Keeping in touch while travelling in Tanzania is rarely a problem. You can get a decent mobile phone reception even in some national parks.
The “Tanzania Telecommunications Company Ltd” (TTCL) is the state-owned telecom, operating all payphones and landlines in Tanzania. As it is the case with most developing countries, telephone fixed-lines are not affordable for many ordinary people. However, the mobile network has blossomed throughout Africa in the past five years, and this is equally true of Tanzania. With many used mobile phones for sale and the very low cost of getting a SIM card, 2000 Tsh, this is the popular choice of most Tanzanians. For many, a mobile phone is the first large purchase when they get a job. The major mobile service providers operate all over the country, even in some of the most remote areas, although service interruptions are common.
Note: If you find a taxi driver or tour guide that you like, ask for his/her mobile number. This is often the best way to reach them.
Using a mobile phone
If you have an “unlocked” Quadband GSM mobile phone, you can purchase a local SIM card for 500 Tsh from a series of Tanzanian service providers. The most popular are Celtel, Vodacom, and Tigo. Zantel is a new arrival on the mainland and, through the national roaming agreement with Vodacom, currently has the largest network coverage.
You can recharge your “Prepaid” mobile phone account by using “scratch-cards”, which are available everywhere. Just look for shops or even small tables set up along the road, with posters for the various mobile service providers. Those cards come in the following denominations: 500, 1000, 5000, 10000, 20000, and 50000 Tsh. If you plan on making frequent calls outside of Africa, you will need at least a 10000 Tsh-card.
Making calls within Tanzania to a mobile phone
Dial “0 & (telephone number)” or “+255 & (telephone number)”
Making calls within Tanzania to a landline
Dial “0 & (city code) & (telephone number)” or “+255 & (city code) & (telephone number)”
Telephone codes for the Tanzanian cities
(These numbers are only used when calling landlines) Dar es Salaam (22), Morogoro & Mtwara (23), Zanzibar & Pemba (24), Mbeya (25), Iringa (26), Arusha & Tanga (27), and Mwanza (28).
Making international calls
Dial “+ & (country code) & (area code, if any) & (telephone number)” or “000 & (country code) & (area code, if any) & (telephone number)”
Note: In October 2006, Vodacom changed the second digit, not counting the first “0” or the “+255” country code, in their phone numbers from “4” to “5”, e.g.: 744 is now 754. Many magazines, books, travel guides, and advertisements may not have made the necessary corrections. All Vodacom mobile numbers starting with 744, 745, or 746 should be changed to 754, 755, and 756.
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