Where is Tanzania Located?
Tanzania is located in East Africa between longitude, 29 degrees and 41 degrees east and latitude 1 degree and 12 degrees south. Tanzania borders Kenya to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to the south, and is the largest country in East Africa (943,000 sq km), comprising both the mainland and the Zanzibar Archipelago.
A large central plateau makes up most of the mainland (at between 900m and 1800m) and the mountain ranges of the Eastern Arc and the Southern and Northern Highlands cut across the country to form part of the Great Rift Valley.
Tanzania is a land of geographical extremes having the highest peak Mount Kilimanjaro, the lowest point Lake Tanganyika, and the largest Lake Victoria, on the continent.
What is the climate in Tanzania?
As Tanzania lies just south of the equator, there is little seasonal variation in temperature, but it is slightly cooler in June/July and warmer in January and February. There is much more variation between the coastal and low lying regions and the high plains and mountainous regions.
There are two rainy seasons – the long rains during late March and late May and the short rains in November. The rest months are categorized as dry season. In practice the rainfall pattern is neither regular nor predictable.
The Great Northern Parks lie at an altitude of 5,000 to 19.340 feet, Kilimanjaro being the highest to have a pleasant climate with warm days and cooler evenings year round.
Between June and October, temperatures range from around 10°C in the northern highlands to about 23°C on the coast. On the plains and the lower-altitude game reserves, the temperatures from June to October are warm and mild. On the coast, these months are some of the most pleasant to visit, with balmy, sunny weather much of the day and cooling ocean breezes at night. From December to March, the days are hot and sunny with often no even a cloud in the sky. Temperatures range from the mid-twenties to the low thirties throughout the country while visitors flock to the parks and beaches to escape the dreariness of late winter in colder climes.
What about time in Tanzania?
3 hrs + GMT
Will I be able to use foreign currency?
The local unit of currency in Tanzania is Tanzanian Shilling (TSh) which is convertible freely for US Dollar, Euro and some other currencies within Tanzania. There are several places in Tanzania you can exchange your money/traveller’s cheques but it is advisable that you exchange your money only in hotels, banks, bureau de change and your tour operator to avoid inconveniences and being coned
It is illegal to export more than a small amount of Tanzanian Shilling. Many items or services are priced and paid for in US Dollar, so do not convert more funds into the local currency than you may need for incidental expenses.
Is Tanzania a safe country?
Tanzania is one of the safest countries to travel in. Tanzanians are kind and generous people and are eager to help visitors get the most out of their stay. Tanzania is a true example of tolerance and cooperation in our modern world, with an evidenced multicultural diversity that has co-existed for centuries and has a lot to offer the world by its example.
However, as in all countries in the world, a little common sense goes a long way and rational precautions should still be taken, such as locking valuables in the hotel safe, which frees your mind to soak up the natural beauty and incredible insights.
Can I use ATM to draw money?
Today, there are a number of ATM machines around and banks are widely expanding the service. However, it may be not very reliable to expect a certain ATM as sometimes they are not working especially when you are in remoter area. In cities there is a good number of ATM machines and here is where you should draw your money before starting your safari. Be careful as in some small towns you may find there are no ATM machines so get well prepared with enough cash as needed before you move. Note that when drawing money from ATM machines you will get the money in Tanzanian Shilling and not otherwise.
What is the electricity rating?
The power supply is at the UK/European standard voltage of 220/240, and most of power sockets are the U.K. square pin type. If you want to use U.S. appliances you will need a voltage converter as well as a plug converter. Power supply is also subject to cuts and voltage fluctuation. On safari most lodges’ power supplies are from generators and these are often turned off during parts of the day and night to reduce noise and fuel consumption. On Safari, you will be able to charge your batteries/cameras/cellphones in our vehicles equipped with Inverters for that purpose. In beach hotels you will be able to charge your batteries easily but it may be difficult on mountain trek.
What about Health?
There are mosquitoes in Tanzania so travelers should be well prepared. You will need to bring repellent for mosquitoes and other insects. In coastal area and in the area around Rift valley you will encounter possibly a lot of mosquitoes. Make you take Malaria prevention before and during your travel to Tanzania. It is also recommended that you vaccinations against hepatitis A, polio and typhoid. Refer to your local health authorities to finalize your immunization recommendations and requirements.
How can I travel to Tanzania?
