We don’t like added extras, so our tour and independent and extension package prices include entrance to all national parks and reserves.
A day on safari
Safari is the quintessential African experience. Whether you're spotting lions in the Maasai Mara, or tracking wildebeest in the Ngorongoro Crater - every day is a new adventure.
Did you know?
- Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest mountain, is located in Tanzania.
- Ngorongoro Crater is the largest complete crater in the world.
- Tanzania has more than 100 different tribal groups.
- Lake Manyara National Park is home to the world’s only tree climbing lions.
- The earliest remains of humans (including the legendary 2-million-year-old Homo habilis) were found in Olduvai Gorge.
- Sadly, Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world. Its economy is mainly an agricultural one, with the most popular crops being coffee, cotton, tea and sisal.
- Dar es Salaam is the former capital of Tanzania, and is still the economic and political hub.
- Tanzania’s biggest raw exports are gold, cashew nuts and cotton.
Visas & Passports
Due to the ongoing pandemic, we anticipate visa and passport requirements may change for many countries once Australia lifts the current travel ban. Please check back or contact your consultant for more information.
We require that your passport is valid for travel for at least six months from the date you are planning to return to Australia. Your passport must be valid to travel internationally and must be machine-readable. You also need to carry a valid return ticket on you.
Whether travelling on an Australian passport or the passport of another country, all travellers require visas for a number of countries, and it is your responsibility to secure what may be required before departing Australia. You can consult with your travel agent, but it is also recommended that you check the foreign embassy website for your respective destination as it can also provide you with useful information.
The Australian High Commission in Kenya is responsible for Tanzania:
Australian High Commission, Nairobi
Limuru Road, Rosslyn
Ph. +254 20 4277 100
Fax. +254 20 4277 139
Tanzanian Shilling (TZS; symbol TSh) is the official currency of Tanzania. Notes are in denominations of TSh10,000, 5000, 2,000, 1,000 and 500.
The recommended currency to take to Tanzania is the USD. Advise your bank of your travel plans so that they can make a note of it, otherwise they may cancel your credit card as a safety measure due to the overseas transactions. Also make a note of the 24-hour emergency contact number of the bank or building society which issued your credit card in the unlikely event that your card is lost or stolen.
Whenever possible use ATMs when the banks are open (Mon – Fri) so that if a machine ‘eats’ your card you can then deal with it straight away. It is always advisable to carry a supply of cash in addition to your credit card.
If you don’t have Shillings with you on arrival, we advise you to exchange some money into the local currency at the airport even if the exchange rate is not the best, this way you’ll have money to get a drink, snack or give a tip during those first few hours of arrival. Your guide will be able to advise you on the best places to exchange money.
Small change is also useful for paying for toilets while on tour which is customary in many places outside of Australia.
- The price of a cappuccino in Dodoma is approximately 2.15 USD
- The price of an inexpensive lunch is approximately 7 USD
- The price dinner in a moderate restaurant is approximately 43 USD
- The price of a domestic beer in a local pub is approximately 1 USD
Tanzanian food is often very high quality, and ugali is considered a staple food in Tanzania. Made from boiled cornmeal paste, similar to polenta, it is served will every meal and traditionally eaten with your fingers, forming it into an edible spoon to scoop up whatever else it has been served with!
Other local specialties include Mtori, a stew of beef and bananas, and Mchicha, a vegetable stew that sometimes has meat or fish added. Chipsi mayai, Swahili for ‘chips and eggs’, is simply a French fry omelette, sometimes appearing all on its own, other times with onions and capsicum. Kachumbari salad is often served as a side dish, a tangy salad of tomatoes, onions and chillies. For those with a sweet tooth, try the vitumba, a sweet dense pancake that is dusted with sugar or cinnamon, and mandazi, a type of fluffy fried bread that is similar to a donut. Another popular snack is ndizi kaanga, fried slices of plantain that can be found either seasoned with salt or sugar.
Northern Tanzania is home to some excellent coffee plantations, so it shouldn’t take much to get a good coffee, and chai maziwa is a local chai drink well worth a try, although it is very sweet. Local beers include Kibo Gold, Kilimanjaro, and Serengeti Lager, and the local banana beer is mbege. Konyagi is an alcoholic drink particular to Tanzania made from a type of gin.
Important: When dining at buffets (i.e. breakfast), please refrain from taking food away with you to ‘save’ for later! If you feel that you’ll need snacks between meals, pack some dried fruit, nuts, muesli bars etc.
If you have specific food allergies and/or preferences, we highly recommend you take every precaution before your tour, including carrying a small card with your food allergy listed in each language of every country you are travelling to show to table staff when ordering. Whilst we take all dietary requirements seriously, due to the serious nature of potential allergic reactions, it is your responsibility to be as prepared as possible.
Want to get out and explore on your own?
Taxis in Tanzania are rare and generally not recommend for safety reasons, although most major cities have shared minivan taxis. Generally, they only depart once they are full to overflowing, which can make for an interesting trip. Walking in a group is probably the safest way to see the sights in cities and villages.
When catching taxis, make sure you have small change on you and choose one with a meter, if it doesn’t have one then negotiate the price before getting in. We recommend you ask your guide or hotel staff the names of reputable taxi companies.
