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Tips and travel information for Tanzania

Everything you need to know about this great country Tanzania

time zone

The time difference between Germany and Tanzania is actually one hour during Central European Summer Time (CEST), but two hours during Central European Winter (CET). Here is the corrected information:

During Central European Summer Time (CEST), Tanzania is one hour ahead of Germany. This means that when it is 12:00 in Germany, it is 13:00 in Tanzania.

During Central European Winter Time (CET), the time difference between Germany and Tanzania is two hours ahead of Tanzania. For example, when it is 12:00 in Germany, it is 14:00 in Tanzania.


languages

Swahili and English are the official languages in Tanzania. Swahili is the most common lingua franca and is understood and spoken by almost all locals. English is commonly used in government, business, and higher education. Tourists get along well with English, especially in larger cities and tourist regions. German is rarely understood in Tanzania, but in some tourist areas, particularly in those that are often visited by German tourists, you could find service providers who speak German. For travelers who want to discover Tanzania on their own, it is recommended to have at least basic English language skills. Basic Swahili skills are highly appreciated by locals and can enrich the travel experience.

Traveling

Local and long-distance public transport:

Tanzania has a limited public transport system, especially when compared with European countries. There are only a few passenger train connections between the cities. In some urban areas, such as Dar es Salaam, there may be minibus taxis and shared taxis, but using them can be risky due to safety concerns. However, there are private transfer services and car service providers such as Uber that are available in urban areas. It is advisable to inquire locally for the best local transportation solutions.

Driving:

Tanzania has left-hand traffic. The roads in Tanzania are generally well developed. Most main roads and tourist routes are asphalted, which means that a conventional car is enough. However, it is advisable to rent a robust vehicle, such as a 2x4 off-road vehicle or SUV, as this makes driving on unpaved roads more comfortable. There may be potholes in remote areas, especially after rainfall, so you should drive carefully here.

Tanzania has various types of roads, from paved national roads to unpaved dirt roads. National roads are often multi-lane motorways in urban areas and two-lane in rural areas. Most national roads are in good condition. Some routes may be subject to tolls. In urban areas, there are gas stations that are often open 24/7 and accept credit cards. In rural areas, gas stations may be less available, so it is advisable to refuel early and pay in cash.

It is recommended to avoid driving at night as roads are often poorly lit and wild animals may roam the roads. It is also advisable to drive around townships and not to take hitchhikers. There is generally no right to left right of way rule in Tanzania. Instead, 4-way stop junctions are common, where all arriving vehicles stop and set off again in the order they arrive.

Speed limits are 50 km/h in urban areas, 100 km/h on country roads and 120 km/h on motorways and marked national roads, unless otherwise stated. There are frequent speed traps and speed controls, so it is important to strictly comply with the limits.

It is recommended to carry an international driving license to be on the safe side.

Please note that conditions and rules may change, so it's always a good idea to get up-to-date information from official and trustworthy sources before you travel.


gratuity

In Tanzania, as in many countries, tipping is a way to express your appreciation for services received. Here are a few guidelines for tipping in Tanzania that can serve as general guidance. Note, however, that amounts may vary depending on service and personal satisfaction:

  • restaurants: A tip of 10% is also common in Tanzania if the service is not already included in the bill. With excellent service, it can be a little more, if the service is inadequate, it can be less.
  • gas stations: A small tip of around $0.50 to $1 for the gas station attendant is appropriate if additional services were provided.
  • Parking lot attendants: A tip of around $0.50 for short stops and up to $1 for longer parking hours or special service is appropriate.
  • hotels: Luggage porters in hotels can be tipped of around $1 per piece of luggage. Tips for chambermaids and other services can be left in a shared tip box at the end of the stay, with around $2 to $5 per day being indicative.
  • Safaris: During safaris, tips are often given in accordance with local recommendations. It is common to tip the personal driver and safari guides separately, while other employees receive their tips from a shared pot. Depending on the quality of service and duration of the safari, you can expect around 10 to 15 US dollars per day for the ranger and similar amounts for the community.

