Discover the world’s most famous parks and the ‘Big Five’
A Tanzania travel experience means getting to know some of the most beautiful wildlife parks in Africa. you can take a jeep through the Serengeti, spot the Big Five and perhaps see the Great Wildebeest Migration. Descend into the Ngorongoro crater, a World Heritage Site, for a breathtaking natural wonder and marvel at the sight of the herds of elephants in Tarangire National Park. Get to know the local Tanzanians, for example, during a mountain bike tour in Mto wa Mbu. Want to relax a bit to take in all those impressions? Then end your trip on the beautiful island of Zanzibar. It doesn’t get any better than this!
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A Tanzania travel adventure
Go on safari in Tanzania
If you go on holiday to Tanzania, then you will definitely want to go on a safari. Tanzania is one of the best safari countries in the world, partly thanks to the endless Serengeti National Park. The Serengeti is full of wildlife. From lions and cheetahs to leopards and elephants, it is unbelievable how many animals you can spot here. There is even a good chance that you might see a pride of lions hunting wildebeests or gazelles, as if you are in the middle of a nature documentary. In summer, the migration of hundreds of thousands of wildebeests and zebras takes place in the Serengeti, one of the most extraordinary events in nature that you can’t afford to miss for your Tanzania travel experience.
Tanzania travel: Zanzibar Island
After your safari, you may like to relax a few days on the beach and take in all that you have experienced. Consider ending your trip on the beautiful island of Zanzibar. Here you can relax on one of the many white-sand beaches. But there is also plenty to do. Take a boat trip with a traditional dhow or go snorkeling in the azure blue waters. The capital Stone Town, one of the most beautiful sights of Tanzania, is also worth a visit. Here you will find atmospheric narrow streets, colourful markets, an old fortress and a monument to the slaves that were traded here. Want to get the most out of your Tanzania travel adventure? Our local expert Karin is happy to help you design your ideal trip.
Meet the Locals in Tanzania
Nature and animals are among the highlights of your Tanzania travel holiday, but the local Tanzanians themselves are also very special. The local people are very friendly and are from 120 different tribes in Tanzania. They are very open to visitors and people who take interest in their culture. In the countryside around Mto wa Mbu, you can go on a scenic mountain bike tour led by a local guide, giving you a great chance to meet local banana farmers, taste banana beer and get to know different crafts and traditions. A fun excursion for adults and children alike to enjoy on their Tanzania travel experience!
Go on safari with children
Besides the Serengeti, Tanzania still has countless other wildlife parks. There is the famous Ngorongoro crater, a volcano crater where huge numbers of wild animals live. You can’t miss Tarangire National Park where large herds of elephants, zebras, giraffes and other animals live. The small Arusha National Park is also a must, as is the beautiful Lake Manyara, famous for its tree-climbing lions. Looking to go on your Tanzania safari with children? Karin, our local travel expert, will be happy to help you create your ideal Tanzania travel adventure for the whole family.
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Know Before you Go
General Information and Insider Tips
Residents of the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand do need a visa for travel to Tanzania. Tourist visas can be applied for at your nearest consulate office or obtained on arrival. Visas can be extended up to 90 days at a time (maximum six months) at the immigration office.
For visas on arrival, you can obtain an application online and print it out prior to departure, onsite, or your airline may give one to you prior to landing. Photos are not necessary as one will be taken onsite, but the fee must be paid in US dollars. For most countries, the fee is $50 for single entry, $100 for multiple entry. For US citizens the fee is $100 for both single and multiple entry. For other countries, check visa requirements here.
Your passport must be valid for at least six months prior to arrival in Tanzania and have at least one blank visa page. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of valid and correct travel documentation.
Insider Tip: Zanzibar and other islands are part of Tanzania, but administered autonomously with their own immigration procedures. You will be required to show your passport upon entry and exit, so be sure to bring it with you.
There are no particular requirements for Tanzania, but make sure all routine vaccinations are up to date (MMR, polio, tetanus, etc.). Hepatitis A and Typhoid are recommended, and Zika is currently a risk in Tanzania. Check the latest information about Zika warnings. Depending on where you’re traveling, Hepatitis B, cholera and rabies vaccines may also be recommended. Malaria is endemic and dengue fever is also a threat, so seek the advice of a medical professional about what vaccinations are suggested for your trip. We recommend all vaccines be completed at least six weeks prior to travel.
If traveling from a country that has yellow fever (including neighboring Kenya), you will be required to show proof of yellow fever vaccination.
Insider Tip: Always carry prescriptions in their original, labeled packaging.
