Your holiday is approaching, and it is time to think of preparations !
On this page, you will find practical information ensuring that your holiday enrolls in the most ideal conditions. At the bottom of this page, you will find the check-lists of the minimum items to take with, to ensure a flawless time in this beautiful country.
Tanzania enjoys a peaceful political climate : people are kind, curious, joyful, helpful. However, African culture and Tanzania’s for our current concern, remains very different from ours. Always keep in mind that as Occidental tourists, we are inevitably rich.
In Zanzibar and namely on the beach, you will most probably be approached by locals who will want to sell you excursions, sunglasses, local jewellry and other fridge magnets. On our standards, they can become quite insistent… As far as we are concerned, telling then nicely, yet firmly, that we are not interested has always worked well.
Zanzibar is mainly Muslim, most women are veiled or at least cover their heads. Swim suits are luckily perfectly fine on the beach, however when going into town, it is recommended to cover one’s shoulders.
IMPORTANT NOTICE : AS OF 1ST JUNE 2019, SINGLE USE PLASTIC IS PROHIBITED IN TANZANIA !
PLEASE PACK ACCORDINGLY AS CHECKS WILL BE PERFORMED.
Firstly, we recommend that you visit a tropical medicine centre :
In Lausanne : “Polyclinique Médicale Universitaire at the CHUV, Av. du Bugnon in Lausanne (website)
In Geneva : HUG, rue Gabrielle-Perret-Gentil 6, 1205 Genève (website)
You will find more information according to your region HERE.
Alternatively, you can make an appointment with your MD, mentioning your destination so that he can ensure he has the appropriate vaccination at hand.
The website Safe Travels will provide you with all relevant information (unfortunately not in English).
The same website will provide you with vaccination recommandations, for :
diphtheria | tetanus | poliomyelitis | measles |hepatitis A | yellow fever.
Although recommended in particular situations, the following vaccines can be prescribed : hepatitis B | typhoid | rabies | cholera.
You will receive more info during your visit either at the Policlinique or at your MD’s.
The risk of malaria varies according to the region and the season; it is not high in Zanzibar but in any case, you need to protect yourself againstmosquito bites.
As a general rule, it is always better to have with you anti-malaria medication, that you can take in case you catch a fever.
MEDICATION TO TAKE WITH
You will find below a list of medication that I always take with me when going to Tanzania or Zanzibar, even if I hardly ever use any.
I suggest that you call your MD, informing him of your destination so that he can send you a prescription for the following medication :
– Panadol (or any other paracetamol)
– Anti-inflammatory (irfen, ibuprofen or other)
– Itinerol B6 (if you get sea-sick)
– Buscopan (or other, against abdominal cramps)
– Anti-nausea and vomitting (Primperan or similar)
– Immodium (anti-diarrhoea)
– Fenistil gel or any other cream to soothe insect bites or skin allergies
– Parapic (pain relief in case of insect bites)
– Band aid
– Elastic bandage
– ANTI BRUMM RED (anti-mosquitoes)
To avoid mosquito bites :
– Light (coloured) trousers
– Long sleeves T-shirt
And more generally :
– Long sleeves sweater
– Light warm jacket (nights can be fresh)
– Sun tan lotion (protection 50 or 30 min)
– Trainers or any type of comfortable light closed shoes
To avoid mosquito bites, same as for safari.
And more generally :
– Sun tan lotion protection 50 (the light breeze of the Indian Ocean are misleading, the sun is very strong) C
– After sun lotion
– Shorts, bermudas
– Flip-flops and river shoes (to walk on the ocean bed at low tide)
TOILETRIES & OTHERS
During your safari and outside of the large towns, as well as in Zanzibar, it will be very difficult to find items that we consider common (shower gel, shampoo, deodorant,etc). When you find them, they will most probably be more expensive than in Switzerland. Therefore, I always take with what I use daily.
Note that your maximum luggage weight allowance for all internal flights will be 20 kgs.
– Gel douche
– Shampoo and other cosmetics
– Hair brush
– Tooth brush and tooth paste
– Plug adaptor (UK plugs are used in Tanzania)
– USB hub plugs
– Multiple plug (that I use to plug on the adaptor)
– Chargers and USB cables : telephone, i-pad, camera, electronic cigarette, etc)
– SD cards for camera (emptied and formatted)
– Paper copy of your passport and vaccination certificate.
