Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Tanzania

Tanzania is a once-in-a-lifetime destination. Safaris, national parks, landscapes like no other, friendly locals, and adventures await.

Before you go, however, there are a few things you should be aware of so you can prepare accordingly.

This is your one-stop shop for information on visas, money, health, and places to visit.


Image Via G Adventures

When to Go

A visit to Tanzania can mean different things to different people, and the best times of the year to visit will differ according to the type of activities you’d like to undertake.

You may be looking for a unique city escape in Dar Es Salaam, an exotic safari, or a tranquil beach getaway. The best seasons for each activity are Safaris: January – March is the best time of the year for wildlife lovers hoping to witness baby season, while June – September marks the end of the wet season.

Zanzibar: This paradisiac island is the perfect place to visit all year round.
Dar Es Salaam: A city escape destination for any time of year.

Kilimanjaro treks: While technically the Kilimanjaro is open to be climbed all year round, it’s advised to avoid the wet season, from March through the end of May.
Birdwatching: The best sightings generally occur from October to April.



Where to Go

One of the most popular destinations for tourists within Tanzania is Serengeti National Park, which delivers a true African safari experience. Other well-known national parks are Ruaha National Park and Gamble National Park.

A tropical beach getaway is a definite must, so consider spending a couple of days on the island of Zanzibar, just 1.5 hours away via ferry or a 30-minute flight from Dar Es Salaam.

The city of Dar Es Salaam is also a great destination, and will likely be the landing point of your flight regardless.

And last but not least, your visit to Tanzania would not be complete without a life-changing trek through Mount Kilimanjaro!



Image Via G Adventures


Health Precautions

Tanzania has a tropical environment and is a developing country, which means taking certain health precautions is necessary. It’s always a good idea to talk to a doctor before your trip.

Once you’re there, keep in mind that it’s not safe to drink tap water in Tanzania, so limit your use of tap water to showers and wash your hands. Keep teeth-cleaning safe by using bottled water. Bottled water for drinking should be available in local kiosks across the country, and any safari or tour should include plenty of bottled water as well.

When it comes to food if you decide to hit the streets, make sure that the food is hot, and refrain from eating salads, juices, or cold sandwiches. When eating out, most standard and high-end restaurants will provide high-quality food.


Money

Tanzania’s currency is the Tanzanian shilling (TZS) and there are no smaller denominations. The exchange rate for one Australian Dollar is TZS $1,670 to AUD $1.Changing money: Major currencies, like USD and EUR, are easily changed in large towns, currency exchange offices, and banks. Keep in mind though that it takes longer to change money in banks than in currency offices. Make sure you don’t bring large notes with you, but rather bring newer notes that aren’t older than the year 2006 series. Older notes are not well-received, and in some places, they won’t even change them.

Cards: Credit cards are accepted only at major lodges, hotels, and travel agents.
ATM’s: Use the major banks’ ATM to withdraw cash from your VISA card and/or MasterCard accounts. The daily withdrawal limit is about USD $300. Note that if you are traveling to Zanzibar, you should use the ATM at the airport as there are not many across the island.

Keep it safe: Always have cash on hand as smaller stores don’t have EFTPOS facilities, but keep it stored safely.



Visa Information

Unless you hold a passport from Hong Kong, Jamaica, Barbados, Malaysia, and about a dozen African Nations, you’ll need a tourist visa to travel to Tanzania.
Visas are available upon arrival in Tanzania, whether you’re landing at the airport or are making a border crossing. The cost of a visa upon arrival is AUD $95.

In order to be granted a visa, you’ll need a valid passport with at least six months of validity remaining. You’ll also need two free adjacent pages remaining in your passport.



Image Via G Adventures


Time to get Packing

Tanzania is an exciting destination, filled with adventure, unique landscapes, and activities. Make sure you’re all set for visiting this dynamic destination by preparing for your trip beforehand. Small details like knowing when and where to go, your safety, health precautions, and money should always be made a priority.

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