These amounts are indicative and tips should always be given based on satisfaction with the service and personal preferences. It's also important to note that carrying smaller US dollar bills for tips is convenient, as change isn't always available.


electricity

The electrical voltage in Tanzania is 230 V and the frequency is 50 Hz, which is compatible with most European devices. However, type D and mainly G sockets are used in Tanzania. Type D is a three-pin plug with round pins that is common in India, while Type G is the British plug with three rectangular pins. It is therefore necessary to have an appropriate adapter to connect electronic devices. These adapters are available in electronics stores in Germany or can often be purchased more cheaply in Tanzania itself. If you plan to use several devices at the same time, it can be practical to bring a German multiple power strip with you. All you need is an adapter for the power strip and you can connect multiple devices at the same time.

money

In Tanzania, the official currency is the Tanzanian shilling (TZS), and this is the currency used for the majority of transactions in the country. However, the use of US dollars as a means of payment is accepted in some tourist areas and for certain services. Here is some important information about using US dollars in Tanzania:

  1. Tourist areas and services: In larger tourist areas, safari lodges and for certain services such as safaris or mountain climbs, US dollars are often accepted as an alternative currency. This makes it easy for tourists to make payments in US dollars. Nevertheless, it is cheaper to use Tanzanian shillings in many cases.
  2. Cash: You can bring US dollars in cash, especially for larger expenses such as safaris or accommodation in tourist lodges. It is advisable to carry smaller US dollar notes (10, 20, 50 and 100 USD) as larger notes may not be accepted everywhere. You can exchange US dollars for Tanzanian shillings at exchange offices and banks.
  3. ATMs: Tanzanian shilling is the standard currency at ATMs. However, it may be possible to withdraw US dollars from ATMs in some cases, particularly at international airports or in larger cities. However, the fees for US dollar withdrawals may be higher than for Tanzanian shilling withdrawals.
  4. Pricing details: Prices for tourist activities, hotels, and lodges are often quoted in US dollars, even when payments are accepted in Tanzanian shillings. Be sure to check the current exchange rate to know the exact amount in Tanzanian shillings.

It is important to note that the official currency in Tanzania is the Tanzanian shilling, and using US dollars should be considered a convenient option for tourists. Remember to make sure the banknotes are in good condition as damaged or soiled notes may not be accepted. When using US dollars as a means of payment, you should also be aware that you will often receive change in Tanzanian shillings.



leisure

Tanzania also has a wide range of leisure activities that are suitable for travelers of all ages and interests. Here are some of the leisure activities you can enjoy in Tanzania:

  1. Safaris: Tanzania is known worldwide for its impressive wildlife and national parks. Safaris are one of the country's main attractions. You can see wildlife in their natural environment and enjoy safari experiences in various national parks and game reserves, including Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, and Tarangire National Park.
  2. Kilimanjaro climb: Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and a popular destination for mountaineers. There are various routes and levels of difficulty to reach the summit.
  3. Island adventure: Tanzania has beautiful islands such as Zanzibar and the Islands of Spices, which are perfect for beach holidays, snorkeling, and scuba diving.
  4. Water sports: Water sports such as snorkeling, scuba diving, windsurfing, and kite surfing are common on Tanzania's coasts and islands. Zanzibar is particularly known for its first-class diving opportunities.
  5. Cultural experiences: Tanzania offers diverse cultural experiences, including visiting Maasai villages, traditional drum and dance performances, and exploring historic sites such as the Stone City of Zanzibar.
  6. Hiking and trekking: In addition to Mount Kilimanjaro, there are also other trekking routes in the Tanzanian mountains and highland regions that appeal to outdoor enthusiasts.
  7. Wildlife viewing: Tanzania is home to an impressive variety of animal species, including the “Big Five” (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino). In addition to national parks and game reserves, there are also private wildlife sanctuaries where you can enjoy wildlife viewing.
  8. Cultural festivals: Tanzania has various cultural festivals and events throughout the year that celebrate the country's rich cultural diversity.
  9. Charity work: Volunteering and charitable projects are a way to give back and support the local community during your stay in Tanzania.

