Tips for Travellers

Generic information about your trip in Tanzania.

When to go & weather

  • Tanzania has a generally comfortable, tropical climate all year round and can be visited during all seasons.

 

Through-out the year

  • Late June to September: coolest and driest.
  • July and August: Hotels are at their fullest.
  • October and November: fewer crowds and a slowly greening-up landscape as the short rains begin.
  • Late December to February: temperatures are high, but not oppressive.
  • March to May: long rainy season, save on accommodation costs, enjoy green and full of life landscapes, some secondary roads may be impassable.

Money matters

  • Tanzania’s currency is the Tanzanian Shilling (TZS).
  • Best currency to bring is US dollars, however notes should not be older than 2006 and should look new.
  • ATMs are widespread in major towns: Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Moshi, Zanzibar.
  • ATMs allow you to withdraw Shillings with a Visa or MasterCard (maximum Tsh 400,000 per transaction, Visa is by far the most useful) and with an EC card – pin number is needed!
  • US Dollars, followed by Euros, get the best rates at Foreign Exchange Bureaus (USD 50 and USD 100 note bills get better rates than smaller denominations).
  • Credit Cards are frequently not accepted, where they are accepted, it’s often only with high commissions averaging from 5% to 10%.
  • Travellers Cheques exchange rates are lower than for cash, and most hotels and safari operators won’t accept them as direct payment.

Cultures & customs

  • About 40-45% of Tanzania’s population is Christian, 35-40% are Muslim (most of which live along the coast and Zanzibar and the other islands), a small number follow traditional religions and there are some Asian communities including Sikhs and Hindus.
  • Shaking hands is the customary form of greeting.
  • It is customary to use the right hand, not the left, to shake hands or pass or receive anything.
  • The standard greeting of ‘hello’ is ‘jambo’, people are delighted if visitors can greet them in Kiswahili.
  • Dress is on the whole casual but a smart appearance for formal occasions such as a business meeting or upmarket restaurant is always appreciated.
  • Due to its Muslim influence, the coast is a little more conservative, and away from the beach it is advised to dress respectably and cover up bare arms and legs.
  • Alcohol is only available in the tourist areas on Zanzibar.

Tip recommendations

Despite receiving good salaries, paying tips as a way of saying “thank you” for a service is a common practice expected in East Africa. Naturally, as this is a “tip”, these recommendations can be altered.

 

On Safari per group per day
USD
Driver guide
15-20
Cook (only camping safaris)
12

 

On the mountains per group per day
USD
Mountain guide
15-20
Assistant guide
10-15
Ranger (only Mt Meru)
15
Cook
9 – 12
Porter / waiter
8
Porter
5