Tanzania Safari Requirements Elephants Sasakwa
Tanzania Safari Requirements Pool with a View Sasakwa

Tanzania Safari Requirements

Travel Information

"Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world."
~ John Muir

Understanding Tanzania Safari Requirements

This Tanzania Safari Requirements information is designed to assist Safari Guru clients in understanding their travel destination before departure and planning for the local conditions. Please take your time to read and ensure you fully understand any local customs, political agendas and the history of your chosen destination. Please note that Africa is in a constant state of change and development; therefore, the information provided should be treated as guidance only and could change by the time of travel.

Tanzania Entry Requirements

  • A passport valid for a minimum of six months beyond visa issuance and/or date of entry, and at least one blank visa page, is required.
  • Visitors who enter on visas must present a roundtrip ticket and demonstrate they have sufficient funds for their stay.
  • Passengers arriving in Tanzania will be required to apply for a visa; unless exempt. Tanzania has introduced an online visa application form that can be submitted and approved online before travel. Further details and an online application link can be found HERE.
  • All travellers arriving into the country through any point of entry shall no longer be required to show proof of either COVID-19 vaccination or a pre-departure COVID-19 test.
  • Only travellers arriving at any port of entry into Tanzania with flu-like symptoms might be required to take a COVID-19 antigen test upon arrival at their own cost. Health officials may screen you for COVID symptoms on arrival. They may also randomly select travellers for rapid antigen testing.

Requirements to Exit Tanzania

  • Passengers traveling out of the country, will be required to abide by the particular travel, health and COVID-19 related requirements of the transit and destination country.
  • Pre-departure RDT or PCR testing may be considered at the discretion of any of the airlines departing from or terminating in Tanzania.
  • There are a number of COVID-19 testing facilities throughout the country; in the capital cities amd Arusha at the Selian Hospital and Mount Meru Hospital.

Frequently Asked Questions about Travel in Tanzania
Is a Covid test required to enter Tanzania?

No. However, for surveillance purposes Port Health Officers may perform a COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test free of charge for randomly selected travelers upon arrival.

Do I need to be vaccinated to travel to Tanzania

You don’t currently need a vaccine to enter Tanzania, COVID vaccination passports or certificates are not mandatory to enter Tanzania. Now, if you are a COVID-19 vaccine certificate holder, you won’t need to present a negative PCR test.

Can I use my Cell/mobile phone in Tanzania?

If your existing phone is unlocked you can put the SIM card straight in there. But if not, you can pick a phone up cheaply in Tanzania. You’ll find, using a local SIM card, that calls are very reasonably priced, even to mobiles back at home.

ABOUT TANZANIA

Tanzania, the largest country in East Africa, encompasses the captivating islands of Zanzibar, Pemba, and Mafia. Spanning an area roughly twice the size of California, this African nation is bordered by the Indian Ocean and shares boundaries with eight countries: Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique.

At the heart of Tanzania stands Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest point in Africa, surrounded by three of the continent’s largest lakes: Lake Victoria (the world’s second-largest freshwater lake) in the north, Lake Tanganyika in the west, and Lake Nyasa in the southwest. Approximately 90 percent of Tanzanians reside in rural areas, sustaining themselves through agriculture. The early inhabitants were hunters and gatherers, later joined by traders around A.D. 800, blending with newcomers from India, Arabia, and Persia’s Shirazis. The resulting language, Kiswahili, spread across East Africa.

Tanzania boasts about 120 African tribal groups, where arranged marriages remain customary, and parental planning for a daughter’s future begins at a young age. Despite facing challenges like tsetse fly infestations causing sleeping sickness, malaria threats, and encroaching semidesert landscapes, Tanzania thrives with a rich cultural tapestry.

The country is home to abundant wildlife like wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, elephant, lion, and leopard, including endangered species like rhino, often threatened by poaching. Crocodiles and hippopotamuses populate riverbanks, while giant turtles reside off the coast.

Gombe Stream National Park is a renowned chimpanzee sanctuary where Jane Goodall conducted groundbreaking research. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania’s oldest and most popular tourist destination, is linked to Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve, hosting over 1.7 million wildebeest and countless other animals.

The presidential system governs Tanzania, with general elections held every five years. While Dar es Salaam is the administrative capital, Dodoma is earmarked as the future capital and houses Tanzania’s legislature. With its own president, assembly, and laws, Zanzibar stands as a wealthier enclave within the nation.

