Tanzania is the largest country in East Africa, bordered by 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.
Population: 45 million
Time zone: GMT+3
Plugs: Three-prong square
Dialling code: +255
Currency: Tanzanian shilling – $1=1606TZS
Language: English, Swahili, Kiswahili
The economy is mostly based on agriculture, which accounts for more than half of GDP. Industry is mainly limited to processing agricultural products and light consumer goods. Tanzania has vast amounts of natural resources and is the third-largest producer of gold in Africa after South Africa and Ghana. Tanzania is also known for Tanzanite gemstones. The country has dozens of beautiful national parks and wildlife areas, such as the renowned Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which generate income for a large tourism sector that plays a vital role in the economy.
The official capital of Tanzania is Dodoma, where parliament and some government offices are located. Today, though, Dar es Salaam remains the principal commercial city of Tanzania and the de-facto seat of most government institutions. It is the major seaport for the country and its landlocked neighbours.
Business Travel Activity
Plenty happened in the skies above Tanzania in 2013.
Following its 2012 launch with flights between Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro, with onward connections to Mwanza, fastjet had a busy year with some significant progress. The biggest move was launching its first international route – between Dar es Salaam’s Julius Nyerere International Airport and Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport in South Africa.
Fastjet also signalled its intent in the Nigerian market, by announcing that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Nigeria’s Red 1 Airways, for low-cost flights in Nigeria and other African destinations.
Domestically, fastjet launched flights to Mbeya’s new Songwe airport in November, following high demand for this service. The newly-developed Songwe airport serves not only the city of Mbeya, but also the densely-populated cross-border regions of northern Zambia and Malawi.
In other airline news, SAA announced its long-term turnaround strategy, which included maintaining a commercially sustainable African route network, with the Johannesburg-Dar es Salaam route having a flight added to increase that offering to 13 a week.
On the hotel scene, ASB Holdings Limited announced that it had entered into a management agreement with two Hyatt-branded hotels in Tanzania. The Park Hyatt Zanzibar was expected to open in Stone Town in January 2014, while the Hyatt Regency Arusha will be located in central Arusha and is expected to open in 2016.
It was also interesting to see South Africa’s Three Cities Group acquired the Zanzibar Beach Resort and the Kunduchi Beach Hotel and Resort in Dar es Salaam. With these new properties, Three Cities is hoping to expand its management and marketing services into East Africa.
In related news, Travelport continued to flex its muscles in East Africa, a key region for the distribution services and e-commerce provider to the global travel industry. Travelport announced the renewal of its 15-year partnership with Uniglobe Skylink Travel & Tours (UST&T) – one of Tanzania’s most established corporate travel management companies. It followed that up with the signing of a multi-year renewal contract with Karibu, a Tanzanian travel company formerly known as Waljis Travel Bureau and Karibu Holidays, which was a continuation of their 15-year business relationship.
Later in the year, South African travellers were given a shot in the arm, when the Tanzanian government announced that it had abolished visa requirements for South African citizens.
Julius Nyerere International Airport is the principal airport serving Dar es Salaam, the largest city in Tanzania. It is about 12 kilometres south-west of the city. Depending on the traffic, transfer to the city centre can take anything from 20 minutes to an hour.
The airport is relatively small, processing only 1.2 million passengers each year on flights to and from destinations in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Despite its small size, the facility squeezes in a lot of chaos, including long and disorganised queues and a frustrating lack of signage. Passengers should also be prepared for an uncomfortable lack of air-conditioning. The government has contracted out the construction of a new terminal, and much more is expected of what will be Terminal 3.
Getting in and out is quite straightforward. Travellers are advised to arrive an hour prior to flight departure for domestic flights and two hours prior for international. There is no point in early arrival as early check-ins are not processed.
The airport has a bank, bureau de change, post office, bars, restaurants, VIP Lounge, duty-free shop, news agent, chemist and tourist help desk. Car hire is available in the arrivals area, but many hotels provide shuttle services for guests.
Julius Nyerere International Airport’s VIP lounge is the Tanzanite Lounge located airside. Its operating hours are 06h00-22h30 daily, but hours may vary according to flight schedules. Conditions: maximum three-hour stay; non-smoking. Lounge facilities include air-conditioning; disabled access; newspapers/magazines; television; alcohol; flight info monitor; refreshments, fax, phone and Wi-Fi.
