Know Before You Go TANZANIA & ZANZIBAR
Introduction The anticipation of your holiday should give you enormous pleasure. In order to ensure you are fully prepared for your next trip we have put together this document which contains essential information about the country you are soon to visit. We know that visa requirements and electrical currents are not the most scintillating of topics but we also know that being forewarned is forearmed and we would hate for you to come back from your holiday, thinking “if only Steppes had told me that!” Travelling should be inspirational but above anything else it should be fun. We hope this information takes care of the more mundane matters of planning a trip so that you can then focus on building up excitement levels pre-travel, safe in the knowledge you’ve got everything covered.
DID YOU KNOW? “Tanzania has the largest concentration of wildlife animals per square kilometre, with more than 4 million wild animals and representatives of 430 species and subspecies.”
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS When is the best time to see the wildebeest Migration?
How long are the flights to Tanzania? There are no direct flights available from London to Tanzania, however the flight time from London to Dar es Salam is approximately 11 hours in total.
What is the time Zone in Tanzania? GMT +3
Moving in a clockwise pattern the wildebeest migration enters Tanzania at 1 o’clock in late October, it then moves South through the Serengeti until the herds build up on the short grass plains of Ndutu in the South by January. Here they drop their calves throughout February before the rains come in late March. The herds then head North West to cross the Grumeti River in June before continuing North to cross the Mara River in July – completing the cycle.
What is the International dialling code for Tanzania? What should I take on safari?
Can I use my mobile phone in Tanzania? Roaming agreements exist with a few international mobile phone companies. Coverage is average. Please consider other guests when using your mobile phone at your lodge or camp. Phones are available at most hotels, lodges and restaurants. Public phones either operate with coins or cards.
Cotton layers such as t-shirts, a light fleece, shorts and a pair of long trousers are the key items. The temperature can vary quite a bit from the early morning game drive to the heat of the day. Sun screen, a hat and a swimming costume are the other necessities. It is best to avoid bright colours for a safari. Footwear should include a pair of sandals or flip flops and some walking shoes (trainers would be fine).
Do I need any immunisations or malaria tablets? How much luggage can I take? International airlines mostly work on an allowance of 23kg for checked bags and 1 piece of hand luggage. However if you are traveling by light aircraft between locations in Tanzania you will be allowed a total of 15kg including your hand luggage. This allowance is at the Captain’s discretion and will depend on whether the flight is full but we advise you to err on the side of caution and to assume that this is your weight limit.
Where can I find updates on the weather before my trip? Worldwide weather www.bbc.co.uk/weather
Can I use my credit card? Yes, some lodges will accept credit cards for purchases such as souvenirs. It is also wise to carry some cash for staff gratuities, US Dollars are gratefully received, there is no need to change money into Tanzania Shillings.
Yes, however the best person to speak to is your Doctor or Nurse Practitioner as the advice can change. Some parts of Tanzania are affected by malaria and you will need a course of tablets.
Can I charge my camera/phone on safari? Almost all safari lodges in Tanzania have either a generator or solar power. This will provide electricity to the camp, but you may not have plug points in your room. There will be somewhere that you can charge your camera or phone but this maybe in the main area or the Managers office.
LANGUAGE We feel that it is important to try to learn the native language, even if it is only the words for hello and goodbye, not forgetting thank you.
Hello What’s new?
I am well
Good bye Please
FOREIGN OFFICE ADVICE In association with the 'Know Before You Go’ campaign Steppes Travel are working with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) to do all that we can to help British travellers stay safe overseas. Please visit the Foreign Office website for any updates: www.gov.uk/knowbeforeyougo
Passports are required to be valid for at least 6 months beyond date of intended departure and are valid for 3 months. Most visitors require visas. Visas may be obtained either at the local consulate or at the point of entry at Dar es Salam, Kilimanjaro or Namanga for a fee. Please note: if you obtain a visa on arrival you should be prepared for some delay. Other nationals please check with the respective embassies or representatives.
For your safety and peace of mind, comprehensive travel insurance is required when travelling with Steppes Travel. We suggest the specialist travel insurance brokers Campbell Irvine. To arrange cover you can speak to our specialists or call Campbell Irvine on 020 7938 1734.
Please note that at all times it remains your responsibility to organise visas when required (unless otherwise specified by your consultant) although we are more than happy to advise, help and provide the relevant supporting documentation where necessary.
If you already have travel insurance then we require confirmation that your policy provides adequate cover for the duration of your trip, covers the full value of your invoice, is sufficient for the destination(s) you are visiting and includes medical, evacuation and repatriation cover. Please send your travel consultant the insurers name, policy number and emergency contact number.
HEALTH & SAFETY
There are no compulsory vaccinations required for entry into Tanzania or Zanzibar, unless travelling from Kenya, however we advise you to either check online at the Fit for Travel website www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk or with your local GP/ travel clinic regarding â€˜boostersâ€™ for standard immunisations such as Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A and Polio.
