Tanzania

Tanzania is home to Mount Kilimanjaro
Tanzania is home to Mount Kilimanjaro

Several famous landmarks reside in Tanzania, including Mount Kilimanjaro and Serengeti National Park, while the scenic islands of Mafia, Bongoyo and Pemba offer relaxing stays for tourists seeking a gentler break.

Getting to Tanzania

Around 75,000 British nationals visit Tanzania every year, which is only feasibly accessible by airplane, or a car journey of roughly 150 hours.

Flying from London to Arusha Airport, for example, can produce a selection of flight times that will depend on your airline and how many stops you make.

Flights can range between 17-25 hours in most cases, but other flights could require a travel time of nearer 44 hours.

If you are unsure as to how to manage your medication while in the air then you should discuss a plan with your diabetic specialist.

Time difference

The time difference in Tanzania is two hours ahead of British Summer Time and three hours of Greenwich Mean Time, which should not result in drastic altering of your diabetes management.

Climate

In Tanzania, which is just south of the Equator, the period of June to September is the coolest, but average temperatures still remain at around 20°C.

If you take insulin, be wary that insulin absorption can be enhanced in warmer temperature and additional monitoring of blood sugar levels will be required.

Currency

The currency used in Tanzania is the Tanzanian Shilling. Exchanging money in Tanzania is possible in most populated areas, although the rates are usually worse in hotels than banks.

Vaccinations

There are no mandatory vaccinations to enter Tanzania, however several are highly recommended. You should consult your doctor eight weeks prior to your departure in order to receive the vaccinations in time.

All travellers are recommended to get vaccinations for hepatitis A and typhoid, which can both be contracted through contaminated food or water.

Some travellers are also recommended to receive vaccinations for other diseases, including hepatitis B and rabies.

You should also talk to your doctor about how to prevent the contraction of malaria while travelling. Your doctor may prescribe you medication before, during and after your stay and will advise you on what to do to avoid getting malaria.

It is not recommended for all travellers to receive yellow fever vaccine, however, it should be considered if you are staying a long time or will be heavily exposed to mosquitoes.

The government of Tanzania also require proof of yellow fever vaccination if you have travelled from a country with a risk of yellow fever.

Access to medication

UK citizens with diabetes will not be entitled to any free medication services while in Tanzania. Securing comprehensive medical insurance will be essential in order to obtain even basic treatment.

Diabetic medication is available in Tanzania, but payment will be required from all pharmacies.  You will be able to obtain urine testing equipment, although blood testing equipment is not widely available in rural areas. It is, however, available in most major towns and cities.

The number to call in case of an emergency in Tanzania is 111.

Insulin

You should note which syringes are available in Tanzania, with U-100, U-80 and U-40 syringes the most commonly used.

The vast majority of insulin in the UK is U-100 insulin. If you take, or are given any other strength of insulin (e.g. U-80 or U-40 insulin) whilst abroad, your current doses will not be applicable.

For example, you would use a U-40 syringe for U-40 insulin. You will need to work with a doctor getting the right dose if you’re using a different form of insulin.

Diabetes associations

It is important to note the diabetes associations in the country you are travelling to in case of an emergency.

There are two diabetic associations in Tanzania. Their contact details are:

  • Diabetes Association of Zanzibar (a member of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) since1991),
    PO Box 1902,
    000 Zanzibar,
    Tanzania,
    Tel: +255773194431
    Email: diabeteszanzibar@yahoo.com.au
  • Tanzania Diabetes Association (a member of IDF since 1994),
    Makuti,
    PO Box 65201,
    Dar Es Salaam,
    Tanzania
    Tel: +255-22-2114991
    Email: tdassociation@gmail.com

Questions

  • What language is spoken in Tanzania? Kiswahili. It is important to learn basic Kiswahili phrases as a minimum requirement before entering Tanzania. Only very basic English will be spoken so you will need to research the language to help you in your day-to-day activities.
  • Will I need an international driving license when driving in Tanzania? Yes
  • If I want to hire a vehicle during my visit, will I face any form of discrimination? No
  • What sugar free drinks are available in Tanzania? Soda water
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