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Things To Remember In Tanzania

Tipping: Is not mandatory but the prevalent etiquette is to give something for “chai” or “Soda” (tea or a soft drink). A decent tip would be around 10% of your bill.

When lost: People are generally eager to help tourists with directions. So if you are lost or lost your map, don’t hesitate to ask to locals as they are generally friendly and helpful.

Security: Tanzania & Zanzibar are safe places. As one would generally do when travelling anywhere, be cautious when travelling alone, at night and in the cities or quiet places, do not leave your belongings unattended and mind your gadgets (camera’s, phones, etc) when walking through busy streets or areas.

Best time to travel: July – September as they are the coolest times of the year (23°C – 28°C) on the coast

Beach boys: Also known as papasi, they pose as tour guides. Beach boys are considered a great nuisance and a source of harassment for tourists. Although some may be offering genuine tours, they are usually not registered tour guides and can and will be likely to rip you off. Avoid buying in on their service and a simple “No, Thank you” can usually be enough to buffer them.

Zanzibar: Is a conservative society. So kindly be sure to dress with the utmost consideration of the people of Zanzibar. Avoid sunbathing in the Stone Town

What to Expect When Travelling In Tanzania & Zanzibar

People:

Particularly in Tanzania and Zanzibar, people are very friendly. In many parts children get very excited upon seeing you, will cheerfully scream out “mzungu”-meaning, tourist, foreigner- and wave. Otherwise even adults will greet you with a “jambo” which is a touristy way of saying hello –short version of Hujambo, meaning How are you? Greet people back as if you do not, they will consider it very rude. Greet people when walking into shops or establishments of any sort. A bonus smile will be appreciated.

Accommodation

Finding accommodation in Tanzania is fairly easy. Many lodge companies or operators have websites and/ or are accessible online via email. It is recommended that you organise your accommodation before your departure for Tanzania and particularly in peak seasons (July-September, December-January and Easter) as hotels can be fully booked or leave you opting for a less favourable choice of accommodation.

Travelling Around:

Tanzania is a fairly large country and many roads connecting the major towns and cities are tarred. However, roads are gravel roads and may have pot holes which could result in some delays. If you do experience any delay and unless you are travelling independently, rest assured that your guides are experienced and when planning any trip they factor in these delays and incidents.

The Roads in Zanzibar are almost all entirely tarred. Very few gravel dusty roads which are generally through villages and are no more than 5-8 km long. Traffic in Zanzibar however is dominated by local transport, bicycles and motorbikes and the driving is rather reckless at times this is paired with cattle crossings on the roads from one side to the other. So when driving around Zanzibar, be patient and drive slowly.

Tap Water

In Tanzania and Zanzibar is safe and clean but is not suitable for drinking. You will find mineral water in every shop, stall or even roadside vendors. Make sure your water bottles are sealed.

Communications

Many cafes, restaurants and hotels have WiFi internet and internet cafes are available in almost all major towns and cities. There are other options as well where you can purchase an affordable dongle from local service providers or an internet package for your iPad.

Cell phone companies are competitive and will have towers for coverage in almost all towns, villages, and cities as it is for many villages the sole form of communication and money transfers.

You can easily purchase a cellphone and a SIM card for your phone. Just bring along your Identity Cards or Passport to the service provider’s office and get connected in minutes at a mere $0. 50 cents.

Tanzania and Zanzibar use Metric measures.

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