How to plan a trip to Tanzania

The fun part of traveling for me is the planning and research process for any place, not only you get to know new things before you visit the place, it always gives you a tiny glimpse of how the trip might go.  When my husband and I set Tanzania as our honeymoon destination, we decided to combine beach and animal safari to our holiday. Initially, I was a bit overwhelmed with all the options available in terms of National Parks, camping, travel agents, island etc. But luckily a friend of mine, who is a Tanzanian helped me plan my vacation in the best possible way.

And here I will be sharing all the tips/facts that I think are quite important to know while planning your trip Tanzania.

Tanzania Safari

Deciding on the Safari location and activities was a little difficult for me as Tanzania has a number of National Parks, each unique in its own way. The country is divided into Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western circuits and consists of a cluster of National Parks within the circuit (You can read more about Tanzanian circuits and safaris here). I opted for the Northern circuit as the Serengeti National Park featured high on my bucket list.

Beautiful mornings at Serengeti

I would suggest that the safari be planned via a local travel company as this reduces the hassle of transportation, accommodation, food and guided game drives. We booked our safari trip with Easy Travels and I totally recommend them as they made the best possible safari arrangements for us. Easy Travel on learning our requirement, helped us plan a 4 day all-inclusive (transportation, Guide, accommodation and food) package that took us to Lake Manyara, Serengeti National Park, and Ngorongoro Crater.

The safari packages vary based on location, duration, type of accommodation and yes, the time of year. Migration season (June-July) is one of the best time of the year to visit Serengeti National Park as one can witness millions of Wildebeests, Zebras, antelopes and many other animals migrate between Serengeti and Maasai Mara National Park (Kenya) looking for fresh pastures and water.

Picture perfect scenery at Ngorongro Conservation Area

One can camp in the middle of the Savannahs or enjoy 7-star luxury, Tanzania safari offers a variety of choices to all its travelers. I would say one must do at least a three-day safari tour as it involves a lot of traveling. It will also give you ample of time to sight the wild animals and enjoy the beauty of the Tanzanian wilderness.

Yellow Fever Vaccination

Although Tanzania is not a Yellow Fever endemic country, it is highly advisable to get the vaccination prior to your travel. The Immigration sometimes asks for Yellow fever vaccination certificate upon arrival in the country. In India, Yellow Fever vaccines are available in any of the Airport Health Organization located in a number of cities, 10 days prior to your journey.

Visa

Tanzania has visa upon arrival for citizens of several countries including India. I wasn’t very sure about the fact initially, so I applied for my Tanzanian visa from the Tanzania High Commission, New Delhi. The upside of having a visa was that I could skip the long Visa on Arrival line as I landed in Tanzania. You can check for visa requirement for Indian citizens here.

Currency

Tanzanian Shilling is the currency of Tanzania, however, $US are also accepted in majority of the places. However, do bear in mind that Dollar notes that are printed before 2006 are not accepted in the country.

Pristine beaches of Zanzibar

Dress Code

While on a safari, it is best to carry clothes of lighter shade and cotton blend fabrics as it gets quite hot during the day. The nights are cooler and sometimes chilly during the winters, so one might also need light jackets. I am not sure if there is any real issue regarding ladies dress code, but in some of the conservative Muslim dominant areas like the Old Town of Zanzibar, it is advised to cover your shoulders, arms and legs as it is frowned upon.

Quick tips

  • It is advisable not to wear expensive jewelry or display large sums of cash in crowded market areas to avoid getting mugged
  • Do remember to carry sunscreen to protect your skin from harsh sun rays and always have a sun hat or cotton scarf in handy.
  • Uber service is available in Dar Es Salaam (capital of Tanzania), so one can commute easily within the city. Local taxi service is easily available everywhere, but do make sure to fix the price for the journey before starting the ride.
  • There are daily flights available from Dar Es Salaam and Arusha to the Zanzibar Islands. One can also take ferries between the mainland and Zanzibar, which I suggest is one of the best way to travel as you can thoroughly enjoy the Sea during the journey.
  • I found majority of Tanzania locals helpful and kind in nature, but it is best to stay alert while shopping to avoid being duped.
  • Carry emergency cash along with you, as cards are not accepted everywhere.
  • As Tanzania has a lot of beautiful beaches, do remember to pack your beachwear along.

