tanzania’s embassies. For more information about visas, visit the website for the Immigration Services Department (www.immigration.go.tz).

Visa Note

Nationals not referred to in the chart are advised to contact the embassy or high commission to check visa requirements for Tanzania.

While still part of Tanzania, Zanzibar and the other islands are administered autonomously; they have their own immigration procedures and you will be asked to show your passport on entry and exit.

Types of Visa and Cost

Single-entry tourist visa: US$50 on arrival (the exception is US citizens for whom a single-entry visa is US$100) or £40 in advance.

Multiple-entry business visa: £80 (six months) or £100 (12 months).

Validity

Single-entry tourist visa: up to three months. You can re-enter Tanzania on the same visa (providing it is still valid) if coming into Tanzania for a second time from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda or Burundi.

Multiple-entry business visa: up to three months per visit within a six- or 12-month period.

Applications to:

You can obtain visas from the embassy or high commission before you travel. You can also obtain them at any point of entry (airports and land borders) on arrival. This is a much easier option but you will need to pay for them in cash in US Dollars. Ensure that you have sufficient blank pages in your passport (the minimum for entry into Tanzania is two).

Working Days Required

Allow three working days for visa processing if applying in advance. You can pay an additional fee for a 24-hour or same-day service.

 

Money

Currency

Tanzanian Shilling (TZS; symbol TSh). Notes are in denominations of TSh10,000, 5000, 2,000, 1,000 and 500. Coins are in denominations of TSh200, 100 and 50. In Kiswahili, it is shilingi and written prices are often denoted with the symbol /=; i.e. 100/= is the same as TSh100.

Currency Exchange

US dollars, Pound sterling, and Euros may be changed at banks and bureau de change. However, US dollars are the best currency to take to Tanzania as it is widely accepted alongside TSh to pay for hotel bills, souvenirs, and flight, and is needed to purchase visas on arrival and pay for park entry fees. Bring newer notes- because of the prevalence of forgery, many places (including banks and bureau de change) do not accept US dollar bills printed before 2005. Large dollar bills (such as US$50 and US$100) command a better exchange rate than smaller ones. Ensure bills are not torn or damaged.

Credit/Debit Cards and ATMs

Most top-end hotels, safari lodges, airlines, and tour operators accept Visa and MasterCard (American Express and Diners Club less so), though a commission of 2.5% is usually charged. Budget hotels and most restaurants and shops do not accept credit cards, and they are rarely accepted for payment outside the main tourist areas. Cash easily can be withdrawn using Visa or MasterCard. Any sizeable town has at least one bank with an ATM, and there are ATM at the larger airports. ATMs generally only dispense notes in increments of TSh 15,000 and these larger notes are often hard for people to change- hoard smaller change whenever possible to pay for taxi fares, snacks, souvenirs, and the like.

Traveller's Cheques

May be cashed in some banks (try Barclays) or bureau de change in Tanzania's major cities and Zanzibar, but they are less common as they once used to be, attract a hefty commission, and the process is time consuming. Additionally, some places may ask to see original purchase receipts for traveler's cheques. If you are nervous about traveling with lots of hard cash, bring enough to get you started then use ATMs to withdraw local currency off a credit card.

Currency Restrictions

Restrictions apply.

Banking Hours

Mon-Fri 0830-1530; Sat 0830-1300. Bureaux de change have longer hours and in the cities and in Stone Town on Zanzibar are open on Sundays.

Exchange Rate Indicators

Date

April 2018

£1.00=

TZS 3,232.55

$1.00=

TZS 2,269.52

€1.00=

TZS 2,799.05

 

Health

Vaccinations

 

Special Precautions

Diphtheria

Yes

Hepatitis A

Yes

Malaria

Yes

Rabies

Sometimes

Tetanus

Yes

Typhoid

Yes

Yellow Fever

Yes

Inoculation regulations can change at short notice. Please take medical advice in the case of doubt. Where 'Sometimes' appears in the table above, precautions may be required, depending on the season and region visited.

* A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from all travellers over one year of age, and for those coming from China.

Food and Drink

All water should be regarded as being potentially contaminated. Travelers should use bottled water for drinking, brushing teeth, washing vegetables and reconstituting powdered milk. Ice should be avoided.

Other food hygiene precautions should be strictly observed if eating in a local restaurant, but visitors should encounter few problems if eating in upmarket restaurants and hotels. Eating snacks from street stalls (common in Tanzania) is not advised, but if items are fresh and cooked well (and the same could be said about buffets in tourist hotels) then you shouldn’t encounter any problems. If you get traveler's diarrhea, which doesn’t usually last more than 48 hours, the key treatment is rehydration. If it is more persistent, then seek medical advice.

