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Tanzania General Information

Tanzania ( Formerly Tanganyika ) is  situated just south of the Equator bordering the Indian Ocean and is  about 930,704 square kilometers in area. 53,000 square kilometres is covered by inland water and 247, 537 sq.kms is devoted to the protection of Wildlife. The Island of Zanzibar is 2,760 square kilometers in area. Swahili is National Language though English is widely spoken. Tanzania is the land without winter.  Temperature in Northern Tanzania range between 60 – 75 degrees F. during the day and 40 – 50 degrees F. at night from May to October. From November to March, at day time temperature varies from 70 – 90 degrees F and 60 – 75 degrees F at night. The long rains are between April and  June while short rains are in November.

Health – Its advisable for visitors to obtain an International Certificate of Vaccination against  Yellow Fever, cholera and Anti- Malaria tablets are recommended to be taken a few days prior to arrival, during your stay and a short period after returning.

Visa – Visa can be obtained from Tanzania  embassy or at any entry point.

Insurance – Visitors to Tanzania are strongly advised to obtain own insurance to cover baggage, personal accident and medical attention.

Entry Requirements - Visas
Most Passport holders need a visa to travel to Tanzania and you should obtain one prior to travelling from your nearest Tanzanian diplomatic mission. It is possible to obtain a tourist visa for a single entry at the main ports of entry to Tanzania but this is subject to the fulfilment of all immigration requirements. If you need a multiple entry visa arrange this through a Tanzanian diplomatic mission before your arrival in Tanzania. Otherwise you will have to buy a single entry visa each time you enter the country.

Please note that working as a volunteer in Tanzania requires a Class C work permit. This should be obtained from your nearest Tanzanian diplomatic mission before you travel. If you overstay the validity of your visa, or work without an appropriate permit, you will be liable to arrest, detention and a fine before being deported.

Entry Requirements - Passport validity
You should have a valid passport and visa when visiting Tanzania and Zanzibar. In order to apply for a visa your passport must have validity of not less than six months.

Entry Requirements - Yellow Fever Certificates

Travellers from non-endemic countries travelling through endemic countries are subject to yellow fever vaccination only if they stay outside the Airport or have a long connection up to twelve hours: See the Tanzanian Government website for more details:

As some countries list Tanzania as a Yellow Fever endemic country you may also be asked for a certificate after departing Tanzania and arriving at other destinations.

Be aware that medical facilities are limited, especially outside Dar es Salaam.

Malaria is common to Tanzania. There have also been recent cases of sleeping sickness occurring after bites from tsetse flies in Northern parts of Tanzania, including the Serengeti. Other diseases, such as cholera and rift valley fever, occur periodically, largely in rural areas where access to sanitation is limited. Drink or use only boiled or bottled water and avoid ice in drinks. If you suffer from diarrhoea during or after a visit to Tanzania seek medical attention immediately.

Seek medical advice before travelling to Tanzania and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up-to-date. For further information on vaccination requirements, health outbreaks and general disease protection and prevention you should visit the websites.

Natural disasters

Tanzania lies on an active fault line stretching from the north of the country to the south and tremors occur from time to time. The last significant earthquake happened in 2007 in the region of the Kenya border, and was magnitude 6.0.

General - Insurance

You should take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. This should cover you for medical repatriation by air, if necessary. Check for any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake. See our Travel Insurance page.

If things do go wrong when you are oversees then see our When Things Go Wrong page.

General - Money

The Tanzanian Shilling is the official currency of Tanzania, but US Dollars are also widely accepted (please be aware that dollar notes printed before 2003 are usually not accepted). Money can be changed freely at many authorised dealers, banks or bureaux de change. You should obtain a receipt after transaction. Most banks in major cities have ATMs. However, these are not always reliable and sometimes break down or run out of money. Travellers cheques are not widely accepted by banks and bureaux de change in Tanzania.

•    Full name: United Republic of Tanzania
•    Population: 40.4 million (UN, 2007)
•    Capital: Dodoma (official), Dar es Salaam (commercial)
•    Largest city: Dar es Salaam
•    Area: 945,087 sq km (364,900 sq miles)
•    Major languages: English, Swahili
•    Major religions: Christianity, Islam
•    Monetary unit: 1 Tanzanian shilling = 100 cents
•    Exchange rate 1 US$
•    Main exports: Sisal, cloves, coffee, cotton, cashew nuts, minerals, tobacco
•    International dialling code: +255