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT TANZANIA:

Area365,755 square miles (947,300 square kilometers)
Population63.59 million (2021)
Population Density76 per Km2
CapitalDar es Salaam (administrative captial), Dodoma (legislative capital)
GovernmentRepublic
Head of GovernmentSamia Suluhu Hassan (born 27 January 1960) is a Tanzanian politician who has served as president of Tanzania since 19 March 2021. She is the first woman to serve in the position.
LanguageAs the national language, Swahili is the most widely spoken language with English being largely absent from rural Tanzania and only really found in the larger towns, cities and tourist areas.

SOCIAL CONVENTIONS IN TANZANIA

Tanzanian culture highly values warmth and friendliness, and locals appreciate visitors who express genuine interest in their traditions. Proper etiquette plays a crucial role in interactions with Tanzanians. The most common form of greeting involves handshakes, and it is customary to use the right hand when shaking hands or passing items to someone. When addressing individuals, it is recommended to use appropriate titles such as Mr., Mrs., or Doctor.

Modest clothing is the cultural norm in Tanzania, especially in rural areas and when visiting religious sites. Women should avoid wearing revealing clothing, such as shorts or revealing tops, to demonstrate respect for local customs and avoid unwanted attention. Public displays of affection between couples are generally frowned upon, so it’s advisable to be discreet with physical affection in public settings.

When entering someone’s home or a local community, it is customary to remove your shoes as a sign of respect. During visits, you may be offered food and drink, and accepting these gestures is customary to express appreciation for local hospitality.

When it comes to dining, use your right hand to eat or pass food, and avoid letting your feet point towards anyone, as this is considered disrespectful.

In essence, respecting local customs and adhering to basic cultural norms will contribute significantly to positive interactions between travellers and Tanzanians. By embracing and understanding local traditions and etiquette, visitors can develop a profound appreciation for Tanzanian culture, enhancing their overall experience while exploring this captivating country.

TANZANIA PASSPORT AND VISA REQUIREMENTS

Passport

Your passport should be valid for at least six months after the date of your intended departure date from Africa. It is each travellers responsibility to ensure they have adequate passport pages, obtain any visas and satisfy any entry requirements. 

We recommend that you make two copies of your first passport page; keep one with you and leave one copy at home in the unlikely event that your passport is lost.

SUGGESTED PASSPORT PAGES – At least three blank “visa” (not “endorsement”) pages are required; and additional pages are advised if visiting multiple countries during your journey.

Visas

Most foreign passport holders need a tourist or business visa to enter Tanzania. Tanzania has introduced an ‘e-visas’ system through which applications can be submitted and approved online in advance of travel. It is no longer possible to get a visa from the Tanzanian High Commission. Visa-Exempt Countries

Visas are the travellers’ responsibility and available online prior to arrival through the eVisa website.

Immigration and Customs

Please note: Tanzania is plastic bag free and immigration services will not allow plastic bags. 

MEDICAL, IMMUNISATIONS & SAFETY

YELLOW FEVER 

If you have recently travelled to any of the countries listed below* you will be required to show proof of yellow fever vaccination when you enter Tanzania. 

There is a low risk of yellow fever in this country; however, there is a certificate requirement.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), from 11 July 2016 (for all countries), the yellow fever certificate will be valid for the duration of the life of the person vaccinated. As a consequence, a valid certificate presented by arriving travellers cannot be rejected on the grounds that more than ten years have passed since the date vaccination became effective, as stated on the certificate; and that boosters or revaccination cannot be required. 

For others, please note that while proof of yellow fever vaccination is sometimes not required upon arrival into Tanzania, IT IS LIKELY THAT YOU WILL NEED TO SHOW SUCH PROOF WHEN YOU RETURN TO YOUR HOME COUNTRY, as you will have stayed in Tanzania for more than 12 hours. 

Please note that yellow fever vaccination certificate becomes valid 10 days after the inoculation. 

If you plan to present a yellow fever vaccination waiver, please contact us at least one month prior to arrival in Tanzania. 

If you are entering from any of the following countries, you will be asked for proof of the Yellow Fever vaccine:
AFRICA – Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Togo, Uganda.
AMERICAS – Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela.

OTHER

For immunisations including malaria and zika, please consult your medical practitioner or a travel medical centre for advice on medical issues related to your travel. The following websites may be helpful to you: British: travelhealthpro.org.uk, Australians: smartraveller.gov.au and wwwnc.cdc.gov for American travellers.

