TRAVEL TIPS FOR AN AFRICAN SAFARI IN TANZANIA
Tanzanians say Karibu which means Welcome in Swahili. Staggering with beauty, Tanzania will make you feel at home with its warm welcoming people and its natural tourism resources that will make your safari to Africa worth it. Tanzania is home many Wildlife, beaches, friendly people, fascinating cultures, Serengeti national park, Ngorongoro, Mt Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar Archipelago that will leave you always yearning for more time in the God gifted nation.
However before visiting any country, it’s always prudent to do research and prepare for the trip accordingly as you expect to meet new people with different ways of life and cultures, new weather and quit different surroundings. Therefore, there are so many questions that linger in your mind about your safety, foods, accommodation, communication and transport, health precautions and the general way to behave in the new society.
The good news is that, we have all the answers to the questions in your mind about Tanzania in this article and here are our top Tanzania travel tips to know before you go so as to make your vacation a lot safer and better.
Safety in Tanzania on a Wildlife safari – Is Tanzania safe for tourism?
Absolutely yes! Tanzania is one of the most peaceful nations in Africa for all kinds of people for an ultimate Tanzania safari. However, we recommend you to highly use your personal judgment in most cases since Tanzania has some people who can take advantage of your ignorance in some circumstances like any other country in the world. It’s also has some little petty criminal activity like petty theft Like any other country in the world, there is always some risk of theft.
We highly recommend traveling to Tanzania for Tanzania safari with the help of a tour company especially if you are a first time traveler since they have professional tour guides that will be with you all through out to make your stay fully comfortable. We advise that you listen closely to your tour guide’s advice at all times especially regarding your safety tips since they know the areas better than anyone else.
In addition, we highly recommend you not to move with so many valuables or carry them with in concealed inner pockets as they may attract unwanted attention and pickpockets when in densely populated areas on a Tanzania safari. Finally, it is always a good idea to make copies of all of your important documents and keep them in your luggage
Is it safe for a single woman to travel in Tanzania on Tanzania safari?
Yes, Tanzania is so much safe for solo female travelers. However we advise that you take extra precautions because there is some reported isolated unwanted sexual attention than actual assault. To avoid being made to feel uncomfortable, you should consider dressing conservatively when travelling in the rural and Islamic areas of Tanzania. We advise you to use professional tour operators or make sure to research hotels carefully and always stay in a safe area. If you’re backpacking, book a private room or a bed in a girls-only dorm rather than a unisex one.
Travelling with children – Is it safe to travel with children to Tanzania?
Tanzania is one of the most family friendly destinations for African safari lovers. In Tanzania, many tour operators have a family friendly category safaris that are specially designed for the entire family to enjoy with specifics of children from 6 years. However, children below the age of 6 are also welcome but they will require more attention from their parents all throughout the safari. Please not that all children do occupy independent seats so they do pay full price in the safari vehicles but those below 6 years are free to share a bed with parents if they wish to.
HEALTH AND IMMUNIZATIONS
Most travel enthusiasts always ask about the travel health requirements and tips when planning for any travel especially to unfamiliar locations like Africa. In this health section we are going to answer the most popular questions asked by most Africa safari.
Vaccination – what are the mandatory vaccinations do I need to travel to Tanzania?
There are no mandatory vaccinations by law to enter Tanzania if you are travelling directly from Europe or United States but, if you are travelling from a country with a fellow fever high risk, you will need to provide evidence of a yellow fever vaccination taken 3 month before your travel date. However, the following vaccinations are also highly recommended before travelling to Tanzania; Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Diphtheria, Meningitis, Rabies and also up to date with your polio and tetanus vaccinations.
These are in addition to the vaccinations that all travelers should have up to date regardless of where they are traveling, we also advise that you speak with your physician about measures that you can take to minimize your chance of exposure to malaria and cholera.
HIV/AIDS are no more a problem here than they are anywhere else in the world. Provided you are not taking undue risks, you have nothing to fear.
Health facilities and emergency- are there good health care services and healthcare emergency services?
When travelling to Tanzania, we highly advise that you purchase travel insurance before you begin your trip, including medical evacuation in case of an emergency. When it comes to medical attention, Tanzania has nurses and doctors are highly qualified, especially in cities such as Arusha and Dar Es Salaam. And most accommodation facilities have on site physicians and are in close contact with the Flying Doctors Service should an evacuation be needed.
ACCOMODATION AND FOOD
Foods – what foods are served in Tanzania?
With the rate at which Tanzania’s tourism industry is growing at a high rate, this is subsequently evident in the food business where Tanzania has got so many hotels and restaurants that a serve a variety of cuisines from around the world as well as the local best cuisines served in an indigenous style. We highly recommend you to taste our local food since adventurous foods can also be an awesome goal to add to your bucket list on Tanzania safari.
The most commonly served traditional food in Tanzania is Ugali (a flour and water based dough similar to polenta) served mainly with plenty of meat (especially beef, chicken, and fish), rice, and vegetables. There are also many seafood lovers who enjoy freshly caught fish, shrimps etc. especially at the coast and Zanzibar and also vegetarians are also represented in Tanzania with a range of fruits and vegetables like mangoes, coconuts, pineapples and legumes, sukumawiki
Is it Safe to eat while travelling in Tanzania?
