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Tanzania - any advice?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by jrevest, Apr 18, 2018.

  1. jrevest

    jrevest New commenter

    Hello! Am off to Arusha, Tanzania in August and am looking for any wise words of advice - things to take with me, things to avoid while I'm there etc ...

    Oh, and if anyone can shed some light on the four year work permit issue that would be helpful - my husband and I were hoping to stay a while if we can, but sounds like this might be out of our hands ...

    Thank you!
  2. tb9605

    tb9605 Established commenter

    Have you lived in East Africa before?

    Obviously sort out your anti-malarial drugs - Arush might be high enough that it's not considered a risk, but you'll probably want to go elsewhere and some of the courses you need to start two to three weeks in advance.

    Make sure you agree prices for things like taxi rides beforehand. I've never been to Arusha, but if it's anything like Dar es Salaam or Zanzibar, be prepared to be inundated by very pushy taxi drivers the moment you step out of the airport (or possibly before - I can remember taxi drivers actually coming into the boat between Dar and Stone town touting for customers).

    Make sure you visit Zanzibar and the Ngorongoro. Bagamoyo is also quite charming , especially if you want a very quiet beach holiday. I'd give Dar Es Salaam and Dodoma a miss though.

    Don't let bars put ice in your drinks, unless you are absolutely sure about where the water to make the ice came from.

    Learn some Swahili - everyone appreciates it if you make an effort.

    Have a lovely time.
  3. 576

    576 Established commenter

    Much cheaper (and easier) to source once here. Buy over the counter in any pharmacy.
  4. jrevest

    jrevest New commenter

    Interesting, thank you - I was actually not going to bother with anti-malarial drugs, I've spent many years in malarial zones before and found, like many, that the long-term effects of taking the drugs are not worth it (affecting my vision etc). However, I have always had a dose of something like Fansidar with me to treat suspected malaria, do either of you know if this is also available locally or if I should bring some with me?
  5. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Yes, jrevest, some of the side-effects of the ant-malarials (eg Larium) are not too good. The best thing to do is to try to avoid getting malaria in the first place. Long sleeves, long trousers, plenty of DEET, mosquito nets and not sitting round the pool with your sundowner: these things can reduce your chances of getting bitten. Sometimes it might be ten days before the symptons really become obvious, in which case a blood test is needed, in order to confirm your worst suspicions. (Anti-malarials can muck up the blood test, making it unreliable.)

    If you get Black Water Fever, when your pee turns black, it might be a good idea to tell your friends what hymns and which flowers you want to have at your funeral.
  6. 576

    576 Established commenter

    I don't know but I would advise against self-diagnosis and treatment.
    In fact even a doctor's diagnosis without a blood test can be inaccurate.
  7. suem75

    suem75 Occasional commenter

    The most recent update I heard about the four-year limit on work permits is that it's being enforced. The idea behind it is to get locals into the jobs expats had traditionally held. (I thought the whole point of a work permit system was that employers had to 'prove' that the best person for the job could not be found locally). I don't pick up on any bad feeling towards foreigners from ordinary people, but bureaucratic matters seem designed to be so cumbersome, you might as well just give up & leave.

    Tanzania is lovely, though, so it's worth it in the end. Just make sure your work permit is issued before you arrive - immigration officials have been quite pro-active in visiting schools to ensure the relevant documentation is in place.
  8. jrevest

    jrevest New commenter

    I had suspected malaria in Indonesia, but they were never actually able to confirm it with the blood test, something about taking samples at the wrong time in the fever cycle apparently - but they confirmed it wasn't dengue or typhoid, so I was just given the drugs and had to sweat it out. Not nice, but managed five years in a malarial zone before finally succumbing, and at least it is fairly treatable these days. You're absolutely right, covering up is the key, and my net will be my best friend! (also keeps out random creepie crawlies, and I once had a rat bounce off the roof of my net!)
  9. jrevest

    jrevest New commenter

    Definitely agree that possible malaria always needs to be checked, but I like to have a backup plan if I come down with symptoms while out in the sticks / up a mountain until I can get to a doctor
  10. jrevest

    jrevest New commenter

    Gotta love bureaucracy! My permit is already underway so fingers crossed all will be done in time ... was amazed by some of the documents they asked for - the syllabus for all of my A-levels?! That took some hunting, as I'm not a spring chicken anymore and the exam boards ceased to exist many years ago ...
  11. jrevest

    jrevest New commenter

    [QUOTE="If you get Black Water Fever, when your pee turns black, it might be a good idea to tell your friends what hymns and which flowers you want to have at your funeral.[/QUOTE]

    Just been reading about this - yuck. Apparently linked to use of quinine - so are G&Ts off the menu?!
  12. Charlyrose

    Charlyrose New commenter

    Interesting thread...I am going toTanzania in August too. I have sent you a message jrevest :)
  13. misba_

    misba_ New commenter

    I am also moving to Tanzania in August - feel free to get in touch to share details :)
    Charlyrose likes this.
  14. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    You can buy decent self test malaria blood tests on amazon. They are cheap and you just need to keep them in the fridge. I have been using them to check before bothering to go to the doctors for a number of years. Having lived in malaria and dengue regions for a number of years i personally would not want to be taking anti malaria drugs for that long. Be sensible and cover up, use plenty of deet and you should be ok....obviously just be careful.
    Saying that there are plenty of other things to worry about. Im currently lying up recovering from a little dose of typhoid....oh the joys of international teaching ;)
    JL48 likes this.
  15. murreytoz

    murreytoz New commenter

    Family of 6 off to Arusha in Aug. Just started my to do list!!:( All advice gratefully received!

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