“If you’re looking for an airport tip, get yourself a visa before arriving in Dar es Salaam, as it is a very chaotic process at the airport, if you’re planning on grabbing a visa on arrival,” says Bobby Bryan, Commercial Manager: East & West Africa for Delta Air Lines.
There are plenty of big brands in Dar es Salaam, in the form of Best Western, Hilton, Golden Tulip, Holiday Inn, Hyatt Regency, Protea, Serena and Tsogo Sun.
Tsogo’s Southern Sun Dar es Salaam hotel is situated in the city centre and is very popular with business travellers. It proudly boasts beautiful botanical gardens as its backdrop, and is also situated close to the commercial centre and the city’s diplomatic offices. The elegant and cosmopolitan Dar es Salaam Serena (formerly the Moevenpick) enjoys an exceptionally high-profile clientele and regularly plays host to both regional and international events.
Protea has two properties, in the form of the Protea Courtyard Dar es Salaam and the Protea Oyster Bay, which is three kilometres from Dar.
Other options include the 5-star Hyatt Regency Dar es Salaam, The Kilimanjaro, which is situated near the waterfront and in close proximity to the airport. The luxurious Oyster Bay Hotel also enjoys a great location, within walking distance of the shopping district.
“My preferred hotel is the Hyatt Regency Kilimanjaro,” says Bryan. “It’s the best business hotel in Dar-es-Salaam and it’s worth paying for club room access just for breakfast alone.”
Outside of the big brands, the Sea Cliff is worth considering, according to management consultant Adrian Ristow.
“It has the best location as well as the best value for money, as long as you negotiate a good corporate rate,” says Ristow. “It’s away from the city centre, but it’s worth the extra drive. It has a great restaurant and bar overlooking the ocean and the rooms have been revamped. Make sure you ask for a sea-facing room.”
“The Sea Cliff is the most ‘posh’, although it’s also the furthest from the CBD,” says Trevor Ward, MD of W Hospitality Group. “The Hyatt is the grandest, and has a good Chinese restaurant. The Best Western is cosy, with a great pool and sea view.”
“Due to the traffic, I favour a centrally-located hotel, such as the Holiday Inn or the Kilimanjaro Kempinski,” says Bruce Page-Wood, Peermont’s Chief Operating Officer in Botswana. “If you want a seaside experience not too far from the city, I recommend the Kunduchi Beach Resort Hotel.”
Credit cards can only be used in large hotels, resorts, and with certain travel agents. In short, Tanzania is still a cash society.
ATMs are mostly located in the city centre and if travellers have a PIN code for their credit card, almost all Tanzanian banks with ATMs will allow cash advances on credit cards like Visa, MasterCard and American Express. If the ATM reports your home balance in TSh, you may be pleasantly surprised to find that you’re a “shillionaire”.
Nationals of the following African countries do not require a visa for a stay of up to 90 days: Botswana, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Visa holders are subject to normal immigration control at the port of entry. They should therefore carry with them for possible presentation to immigration officers, the documents submitted with their applications. Should travellers choose to obtain a visa on arrival, the wait can be quite long.
The major mobile service providers operate all over the country, even in some of the most remote areas, although service interruptions are common.
If travellers have an ‘unlocked’ GSM 900/1800mhz frequency mobile phone (the same frequency as used in the rest of the world, apart from USA and Canada), they can purchase a local SIM card from a series of Tanzanian service providers. The most popular are Vodacom, Airtel and Tigo.
Internet cafés are more and more common throughout Tanzania. They are easy to find in major urban areas, like Dar es Salaam and Arusha.
A yellow fever certificate is compulsory for all travellers arriving from infected areas.
Vaccinations should include: hepatitis A, typhoid, polio. Malaria, cholera and sleeping sickness (carried by the Tsetse fly) are also common in Tanzania.
Medical facilities are reasonable in Dar-es-Salaam and other towns. However, medical supplies are limited. Full medical insurance including repatriation (return to country of origin) is recommended. Only bottled water should be consumed.
As in many African countries, caution should always be exercised, particularly in tourist areas such as Arusha, Stone Town (Zanzibar), and Dar es Salaam. Crime against foreigners is not uncommon, particularly against those walking alone at night, which is not recommended.
Driving in to Dar es Salaam is also not recommended. The city centre is extremely congested from 09h00 to 18h00, Monday to Friday. There are few traffic lights, and the streets are very narrow.