Tanzania has a number of en-route standard restaurant where you can get something to eat. There are also so many roadside stalls that sell other fresh delicacies to eat. However we only encourage visitors to only eat food from standard restaurants recommended by professional tour guides because some eateries’ quality of food preparation and hygiene is below the basic standard of the western world.
Is it safe to drink tap water in Tanzania?
No! Tap water is generally unsafe for drinking on Tanzania safari, so we do recommend only taking boiled water from a trusted restaurant or bottled mineral water. The advantage with Tanzania is that bottled water is readily available at a very cheap price. However don’t worry about drinking water since your tour company will have that sorted before any safari starts.
Accommodation – are there standard accommodation facilities in Tanzania?
We do receive this question many times from most travelers who wish to travel to Africa. The good news is that Tanzania has so many standard accommodations for example Tanzania has many 5 star & 4 star hostels and so many other standard lodges mainly found in all national parks and other tourism destinations. You will find accommodation facilities categorized into 3 categories which include; luxury facilities; these are high end facilities that have and provide 5 star customer services then the second category is midrange facilities; these are middle end facilities that have and provide 4 star customer services and the last one is the budget facilities that provide the basic customer services to clients. Prices of all these category vary according to the standard of the accommodation facility so we do encourage you to always inquire for the price before you book your lodge and the quality of customer service provided.
TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATION.
Tourist Visas to Tanzania – Do I need a visa before travelling to Tanzania?
Yes!, Almost all visitors to Tanzania require a visa and recommend that you obtain one before you travel, however you can also get one at all the international airports (Dares Salaam and Kilimanjaro airports) that can be purchased on arrival at a cost between US$20 and US$50 for a single-entry visa valid for three months. And finally you also need a passport that is valid for six months after the initial date of trave
Languages spoken – what is the official national language of Tanzania?
Tanzania has English and Swahili as the two official languages. Swahili is the most widely spoken language by the native Tanzanians. However, English is widely spoken mainly by the leant but the locals are always appreciative if you know a little bit of Swahili! Like Karibu for Welcome, Habari/Hujambo for Hello, Habari?/Habari yako? For how are you? Nzuri for Good (Standard reply to how are you), Samahani for Sorry, Asante for Thank you, Chakula for Food, Rafiki for Friend, Hapana for No, Ndio for Yes.
Transport- what is the status of Tanzania’s transport sector?
Tanzania has a fairly developed transport sector compared to most African countries with two inter airports which include; Dar-es-Salaam International Airport which is the gateway to the Indian Ocean coast and Zanzibar as well as Selous Game Reserve. And Kilimanjaro International Airport which serves the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire and Lake Manyara. Tanzania also has Arusha Airport which is located 30km from Kilimanjaro Airport which is the gateway to northern Tanzania’s fly-in safari airstrips.
Tanzania also has a well-connected road transport system for Road transfers and game drives however we highly recommend the use of 4X4 WD vehicles while on road. Visitors to Gombe and Mahale also enjoy boat transfers across Lake Tanganyika.
Lastly, given the size of Tanzania and the condition of its roads we recommend the use of charter flights to get around the country.
DRESS CODE AND EQUIPMENT TO CARRY FOR THE SAFARI
Equipment to carry – what equipment should I carry when coming for a Tanzania safari?
Packing for your first safari can be a bit daunting but no need to worry anymore, we are going to answer all questions about the equipment to carry like; what do you bring? What don’t you need? These are some of the recommended things to carry when coming to Tanzania for a safari but the list can always increase or reduce according to your safari preference however the list below is comprehensively recommended; A backpack, warm sweaters, rain jacket, walking shoes/boots, long sleeve shirts and trousers, sunglasses, hat, Sunscreen and lip balm, Insect repellant, Camera, Binoculars, Batteries and/or charger for your camera, flashlight or headlamp, phone and charger.
Dress code – What to wear in Tanzania on Safari
There is no dress code for safari, however we do recommend having Light clothing in neutral colors like in brown, green, beige, khaki so as not to draw attention to yourself or frighten the animals away. Then hats, sturdy shoes, A sun cream and an insect repellent will be of great help and for those interested in mountain hiking you will be required to have long pants (Jeans) and long-sleeved shirts and blouses, rain gear- water proof jacket or rain coat that will protect your cameras from rain and sturdy shoes are recommended for the steep terrain.
Currency – are foreign currencies allowed in Tanzania?
Tanzanian Shilling is our national currency. However, other currencies like the US dollars, Euro, British Pound or Travelers’ Cheques are acceptable in some places especially hotels and other tourist facilities. Forex Services are available in most urban centers in Forex Bureaus and Banks. It is also important to note that most businesses that do accept US currency will not do so if it is torn or wrinkled. Bank and ATM services are provided widely in the Capital and Upcountry. Credit cards are accepted in major hotels, international banks and some restaurants but not widely. You are advised to carry local currency upcountry as you may not get forex services.
Is it standard to tip in Tanzania?
Tipping safari staff is a common practice for good service however Tanzania does not have a tipping culture but you are so much welcome to tip since it shows a good gesture of appreciating someone’s good services. Tips are mainly given to a waiter or waitress in a restaurant, driver-guide and lodge or hotel staff during your time in Tanzania. We do not have a standard tip amount in Tanzania so any amount is always welcome and it might surprise how much an impact it will have on that person.
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