Practical Information about Tanzania
Practical Travel Information: Tazania
Below you will find all you need to know regarding practical travel information. If you don't see what you need here, check out our other travel information pages or send us an email. We would be happy to assist you.
Most passport holders need a visa to travel to Tanzania and you can obtain one prior to travelling. It is also possible to obtain a tourist visa for a single entry at the main ports of entry to Tanzania but this is subject to the fulfilment of all immigration requirements. You should check with your local Tanzania Consulate for the latest costs and requirements.
If you need a multiple entry visa arrange this through a Tanzanian diplomatic mission before your arrival in Tanzania. Otherwise you will have to buy a single entry visa each time you enter the country. There is now a requirement for all visitors to Tanzania to provide biometric fingerprints and photographs on arrival and departure.
Please note that working as a volunteer in Tanzania requires a Class C work permit. This should be obtained from your nearest Tanzanian diplomatic mission before you travel. If you overstay the validity of your visa, or work without an appropriate permit, you will be liable to arrest, detention and a fine before being deported.
You must hold a valid passport to enter Tanzania. Your passport must be valid for a minimum period of six months in order to apply for a visa for Tanzania.
Yellow Fever Certificates
Travelers from non-endemic countries traveling to Tanzania (including the Zanzibar islands of Unguja and Pemba) do not require a Yellow Fever Certificate. Please note, however, that travelers from non-endemic countries that travel through an endemic country are subject to yellow fever vaccination only if they stay outside the Airport or have a long connection up to twelve hours.
As some countries list Tanzania as a Yellow Fever endemic country you may also be asked for a certificate after departing Tanzania and arriving at other destinations.
Basic Swine Flu checks are carried out at the main points of entry to Tanzania.
Where do I Arrive When Visiting Tanzania?
Most international visitors will arrive in Tanzania by air via Dar es Salaam at the Julius Nyerere International airport (DAR), however if you are joining us for a safari or climb on Mount Meru or Kilimanjaro then you should fly in to Kilimanjaro airport (JRO). As a developing nation, Tanzania is doing what it can to welcome tourists into the country. However, some people experience shock when they arrive in such locations, simply take a deep breath and realise that you are in Africa. Things work a little slower than what you may be used to.
Will I Be Able to Contact Home While I Am Away?
Tanznia time is GMT/UTC plus 3 hours. Tanzania’s country code is +255. For making calls back home, international rates can be quite expensive, be sure to check with your mobile network provider prior to visiting Tanzania. Consider downloading WhatsApp, a free internet-based texting and calling service to keep in touch with loved ones. Wi-Fi is available in most hotels in major cities. In rural areas, WiFi is typically limited but cellular service may still be available.
What Vaccinations do I need?
We advise that you schedule an appointment with your doctor, or a travel-specific doctor prior to coming to Tanzania to discuss your health needs. Tanzania does have vaccination requirements, and we urge you to discuss your specific information with a health professional.
Do plan on bringing any prescriptions you may require during your stay. Medication does exist in Tanzania, but the quality and type may not be something you are used to. In rural areas, medication is hard to come by, so please come prepared.
What is the Quality of Medical Facilities in Tanzania?
Tanzania is a developing nation and many of its medical facilities are not up to Western standards. There are private hospitals and clinics in major urban areas that can help with emergencies. However, for serious incidents, evacuation to your home country, or a country nearby with the proper facilities may be required.
Although we do not anticipate any problems during your visit, accidents do happen. We require that you carry traveller's insurance that covers a helicopter evacuation at the altitude you will be climbing or activity you are doing. For more information see our Travel Insurance page.
Will I have Access to an ATM in Tanzania?
ATMs are available in Tanzania in most major urban and popular areas. The official currency of Tanzania is the Tanzanian Shilling (TSH) and ATMs usually have a 400,000 TSH limit. It is advised to get money in the more populated areas before heading out to rural areas of Tanzania.
Other accepted currencies are the USD with bills dated later than 2006. Many hotels accept the US Dollar as currency, favouring it over other widely accepted Western currencies. However, you usually get a better price using the shilling.
Credit cards are also accepted, however there is usually a 5%-15% service fee for using a credit card and as such we advise that you use cash. Keep cash locked in hotel safes and do not travel with large amounts of cash in hand. If you leave your cash with hotel staff (common in some areas, where the safe is behind a desk), be sure to have a written note with the amount of cash stated. Keep the rest of your money hidden with a money belt.
What can I Expect from Toilet Facilities?
Western style, sit toilets are common in hotels in major cities. Along trekking routes, the quality and cleanliness of toilet facilities vary widely, usually a long drop, squat style toilet with a wooden privacy shed meaning there is a slat-opening in the floor where your business goes and a long drop to the bottom of the pit.
We advise to always bring some personal toilet paper for your trip. For feminine hygiene products consider investing in a moon or diva cup. A menstruation cup is reusable, after being cleaned per manufacturer instructions. This helps eliminate the need of hygiene product waste, making life on the trail a much simpler experience.
What is the Water Quality in Tanzania?
The water out of the tap throughout Tanzania is unfit to drink, however it is suitable for showering and washing your hands. Be sure to take care to keep your mouth closed while showering. If you are on an organised tour then it is likely that clean drinking water will be provided.