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Mount Kilimanjaro Porters Society (MKPS)

The Kilimanjaro Porters Society was created in 2004 by Zara Tours to improve the working conditions of all porters on Mount Kilimanjaro and other hiking areas in Tanzania.

Please note:

A valid yellow fever vaccination certificate will have to be shown at the points of entry to Tanzania and Zanzibar.
This is a measure for your safety and to help prevent outbreaks.

Did you know?

Due to its outstanding charitable community support, ZARA has been awarded winner of the 2010 Tanzania Tourism Tour Operator Humanitarian Award!

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Home / FAQ's / General Questions

FAQ - Tanzania Safari & Kilimanjaro Climbing - General questions

Where in Tanzania is Moshi/Kilimanjaro and how do I get there?

Please see our page: "Getting to Moshi".

What about medical supplies and emergencies during my stay in Tanzania?

If you have any particular medical problem please consult with your doctor before you come to Tanzania as to the medication that you should bring on your trip. This also applies to your own personal first aid kit.

Again we can provide you with a suggested list for your personal first aid kit. All trips will have a basic first-aid kit but it will not contain any prescription drugs. There are limited medical supplies in Tanzania and they are mostly found in the capital Daressalaam only. You will not be able to purchase them in the countryside when on the trip.

There are western Doctors who provide medical services to travelers. These professionals can be contacted in the case of an emergency or for a general enquiry.

Make sure that you have a travel health care insurance.

It should at least cover:

  • Costs for doctors, hospital and medicines
  • Emergency medical transportation (minimum of $25,000)

And it can also include features such as:

  • Trip cancellation and interruption (due to sickness/death of you, family member, or travel companion)
  • Trip and baggage delay
  • Lost or stolen baggage
  • Travel accident insurance

See our health information for Kilimanjaro trekkers.

What is included in the price?

Take a look at "Prices".

What currency should I carry with me?

The official currency of Tanzania is the Shilling. Smaller amounts of money are usually paid in Shilling, whereas larger amounts of money are paid in US$. In September 2009 1 US$ was worth approximately 1,320 Shillings. Money can be exchanged at the Bureaux de Change which can be found at any larger town and in the airports. Make sure that they change your money at the rate which is written in front of the bureau.

Travelers from the US are advised to bring US$ in currency; make sure that the bills you bring are dated 2003 or later, as currency dated earlier may be rejected by currency exchange places. Also we at ZARA won't accept US$ bills which have been issued before 2003. You will get a better exchange rate for 50 and 100 dollar bills than for smaller bills. There are several banks where you can use ATMs. Visa card is the most widely accepted credit card.

Travelers from Europe are advised to bring Euros (or British Pounds, Swiss Francs). They can be changed to Shillings at all Bureaux de Change and you save the costs for changing twice - first from Euro to Dollar at your country of origin, and then from Dollar to Shilling in Tanzania. You can use international credit cards, preferably VISA card, at the ATMs of most banks. At Barclay's bank (Moshi, Arusha, Zanzibar, Daressalam) it is even possible to use your EC debit card.

Only hotels, restaurants and tourist shops of higher category accept international credit cards; when paying small amounts in US$ rather than Shilling, in most cases you get a worse exchange rate. Local shops accept Shillings only.

Where can I get a visa for Tanzania?

Generally, everyone entering Tanzanian territory must have a tourist visa, the price is $100 for U.S. passport holders, US$75 for Canadians, and $50 for EU and most other passport holders. The best idea is to obtain the visa from the Tanzanian Embassy at your country of origin.

Please take a look at our section about visa.

Can I send emails/make phone calls/send postcards from Tanzania?

Internet cafes have hit Tanzania and especially in the central area of the cities. Prices are cheap, but the connection speed is sometimes disappointing. Springlands Hotel and Highview Hotel have Internet caf?s, but no WiFi hotspots.

There are post offices where you can buy stamps, envelopes and postcards. The post is reasonably reliable although in may take some time to reach its destination, however courier services such as DHL are available. Telecommunications in Tanzania is generally good. Both Springland Hotel and the Highview Hotel have international fax and telephone services.

You can even use your standards GSM mobile phone in Tanzania. If you plan to use it a lot, you might consider purchasing a local SIM card.

Should I give a tip?

Tipping is not a local custom in Tanzania; it is common only amongst tourists and expatriates who live in the country. Giving monetary gifts to friends or relatives is common, however, both in the city and in the countryside. As tourism is growing in the country locals who work in the tourism industry are getting used to the notion of tipping and sometimes even expect a tip from clients.

Tips will vary depending on the length and complexity of the trip, the number of staff on the trip and the number of clients on the trip. Generally groups like to meet together before the end of the trek to discuss how much they would like to tip each staff member based on their individual trek experience. See our suggestions for tipping.

Will I be able to speak to people in English in Tanzania?

The official and spoken languages of the country are Swahili and English. Many people have English as their second language as they were taught this at school. All Tanzanian working in the tourism field can communicate in English. In the countryside, or when communicating with children, local women or individuals of lower school education, it might however be difficult to speak in English.

It is appreciated by locals if travelers can speak some words in Swahili. A few words are surprisingly easy to master. It is a good idea to spend a few dollars to purchase a Swahili phrase book.

I'm a travel agent/journalist. Can you help me?

Of course we can! You can get a first idea of ZARA Tours on this corporate website, our blog, our hotel websites (Springlands Hotel, Highview Hotel, Tanzania Wildcamps) and on Adventure Travel Media Source. Further documents about ZARA you can get here.

Then, please contact us and we are happy to assist you!

What souvenirs can I buy in Tanzania?

Interesting art and gifts can be bought at the Art and Craft Shops at the Springlands Hotel and Highview Hotel at fixed prices.

There are also many smaller curio shops and local markets in the towns. We want to encourage you to buy at local shops to support local economies. Be careful when buying antiques that you receive a stamped certificate from the seller in case you are asked to prove your purchase at the airport. Sometimes in the countryside you will be offered goods from local countryside people for sale. When buying souvenirs, you should always bargain with people.

Please, do not buy souvenirs made from endangered indigenous wood such as ebony, bamba kofi or mangrove wood, and souvenirs which encourage the destruction of our flora and fauna such as pieces of corals, large sea shells, turtle shells or other primed or living animals.

Can I go out to a good restaurant in Tanzania?

The number and variety of restaurants is improving. In cities and towns with some tourism traffic (Daressalam, Moshi, Arusha, Karatu, Zanzibar town) you can find good Swahili, African, Indian, Chinese and Italian restaurants. Many older restaurants serve typical English food but the variety is widening and many other influences are appearing in menus.


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