About the country and cultural awareness
Tanzania, officially the United Republic of Tanzania, is a relatively large country in East Africa with about 58 million inhabitants.
The capital of Tanzania is Dodoma though the biggest city with the highest number of inhabitants is Dar es Salaam. Tanzania have freedom of religion and the various religious groups coexist peacefully.
It is important to respect all cultural differences, Swimwear is appropriate at all beach resort(when visiting Zanzibar) and at your hotel/lodge pool, but not in town. Topless sunbathing is prohibited. Dressing according to the culture would involve covering shoulders, knees and cleavage. Also be careful with transparent clothing.
Permission should be requested before taking close-up/direct photographs of local people.
There are more than 100 different languages spoken across Tanzania, but the official language is Kiswahili and English Although many Tanzanians who are living in the city also speak English. The amount of English that the Tanzanian speak varies, Some speak English fluently and some just a few words Any effort you are to say a few words in the local language will be greeted with great delight.
|Swahili||English translations||Answer in swahili||English translation|
|Mambo||How are things?||Poa||Cool|
|How is your
|Nzuri (na wewe?)
Nzuri sana (na wewe?)
|Good (and you?)
Very good (and you?)
|* Shikamo||I respect you||Marahaba||I accept your respect|
* Shikamo is a greeting used to greet people older than one self to show them respect, which is something valued in the Tanzanian culture.
|Common animals on safari|
|Common animals on safari|
Please pack your luggage in a soft-sided bag without wheels or rigid handles – e.g. duffel bag or similar rather than rigid suitcases. Rigid suitcases are difficult to fit into the safari car.
Try to use something that is lockable and waterproof as luggage often end up loaded onto the roof of your safari vehicle.
A small luggage for a day-bag where you can keep small stuff. Also preferable to be soft sided and as light as possible.
For camping, all camping gear will be provided except only for a 4 season sleeping bag (Provided upon request).
On safari it is possible to charge your devices in the safari-car. All lodges have electricity plugs in the rooms and the tented camp have a charging system at the dining place making it possible for you to have all your devices charged at all time.
Tanzania uses UK-style plugs, so if the chargers to your devices have a different plug then it is advised to bring a UK-converter.
It is also advised to bring a power bank. We recommend bringing a small flashlight or headlight.
Hairdryers requires extra power therefore it is not available in some camps and lodges.
It is highly recommended that you secure comprehensive insurance coverage with an appropriate amount to safeguard against various potential risks.
This insurance should encompass you, your travel companions, and your family members.
It will provide protection for unforeseen travel-related issues, including but not limited to cancellations, interruptions, delays, loss or theft of travel documents and personal belongings, medical expenses, and emergency transportation.
- You can either apply for it at the counter when you come to Tanzania. This will take some time, you will have to go through several queues. Payment for visas on entry into Tanzania is in US dollars only.
- The option that we highly recommend is that you apply for your visa online. It is a simple way of applying for a visa and you skip the longest queues at the airport on your arrival. You fill out your information on the website and then you will have your visa in about 3-4 weeks. Link to website for applying for visa:
Currency in Tanzania
The official currency used in Tanzania is the Tanzania Shilling. It serves as the primary medium of exchange within the country’s economy.
US dollars (USD) are widely accepted and preferred for specific payments in Tanzania, such as settling any finalizing trip expenses and tipping guides. When planning your travel, acquire an adequate amount of USD to cover your anticipated expenditures. For more favorable exchange rates it’s recommended to bring bills in denominations of $50 to $100.
Please note that US dollars dated before 2009 are not accepted in Tanzania due to risk of counterfeit.
Payment and cash options
When it comes to payments during your Tanzanian journey, there are several options to consider. Credit cards, such as Visa and Mastercard, are accepted in select locations within towns. However, please be aware that some establishments may add a fee to credit card transactions, ranging from 3.5% to 5% of the transaction amount.
It’s important to keep in mind that while credit cards are a viable payment option and also possible in certain lodges and camps, there are instances where this method might not be available due to unreliable internet connectivity. In such cases, it’s advisable to have alternative payment arrangements in place.
Although credit cards provide convenience and are becoming increasingly accepted, there are still some places that do not accept them. Therefore, having a combination of payment methods at your disposal is advisable to ensure seamless and trouble-free transactions during your time in Tanzania.
Tanzanian can always be withdrawn from the local ATMs, and US dollars can always be exchanged for Tanzanian Shillings.
Tipping in Tanzania is not mandatory, but it’s an opportunity to acknowledge the efforts of those who contribute to making your trip unforgettable. As with any cultural practice, a respectful attitude and genuine appreciation go a long way in fostering positive interactions during your Tanzanian adventure.
For the guide, we suggest a daily tip of $10-$15 per person (Please ask for a separate tipping recommendation list for climbing situations).
If you’re on a budget safari, we also recommend giving $5-$8 per person per day to the chef.
During short walking safaris with armed rangers, it’s customary to provide a tip of $5-$10 per person per day.
Showing appreciation to the porters at lodges and camps with small tips (e.g. $1) is highly valued, and many lodges and camps have a general tipping box for your convenience.
When dining at restaurants, especially in major cities, it’s customary to leave around a 5% tip. Alternatively, if you’re satisfied with the service, rounding up the bill to an even amount is also appreciated.
Remember that while these recommendations provide a general guideline, the most important aspect of tipping is to reflect your gratitude for the excellent service you receive.
Malaria is endemic in Africa. Moshi is one of the towns where the prevalence is low, but are you traveling to e.g. Zanzibar or Dar es Salaam the prevalence is high.
The malaria mosquitos cannot live in an altitude of 1500 meters and above. So a national park as Ngorongoro e.g. which is in an altitude of 2000 meters and above, there are no mosquitos. Mainly you do not have to worry about malaria when on safari, though it can be wise to bring repellent in case of other bugs that might bite.
Note: Please consult your doctor for assistance on the most suitable prophylactic medication to be.
Remember to bring with you sufficient supplies of any personal medications to last the duration of your trip. We recommend that you carry your essential medications in your hand luggage in case the check-in luggage should go astray.
It is also recommended to carry a copy of your doctor’s prescription in the event of any issues arising at customs.
Packing list for medical supplies
- Insect and mosquito repellent
- Antiseptic cream
- Malaria tablets (please advise your doctor)
- Painkillers (e.g. paracetamol and ibuprofen)
- Anti-diarrhea medicine (e.g. containing Loperamid)
- Anti-histamine tablets
- Motion sickness tablets
- Rehydration salts
- Sun block and after sun lotion
- Prescribed medicine (must be packed in your back pack)