So, you’d love to bring home a special souvenir from Tanzania…
In Tanzania, many places have stalls and markets selling souvenirs to tourists including beaded jewellery, wood carvings, leather goods, woven blankets and masks. Special to Tanzania are the Tinga Tinga paintings, which are very distinctive with their bright colours and designs, and make great souvenirs. Textiles including kanga and kikoys are brightly patterned fabrics that can be worn as sarongs or headscarves. If you are in the market for gemstones, the blue/purple Tanzanite is mined solely in Tanzania, and prices are generally slightly cheaper in Arusha as it is mined nearby. Again, bargaining is expected, but not haggling too hard is a good way to help the local community.
- When giving or receiving an item from somebody else, always do it with your right hand, the left hand is considered dirty. If eating with your fingers, ensure you are eating with the fingers of your right hand. Eating with your left hand is considered extremely bad manners.
- Tanzanians are generally not too affectionate between the sexes. Two people of the same sex may touch, but it’s not the norm with the opposite sex.
- For women, both dresses and shorts should be worn below the knee. Tanzania, as a rule, is a very conservative country.
- Tanzanians will express themselves in the politest way possible. Instead of being direct about what they require, they will often approach it in a roundabout fashion with lengthy explanations before getting to the heart of the matter.
- Always travel with others, especially after dark. Travelling in groups of three of four is strongly advised. Keep to well-lit, public places such as shopping malls and restaurants. Be aware of your surroundings at all times, as street crimes are commonplace.
- Keep identification on you at all times – a photocopy of your passport page is sufficient.
- Don't take photos indiscriminately. Many people object to having their pictures taken, so ask permission first. Military installations, airports and bridges should never be photographed.
- Don’t carry around nonessentials and valuables. Use your hotel safe and don't flash expensive jewellery, watches and cameras.
Celebrations & Public Holidays
Tanzania is a land of many cultures, contrasts and colour, and their festivals are no different. With over 100 different tribes, plus Muslims and Christians, there are celebrations year-round. In January, the Wanyambo Festival in northern Dar es Salaam showcases the local culture with traditional dancing, music, costumes and food. March brings the Nyama Choma Festival to Dar es Salaam and Arusha, the largest barbeque festival around. Nyama Choma literally translates to ‘roasted meat’ in Swahili!
Unification Day on 26 April celebrates the union between Tanzania and Zanzibar with parades and cultural events taking place all over the country. Zanzibar hosts the week-long Zanzibar International Film Festival in July, the largest film and arts festival in East Africa. Also in July is the Serengeti Cultural Festival, a celebration of traditional art and dance in the Serengeti National Park.
Mwaka Kogwa, or Shirazi (Persian) New Year, starts with a banana stalk ‘fight’ between the village men to vent their aggressions from the last year, these stalks are then burned to start the new year fresh, while the women dress up and sing traditional songs about family, love and joy. At the end, there is a massive feast to celebrate and dance the night away.
Other national public holidays to be aware of include:
- New Year’s Day
- Zanzibar Revolution Day (12th January)
- Good Friday
- Karume Day (7th April)
- Unification Day (26th April)
- Worker’s Day (1st May)
- Eid-al-Fitri Holiday
- Saba Saba (7th July)
- Eid al-Hajj
- Nane Nane/Farmer’s Day (8th August)
- Mwalimu Nyerere Day (14th October)
- Independence Day (9th December)
- Christmas Day
- Boxing Day
Dubbed the safari capital of northern Tanzania, Arusha is the central point if you want to take off on a safari or visit Tanzania’s highest peak, Mt Kilimanjaro, some 100 kilometres to the north of Arusha. Due to its elevation and position nestled in the foothills of Mount Meru, it is mostly lush and green and enjoys a temperate climate year-round. The town itself offers lots of nice restaurants and cafes, bars and as many or as few tourist shopping opportunities as you’d like. Photo by Gudkov Andrey
Lake Manyara is nestled on the base of the lovely Rift Valley Escarpment and, not only is it scenically beautiful, but it's also full of incredible African fauna and flora. Dense forests flow into grassy plains and a brimming lake when the floodwaters are high, all with the picturesque Maasai Steppes as a backdrop. Photo by Ray Rui
Believed to have been created by the implosion of a massive volcano around 3 million years ago, the Ngorongoro Crater is an incredible and stunningly beautiful highland area and home to the highest density of big game species in Africa. As a conservation area, it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and, it's the largest unflooded and unbroken caldera in the world. Photo by Jeff Lemond
Serengeti National Park
Located in northern Tanzania, the Serengeti is known for its treeless plains that allow your eyes' sight to see uninterrupted kilometres to the Ngorongoro Crater that rises from the horizon in the distance. Rocky outcrops, known as kopjes, are studded around the area is often a popular spot for lions to laze their days away. Cheetahs also favour the Serengeti and can often be seen sitting atop old termite mountains, scanning for its next meal. Photo by Mike Holford
Small Group Tours
The best of both worlds awaits you on this one-of-a-kind tour, venturing through three unique countries. Immerse yourself in the ancient wonders of Egypt, relax on the beaches of Zanzibar and spot endless wildlife in Kenya.
Independent Tours & Extensions
Spend time relaxing and exploring on the exotic spice island of Zanzibar. Just off the coast of Tanzania, it has some of the world’s best white sand beaches – perfect for strolling along or kicking back and simply soaking up some sun.