Health and Frequently Asked Questions


All 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


Generally 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 Treatment

It 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


Tanzania follows East African time which is GMT + 3 hours


Generally, 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.


For 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 Money

The 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.

Telephone & Internet

Both landline-phone and mobile-phone systems serve Tanzania. There are kiosks where you can make phone calls almost everywhere in the urban areas. Hotels and some Internet cafes also provide telephone service. For those calling into Tanzania, the country code is +255. The major city codes are as follows: Dar es Salaam 22, Arusha & Moshi 27, Zanzibar 24 Internet Cafes are widespread in urban areas, where the average price for an hour of surfing is Tsh.1000, (under a dollar).


Big hotels and lodges in Tanzania have restaurants that serve international cuisine with little additions of local foods. These are independent restaurants in the major towns specializing in foreign ethnic foods like Chinese, Italian, Indian and Ethiopian cuisine. Almost everywhere, there is a rage of local restaurants that serve African dishes. Food served in the local restaurants are simple dishes and are mainly in the form of chicken, fish, meat or beans stew served with rice or ugali (maize meal) or cooked bananas. Vegetarian food such as beans, rice and vegetables is usually available, though it is not common for Tanzanians to be vegetarians so you may find the menu rather limited.


Most visits to Tanzania are trouble free, but incidents of theft of luggage and pickpocketting do occur in urban areas. Tourists are encouraged not to wear jewellery and not to bring any irreplaceable items with them. Tourists should also avoid walking alone at night especially on beaches. See for more advice.
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