Horseback riding in Tanzania

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Equestrian tours in Tanzania

Tanzania Mini Guide
   Source: World Travel Guide

Overview

With highlights like Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti, the Ngorongoro Crater and Zanzibar, Tanzania is definitely a country to be recognised both in terms of wildlife and beauty. For many, it's the ultimate safari destination, and with national parks and game reserves covering some 33,660 sq km (13,000 sq miles) or 28% of the country, Tanzania has more land devoted to wildlife than anywhere else in the world.

The Serengeti National Park is a plain-dwellers' stronghold of 14,763 sq km (5,678 sq miles), claimed to be one of the best places to watch game in Africa. The Selous Game Reserve is larger than Switzerland and covers one-sixth of Tanzania's land surface.

Tanzania's most famous attraction, Mount Kilimanjaro, at 5,895m (19,341ft), is Africa's highest mountain and the only free-standing mountain in the world that can simply be walked up.

The former capital city and major port Dar el Salaam is within striking distance of Zanzibar - a beautiful island jewel in the Indian Ocean with a fascinating spice and slaving legacy and palm-backed beaches.

In addition to its beautiful landscape, Tanzania has approximately 120 ethnic groups and Tanzanians value their country's multicultural heritage. The tall red-robed Masai are the best known of Tanzania's peoples, inhabiting the northern regions of the country. Visits to their villages are often a highlight of safari itineraries.

Zanzibar, Pemba, Mafia and the entire Tanzanian coast is home to the Swahili people, a vibrant mix of Arab, Indian and Bantu origins. A predominantly Islamic region, old mosques and coral palaces scatter the area. Swahili culture centres on the dhow, a wooden sailing boat powered by the seasonal wind.

The United Republic of Tanzania became independent in 1961 and merged with Zanzibar in 1964. It has generally stood out as a stable democracy in a region that has witnessed too many vicious civil conflicts.

Whether you enjoy the tranquillity of the Swahili coast, game watching in the magnificent parks or the challenge of ascending Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania has it all.

 

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

Money may be changed at banks, authorised dealers and bureaux de change. A receipt should be obtained and kept until departure.

Credit/Debit Cards and ATMs

Major credit cards are accepted in larger hotels and by airlines. Cash can be withdrawn from ATMs using Visa or MasterCard and any sizeable town now has at least one bank with an ATM.

Traveller's Cheques

May be cashed with authorised dealers or bureaux de change. They are now accepted by Tanzania National Parks for park entry fees. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take traveller's cheques in US Dollars or Pounds Sterling. Some places may ask to see the traveller's cheques purchasing agreement - in theory the document you are supposed keep separate from your traveller's cheques.

Currency Restrictions

Restrictions apply.

Banking Hours

Mon-Fri 0830-1230 (some places are open until 1600); Sat 0830-1300. Bureaux de change have longer hours and in the cities open on Sundays.

Exchange Rate Indicators

Date

Jul 08

£1.00=

TZS 3,178.63

$1.00=

TZS 2,189.66

€1.00=

TZS 2486.51

 

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

The national airline is Air Tanzania (TC) (website: www.airtanzania.com).

Approximate Flight Times

From London to Dar es Salaam is 10 hours.

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 is served by ocean freighters and passenger liners. Other ports include Zanzibar, Mtwara, Tanga, Kilwa, Lindi and Mafia (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). Trains get very crowded and travellers should take special care of their baggage.

Getting There by Road

The tarmac road connecting Tanzania with Zambia is in good condition, as is the road north to Kenya. From Lusaka in Zambia, the Great North Road is paved all the way to Dar es Salaam. Road links from Rwanda and Mozambique are very poor.

Coach:
Scandinavia Express (website: www.scandinaviagroup.com) runs coaches from Dar es Salaam to Nairobi and Mombassa (Kenya), Kampala (Uganda) and to Lusaka (Zambia).

 

Climate

The climate is tropical and coastal areas are hot and humid. The rainy season lasts from March to June. The central plateau is dry and arid. The northwestern highlands are cool and temperate and the rainy season here lasts from November to December and February to May.

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

Tanzania Tourist Board

IPS Building, Samora Avenue, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Tel: (022) 211 1244/5.
Website: www.tanzaniatouristboard.com 
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 0800-1600; Sat 0830-1230.

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

2139 R Street, NW, Washington, DC 20008, USA
Telephone: (202) 884 1080.
Website:
http://www.tanzaniaembassy-us.org

Opening times:
Mon-Fri 0900-1300.


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