Mwanza Guide ‘online’
African dress code:
Africa is far from Europe - also concerned what to wear, when and how. For both men and women, dress is important. You will have fewer difficulties, and be met with more respect and openness, if you are considerate of local sensibilities and dress modestly and reasonably neatly.
Bare-legged or bare-shouldered travellers, or those warring excessively tatty clothing are often regarded with disdain.
For women, skirts to below the knee or loose-fitting long pants and modest tops with some sort of sleeve are the best option; and for men, long pants and shirts with sleeves should be worn.
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International VISA cardholders can get local currency 24 hours a day/7 days a week at the Standard Chartered ATM in Mwanza (Close to the Clock tower roundabout). (Maximum draw: 400.000 Tanzania Shillings compared to US$ 325 a day). MasterCard holders can now use the ATM at EXIM Bank (Kenyatta Road) also 24 hours a day/7 days a week.

Banking and Currency
Money can be changed freely at authorized dealers, banks, or bureaux de change - but for safety insist on a receipt for the transaction. There are a few foreign banks in major towns, but local banks operate far into remote districts.
The basic unit is the Tanzania Shilling. Notes: TSH 500, 1.000, 2.000, 5.000 and 10.000. Coins: TSH 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200. It is advisable to carry American dollars. Moneychangers also accept the major convertible currencies including British Pounds, Euros, Danish Kroner and Japanese Yen etc.
Traveller’s cheques are still exchangeable in some places (In Mwanza at Bureaux de change only - e.g. at Serengeti Services & Tours, Post Street and the FOREX at New Mwanza Hotel’s shopping arcade - which is open Sundays also).
Exchange rates Tanzania Shilling to US$ and EUR (September 2007):
1,000/= TSH = 0,794 US$
1,000/= TSH = 0,570 €
Currency converter: http://finance.yahoo.com/currency

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‘Through a Window’ by Jane Goodall is a vivid portrayal of the author’s research and life with the chimpanzees of Gombe Stream National Park. (The NP is located only 400 km from Mwanza.) Web info:http://www.janegoodall.com
Lonely Planet’s ‘TANZANIA’ by Mary Fitzpatrick. The Bible for travellers on a budget. The 3rd edition is sold now. Price: 24 US$ or 15£. We have found surprising few updates compared to the 2nd edition from 2002 - but lots of old and somehow misleading information. As a guide it is not worth the money.
‘The Rough Guide to Tanzania’ by Jens Finke (2nd edition from 2006) seems to be a better choice. ISBN: 1843535319. Price: 24 US$ or 15£. Web info: http://www.roughguides.com
Swahili Phrasebook: Whether you're on public transport or in the local market, you'll find it easy to understand others and be understood with the help of our distinct and easy-to-use phrasebook format. We've also included helpful tips on culture, etiquette, food and travel. 224 pages, 7 US$. ISBN: 184353648X. Published by: The Rough Guide. Read more and download the following travel scenario audio files from The Rough Guide Swahili Phrasebook here:

Business hours:
Monday - Friday 8:30 AM - 3 PM (8:30 - 15:00)
Saturday 9 AM - 1:30 PM (9 - 13:30)
Sunday closed
Public sector:
Monday - Friday 8 AM - 5 PM (8 - 17:00)
Private sector:
Monday - Friday 8 AM - 5 PM (8 - 17:00)
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Car hire
There are numerous car rental agencies in Dar es Salaam and Arusha - plus a handful in Mwanza. Most charges approximately the same price, but local companies (e.g. FORTES CAR HIRE) are normal slightly cheaper like international agencies like AVIS and Hertz. See Car rental and by safari bureau at this web site.
Cell (mobile) phones
Several cellular phone companies operate in Tanzania (GSM 900/1800 network) and roaming lines work near major cities and towns.
Your modern GSM mobile phone, brought from your home country, will work without problems on the Tanzanian network, but coverage is limited to main urban areas - e.g. Mwanza.
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International direct dial is available to and from Tanzania. The country code for incoming calls to Tanzania is +255. The outgoing code is 00 for the United States and 000 for all other countries. Public call boxes in post offices and main towns operate on a card system, available from most small shops.
Credit cards
Credit cards (VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Diners and more) are accepted at Tilapia Hotel and New Mwanza Hotel. Before using international credit cards at hotels, travel agencies - ask how high the card fee is.
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Dental Service
The centre is based in the most prominent and central hotel complex in Mwanza (New Mwanza Hotel in Post Street). Two complete surgeries, cabinetry and materials from Dentaid and donors in the UK and America ensured that Hope Dental Centre is the best equipped facility in the country, offering a high standard of quality dental services.
Alongside the clinic based care, the centre also offers a Mobile Dental Service. They regularly fly a mobile dental unit to the mining communities in Kahama and North Mara to provide a wide range of services. The partnership with the mining companies is also allowing them to develop basic dental services with some very poor and remote communities.

