5 Things You Need to Know Before Traveling to Tanzania
Tropical beaches, majestic open plains, and the uncountable animal species that live in them. Rugged, world-acclaimed mountains, natural parks, and archeological attractions – these are just a few of the many things that await visitors who are traveling to Tanzania and want to experience the splendor that is the African country.
Located on the Eastern Coast of Africa, Tanzania is famous for being a delightful tourist destination, with famed places like the island of Zanzibar with its pristine beaches, the open plains of the Serengeti with herds of wildebeests, the beautiful Arabian homes of the Stone Town, and more.
If the call of Africa is pulling you towards this fascinating country, here is a list of five things you will need to know before traveling to Tanzania and start a unique and unforgettable adventure.
1st – When to travel to Tanzania
You can choose to travel to Tanzania at any time of the year, but depending on the reasons for your visit you may need to choose specific times. If you wish to go on safaris or to lay on the beaches of Zanzibar undisturbed by the rainfalls that come in March, April and May, the best time to visit Tanzania is between June and October. For the lovers of wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle herds typically migrate in the Serengeti in May till July, and the wildebeest welcome their new calves into the world between January and February.
For the more active travelers who are traveling to Tanzania to climb and conquer Mt. Kilimanjaro, the best times to aim for this are between January and March and between June and October when it is cooler. While the Northern Circuit Parks may get crowded between July and March, you can always find fewer crowds in the Southern and Western Circuit Parks any time of the year.
2nd – Where to go in Tanzania
Tanzania is a country that earns quite a lot from tourism and has loads of things to do and places to see. Sun and surf seekers will find themselves called off to enjoy the beaches of Zanzibar and Pemba Islands. They can also go deep water diving and snorkeling in the waters of Mafia Island and marvel at the diverse aqua life and corals of the Mafia Island Marine Park.
Those who wish to face nature’s more challenging side can head to Mount Kilimanjaro to try and conquer its summit. Read more about climbing the Kilimanjaro here.
If you are interested in seeing wildlife in their preserved beauty, you can visit the Ngorongoro Conservation Area where thousands of animals, including lions, hippos, flamingoes and more, live. You can also head to Lake Manyara National Park where even more birds and the largest amount of baboons in the world reside.
It is common knowledge that the oldest living human beings came out of Africa, and for those interested in archeology, the Olduvai Gorge in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area holds some of the oldest archeological pieces of evidence of human occupation that go as far back as two million years ago!
3rd – Visa to Tanzania
You may require a tourist visa when traveling to Tanzania, and the process of getting it is fairly simple. However, you should send in your visa application at least two weeks before your scheduled trip to avoid issues. A tourist visa is valid for 90 days, and those who hold it are only permitted to come into the country for a single visit.
In order to put in an application, you will need a valid international passport that will not expire for at least six months after your application, as well as passport photographs and the required visa fee. UK citizen holders can apply online for a Tanzania e-visa here. If you from another nationality you can find more information on the visa application process on the Tanzanian Immigration Website.
4th – Money and Language in Tanzania
If you are traveling to Tanzania for a holiday, you can expect to incur expenses to live up the good life. The official currency spent in Tanzania is the Tanzanian Shilling, and you can withdraw this from any of the ATMs that can be found easily. Alternatively, you can convert your local currency to American dollars at the airport. American dollars are widely accepted all over the country.
For best practices, keep shillings or dollars on hand when visiting markets or small shops, but take your debit or credit cards into larger stores as they accept card payments. As for communicating with the locals, you may need to find a translator to help you as only a small percentage of the population speak English and there are more than 120 languages spoken all over the country. Of course that in hotels and tour operator staff speak English, so you don’t need to worry when arriving at a hotel or going on a tour/safari.
5th – Safety in Tanzania
When traveling to Tanzania, it is essential to stay aware of the happenings around you and always act in a way that maintains your safety. Although the general crime level is low, there are still cases of robberies and violence that come up once in a while. Tourists are always discouraged from walking about on their own and are encouraged to move about in groups, preferably with a local among them.
For extra caution, travelers should always consider purchasing travel insurance before leaving their home countries so that they have adequate coverage if they fall victims of crime, an accident or illness, or any other mishap that could occur while overseas.
Read our comprehensive guide to find the best travel insurance here.
Tanzania is a beautiful country and is one of the best choices for those who want to experience Africa. There are fascinating things to see and do at different times of the year ranging from mountain climbing to observing herd migration, and many different places to go from natural parks to ancient towns.
Getting a tourist visa is fairly simple, but it is essential to apply in due time. There are ATMs in all the major parts of the country, and all stores accept Tanzanian Shillings or American Dollars. Plus, in Tanzania you can find from local experiences to 5-star hotels and tours, making it a great country for any type of travelers, from luxury and seasoned travelers to first-timers and backpackers.
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