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Tanzania and Zanzibar

Overview

With more than 6 areas under UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, Tanzania (formerly known as Tanganyika) offers travellers a vibrant array of destinations revealing ancient histories, unique wildlife and rich cultures that have become to be known as one of the world’s melting pot for civilizations

The capital city of Tanzania is Dodoma, while Dar es Salaam (meaning; the house of peace in Arabic) being the business hub (economic and trade capital), home to most foreign missions, ministries and the State House

Tanzania is in union with the semi-autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar. With over 35 islands, Unguja (often referred to as Zanzibar) and Pemba are considered the main two islands. Unguja or Zanzibar is the business hub with most economic activities and attracts most tourists particularly to its capital the Stone Town

Zanzibar had long been a destination of great mysticism and great appeal to numerous empires such as the British and the Portuguese and later Omani Sultans. Ancient vessels were packed with jewels, ivory, gold and slaves and shipped to the Far East and strong trade linkages connected the archipelago with Arabia and the Persian Gulf. Zanzibar offers its visitors tours through the historical city of the Stone town, ruins, magical beaches, excursions and a unique marine life

Climate

Tanzania and Zanzibar’s climates is tropical. With a variation in topography in Tanzania the climate would be much cooler and dryer than the rest of the country, e.g. the Highlands. Average temperatures in Dodoma, Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar are around (+/-)24°- 30°C in the summer and 18°-28°C in winter, whereas Arusha and Kigoma temperatures range between 10°-28°C in Summer and 9°-20°C in Winter

March, April and May are the wettest times of the year (Monsoons for Zanzibar) with over 300mm. The hottest time of the year is January – March

Languages

The national language is Swawhili with English being the official language (alongside Swahili). English is also widely spoke in Tanzania and Zanzibar. On the East Coast of Unguja and particularly in Kiwengwa you will come across Italian and a substantial number of villagers are able to communicate in Italian

Health & Vaccines

Tanania is a yellow fever zone, which means that you are not required to present a yellow fever vaccine upon arrival at any of the entry points in Tanzania. However, when you are travelling back to your country, you may be required to produce a yellow fever vaccine card. Therefore it is highly recommended that you acquire a vaccination card before you travel to Tanzania as immigration and quarantine laws are subject to change at any time

Precautionary measures from disease and infection are not limited to vaccinations. Further precautionary measures can be taken against malaria by taking anti-malaria drugs that are prescribed by your doctor and remember to wear long-sleeved shirts/ t-shirts and long trousers/ skirts particularly around sunrise and in the evenings. Apply an ample amount of mosquito repellent to prevent any mosquito bites and make use of the mosquito netting that is provided in hotels and resorts

Travel with some over-the-counter medication as a quick-fix from heartburn, headaches, diarrhoea. Also pack anti-histamines, bandages, hand sanitizers and your prescribed anti-malaria drugs.

Note: Chloroquine is not a suitable malaria treatment for Tanzania. Also remember that most mosquito repellents can only prevent bites for no more than 6 hours, so make sure you re-apply particularly around your neck, ears, hands, feet and any of the exposed areas.

Immigration & Passports

Visa fees for all passport holders are US$50. US, Australian, New Zealand and most EU citizens are not required to acquire visa clearance before they arrive into Tanzania. Remember to contact your travel agent or a Tanzanian diplomatic representative in your country when planning your trip and note that the above information is only a guideline and is subject to change.

Also, ensure that your passport has at least 2 pages (if your only destination is Tanzania) or 6 pages with multiple stops and a minimum of 6 months before expiration after you have returned from your trip(s). Chameleon will NOT be responsible for any discrepancies with your passport or visa. Make sure that you have a photocopy of your passport in the event your original gets lost.

Money Matters

The currency used is Tanzanian Shillings (Tsh/=). 1,500/= allows you to purchase a litre of mineral water, a handful of fruit or an hour at an internet cafe.
To find out the exchange rates for different currencies, check out our currency converter at the bottom left corner of this page.

Bureau de changes are widely available in Tanzania and Zanzibar (mainly the Stone Town) and Pemba and many hotels and lodges will accept payments in US Dollars and/ or Euros.