Postal address: Hope Dental Centre, attention: Dr. Ian Wilson, P.O. Box 2323, Mwanza
Phone: 250 0732 to the clinic. (Dr. Wilson mobile 0754 887254 (urgent calls only))
Mail address: ian@bridge2aid.org
About Bridge2Aid and Hope Dental Centre: http://www.bridge2aid.org/cm/general/whatb2a

Drinks (alcoholic)
Safari and Kilimanjaro are the local Tanzanian beers - and they are definitely very good. Kenyan (Tusker), South African (Castle) and the world famous Danish Carlsberg Beer is also available in selected bars and hotels in Mwanza. Beers cost from about 500 TSH at local bars up to around 2.000 TSH at top-end hotels and discos. Konyagi is the general term of local liquor - and it is not bad.
Drinks (non-alcoholic)
Soft drinks are available everywhere, usually cold. The most common are Fanta and Coca-Cola - both produced locally on the huge Coca-Cola plant only few kilometre from Mwanza city centre. Especially Fanta (five different sorts) is extreme delicious - because of pure local fruits directly from underneath the African sun are solely used in the production - and not chemical substitutes, sugar and tap water only as in Europe and in the States.
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Duty Free
The following items may be imported into Tanzania without incurring customs duty: 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250 grams of tobacco, 1 (one litre) bottle of alcoholic beverage and 570 ml perfume.
Tanzania uses 220V, 50 cycles and AC (Like UK, Germany, Denmark and most of EU too). Power cuts occur with some frequency, although they generally don’t last very long.
Plugs and sockets vary but are usually the British three-square pin or two-round pin variety. Adaptors are available in Mwanza - or bring a “tourist-adaptor” from home.
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E-mail & Internet
Tanzania has got the largest number of Internet cafes in sub-Saharan Africa. Internet cafes are located on every second street corner in Mwanza. The fee is 500 - 1.000 Tanzania Shilling per hour (1.000 TSH = 1US$). Places you can surf while in Mwanza are: Community Telecenter at NCU Building of Kenyatta Road, Barmedas.com at Nkrumah Road, Avionics at Market Street of Rwagasore Road, Mwanza Post Office (Post Street Branch) Internet Café and Karibu Internet Café at the junction of Post Street and Kenyatta Road.

Entry Requirements
A valid passport; a valid visa for those not exempted. An international Certificate of Vaccination for yellow fever is required if you are arriving from an infected area. Check: Yellow fever endemic zones in Africa. Vaccination is a relatively cheap one and it is valid for 10 years. And don’t forget, that yellow fever is a deadly disease. Check the ‘Health’ section on this website.

