TRAVEL INFORMATION TO TANZANIA
Please find below information about travelling to Tanzania. Should you have any specific questions that are not addressed in the details below, simply email us and we will revert back right away.
Tanzania has a generally comfortable tropical climate year-round, but there are significant regional variations. The coast & Zanzibar are warm & humid and can feel sticky throughout the rains. These rains throughout Tanzania are ‘the long rains’ from March to May and ‘the short rains’ from October to December. The northern national parks enjoy a more arid and warm climate. Note that due to the altitude it can be very cold at night at the Ngorongoro Crater during June & July. The coolest months in Tanzania are from June to October and the warmest are from December to February.
The local currency is the Tanzanian Shilling. You can either change money at a Bureau de Change or bank which you will find at the major airports & towns. ATMs are available there too but note that you can only draw Tanzanian Shillings. Alternatively you can change money at Elewana’s Arusha Coffee Lodge.
US Dollars are widely accepted in sites frequented by tourists. We advise our guests to take spending money in the form of US Dollars cash, bring some small denominations too for tipping purposes. Note that USD bills must be newer than 2006. Credit cards are accepted at larger shops & restaurants but note that often a surcharge (approximately 5%) is levied. Note that Elewana does not apply this policy, there is no surcharge levied on any credit card payments.
VISAS & PASSPORTS
You might be asked to fill in an Immigration Form either in the plane just before arriving, or upon your arrival. When asked for a local address, please fill in:
Sopa Plaza 99
Tel: +255-250 0630
Most nationalities can obtain their Tanzanian visa upon arrival at a fee. Make sure you bring US Dollars in cash in US $20 and US $50 bills to pay for your visa. However, some Tanzanian Embassies recommend that you obtain your visa before arrival. When applying for your visa in your home country you might be asked for means of financial support, please fill in “Pre-arranged by UK/US (or any other country) Operator.”
Occasionally there are long queues at Immigration upon arrival so obtaining a visa beforehand might speed up your entry into Tanzania. Note that obtaining the correct visa is every traveler’s own responsibility so we advise you strongly to check with your local Tanzania Embassy for the latest regulations before arriving in Tanzania.
Please note that your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your departure from Tanzania. You need at least 4 unused consecutive blank pages.
We recommend making copies of all important travel documents. Should you lose a travel document; a copy will speed up the process of acquiring a replacement document. Leave one copy at home and put one copy in your main luggage.
FLIGHTS LUGGAGE GUIDELINES
Checked Baggage Permitted
Our aircraft are not airliners and relatively speaking they are small. This means we have small baggage stowage bays and restrictive weight limitations, for luggage and also passengers. Air Excel luggage specifications are as follows:
- 1 Piece per person with a maximum weight of 20Kgs.
- Soft (all sides) luggage / duffel bags – with no rigid sides or wheels.
- Maximum luggage weight is 23 kg (including all carry-on luggage)
- Maximum luggage size is 25 cm x 30 cm x 62 cm
- Linear dimensions of the checked luggage not to exceed 45 linear inches / 114cms, (length + height + width)
PERMITTED PERMITTED PERMITTED NOT PERMITTED
Carry-On Baggage permitted (Maximum weight 1.5 / 2Kgs)
Examples of items that can be brought on the flight as carry-on luggage include the following:
- A lady’s handbag or purse.
- A reasonable amount of reading material for the flight.
- An overcoat, wrap or blanket.
- A small camera, binoculars, I-pod, Kindle or similar.
- A laptop computer or an I-pad.
VISAS – TRAVELLING TO ZANZIBAR
When Zanzibar is your first entry point into Tanzania, you will have to either buy or show your Tanzanian visa upon arrival. If you are flying from mainland Tanzania to Zanzibar, you do not need another visa but you may have to show your passport upon arrival in Zanzibar.
Note that in the past every traveler had to pay USD 20 departure tax when flying out of Zanzibar International Airport. This is NO LONGER necessary, all departure taxes are now included in your ticket.
We advise against drinking water from the faucets whilst in Tanzania/Zanzibar. Mineral water is available in all shops & restaurants and in all the Elewana lodges and vehicles. We recommend that you use mineral water too for brushing teeth. Life on safari can be tiring from time to time. A different climate, different food & water could lead to dehydration. From the day you set foot in Africa we would suggest that you drink more water than you are used to.
The sun close to the equator is strong so please wear a hat & apply sunscreen frequently.
YELLOW FEVER CERTIFICATE
Note that it’s obligatory to show a Yellow Fever Certificate upon entering Tanzania/Zanzibar if you have come from a Yellow Fever infected area. If you are travelling direct to Tanzania without passing through such areas, it’s advisable but not obligatory to have a Yellow Fever vaccination. If you can not have the Yellow Fever Vaccination for medical reasons, ensure that you carry a signed letter from your medical practitioner with you upon entering the country. It is every traveller’s own responsibility to obtain the correct vaccinations which will allow you entry into Tanzania – please check with your local travel clinic or physician for up-to-date advice.
Please consult your physician or local travel clinic for an up-to-date list of required vaccinations for travelling to remote places in Tanzania.
Please check with your local travel clinic or physician what the latest requirements are for travelling in a malaria area. It’s best to prevent getting bitten by mosquitoes which are at their most active during dusk and dawn. Cover up during those periods and apply mosquito repellent liberally. Do not forget your ankles.
If, despite taking recommended drugs, you feel unwell and feverish, seek medical advice.
Medical Evacuation insurance is included in all our Elewana safaris. Note that this insurance is not a complete Travel Insurance, it only covers medical evacuation in case of a medical emergency. It is a booking condition that all our guests have valid Travel Insurance, please check that you are covered for medical emergencies, curtailment of your trip due to unforeseen circumstances & loss of belongings. Ensure proper insurance for your camera/video equipment.
Electricity in Tanzania is 240 volts AC, 50 Hz. Plugs are UK Standard plugs (rectangular 3-pin). All Elewana properties have adaptors for your use in each room. Elewana Lodges run on either generator or solar power which allows for 24-hour electricity.
We often get asked ‘what should we tip?’ The simple answer is that you should tip as you wish, with no obligation whatsoever. What we do say is that tipping is very much welcomed and is normal here in Africa, and our staff very much appreciates any extra contributions. Once again we say that you should only tip as a reward for excellent service.
It is customary in Tanzania to tip 10% of your bill & 10% of the taxi fare to taxi drivers. It is also the custom to tip local guides for excellent service.
- US$1 – Porterage
- US$1 – Housekeeping
- US$5-10 per person per day for general staff
- US$8-10 per person per day for guides
So if there are 3 of you travelling together, we would suggest tipping your guide between US$ 24-30 in total per day.
Each Elewana property has a ‘tipping box’ for a discrete contribution to your camp, lodge or hotel staff. Any staff member more deserving for excellent service may be tipped individually/separately and as for tipping your driver guide, we suggest that this is done separately.
Please give details of your flight leaving Tanzania to our Representative. Please note that it is a requirement of the airlines that you are at the airport at least two hours before the flight departure time.
Please note that all wild animals can be dangerous and you should not wander off on your own whilst on safari. After dark you will be escorted to your room, please do not walk alone. Always listen to your guide and follow instructions carefully. No animal is tame and must at all times be treated with respect and not approached unless with an authorized professional guide.
Kiswahili otherwise known as Swahili is the ‘lingua franca’ of East Africa, including Zanzibar. English is widely spoken in Tanzania, particularly in tourist centers, lodges and main cities.