All travelers to Tanzania, whether arriving on the Mainland or Zanzibar, will need:

  • A current passport with an expiration date of at least six months beyond the last day you’ll be in Tanzania. If you need to renew your passport before traveling be sure to apply well in advance so the new passport arrives on time to travel.
  • A Tanzania tourist visa. Visas can be applied for in advance and should be applied for only through the Tanzanian government's official website at We recommend applying at least 3 weeks prior to your departure. Each traveler, including children, will need to apply for a visa separately. See the Downloads below for a help sheet to assist you with the application process. If you choose to purchase your visa upon arrival be prepared to pay in cash, USD only ($100 per person for US citizens, $50 per person for all other nationalities). Note that the process to purchase your visa on arrival has multiple steps and can be time consuming.

If you are visiting or transiting through Kenya as part of your trip, you will also need to apply for an Electronic Traveler Authorization (eTA) from the Kenya Department of Immigration. It is recommended to apply at least 3 working days before you travel to allow enough time for authorization:

Proper health preparations for the trip are your responsibility. You may be able to get your vaccinations from your own physician, but a travel clinic will be more familiar with the necessary vaccines and can also provide other helpful information.

For information about recommended vaccinations, visit the CDC website here:

Yellow Fever vacination is only required if you are coming from or transiting through (for 12 hours or longer) a Yellow Fever high-risk country: See the Downloads below for more information about Tanzania's requirements.

We strongly encourage you to insure your trip. Speak with your travel agent or airline about options for travel insurance to cover personal accidents, medical expenses and medical evacuation, repatriation, trip cancellation, and loss of personal effects.

You can also shop for coverage options at Cancellation policies are strictly enforced--Cancel For Any Reason coverage (CFAR) gives you the most cancellation flexibility.

If climbing Kilimanjaro, ensure your coverage includes medical evacuation up to 6,000 meters above sea level.

The weather may vary considerably throughout your trip, or even throughout the day, so plan on clothing that can be layered if it’s cool, or removed if it’s warm. Choose separates that can be mixed and matched, and avoid fabrics that require special care. Neutral colors are good for safari; avoid black and blue clothing as tsetse flies are attracted to those colors (small amounts of these colors are okay). Accessorize with modest jewelry.

Many accommodations offer laundry service for a fee (usually about $1-3 per item depending on the item). Laundry is often hand washed and line dried so plan to use laundry services only at accommodations you are staying at for two or more nights to ensure enough time to get your laundry back before continuing to your next destination.

Depending on your itinerary, consider a pair of sturdy closed-toe shoes in case of mud or rough terrain. Sandals will be appropriate for game drives. Most days will be sunny, so bring appropriate sun protection: hat (wide-brim is best to protect the neck and ears), sunscreen, sunglasses.

Packing for a trip like this is a delicate balance between bringing what you’ll need and not overburdening yourself with luggage. As you review the packing list and determine what to bring with you, remember this:

“He who would travel happily must travel light.” —Antoine de Saint Exupéry, pilot and author

Clearly mark your luggage on the outside and inside with your contact information in case it gets lost. A bright ribbon or large, unique luggage tag will help you spot your luggage on the carousel among the hundreds of other bags also arriving on your flight. It's also a good idea to snap a quick photo of your packed luggage before you check-in so you have an easy reference in case any luggage gets lost along the way and you need to submit a claim form.

Check with your airline(s) for guidelines on the number and size of bags you may carry—especially any domestic or chartered carriers you’ll be using in Tanzania, as their restrictions will be more extreme than for international flights. Soft-sided luggage is much easier to manage when packing in your safari vehicle and may also be required by the airline if you are flying in or out of the national parks. You can find specific luggage information for domestic airlines here:

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Tanzanian government has banned plastic bags. Zip-lock style bags for carrying toiletries are accepted.


  • passport (keep a photocopy of your photo page in each of your suitcases)
  • printed copy of your eVisa if you applied online in advance (which we recommend)
  • printed copy of your air travel itinerary
  • International Certificate of Vaccination (not required of most travelers, only those whose itinerary requires them to have proof of Yellow Fever vaccination)
  • prescription and essential over-the-counter medications in their original containers
  • money and/or ATM/credit cards (see the Money section of What to Expect for more information)
  • toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, and any other essential hygiene items
  • a few clothing items to hold you over a couple of days if your luggage gets lost
  • valuables such as your camera and phone


  • passport carrier/money holder
  • small day pack/backpack for carrying items you need during the day
  • wide-brimmed hat
  • converter/adapter
  • binoculars
  • small flashlight
  • travel alarm
  • mini sewing kit and safety pins
  • extra batteries or charger for camera
  • bandana for a variety of uses—washcloth, dust mask, head cover, etc.
  • snacks—granola bars, trail mix, hard candies; chocolate may melt but could still be worth the risk
  • hand sanitizer
  • feminine sanitary supplies (even if you aren't expecting your period during the trip because travel can sometimes affect your cycle)—options are very limited for local purchase, especially tampons
  • insect repellent
  • lip balm with sunscreen
  • roll of toilet paper or travel packs of tissue
  • shampoo and hair styling products (some tented camps and lodges operate on solar power and cannot accommodate a hair dryer or other styling implements; select a low-maintenance hairstyle for your safari)
  • sunscreen
  • wet wipes
  • Swahili phrasebook
  • Tanzania guidebook

MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS: click here for a specialized packing list.

Do you have other questions about how to prepare for your Tanzanian safari?

Just email us and we’ll be glad to help! Be sure to also check out the What to Expect section of our site for more helpful information.