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The export of seashells, coral, ivory and turtle shells is illegal. You may export a maximum of 2.000 Tanzanian Shillings. There’s no limited on the importation of foreign currency, although amounts of more than 10.000 US$ must be declared.
Faxes can be sent from Tanzanian Telecom Office in Mwanza, private business centres and from some hotels e.g. New Mwanza Hotel and Tilapia Hotel.
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Lake Victoria is known for a once in a lifetime fishing experience, particularly for the Nile Perch - the largest fresh water fish in the world. (According to Guinness Book of World Records: A 232 kg (516 lb) Nile Perch is caught by local fishermen in Lake Victoria.
In Mwanza there is a good selection of places to eat - ranging from delicious local food places, through a growing number of fast food restaurants - to exquisite European-style restaurants at Tilapia Hotel and New Mwanza Hotel. See the ‘Places to eat’ section. The choice is naturally more limited in smaller towns and villages out of Mwanza Town, where you’re likely just find a small hoteli (informal, local restaurant) serving chicken, beef or fish with stable such as rice or ugali.
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If you wear glasses or contact lenses, take a spare pair and your prescription, as well as any necessary lens solutions, as these aren’t available locally.
Federal republic since 1964. Tanganyika gained independence from UK in 1961. In 1964 Tanganyika joined with Zanzibar, which had been British protectorate until 1963 - and became Tanzania. Head of State: President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete since 2005. Head of Government: Prime Minister Edward Lowassa since 2005.
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Medical insurance, including coverage of emergency medical air evacuation, is strongly recommended.
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English and Kiswahili are the two official languages in Tanzania. English is mainly spoken in major towns, businesses and in the administration. Kiswahili, “the language of the coast”, played a key role in mobilizing and uniting Tanzania during the struggle for independence and later became a symbol of national identity.
In addition to the two main languages spoken, there are 130 or more listed as living languages, all spoken by the different ethnicities, tribes (e.g. Kisukuma in Sukumaland) and foreigners in the country.
Local time
GMT plus 3 hours. There is no daylight saving.
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Download (PDF) print a Mwanza City Map or a Mwanza Region Map.

From 11 AM you will find Tanzanian English-language dailies include the Guardian, The Citizen, East Africa, Daily News and Procurement News all over town. International magazines available are Newsweek and Time Magazine.

National Anthem
Download (MIDI-file) and listen to Tanzania’s National Anthem.

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Photography & video
DON’T take pictures of anything connected with the government and the military, including army barracks, land and people anywhere close to army barracks. Government offices, post offices, banks, ports, train stations and airports are also off limits.
I you want to take pictures of a person - you can ask in Swahili language: ‘Naomba nikupige picha?’ If the answer is ‘Hapana!’ - don’t take pictures. If you want to take pictures of something else e.g. a house, a car, or … - you can ask somebody close to it: ‘Naomba nipige picha?’
Bring your print film (e.g. FUJI 200 ASA) with you from home, but wait to process your film to you are back. There are several places for development in Mwanza, but the quality isn’t that reliable yet.
Post (mail)
Airmail to Europe/United States/Asia takes one week. Courier services take less than 24 hours. Western Union Money Transfer from Europe takes less than one hour.
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Reconfirmation (return flight) (Ordinary tickets)
Reconfirm your return flight not later than 72 hours. Serengeti Services & Tours, Post Street in Mwanza will be happy to help you. Phone from Mwanza: 250 0061 or 250 9754. Phone international: +255 28 250 0061. Fax international: +255 28 2500446.
E-mail: reservation@serengetiservices.com Web site: www.serengetiservices.com
NOTE: You don’t need to reconfirm an E-ticket (paper tickets).