The safety of our clients is of the utmost importance to us, and our local experts are always well-informed about the current situation in Tanzania. For up-to-date information about safety, security and travel warnings, please refer to the US State Department, UK Foreign Travel Advice, or your local government resource.
Insider Tip: Keep windows of vehicles rolled up when stopped and bags out of sight to protect your belongings.
Most sockets use the UK-style three-pronged flat (Type G), but the Indian-style three-pronged round (Type D) may also be found. The European two-pronged (Type C) will also fit the three-pronged round outlet.
At Better Places Travel, you book your own international flights. Your travel expert will gladly advise you on the best option. Read here for more information and tips.
When to go
Weather is generally hot year-round with high humidity at lower elevations and cold nights at Mount Kilimanjaro and the rim of Ngorongoro Crater. There are two rainy seasons in Tanzania: October-December (short rains) and March-May (long rains). The best travel months are January-March and June-September, but high season in the Serengeti peaks July- September when dry weather overlaps with the migration. November-February is high season for the coastal areas and Zanzibar when the snowbirds from the Northern Hemisphere seek out sun and warm temperatures. While hot and tropical year-round, sea breezes cool things down a bit. Read more about the best Tanzania travel time here.
Insider Tip: Some parts of Zanzibar and other islands are inaccessible during the long rains.
The national language is Swahili. English is also widely spoken Here are some useful words to learn:
How are you? = Jambo (or Habari or Hujambo?)
Good (Fine) = Mzuri (or Nzuri)
Goodbye = Kwaheri
Welcome = Karibu
Please = Tafadhali
Thank you (very much) = Asante (sana)
Pole Pole = Slowly slowly
Excuse Me = Samahani
No worries = Hakuna matata
Insider Tip: Arabic is widely spoken on Zanzibar.
Tanzania is one of the oldest continually inhabited areas on Earth. Most locals are either Christian or Muslim, with Islam concentrated in the coastal areas and Zanzibar. When greeting someone, always shake with your right hand. Likewise, your right hand should be used when reaching for food or serving it. Tanzania is a conservative society. Public displays of affection are frowned upon and homosexuality is not only taboo, it’s technically illegal.
Insider Tip: The colourful dress of the Masai people naturally draw photographers, but always ask first and be prepared to tip your subject.
The local currency is Tanzanian Shilling (TZS)
Tanzanian shillings are the official currency, but US dollars are also widely accepted and sometimes preferred over local currency. ATMs are plentiful in the cities, however some machines may be broken or out of money. Travellers checks aren’t accepted anywhere. Credit cards are accepted some places, but a surcharge may be added, so inquire before using. Cash is best. Because US dollars are so widely accepted and ATMs only dispense shillings, it is adviseable that you bring US dollars with you.
Insider Tip: If exchanging US dollars, larger denominations ($50, $100) will often fetch a better rate than smaller ones ($10, $20). Always bring newer bills as any issued prior to 2006 will not be accepted.
- Restaurants – Locals don’t usually tip, so rounding up the bill or leaving 5% is usually sufficient. 10-15% is customary in higher-end restaurants if a service charge isn’t included.
- Cabs – Round up the change.
- Hotels – Tip bellmen $1-2 USD per bag, and housekeeping $2-4 USD per day.
Insider Tip: Guides, drivers and porters for safaris and treks should be tipped, so ask your hotel, lodge or local guide about the protocol. $10-15 USD per person per day is generally customary for safari guides.
In general, dress modestly in loose-fitting cotton clothes. Women shouldn’t wear revealing clothing, particularly in the Muslim areas of the country. Pants, long skirts and covered shoulders are best. Swimsuits are acceptable at the beach, but cover up when not in the water. When on safari, wear light-colored clothes but not white (which will get dusty) or blue/black (which attracts mosquitos and the tse tse fly). Do not wear military camouflage as that’s reserved for Tanzanian officials.
- Comfortable closed-toe shoes or hiking boots for city walking, safaris and trekking
- Flip flops or sandals for beach areas
- Warm jacket or fleece for the crater rim and Kilimanjaro
- Light sweater or jacket for cool mornings and evenings
- Daypack for safaris and trekking
- Mosquito repellant
- Wide-brimmed safari hat
- Binoculars for wildlife spotting
- Telephoto camera lens
- Microfiber towel or sarong for beach-going
- Simple medical kit with over-the-counter drugs and first aid (including anti-diarrheal and stomach meds)
- Hand sanitizer or wet wipes
- All prescriptions
- Flashlight/torch for possible power outages
- Tissues in case toilet paper is unavailable
Insider Tip: Brightly colored kangas, wrap-around cloths similar to sarongs, make great cover-ups (and souvenirs). They are available throughout the country at very affordable prices.