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Travel Tips!

If there is a perfect climate in the world, surely it is in East Africa with cool mornings and warm midday's.  Although it can be hot and sticky by the sea, inland the air is dry and even at midday the temperatures are equitable.  Due to the proximity to the equator, sunrise occurs daily between 06:00 hrs and 06:30 hrs, while sunset takes place twelve hours later.  It can get quite chilly in the early morning and evening, hence visitors should pack a sweater.  Each time of year has its special attractions.  There are two main rainy seasons; usually mid-April to the end of May and November to mid-December.  Even during the rains, the weather can be pleasant with rain occurring in the early morning and late in the afternoon or evening.

Visitors must be in possession of a valid visa upon arrival.  The regulations vary depending on nationality and country of origin and should be checked with the nearest tourist office or diplomatic mission.  You may also purchase a visa at the airport and at border crossings, although it is advisable to obtain one prior to arrival.

Inoculation centers in the country of origin will provide updated information and advice on health regulations and recommendations.  As Tanzania enjoys a healthy, invigorating climate, visitors need feel no concern for their general health during their stay.  However, malaria is endemic in certain areas and anti-malaria medication should be taken according to prescription recommendations.  Visitors requiring special medication should pack sufficient supplies in their hand luggage.  Chemist shops are well stocked, but the same generic medication may not be readily available.  Tap water is considered safe in Arusha.  On safari, rooms are provided with flasks of filtered and purified water.  Mineral water is readily available. 


Personal effects, film and cameras may be imported temporarily free of duty.  However, professional video equipment, tape recorders, radios, musical instruments, and souvenirs from other countries may require a customs bond to ensure re-exportation.  Firearms need a special permit which must be obtained in advance.  Baggage is normally inspected by customs officials upon arrival and departure.  Please strictly keep to baggage limitations as advised by the airline, as excess baggage charges can be quite expensive.

A local airport service charge is payable on departure for domestic flights.

The unit of currency is the Tanzanian shilling, and there are no smaller denominations.  There is no restriction to the amount of foreign currency a visitor may import provided that it is exchanged through authorized dealers only.  It is essential to retain a receipt for each transaction in order to re-exchange the local currency on departure.  Foreign currency, as the U.S. dollar or the British pound (in cash or travelers cheque), are the most widely accepted.  Well know credit cards are also widely accepted in Tanzania.  It is a legal offense to deface local currency.

Banking hours are from 09:00 hrs to 14:00 hrs Monday through Friday.  Most hotels and lodges exchange money outside of these hours.

Tanzania is a safe country to travel in.  Its people are warm-hearted and generous and always eager to assist visitors to get the most out of their visit.  However, as in all countries, normal precautions should be taken.  Keep a close watch on handbags, wallets and cameras when walking in crowded places and avoid walking at night (take a taxi).  Place all valuables in safety deposit boxes at hotels and lodges, and only carry small amounts of cash with you.  Wear as little jewelery as possible, if any, and never leave valuables visible in an unattended car or on a bus tour.  Taking photographs at airports, near military installations, of policemen, the President, the national flag, the State House, state lodges, soldiers, prisons, and prisoners, etc. is prohibited.  Before photographing local people, permission should be obtained and a fixed price agreed upon beforehand.  Seek assistance of your driver/guide in this matter.

Driving is on the left hand side of the road.

Safari clothing should be casual and comfortable.  Cotton slacks and shirts for men, and skirts or culottes for ladies, as well as a light sweater or jacket for during the day.  Evening wear in game lodges and safari camps can be very casual.  In the more sophisticated clubs and hotels, gentlemen will be required to wear a jacket, while ladies should dress more formally.  At high altitudes, where early mornings and evenings can be very chilly, warm sweaters, socks, and comfortable shoes are recommended.  Pack suntan lotion, swim wear (to be reserved for the beach and poolside only), and a small first aid kit.  Local customs of modesty should be respected.

Most hotels, game lodges, and safari camps offer a 24-hour inexpensive laundry service.

Voltage in East Africa is 240 volts/50 cycles AC, British standard generally through three-pin square plugs.  Some lodges and camps have power only in the early mornings and evenings, and in some, video charging facilities are centralized.


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