“From a dining point of view, I recommend BBQ Village restaurant, which is a bit out of the Dar es Salaam CBD in the Msasani area, but is a great casual outdoor restaurant, particularly if you need to take a group for dinner,” says Bryan. “The grilled octopus is the best I’ve ever had.”
Mike Gray – CEO: Uniglobe Sub-Saharan Africa
Tanzanians are well-known for their friendly, laid back attitude. In most cases, you will be humbled by their hospitality despite the fact that most people are a lot poorer than you. As you travel in the tourist areas, you will probably attract your fair share of souvenir hawkers and beggars. Remember that these are poor people who are trying to earn money to feed their families. If you aren’t interested then say so, but try and remain polite. Normal courtesies should be shown when visiting local business people. English is the language used for business. Lightweight suits are usually expected to be worn for meetings. Appointments are generally necessary.
The accommodation options range from budget to 5-star, however we would recommend avoiding the budget options due to security issues. Most hotels are in the centre of the city near the harbour, therefore giving you easy access to all areas of Dar. The best business hotels are the Hyatt Regency Kilimanjaro, the Dar es Salaam Serena and the Holiday Inn. The Hyatt Regency Kilimanjaro has a great rimflow pool and bar overlooking the harbour, along with Level 8, the best bar in town, which enjoys panoramic views of the city and harbour and offers a wide variety of premium liquors, wines, cocktails and live music on the weekends.
Tanzania is also as a great tourism destination, and if you’re looking for a one-day trip, check out the War Cemetery, the National Museum or the fish market.
Air Uganda – www.air-uganda.com
Comores – www.comoresaviation.com
Condor – www.condor.com
Edelweiss – www.edelweissair.ch
EgyptAir – www.egyptair.com
Emirates – www.emirates.com
Ethiopian – www.ethiopianairlines.com
Fastjet – www.fastjet.com
Fly540 – www.fly540.com
Kenya Airways – www.kenya-airways.com
KLM – www.klm.com
LAM – www.lam.co.mz
Mango – www.flymango.com
Precision – www.precisionairtz.com
Qatar – www.qatar.com
RwandAir – www.rwandair.com
SAA – www.flysaa.com
Swiss – www.swiss.com
Tanganyika Flying –
Turkish – www.turkishairlines.com
TUIfly – www.tuifly.com
Yemenia – www.yemenia.com
Atlantis – www.atlantishotel.co.tz
Best Western Coral Beach – www.bestwestern.com
Colossseum – www.colosseumtz.com
Dar es Salaam Serena – www.serenahotels.com
DoubleTree by Hilton – www.hilton.com
Golden Tulip Dar es Salaam – www.goldentulip.com
Harbour View Suites – www.harbourviewsuites.com
Heritage Motel – www.heritagemotel.co.tz
Holiday Inn Dar es Salaam – www.ihg.com
Hotel Sapphire – www.hotelsapphiretz.com
Hyatt Regency – daressalaam.kilimanjaro.hyatt.com
Kunduchi Beach – www.kunduchi.com
Ledger Plaza Bahari Beach – www.laicohotels.com
Mediterraneo – www.mediterraneotanzania.com
New Africa – www.newafricahotel.com
Nikko Towers – www.hotelnikkotowers-tz.com
Peacock Hotel – www.peacock-hotel.com
Protea Courtyard – www.proteahotels.com
Protea Oyster Bay – www.proteahotels.com
Rainbow Hotel – www.rainbow-hoteltz.com
Safari Inn – www.safariinn.co.tz
Sea Cliff – www.hotelseacliff.com
Southern Sun Dar es Salaam – www.tsogosunhotels.com
Swiss Garden – www.swissgardenhotel.net
Tanzanite Executive Suites – www.tanzaniteexecutivesuites.com
Tiffany Diamond – www.tiffanydiamondhotel.com
Urban Rose – www.rosehotel.co.tz
White Sands – www.hotelwhitesands.com
Access-to-Africa – www.access-to-africa.com
America Express – www.americaexpresstravel.co.za
BCD – www.bcdtravel.com
CWT – www.carlsonwagonlit.com
FCm – www.fcm.travel
HRG – www.hrgworldwide.com
Travel with Flair – www.travelwithflair.co.za
Uniglobe – www.uniglobetravel.mu
XL Travel – www.xltravel.co.za