The leisure opportunities in Tanzania are diverse and offer something for all tastes and ages. Whether you want to experience wildlife, go on a cultural journey of discovery or try out adventure sports, Tanzania has something for everyone.


entry

To enter Tanzania for tourism, German citizens need a visa, which can be applied for upon arrival at the airport (Visa on Arrival), at border crossings or online in advance at a Tanzanian diplomatic mission. Your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry and must contain at least one blank page for the visa. The visa currently costs USD 50.00 per person. We strongly recommend that you apply for the visa online before arrival. This saves you a lot of time when entering the country.

A separate passport is also required for accompanying children. If you are traveling with minor children who are not your own, or if it is a minor traveling alone, there are special rules. It is recommended to check with the responsible Tanzanian representative about the current requirements and required documents before traveling.

Please note that if you travel for purposes other than tourism, such as business travel or volunteer work, other visa categories may be required and you may need to apply for a special visa before you enter the country.

Citizens of other countries may have different entry requirements. It is therefore important that travelers check with the relevant Tanzanian embassy or consulate about the specific visa requirements and entry requirements before traveling.

It is advisable to consult the official website of the Tanzanian Immigration Service or the nearest embassy for the latest information. If you have a nationality other than the German one, please let us know when making your enquiry or booking so that you can be informed about the relevant entry requirements.


health

Medical care in Tanzania differs significantly from that in Europe and is often not of the same standard, particularly in rural regions. Private hospitals in larger cities such as Dar es Salaam or Arusha generally offer better services than government institutions. It is highly advisable to take out comprehensive travel health insurance with repatriation in the event of an emergency.

No special vaccinations are required for direct entry from Europe, but a yellow fever vaccination is mandatory when entering from yellow fever areas. When you arrive, make sure that a longer transfer in Nairobi, for example, may trigger a yellow fever vaccination light.

The standard vaccinations according to the current vaccination calendar of the Robert Koch Institute for children and adults against tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, mumps, measles, rubella (MMR), pneumococcus, influenza, hepatitis A and B, as well as against meningococcal disease (ACWY), typhoid fever, rabies and cholera should be reviewed and completed.

Malaria is widespread in Tanzania, and there is a risk in many parts of the country, including tourist areas such as Zanzibar. Appropriate malaria prophylaxis and measures to protect against mosquito bites are therefore particularly important.

It is also important to ensure effective sun protection, as UV radiation can be very intense. Due to the tropical climate, appropriate hydration should also always be observed.

It is recommended to seek individual advice from a travel doctor or a tropical institute before traveling and to find out about the current health situation in Tanzania in order to take appropriate health measures.

climate


The climate in Tanzania varies depending on the region and season. Here is information about the different climate zones and the best times to travel:

1. Coastal region (including Zanzibar): The coastal region and islands such as Zanzibar have a tropical coastal climate with high humidity and warm temperatures all year round. The temperatures usually fluctuate between 25°C and 32°C. The best time to travel to this region is during the dry season from June to October.

2. Northern national parks (e.g. Serengeti, Ngorongoro): This region has a distinctive savanna climate. The dry season from June to October is the best time for wildlife viewing as the wildlife is easier to observe due to the lack of water. In the months of December to March, the rainy season, the landscape is green and blooming, but there are also more mosquitoes.

3. Southern national parks (e.g. Selous, Ruaha): The climate is similar to that in the north, with a dry season from June to October. In the rainy season from December to March, wildlife viewing is more difficult, but the landscape is green.

4. Highland regions (e.g. Arusha, Moshi): The altitude of the regions ensures milder temperatures. The dry season from June to October is pleasantly cool. It can be rainy in the months of March to May.

5. Zanzibar and the coastal region (including Tanzania): As already mentioned, the coastal region is warm and humid all year round. The dry season from June to October is also the most pleasant here.

6. Zanzibar: The climate on Zanzibar is similar to that on the coast, with a tropical coastal climate. The dry season from June to October is the best time to travel.

Choosing the best time to travel depends on your personal preferences and interests. If you prefer wildlife viewing, the months of June to October are ideal. If you want to experience the green landscape and fewer crowds of tourists, the rainy months are a good option. It's important to note that there are areas in Tanzania's parks and reserves that are open all year round, so you can experience wildlife all year round.


insurances

It is strongly recommended to take out foreign health insurance, which also covers repatriation to your home country. We offer you appropriate insurance through our partner Travelsecure.de.


