6 Things to Know When Travelling Tanzania
Well known for its several different climates with beautiful turquoise beaches, lush mountain vistas, wild jungles, and an seemingly endless variety of plants, there is something for everyone. Tanzania is the country that has become synonymous with Mount Kilimanjaro, and Zanzibar. And who could forget the iconic scene where Mufasa tells his son that, "Everything the light touches is our kingdom" while overlooking the breath-taking Serengeti plains.
But to get a better understanding of this multifaceted country, we have put together a few things for you to keep in mind while travelling.
1. Don’t Drink the Tap Water In general it is always a good idea to be careful with drinking the tap water when traveling to another country. You can choose to boil the water before drinking, however, in Tanzania it is definitely safer to buy bottles of water. Bottled water is cheap and readily available. You can expect to pay anywhere from 1000 - 2000 shilling (0.43 - 0.86 Euros) per 1,5 Litres. And remember to drink a lot during the day!
Just as it is important to stay hydrated due to the warm climate, you should also remember, to frequently apply sunscreen. You can invest in an eco friendly sun cream which does not contain harmful chemicals and with which you can actively help to protect our oceans.
3. Currency of Tanzania
The national currency of Tanzania is the Tanzanian Shilling. At the time of writing this entry, the exchange rate is around 2299 shillings to $1 USD. There are ATMs in most major towns, although almost all of them have a high withdrawal fee (8000-15000 shilling).
The Ecobank however does not charge fees. USD is accepted at many tourist hotspots in Tanzania, but it is common to receive a bad exchange rate. You may want to leave your credit cards tucked away, since they are rarely accepted outside of tourist hotspots and hotels. Cash is therefore essential. 4. Tipping
There are different recommendations for how much to tip depending on what activities you have planned. A rough estimation of a recommended tip is about 20.000 - 23.000 TZS (10 USD) per person per day. When doing a mountain climb, it is rather normal to tip more, because you have two guides, a cook and four porters, who take care of your baggage. For this we would recommend a tip starting from 65 dollars per person per day. If you are choosing to do just regular day trips, then it is also suggested to tip around 10 dollars per person. In restaurants however, we would advice you to just round up to a full amount, and even 1.000 TZ (0,5 USD) will be will be greatly appreciated and put a smile on most waiters' faces. 5. Safety
Just as in any other place, robbery and thievery do take place. So we want to give you a few advises on the way, and how you can stay safe with just a few safety precautions in mind: Take a taxi instead of the local dala-dala after sundown, do not wear the most expensive jewellery you have, and just generally stick to common-sense safety percussions. If you keep these tips in mind, you will be fine.
6. Internet and Wi-Fi
This might surprise you, but there is actually quite well functioning internet in Tanzania. Of course, generally speaking, the connection around Africa is poor. In Tanzania however, the 3G connections is impressive. Unfortunately, there can still be times when it is unstable. You can chose to buy a SIM card, which cost 1.000 TZS and for 12 GB data you will pay around 35.000 TZS.
Now that you know all this you are ready for you next adventure!