Your go-to guide
The Dos and Don'ts of Travelling in Tanzania
Africa is a hugely vast continent that varies every which way you go. But, if it’s your first time to this part of the world then you may be looking for some general travel guidance. Largely known for being the home to the iconic Serengeti and the world-renowned Kilimanjaro, Tanzania’s wild beauty lures thousands of discerning travellers from near and far to its signature acacia dotted plains year upon year. If you’re thinking of being one of them, or have already booked your trip, here are some simple tips to help you get by.
Do sort out your visa
Don’t panic (or maybe do if you’ve left it until less than 10 days before departure), but you will need a visa to travel to Tanzania. Make sure it’s the right visa for your travel, that it’s valid for the length and purpose of your stay and that you have at least six months left on your passport from the date of application. Head to immigration.go.tz for up-to-date info.
Do check which injections you need
Make sure that you’ve not only had the right injections, but also got your hands on some malaria tablets before travelling. Six weeks before travel is the ideal time to have this sorted by, but if you’ve left it later than that it’s still worth booking in to see your local GP.
Do bring a good camera
You’re going on a safari, so a phone just won’t cut it for this one. We mean, it would be hard to convince all your mates back home that you saw a leopard if all that you can see is a spotted smudge. And the proof is in the pictures right? It didn’t happen if you didn’t Instagram it? Ok, we’re just messing with you. If you’re doing a safari for the memories alone, then you’re doing it right. However, if you would like to snap some epic pics whilst you’re at it, then we really do recommend investing in a camera with a good zoom. Even a simple point and shoot will do and then you’ll have yourself a versatile camera that can accompany you on all of your future adventures, from city breaks to coastal retreats.
Do dress for the occasion
When else would you get to go all out safari? Walking shoes, binoculars and your best khaki get-up (which includes a snazzy safari hat of course), should be top of your packing list. And, no we’re not trying to make you look a fool. Ok, so if you don’t own binoculars we wouldn’t worry about buying any – your guide will have some to hand for you to borrow – but it really is advisable to wear neutral toned clothes as anything too brash could cause animals to shy away. The aim of this game is to be as unassuming as possible, duh. Oh and bring layers because early mornings in the savanna can get chilly.
Do remember mozzie spray
Mosquito bites are never a good look and worse than that, they leave you uncomfortably itchy for days – not ideal when you’ve got a week’s worth of game drives ahead of you. An insect repellent may just be your new best friend for this holiday. And remember, although it seems as though these pesky insects only come out to play at dusk, you are in actual fact a juicy target 24 hours a day. Look at it like sun cream. Apply regularly and make sure to top up after having been for a shower/dip in the pool.
Don’t drink anything that’s not bottled
As that age old saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry. And in Tanzania, this goes for the tap water. Bottled, or filtered water will always be available, so make that your go-to for both drinking and brushing your teeth. Ice and salad (that may have been washed in tap water) are also good ones to avoid, but when eating in lodges we wouldn’t fret over it as they know what they’re doing.
Don’t fear the food
More than equipped for catering to even the fussiest of pallets, you’d struggle to find a lodge in which you didn’t like the food. Whether you choose to throw yourself wholeheartedly into the local cuisine – think grilled meats and endless ugali – or, would prefer to stick to what you know, there will be plenty of options. All that’s left for you to do is tuck in.
Don’t forget to get your beauty sleep
You’ll want to be on the ball for those early morning game drives and no amount of coffee (and Tanzania is known for its excellent coffee) will cancel out a late night. With your alarm being set as early as 5am some days, you’ll have to be in bed by 9pm to get your recommended quota of eight hours. Plus, if you get a good night’s sleep, you won’t waste any of the day napping when you could be soaking up the sights and sounds of the incredible surrounds. We for one, would definitely be making use of the pool between game drives.
Don’t bring any plastic bags into the country
Yep, that means that the little plastic bag that you had to put your hand luggage liquids in as you departed the UK has to be left on the plane too. As of 1st June 2019, Tanzania are proudly going plastic-bag-free and we’re all for it! Avoid bringing in plastic and you’ll avoid any fines, simples.
Don’t take pictures of people without their permission
Much like pointing or staring, taking pictures of people without their permission is a massive no-no. Although it’s perfectly fine to be intrigued by the tribal cultures of Tanzania and therefore want to photograph tribal people, it’s always best to ask first. Nine times out of ten, the locals will happily oblige, or even ask you if you’d like to pose for a photo with them. As far as tourists are concerned, they know the drill. Where appropriate (or should you feel it necessary) a small gesture of money, or purchasing a souvenir from said people would demonstrate your gratitude.