Travelling with Steppes Travel is a wonderful chance to experience a stunning array of cultures, landscapes, ecosystems and activities. At the heart of this experience are the differences between our respective ways of life. You should understand that this means that standards of health and safety will not be the same as in the UK and may often be lower. Please refer to our full health and safety information on our website under Travellers Code.
Pre-existing conditions We advise passengers who have specific medical requirements to consult with their doctor prior to departure and to obtain adequate supplies of any necessary medication that may be required whilst on tour. Please carry personal medication with you in your hand luggage (in line with current airline regulations), remembering to keep a copy of your prescription or the usage guidelines with you as well.
AIRPORT & FLIGHT INFORMATION • • • •
While travelling, please make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months. Have appropriate visa for your destination and transit points. Please note the date, time of your flight and also the time to arrive at the airport. Please be on time. Please advise if you have a special meal requests (fasting, vegetarian, medical, Muslim, baby food, etc…), while booking your flight or buying your ticket. Food items are not allowed to be carried in the cabin or inside the hand baggage. Please affix your name and address label on the baggage. It is also recommended to put the label in side of your checked in baggage to help us identify the bag in case the baggage tag/label attached outside is detached & lost. Please do not put valuable items such as money, jewellery, cameras and other expensive electronic items in your check-in baggage. If hand baggage is collected at the check-in counter or at the gate due to its size being above the allowed limit, the airline will not be liable for the damage and loss of valuable items in the baggage. Do not carry liquids or gels of over 100ml, toy or replica guns, razor blades, household cutlery, knives, scissors, knitting needles etc. in your hand baggage. For your own and the flight's safety and security, please do not accept any item from anyone as you will be held responsible & accountable for the contents of any of the items found in your custody.
ETIQUETTE & CULTURE
We have put together a small list of books that are set around Africa. Both fiction and non-fiction, they will help you establish an understanding and feel for East Africa.
The people of Tanzania are Muslim, Christian or Hindu and follow traditional beliefs.
Philip Briggs John Reader
Tanzania (Bradt Travel Guide) Africa: Biography of a Continent Javed Jafferji/Graham Mercer Tanzania: African Eden Tim Butcher Richard D. Estes
Blood River: A Journey to Africaâ€™s Broken Heart The Safari Companion
The Last Slave Market: Dr John Kirk and the Struggle to End the East African Slave Trade
ELECTRICITY Electric current in Tanzania is 230 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs may be round or square
three-pin, fused or unfused.
When meeting and parting, hands are always shaken; this applies throughout the country in both rural and urban areas. It is the convention to use the right hand, not the left, to shake hands or pass or receive anything. The people of Zanzibar are predominantly Muslim, about 95% of the population being followers of Islam. The remaining percentage is a mix of Christians, Hindus and followers of various other religions. Swahili is the official and national language of Tanzania but English is also spoken in Zanzibar. Airports, official residences and defence establishments should not be photographed. Permission should be obtained to photograph local people. Please be aware that you are travelling in a country where services and transport structures are very different from our own western viewpoints.
FOOD & DRINK It is very important that you drink plenty of water especially during the warmer months. Dehydration is possibly the single biggest cause of ill health on safari. Bottled water is available in most lodges/camps. It is generally recommended that guests drink at least 2 to 3 litres of water per day to limit the effects of dehydration. This excludes tea, coffee and alcoholic beverages, which act as diuretics and can actually contribute to dehydration.
We want your holiday to be unspoilt by food and drink related health problems, please… • •
The climate is tropical on the coast, on the islands and in the Selous. It is temperate in the other parks. Late March to late May is traditionally the long rainy season and is considered the winter period in Tanzania. June to late October is the dry season.
Avoid buffets in warm climates, and stick to dishes that have been freshly cooked and served, and not left hanging around in the warm. Do not buy food from roadside stalls unless you have seen it cooked in front of you. Stick to bottled water and make sure the seal is unbroken. Make sure that all fruit and vegetables eaten raw, are washed in boiled or bottled water before eating.
MONEY The local currency is the Tanzanian Shilling. However US$ is the preferred currency but please note that it is difficult to exchange US $ currency notes in small denominations that have been printed before the year 2009. To find the present, up to date currency rate of conversion for where you are travelling to, log on to: www.xe.com/ucc.
Credit cards VISA and MasterCard are normally accepted in the larger hotels, lodges, restaurants and shops in Tanzania, but not in safari camps. Note that reliance, especially away from major centres, should not be placed on credit card transactionsâ€™ being available at all places and clients should bring some cash
Tipping Tipping is not compulsory. If, however, you want to tip because you have received good service, below is a brief guideline to assist you. (The below amounts are only a guide and subject to exchange rates at the time of travelling) Camp /Specialist Guides General Safari Camp/Lodge staff Porterage Transfer driver/guides
US$20 per guest per day US$5 per guest per day to be placed in the communal tipping box to be distributed equally amongst all the staff. US$1 per person per movement US$2 per person
Giving money Whilst the giving of money is a matter of personal preference or conscience, Steppes Travel feels that it is best to give a donation to a proper charitable entity, as opposed to freely giving cash to individuals.
