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Everything you need to know about travel to Tanzania


Tanzania’s climate is predominately tropical. Coastal areas are usually hot and humid, but on the beaches a sea breeze cools the air considerably. The average day temperature is 30 °C. Tanzania has two rainy seasons – the long rains from late March to June and the short rains from November to January. The long rains fall in heavy downpours, often accompanied by violent storms, but the short rains tend to be much less severe. The hottest time of the year is from December to March, before the long rains begin. The coolest months are June, July and August, when the weather is often overcast. In high-altitude areas such as Kilimanjaro and the Ngorongoro Highlands, temperatures can fall below freezing.

Entry requirements

A valid passport. Most visitors to Tanzania require a visa to enter the country. Three-month single-entry tourist visas are available at Tanzanian embassies in your country, price subject to nationality. Contact your local embassy or visit for further details.

Airport tax

Departure tax from mainland Tanzania is included in the price of your ticket, however in Zanzibar there is a departure tax of US $30 payable at the airport. There is a TSH 5,000 (approx US $5) tax levied on passengers within Tanzania.

Official languages

Kiswahili and English


The Tanzania shilling (Tsh or TZS), divided into 100 cents, is the national currency.


Banks and bureau de change are available at airports and in all major towns. Banking hours are from Monday - Friday 8.30 am - 3.00 pm, Saturdays 8.30 am - 1.30 pm. A few branches in the major towns are open until 4.00 pm. Please note that banks are closed on Sundays.

Credit cards and travellers’ cheques

Credit cards (Access, MasterCard, Visa, American -Express, and Eurocard) are accepted only at major lodges, hotels, and travel agents. A surcharge may be added for this service. ATM and 24-hour cash machines are available in branches of major banks. Travellers’ cheques in pounds sterling or US dollars are recommended, though it may be difficult to exchange them outside the main cities.


Local time is GMT + 3

Electric Current

220 volts AC50Hz


International Direct Dial is available. The country code for Tanzania is +255. The outgoing international code is 00 for the United States, or 000 for all other countries. Public call boxes in post offices and main towns operate on a card system, available from most small shops. Several cellular phone companies operate in Tanzania and roaming lines work near most major cities and towns. Internet cafes are plentiful in major city centers.


Tanzania has a tropical climate and different bacteria, flora, and fauna than most visitors are accustomed to, so it is advisable to take a few health precautions when travelling to make sure that your trip goes as comfortably and smoothly as possible. Malaria is usually top on the list of visitors’ worries, and prevention goes a long way towards keeping you protected. Make sure to visit your doctor to get a prescription for the anti-malarial drugs that best suit you. The yellow-fever vaccination is no longer officially required when entering Tanzania; however this is still a requirement if you wish to visit Zanzibar. Other vaccinations should be considered. For more information, contact your doctor well in advance of your visit.


Tanzania is a safe country to travel in. Tanzanians are warm-hearted and generous people and are eager to help visitors get the most out of their stay. Tanzania is a politically stable, multi-democratic country. As in all countries, a little common sense goes a long way and reasonable precautions should still be taken, such as locking valuables in the hotel safe and not walking alone at night.

Public holidays

Unless otherwise advised, the public holidays in Tanzania remain the same every year. If any of the public holidays listed below falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the holiday is moved to the following Monday. New Year - January 1 | Zanzibar Revolutionary Day - January 12 | Good Friday - April 6 | Easter Monday - April 9 | Union Day - April 26 | Workers’ Day - May 1 | Industrial Day - July 7 | Farmers’ Day - August 8 | Nyerere Day - October 14 | Independence Day - December 9 | Christmas Day - December 25 | Boxing Day - December 26

Islamic holidays change from year to year and may vary by 1-2 days, depending on the sighting of the new moon. The dates for 2009 are as follows: Ramadan - September 1-30 | Eid el Fitr (the end of Ramadan): October 1

Best times to visit

Northern Tanzania: July to March | Southern Tanzania: June to March | Zanzibar and the coast: June to March | Western Tanzania: May to March

Getting there by air

Tanzania has three international airports: Dar es Salaam International Airport (which handles most international flights), Kilimanjaro International Airport and Zanzibar International Airport.

Dar es Salaam International Airport

Located 15 km southwest of Dar es Salaam and takes approximately 25 minutes to reach by car from downtown. Airport facilities include a duty-free shop, car hire, post office, banking and bureau de change, and a bar and restaurant.

International airlines: Air India, Air Malawi, Air Mozambique, Air Tanzania, Air Zimbabwe, British Airways, Emirates, Ethiopian Airways, Kenya Airways, KLM, Precision Air, South African Airways and Swiss Air.

Kilimanjaro International Airport

Lies 40 km from Arusha and takes approximately one hour to reach by car. Facilities include curio shops, a post office, and a bar and restaurant. Shuttle bus services to the airport run regularly from both Arusha and Moshi.

Zanzibar International Airport

Located approximately 7 km from the centre of Stone Town it takes approximately 15 minutes to reach by car. Facilities include a restaurant, bureau de change and curio shops.

International airlines: Air Tanzania, Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airway, Precision Air and South African Airways.International airlines: Air Kenya, Ethiopian Airways, KLM, Precision Air.

Getting there by road

From the north, paved roads connect the Kenyan capital of Nairobi with Arusha and cross the border at the Namanga post. A number of shuttle buses, leaving twice daily between the two cities, also follow this route. The trip takes approximately 4 - 6 hours.

From the south, the road from Malawi enters Tanzania at Karonga before continuing onwards to Mbeya. There are no viable bus services along this route. It is possible to cross the border from Uganda at the Mutukula border post, but transport options are equally limited.

Internal roads connect Arusha and Dar es Salaam to major towns around the country. Roads to major tourist destinations are either already paved or under construction. At the time of writing, paved road extends from Arusha to Tarangire National Park and almost to Karatu, on the way to Ngorongoro Crater.

There are a number of reliable bus service operators running throughout Tanzania, including Scandinavia, Royal, Dar Express and Fresh Coach.

Need more info?

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