first-timer tanzania needs help

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May 18th, 2000, 09:30 PM
  #1
David Arjanik
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first-timer tanzania needs help

Hi, I'm considering doing some volunteer work in Tanzania--specifically, in a village named Mlali 300km south of Dar es Salaam. Accomodations upon arrival are completely taken care of; but it is my responsibility to actually get there. This will be the first time I have traveled outside of the US on my own, so I was hoping to get some info.

Here goes!

HOW TO GET THERE?
How much is reasonable airfare? Should I fly directly into Dar es Salaam or other airport in Tanzania or should I go to an adjoining country and take a train in? I've checked out airfares on the web for the months of July and August and they seem to hover at around $2,900. I noticed some ~$1,000 fares offered by Ethiopian airlines but I couldn't get my dates for those fares. Should I just call an airline directly, or maybe a travel agent?

HEALTH
What inoculations do I need to get prior to leaving for Tanzania? Is there a website somewhere that gives this info? Once in Tanzania, are there any extra precautions that need to be taken--water, food, etc.? Speaking of food, I'm a vegetarian (I eat eggs and dairy, though)--is it possible to eat veggie there?

CLIMATE
How hot/cold does it get in Tanzania during July-August?

VISA
How to best apply for the visa? Is it easy to get? How long does it take?

MISC/CATCH-ALL
Am I missing any important questions? Any general hints?

I know this is a veritable deluge of questions, feel free to answer as little or as much as you'd like; any information at all would be helpful and interesting.

Thanks!

--David
 
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May 19th, 2000, 07:06 AM
  #2
Bly
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David: I'm no expert on Tanzania, but here goes...

Air: We were flying to Mombasa,Kenya first, but the cheapest way we found was JFK>Amsterdam>Nairobi. I'll have to check airlines, but I think it was Delta to Amsterdam, then KLM to Nairobi. I spoke to some Kili climbers last week and they did the same itinerary. We then took Kenya Air to Mombasa, the climbers did ground transport - hired Rovers with Drivers to go to Kili. Approx $1500-1700rt from Denver. It'll be cheaper from the East Coast obviously. We bought our tickets as separate flights. Denver>Amsterdam rt, Amsterdam>Mombasa rt v. Denver>Mombasa. $500-700 cheaper, but if you're delayed on one leg or if they lose luggage, you're SOL.
If you're willing to take the risk, check from your departure point thru Heathrow/CDG/Amsterdam>Nairobi>Dar es Salaam.







 
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May 19th, 2000, 07:27 AM
  #3
Bly
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oops - got booted..

Check CDC.gov, the traveler info for E. Africa. Had to get Hep A, Tetnus, Yellow Fever, Cholera. Plus Malaria pills. Some of my travel partners also got Polio and Measles updates and Meningitis. Depending on type of volunteer work, you may want to get Hep B and Rabies as well. Expensive and a drag, but better safe than sorry. Buy stock in Pepto Bismol. We were taking it like after dinner mints. My doc also prescribed antibiotics, pain killers and Lomotil just in case. Some get needles and stringes from Dr w/ rx.

Don't drink the water. You may want to get a filter if you're going to be there an extended time or get iodine/Potable H2O. Don't use water to brush teeth. We didn't have a problem with veggies or fruit. Again, don't eat raw veggies or fruit you don't peel. The meat was questionable (esp. after you see the markets) anyway.

Weather-depends on the altitude. The cities were brutally hot/humid in Mar/Apr, Kili was hot but comfortable, Ngorongoro was cool.
 
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May 19th, 2000, 07:28 AM
  #4
Tahiti Bob
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Here some helpful websites:

HEALTH:
http://www.cdc.gov/travel

VISA
http://www.tanzaniaembassy-us.org

 
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May 19th, 2000, 07:33 AM
  #5
bly
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Con't Visas were easy to get. Do a web search for Visas, Tanzania. There were a couple sites were you could download the app w/ Adobe, and send in with a check and passport. I always use FedEx as they can track it. There's probably an embassy in NY where you could walk in and get it done. Make sure your passport doesn't expire w/i 6 months of your trip.

Feel free to email me with any further questions. Have fun.
 
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May 19th, 2000, 07:18 PM
  #6
April
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Wouldn't it be easier to just fly to Tanzania or is it way more expensive? I flew Ethiopian from London through Addis Ababa to Kilimanjaro airport. Returned through Uganda (but didn't have to change planes). Some people flew back with KLM. Since flying on Ethiopian isn't an option, I would check into flights into Dar es Salaam.

Airport at Addis Ababa was rather frightful. I wished I'd used the washroom on the plane. You will appreciate plumbing when you get home! Which brings up another point - toilet paper can be scarce. Take extra. I would have been gulping Pepto Bismol too if I'd known about it then.

I would think you should be able to eat vegetarian in Tanzania. Much of the meat, except for fish, isn't that great anyway. I had a wonderful rice dish there and the best samozas (non-meat) I've ever had. Bread is easy to come by and so are snack sized bananas.

Hygiene is of utmost importance. As for shots, get what is required and then decide if you want the rest. Some airport officials aren't above deciding out of the blue that some shot is needed in order to get a few bucks in their hands. I believe we had to exchange about $50 upon arriving at the airport in Tanzania.

I agree with Bly about temperature depending on altitude. It can get surprisingly cold at times.

It's worth it to learn a little Swahili before you go as people really appreciated it.

Do you mind me asking what kind of volunteer work they require?
 
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Jun 8th, 2000, 07:52 AM
  #7
Willow
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I am going to Tanzania in August and I have gotten every shot imagineable. All government literature says you must get a shot for Yellow fever and take malaria pills but if you read travel books and research on the Net you will get advice to get shots for Yellow fever, meningitis, polio, flu, hepatitis A & B, tetnus. I got those plus anitbiotics for cholora, dysentary, and other bacterial viruses i.e., giardia. I also got prescriptions for nausea, malaria and diamox (in case you want to climb Kilimanjaro). You should definitely get a water PURIFIER (not just filter). Check out the PUR systems. The iodine tablets should not really be used for more than a month at a time. None of the above is cheap or covered by any type of health insurance so I spread it out a little. Have fun.
 
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