RESPONSIBLE TOURISM Just because we believe travel should be of benefit to both traveller and the host country, that doesn’t mean having fun is frowned upon. On the contrary, it is positively encouraged and because you’ll feel like you’re giving something back to the local people, wildlife and environment, you’ll have even more to smile about. Our policy is that we endeavour:
In return we ask you:
To work with privately owned companies and hotels rather than state owned or foreign companies in the countries that you visit. • To support a number of charities which promote a wide range of education programmes together with environmental and community projects in the countries we visit. When possible, we encourage you to visit these initiatives. • To encourage travellers to visit unspoilt areas of the world where low impact tourism can have a hugely beneficial effect. • To take you beyond the ordinary, to local markets or community craft schemes rather than large corporation tourist shops so that your money benefits those who need it most. Our ‘responsible policy’ is not just limited to the destinations in which we operate. Responsible practice is exercised in our office with various measures put in place aimed at reducing, re-using and recycling resources where possible.
To be sympathetic to local customs, traditions and idiosyncrasies, which to us might seem strange. To be aware of local resources, particularly water and its purity, and treat them with care. To be generous in relation to local monetary values, but do not over tip To give money where it is needed and not to hordes of children. Handing out gifts creates an air of expectancy and exacerbates the problem. Far better to give items such as pens to teachers. To not buy goods that will have a detrimental effect on either wildlife or the environment however beautiful or plentiful they may seem. It only encourages others. You are encouraged to report back on your experience and on the behaviour and awareness of our agents and local guides on your return. Only in this way can we improve and ensure our demands are being met.
We are committed to developing our Policy of Responsible Practice even further in the future. Our aim is to continually incorporate new responsible practices into our business at all levels and encourage our suppliers to do the same.
USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS
British High Commission British High Commission in Tanzania Umoja House, Garden Avenue, P.O. Box 9200 Dar es Salaam Tanzania
+255 (0) 22 229 0000
www.malariahotspots.co.uk www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk
The Visa Service
Identity and Passport Service
Health and Vaccinations Malaria Hotspots Foreign & Commonwealth Office advice Fit for travel
Passport and Visa requirements
Flights Airline information
Currency Currency converter
WHAT TO PACK You will have your own ideas from past experiences regarding your personal list of ‘utterly indispensables’ and favourite items, so the following are our suggestions to supplement your own packing list.
Soft bag between 45-70 litres
20-litre daypack, for keeping everyday items handy
Field Guides/pocket language guide
Passport and photocopy (keep photocopies separate)
Good quality sunglasses, preferably polarised
Itinerary & Airline reference number
Camera, memory cards, cleaning materials, spare batteries
Copy of insurance policy
Diary, note pad, pens, reading material
Torch with spare batteries and bulb
Emergency contact numbers
Waterbottle – 1 ltr
International vaccination card where relevant (i.e Yellow Fever Certificate)
*Please keep your photocopies separate from your originals.
Clothing • • • • • • • • • •
Base-layer: T-shirts and vests Outer-layer: wind/waterproof jacket/ Mid-layer: Fleece or sweatshirt Comfortable walking boots or trainers Long trousers suitable for walking. Pockets helpful 2/3 Long-sleeved shirts Wide-brimmed sun hat Pac-A-Mac Socks / underwear Mid –layer: Fleece or jumper Walking sandals
Medical equipment • • • • • • •
Personal medical travel kit Personal prescription medicines Insect repellent Lip salve Spare prescription glasses Contact lens & cleaners Sunscreen
Please remember that the early mornings and evenings can be cool, so please ensure you pack enough warm clothes. It is advisable not to wear black or brightly coloured clothing on safari. Camouflage clothing is not recommended for travel in African countries.
USEFUL TRAVEL APPS
XE Currency Know how much youâ€™re spending with live updates.
Google translate Translates between 64 languages, with audio too.
Evernote Food Document recipes you love as you travel.
Map My Walk Calculate your duration, distance, pace and speed.
Weather reports for up to two million locations.
Pin on a map to record locations youâ€™ve discovered.
Follow detailed paths of thousands of flights.
Access to emergency services & health advice.
A pocket scanner for all your important documents.
Tipulator Nifty tip calculator, also helps to split bills easily.
Flashlight Simple gadget, always handy for travelling.
Virtual scrapbook, geotagging pictures & videos.
WhatsApp Messenger Free to send pictures, videos & sound clips over wifi
Viber International calls and messaging for free.
Packing suggestions based on your destination.
Pocket Wikitravel, internet connection not required.
THE STEPPES TRAVEL GROUP 51 CASTLE STREET CIRENCESTER GLOUCESTERSHIRE GL7 1QD
T +44 (0)1285 880 980 F +44 (0)1285 885 888 ENQUIRY@STEPPESTRAVEL.COM WWW.STEPPESTRAVEL.COM