Air Travel

Most travelers arrive in Tanzania through Dar es Salaam airport. Many airlines fly directly to Dar es Salaam from Europe, but there are no direct flights from the United States. KLM offers a daily flight to Dar es Salaam from Amsterdam's Schiphol airport as well as Emirates daily flights from Dubai. Other airlines that fly there frequently are Air Tanzania, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, Fast Jet, South African Airways, and Swiss Air. Turkish Airlines flies from Istanbul to Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro. Oman Air flies to Dar es Salaam via Muscat and then on to Zanzibar. Qatar Airways flies to Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar via Doha. British Airways flies to Dar es Salaam via Doha. Air Tanzania has daily flights to Dar es Salaam from destinations within East Africa. Airlines

Julius Nyerere International Airport is about 13 km (8 miles) from the city center. Plenty of white-color taxis are available at the airport and will cost you about Tsh 30,000 (US$18) to the city center. There is a board detailing the standard rates, but this will be more expensive if you have not organized your own taxi. Most hotels will send drivers to meet your plane, if arranged in advance, although this will cost more. Taxis to Msasani Peninsula, a bay to the north of the city where many of the hotels listed in this guide are located, cost about Tsh 40,000 (US$24). Prices can usually be negotiated. Traffic into the city is notorious, especially during rush hours.

Airport Contacts

  • Arusha Airport. A 104, Arusha, Arusha.      www.taa.go.tz
  • Julius Nyerere International Airport. Julius Nyerere Rd., Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam.      www.taa.go.tz
  • Kilimanjaro International Airport. Kilimanjaro Airport Rd.      www.kilimanjaroairport.co.tz
  • Zanzibar Airport. Nyerere Rd., Zanzibar Town, Zanzibar, Zanzibar Urban/West.      www.zaa.go.tz

Charter Flights

The major charter companies run daily shuttles from Dar es Salaam to popular tourism destinations, such as Serengeti. Keep in mind that you probably won’t get to choose the charter company you fly with. The aircraft you get depends on the number of passengers flying and can vary from very small (you’ll sit in the co-pilot’s seat) to a much more comfortable commuter plane. Those with a severe fear of small planes might consider road travel instead, although distances are far and the roads are very bumpy. Due to the limited space and size of the aircraft, charter carriers observe strict luggage regulations: luggage must be soft-sided and weigh between 15 and 20 kg (33 to 44 pounds) depending on the plane.

Contacts

Visas

Check current requirements with the nearest Tanzanian High Commission, Embassy or Consulate in your country. A visa can be acquired on arrival in Tanzania. Currently the cost is $50. Make sure you have a valid passport.

In case of any changes in Visa regulations, you will be informed.

What to pack

Lightweight summer clothing in cotton or linen is ideal for most of the year in Tanzania. In winter a jumper, fleece or jacket is also needed, especially in the mornings and evenings. Try to wear light, neutral colours like brown, beige or khaki that help to deflect the harsh sun and blend in with the background. Remember to pack long-sleeved shirts and trousers for the evenings to reduce the chances of mosquito bites. Tsetse flies are attracted to dark and navy blue and so avoid this in the interest of your comfort. For the most part, African safari destinations are tropical and warm in the daytime, although parts of Tanzania can be extremely cold on winter game drives during the mornings and evenings.

Days on safari are generally hot and you will most likely find yourself wearing shorts and a t-shirt. In the early mornings and evenings long sleeved shirts and trousers are recommended, both to take the bite out of the chilly air and to protect you from mosquitoes. Should you be particularly sensitive to the sun, a loose cotton shirt is essential during the day, as is a good sunscreen. For those colder winter mornings always remember that layering your clothing helps keep you warm and is a convenient way to ensure you are wearing what you need as the day heats up.

The temperature in Tanzania tends to be cooler in June and July, heating up considerably in September and October, prior to the short rains in November, by which time it can very humid, especially in the south. For safari, it is best to pack hardy, durable clothing. Remember that many lodges offer a laundry service (often included in the price) so you should only need two or three changes of clothing per three or four-night safari. For footwear, we recommend sturdy walking shoes/trainers that are completely enclosed. If trekking in the Mahale Mountains, socks long enough to tuck into trousers are required. Toiletries such as soap, shampoo and even insect repellent are offered at all good lodges and hotels so there is no need to over pack on these items. We also recommend taking some basic medical supplies including Anthisan, Imodium, insect repellent, plasters and sun cream.

Please be aware that Africans will not wash ladies’ underwear and instead provide soap powder in the room for your own use. On safari one soft-sided bag per person is recommended. Local domestic flights in Tanzania all have a restriction and travellers may be made to pay for an extra seat on a charter flight if the luggage is heavier than 15kg including camera equipment. There can be no exceptions, unless extra seats are booked in advance.

 

Driving

Requirements for driving in Tanzania are a valid national licence provided it carries a recent photograph or an International Drivers Licence. The roads between major cities and towns in Tanzania are spacious and well paved. Getting to more remote locations, involves driving over dirt roads that tend to deteriorate during the rainy season. Roads and junctions are not always well marked.

Shopping

Almost all the hotel, lodges and tented camps have some good shops that sell a wide range of souvenirs, jewelry and trinkets. Make use of those but don’t forget to bargain to get a good deal. Your driver guide can also take you to Maasai market in Arusha town, where you can get the best souvenirs at the most reasonable prices as this is where most tourist shops buy their stock to sell (ONLY IF YOU REQUEST). The most sought after souvenirs are wood carvings, curios, paintings, batiks and “Tanzanite”, (A gemstone available widely at souvenirs shops).

Security

Tanzania is generally a safe, stable and friendly country but don’t invite temptation. Keep your eye on your belongings. Don’t walk in the towns or cities at night — take a taxi. Don’t carry cameras or large amounts of cash, and beware of pickpockets and hawkers especially at the country’s border-crossings and other crowded places like markets and bus stations. Use the hotel safety deposit box to safeguard valuables and obtain a receipt. Leave your expensive jewelry at home.

Language

Swahili is the National Language, originating from Arab and Bantu (an indigenous tribal language) and it is spoken by over 95% of the Tanzanians. English is widely spoken but a few Swahili words will even be more appreciated. Most people in the tourism industry speak English plus one other foreign language.

Tipping in Tanzania

Tipping is an integral part of Tanzanian life but is entirely optional and only recommended if you are satisfied with the service you have received.

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