Tanzania information

Tanzania general information

What is Tanzania's currency? What time is it in Tanzania? How can I make a call to or from Tanzania? When going on holiday to Tanzania for the first time, these are important questions most travellers ask – below we've tried to answer these frequently asked queries as well as we can.

Time in Tanzania

Tanzania is three hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+3). It doesn't operate daylight saving time, hence there's no time difference between their summer and winter months.

Currency in Tanzania

Tanzania's currency is the Tanzanian shilling (TZS). At the time of writing (Apr 2013) £1 = Tsh2,437 – see www.oanda.com for the latest rates. Most camps and lodges charge in US$ (Aug 2009: £1 = US$1.69); very few now accept travellers' cheques, although most accept credit cards (Visa or MasterCard) but may charge a fee to do so. Buying Tanzania's currency in Europe or America can be difficult; many visitors will wait until they arrive in Tanzania to buy local currency.

Tanzania's International Dialling Code

The International Dialling Code for Tanzania is +255, followed by area codes (e.g. (0)22 for Dar es Salaam, or (0)27 for Arusha). Calling from Tanzania, you dial 00 plus the relevant country code (44 for the UK, 1 for the USA).

Food in Tanzania

The food served in Tanzanian safari camps varies, but is often delicious – the equivalent of a reasonable restaurant in Europe or America.

In Tanzania's towns and villages, the food is usually simpler. Plain grilled meat, nyama choma, is very popular, and often served with sauce, rice, chips, plantains or ugali (cornmeal or cassava mush). Indian cuisine is also wide spread. The locally brewed beer is good, including Serengeti, Safari, Kilimanjaro, mbege (homebrew from the Chagga people) and banana beer; imported beers (e.g. Tusker from Kenya) and wine are also excellent.

Health in Tanzania

Tanzania is a tropical country and vaccines are sensible (typhoid, polio, tetanus and yellow fever). Malaria is common and occurs all year round; you must take anti-malarial measures, especially in areas below 1800m! Always check the latest recommendations with your clinic or doctor – more travel info on Tanzania is provided by the Scottish NHS.

In Tanzania, HIV infection rates are high; AIDS is prevalent here. This isn't usually an issue for visitors, but they should be aware of the situation, and take the same sensible precautions to avoid infection which are wise in most countries. We understand that blood supplies used by the private hospitals in Tanzania have been carefully screened for many years.

Language in Tanzania

KiSwahili and English are the official languages and spoken by most people living in Tanzania; as well as this, there are many ethnic groups, speaking localised languages and dialects. Try to learn some basic KiSwahili before you go, to help you enjoy your trip more!

Laundry in Tanzania

Virtually all camps and lodges have a laundry service, although sometimes, because of religious taboos, women's underwear cannot be included.

Taking children to Tanzania

A few of Tanzania's safari camps are suitable for children, others aren't; Tanzania's beach destinations are generally very good for relaxed family getaways. For detailed advice, call our expert team, or see our ideas for family holidays in Tanzania.

Visas for Tanzania

At time of writing (Apr 2013), travellers with British passports, as well as US citizens, require visas for Tanzania (or Zanzibar). If you are living in the UK, then these are best obtained in advance from the Tanzanian High Commission, and cost (Apr 2013) £43 per single entry. Always check the latest regulations with your nearest Tanzania Embassy or High Commission before you travel.

Weather and climate in Tanzania

Depending on where you are in Tanzania, the weather and climate varies considerably – click on the following link to see a detailed descriptions of the weather and climate in Tanzania.