People and Culture: Tanzanian culture is a delightful mix of influences. With more than 120 tribes, Tanzania is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. Here you can explore the lives and culture of many tribes including the tall, graceful Maasai warriors; the Hadza bushmen who still maintain their ancient ways; the resourceful, agricultural practices of the Wameru; the artistic talents of the Makonde; and, the Chaga farmers and traders. Each of the 120 different Tanzanian tribes have their own distinct ways of life, but together they gracefully unite to form Tanzania.
Language: English is widely spoken but knowing a few words of Swahili can be useful and will be appreciated by locals.
Tipping: It is customary to tip your guide and other staff such as mentors and tented camp crews.
Health: If you are arriving in Tanzania from yellow fever endemic zones then a yellow fever vaccination is required and you may be asked to produce a certificate at entry ports. Malaria is endemic but is preventable; use insect repellent, cover up at sundown, sleep under a mosquito net and take anti-malaria prophylactics as advised by your doctor. Bring prescription medicines, spare glasses, contact lenses/solution and sunscreen as well as a small first aid kit with diarrhea remedy and cream for insect bites.
Climate: Generally, dry and hot with cool nights/mornings June through October. There are short rains from November through mid-December and long rains March through May, but the seasons may vary. The coastal strip is hot and humid all year around. Temperatures on Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru drop to below freezing.
Photography: Be sure to pack film and batteries for your camera. Protect your cameras from dust and keep equipment and film cool. Flash photography is not permitted during chimpanzee tracking. It is courteous to ask permission before photographing local people.
Insurance: It is advisable to purchase travel insurance as well as emergency medical evacuation insurance to cover loss of baggage or valuables, personal accident and medical expenses.
Time & Electricity: GMT plus 3 hours. 230V, but power failures and surges are common. Pack a universal adapter for three pin square plugs and a flashlight or headlamp.
Driving: On the left side of the road. An international driver’s license is required.
Traveling with Children: Tanzanians love children and are especially helpful to mothers. Canned baby foods, powdered milk and disposable nappies may not be available outside major towns.
Visa Information: Check current requirements with the nearest Tanzanian High Commission, embassy or consulate, or your travel agent. Visas, if required, can be bought on arrival at all international airports and overland borders.
Security: Tanzania is generally a safe country, but don’t invite crime. Keep an eye on your belongings. Leave valuable jewelry at home.
Gifts/Presents: Please do not indiscriminately hand out pens, money, and sweets as it encourages begging. As anywhere, gifts should be given as a true expression of friendship, appreciation, or thanks.
Shopping: The tourist areas and hotels sell a wide range of souvenirs, jewelry, and trinkets. Don’t be afraid to haggle at roadside curio stalls but remember for many people selling items at these stands is the only way they make their living.
Currency: Only ‘new’ dollar notes dated 2009 and newer are accepted throughout Tanzania. Older notes are not accepted anywhere, not even in the banks. Major foreign currencies (particularly the US dollar, UK pound, Euro) are accepted and can be converted at banks and bureaux de changes in the main towns and tourist areas. Traveler’s cheques will not be accepted either for exchange or payment.
Credit Cards: Credit and Debit cards are not widely accepted. However, they can be used in most of the lodges and ATM points found in most of the larger towns in Tanzania including Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Moshi, Tanga, Mwanza, and Kigoma It is not recommended to change money on the street.
Essential Packing: While on safari in Tanzania, African Traits wants our guests to be as comfortable as possible. Therefore, we advise you pack as lightly as possible. Please check with your airline or travel agent to confirm the maximum amount of luggage and weight you’re allowed to carry. The information provided below will help you decide what to pack depending on the activities you plan to do while on safari with us:
*Our lodges offer laundry services so only a few changes of clothing are necessary. Also, shampoo, conditioner and soap are provided in the rooms but please bring other cosmetics and any required medical items.
*For every day wear we suggest you pack shorts, T-shirts, lightweight trousers, short & long-sleeved shirts, good walking shoes, and casual evening wear for open-air dinners.
*For the cooler months of June, July and August, it is advisable to bring a jacket or fleece.
*For walking activities including chimpanzee tracking, please bring good lightweight boots/shoes as well as a small day pack to carry water and other necessary items. Also, please note that flash photography is not permitted when chimpanzee tracking.
*For water activities, don’t forget swimwear, sarongs, and flip flops or sandals.
*Cameras and binoculars are a must.
*Last, but not least, don’t forget to bring sunscreen, lip balm, insect repellent, sunglasses, and a wide brimmed hat.