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Security

Safety in Tanzania:

Tanzania is generally a safe destination for tourists. However, you should follow a few basic safety tips to enjoy your stay carefree.

  • Luggage and valuables: Store your valuables such as money, passport, jewelry, and electronic devices securely and do not display them openly. Use a purse or belt bag that can be worn under clothing to prevent pickpockets.
  • Road traffic: Be careful in traffic. Always cross roads at pedestrian crossings and watch out for approaching vehicles. If you rent a vehicle, keep the doors and windows locked while driving and avoid stopping in unsafe places.
  • Tourist resorts: Preferably visit well-known tourist destinations and sights that are often monitored by security personnel. Avoid remote areas and places, especially at night.
  • Street vendors: If you are approached by street vendors, remain polite but firm. It is not unusual for sellers to be active at tourist hotspots.
  • ATMs: Use ATMs in well-lit and busy areas, preferably during the day. Make sure no one spies on your PIN number and store cash securely immediately after withdrawing.
  • Health and safety: Always carry a copy of your passport and important documents. Find out about the current health situation and necessary vaccinations before you leave.
  • Communication: Make sure your mobile phone is always charged and that you have the contact details of the local embassy or consulate with you.
  • Nature reserves: Always follow the instructions of the park administration and park rangers when visiting national parks or protected areas. Keep in mind that wild animals can be dangerous in their natural habitat.

The safety instructions are subject to change, so it is advisable to check the latest information on the website of the Federal Foreign Office or a comparable authority before you leave. It is important to stay alert and keep an eye on your surroundings during your stay in Tanzania.

Flora & Fauna

Flora in Tanzania:

Tanzania is home to an impressive variety of plants and ecosystems. The region is characterized by its rich flora, which ranges from the coast of the Indian Ocean to the heights of the mountain ranges. Here are a few notable features of the plant life in Tanzania:

  • Coastal vegetation: The coastal areas of Tanzania are home to mangrove forests, palm trees and numerous endemic plant species. The coastal regions are rich in biodiversity and provide habitat for a wide range of animal and plant species.
  • Rainforests: Eastern Tanzania is home to rainforests that are home to an abundance of plant species. These forests are important for protecting biodiversity and serve as habitats for many endemic animal species.
  • Savannas and grasslands: Large parts of Tanzania are characterized by savannas and grasslands. Acacia trees, grasses and bushes grow here. These regions are home to a wide variety of wildlife, including elephants, giraffes, lions, and zebras.
  • Highland vegetation: The highland regions of Tanzania, such as the Ngorongoro Crater and the Usambara Mountains, are known for their unique flora. Endemic plant species that are adapted to cooler altitudes thrive here.


Fauna in Tanzania:

Tanzania is famous for its rich wildlife and is home to some of Africa's most impressive species. Here are some highlights of the fauna in Tanzania:

  • Serengeti and Ngorongoro: These regions are known for the “Big Five,” which include lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, and buffaloes. They also provide habitat for cheetahs, giraffes, zebras, and an abundance of antelope species.
  • Kilimanjaro: The surrounding forests and national parks of Kilimanjaro are home to unique wildlife, including elephants, monkeys, leopards, and a wide variety of bird species.
  • Tanzania's coastal water: The waters off the coast of Tanzania are rich in marine life. Here you can see whale sharks, dolphins, sea turtles and a variety of fish species.
  • Nature reserves: Tanzania has a wide range of wildlife sanctuaries and national parks where you can get up close and personal with wildlife. Be it Tarangire National Park, Ruaha National Park or the Selous Game Reserve, you can see an impressive variety of animals here.

Tanzania offers an impressive range of ecosystems and habitats to discover and is a paradise for nature lovers and safari enthusiasts.

note

We cannot guarantee the accuracy, completeness and timeliness of the tips and travel information given here for Tanzania, nor can we accept any liability for any damage that may occur during your vacation. The regulations described and the security situation may change at any time. As has often been recommended, in case of doubt, we recommend that you contact your competent diplomatic or consular representative or your doctor if you have any health questions.

If you have any questions beyond this Tanzania travel information or if one or the other point of our Tanzania travel information has changed in the meantime, please contact us, preferably using the following contact form. Thank you so much.

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