Other Risks

Rabies is prevalent in Tanzania (in monkeys as well as domestic animals). There is a high incidence of HIV/AIDS. Avoid swimming and paddling in fresh water as there is a risk of bilharzia (prevalent in both lakes Victoria and Tanganyika); swimming pools that are well chlorinated and maintained are safe. On the coast and islands, there are sea urchins so take care when snorkeling and diving – if possible wear plastic shoes. If diving, ensure you are fit to do so. Be aware that serious diving injuries may require time in a decompression chamber and the nearest one is in Kenya – check that your medical insurance covers this eventuality.

Health Care

Before leaving home, visit the doctor or a travel clinic for advice on vaccinations, malaria prophylactics and general advice. Basic traveller vaccinations recommended include yellow fever, tetanus, typhoid and hepatitis A. It is vital to take out comprehensive travel medical insurance, and it is essential that is should include repatriation to your home country in the event of an emergency. There are a wide variety of policies to choose from, so shop around. If you are going to be active in Tanzania (mountain climbing or scuba-diving for example), ensure the policy has adequate provision.

There are some good private hospitals in Dar es Salaam, Arusha and Stone Town on Zanzibar, but facilities are rudimentary outside of these and medicines are often unavailable. All treatment must be paid for in advance. Tanzania’s emergency telephone number (ambulance, fire and police) is 111. The best private hospital in the country is the Aga Khan Hospital, Ocean Road, Dar es Salaam, (tel: (022) 211 5151; www.agakhanhospitals.org). However, for cases of extreme emergencies or surgery, visitors with adequate health insurance will be transferred to a private hospital in Nairobi, Kenya which has the best medical facilities in East Africa.

Malaria: The risk of contracting malaria is prevalent throughout Tanzania and prophylactics should be taken (take expert advice before you leave home). Symptoms can start as something resembling a severe attack of flu. If you develop any symptoms even after several weeks after your return home, seek medical advice. Travellers should take precautions against mosquito bites – cover-up at dusk and use insect repellent. Almost all hotels in Tanzania have air-conditioning and/or fans which help ward off mosquitoes and most tourist-class hotels have mosquito nets over the beds.

Altitude sickness: This can strike from about 3,000m (9,800ft) and is caused by lack of oxygen and should be a consideration for anyone climbing Mt Kilimanjaro. Symptoms include heart pounding, shortness of breath and dizziness. The best way of preventing it is a relatively slow ascent - some time spent walking at medium altitude, getting fit and acclimatizing is helpful. To decrease the symptoms, an immediate descent is necessary.

 

Getting There

Getting There by Air

There are frequent direct and indirect flights to Tanzania by numerous international airlines. Local airlines Air Tanzania (TC) (www.airtanzania.co.tz ) and Precision Air (www.precisionairtz.com) serve regional and domestic destinations only. International carries flying to Tanzania include Emirates (www.emirates.com), Etihad Airways (www.etihad.com), Kenya Airways (www.kenya-airways.com), KLM (www.klm.com), and Turkish Airlines (www.turkishairlines.com) among others.

Airline fare prices to Tanzania stay pretty consistent around the year.

Approximate Flight Times

From London to Dar es Salaam is 11 hours (including stopover). New York- 19 hours (including stopover).

Main Airports

Dar es Salaam International (DAR) (website: www.tanzaniairports.com) is 13km (8 miles) southwest of the city (journey time - 30 minutes). To/from the airport: Taxi services are available to the city and the larger hotels can organise shuttle services. Facilities: Outgoing duty-free shop, car hire, post office, banking and currency exchange facilities, a bar and restaurants.

Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) (website: www.tanzaniairports.com) is 50km (31 miles) from Arusha (journey time - 1 hour). To/from the airport: Shuttle bus services are provided by Air Tanzania to their offices in Arusha and Moshi or taxis are available. Facilities: Shops, post office, bar and restaurant.

Zanzibar Airport (ZNZ) (website: www.tanzaniairports.com) is 4km (2.5 miles) from Stone Town (journey time 15 minutes). To/from the airport: Public minibuses and taxis are available for the short distance to Stone Town. Facilities: Bank.

Departure Tax

Included in airfare.

Getting There by Water

Main ports: Dar es Salaam port, which is served by ocean freighters but no passenger services from other countries It does however serve as the departure point for ferry services to Zanzibar. (website: www.tanzaniaports.com).

