Memo to a Tourist in Tanzania

Customs regulations

Duty-free import of cigarettes is allowed – up to 200 pcs. or 250 g of tobacco, or 50 cigars, spirits – up to 1 liter, up to 250 ml of perfume or toilet water. It is allowed to export jewelry made of gold and silver with precious stones (certificates-checks from the store must be attached to the jewelry), stamps, coins. The import of small arms is allowed only by prior agreement with the local Ministry of Internal Affairs (permission must be obtained in advance from the Tanzanian Embassy in Moscow). Audio, photo and video equipment are included in the declaration and must be taken out of the country according to the record.

Tourists can bring in an unlimited amount of foreign currency without a declaration. It is also allowed to import / export food, household items and other personal items within the limits of personal needs.

The import and export of drugs, explosives, poisons and pornographic products is prohibited. The export of ivory and products from it, rhinoceros horn, skins of wild animals, gold, diamonds, cloves, various kinds of souvenirs and items of animal origin, as well as products made from valuable wood is prohibited. An exception can be made in the case of buying them in reliable stores that are able to provide the goods with an official export license confirming the legitimacy of their purchase.


According to a2zdirectory, the official languages ​​of Tanzania are English and Swahili. However, the native language of the majority of Tanzanians is the language of their ethnic group, and both official languages ​​are, in the vast majority of cases, second and third languages.

Banks and currency

The national currency of Tanzania is the Tanzanian shilling, which is divided into 100 cents. International designation – TZS. Banknotes are issued in denominations of 500, 1000, 2000, 5000 and 10,000 shillings. Coins are issued in denominations of 50, 100 and 200 shillings. Banks are open from 09:00 to 15:00 from Monday to Friday. Many banks have 24-hour ATMs.

Credit cards and travelers checks are not accepted everywhere in Tanzania. Where they are accepted, there are high commissions and bad exchange rates. Major foreign currencies, in particular US dollars, are in circulation in Tanzania and are converted at banks and exchange offices in major cities and tourist areas. If you are bringing cash in US dollars, please make sure that the banknotes are in good condition with no cuts or damage and that they were issued no later than 2004. Most banks offer higher exchange rates for $100 and $50 notes than for $20, $10, and $5 notes.

Travel and transport

If you visit several national parks and reserves in Tanzania on the same trip, you can move or fly between them. The roads in most natural areas are in poor condition and unmarked, so we would not recommend self-driving. If you decide to move between the parks, you will be provided with a car with a driver-guide for the duration of the trip. And if you decide to fly, you can use the car and driver provided by the lodge or camp where you will live. Cities and towns in Tanzania are connected by a constant stream of dala-dals buses and minibuses. In addition, in the cities there are taxis, in some places bicycles and tuk-tuks.

Precision Air operates scheduled flights, mainly via Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro or Zanzibar, to all major cities in Tanzania and other destinations in East Africa and beyond. All national parks and some upscale lodges have runways, and Coastal Air flies between them and the main airports on the mainland and the islands of Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia. Domestic flights are also operated by Auric Air. ZanAir offers frequent flights between Zanzibar, Pemba and the mainland.

Driving in Tanzania is on the left side of the road.


Tanzanians are mostly very friendly and sociable people, but there are many refugees from neighboring troubled countries in the country, and the standard of living is low, so cases of fraud and petty theft are quite widespread. Tourists need to be careful: they should not show expensive photo and video equipment, valuables or documents, as well as leave things unattended. It is not recommended to walk the streets alone at night. You should always carry a photocopy of your passport with you, and keep your passport, money and air ticket in a safe place: for example, in a safe in a hotel. You should not accept the offers of local residents to help with something, it often ends in problems. Prices for any goods and services for tourists are usually inflated at times. Attempts of outright deception and fraud are possible.

Food and drink

Most camps, lodges and hotels are for tourists and offer western style food. Safari lodges tend to have a limited selection of set menus, so let your tour operator know your food preferences in advance. Visitors to Africa for the first time may notice that most of the lodges in and around national parks have a fairly remote isolated location, and traffic is prohibited in the parks at night, so you will not have an alternative option for a meal other than the lodge.

Tap water in Tanzania is mostly not potable, it is always best to buy bottled water. Moreover, it is advisable to stock up on water in advance, since it is not always easy to find it outside of large cities. Almost all camps, lodges and hotels have bottled water.

Cuisine in Tanzania is not distinguished by its sophistication: dishes based on bananas (unsweetened and taste like potatoes) and meat (goat meat) are very popular. Local beer is very cheap and tasty. Along with local beer, imported from Kenya or South Africa is sold, but it is more expensive. As for wine, the best is imported from Europe or South Africa. Of the strong drinks, Konyagi, made from papaya, is interesting.

Memo to a Tourist in Tanzania