Tanzania is a secular state, whose population enjoys a high degree of freedom as provided by the Constitution. Major religions are Islam and Christianity. Muslims from about 38%, the same as Christians. The remaining 24% follow traditional religions. There are also Asian religions practiced byAsian communities, like the Hindi.
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Road rules in Tanzania
In Tanzania, you drive left, and most vehicles have right-hand drive. If you’re not used to drive left - and especially in Africa - hire a qualified driver together with the car. Your European/American/Asian driver’s license is valid in Tanzania - as long as you are there as a tourist, but an International driver’s licence is recommend. Consult your local police office on this matter before leaving home.
Avoid driving after dark, but if you must drive at night, be VERY alert for stopped vehicles in the roadway without lights or hazard warnings. Also many trucks are driving with only one headlight - and what you think is a motorbike suddenly shows up to be an oncoming big truck in full speed on a narrow road. While driving in Africa, also watch out for pedestrians, children, animals and bicycles with loads placed horizontal rather than vertical.
Tanzania is a poor country and the few bills you have in your back pocket represent an enormous sum for many Tanzanians. Pick pocketing is rife in crowded areas such as bus- and train stations and markets. Carry your money in an inside pocket or pouch. Don’t wear expensive items, such as watches, jewellery and your new NIKON DHX digital camera unconcealed.
NOTE: According to the American authorities - there is a high risk of terrorism in Tanzania, including Zanzibar, as there are in other countries in East Africa. The American Embassy in Dar es Salaam was hit by a serious terrorist attack 7th August 1998 - but since then, nothing terrorist-related has happen in Tanzania.
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Lake Victoria is riddled with Bilharzia, so avoid swimming in the lake or walking barefooted through the grass along its shores, as this is where the parasite-hosting snails lurk. Don’t swim (or walk) in any fresh water lake in Tanzania. You will find a nice outdoor swimming pool at Tilapia Hotel. They will charge a minor fee for non-guests using the pool. Ask the receptionist, the bartender in charge at the outdoor bar - or in advance on phone (+255 28) 250 0141/250 0517/250 0617.
Tanzania’s climate in general
Tanzania’s climate is predominately tropical. Coastal areas are usually hot and humid, but on the beaches a sea breeze cools the air considerably. The average day temperature is 30°C. Tanzania has two rainy seasons; the long rains run from late March to June, and the short rains from November to January. The long rains fall in heavy downpours, often accompanied by violent storms, but the short rains rend to be much less severe. The hottest time of the year is from December to March, before the long rains begin. The coolest months are June, July and August, when the weather is often overcast. In high-altitude areas such as Kilimanjaro and the Ngorongoro Highlands, temperatures can fall below the freezing point. You will find a very usefull online weater forecast including a five-days weather prognosis on this website.
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Tanzania Tourist Board
Tanzania Tourist Board, P.O. Box 2485, Dar es Salaam, phone: +255 22 2111244/5, fax: +255 22 2116420. Web site: www.tanzaniatouristboard.com
Taxis can be hired from several taxi stands in town and on the street. None have meters, so you need to discuss the fare with the driver before getting in. The standard rate for short town trips is 1.000 TSH. To the airport and to Bujora the ‘standard’ prices are 10.000 TSH. To hire a taxi for a longer trip away from town, negotiate the fare based on distance, petrol costs and road condition - plus a fair profit for the driver.
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Toilets in Tanzania are either Western sit-down or Asian squat style. In some places, squat toilets are equipped with a flush mechanisms, while in others they are simply built over a deep hole in the ground (long drop) with two slabs of rock for positioning the feet. You’ll also find Western-style toilet seats balanced over a long drop. Cleanliness levels vary; if you go in expecting the worst, you’ll often be surprised that they’re not all that bad. Toilets with running water are a rarity outside of the larger towns, except at top-end hotels, which all have Western flush toilets. However, even where there’s no running water, there will often be a bucket and scoop nearby for flushing. Many luxury tented camps in remote areas have ‘dry’ toilets - just a fancy version of the long drop with a Western-style seat - but they’re invariably very clean and hygienic.

Useful Swahili (basic)

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  Learn Swahili on the Internet  http://www.yale.edu/swahili/
  Before you land:  
  You look smart Umependeeza sana
  What is your name? Jina lako ni nani?
  When will we arrive? Tutafika saa ngapi?
  Thank you for your service Asante kwa huduma
  Just landed:  
  Welcome Karibu
  How are you? Habari yako?
  I am a citizen of …… Mimi ni raia wa …..
  Where is your passport? Pasi yoko iko wapi?
  It is hot today Leo ni joto sana
  How long will it take? Itachukua muda gain?

