Travel Information for U.S. Visitors to Tanzania Christian Clinic
Please give careful consideration to the following information if you are planning a visit to TCC.
- Airline Ticket (round trip Memphis or Atlanta to Kilimanjaro): Expect a cost in the range of $1,800 and upwards for economy class depending upon the time of year you travel. Flights from other major cities in the eastern USA are usually in this same general price range. It is best to fly from the USA into Amsterdam and then connect to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) using KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. Other airlines can be used with connecting flights through Nairobi or Dar es Salaam into JRO.
- Passport: A valid passport is required for North American and European visitors to Tanzania. Make sure your passport expiration date extends beyond your expected date of departure from Tanzania. Otherwise, if your passport expires while in country, you will need to visit the embassy in Dar es Salaam for renewal. Before leaving on your trip, make a copy of your passport’s photo page. Upon arrival you may want to store your original passport for safekeeping and carry your copy to use at police checkpoints, banks, etc.
- Driver’s License: Purchase an international driver’s license if you expect to be driving while in Tanzania. An international driver’s license can be obtained from most AAA offices. Remember, traffic in Tanzania travels on the left.
- Visa: US citizens are required to have a Tanzanian visa before entering Tanzania. A visa can be purchased on arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport. The cost is $100 and must be paid in cash. You may also purchase a visa in advance from a visa service provider in the US.
- Immunizations: Important immunizations will require an estimated budget of $200 to $300 for first time visitors to Africa. (Immunizations are optional, but recommended). Consult the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website regarding immunization recommendations. Do not forget that your latest tetanus shot needs to be less than five years old. Record all immunizations in an immunization record booklet and carry it with your travel documents.
WHAT TO BRING
- Your Bible.
- Valid passport, visa and immunization record. Check the expiration date on your passport so it does not expire while on your trip. Make a copy of your passport and while in Africa keep the passport in a safe place. Carry the copy with you for routine in country use.
- Good, small, flashlight and extra batteries.
- Medications you might be taking or think you will need. Controlled substances may be hard to obtain in Tanzania. Bring enough prescription medicines to last your whole trip. Many medicines are available in local pharmacies but do not assume that your particular medicines will be available.
- Snack food such as snack crackers, candy, or anything you like to munch on. Bring any specialty food items if you have specific dietary needs. Some food items are difficult to find in local stores (gluten free foods for example).
- Wet wipes and hand sanitizer often come in handy.
- Small overnight bag.
- Jacket or sweater if your trip is during the months of June – August. During the day it will warm up enough to wear short sleeves. Remember that seasons in the southern hemisphere are reversed from those in the northern hemisphere. June through August is cooler, December through February is hot, and November through March is the rainy season.
- Small umbrella if your trip is during the months of November – March.
- It is generally not culturally appropriate for women to wear pants in rural Tanzania, so females should bring comfortable skirts or dresses. Acceptable dress for church or church related activities is skirts or dresses. Preachers occasionally wear ties but in general dress is casual. More typical “tourist” style dress is acceptable in the cities and on safaris but conservative, modest dress is always appreciated by the local citizens.
- Two pairs of comfortable shoes.
- Easy to care for clothes as the laundry will all be done by hired personnel. Please mark all your clothes, including underwear, with your name or initials on them. Clothes from various travelers will be comingled for purposes of washing. If you do not mark your clothes, it creates a big sorting problem. Do not bring any clothing you are not willing to part with.
- When leaving the U.S., most airlines allow each person to check up to two suitcases weighing 50 pounds each at no added cost. Please verify baggage details with your airline; there may be exceptions and rules change frequently. Please mark your luggage with your name inside and out. Be sure to make a list of the contents of each piece of luggage in case they are lost. Weigh your suitcases before leaving for the airport. If you are travelling to Tanzania and your bags are underweight, please notify us (well in advance if possible). We may request that you to use your extra space to bring items for the clinic work.
- Credit cards and debit cards may be used with some businesses in town but credit card companies usually charge a foreign transaction fee. If you plan to use your credit card, call the credit card company before leaving the USA to let them know you will be in Africa.
- Traveler’s checks can be cashed in various locations; however the rate of exchange is normally 3% to 5% less than cash. It is best to bring your needed cash in U.S. $50 bills or $100 bills. You will get your best exchange rate if your bills are year 2000 or newer currency. Check the dates on your bills carefully in order to save money. The U.S. Embassy advises that Americans should not use ATM’s in Tanzania. Funds can be wire transferred into Tanzania if you should have an emergency situation arise but there is a substantial fee.
- You will want to bring your camera and extra camera batteries or chargers. Tanzanians may take offense to being photographed without first giving their permission.
- Each person should bring a good pair of sunglasses, mosquito repellant lotion or spray, a hat and sunscreen especially important for any individuals at risk for skin cancer. Also, if you wear prescription glasses it would be wise to bring an extra pair.
- A small travel alarm clock.
- You may want to pack a small pocketknife in your checked luggage.
- A few small packages of Kleenex tissues would be nice to have.
- It would be good to bring a small note pad and pen, along with a diary to record events and places you visit, along with the names of people you meet.
The electricity in Tanzania is 220 volts, and the plug configuration is different from the USA. It is more convenient if you can “survive” without electronic appliances because of the voltage differences. If you do bring along a blow dryer/curling iron/shaver or whatever, be certain to also bring a step-down transformer suitable for Africa.
Most laptops will accept 220 current but be sure to check your specifications. Internet cafes are available or you can use your laptop at wi-fi points. If you want to bring a cell phone and change out the SIM card upon arrival, you can purchase a card in Tanzania at a low cost.
Do not eat anything unless it has been cooked or peeled. Salads that are chemically treated are safe. Be cautious with milk products.
Do not use tap water or ground water for drinking unless it has been boiled for 5 minutes.
Sleep under a mosquito net when possible.
Always wear shoes when outdoors.
Avoid swimming in streams and lakes unless they are known to be “safe” from infectious parasites.
Take malaria prophylaxis unless there is a medical contraindication.
Use a flashlight at night in rural areas to avoid an occasional snake.
Use sun screen to avoid sunburn and ultraviolet exposure.
Wear a seat belt when traveling on the highways.
BEFORE YOU GO
- No immunizations are required before entering Tanzania, but the following are recommended by many health authorities:
Tetanus toxoid (within 5 years)
Hepatitis B (especially for health care providers)
Oral medication for prevention of malaria (Mefloquine or others)
- Consult the Center for Disease Control website regarding advisories for Tanzanian pre-travel immunizations.
- Consult the U.S. State Department website for any warnings or travel advice for travelers to East Africa.