Exploring Tanzania: 10 Must Know Things Before Visiting 

If you are ready to explore the wonders of Tanzania, you have come to the right place. From the wildlife and the astounding views, to the warm and welcoming people, there is something for everyone in this beautiful African nation. Before you set off on your journey, take a few minutes to read through the must know things that will make your travels much easier.

  1. Visa: The Tanzanian government requires most travelers to obtain a visa prior to arriving in the country. You can choose between a single-entry visa or a multiple-entry visa, depending on the length of your stay. The current visa fee is $50 for US travelers.

  2. Pack Appropriately:
    When packing for your Tanzania journey, make sure to pack for the weather! The climate is tropical year-round, with a rainy season from March to June and a dry spell from July to October. It’s also wise to bring some insect repellent, basic first-aid supplies, and money to exchange for local currency.

  3. Transportation: Tanzania is a big place, so you will need to choose your mode of transportation wisely. Flying is the easiest and quickest option, but be aware that certain parts of the country—particularly the offshore islands—are not served by major commercial airlines. Buses and minivans are easily available, as are rental cars. If you plan to explore rural areas, you may want to consider hiring a car and driver to make sure you stay safe.

  4. Health and Safety: Tanzania is generally a very safe country. However, it is still important to stay vigilant and be aware of your surroundings at all times, especially late at night. Additionally, be sure to bring a comprehensive medical kit with all of the necessary items, such as malaria pills, sunscreen, insect repellent, antiseptic, and any other basic health supplies.

  5. Food and Drink: Tanzania produces a wide variety of delicious dishes. The national dish is ugali, a maize flour porridge, usually served with stewed meat or veggies. Seafood is also popular and commonly prepared with coconut milk. If you are looking for something more familiar, pizza, burgers, and Chinese food are popular choices at restaurants in the larger towns. Tap water is not safe for drinking in Tanzania, so make sure to stick to bottled water.

  6. Money Matters: Tanzania’s currency is the Tanzanian Shilling (TZS). ATMs are becoming much more common in the major cities, but you should plan to bring local currency with you if you plan to visit rural or remote areas. Credit cards are accepted at most hotels, restaurants, and popular tourist attractions.

  7. Tipping: Tipping is an important part of the culture in Tanzania. It’s customary to tip hotel staff, waiters, and tour guides between 10 and 15 percent. If you are on safari, it’s customary to tip your driver and guide a minimum of $15 per day.

  8. Language: Kiswahili and English are the official languages of Tanzania. English is widely spoken and is the language of instruction in many schools, but it’s still helpful to learn some basic phrases in Kiswahili before setting off on your journey.

  9. Respect the Wildlife: When visiting Tanzania, it’s important to remember that you are a guest in the wildlife’s natural habitat. Make sure to stay at least 10 yards away from any animals that you encounter and never feed them. Additionally, be sure to respect the local laws and regulations when interacting with these wild animals.

  10. Bargaining: Bargaining is a common practice when shopping in Tanzania. It is seen as a way of showing respect and appreciation for the goods and services being provided. Be careful not to bargain too much, and always remember to be respectful and polite.

Tanzania is an amazing country with so much to see and do. Whether you are looking to explore the wildlife and spectacular views, or to experience the warm hospitality of the people, there are many things to keep in mind before your journey. From getting a visa and packing appropriately, to respecting the wildlife and bargaining when shopping, these 10 must know items will have your trip off to a great start. Bon voyage!