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Area Codes -- Dar es Salaam, 022; Bagamoyo, Mafia Island, and south coast, 023; Zanzibar and Pemba, 024; Moshi, Arusha, and Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area, 027; Serengeti National Park and Lake Victoria region, 028; central and southwestern Tanzania and Lake Tanganyika, 026. If you're calling a cellphone number from abroad, you don't need to add the area code before the cellphone code, but you do need to drop the first 0.

Drinking Laws -- On mainland Tanzania, alcohol is sold in bars, hotels, restaurants, and supermarkets with no restrictions. The exception is the coast and Zanzibar, where, away from the large resorts, small Muslim-owned restaurants generally do not offer liquor.

Electricity -- Outlets in Tanzania supply 230 volts of electric current. New sockets take square three-pin plugs (same as the U.K.), but you may find large round three-pin and small two-pin sockets in older hotels. Bring a multi-adaptor/converter with power surge protection, as Tanzania can experience power surges. Consult www.walkabouttravelgear.com for information on converters and adapters.

Embassies & Consulates -- All embassies are located in Dar es Salaam, the capital.

    U.S. Embassy: 686 Old Bagamoyo Rd., Msasani (tel. 022/266-8001; http://tanzania.usembassy.gov).

    U.K. Embassy: Umoja House, Garden Avenue (tel. 022/211-0101; http://ukintanzania.fco.gov.uk).

    High Commission of Canada: 38 Mirambo St. (tel. 022/216-330; www.canadainternational.gc.ca/tanzania-tanzanie).

    Australia Embassy: Australia does not have an embassy or consulate in Tanzania; the Canadian embassy provides consular assistance to Australians.

Emergencies -- For all emergencies (ambulance, fire, and police), dial 112.

Holidays -- Zanzibar and the Tanzanian coast are predominantly Muslim. Tanzania shares some public holidays with Kenya. Exceptions are Nyerere Day (Jan 1), Zanzibar Revolution Day (Jan 12; Zanzibar only), Union Day (Apr 26), Industrial Day (July 7), and Farmer's Day (Oct 14).

Hospitals -- In Dar es Salaam: IST Clinic, Ruvu Street, International School of Tanganyika Campus, Masaki (tel. 022/260-1307 and 022/260-1308, or, in emergency, 0744/783-393; www.istclinic.com); and Nordic Clinic, Valhalla House 30 (tel. 022/260-1650 and 022/260-0274, or mobile 0741/325-569; www.nordic.or.tz).

In Arusha: Selian Hospital Clinic (tel. 027/250-3726).

Legal Aid -- If you get robbed, lose your passport, or get into any kind of trouble, contact the police. The Tanzanian police are responsible for investigating and prosecuting local crimes, and to make an insurance claim, you will need to get a police report for theft. For anything more serious, embassy officials can provide some basic assistance, such as recommending an English-speaking attorney.

Mail -- A postcard or letter costs $3 to Europe and $3.50 to North America or Australia. International surface parcels cost about $6 per kilogram, and parcels by airmail are about $12 per kilogram; note that this is considerably cheaper than in Kenya.

Newspapers & Magazines -- Tanzania has two daily English-language newspapers: Daily News (www.dailynews.co.tz) and Guardian (www.ippmedia.com). The East African (www.theeastafrican.co.ke) is a weekly newspaper covering news throughout Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Kenya's daily, The Nation, is also available in the cities. Newspapers can be bought on any street corner or from wandering newspaper vendors in the cities and towns.

Police -- Dial 999.

Smoking -- Smoking in public and in the workplace is banned in Tanzania, although hotels provide smoking rooms, and most restaurants and bars permit smoking in designated areas.

Taxes -- Value-added tax (VAT) of 20% is included in all prices of goods and services. However, if organizing a safari or Kilimanjaro climb locally, make sure the tour operator includes the VAT when making a quote.

Time -- Tanzania is 3 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.

Tipping -- Wages in Tanzania are generally low, so tipping for good service will be much appreciated. In general, you should leave a 10% to 15% tip at restaurants and bars, even if the service charge is already included. If you're staying at an upmarket hotel or lodge, tip a few dollars to the luggage porter and chambermaid.

Toilets -- Public bathrooms are rarely available and can be quite smelly and dirty; some are long drops that you have to squat over, with no toilet paper on hand. If you need a toilet, try to find a nearby restaurant or hotel.

Visas -- Visas are most easily obtained on arrival in Tanzania.

Visitor Information -- The Tanzania Tourist Board will send you some brochures on request, so it's worth contacting them in advance, and their website, www.tanzaniatouristboard.com, is a good source of general information. Some of the tour operator websites, however, are as good, if not better. There are drop-in tourist offices in Dar es Salaam, Arusha, and Zanzibar where you'll be able to talk to the staff and pick up a few brochures and fliers. For information about the national parks, including accommodations and tariffs, visit the website for Tanzania National Parks (www.tanzaniaparks.com). Other useful resources on the Internet include www.zanzibartourism.net, which is the official website of the Commission for Tourism and is published in a number of languages, and www.absolutetanzania.com, which has not only tourist information, but also interesting articles about conservation, the government, and the economy.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.