The Stone Town has between 4-5 ATMs -at Barclay"s Bank, National Bank of commerce (NBC) and the Federal Bank of the Middle East (FBME). There are many more ATM machines in Arusha and Dar es Salaam. ATM machines will accept almost all cards. But note, American Express and Diner"s Club is not accepted.

Not many Hotels, resorts, restaurants or bars will accept credit cards or cheques. Travellers cheques are not widely accepted.

You will find many outlets for Western Union and other money transfer operations across Tanzania and Zanzibar (3 operators).

Economy

Tanzania’s main economic activity is agriculture, employing almost 80% of the workforce. This has placed Tanzania in a position of an exporter of some agricultural goods including Cashew Nuts, Coffee and Cotton. Tanzania also exports Gold.
Mining: Natural Gas, Coal, Copper, Hydraulic cement, silver, Tanzanite, Tourmaline, Sapphire, Ruby, Tsavorite, Aquamarine and Alexandrite.

Power Outlets

Uk"s 3-pin plugs with voltage of 220-250V.

Wildlife

Tanzania is endowed with wildlife out of which 11,000 are plant species. The amazing array of animals and the impressive number of species (more than 2,200 species) makes Tanzania all the more an ideal destination where you will find the Big Five and many more. There are more than 360 mammal species including elephants, zebra, warthog and hartebeests, 140 species of antelope, 650 species of reptiles and amphibians, 60,000 insect species and more than 100 snake species.

There are hundreds of endemic species in Tanzania including the Red Colobus, Pemba Flying Fox, the Kilimanjaro Mouse Shrew, the Grey Faced Sengi (elephant shrew), the Grey Breasted Francoling and the Ruaha Hornbill amongst many others.

Transport

Finding a private hire taxi in Tanzania and Zanzibar is rather easy, should you ever need to make a quick trip to a shop when in the city. Ask at your hotel lobby if you do not find one to hail on the street and you will have one available within minutes. Although taxis are not metered, fares will vary depending on the distance, traffic and areas you are travelling to and fro.

Visitor Impact:

  • Do not litter.
  • Before taking any photos, please ask the subject of your photographs if it is ok.
  • Souvenirs bought in resorts usually do not benefit the craftsmen and the community as one might assume. Rather purchase your souvenirs from the local curio shops or even the road side... Chances are more of your money will go into the community and will most certainly be cheaper.
  • Rhino horns and ivory are poached in Tanzania with Elephants and Rhino brutally killed, therefore DO NOT buy any products made out of horns or ivory even if they are sold as “antiques” and come with certificates, as you would be encouraging the poaching.
  • When purchasing goods or souvenirs from Tanzania or anywhere else, you may be prohibited by immigration officers at ports of entry. Good with animal hide, skin, seeds, fruit, spices, or any agricultural or animal products or foods may be confiscated by immigration officials. Kindly make sure you are aware of what you are carrying and/ or travelling with.
  • If you are visiting a national park, do not take anything from the parks with you even if you think it is very small and will not make an impact. Also, do not pick up sea shells from beaches. These habitats thrive best when left untouched.
  • Do not ask to visit mosques or people’s homes. Requests of such nature are considered impolite.
  • Do not give children money, sweets or gifts as it would encourage begging. Alternatively, you may visit schools or orphanages and donate books, pens or crayons. You must remember to ask your guide or the locals if you MAY visit orphanages or schools.
  • Kindly show only respect and courtesy for local customs and the people. When in the Stone Town particularly avoid wearing very short or very revealing clothing items.
  • Speaking the local language encourages more warmth from the people, so here are a few useful phrases to get you started:

Habari - Hello
Nzuri - Good
Asante - Thank You
Karibu - You"re Welcome
Ndio - Yes
Hapana - No
Tafadhali - Please
Pole Pole - Slowly
Kesho - Tomorrow
Leo - Today
Baadae - Later
Sahivi - Now
Iko Wapi? - Where is?
Kwa-Heri - Goodbye

..

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Phone: (+264) 61 - 309387
Fax: (+264) 61 - 220885
Email: info@chameleonholidays.com
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