On the streets

  Let’s go to Tilapia Hotel Naomba twende Tilapia Hotel
  Where do they serve good food? Wapi sehemu nzuri ya chakula?
  What is the price? Bei gani?
  I want to go to town Nataka kwende mjini
  How much is the fare? Nauli ni kiasi gani?
  At a restaurant:  
  Do you serve food here? Mnauza chakula hapa?
  I want …. food Nata chakula cha ….
  ……. European kizungu
  ……. Indian kihindi
  ……. African kiafrika
  I’m a vegetarian Nakula mboga tu
  I don’t eat meat Mimi sili nyama
  Please bring me the bill Nipe risiti tafadhali
  Basic words:  
  Hello Jambo
  Goodbye Kwaheri
  How are you? Hujambo
  Fine Mzuri Sana
  Please Tafadhali
  Thank you Asante Sana
  Excuse me Samahani
  Yes Ndiyo
  No Hapana
  Mr. Bwana
  Ms. Bibi
  Infant Mtoto
  Elder Mzee
  Take care Kuwa mwangarifu
  I want Nataka
  I’m going Nakwenda
  I’m coming Nakuja
  I’m ill Ninaumwa
  Doctor Daktari
  Medicine Dawa
  Pills Drugstore Duka la dawa
  Fever homa
  0 sifuri
  1 moja
  2 mbili
  3 tatu
  4 nne
  5 tano
  6 sita
  7 saba
  8 nane
  9 tisa
  10 kumi
  11 kumi na moja
  20 ishirini
  21 ishirini na moja
  30 thelathini
  40 arobaini
  50 hamsini
  What time is it? Ni saa ngapi?
  It’s … o’clock Ni saa …
  Half past na nusu
  Quarter past na robo
  Quarter to kasarobo
  Minute dakika
  Hour/clock/time saa
  Day(s) siku
  Week(s) wiki
  Today leo
  Morning asubuhi
  Afternoon mchana
  Night usiku
  Yesterday jana
  Tomorrow kesho
  Soon sasa hivi
  Later baadaye
  Always kila wakati
  Every day kila siku
  Saturday Jumamosi
  Sunday Jumapili
  Monday Jumatatu
  Tuesday Jumanne
  Wednesday Jumatano
  Thursday Alhamisi
  Friday Ijumaa
Visa and documents
All visitors to Tanzania except for very few countries require entry visas. Visas can be obtained from Tanzanian Embassies and for some nationals only, at the point of entry - but it is recommended to get it be-forehand. Processing and issuance of visas normally takes between a few hours to ten days depending on nationalities and circumstances. See the visa & formality section on this web site.
Tourist visas last for three months and fees range from US$ 20 to US$ 80 depending on nationality. Investors need business visas, which can also be obtained at all Tanzania Embassies and consulates abroad. It is issued upon presentation of necessary documentation at a US $200 fee. Like tourist visas, business visas can be obtained upon arrival at major points of entry, but it is also recommended to get it be-forehand.
Visa extension is always possible and can be made at the immigration office in Mwanza and at all major towns within Tanzania. NOTE: Business visas cannot be extended while in Tanzania.
Multiple visas will no longer be issued at embassies and consulates abroad, but requests have to be sent directly to Immigration Services in Dar es Salaam. Address: Immigration HQ, P.O. Box 222, Ohio/Ghana Avenue, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Phone: +255 22 2118637. Fax: +255 22 2112174. E-mail: uhamiaji@intafrica.com NOTE: Regulations and requirements for international travel may change at short notice. Before finalizing any travel arrangements, you are advised to contact the appropriate diplomatic or consular authority.
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Be careful of the water and especially ice. If you don’t know for certain that the water is safe, assume the worst.
Reputable brands of bottled water or soft drinks are fine, and are widely available in Tanzania. Although it’s generally not a problem in Tanzania, check the bottles to be sure they haven’t been refilled with tap water. Only use water from containers with a serrated seal - not tops or corks. Take care with fruit juice, particularly if water may have been added. Milk should be treated with suspicion, as it is often unpasteurised, although boiled milk is fine if it is kept hygienically. Tea or coffee should also be OK, since the water should have been boiled.
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African dress code E-mail & Internet Photography & video
ATMs Entry Requirements Post (and money transfer)
Banking & currency Export Reconfirmation (return flight)
Books Fax Religion
Business hours Fishing Road rules in Tanzania
Car hire Food (including local food) Security
Cell (mobile) phones Glasses Swimming
Communications Government Tanzania’s climate in general
Credit cards Insurance Tanzania Tourist Board
Dental Service Language Taxis
Drinks (alcoholic) Local time Toilets
Drinks (non-alcoholic) Maps Useful Swahili
Duty Free Newspapers Visa and documents
Electricity National Anthem Water