Practical information

What documents are needed?

To enter Tanzania, you’ll need a valid passport with at least six months of validity remaining. Additionally, depending on your purpose of visit, you’ll require either a visa or a residence permit. As a tourist, you can obtain a tourist visa, priced at $50 for visitors from Europe and $100 from the US, valid for three months. It’s advisable to apply for the visa online or upon arrival at the border, customs, or airport. Arranging it online or on arrival is simpler and cheaper. Remember to carry proof of yellow fever vaccination if you’ve recently visited an endemic country. It’s recommended to check with the Tanzanian embassy or your country’s embassy in Tanzania for any updated requirements.

Money: How to pay in Tanzania?

In Tanzania, the primary currency is the Tanzanian shilling. You can easily obtain Tanzanian shillings from ATMs in major cities and along popular routes outside national parks. While US dollars are accepted at many tourist attractions, safaris, and hotels, it’s generally advisable to pay in shillings to avoid unfavorable exchange rates for dollars, particularly in hotels.

Before your trip, seek advice on the amount of US dollars to carry. Note that pre-2013 dollar bills are not accepted in Tanzania, so check the year of production on your bills. In big cities, you’ll find banks where you can exchange currency, and some banks allow you to purchase US dollars with your credit card. Credit cards, especially Visa, are widely accepted, but keep in mind that there may be a high commission charged. In Zanzibar, ATMs and foreign exchange offices are mainly located in Stone Town, so consider withdrawing Tanzanian shillings at the airport upon arrival. Kilimanjaro Airport has several ATMs conveniently located at the exit of the arrivals hall.

Health and Disease: What Precautions Should You Take?

Stay healthy during your Tanzania trip! Consult a doctor or travel clinic for advice on preventing diseases transmitted through water, food, or insect bites. Consider malaria pills and vaccinations for hepatitis A, yellow fever, and others. Be cautious with raw food and tap water, and remember ‘Cook it, boil it, peel it, or forget it’. When hiking, wear high shoes and long pants to reduce snake bite risks. Protect against mosquito bites with long clothing and DEET repellent, and sleep under a mosquito net. Avoid swimming in freshwater due to bilharzia risk, and be cautious in the Indian Ocean. Plan ahead and consult a healthcare professional at least six weeks before your trip. Let’s ensure a safe and enjoyable adventure in Tanzania!

Flying Doctor Service

AMREF Flying Doctors provides air ambulance services for travelers in East Africa. In case of emergency, they can transport you directly to an excellent hospital in Nairobi with Western standards. If you only need this service from Northern Tanzania, you pay $16 dollars. If you also travel to Zanzibar or Southern Tanzania, it’s $24. More information can be found at .

Luggage: what to bring?

Ensure comfort and practicality when packing for your Tanzania adventure. Opt for soft bags or backpacks for easy transportation, especially on safaris and small planes. Comfortable clothing is key, particularly for safaris, where you’ll spend time outdoors. Consider packing the following essentials:

For General Travel in Tanzania:

  • Copy of passport
  • Money belt
  • Vaccination passport
  • Camera with memory cards, extra batteries, and charger
  • Swimwear and water shoes for coastal areas
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses
  • Insect repellent (DEET)
  • First aid kit and wet wipes
  • Spare glasses and flashlight
  • Plastic bags
  • Binoculars
  • English plug adapter (three pins)
  • Light-colored clothes to deter mosquitoes
  • Scarf and warm vest for chilly evenings
  • Flip flops/sandals and high heels

For Climbing Mountains in Northern Tanzania:

  • Mountain shoes and sneakers for non-trekking times
  • Thin and thick socks (thermal)
  • Short and thermal underwear
  • T-shirts and thick shirts
  • Water and windproof jacket, trousers, and cap
  • Balaclava, hat/cap, and gloves (consider thermal gloves)
  • Scarf and sleeping bag
  • Backpack with waterproof cover and trekking backpack with plastic garbage bags
  • Headlight and flashlight
  • Water bottle (metal for heating at night) and camel bags
  • Walking sticks and lip balm

With these essentials, you’ll be prepared for a comfortable and enjoyable experience in Tanzania, whether you’re exploring its wildlife-rich savannas or conquering its majestic mountains.

Tipping: how much?

Tipping etiquette is important in Tanzania, especially in tourism. While tipping is a gesture of gratitude for service, it’s also a significant source of income for local guides and staff. Here are some average tipping guidelines to consider:

For local guides: $20 per day For cooks: $15 per day For porters: $10 per day

These amounts may seem high, but they contribute to fostering equality among the workforce in Tanzania. Remember, your guides receive a daily allowance, but tips are appreciated as extra income. If you prefer, we can include these tips in your travel costs.

In restaurants and hotels, tipping is also appreciated:

  • In upscale restaurants, 10% of the bill is customary.
  • For hotel staff assisting with luggage, a small tip like $1 is appropriate.

Tip boxes are common in hotels and restaurants, where you can leave a tip for the entire staff. Your generosity will be greatly appreciated and help support local workers in Tanzania.