Local curreny is the Tanzanian Shilling (TSH), which you cannot obtain in Europe. You will be able to withdraw TSH in local bancomats (ATM).
Euros and USD are aslo widely used (1 EUR – TSH 2600) and USD (1 USD – TSH 2300) approximately.
Please consider that USD 100 and 50 notes will be changed at a more favourable rate than any of the smaller notes. USD notes printed before 2007 will not be changed anywhere.
We advise that you pay in USD or EUR when you can.
You will need one 50 USD note per person to obtain your Tanzanian visa at your arrival airport.
Last time we went to Tanzania, withdrawing money from ATM machines was only possible with bank cards that had codes of 4 digits only. Make sure that you change your code prior to your departure, if it is a 6 digits code.
Since a couple of years, withdrawing money with a Swiss bank card is limited to the equivalent of CHF 200 per day in Africa. In Northern Tanzania, everything will be prepaid, except for the extras. You will easily find ATMs in Aruha and Karatu.
However, in Zanzibar, ATMs are only available in Stone Town (and they do not all work). The distances are not great but time consuming. Therefore, if you need cash, we advise that you either withdraw in the North or ask your driver to drive you to an ATM at your arrival at the airport after having planned your spendings and cash need.
In hotels, lodges, restaurants you should be able to pay with a credit card : note that a 2-5 % transaction fee is added to any payment via credit card.
Always be vigilant when withdrawing cash (Tanzanian shillings) at ATMs !
FOOD & DRINKS
Tap water is very seldom drinkable on our standards. Therefore, drink bottled mineral water only!
In Tanzania and Zanzibar, any bottle will be brought to your table sealed, and the waiter will ask your authorisation to open it in front of you.
In your hotel, the food is obviously adapted to Europeans. Outside of your hotel, refrain from eating any salad composed of vegetables that have not been peeled (ie cabbage, carrots are OK, even though I never recommend salads in local restaurants). Do not eat fruit that you cannot peeled, unless you rinse them with bottled mineral water before you eat them.
Should you wish to try local restaurants, always ask the waiter whether the food is adapted for Europeans.
READY TO TRAVEL ? Then...
When you arrive in Tanzania at Kilimanjaro airport, you will go through customs formalities.
You will have been given a form to fill in during your flight, which you will handover to the customs officer. After having paid USD 50 per person, your passport will be stamped with a tourist Tanzanian visa.
After having picked up your luggage, your driver will welcome you and drive you to your hotel for the night.
From then on, he will manage your safari. Remember that your chauffeur-guide is here for to ensure that you have an incredible holiday, and also to ensure your comfort and safety. Therefore, if you wish to stop for something particular on the way, feel free to ask him !
Out of principle, we ask our driver-guides not to stop at every “curio shop” on the way. Should you want to visit one, kindly ask him to stop.
In Tanzania, except in shops where the prices are labelled, EVERYTHIN IS NEGOTIABLE ! And this includes taxis… As a general rule, I divide by half the proposed price, then negiotiations start and can take a considerable amoutn of time. In any case, if the price that you propose is too low, the seller will stop the discussion right away.
As a general rule, do not leave your valuables (camera, electronic devices, cash, bank card, passport) in your room, unless it has a safe. Always ask your driver-guide if it is ok to leave your valuables in the car.
DO FOLLOW SAFETY & SECURITY INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN BY YOUR DRIVER-GUIDE AT ALL TIMES !
In Zanzibar, ask your hotel reception if your valuables are safe in your room, and keep the room to your door locked at all times.
For your information, nothing ever got stolen from me when I was not in any of the rooms in which I’ve stayed, and I’ve travelled to Tanzania some 30 times so far….
As a general rule, do not go out alone at night ! Refrain on wearing jewellery, expensive wathches, do not go to places where there is no one around, and avoid all crowds gatherings.
Bank cards / credit cards
One USD 50 note per person (visa)
Paracétamol | anti-inflammatory | Itinerol B6 | Buscopan |Primperan | Immodium | Cream/gel against insect bites| Parapic | band-aid | bande de gaze | elastic bandage | ANTI BRUMM RED
Long and light coloured trousers | socks | long sleeves T-shirt | sweater | light jacket | bermuda, shorts | cap | sun glasses
Shower gel | shampoo and hair care | tooth brush and tooth paste | sun tan lotion 50 | after sun lotion
Adaptors| USB hub| multiple plug | charger and USB cables | SD card for camera photos | camera