It is not possible to obtain Tanzanian Shillings outside the country, and it is illegal to export more than a small amount. Many items or services are priced and paid for in US$, so do not convert more funds into the local currency than you need for incidental expenses.
are accepted at an increasing number of establishments in Tanzania but by no means everywhere. It is not generally possible to obtain cash on a credit card in Tanzania, so it is recommended that visitors carry sufficient funds in the form of travellers cheques.
The power supply is at the UK/ European standard voltage of 220/240 , and power sockets are the UK square pin type. Remember if you want to use US appliances you will need a voltage convertor as well as a plug convertor. Mains power supply is subject to cuts and voltage fluctuation. On safari most lodges power supplies are from generators and these are often turned off during parts of the day and night to reduce noise and fuel consumption.
All safari vehicles will have two-way radios calls so that drivers can communicate with their base, with each other and the lodges. Most lodges and hotels have a telephone but service particularly for overseas calls is both erratic and expensive. More remote lodges and camps are likely to rely on radio for communications. Game parks are not within cell phone range, but satellite telephones work almost everywhere.
Food and drink
It is generally recommended to drink only bottled mineral water which is readily available everywhere.
There are no restrictions on the sale or consumption of alcoholic drinks in Tanzania. A good selection of local beers and soft drinks are available everywhere, and you will find a range of imported wines, beers and spirits in many places, although these can be expensive.
The quality and value of food in Tanzania is highly variable, and in general, the more expensive the lodge, hotel or restaurant the better and "safer" the food will be. Eat sensibly, be wary of cold buffets and salads particularly in the first few days of your visit.
The official language of Tanzania is Kiswahili. This is spoken and understood by the great majority of the population, many of whom speak as well as a tribal language. There is a wide usage and understanding of English, therefore most of the people you will meet while on your safari trip, will be fluent in English.
There are some long distance coaches which are suitable for use by visitors, such as the daily Nairobi / Arusha shuttle bus. Local bus and minibus services are likely to be uncomfortable, overcrowded and potentially dangerous.
There is a railway network, but at best the passenger services can be unreliable and uncomfortable.
Taxis are available everywhere in urban areas, but the condition of these can be very poor. Hotels generally, have a superior selection of taxis available and it is advisable you book them through your hotel.
Most hotels and lodges have gift shops with a selection of local crafts and souvenirs. There are also a few roadside stalls and shops that you will pass en route. You will find some interesting woodcarvings, paintings and batiks items. Precious stones and jewellery are as well as an attraction for the tourists, but we recommend to buy only in official and qualified shops.
The current cost of a visa is $50. These are available at the point of entry but must be paid for in U.S. dollar cash.
Visas can be organized as well as by contacting the Tanzanian Embassy / Consulate in your home country.
If you are entering Tanzania through Nairobi a visa for Kenya is required too. Visa can be obtained on arrival or prior departure in your home country from the Kenyan Embassy. There is a concessional rate for passengers simply transiting through Kenya.
There is a departure tax on International flights of $20, this isl generally included in the price of your ticket. There is a small local departure tax payable in cash at the airport/ airstrip for local flights.
Consult your doctor for recommendations and travel advices. Anti malarial tablets are strongly recommended.
Although the Kilimanjaro climb is often described as available to any reasonably fit person, the combination of strenuous exercise, cold and high altitude can have adverse effects. If in doubt please consult your practitioner in advance.
Clothing and equipment
Clothes for safari should be light, comfortable and not too brightly coloured. There is little or no requirement for anything formal. A light jacket or sweater may be needed in the evenings at higher altitudes, comfortable walking shoes are an essential as is the hat and the sunglasses for sun protection. Don't forget your swimming clothes… many lodges are equipped with pools.
Most people bring binoculars and/ or cameras and video equipment with plenty of tape or film. Zoom or telephoto lenses are likely to be useful. Film is also available at most lodges/camps but can be expensive.
Most hotels and lodges provide rooms equipped with insects repellent sprays and beds mosquito nets however we still recommend you bring your own insect repellent sprays.
A flashlight is always useful too.
There will be no television or radio in most places, so you might want to bring a little short-wave radio or walkman if you want to keep up with world events or listen to some music.
Remember that safari vehicles and light aircrafts have limits for luggage space and weight.
Clients should arrange personal travel insurance to cover medical emergency and / or other personal risks for the duration of the safari.
A temporary one month membership of AMREF's Flying Doctors' Society can be purchased with your safari arrangements. This temporary membership provides services of light aircraft and skilled doctors for emergency events. This is supplementary and do not replace a standard travel insurance policy.