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Tanzania’s safari areas can be divided into the northern, southern and western ‘circuits’.
Each circuit encompasses a number of parks:
- Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Tarangire and Lake Manyara (northern circuit).
- Selous and Ruaha (southern circuit).
- Katavi and Mahale (western circuit).
We recommend that you focus on just one or possibly two circuits in order to have time to relax as well as explore.
Knowing the country well, we can recommend different ways to explore, such as flying from one camp to another or exploring on guided camping safaris.
The official languages are KiSwahili and English but more than 100 different languages are spoken across Tanzania. Almost everybody involved in the tourism industry, either directly or indirectly, will be able to speak some English.
The traditional gratuity to safari guides or camp staff is not included in the price of your tour and is completely discretionary. If you want to tip because you have received good service, a brief guideline is as follows:
- Driver-guides - US$10 per guest, per day.
- General camp/lodge staff. We recommend US$5 per day. This should be placed in the communal tipping box.
- National Park guides US$8 per day.
- We also recommend that you change some of your money into small denominations of Tanzanian Shillings for tipping.
The currency of Tanzania is the Tanzania shilling (TSh). The current exchange rate is approximately US$1=1000TSh (GB£1=1500TSh). Hotels will accept payment for food and drinks in either US$ or TSh. Some restaurants and shops in the tourist areas may also accept payment in US$.
Due to a spate of forgeries, nobody in Tanzania, including banks, will accept US$100 notes, so it is best to carry smaller denominations.
Credit cards are accepted at some of the major hotels but a 5-10% surcharge will usually be added. There are very few ATMs in Tanzania. Do not rely on credit cards other than as a back-up.
Conservative casual wear is generally acceptable everywhere, but revealing clothes should be avoided since they may cause offence, particularly in towns and villages in the coastal areas where there is a very strong Muslim element. In Zanzibar particularly you will need to cover your knees and shoulders.
Our country specialists can advise on any safety concerns you may have. For current information, please refer to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office website.
When to go to Tanzania
You'll find temperature and rainfall information, together with a month-by-month guide on visiting, on our guide for when to go to Tanzania.