British Airways fly direct to Dar es Salaam from Heathrow, three times weekly. KLM fly from Zurich to Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro and Swiss Air from Zurich to Dar es Salaam. Air India flies to Dar es Salaam via Mumbai, Emirates flies via Dubai and Ethiopian Airlines via Addis Ababa. Check with your local travel agent for other airlines that operate to Tanzania via Europe and the Middle East. Regional carriers into Tanzania include Air Tanzania, Kenya Airways, Precision Air, Rwanda Air, and South African Airways. Domestic carriers include Air Tanzania, Coastal Aviation. Precision Air, Regional Air Services, Flight Link, Auric Air, and ZanAir link the major cities, tourist attractions and game parks in Tanzania. Air Tanzania, Precision Air, Coastal Aviation and ZanAir fly between the mainland and Zanzibar. International flights serve Dar es Salaam International Airport (DAR) recently named “Julius Nyerere International Airport” which is eight miles from Dar es Salaam city center and Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), just 31 miles from the main town center of Arusha (Tourist Hub). Zanzibar Kisauni Airport (ZNZ) is just five miles from Stone Town.
RA Safaris can help you book or hire regional/local flights and charters in Tanzania. We advise you to book for your International flights.
Will RAS pay for our travel/health insurances?
RA Safaris does not process travel insurances. We therefore advise that you consult your travel insurance broker when planning your trip. It is very important that you get travel insurance to cover health costs, your properties, and other things during the travel period. RAS is a member of AMREF Flying doctors based in Nairobi with their branch in Arusha and through this we usually issue evacuation insurance cards to clients before the start of safari. This includes light aircraft with skilled doctors for pickup from isolated airstrips in the national parks, game reserves and anywhere else. This service covers only evacuation to the hospital and does not replace your medical Insurance. Medical bills have to be settled directly by the patient.
Airport Taxes included with flight fares?
An airport tax of US$50 is levied (this is not fixed), which may be included in the price of air ticket. Note that this may change and should be confirmed while booking your flight.
Do I require visa?
Visitors to Tanzania apart from valid passport require visas with the exception of citizens of the commonwealth and Scandinavian countries. Visa can be obtained from any Tanzania’s diplomatic mission or consulate abroad, at main entry points or by writing to the principal immigration officer (P.O. Box 512, Dar es Salaam-Tanzania). Find more information about visa and application here.
Which is the best time for great migration?
Usually migration depend on weather condition although should be between the months of December to early March. Calving which takes place in southern Serengeti is in February mostly but not predictable as depends on weather. If rains come late then even calving is postponed naturally.
Which Language is used in Tanzania?
The official language of Tanzania is Kiswahili, which is spoken by the majority of the population who also speak tribal languages (about 120). English is also spoken and understood by many especially in towns. Our guides are fluent in English, French, Spanish, Italian, and German.
Can I Travel with children?
You can surely travel with children in Tanzania. Tanzanians love children and are especially helpful to mothers. However, canned baby foods, powdered milk and disposable nappies may not be available outside major towns. However, it is not appropriate to go on safari with babies as the roads are bumpy.
Is it ok to provide Gifts?
Don’t indiscriminately hand out pens, money and sweets like a wealthy Western Santa Claus along the way except at particular premises like schools etc as otherwise it may just encourage begging. As anywhere, gifts should be given as a true expression of friendship, thanks. There are Orphan centers and schools in need where you may provide gifts and children will very much appreciate. Please contact us if you want to know where these institutions are and what could be appropriate gifts.
Can I shop in Tanzania?
The tourist areas and hotels sell a wide range of souvenirs, jewelry and trinkets. Don’t be afraid to haggle at roadside curio stalls.
Can I drive in Tanzania?
Sure you can. In Tanzania we drive on the left. An international Licence is required. Plan long safaris carefully, ensuring your vehicle is road worthy with two spare tires, an operational jack and tool kit. Carry extra fuel, and water.
Can I hire a car?
Self-drive vehicles are available mainly for local running or tarmac use. 4×4 vehicles for safaris usually have to be hired with a driver but where necessary self-drive is also accepted at RA Safaris.
How do I have to Tip?
Not obligatory, but a tip for exceptional service will be appreciated. We suggest the following to be used as a guideline but not a rule as tipping depends on the discretion of each client. RA Safaris staff are service minded and always goes the extra measure above expectations.
Trekking Guide: US$ 30 per day from the group
Assistant Guide: US$ 30 per day from the group
Porter: US$ 10 per day from the group
Chef: US$ 20 per day from the group
On wildlife safari:
Driver Guide: US$ 30 per day from the group
Chef (for camping option): US$ 20 per day from the group
Other Camping Staff: US$ 15 per day from the group
Tipping in a lodge/hotel
You can leave US$1.00 – US$2.00 on the table per meal and not per person.