Africa is synonymous with safaris, and safaris are synonymous with Tanzania. Home to the legendary Serengeti plains, Tanzania is where you go to see the Big Five (elephant, lion, Cape buffalo, leopard, rhino), or the great migration of a million wildebeest and hundreds of thousands of zebra with the great predators in their wake.
For some, Tanzania is home to the roof of Africa atop the snow-capped peaks of Mt. Kilimanjaro. For those who wish to peek as far back as the dawn of human civilization, the area surrounding Ngorongoro Crater holds tantalizing clues to our hominid past. Use this Tanzania travel blog to help you plan for your Tanzania holiday.
Tanzania Travel Blog Tips
You will need a mix of local currency (shilling) and international ATM cards for travel to Tanzania. Where credit cards are occasionally accepted, they are marked up with commissions. For foreign exchange, use only US$ bills dated 2006 or newer.
Diarrhoea and food-borne illnesses pose the greatest concern when travelling to Tanzania. Avoid drinking tap water, eat food that is cooked or peeled, and be selective when eating from street vendors. Malaria is also a real risk wherever you go in Tanzania, so discuss with your doctor before you leave if you can get an anti-malarial vaccine; if not, always carry anti-malaria pills. While you may not be required to show a yellow fever vaccination certificate unless coming from an infected area, it’s better to have it in your person at all times.
You would also need vaccinations for the following: hepatitis A and B, rabies, typhoid, and boosters for measles, diphtheria and tetanus. Take out a comprehensive medical and travel insurance, and consider taking a basic first aid course if you are traveling to remote areas. You may want to sign up for temporary memberships with international organizations that offer assistance for medical distress in Tanzania.
Apart from taking common sense precautions to avoid being robbed – no walking in isolated areas, no displaying of expensive personal effects, avoiding travel at night – be cautious of small children who are forced by their older relatives into a life of crime. Pickpockets, con artists and other petty thieves are quite common in crowded markets and bus terminals, and even in beaches.
Getting around Tanzania
Most roads in Tanzania are poorly maintained, but this does not deter local drivers to drive very fast and even overtake you in dangerous curves so always travel by 4WD Campervan or 4WD car rental in Tanzania.. Give way to government vehicles, and always observe defensive and slow driving, as animals, children and traffic calming tools like road humps may get you into traffic trouble or road accidents. You can take public transport, but understand that commercial vehicles are often overloaded and insufficiently maintained, and occasionally stopped by robbers on long distance journeys. The safest to get around is to take a cab recommended by your hotel. Still, mugging by taxi drivers is not uncommon. If you want to walk around, pay attention to vehicles: Tanzanian vehicles don’t give way much to pedestrians.
When to go to Tanzania
If you are traveling for a safari (which you should book well ahead of the peak season), the best time to go to Serengeti is when the weather is dry, which is from June to September, and again from January to February. This is because wildlife is forced to congregate in only a few watering holes so spotting them is easiest. January to February is also the time when millions of wildebeest start their epic Great Migration from the south of the Serengeti National Park.