Tanzania Country Information
Geography of Tanzania
The United Republic of Tanzania is a state on the east coast of Africa. It borders Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to the south. The eastern border is the Indian Ocean.
Tanzania has two capitals: the historical capital of Dar es Salaam serves as the administrative center, and Dodoma, where the government moved the main organs in the 1970s, serves as the legislative center.
Most of the country is occupied by vast plateaus. The coastal lowland stretches along the coast of the Indian Ocean. The territory of the country includes part of the largest lakes in Africa – Lake Victoria in the north, Lake Tanganyika in the west, and Lake Nyasa – in the south of Tanzania. On the territory of Tanzania is the highest mountain in Africa, Kilimanjaro (5895 m).
Tanzania is a presidential republic. The head of state and head of government is the president. Parliament is a unicameral State Assembly (Bunge).
Official language: Swahili, English. Arabic is spoken in Zanzibar, and there are many local Bantu languages in the mainland.
Religions: in the mainland – Christians 30%, Muslims 35%, aboriginal cults 35%; Zanzibar is over 99% Muslim.
International name: TZS The
Tanzanian shilling is equal to 100 cents. Banknotes of 500, 1000, 2000, 5000 and 10,000 Tanzanian shillings and coins of 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 Tanzanian shillings are officially in circulation. In fact, coins of less than 50 shillings fell out of circulation.
Currency can be exchanged at banks and exchange offices. The exchange receipt must be kept before leaving the country. It is not forbidden to change money at street money changers, but in this case the risk of fraud is extremely high.
Credit cards have limited circulation. Usually they are accepted only by large banks, supermarkets (especially in port areas) and some travel agencies. In the provinces, paying with a credit card is much more difficult. For the service of withdrawing money from a credit card, some provincial banks charge a commission of 6-8% of the amount.
Travel checks can be cashed at registered dealers, banks or exchange offices. A passport is required for cashing out. Often, checks are very carefully checked for authenticity, which takes a lot of time.
Tips are best given in local currency. In restaurants, they make up 10% of the total order value. Most hotels automatically include a 10% service charge on your bill. If a service fee is not included in the fare, a tip of 20 shillings will be considered quite sufficient, while in most small establishments it is not provided at all. Tips for rangers, drivers and other service personnel on a safari are usually the equivalent of 3-5 US dollars. If the service is carried out by a group of staff, the tip should be given to the head of the group, otherwise additional claims on the size of the tip and their distribution may arise.
Banks are open from Monday to Friday from 08.30 to 12.30-16.00, and from 08.30 to 13.00 on Saturday.
VAT (VAT, Value Added Tax) on all goods and services is 20% and is included in the price. Shops are usually open from Monday to Friday from 08.30 to 12.00, and from 14.00 to 18.00, on Saturday – 08.30 to 12.30. Some shops are open on Sunday. During Ramadan, many restaurants and shops are closed during the day, and smoking and drinking restrictions may be in place.
The country produces unique Tanzanian green tourmalines, sapphires, garnets, rubies, emeralds and diamonds, as well as the mineral tanzanite, found exclusively in Tanzania in the volcanic deposits of Mount Kilimanjaro. All this splendor of the gifts of the earth’s bowels can be purchased in the markets and in private jewelry stores.
Immunization against tetanus and hepatitis A is recommended. Epidemic outbreaks of meningococcal meningitis, typhoid, malaria and plague are occasionally recorded. In rural areas there are cases of infection with African fever. When swimming in fresh water, there is a high risk of contracting schistosomiasis. Vaccinations against yellow fever, typhoid, cholera and malaria are recommended.
Sleeping sickness, which is spread by the tsetse fly, is quite common in the wooded areas of the country. Also of great concern to the world community is the rapid spread of HIV and AIDS in Tanzania.
All water should be considered potentially contaminated.
Expensive photo and video equipment, valuables or documents should not be shown. It is not recommended to walk alone at night through the streets. Do not leave things unattended. You should always carry a photocopy of your passport with you, and keep your passport, money and air ticket in a safe place (safe in the hotel).
Foreigners are the object of constant and overly intrusive attention. Do not give in to the offers of local residents to help with something. This usually ends in problems.
Photo and video shooting
It is not recommended to take pictures of local residents without their permission and to visit the dwellings of local residents on your own (without a guide or a representative of a travel agency). In some places you need to pay for photography, but you should not do this everywhere and always – many natives try to beg for money in this way.