Electricity

230 volts, 50Hz. Rectangular or round three-pin plugs are used.

Language

Swahili and English are the official languages. Several indigenous languages are also spoken.

Money

The official currency is the Tanzanian Shilling (TZS), divided into 100 cents. The tourism industry prices everything in US Dollars and this is the preferred unit of currency. Money can be exchanged in larger towns; foreign exchange bureaux may offer a better rate of exchange than banks. ATMs are available in major towns and cities. Major lodges, some hotels and travel agents in urban areas accept credit cards, but these should not be relied on and can incur a surcharge.

Tipping

Waiters in the better restaurants should be tipped around 10 percent. Guides, porters and cooks in the wildlife parks and on safari trips expect tips. The amount is discretionary according to standard of service and the number in your party.

Health

Travellers are advised to see a doctor or visit a travel clinic at least three weeks before leaving for Tanzania. Visitors should consider vaccinations for hepatitis A, typhoid, yellow fever, and polio. There is a risk of malaria all year and outbreaks of Rift Valley Fever occur; travellers should take precautions to avoid mosquito bites and take malaria medication.

Food prepared by unlicensed vendors should be avoided, as meat and milk products from animals may not have been cooked thoroughly. Sleeping sickness is a risk in the game parks, including the Serengeti, and visitors should take precautions against bites by tsetse flies.

There is a high prevalence of HIV/Aids. Cholera outbreaks are common throughout the country and visitors are advised to drink bottled or sterilised water only. Travellers climbing Mount Kilimanjaro are at risk for altitude sickness.

Medical services are available in Dar-es-Salaam and other main towns, but facilities and supplies are limited even in cities and often non-existent in rural areas. Visitors with particular requirements should take their own medicines. Comprehensive travel insurance is advised.

Safety

As in other East African countries, the threat from terrorism is quite high in Tanzania and visitors should be cautious in public places, tourist sites, and hotels, particularly in Zanzibar's Stone Town. The area bordering Burundi should also be avoided.

Street crime is a problem in Tanzania, especially in Dar es Salaam, and tourists should be alert and cautious. Lonely beaches and footpaths are often targeted, and women are particularly vulnerable to attacks. Visitors should leave valuables in their hotel safe and not carry too much cash on them at any time.

Armed crime is on the increase and there have been serious attacks on foreigners in Arusha and on Pemba Island. There have also been reports of robberies and kidnapping on Zanzibar, and piracy in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden is a serious concern with commercial and tourist vessels being fired upon and several British tourists taken hostage.

Road accidents are common in Tanzania due to poor road and vehicle conditions, violation of traffic regulations and exhaustion among long-distance drivers. There have also been a number of ferry accidents in Tanzania in recent years. Caution should be exercised: if a bus or ferry seems overloaded or in poor condition, don't get on.

Local customs

Tanzanians are known to be friendly and generally welcoming, but travellers should be sensitive to local cultural mores. Drunkenness is frowned upon and Tanzanians feel strongly about showing respect for their elders.

Visitors to Zanzibar should be aware that it is a predominantly Muslim region and visitors should dress modestly and respectfully. Beachwear is fine on the beach or around a hotel pool, but not acceptable elsewhere. Topless sunbathing is a criminal offence. Some tourists buys a local sarong, called a kanga, which can be used to cover shoulders when needed, or otherwise be used as a scalf or towel.

Smoking in public places is illegal. Tourists should be especially careful during Ramadan when public drinking, smoking and even eating should be avoided.

Homosexuality is illegal in Tanzania.

Doing business

Although Tanzanians come across as relaxed and friendly, it is important to observe certain formalities, especially with greetings. It is advisable to learn a few Swahili phrases when greeting, followed by a handshake.

Women and men rarely shake hands in Swahili culture; however, if the woman extends her hand, the man is obliged to take it. Tanzanians are to be addressed as Mr, Mrs, and Ms, followed by the family name.