I hope the above tips make your Tanzania vacation planning a little more easier. Have you been to Tanzania before? If so do share your thoughts on the post or recommend tips if I have mentioned it above.



48 thoughts on “How to plan a trip to Tanzania”

  • I went to Tanzania many years ago and still have fond memories of the country. I agree about booking your safari tour with a reputable company, they’re more trustworthy. I never knew Uber was in the capital, something to remember if I go back!

  • I haven’t been to Tanzania nor in any African country, but I would love to someday. I’m also planning a trip to Sri Lanka next year and like you, I’m beginning to get overwhelmed over the many options available for safari tour. Some of your pointers here like consideration of migration season will also help me decide which part to go for safari. Hope you have an enjoyable trip to Tanzania! 🙂

  • Tanzania is high up on my list of places to visit! I just have to wait for ticket prices to get over there to drop significantly, or sell my kidney. I like the idea of booking a tour through a reputable company if you’ve never been to the area before. It might be overwhelming the first time.

    • The visit was definitely hassle-free after working with the tour agency. Hope you get to visit Tanzania soon :).

  • Reading the post, it feels like I’m planning for my honeymoon. And like you mentioned in the introductory paragraph, planning exposes one to so many knowledge about a place. I’m enlightened on Tanzania now. And Zanzibar’s Pristine Beach is beautiful……

  • That is a very useful post indeed 🙂 It is on my Wishlist and the beaches look gorgeous! I always thought it only to be a wildlife destination. Serengeti looks like a blissful heaven for a wildlife buff! 🙂 Greta pic of the elephants!! 🙂

  • Thank you for recommending the tour company Easy Travel! Your info about when to visit the national parks is very useful as well. I am saving this now as I definitely want to visit Tanzania in the near future!

  • I hope to explore more of Africa over the next year. Tanzania boasts nothing but the most beautiful images and reviews from blog posts I have read. You pictures are amazing and the beach has got me very interested! Thanks for the vaccination tips, it looked like an amazing trip!

    • Thank you for the love Bee :). Tanzania is a perfect destination if one is looking for a combination of beaches and wildlife.

  • So lucky that your friend was able to help provide travel tips and recommendations! Tanzania and Serengeti are so high up on my list of places to visit, I’ve heard nothing but amazing things. It looks like you guys had an incredible honeymoon here!

  • Tanzania for honeymoon? Wow, that’s new! Good to know about your Tanzanian friend who helped you to plan your honeymoon. Thanks for the tip about dress code. The safari looks impeccably gorgeous! Authentic African Safari is definitely a must atleast once in lifetime.

  • Tanzania is something that is close to my heart as my Mum was born there. Her stories fascinated me and someday I hope I can visit that place and take my mum there. You just made it easier with your useful tips – from vaccination to visa and flights. You seem to have covered it all. Thanks for that.

  • Tanzania only reminds me of jungles but that azure seashore of Zanzibar is an eye-opener!!!
    We know so little about this continent and whatever we know is full of stereotypes.
    Very useful tips these are… Keep exploring more of Africa.

    • Thank you Jitaditya! I completely agree on being stereotyping such places. There is so much to see and explore in Tanzania that one would be totally surprised.

  • I would love to visit Tanzania! It just looks so beautiful – we live not too far away (kind off) and I hope we get to go! The landscapes and all the wild animals are just awesome.

    • Yep, they are gorgeous. If you are living close to Tanzania, I would say do plan a trip to this beautiful country!

  • Tanzania is on my list for a long time. This is a really helpful guide. I like the idea of connecting with the local travel agent to plan the game drive and other things. You have covered all the important points. I loved the safari picture a lot. Thanks for sharing the post.

  • I agree that safari trip in Tanzania be planned via a local travel company to reduce the hassle if you’re first-timer. But if you go there for the second time or more, you can already plan for DIY.

  • I agree that a yellow fever vaccination should organized before traveling out to Tanzania. It’s good to know a visa on arrival is issued though, I hate applying for visas ahead of time. The Serengeti is well worth all the organization!

  • Greetings from Sri Lanka. Tanzania would be perfect escape for whoever wants greenery and safari as well. Your photos prove it. And the tips you have mentioned would be really informative for a first comer. Those were direct and clearly defined. Thanks for bring up another great post. Happy Travels.

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