Tanzania Country Facts

Tanzania Destination Info

The United Republic of Tanzania is a nation in central East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to the south. The country’s eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.

The United Republic of Tanzania is a unitary republic composed of 26 mikoa (regions). The current head of state is President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, elected in 2005. Since 1996, the official capital of Tanzania has been Dodoma, where parliament and some government offices are located. Between independence and 1996 the major coastal city of Dar es Salaam had been the country’s political capital. Today Dar es Salaam remains the principal commercial city of Tanzania and the de-facto seat of most government institutions. It is the major seaport for the country and its landlocked neighbours.

The name Tanzania is a portmanteau of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. The two states united in 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which later the same year was renamed the United Republic of Tanzania.

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Capital City: Dodoma

Total Area: 943,000 sq km.

Population: 40 million people

Languages : English and Swahili.

Religions: Christians 40% to 45%, Moslems 35% to 40%, traditional beliefs are also important.

Government: Republic.

Independence Date: 9th of December 1961.

Agriculture: Coffee, Tea, Cotton, sisal, cloves.

Climate: Tropical

Credit cards

Credit cards are only accepted by the major airline companies and by most of the bigger hotels and lodges. Do not rely on credit cards as a source of cash while in Tanzania. In some cases a surcharge will be added to credit card payments. We suggest that you take sufficient cash and use the credit card as a back-up only. Travellers checks are accepted at most banks and some hotels, however a surcharge normally apply to exchange travellers checks into cash. Please note many shops / hotels don’t accept travellers checks.

Climate

There are two seasons of rain in Tanzania: the long rainy period (monsoon) which runs from late March until June and a short rainy period, which runs from November until mid January. The long rains fall in heavy downpours, often accompanied by violent storms. The short rains tend to be much less severe.

The Tanzanian Shilling is the local currency, but travellers checks and cash in US$ are recommended. The current exchange rate is approximately Tsh 1500 = US$ 1. It is possible to change foreign currency at any Bureaux de Chance, which generally gives better rates than hotels and most banks. If you bring US $ cash or receive US $, please make sure the bank notes are in good condition with no cuts or damage and that the bank notes are not older than 2004.

Make use of the currency converter to check the exchange rate.

The following is duty free:

  • » 250g of tobacco
  • » 50 cigars
  • » 200 cigarettes
  • » One litre of wine
  • » 0.25 litres of perfume

The local electricity supply is 220 volts, 50 cycles ac. You will need to supply your own international standard adapter for your electrical appliances.

Malaria occurs below 1800 meters and you should use the recommended prophylactics. Please consult your doctor about these. Woman using oral contraceptives should consult their physicians before using prophylactics. The best way to prevent contracting Malaria is to try and avoid mosquito bites by using an effect insect repellent, by sleeping under mosquito nets and to wear proper clothing after sunset. Meningitis can be present during the dry seasons.

Recommended Immunizations

As a sensible precaution we recommend that you consider getting at least some of the following recommended immunisations:

  • Hepatitis A & B
  • Typhoid
  • Cholera
  • Tetanus (lockjaw)

Please check with your local travel clinic for the latest recommendations.

Immigration & customs

An onward ticket and sufficient funds are required when entering Tanzania. Tanzanian people are friendly and will always offer a helping hand.

Insurance

It is strongly advised to take out travel insurance which should cover baggage as well as personal accident and medical insurance and specifically covering your Kilimanjaro expedition.

The official languages are Ki-Swahili and English. There are more than 120 tribal vernaculars.

Mainly Christian, Muslim and Traditional beliefs. Please keep in mind that you are entering a different country with strong religious customs.

As with any other town, walking alone at night is not advisable, and it is preferable to use taxis which are available at most hotels. Do not leave cash or valuables in your hotel room and use a safe deposit box.

Make use of a safe deposit box to keep your belongings safe, and do not leave anything of value lying around in your hotel room.