Here you can find helpful travel tips on Electricity, Gifts, Language, Local Time, Local Courtesies, Photography, Public Holidays, Road Conditions, Shopping, Tipping and What to Pack.
230V/50 Hz, but there are often power failures or surges. It is helpful to bring a universal adapter and flashlight or headlight. For US appliances you will need a voltage converter and plug adapter.
Most lodges on safari use generators. These generators are often turned off during night to reduce noise and fuel consumption. Please be aware that you will not find a plug socket in your room/tent at many of these lodges.
Don’t give indiscriminately money, pens or sweets like a wealthy Western Santa Claus. This will just encourage begging. Gifts should be given as a true expression of friendship, appreciation and thanks.
Tanzania national language is Kiswahili, which is spoken by the majority. Additional, there are about 120 ethnic groups in Tanzania of which each has its own indigenous language. English is widely spoken in business related to tourism. However, please do not expect everybody to speak English. A few words of Kiswahili will be very much appreciated.
Hello – Jambo!
Welcome – Karibu!
Please – Tafadhali
Thank you – Asante
Good bye – Kwaheri!
Tanzania is in the East African Time Zone, which is 3 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+3).
Local Courtesies & Religions
Traditional courtesies are a very important aspect in Tanzania culture and polite greetings are expected and welcomed.
Over 40% of the population is Muslim and therefore unsuitable clothing, such as brief shorts or swimwear, is not acceptable in towns and villages away from resorts. Covering of shoulders and legs is particularly for women strongly recommended.
Please make sure to bring sufficient memory cards and batteries as these are not readily available. Please remember to ask permission before taking a photograph of indigenous people.
Tanzania’s public holidays are as follows:
- January – New Years Day
- January – Zanzibar Revolutionary Day
- January – The Prophets Birthday
- April – Karume Day
- April – Good Friday
- April – Easter Monday
- April – Union Day
- May – International Workers Day
- July – Saba Saba Day
- August – Peasants Day
- October – Julius Nzerere Day
- December – Republic Day
- December – Christmas Day
Road Conditions & Speed Limits
Distances in Tanzania are vast. Besides the main roads, which connect Nairobi, Arusha, Moshi, Mto-wa-Mbu and Karatu, most of the roads are not asphalted. Speed limits are 80km/h on all main asphalted roads, 50km/h in towns or villages and 30km/h in the proximity of schools. Within National Parks or Conservation Areas a speed of 30-40km/h is advised.
Shopping & Business Opening Times
Most hotels/lodges have gift shops with a selection of local crafts and souvenirs. Many beautiful items are available in Tanzania, like gems (e.g. Tanzanite), wooden carvings, soap stone carvings, Tinga Tinga paintings, pottery and colorful fabrics (e.g. kangas, kitenges). Prices are often not marked and bartering is expected.
Business hours in Tanzania are generally from 08:30 a.m. to 05:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday. Some businesses are also open on Saturday mornings.
Bank opening hours are from 08:30 a.m. to 03:00 p.m.
Tipping is not compulsory, but usually expected as a sign of appreciation for a good service. In Tanzania it is a custom to tip local guides and drivers:
Guide/Driver: USD 10/20 per couple per day
Camp Staff: USD 15 per couple per day
What to Pack
As a general guide, we recommend that you bring comfortable, casual wash-and-wear clothes on safari. Please note that muted colors are recommended for game-viewing. Game Drives are conducted in the early morning and later afternoon, which can be very cold, especially in winter. The most practical items to pack for safari are:
- a jacket/sweater for early morning and evening game drives
- lightweight water-proof jacket
- comfortable walking shoes
- jeans/safari trousers for evenings and cold days
- shorts or a light skirt
- shirts with long sleeves (even in summer as protection from the sun and mosquitoes)
- t-shirts in khaki, green, beige or neutral colors
- swim and beachwear
- binoculars and camera equipment
- sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, insect repellent, moisturizer and lip-salve are all essentials