Health and Frequently Asked Questions
MalariaAll visitors are recommended to take anti-malaria tablets and to use mosquito repellent especially in the evenings. Latest recommendations for anti malarials as of 2005 is "Malarone" which is very effective and not known to have any side effects, but is unfortunately expensive (approx pounds 50 for a course to suit a 14 day holiday). An alternative is "Mefloquine (Lariam)" but this causes side effects in a small number of users. The traditional treatment of "Paludrin" and "Chloroquine" is less effective than it was due to increasing chloroquine resistance. It is recommended that visitors get the most recent advice from their doctor before travelling. For those who do not want to use DEET formula mosquito repellent, "Mosi-guard natural" uses citriodiol as a natural repellent and has a pleasant lemon smell - see www.mosiguard.com
ImmunisationsGenerally consult your doctor for advice. Courses or boosters are usually advised against diphtheria, tetanus, poliomyelitis, hepatitis A, typhoid and yellow fever. Vaccines are sometimes advised for tuberculosis, meningococcal meningitis, hepatitis B, rabies and cholera.
Medical TreatmentIt is important that visitors obtain comprehensive medical insurance, and visitors should be aware of the high incidence of AIDS in sub Saharan Africa and avoid unprotected sex. It may be advisable to bring an emergency medical kit with clean needles, though most local hospitals are now well supplied with these. All urban areas have a range of private and public hospitals. Arusha and Dar es Salaam also have international standard hospitals. Hospitals are scarce in the rural areas but the wildlife areas are linked with flying doctors service. Pharmacies are also well spread in big towns though it is also advisable for visitors to carry their own medicines. Refer to the following links for more information: UK Govt Health Advice For Travellers www.masta.org www.malaria.org www.nathnac.org
TimeTanzania follows East African time which is GMT + 3 hours
ClimateGenerally, the climate of Tanzania is tropical, but temperate in the Northern and Southern highlands. The coastal areas are hot and humid, but pleasant sea breezes cool the area between June and September. The central plateau is dry and arid, generally with hot days and cold nights. Tanzania has two rain seasons, the "long rains" (masika) and the "short rains" (Vuli). The "long rains" are from end of February to end of May, and the "short rains" begin in October and can extend as far as December. The cold season begins immediately after the long rains and subsides after August, giving way to the hot season. Thus the hottest period of the year is between September and February.
ClothingFor most of the year and in most of the areas in Tanzania you will need summer clothes. The coolest months of June, July and August and the highland areas would need warmer clothes. For safaris remember to include sturdy shoes and hats. Mountain treks need more special alpine clothes. It is advisable to come with your own sunscreen lotion, sunglasses and mosquito repellent.
Currency and Changing MoneyThe official currency in the country is Tanzanian Shillings. The notes are in the denominations of Shs: 500, 1000, 2000, 5000 and 10,000, and the coins in Shs.10, 20, 50, 100 and 200. As of 2011, one US dollar is roughly equivalent to Tsh.1450 and one British Pound Sterling to Tsh.2200. The American dollar is the foreign currency most accepted for cash payment especially in tourist areas and hotels. In fact, the park entry fees and prices for most tourist hotels are described in dollars. Thus, it is sensible for a visitor to carry both the local currency and some dollars when travelling in the country.
Foreign banks are mainly in major towns but national banks have operations even in the rural areas. These can change most of the major convertible foreign currencies. Most banks operate between 8.30am and 3.00pm during weekdays, and half day on Saturdays. Most banks now use ATMs and so holders of debit/credit cards can get the local currency at any time of the day. Some of the larger hotels and big business establishments also accept credit cards. Apart from the banks, money is also commonly exchanged in bureaux de change.