Dar es Salaam Travel Information

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The Basics

Time: GMT +3

Electricity: 230 volts, 50Hz. Rectangular or round three-pin plugs are used.

Money: The official currency is the Tanzanian Shilling (TZS), divided into 100 cents. The tourism industry prices everything in US Dollars and this is the preferred unit of currency. Money can be exchanged in larger towns; foreign exchange bureaux may offer a better rate of exchange than banks. ATMs are available in major towns and cities. Major lodges, some hotels and travel agents in urban areas accept credit cards, but these should not be relied on and can incur a surcharge.

Currency Exchange Rates

TZS 100.00 = AUD 0.06 CAD 0.06 EUR 0.04 NZD 0.07 GBP 0.03 USD 0.04 ZAR 0.62
Note: These currency exchange rates are not updated daily and should be used as a guideline only.

Language: Swahili and English are the official languages. Several indigenous languages are also spoken.

Entry requirements:

Entry requirements for Americans: A visa is issued on arrival, and a passport valid for six months from date of entry is required. Visitors must hold return/onward tickets and all documents required for their next destination.
Entry requirements for UK nationals: A visa is issued on arrival, and a passport valid for six months from date of entry is required. Visitors must hold return/onward tickets and all documents required for their next destination. Those with British passports with endorsements other than 'British Citizen' should confirm official requirements. Visitors with 'British Overseas Territories Citizen' shown on the biodata page are visa exempt for 90 days.
Entry requirements for Canadians: A visa is issued on arrival, and a passport valid for six months from date of entry is required. Visitors must hold return/onward tickets and all documents required for their next destination.
Entry requirements for Australians: A visa is issued on arrival, and a passport valid for six months from date of entry is required. Visitors must hold return/onward tickets and all documents required for their next destination.
Entry requirements for South Africans: South Africans do not require a visa if intending to stay for a maximum of up to 90 days, provided that the passport is valid for six months from date of entry. Otherwise, a visa is required for longer stays. Visitors must hold return/onward tickets and all documents required for their next destination. Business travellers will be required to pay a fee of $200 on arrival.
Entry requirements for New Zealand nationals: A visa is issued on arrival, and a passport valid for six months from date of entry is required. Visitors must hold return/onward tickets and all documents required for their next destination.

Passport/Visa Note: Most visitors entering Tanzania require a visa. Passports must contain one unused visa page. Visitors may obtain a visa on arrival at Dar-es-Salaam or Zanzibar airports, costing between US$ 50 and US$ 200 depending on nationality, payable in cash. Visa must be paid with notes of US $50 or US $100. All visitors also require proof of sufficient funds and should hold documentation for their return or onward journey. Passports should be valid for at least six months from date of entry. Those arriving from an infected country must hold a yellow fever vaccination certificate. It is highly recommended that passports have at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.

Travel Health: Travellers are advised to see a doctor or visit a travel clinic at least three weeks before leaving for Tanzania. Visitors should consider vaccinations for hepatitis A, typhoid, yellow fever and polio. Those arriving from an infected country are required to hold a yellow fever vaccination certificate. There is a risk of malaria all year and outbreaks of Rift Valley Fever occur; travellers should take precautions to avoid mosquito bites and take malaria medication. Food prepared by unlicensed vendors should be avoided, as meat and milk products from animals may not have been cooked thoroughly. Sleeping sickness is a risk in the game parks, including the Serengeti, and visitors should take precautions against bites by tsetse flies. There is a high prevalence of HIV/Aids. Cholera outbreaks are common throughout the country and visitors are advised to drink bottled or sterilised water only. Travellers climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro are at risk for altitude sickness. Medical services are available in Dar-es-Salaam and other main towns, but facilities and supplies are limited even in cities, and often non-existent in rural areas; visitors with particular requirements should take their own medicines. Comprehensive medical insurance is advised.

Tipping: Waiters in the better restaurants should be tipped around 10 percent. Guides, porters and cooks in the wildlife parks and on safari trips expect tips. The amount is discretionary according to standard of service and the number in your party.

Safety Information: Most visits to Tanzania are trouble-free. As in other East African countries, the threat from terrorism is quite high in Tanzania and visitors should be cautious in public places, tourist sites and hotels, particularly in Zanzibar's Stone Town. The area bordering Burundi should be avoided. Street crime is a problem in Tanzania, especially in Dar es Salaam, and tourists should be alert and cautious. Lonely beaches and footpaths are often targeted; women are particularly vulnerable to attacks. Visitors should leave valuables in their hotel safe and not carry too much cash on them at any time. Armed crime is on the increase and there have been serious attacks on foreigners in Arusha and on Pemba Island. There have also been reports of robberies and kidnapping on Zanzibar, and piracy in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden is a serious concern with commercial and tourist vessels being fired upon and several British tourists taken hostage. Road accidents are common in Tanzania due to poor road and vehicle conditions, violation of traffic regulations and exhaustion among long-distance drivers. There have also been a number of ferry accidents in Tanzania in recent years. Caution should be exercised - if a bus or ferry seems overloaded or in poor condition, don't get on.

Local Customs: Tanzanians are known to be friendly and generally welcoming, but travellers should be sensitive to local cultural mores. Drunkenness is frowned upon and Tanzanians feel strongly about showing respect for their elders. Visitors to Zanzibar should be aware that it is a predominantly Muslim region and visitors should dress modestly and respectfully. Beachwear is fine on the beach or around a hotel pool, but not acceptable elsewhere. Topless sunbathing is a criminal offence. Some tourists buys a local sarong, called a kanga, which can be used to cover shoulders when needed, or otherwise be used as a scalf or towel. Smoking in public places is illegal. Tourists should be especially careful during Ramadan when public drinking, smoking and even eating should be avoided. Homosexuality is illegal in Tanzania.

Business: Although Tanzanians come across as relaxed and friendly, it is important to observe certain formalities, especially with greetings. It is advisable to learn a few Swahili catch phrases when greeting, followed by a handshake. Women and men rarely shake hands in Swahili culture; however, if the woman extends her hand, the man is obliged to take it. Tanzanians are to be addressed as Mr, Mrs, and Ms, followed by the family name. Business dress is seldom very formal but lightweight suits are recommended for formal occasions. Business hours are similar to Western countries, but a longer lunch break is taken during the hotter months, and business continues later in the evening from Monday to Friday.

Communications: The international country dialling code for Tanzania, as well as Zanzibar, is +255. There is good mobile phone coverage in main cities and towns, while rural areas may have limited coverage. There are international roaming agreements with most international operators. Avoid making telephone calls from hotels; they can be very expensive. Internet cafés are available in the main towns and resorts.

Duty free: Travellers to Tanzania do not have to pay duty on 250g tobacco or 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars and 500ml of alcoholic beverages. Restrictions apply to firearms, plants, plant products and fruits.