Visiting Tanzania can be an incredibly rewarding experience. This magical land on the east coast of Africa was home to hunter-gatherers in prehistoric times. It was first a German and then a British colony until it became independent in 1961.
If you love nature, you have to visit Tanzania. It has all that a wildlife enthusiast could dream of, from vast lakes to extinct volcanoes to massive national parks. But before you leave, be sure to purchase
travel insurance or
travel medical insurance
as coverage against any unexpected accidents or injuries that could occur.
Things to Do for Travelers in Tanzania
Since Tanzania is known for its wildlife and natural wonders, most tourists visit the nation for safaris. Dodoma is the country's administrative capital, but Dar es Salaam, the biggest city in East Africa, is the location where most international travelers arrive first. There is another international airport at Kilimanjaro.
- Serengeti National Park: You must have seen it on the National Geographic channel several hundred times. Serengeti National Park was originally a game reserve that became a national park in 1951. The Serengeti ecosystem covers about 9,650 square miles (25,000 square kilometers), while the park itself stretches over about 5,800 square miles (15,000 square kilometers). The name means "endless plains" in Masai, the language of the famed warrior tribe who lives there. The park is famous for the so-called “Big Five” – lions, leopards, elephants, buffalo, and rhinos. There are also numerous giraffes, gazelles, and impalas.
- Mount Kilimanjaro: The volcanic peak, which was the inspiration for the Ernest Hemingway short story "The Snows of Kilimanjaro", is Africa's highest peak. Standing at about 19,340 feet (5,895 meters) tall, it dominates the national park carrying its name. A million years ago, Mount Kilimanjaro was formed by volcanic movement and has three cones – Shiro, Kibo, and Mawenzi. The Uhuru peak is the highest point and one of the Seven Summits. The lower reaches contain tropical forests that gradually turn to alpine and then to desert-like volcanic ash as one ascends.
- Beaches at Zanzibar: Zanzibar is an archipelago situated about 22 miles (35 kilometers) east of the coast. It is a semi-autonomous region and a significant tourist destination. The main island, Unguja (also referred to as Zanzibar), and the island of Pemba have beautiful beaches along the Indian Ocean. The sand is soft, and you can swim and sunbathe for hours cooled by the gentle winds. Be sure to visit the Stone Town, a World Heritage Site at the center of Zanzibar City. The old houses made of red coral stone give it a unique look.
- Ngorongoro Conservation Area: The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is the area surrounding a volcanic crater of the same name. The depression accumulates water in the wet season and attracts a wide variety of animals and birds. Though you can find lions and rhinos here, the chief attractions are the huge herds of zebras and wildebeests. The colorful flamingo population at Lake Magadi is famous.
- Mafia Island: The Mafia Island Marine Park is located southeast of Zanzibar Island. The park covers the islets of Mafia Island, Chole, Juani Jibondo, and several smaller uninhabited islands. It is the preferred resort for those who want to scuba dive and snorkel. There are no paved roads, and the idyllic settings have not been spoiled by urban development. The crystal-clear water boasts views of 50 different types of corals and more than 450 species of fish.
Travel Risks for International Travelers to Tanzania
How one wishes for travel that was tranquil and leisurely. Most of the time, it is. But mishaps happen, and travelers can fall ill or become victims of deception. Far away from home, in the heart of Africa, it is not unusual to feel isolated and quite desperate. We have some tips to help you avoid stress during your tour of Tanzania.
- Tanzania is home to exotic animals and exotic diseases, the most well-known being African trypanosomiasis, or sleeping sickness. It is a parasitic disease that causes high fever, headaches, and general confusion. The parasite is carried by tsetse flies, and the best defense is to wear full-sleeved clothing while on safari.
- The border with Burundi is a volatile region. If this region is part of your travel itinerary, get a detailed update from your guide and embassy before proceeding into an area where risks are inflated.
- Ensure your safari operator is accredited by tourism authorities. There are shady operators by the dozens who will happily disappear with your money. You should only employ a safari operator who is experienced and has genuine goodwill.
- Likewise, you will see advertisements and try to be sold everything from cheap scuba gear to hired land rovers. You do not want to run out of oxygen in the middle of the Indian Ocean or lose brake oil in the middle of a herd of elephants. Use only reliable agencies that provide services with full backup and responsibility.
- Tropical diseases are quite common in Tanzania. Be careful with street food, and try to avoid it altogether (as far as possible).
Tanzania Travel Medical Insurance for International Travelers – FAQs
The national parks are gorgeous, but the beauty of Tanzania does not extend to sleeping sickness and cholera. Tanzania is a poor country with a less-than-modern healthcare system. If you are ill, not only do you need private healthcare, but you would probably have to be evacuated to South Africa or back home.
Do I need travel medical insurance for Tanzania?
There is no mandatory policy in place that requires travel medical insurance to enter Tanzania. However, it is always prudent to buy adequate medical insurance coverage before you arrive in Tanzania—or any international destination, for that matter.
Why buy travel medical insurance for Tanzania?
There are quite a few health hazards involved in taking advantage of all Tanzania has to offer, and they must not be underestimated. A delightful safari can turn into a mess if you get food poisoning in the middle of nowhere. Moreover, Tanzania does not have a robust healthcare system, either public or private. Should you need high-quality care, you would need to be stabilized at a Dar es Salaam private clinic and then medically evacuated. Make sure that you buy travel medical insurance and have adequate coverage.
Your policy may provide coverage against various forms of illnesses, including pre-existing conditions or sudden onset of pre-existing conditions, and provide air ambulance costs.
Tanzania Trip Cancellation Insurance for International Travelers – FAQs
It is unfortunate, but trips do get canceled all the time. Someone close to you might fall ill and require your assistance, or political unrest may prevent you from landing at the airport. It is imperative that in such cases, you do not lose the amount you paid in advance.
Why buy trip cancellation insurance for Tanzania?
You have pre-paid a hefty amount in nonrefundable deposits for traveling and safari in Tanzania. But, alas, it is not to be. Tanzania trip cancellation insurance will give you adequate protection and compensate you for financial loss.
What all is covered under trip cancellation insurance for Tanzania?
Trip cancellation insurance covers you against a variety of situations that would force you to cancel or postpone your trip. These include illness, illness or death of family members, lack of leave from an employer, and other exigent circumstances. You are eligible to use trip cancellation insurance in situations specifically enumerated in your plan’s certificate wording. It also applies if you have to cancel the trip due to bankruptcy/suspension of work by the tour operator and inclement weather. Buy travel insurance and have peace of mind during such unfortunate circumstances.
Before You Travel to Tanzania, Do This
An African safari is the stuff dreams are made of. But here are
quick tips you should never forget:
- Take excellent care of your passport, visa, and travel documents. Losing them would cause gross inconvenience. Make photocopies or electronic copies, and keep the originals in a secure place either on your person or in your accommodations.
- Show restraint while you are out in the wild. Nature can be unnaturally cruel to urban dwellers.
- Inform yourself of all possible risks, and purchase the appropriate travel insurance to avoid financial burden.