Tanzania is a land of extremes. With its balmy climate, rich tapestry of culture, delightful locals, and fantastic game reserves packed with wildlife all wrapped up in one adventurous and welcoming package, it is a nirvana for travellers. From the snow-capped peak of Kilimanjaro to the depths of Zanzibar’s coral reefs, the forested hillsides to the moss covered ruins of ancient Swahili city states, Tanzania is Africa at its spectacular best and is sure to thrill even the most experienced traveller.

When to Visit

The best time to travel to East Africa is during the dry season. East Africa has two dry seasons - December to Feruary/March and June to October. The annual migration of wildebeest and zebra herds takes place year round between the Serengeti (approx. November to June) and the Masai Mara (approx. July to October).

Highlights

MT KILIMANJARO A dormant volcano, the snow-capped Mt Kilimanjaro rises from the plains of Tanzania. The highest mountain in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the world, Mt Kilimanjaro can be trekked at any time of the year.

SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK The Serengeti is one of the world’s most spectacular game parks. Expect to see wildebeest and zebra in large concentrations but also watch out for lions, cheetahs and giraffe. Those looking for a unique Serengeti experience can opt for a hot air balloon ride over the park.

NGORONGORO CRATER As the world’s largest caldera, Ngorongoro Crater is an eco-system of grasslands, lakes, rivers, wetlands, forests and a parched area of ever-changing dunes. Packed with wildlife and barricaded by dense forest, the park encompasses the crater and sides of a huge extinct volcano.

ZANZIBAR Known as the “Spice Island”, Zanzibar is a charming mixture of quaint shops, bazaars, mosques, courtyards, squares, palaces, cathedrals, colonial mansions and beaches with world class watersports.

ARUSHA NATIONAL PARK Sprawling near the foot of Mt Meru, Arusha National Park is one of the jewels of Africa but often overlooked by travellers despite its diversity of habitats and wildlife. Its forest is inhabited by inquisitive blue monkeys and colourful turacos.

TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK Tarangire National Park is famous for is its birdlife and herds of elephants, which mass here in enormous numbers during the dry season between June and December to scratch the dry river bed in search of water.

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Useful Information

Visas

Australian passport holders require a visa to enter Tanzania. This visa may be granted on arrival at particular entry points to Tanzania, however it is recommended that travellers obtain a visa before departing Australia as a visa on arrival is not guaranteed. When applying for a visa from a Tanzanian mission, travellers should supply their passport (with at least six months validity beyond their intended stay and 2 blank pages), a completed application form, two passport photographs, the $95 visa fee (bank cheque or money order payable to “Consulate of Tanzania”) and a copy of their travel itinerary. A traceable pre paid self addressed envelope for the return of the passport should also be supplied. Most visas are issued within 5 working days, are valid for 90 days and allow a single entry into Tanzania for between 30 and 90 days. For further information, please see the visa application form or contact a Tanzanian mission.

Customs

Tanzanians are proud of their disciplined upbringing. The ability to keep control of one's temper and emotions in public is highly valued. Young men and women in rural areas are not supposed to show mutual affection in public in daylight, although this rule is often broken in urban centers. Boys and men, however, are commonly seen in public holding hands as a sign of friendship or camradarie. In many rural areas, women are not supposed to smoke, talk in a raised voice, or cross their legs while sitting or standing. Traditionally, elders are honored and respected by the rest of the community, although youth are increasingly challenging such customs as arranged marriages. Although the use of silverware is increasing, traditional customs prescribe eating all foods, including rice and meat sauces, with the right hand. Children who attempt to eat with their left hands are disciplined appropriately at very early ages. This custom is related to the perceived symbolic purity of the right hand, compared to the left hand which is often used for cleaning after using the toilet.

Health

The following information is intended as a guide only and in no way should it be used as a substitute for professional medical advice relative to a travellers individual needs and vaccination history. No guarantee is made as to its accuracy or thoroughness. For further information, please contact The Travel Doctor on 1300 658 844. Regardless of destination, all travellers should be up-to-date with their routine "background" vaccinations, including for Tetanus and Diphtheria (with a booster within the last 10 years), Whooping Cough, Polio (with a booster in adult life), Measles, Mumps and Rubella (two combination vaccinations through life), Chicken Pox and a recent annual Influenza vaccination. Vaccination against Hepatitis A is recommended for travellers to Tanzania. Vaccination against Typhoid should also be considered, particularly if travelling to areas with poor sanitation. Persons staying in Tanzania for extended periods or frequent travellers should consider immunisation against Hepatitis B and Rabies (especially if working with animals). Cholera is reported in Tanzania, but vaccination is usually not recommended, as food and water precautions are more important. Tanzania is considered a high risk country for Malaria and Dengue Fever is also present, as such insect avoidance measures and preventative medication may be necessary. Australia does not list Tanzania within the endemic zone for Yellow Fever, thus a vaccination certificate is not required on return to Australia. However some countries do list Tanzania within the endemic zone and may require proof of vaccination depending on your itinerary. Please consult a medical practitioner or contact The Travel Doctor for your specific risk to these preventable diseases and the appropriate avoidance measures. Australians travelling to Tanzania should ensure they have adequate travel insurance to cover the length of their stay. Medications that are legal in Australia may be illegal in other countries. For further information on insurance, taking medication overseas and other issues please visit www.smartraveller.gov.au/tips.

Electricity

Electrical Socket: British Voltage: 220-240 volts (same as Australia) Modem Plug Type: UK Source: Korjo Travel Products. To purchase electrical adapters or for further information on this matter, please view the Korjo adapter guide at www.korjo.com.au.

Communications

Country Code for Tanzania: +255 Visa Global Assistance: Call the US on 000 1 303 967 1090 Tourism Information Offices: Dar es Salaam - (022) 211 1244 Arusha - (027) 250 3842 Emergency Services: 111 or 112 The emergency services number may not be available in all areas. English speaking staff should be available. If not, you should have a local call on your behalf or contact the Australian Consulate.

Shopping

Items are different those from the parks to those of Zanzibar. Around the parks and specilly on the roads you will find lots of wood, stone and textile items. Wood frames (Zan style) are well made at the Old Fort. Also be on the look out for Antique shops in Stone Town.

Tipping

Tipping lodge staff and drivers/guides is customary for good service on a Tanzania safari, but check first to see whether a service charge has been added to your bill. Tipping is always in addition to the price quoted by your operator and the amount varies depending on the size of your group, the level of luxury of the safari and whether you thought an exceptionally good job was done.When travelling in the major Tanzania cities, a 10% tip is customary in restaurants and bars when a service charge is not included.

Getting around

Given the size of Tanzania and the condition of its roads, charter flights are considered the best way to get around the country.Road transfers and game drives in Tanzania are conducted in open-sided 4X4 vehicles though visitors to Gombe and Mahale will enjoy a boat transfer across Lake Tanganyika.

Language

Swahili and English (official), Arabic is widely spoken in Zanzibar.