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Before You Go - Things You Need to Know About Tanzania
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Before You Go - Things You Need to Know About Tanzania

CLIMATE 
Tanzania’s climate is predominately tropical. Coastal areas are usually hot and humid, but on the beaches,  a sea breeze cools the air considerably. The average day temperature is 30c.

Tanzania has two rainy seasons - the long rains from late March to June and the short rains from November to January. The long rainfall in heavy downpours is often accompanied by violent storms, but most rains tend to be much less severe. The hottest time of the year is from December to March before the long rains begin. The coolest months are June, July, and August when the weather is often overcast. In high-altitude areas such as Kilimanjaro and the Ngorongoro Highlands, temperatures can fall below freezing.

ENTRY REQUIREMENT

A valid passport. Most visitors to Tanzania require a visa to enter the country. Three-month single-entry tourist visas are available at Tanzanian embassies in your country, with price subject to nationality.

AIRPORT TAX

Departure tax from mainland Tanzania is included in the price of your ticket, however, in Zanzibar, there is a departure tax of US$30 payable at the airport. There is a Tsh 5000 (Approx US$5) tax levied on passengers within Tanzania.

OFFICIAL LANGUAGE
Kiswahili and English

CURRENCY

The Tanzania shilling (Tsh or TZS), divided into 100 cents, is the national currency.
BANKING

Banks and bureau de change are available at airports and in all major towns. Banking hours are from Monday - Friday 08:30 am - 03:00pm, Saturdays 08:30am - 01:30pm. A few branches in the major towns are open until 04:00 pm. Please note that banks are closed on Sundays.

CREDIT CARDS & TRAVELER’S CHEQUES 

Credit cards (Access, MasterCard, Visa, America Express, and Eurocard) are accepted only at major lodges, hotels, and travel agents. A surcharge may be added for this service. ATM and 24-hour cash machines are available in branches of major banks. Traveler’s cheques in pounds sterling or US dollars are recommended, though it may be difficult to exchange them outside the main cities.

TIME

Local Time is GMT + 3
ELECTRIC CURRENT
220 volts AC50HZ

COMMUNICATIONS

International Direct Dial is available. The country code for Tanzania is +255. The outgoing international code is 00 for the United States or 000 for all other countries. Public call boxes in post offices and main towns operate on a card system, available from most small shops. Several cellular phone companies operate in Tanzania and roaming lines work near most major cities and towns. Internet cafes are plentiful in the major city center.

HEALTH 

Tanzania has a tropical climate and different bacteria, flora, and fauna than most visitors are accustomed to. So it's advisable to take a few health precautions when traveling to make sure that your trip goes as comfortably and smoothly as possible. Malaria is usually top on the list of visitors’ worries, and prevention goes a long way towards keeping you protected. Make sure to visit your doctor to get a prescription for the antimalarial drugs that best suit you. The yellow-fever vaccination is no longer officially required when entering Tanzania; however, this is a requirement if you wish to visit Zanzibar. Other vaccinations should be considered. For more information, contact your doctor well in advance of your visit

SECURITY
Tanzania is a safe country to travel in. Tanzanians are warm-hearted and generous people and are eager to help visitors get the most out of their stay. Tanzania is a politically stable, multi-democratic country. As in all countries, a little common sense goes a long way and reasonable precautions should be still taken, such as locking valuables in the hotel safe and not walking alone at night.

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

Unless otherwise advised, the public holidays in Tanzania remain the same every year. If any of the public holidays listed below falls on Saturday or Sunday, the holiday is moved to the following Monday.

New Year - January 1st
Zanzibar Revolution Day - December 12th 
Good Friday - April 6th
Easter Monday - April 9th
Union Day - April 26th
Worker’s Day - May 1st
Industrial Day - July 7th
Farmers Day - August 8th
Nyerere Day - October 14th
Independence Day - December 9th
Christmas Day - December 25th
Boxing Day - December 26th
Islamic holidays change from year to year and may vary by 1 - 2 days, depending on the sight of the new moon. 

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Northern Tanzania: July to March, Southern Tanzania: June to March
Zanzibar and the Coast: June to March
Western Tanzania: May to March

GETTING THERE BY AIR

Tanzania has three International Airports: Dar es Salaam International Airport (which handles most international flights), Kilimanjaro International Airport, and Zanzibar International Airport.

DAR ES SALAAM INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Located 15 km south of Dar es Salaam and takes approximately 25 minutes to reach by car from downtown. Airport facilities include a duty-free shop, car hire, post office, banking and bureau de change, and a bar and restaurant. International Airlines: Air India, Air Malawi, Air Mozambique, Air Tanzania, Air Zimbabwe, British Airways, Emirates, Ethiopian Airways, Kenya Airways, KLM, Precision Air, South African Airways, Swiss Air, and Egypt Air.

KILIMANJARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Lies 40 km from Arusha and takes approximately one hour to reach by car. Facilities include curio shops, a post office, and bar and a restaurant. Shuttle bus services to the airport run regularly from both Arusha and Moshi. International Airlines; Air Kenya, Ethiopian Airways, KLM and Precision Air.

ZANZIBAR INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Located approximately 7 km from the center of Stone Town it takes approximately 15 minutes to reach by car. Facilities include a restaurant, bureau de change, and curio shops
International airlines: Air Tanzania, Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airways, Precision Air, South African Airways, 1Time Airlines, Fly 540 Airlines

GETTING THERE BY ROAD

From the north, paved roads connect the Kenyan capital of Nairobi with Arusha and cross the border at the Namanga post. A number of shuttle buses, leaving twice daily between the two cities, also follow this route. The trip takes approximately 4-6 hours.

From the south, the road from Malawi enters Tanzania at Karonga before continuing onwards to Mbeya. There are no viable bus services along this route. It's possible to cross the border from Uganda at the Mutukula border post, but transport options are equally limited.

Internal roads connect Arusha and Dar es Salaam to major towns around the country. Roads to major tourist destinations are either already paved or under construction. There are a number of reliable bus service operators running throughout Tanzania including, Dar Express, Machame Safari, Kilimanjaro Express, Coast Line, and many others.

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