Transportation: How to get from one place to another?

Transportation in Tanzania primarily consists of air travel and buses. The main airlines, Precision Air and Air Tanzania, offer flights between major cities, while charter companies like Coastal Aviation, Auric Air, and ZanAir provide access to more remote areas. For overland travel, buses are widely available, with companies such as Kilimanjaro Express and Dar Express offering reliable services between key destinations. Tickets for buses can typically be purchased in advance in town. Local transport options include daladalas (minibuses), bajajis (tuktuks), and taxis. Daladalas and bajajis offer a unique experience but require caution with personal belongings, while taxis offer a safer alternative for those unfamiliar with local transportation. Additionally, when booking a private safari, you’ll enjoy daily excursions with a guide in a land cruiser equipped with a pop-up roof, ensuring a comfortable and immersive experience throughout your journey.

Local customs. What is important?

While capturing the beauty of Tanzania through photography is a must, it’s important to be mindful of cultural sensitivities, especially when photographing people. Always ask for permission before taking someone’s photo, as unsolicited photos may be considered disrespectful. Respect locals’ wishes if they decline. In some cases, people may request payment for photos, but it’s advisable to refrain from this practice. Instead, consider supporting them by purchasing goods from local markets or artisans. Additionally, dressing appropriately demonstrates respect for local customs. Opt for clothing that covers the knees, especially when visiting religious sites, and consider wearing longer skirts for women. On the beach, lighter clothing is acceptable. By respecting local traditions and customs, you’ll enhance your experience and foster positive interactions with the people of Tanzania.

Safari. What are the rules?

During your safari adventure in Tanzania, it’s essential to adhere to certain guidelines to ensure a safe and respectful experience:

  1. Respect the rules and guidance provided by your driver or guide throughout the journey.
  2. Obtain permission from your guide before exiting the vehicle at any point.
  3. Approach wildlife quietly and respectfully, avoiding sudden movements or loud noises. Speak softly and stand still to accommodate fellow travelers taking photos.
  4. Dispose of garbage and waste responsibly, refraining from littering in the natural environment.
  5. Always ask for permission before taking photos of individuals you encounter during your journey.
  6. Your driver or guide is a valuable resource, possessing extensive knowledge of Tanzania’s nature and culture. Feel free to ask questions and seek information from them during your safari experience.


Tanzania boasts two official languages: English and Kiswahili. While English is widely spoken in urban areas, rural communities predominantly use Kiswahili. Additionally, various tribes have their own languages. Kiswahili, a blend of Bantu, Arabic, and English, is spoken not only in Tanzania but also in Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Below, you’ll find a list of essential Kiswahili words to enhance your experience during your stay in Tanzania.

Phone calls and internet

Tanzania now boasts an extensive mobile phone network, offering coverage across the country. Major providers like Vodacom and Airtel ensure reliable service. You can easily use local SIM cards in your phone for calls and internet access, with good coverage. Most hotels and lodges also offer reliable WiFi. For added convenience, consider purchasing an international eSIM, such as Holafly, which Marion recommends based on her positive experience.


Tanzania is generally safe for travelers, but it’s essential to remain cautious and mindful of certain safety precautions: • Keep your passport, money, and valuables secure in a hotel safe or special security box provided by the reception. • Stay vigilant when using your credit card to prevent unauthorized copying or fraud. • Be cautious about sharing personal information and ensure that copies of your passport made by hotels do not include sensitive details. • Avoid leaving belongings unattended in your safari vehicle, even for a short time. • Consider leaving expensive jewelry at home and opt for simpler accessories. • Exercise caution when walking outside your accommodation after dark, and stay aware of pickpockets, especially in crowded areas.


It’s highly advisable to obtain comprehensive travel insurance with cancellation coverage. Ensure that your insurance includes adequate health coverage for travel, as this may not always be included in standard health or travel insurance policies. Additionally, you may want to consider temporary membership with services like AMREF/Flying Doctors for added medical assistance during your trip.

Enjoy your trip to Tanzania! If you have any more questions or need further assistance, feel free to ask. Safe travels!

Welcome            Karibu (ni)        Ka-ree-boo-nee

Thanks               Asante             Aa-san-te

how are you?     Habari?            Ha-ba-ree

Nice!                  Nzuri!               En-zoo-ree

Hello! `              Jambo!             Djam-bo

Safe trip!           Safari Njema!   Sa-fa-ree En-jem-ma

bye!                   Kwa heri (ni)!   Kwa-he-ree-(nee)

Take It Slow      Polepole           Po-luh-po-luh

Food                 Chakula            Chaa-koo-la

Lion                  Simba               Sim-ba

Elephant           Tembo              Tem-bo

Leopard            Chui                 Choo-ee

Rhino                Faru                  Fa-roo

Buffalo              Nyati                Nya-tee

Giraffe              Twiga               Twee-gha

Wildebeest       Nyumbu           Nyoom-boo

Sleep well        Lala Salama       La-la-Sa-la-ma