Tanzania is one of the most popular safari destinations in Africa, and with good reason. From its stunning national parks to its picturesque lakes, Tanzania has no shortage of gorgeous natural wonders to explore while on safari. If you are planning to visit this East African country, then there are some things you should be aware of before embarking on your adventure. Here are eight things you need to know before traveling to Tanzania…
Understand The Culture
The culture in Tanzania can be pretty different from what Westerners might be used to, and it’s important that you know this before arriving. The people are very warm and welcoming, but the culture is very different. For example, there are a lot of rules about clothing, food and public displays of affection. If you’re not sure how things work in Tanzania, ask a friend who has visited before. It’s always better to err on the side of caution so that you don’t offend anyone while they’re trying to help you out!
Expect Long Luggage Hold Times in the Airport
If you’re traveling with a lot of luggage, be prepared for very long queues at the airport. It’s not unusual for people to wait three hours or more before being allowed through security. There are no changing rooms in the departures area so don’t pack anything that can’t get wet and don’t forget your passport! The return leg is just as bad and if you fly via one of the major airports in Europe it may take up to six hours just to get from there to your hotel.
Understand How Traditional Hospitality Works
The culture of hospitality in Tanzania is different than that of Western countries. When staying with a Tanzanian family, you should be prepared for anything. If you’re not sure what to expect, here are some things you should know before traveling to Tanzania 1) Bring your own sheets and towels if possible. Otherwise, ask the hosts if they have bedding available to lend out. It’s common for Tanzanians to eat with their hands or utensils that have been used by others. You’ll also need to bring your own toiletries because the water in Tanzania isn’t safe to drink (especially after meals).
Tanzania Is Very Expensive for Foreigners
The Tanzanian currency, the Tanzanian shilling (TZS), is very expensive for foreigners. One US dollar will buy you about 3,600 TZS on the black market. On the official exchange rate, it’s more like 1:1. So everything in Tanzania costs a lot more than what you would expect if you visited another African country with a weaker local currency like Kenya or Zimbabwe. If I had just one piece of advice for anyone traveling to Tanzania, it would be this: Bring lots of cash!
Watch Out For Street Dogs, Snakes and Other Animals
Tanzania has two types of venomous snakes: the black mamba, which is native, and the green mamba, which comes from its former colonizer, Kenya. If you encounter one of these snakes while on a hike or out in the bush, it’s best to stay away from it and try your best not to startle it. Snakes will often flee if given enough space.
Get Used To Huge Amounts Of Questions From Strangers
It is common for Tanzanians to be curious about foreigners. They will often approach you in public areas, such as the airport or bus station, and ask if you are a tourist. If you say yes, they will want to know where you are from and how much money you have with you. Even if they ask someone else a question, they might ask that person what your answer was so they can compare notes.
You Don’t Always Get What You Want From Servants
In the world of African safaris, one of the most popular destinations is Tanzania. This country has some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, and amazing wildlife. However, a few things that you may need to know before visiting this wonderful country are as follows:
1) There are many different tribes and cultures within Tanzania, which can result in cross-cultural misunderstandings if you’re not careful. It’s best to do your research beforehand in order to avoid unintended offense.
2) If you want to take photos or video footage, it’s important to get permission first – otherwise you’ll be charged up to US$500 for copyright infringement.
3) Like any place in the world, theft is possible so it’s important to remain vigilant and aware of your belongings at all times. Pickpockets typically target those who appear distracted or drunk – stay alert!
Do Not Give or Accept Money from Strangers on the Streets!
Tanzania is a great place to visit, but it can also be dangerous. If you are white and visiting the country, people might assume that you’re wealthy and try asking for money. This is called mugging. It’s important not to give or accept money from strangers on the streets!