Business dress is seldom very formal but lightweight suits are recommended for formal occasions. Business hours are similar to Western countries, but a longer lunch break is taken during the hotter months, and business continues later in the evening from Monday to Friday.

Duty free

Travellers to Tanzania do not have to pay duty on 250g tobacco or 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars and 500ml of alcoholic beverages. Restrictions apply to firearms, plants, plant products, and fruits.

Communications

The international country dialling code for Tanzania, as well as Zanzibar, is +255. There is good mobile phone coverage in main cities and towns, while rural areas may have limited coverage. There are international roaming agreements with most international operators. Avoid making telephone calls from hotels; they can be very expensive. Internet cafes are available in the main towns and resorts.

Passport & Visa

Most visitors entering Tanzania require a visa. Passports must contain one unused visa page. Visitors may obtain a visa on arrival at Dar-es-Salaam or Zanzibar airports, costing between US$ 50 and US$ 200 depending on nationality, payable in cash. Visa must be paid with notes of US $50 or US $100.

All visitors also require proof of sufficient funds and should hold documentation for their return or onward journey. Passports should be valid for at least six months from date of entry. Those arriving from an infected country must hold a yellow fever vaccination certificate. It is highly recommended that passports have at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.

Entry requirements

A visa is issued on arrival, and a passport valid for six months from date of entry is required. Visitors must hold return/onward tickets and all documents required for their next destination.

A visa is issued on arrival, and a passport valid for six months from date of entry is required. Visitors must hold return/onward tickets and all documents required for their next destination. Those with British passports with endorsements other than 'British Citizen' should confirm official requirements. Visitors with 'British Overseas Territories Citizen' shown on the biodata page are visa exempt for 90 days.

A visa is issued on arrival, and a passport valid for six months from date of entry is required. Visitors must hold return/onward tickets and all documents required for their next destination.

A visa is issued on arrival, and a passport valid for six months from date of entry is required. Visitors must hold return/onward tickets and all documents required for their next destination.

South Africans do not require a visa if intending to stay for a maximum of up to 90 days, provided that the passport is valid for six months from date of entry. Otherwise, a visa is required for longer stays. Visitors must hold return/onward tickets and all documents required for their next destination. Business travellers will be required to pay a fee of $200 on arrival.

A visa is issued on arrival, and a passport valid for six months from date of entry is required. Visitors must hold return/onward tickets and all documents required for their next destination.

A visa is issued on arrival, and a passport valid for six months from date of entry is required. Visitors must hold return/onward tickets and all documents required for their next destination.

Useful contacts

Tanzanian Tourist Office: +255 22 2664878/9 or www.tanzaniatouristboard.com

112 (General)

Embassies / consulates in other countries

Embassy of Tanzania, Washington DC, United States: +1 (0)202 884 1080

High Commission of Tanzania, London, United Kingdom (also responsible for Ireland): +44 (0)20 7569 1470

High Commission of Tanzania, Ottawa, Canada: +1 (0)613 232 1509

Embassy of Tanzania, Tokyo, Japan (also responsible for Australia and New Zealand): +81 (0)3 3425 4531

High Commission of Tanzania, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 (0)12 342 4371

Embassies / consulates in Tanzania

United States Embassy, Dar-es-Salaam: +255 (0)22 229 4000

British High Commission, Dar-es-Salaam: +255 (0)22 229 0000

Canadian High Commission, Dar-es-Salaam (also responsible for Madagascar, Comoros and Seychelles): +255 (0)22 216 3300

Australian High Commission, Nairobi, Kenya (also responsible for Tanzania): +252 (0)20 4277 100

South African High Commission, Dar-es-Salaam: +255 (0)22 221 8500

Irish Embassy, Dar-es-Salaam: +255 (0)22 260 2355

New Zealand High Commission, Pretoria, South Africa (also responsible for Tanzania): +27 (0)12 435 9000