Traveling to Tanzania: what you need to know before and during

Traveling to Tanzania: what you need to know before and during

Do you dream of discovering the animal world of the savannah on the edge of a 4×4 and/or lazing on white sand under a sun of up to 40 degrees all year round?

So, put your suitcases in Tanzania and finish with the island of Zanzibar.

One thing is certain, it is better to prepare your trip before going there to avoid any regrets and thus be able to say to yourself throughout the trip “Hakuna matata” which translates as “no problem”.

That is why in this article you will find the most relevant points — before and during the stay in Tanzania.

The country in brief

Official name : United Republic of Tanzania

Capital city : Dodoma (administrative), Dar es-Salaam (economic), Arusha (tourist)

Border countries : Kenya (769 km), Uganda (396 km), with which Tanzania shares Lake Victoria, Rwanda (217 km), Burundi (451 km), Democratic Republic of the Congo (Ex-Zaire (459 km), Zambia (338 km), neighbors of Lake Tanganyika; Malawi (475 km), Mozambique (756 km, which meet around Lake Nyasa.

That is a total of 3861 km of borders.

Area : 945,090 km2, of which Zanzibar 1564 km2. Consider the area of ​​France and Germany. Land: 886,037 km2; water: 59,050 km2.

Population : 58 million inhabitants in 2019

Religion : Christians (30%), Muslims (35%), other (35%)

LANGUAGES : mainly Swahili or Kiswahili, but also English and Arabic

Official currency : the monetary unit is the Tanzanian shilling (Tsh).

1 € = around 2600 Tsh debit 2019. For 1 $, we obtained around 2300 Tsh, at the normal rate. There are coins of 10, 20, 50 and 100 Tsh, and notes of 200, 500, 1000, 5000 and 10000 Tsh.

Practical questions before traveling to Tanzania

useful addresses

In Belgium :

Embassy of Tanzania: avenue Franklin-Roosevelt 72, Brussels, 1050.


To travel to Tanzania, a passport is required which is valid for more than 6 months from the date of arrival. In addition, a visa is also mandatory for tourists.

It is very easy to establish one on the spot, when entering Tanzania. It will cost 50 US dollars (or the equivalent in euros), payable by credit card or cash.

Now, an e-visa can be issued online between 72 hours and a week by the Tanzanian authorities for the same cost. You will still have to queue at the border to make the visa.

The ordinary visa is issued for a period of 3 months, renewable once for two additional months, without leaving the country.


No vaccine is required to be able to cross the border. However, it is strongly recommended to take the yellow fever vaccine at least 10 days before leaving, but also to take tablets against malaria.


The exchange rate in February 2020 is 1 € = 2509.67 TSH

Exchange offices can be found in major cities and at airports. However, it remains difficult to obtain cash on presentation of a credit card. Vending machines are few. On the other hand, a collection tax (5% to 10% of the amount) is added to any payment by card.

Budget ideas per person, for two weeks on site, excluding plane tickets: small budget, €1200; average budget: €1800; big budget: 3000 €.

Driver’s license

To be able to travel freely in a rental car in Tanzania, it is important to apply in advance to your municipality in order to obtain an international permit.

Jet lag

TU +3 hrs. With Belgium: +2 h in winter, +1 h in summer. So when it’s noon in Tanzania, it’s 10 a.m. in Belgium in January and 11 a.m. in July.

Favorable season to travel to Tanzania

You can go to Tanzania at any time, each with its advantages and disadvantages. The high season runs from December to February and from July to September.


The prevailing climate in Tanzania is tropical.

The sea coasts are generally hot and humid. On average, it is 30°C. The hottest season of the year is from December to March. Coldest from June to August. Temperatures drop below 0°C at altitude only at night. It is therefore necessary to take cover under the slopes of Kilimanjaro or Meru, but also on the edges of the Ngorongoro crater (more than 2,000 m above sea level)


Power outages are quite common in Tanzania. The sockets are three pin like the British system so an adapter is required.


It is advisable to buy a local SIM card upon arrival in Tanzania to avoid any additional costs from our operator. However, no network is guaranteed to cover the whole of Tanzania.

To call Belgium from Tanzania, dial the code 0032 followed by the 9 digits without the initial 0 of our correspondent. To call Tanzania from Belgium, you must dial the code 00255 + the city code without the 0 followed by the 7-digit number of the correspondent.


With a little caution, a trip to Tanzania is no less safe than anywhere else in the world.

As tourists, it is our duty to be vigilant. Not to display valuables in plain sight and not to walk around in the middle of the night.

travel to tanzania

Practical questions when leaving for Tanzania

To be able to move in Tanzania, several locomotions are possible such as taxis, public transport and rental cars.

Tanzania’s road network remains very unpaved and therefore in poor condition. There is little lighting, road signs and the presence of animals on the roads increases the risk of accidents. Night driving is therefore strongly discouraged outside built-up areas.

It is advisable to favor the plane for long distance journeys, however for the shortest journeys, the best means of transport is still the 4×4, being as careful as possible.

The international license is required for any car rental request.

Tourism plays an important economic role for the country, which is why many sites and accommodations are set up within the country.

However, the Tanzanian culture is at a fundamental value for the people of the country. This is why it is important to respect it. This is the case of clothing which must be chosen with care. Modesty is customary. The shoulders, knees and necklines should not be seen and tanning in public is to be avoided.

Then, in Tanzania tips are required. It is therefore customary to give it to employees so that it will round off their salaries.

Then, it is useful to require a mosquito net over our bed, to spray with mosquito repellent at the beginning of the evening and to sleep with clothes covering the body in order to avoid any possible insect bites.

Not only is it serious to consume well-washed fruits and vegetables and avoid eating them raw, but also to drink only bottled mineral water and therefore avoid ice cubes. Boiled water is safe.

However, local products will be appreciated, including fruits which are not expensive compared to Belgian prices. But also, their culinary specialties such as rice pilau and Ugali, which can be discovered in the many restaurants of the country.

Tanzanian cuisine is a mixture of a lot of spices, mainly curry and to this we add the seasoning of Arabs, Indians and Persians.

It should be noted that no large supermarket chain exists on site. Food purchases are mainly made in local markets and on the sides of the roads. On the other hand, a few small supermarkets are available in the big cities.

As for emergencies, Tanzanian hospitals are to be avoided, as they do not have a very good reputation. Repatriation insurance to be covered during the stay is the best decision in case of need.

The Nordic Clinic, a semi-private clinic in Dar es-Salaam remains accessible, however, and in the event of serious injury or illness, the most qualified hospital is in Nairobi (1h30 flight from Zanzibar). The “Flying Doctors” of AMREF (African Medical and Research Foundation) provide emergency evacuations by plane.

Finally, the main objective of national parks is the preservation of fauna and flora. Some of its parks belong to the world heritage in order to be able to restore the balance of the areas affected by deforestation, agriculture and urbanization.

By choosing to visit Tanzania, tourists participate in the development of the country and its investment in the future. Despite demographic pressures, Tanzania has devoted more than 45,000 km2 national parks, marine parks and protected areas. In conclusion, Tanzania protects more than a third of its vast territory.

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