Passenger ferry services run on Lake Tanganyika to Mpulunga (Zambia). They also used to run to Bujumbura (Burundi), and this service is likely to start up again in the future. There is sporadic and unreliable ferry service on Lake Nyasa linking Tanzania with Malawi.

Getting There by Rail

The route between Dar es Salaam and Kapiri Moshi in Zambia is run by the Tanzania and Zambia Railway Authority (Tazara) (website: www.tazara.co.tz). The train journey from Dar es Salaam to Zambia is very long (around 50 hours) and there are frequent delays. Trains get very crowded and travelers should take special care of their baggage. Always travel in first class in a two- or four-sleeper compartment. When the train crosses the border between the two countries, immigration officials board the train to complete border formalities.

Getting There by Road

The main international road crossings into Tanzania are from Kenya. The most used is the border crossing at Namanga, about halfway between Nairobi and Arusha. The other principal border crossing is south of Mombasa on the coast at Lunga Lunga, from where the nearest large Tanzanian town is Tanga. There are quieter border crossings at Taveta, between Voi and Moshi, and Isebania on the main road between Kisumu and Mwanza.

Border crossings from other neighbouring countries include Songwe border with Malawi, and the Tunduma border with Zambia, both of which are in the southwestern corner of Tanzania and are reached by a good (but long) road from Dar es Salaam. There is a crossing with Uganda at Mutukulu, northwest of Bukoba, but this is a rough road and a remote region to get to. The easiest way to get to Uganda from Tanzania is via Nairobi in Kenya, from where there are daily bus services to Kampala.

There is a border crossing with Rwanda at Rusomo, although again this is in remote northwestern part of Tanzania although there are bus services between Mwanza and Kigali. Tanzania does share a border with Mozambique to the south, but road access between the two countries is very limited.

Driving note: There are many local bus companies that ply the main routes over the borders. Several companies run comfortable shuttle bus services between Nairobi and Arusha and Moshi in Tanzania. These are aimed at tourists who fly into Nairobi and are visiting the game parks in Tanzania's northern circuit region from Arusha, or are climbing Mt Kilimanjaro from Moshi. The buses take about 5-6 hours in either direction, and drivers assist passengers with border procedures. Riverside Shuttles (www.riverside-shuttle.com) offers a reliable daily service.

For long-distance cross-border bus travel, recommended for visitors is Scandinavia Express (www.scandinaviagroup.com), which has frequent daily departures to and from Nairobi and Arusha, Moshi and Dar es Slaam, Nairobi and Mwanza, and Mombasa and Dar es Salaam. It also offers daily services between Nairobi and Kampala in Uganda, and from Dar es Salaam to Lusaka in Zambia.

 

Climate

The climate is tropical and coastal areas are hot and humid. There are two rainy seasons; the short rains are generally from October to December, while the long rains last from March to June. The central plateau tends to be dry and arid throughout the year.

Tanzania can be visited year-round, although the best time for traveling is outside of the rainy season between June and October, when temperatures stay well below their summer peaks. Beach side locations like Zanzibar can be fine to visit during the hotter months of December to January, when ocean breezes make the high temperatures bearable (though humidity can still be high). However, this is also the time popular for typical beach holidays, especially for those traveling from Europe wanting some winter sunshine, and hotels can book up early espe3cially for the Christmas and New Year period.

Required Clothing

Tropical clothing is worn throughout the year, but in the cooler season, from June to September, jackets and sweaters may be needed, especially in the evenings. Clothing appropriate to temperatures below zero is required on the higher slopes of Kilimanjaro and Meru. Also note that it can get very cold at night on the Ngorongoro Crater and early morning game drives may be chilly before the sun comes up.

Contacts

High Commission for the United Republic of Tanzania in the UK

3 Stratford Place, London WC1 1AS, UK
Tel: (020) 7569 1470.
Website: http://tanzaniahighcommission.co.uk
Opening times:
Mon-Fri 1000-1230 (visa applications) and 1400-1530 (visa collection only).

Embassy of the United Republic of Tanzania in the USA

1232 22nd Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037, USA
Telephone: (202) 884 1080.
Website:
http://www.tanzaniaembassy-us.org

Opening times:
Mon-Fri 0900-1300.

British High Commission in Tanzania

Kivukoni, Umoja House, Garden Ave, Tanzania
Tel: (022) 229 0000.
Website: www.unintanzania.fco.gov.uk
Opening times: Mon-Thu 0730-1530; Fri 0730-1330.


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