Generally dry and hot with cool nights/mornings June-October and mid-December-March; short rains November to mid-December; long rains April-May but the seasons can vary. The coastal strip is hot and humid all year round. Temperatures on Mount Kilimanjaro and Meru drop to below freezing.
Pack lightweight, washable clothes plus a sweater for early morning game drives, as well as a sun hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. Long sleeves and trousers in light-coloured fabrics help discourage insect bites. Brightly colored clothing may alarm the animals. You can buy clothes in Dar, Zanzibar and Arusha if necessary. Shorts are acceptable only while on safari for both men and women. Women should bring a wrap to cover legs in villages and towns as revealing clothes can cause offense. On the beach and within the confines of beach hotels normal swimwear is acceptable (but not nudity).
For climbing on Kilimanjaro or Meru, take thermal underwear, light layers, sweater, rain jacket, good socks and sturdy boots.
A 3 rectangular pin UK plug adapter is required to use electrical appliances including video cameras and digital cameras. The plug adapter is placed onto your appliance plug so that it will fit into the 3 rectangular pin electrical sockets. Tanzania electrical sockets are identical to those found in the United Kingdom.
The electrical voltage in Tanzania is 220V while the electrical voltage in the United States is 120V. If you have a dual voltage appliance or a universal power supply capable of operating safely with either 120V or 220V, all you will need is the plug adapter mentioned above. Most newer laptops, digital cameras and video cameras come equipped with a dual voltage power supply. Check to make sure that the input reads 100V – 240V or 120V – 240V.
If you do not have a dual voltage power supply, then in addition to the plug adapter, you will need to purchase a transformer/converter.
Please be aware that many of the lodges in Tanzania do not operate their electricity generators 24 hours a day. Some lodges turn off their generators after dinner until just before dawn. Please inquire upon arrival at each lodge as policies differ widely. It is always a good idea to be prepared with one or two extra batteries for digital cameras, camcorders and laptops.
Don’t indiscriminately hand out pens, money and sweets– it just encourages begging. As anywhere, gifts should be given as a true expression of friendship, appreciation or thanks.
Yellow fever is required for ALL persons from yellow fever endemic countries/regions. All individuals in transit for 12 hours or more and/or who leave the immediate airport vicinity in a yellow fever endemic area are required to get vaccinated. All individuals from yellow fever endemic regions travelling by way of air, marine and land are required to get vaccinated. The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of the United Republic of Tanzania has reinstalled HEALTH SURVEILLANCE DESKS in all borders, ports and international airports. PLEASE CARRY YOUR HEALTH CERTIFICATES WITH YOU WHEN ENTERING TANZANIA. Malaria is endemic but is preventable: use insect repellent, cover up at sundown, sleep under a mosquito net and take ant malaria prophylactics as advised by your doctor. Bring prescription medicines, spare glasses, contact lenses and solution as well as sunscreen, a first aid kit, cream for bites/stings and diarrhoea remedy. Drink only boiled or bottled water, bottled or canned drinks. Avoid ice cubes and salads. HIV/AIDS is widespread. See Medical Tips.
Visas are required. Visas cost $50 USD per person ($100 USD per person for US Citizens) and can be obtained on arrival but you may wish to get them in advance. See Visa Information.
Take out travel insurance to cover loss of baggage or valuables, personal accident and medical expenses. Access 2 Tanzania has teamed with Travelex Insurance Services to offer a selection of travel insurance options. All Travelex policies offer primary coverage – meaning they pay first, not your personal insurance policies. Check out Travelex Insurance Services to compare policies.
English is widely spoken in the cities, but not spoken much in the villages. A few words of Swahili can be useful and will be appreciated greatly by locals.
Major foreign currencies – particularly USD and traveller’s checks are accepted and are convertible at banks and bureau de changes in the main towns and tourist areas. In general, credit cards are of little use in Tanzania. Credit cards are not widely accepted and when they are accepted, they carry poor exchange rates and are subject to substantial fees. Some banks in Arusha, Dar es Salaam and Moshi offer ATM facilities against international credit cards, but again the rates are typically poor and the amount that can be withdrawn is limited. ATMs are not available at all elsewhere. Don’t change money in the street.
Distances in Tanzania are vast, and travel by road can be wearing. Keep your distance from animals and be quiet to avoid distressing the wildlife. Follow instructions of your guide. Don’t leave your vehicle in the parks except in designated places. Keep to recognized tracks to avoid damaging vegetation.