GMT + 3 hours.
Tanzania's official language is Swahili.
Tanzania's currency is the shilling. Notes are issued in denominations of 500, 1000, 2000, 5000 and 10000 shillings. Coins are issued in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 shillings, although the first two are seldom used. The local currency you may need during your stay in Tanzania should be obtained at authorised facilities such as banks and foreign exchange bureaus. US Dollars and British Pounds can also be exchanged at the airport on arrival. It is very difficult to exchange the shilling outside of Tanzania so we recommend that you change only as much as you will need. Major credit cards are accepted at most outlets in Tanzania. At some of our Sanctuary Retreats camps in Tanzania, we accept Visa, MasterCard or Amex, as well as cash.
If you enjoyed your stay with us the guidelines below can be used as a reference. Tipping is a very personal matter and it is not included for staff at our lodges and camps.
- Porter - US $1 per bag
- Driver-guide - US $5-7 per traveller per day - this is normally paid on the last day and is based on 4-6 travellers in the vehicle. If there are only 2 or 3 travellers you may consider increasing this amount to US $6-8 per traveller per day
Passport & Visa information
Travellers should check for visa requirements pertaining to their citizenship, as entry requirements vary between countries. All travellers, however, must be in possession of a passport with at least six months of validity left beyond the intended departure date from Tanzania.
Tanzania has a tropical climate which is mainly characterised by warm days and cool evenings. December to March are usually the warmest months of the year, while June to August are the coolest. April and May often see intermittent rains, and from September to November the days are warm with short scattered rains falling in November.
For up to date information on the latest health and vaccination recommendations, please consult with a qualified health professional at least 6 weeks before your intended departure. Anti-malarial medication is strongly recommended for all visitors to Tanzania. No vaccinations are currently required for entry into Tanzania but if you are arriving (or planning to re-enter) from a country where yellow fever is endemic, then you are required to have a yellow fever vaccination. This vaccination is also recommended if you are travelling outside of urban areas. Do not drink or brush your teeth with tap water. Mineral water is available at our camps.
In Tanzania, electricity runs at 220/240 volts. You may want to bring an international converter kit complete with a set of adapter plugs as lodges are unable to provide adapters. We do, however, suggest that you consider battery-operated appliances wherever possible - and bring a supply of extra batteries. However, be aware that Kusini and Swala camps usually switch to inverter power at 10pm and therefore charging should be done before this time when the generator is running.
Many travellers, viewing this as their "trip of a lifetime" for animal photography, bring more than one camera in case of a malfunction. Sun filters will help block glare and heat haze. A dustproof camera bag and an air brush will help protect your equipment from heavy dust. If you plan to travel with digital photographic and/or video equipment, make certain to pack the specific charging apparatus for each piece of equipment (as well as the appropriate socket plug adaptor and voltage converter if required). When photographing people, especially members of the Maasai tribe, always ask permission first. Because so many local people are asked for permission to be photographed, many will expect a tip or an outright fee for this. There are some places where photography is prohibited, and these areas are usually clearly marked.
Dress on safari is entirely casual. Because it can be dusty, neutral colours are most practical for game viewing. Remember to include one or two smart casual outfits for dining. Temperatures tend to be cooler in the early morning and after sunset - but warm up considerably by midday. To be prepared for such temperature variations and to maximise the versatility of your travel wardrobe, we recommend packing lightweight clothing that can be layered. Casual clothing of "breathable" fabric (such as cotton) is the most comfortable. In the cooler months (June to August) you should pack a heavier jacket, sweater, and pair of trousers made of warm, lightweight material (such as wool).
Good sunglasses and sun block lotion are essential for protection from the strong sun. You may also want to bring a sun hat. Binoculars will maximise the enjoyment of game viewing and bird watching. A compact and lightweight pair is suggested.
TSA Bans Powerless Devices From Flights
According to recent rules issued by the US Transport Security Administration (TSA), passengers travelling from Europe, the Middle East and Africa to the US must be able to turn on their electronic devices to prove they are genuine, "Powerless devices" - cellphones and computers that cannot be turned on will not be permitted on board the aircraft.
This was followed by an announcement by the UK Department for Transport regarding stepping up some aviation security measures. "In line with the US advice, passengers on some routes into and out of the UK may now also be required to show that electronic devices in their hand luggage are powered up or face not being allowed to bring the device onto the aircraft." According to Reuters, TSA officials singled out smartphones, including the Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy, for extra security checks on U.S.-bound flights from Europe, the Middle East and Africa.