Unspoiled sandy beaches, lush forest, fascinating wildlife and snow-capped Kilimanjaro make Tanzania the perfect place for both a relaxing and an adventure holiday in East Africa.
Exciting destination listed as one of top five of the world’s most stunningly beautiful countries to visit by Fox TV, Tanzania is renowned for its savannah safari, cultural tours of its 150+ ethnic groups, healthy reefs ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving, and trekking to the highest mountain : Kilimanjaro.
Tanzania is the largest country in East Africa spread over 945km². It shares its borders with Kenya and Uganda (to the north), Rwanda, Burundi and Congo (to the west) and Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia (to the south).
Swahili is the official although English is widely spoken. In addition, most Tanzanians will also speak their local dialect, making them trilingual.
Diving in Tanzania
Whether it is diving in the Indian Ocean or in the rift valley lakes of Africa, Tanzania is considered an unexplored gem of East Africa. Diving in Tanzania, you will enjoy excellent diving conditions : good visibility running up to 30m / 100ft and warm tropical waters averaging 27ºC/80ºF.
Ideal for scenic dives, diving on the East Coast (Zanzibar, Mafia Island, Mnemba Atoll), you will spot a variety of Indian Ocean reef fish as well as larger pelagics such as whale sharks and humpback whales.
Inland, the Lake Tanganyika is an exciting scuba diving destination with its crystal clear waters. This freshwater lake hosts hundreds of colorful cichlid. You may combine such adventure with a safari trip in Tanzania.
Visa and Embassies
Nationals from nearby countries do not need a visa to visit Tanzania. Other travellers can obtain a visa on arrival (via Dar Es Salaam, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar airports). It costs USD$50 and allows you to stay up to 3 months. Finally, for some countries, the visa on arrival process is not available. This includes Morocco, Iraq, Yemen, Gabon …
As rules may change without prior notice, it is recommended to apply for a visa for Tanzania to an embassy beforehand.
Health in Tanzania
Although there is no vaccination legally required to travel to Tanzania, there are a number of health hazards it is best to avoid for a great East Africa holiday.
Before travelling to Tanzania, get vaccinated against Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio (DTP), Hepatitis A and Typhoid. It is also highly recommended to get vaccinated against Yellow Fever (required if you travelled to a country plagued by Yellow Fever a week or less before entering Tanzania). To travel to Zanzibar, you’ll be required to a show a proof that you do not have cholera.
For longer stays, you may also want to get a shot against Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B and meningitis.
In addition, Malaria is prevalent in the country and requires generous use of DEET mosquito repellent. If not provided, make sure to request a mosquito net in your hotel room.
Finally, note that like most Southern Africa, a high percentage of Tanzania population has AIDS. Stay away from anything involving blood and do not have unprotected intercourses.
Best time of year in Tanzania
This bit of heaven in East Africa has a warm tropical climate with temperatures around 30°C all year round. Nights are generally cooler, about 20°C.
Different regions experience different weather, with the Kilimanjaro mountain never getting really hot, while the beaches of Zanzibar get extremely wet during raining season (March to May).
How to get there?
You will most likely land in Dar Es Salaam Airport, the capital city. From there, you may board an internal flight to a number of cities including Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia Island. Please note that most of the time airport and departure tax in Tanzania are usually included in your fare.
However, depending on the company and the airport you are flying from, you may be asked to pay the airport tax in cash. Therefore, it is best to keep some US Dollars in cash when you are exiting Tanzania.
Money and ATM
The local currency is the Tanzania Shilling. However, the US Dollar is widely accepted. In addition, you may be able to pay in a number of other international currencies such as Euros and British Pounds. Be aware however that the shop will use their own exchange rate, which more often than not is not in your favor.
Credit cards are accepted in big cities and tourist places. An extra charge is usually applied (around 5%).