Tanzania holds a biodiversity like none-other, an area truly wild at heart. Its landscapes display an incredible wealth of habitats – an invitation to curious eyes and minds. The untamed terrain is cushioned in luxury and high quality experience, coupled with high quality service. It is home to the iconic Mount Kilimanjaro, the Ngorongoro Crater as well as the Great Migration – one of the most spectacular wildlife events in the world. The migration is a movement of over 2 million animals – big enough to be seen from space!
Exclusive journeys and spacious properties invite you to embark on a getaway of personal space, safely distanced yet intimately connected to your surroundings. Iconic and secret destinations await to welcome you to your African adventure.
The best time to visit Tanzania is during the dry season from late June to October. It is a time when the game is more concentrated around waterholes. The famous Wildebeest migration reaches the northern Serengeti during the month of July. Between July and October, great herds can be witnessed making the treacherous river crossings. The calving season for the wildebeest is in January and February, another safari spectacle not to be missed.
The rainy season, or long rains, is during April and May.
In Tanzania, the unit of currency is the Tanzanian Shilling. Notes are issued in denominations of 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, and 10000 Shillings.
Banks are open from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm Monday to Friday. Many banks are equipped with 24 hour ATM machines.
Credit cards and travellers’ checks are not widely accepted in Tanzania. Where they are accepted, high service fees and poor exchange rates can be expected. Major foreign currencies – particularly USD – are accepted in Tanzania and are convertible at banks and bureaux de changes in the main towns and tourist areas. If bringing cash in USD, please make sure bank notes are in good condition, with no cuts or damage and are not older than 2004. Most banks offer higher exchange rates for US $ 100 / US $ 50 banknotes compared to US $ 20 / US $ 10 or US $ 5 banknotes.
If you are visiting a number of parks and reserves in Tanzania, you can either drive or fly between them. Roads in most of the wilderness areas are in poor condition and unmarked, and self-driving is not recommended. Operators will supply you with a driver who doubles as an informal guide; alternatively, you can arrange to fly to your destination and utilize a car and driver supplied by the lodgings. Driving is on the left-hand side of the road.
Precision Air runs regular services, mostly via Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro or Zanzibar, to all main towns and other destinations in East Africa and beyond. All national parks and some of the top-end luxury lodges have airstrips and Coastal Air operates between these and the main airports on the mainland and the islands of Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia. ZanAir has frequent connections between Zanzibar, Pemba and the mainland.
Most camps, lodges or hotels cater specifically to tourists and serve Western-style food, ranging in standard, but generally are excellent. Game lodges tend to offer a daily set menu with a limited selection, so it is advisable to have your tour operator specify in advance if you are a vegetarian or have other specific dietary requirements. First-time visitors to Africa might take note that most game lodges in and around the national parks have isolated locations, and driving within the parks is neither permitted nor advisable after dark, so that there is no realistic alternative to eating at your lodge.
Tap water in Tanzania is generally not safe to drink, and most travellers try to stick to mineral water. Filtered and bottled water can be difficult to find if you are travelling outside of the main town and so it is advisable to stock up. Most camps, lodges and hotels have bottled water readily available.
Just south of the equator, Tanzania is huge and its sheer size means that the climate varies considerably within it. However, generally, the main rainy season, or the ‘long rains’, lasts between March-May. Afternoon tropical downpours are the norm – which are heavier and more predictable along the coast and on the islands. The humidity is high and daily temperatures reach the low-mid 30°s.
The long dry season lasts throughout June, July, August, September and October where rainfall is unusual, even on the islands. Temperatures vary hugely with altitude and location, but it’s usually a fine, clear sky and sunny weather – it’s a great time to visit Tanzania. During November and December, there’s another rainy season: the ‘short rains’, these are much lighter than the main rains and more erratic.
If it has rained during the short rains, then it normally dries up for a few months, January and February, which is Tanzania’s ‘short dry season’, before starting to rain again early in March.
It never gets really cold in Tanzania so lightweight clothing, preferably cotton or linen, is recommended. While on a game viewing safari, avoid brightly coloured clothing, stick to whites, beiges, khakis and browns. There may be long days sitting in safari vehicles, so it is advisable to wear light comfortable clothing such as short-sleeved shirts and cotton/linen trousers or shorts. Denim will become too hot and extremely uncomfortable. Walking shoes and socks will be required.
The evenings will be chilly, so long-sleeved shirts and trousers should be worn. A sweater may be needed. These will also prevent you from being bitten by insects. A hat should be worn at all times outside. The sun may sometimes not feel hot, but it can still easily burn, especially if it is cloudy and overcast.
If visiting Zanzibar or any coastal town don’t forget to take a swimsuit, as it is invariably warm. Ladies are recommended to take cotton skirts, blouses and dresses. Sandals are a must for this environment! On the beaches and within the confines of hotels, normal swimwear is acceptable but nudity is not.
As over a third of the population in Tanzania is Muslim, it is therefore not etiquette for ladies to walk around in public displaying their legs and shoulders. Remember to dress modestly as short shorts, miniskirts, vests and tank tops will be frowned upon.
Tanzania has good Internet Service Providers with email and internet services offered by many hotels and lodges (free / paid). In most towns, there are plenty of private business centres and cyber cafes offering email and internet access, although the speeds might be somewhat slower than what you are used to.
The electricity supply in Tanzania is 220/240 volts at 50Hz. Plugs are 3 point square (UK Type). Adapters are available at major airports.