Please note that many immunisations require administration some weeks prior to travel in order to be effective. During your trip, should emergency assistance be required, each game-drive vehicle has radio contact with the camp and each camp has 24 hour radio contact with their base support headquarters. Medical emergency evacuation will be arranged if necessary. 

Take enough legal prescription medicine with you to last for the duration of your stay so you remain in good health. Carry copies of your prescription and a dated letter from your doctor stating what the medicine is, how much you’ll take and that it’s for personal use only.

Malaria can occur in very limited areas of the country, especially during the rainy season. You can consider taking malaria prevention medication and seek medical advice if you have a fever, muscle pain, rash or severe headache. 

Other mosquito-borne diseases (including filariasis) also occur.

Protect yourself against insect-borne diseases by using insect repellent and wearing long, loose-fitting, light coloured clothing.

Travel Insurance

It is a pre–requisite of travel that all clients obtain comprehensive travel insurance cover at their own expense. it is always advisable to furnish your booking agent with your travel policy details – if applicable.

Further reading and understanding of travel insurance with frequently asked questions.

Your Health (Food & Water)

DRINKING WATER

In Tanzania, local tap water is generally not potable for foreign travellers. 

Sealed bottled water is safe to drink, and reputable brands can be purchased in hotels, restaurants, and grocery stores. You will be supplied with water at your camp, which has been filtered through a reverse osmosis process. 

It is essential that you drink plenty of water each day (a minimum of 2–3 litres). The dryness and heat will dehydrate you very quickly. If you are feeling lethargic or have a headache, there is a good chance it is simply dehydration, so make sure you increase your water intake. 

It is a good idea in the warmer months to travel with spare rehydrate sachets.

The water used for washing salads and making ice has also been filtered. 

Cash and Credit Cards, Tipping & Other

CURRENCY

Tanzania’s currency is the Tanzanian Shilling (TZS). It’s relatively easy to exchange foreign currency at banks, exchange bureaus, and authorized Forex dealers in tourist areas, major towns, and cities. US Dollars are widely accepted throughout the country, especially by safari operators, lodges, and other tourist services.

Personal expenses in the camps, such as souvenirs from the camp shop, can generally be paid with Visa or MasterCard or in the local currency. A surcharge may be levied on credit card transactions. Be sure to contact your bank before departure if you plan to use your credit card in Africa. When carrying USD cash, taking small denominations is a good idea as it is often difficult to get change. Generally, check that USD notes are 2010 or newer and not damaged or marked.

Please consider carrying cash for tipping, most notably for luggage porterage, road transfers, lodge staff and guides.

TIPPING

While gratuities are not compulsory, they do make up a significant portion of income for local staff. 

Meet & GreetMeet and greet services at Johannesburg and Cape Town international airports – your personal escort will guide you through the airport, helping with immigration, visas, and assistance through security, quarantine, and customs. We recommend USD10–20 per service, at your discretion
Camp StaffThere will generally be a communal staff tip box at all the camps, or if not, the manager will inform you how best to offer any gratuity. The usual gratuity for camp staff is USD20 – USD40 per guest per day
Specialist StaffSafari Guides and Butlers, it is USD20 – US50 per person per day, given directly to the person at the end of your stay at each camp
TrackersUSD5 per person given directly at the end your stay
Massage TherapistsWe recommend about USD5 – USD10 per treatment
Hotel StaysBaggage porterage is usually tipped (about USD2 – USD3 per guest per movement, depending on how much luggage). Tips for housekeeping are generally not expected unless significant services have been provided
Non–Safari TransfersE.G. airport–hotel: We recommend around USD5 – USD10 per guest per movement, minimum USD5 total

Safari Guru would like to emphasise that tipping is definitely not a requirement and should be undertaken only by choice, dependent on the service received. 

Climate, Clothing and Luggage

CLIMATE

Tanzania boasts a diverse climate that reflects its geographical variety, encompassing coastal areas, highland plateaus, and inland plains. The country generally experiences a tropical climate characterized by distinct wet and dry seasons.

Coastal Areas:

Along the eastern and southern coasts, including Zanzibar, the climate is typically tropical with high temperatures and humidity. The coastal regions enjoy a hot and humid climate throughout the year, with temperatures often exceeding 30°C (86°F). The coastal areas are influenced by the Indian Ocean, and short rains occur from November to December, while long rains typically fall from March to May.

