Capital – Dodoma Largest City – Dar es Salaam STD Code – + 225 Official Languages – English Major Religions – Christianity/Islam Lingua Franca – Swahili Money – Tanzania Shilling (roughly 1224 to US$) Population – Approx 37 840 000 Area – 364 898 sq miles Time Zone – GMT/UTC + 3 Drive – On the left
Passports & Visas: A passport is required that is valid for six months after your date of departure. At least three clean pages are advisable.
A visa is required by most international travelers for entry into Tanzania. For most overseas travellers, including those of the US, a visa is required to enter Tanzania. Theoretically all citizens of commonwealth countries, with the exception for the UK, India and Nigeria are visa exempt.
A single entry tourist visa can be obtained at your port of entry. It usually costs the equivalent of US$50. If you feel inclined you can get your visa ahead of time at your nearest Tanzanian Embassy, but this is not strictly necessary. It is a great idea to travel with a handful of passport type ID photographs, since sometimes these are required and sometimes not. They are always very useful to have. For anything other than a single entry tourist visa, for example a multiple entry or business, is required you will need to apply for this before travel. You will only need a transit visa if you move from one port of entry/exit to another. For international flight transfer these are not required.
Credit Cards & ATMs: Credit cards are widely accepted in the mid to upper range accommodation sector, and in mainstream shops and restaurants, but when traveling remotely it is advisable to carry cash, ATM machines are confined ot the main cities, and are not a reliable option generally.
Changing Money: There is a minimal advantage to changing on the street. Street deals are risky, and Tanzanian fraudsters are extremely slick. Money changers congregate at borders and transit points, and if you use one of these make sure you carefully observe the transaction and count your change. Never accept cash slipped into an envelope. This will almost always turn out to be newspaper cuttings.
Religion: Islam and Christianity. Traditional animist belief merge with both, and in some instances are untouched by either. Islam is particularly strong along the coast and is prevalent among the Swahili. Christianity is more common inland.
Politics: Tanzania is a representative democracy with a unicameral national assembly with members elected alongside a national president every 5 years. The president elects a prime minister who serves as government’s leader in the national assembly. Zanzibar exists as part of Tanzania but enjoys a considerable degree of independence. Laws passed by the national assembly are valid for Zanzibar only in specific areas.
The Tanzanian judiciary combined the jurisdiction of tribal, Islamic and British Common Law.
Ex-colonial Power: Germany/Britain
Sport: Soccer is the largest spectator sport in the country, although residual interest in rugby and cricket remain from the colonial period.
Food: The staple food is Ugali, or Posho, which is a stiff cornmeal porridge eaten with various meat or vegetable relishes. Tea is very popular. Coastal influences lend more spice to food, and very popular are various kinds styles of Indian food.
Holidays and Festivals:
New Year’s Day, January 1 Eid el Haj, January 21 Union Day, April 26 Saba Saba, July 7 Independence Day, December 9. Christmas, December 25
Jambo (Hello) Hujambo? (How are you?) Sijambo. (I am fine.) Jina langu ni … (My name is …) Ahsante. (Thank you.) Kwa kheri (Goodbye) Bei gani? (How much is this?)
Demographics: The population of Tanzania is overwhelmingly of Bantu origin, with some 126 ethnic groups sharing the nation. Strong Arabic/Swahili influence is evident along the coast on the islands.