Inland Plateaus:

The central highland plateaus, which include cities like Arusha and Dodoma, have a more temperate climate due to their elevation. Temperatures are milder compared to the coastal areas, and the region experiences a bimodal rainfall pattern. Short rains occur from October to December, and long rains prevail from March to May.

Northern and Western Regions:

Areas surrounding Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru, as well as the western regions, exhibit a climate influenced by their elevation. These areas can be cooler, especially at higher altitudes, with temperatures varying depending on the altitude. Short rains typically fall from October to December, while long rains are experienced from March to May.

Southern and Eastern Plains:

The plains in the south and southeast, including the famous Serengeti, experience a distinct dry season and a wet season. The dry season, from June to October, is characterized by minimal rainfall and cooler temperatures. The wet season, from November to May, brings higher temperatures and occasional heavy rains, nurturing the lush landscapes.

Northern Wildlife Parks:

The renowned northern wildlife parks, such as the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Conservation Area, follow a similar climatic pattern. The dry season is a popular time for wildlife viewing, as animals gather around water sources, while the wet season transforms the plains into verdant landscapes.

Overall, Tanzania’s climate diversity adds to the allure of the country, offering a range of experiences for travellers and supporting its rich ecosystems and wildlife. Visitors are advised to consider regional variations and plan their trips accordingly to make the most of Tanzania’s natural wonders.

CLOTHING

Neutral coloured casual clothing (shorts/shirts) for everyday wear, one pair of stout shoes (with soles thick enough to protect against thorns and for walking), one pair of open sandals, a light waterproof jacket for summer, warm jumper/ fleece for winter, warm long trousers for winter, two sets of good casual clothes for evening dining where appropriate, swimming costume, a pair of sturdy gardening gloves if camping – very useful for collecting firewood etc.  A small day pack is also useful to take with you on day hikes etc.

LUGGAGE 

Luggage, including camera equipment and hand luggage, is restricted per person travelling on seat rates to 15kg (33lbs). This includes carry–on luggage and camera equipment. ALL bags must be soft–sided as they have to be manoeuvred in and out of light aircraft holds. Maximum dimensions 30 cm (11.8in) wide x 35 cm (13.8 in) high and 70 cm (27.5 in) long. Please keep in mind that the baggage compartments on the light aircraft are small and often an irregular shape, so the pilots must have the ability to manipulate the bag into the compartment. PLEASE DO NOT USE HARD CASES. Hard suitcases and bags with wheels cannot physically fit into the aircraft.

We would also recommend waterproof or water-resistant duffel bags, as the game vehicles in which the luggage is transferred from the airstrip to the camp and vice versa don’t always have any rain protection and the loading and unloading of bags can occur on wet or damp remote airstrips and runways.

Cell Phones, Power, Photography and drones

CELL PHONES 

Tri–band cell phones on global roaming generally work in all major urban centres. However, they do not work in the majority of safari camps. 

POWER 

Camps are powered by regular electrical power, solar power or generators. Voltage is 220–240V. There is usually ample electricity to charge batteries for digital and video cameras, iPods etc., but not for use of hair dryers and electric shavers etc. In some camps, the facilities for charging batteries are in the main camp area rather than in a room. Many camps have an array of adaptor plugs. 

Where outlets are available, there are two associated plug types, types D and G. The voltage (220–240V) is similar to most of the world (excluding USA) and a voltage converter will generally not be required, unless you’re travelling with 110V (i.e. USA) appliances. A socket adaptor is usually all that is needed.

tanzania plug socket types safari

You are advised to bring a spare battery for use while the other one is being charged, a power converter/adaptor if applicable, cables for computers or cameras and additional flashcards. Serious digital photographers may wish to bring a mobile device for the  downloading of images.

DRONES 

Drone laws are continually changing, and if you are interested in bringing a drone on your trip, we recommend double-checking the rules for each country you will be travelling through immediately before departure.

For further research, please see Drone Laws by Country

Safari Guru’s Tanzania Safari Requirements and Packing List

Understand more about Packing for an African Safari

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DISCLAIMER: Please note that whilst we take every care to ensure the information contained herein is accurate, we cannot in any manner or form guarantee the accuracy and correctness thereof. The information is taken directly from relevant country government sources and the IATA travel centre, and can change at any time and without notice. You are therefore advised that any information contained herein should not be construed as a representation made by Safari Guru or its network of su

 

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