Hosts some of continent most famous national parks and the impressive Mount Kilimanjaro towering over the Serengeti.
Tanzania is home to some of the oldest human settlements that archaeologists have found. The area Olduvai Gorge in northern Tanzania is often referred to as “The Cradle of Mankind” because fossils found there are thought to be over 2 million years old. The Bantu-speaking peoples, who are in majority in modern Tanzania, migrated to the area some 2000 years ago. They adopted many of the customs of the local people and also introduced ironworking skills and new ideas of organization.
The Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama reached the East African coast in 1498. Few years later, Portugal captured Zanzibar. The Portuguese ruled Zanzibar for about 200 years until the Omani sultan Seyyid Said established a stronghold on the island, moved his capital from Muscat to Zanzibar and made it the centre of Arab slave trade. The sale of slaves was prohibited in 1876 and in 1890 Britain took over the control of Zanzibar. European exploration of the interior country began in the mid-19th century and German colonial interests began around the 1880ies. In the beginning of the 1890s the Hehe chief Mkwawa led a guerrilla war against the Germans. He was eventually defeated and committed suicide. The British invasion of East Africa during World War I meant an end to the German colonial rule in mainland Tanzania (known as Tanganyika at the time) and the beginning of British colonial rule in the area.
In 1954 the teacher Julius Nyerere helped form the Tanganyika African National Union. Nyerere was elected prime minister after Tanganyika’s independence in 1961 and president in 1962 under the country’s new republican constitution. Zanzibar gained independence from Britain in December 1963 and in 1964 the two new nations united to form, what is today, the United Republic of Tanzania. Zanzibar still retains a high degree of autonomy. independence was granted under a democratic constitution.
Former President Julius Nyerere is considered the Father of the Nation and ruled the country according to his concept of African Socialism: Ujamaa. He governed Tanzania until 1985 where he handed over power to Ali Hassan Mwinyi. In 1992 the multiparty system was introduced.
Tanzania is in East Africa on the Indian Ocean. To the north are Uganda and Kenya; to the west, Burundi, Rwanda, and Congo; and to the south, Mozambique, Zambia, and Malawi. The total land area is 886,039 km².
Population Size : 49,639,138
Capital City : Dodoma (Population 2,083,588)
The country has two official languages : English and Swahili.
Time : Tanzania is GMT/UTC + 3h Standard Time
Country Calling Code : +255
Literacy Rate : According to UNESCO, Tanzania has an adult literacy rate of 77.89%
The Tanzanian shilling (currency abbreviation TZS) is the official currency for Tanzania. One shilling is made up of 100 senti (Swahili for cents).
Internet domain : .tz
Tanzania it is home to Kilimanjaro Africa’s highest mountains and home to one of the most popular desert safari, it has white sand beaches and unforgettable camping sites amidst nature. Elephants and lions in nature with the wild dogs and migratory birds in one place. The mountain is located in the north of the country on the border with Kenya. it is part of Kilimanjaro national park near mocha town and is a UNESCO world heritage site It has three volcanic cones: Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira, it is a dormant volcano in Tanzania, one of the highest mountains in Africa roughly 5,895 meters above sea level.
Serengeti National Park is a vast ecosystem in east-central Africa spans around 30,000 square kilometers. the name has been derived by the people of Maasai and it means endless plains. it is located in the north of Tanzania and goes up toll south of Kenya.
Zanzibar archipelago consists of Zanzibar and Pemba islands. it is a major holiday destination known for its beautiful beaches Once a part of British empire today Zanzibar is a region of Tanzania.
NGORONGORO CRATER CONSERVATION AREA
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area was officially declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1979. The area consists of various landscapes and includes dense mountain forests, woodlands, grasslands, lakes and swamps. Some of the most important archeological sites in the world, such as Oldupai Gorge and Laetoli can be found in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Archeologists found evidence showing that the area was occupied by hominids over 3 million years ago and thus claiming that it could be the birthplace of mankind. And then of course there is the Ngorongoro Crater, the largest unbroken, inactive and unfilled caldera in the world. With a diameter of approximately 19 km (12 miles) and its majestic walls that rise just over 610 m (2000 feet), the crater floor covers an area of 260 sq km (100 sq miles). Over 30,000 animals including the rare black rhino call this unique place their home. Today over 40,000 Masais reside in the area making the Ngorongoro Conservation Area one of the only places in Tanzania where human habitation is allowed within a wildlife protected area. The conservation shares a boundary with the Serengeti National Park and one must drive through the conservation in order to get to the Serengeti.
TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK
Commissioned as a national park in 1970, Tarangire National Park is the sixth largest national park in Tanzania. It covers 2,850 sq km of grassland and floodplains, and a large proportion of tall acacia woodland just south of the open grass plains of southern Masai land. The Park has an incredible ecosystem, which shelters a wide variety of wildlife. It boasts a mixture of verdant, green grass, highlands and huge trees that are a perfect habitat for several rare species of birds. The most popular of these trees being the gigantic African Baobab tree, dotted around the park in tremendous populations. Famous for its huge number of elephants, thousands of baobab trees and tree climbing African pythons, Tarangire lies south east of Lake Manyara. Although it is relatively small, the park enjoys easy accessibility and boasts with some of the greatest concentrations of game in Tanzania -second only to the Ngorongoro Crater also an added bonus which makes it a truly incomparable scene attractive to many tourists than other Tanzanian parks. It is the vast number of baobabs that first capture the eye as you enter Tarangire National Park.
LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK
Lake Manyara National Park offers varied ecosystems, incredible bird life, and breathtaking views. Its ground water forests, bush plains, baobob strewn cliffs, and algae-streaked hot springs offer incredible ecological variety in a small area, rich in wildlife and incredible numbers of birds. The park provides the perfect introduction to Tanzania’s birdlife. More than 400 species have been recorded, and even a first-time visitor to Africa might reasonably expect to observe 100 of these in one day. Highlights include thousands of pink-hued flamingos on their perpetual migration, as well as other large waterbirds such as pelicans, cormorants and storks. The Park has a large elephant population and is most famous for its tree-climbing lions. It is, however, a myth that this is unique to Manyara, as lions regularly climb trees throughout Africa. It is possibly most notable here as the large concentration of game and density of the vegetation make climbing a tree an opportunity to escape getting in the way of the elephants. The alkaline soda of Lake Manyara is home to an incredible array of bird life that thrives on its brackish waters. Pink flamingo stoop and graze by the thousands, colourful specks against the grey minerals of the lake shore. Yellow-billed storks swoop and corkscrew on thermal winds rising up from the escarpment, and herons flap their wings against the sun-drenched sky. Even reluctant bird-watchers will find something to watch and marvel at within the national park.
RUAHA NATIONAL PARK
Ruaha is Tanzania’s second largest national park, Bordered by the rapids of Great Ruaha and Mzombe, only the area around the Great Ruaha River has been developed and its remote location ensures relatively few visitors. In all some 1,650 plant species and over 450 bird species have been recorded here. The amazing birdlife includes: glossy ibis and hadada, fish eagle, kingfisher, goliath, and night heron, stilts, storks, scops and pearl-spotted owls. The giant eagle owl is also sighted regularly. The park’s varied habitats are home to nearly all species of African eagle including the martial, black, long-crested, snake and – of course – bateleur. Shrikes, weavers, blue waxbills, fire-finches, quelea and hornbills – including pale-billed and Van der Decken’s – are all found in the dry bushland. In terms of mammals, Ruaha National Park is known for its large elephant and Cape buffalo herds, greater and lesser kudu, sable and roan antelope. There are high numbers of predators including: lion, leopard, cheetah and the increasingly rare African wild dog. The park is a great place to visit all year round due to its excellent all-weather road network, and the park is particularly stunning in the green season with huge numbers of migrating birds from both hemispheres.
SELOUS GAME RESERVE
Selous Game Reserve is one of the world’s largest protectorate areas (43 626 km2). Surface area of Selous is therefore larger than Denmark in Europe. Selous Game Reserve was established in 1922 and it is one of the five World Heritage Areas in Tanzania. There are more elephants in Selous than anywhere else in East Africa, although still about twenty years ago elephant poaching was quite uncontrollable. Currently, elephant populations are recovering quite well. The density of buffaloes is also higher in Selous than anywhere in Africa. For African wild dog Selous is the most important habitat in the world. Selous Game Reserve differs in many ways comparing to Northern Tanzania National Parks. In Selous you can feel a real closeness to nature by boat excursions, hiking and walking tours, and there is also possible to practice sport fishing, and hunting. In addition, the area is large and there are relatively few visitors, so you can feel privacy. Selous Game Reserve is the second biggest concentration of big terrestrial animals in the world. Most frequent animal groups are located in tourist areas north of river Rufi. There are found also over 440 species of birds in Selous area. Also in the rivers life is plentiful. Crocodile’s exact quantities are unknown, but anywhere where there is water, crocodiles are present.
1. Great Wildebeest Migration
The great wildebeest migration is one of the seven new wonders of the world. This immense movement only happens between the Serengeti National park in Tanzania and Maasai Mara National reserve in Kenya during July through October. They move majorly in search for greener pastures. The migration has to cross the Mara River in the Maasai Mara from the Serengeti where crocodiles will prey on them. This is one of the highlights as the animals try and cross the Mara River with no harm.
2. Exclusive islands
Tanzania and Zambia hosts some of the remarkable beaches and islands on the African continent. The islands and beaches range from the secluded and peaceful to the perfect for diving and snorkelling. The islands along the coast are blessed with year-round sunshine and a balmy climate of around 30 °C.
3. Roof of Africa
Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the world’s highest peaks and the the world’s highest freestanding mountain. Whether you come to climb it or simply to gaze in awe at this remarkable, snowcapped equatorial mountain, drawing near to Mt Kilimanjaro is one of the great experiences of African travel.
There are direct and one-stop flights to Dar-es-Salaam’s Julius Nyerere International Airport, Kilimanjaro Airport (between Arusha and Moshi) and Zanzibar Island. Arusha town is the starting point for Tanzania’s most popular Northern Safari Circuit. Kilimanjaro International Airport is situated 46km east of Arusha. Julius Nyerere International is served by several Airlines from Europe, Asia and Africa.
Weather & Best Time To Visit
The weather in Tanzania, situated within the tropic of Capricorn, varies little in its temperature range throughout the year sticking to an average of around 30 degrees Celsius during the day and dropping to a comfortable 15 at night. The main variation to the impact of the temperature is both the humidity and the annual rains. The main rains in the country arrive around the beginning of April and run through until the end of June, traditionally. We talk about where to head to in this period below but, needless to say, it is worth considering a raincoat as the downpours are full and often! The second, slightly less strong, rainy period, is from the beginning of November (around 2 weeks later on Zanzibar) to the middle of December, roughly speaking. The humidity in Tanzania varies throughout the year with the driest and hottest period in the country starting in mid-June and running through to the end of October. This (as discussed below) is known as the “dry period” and is a reliable time to head out to Tanzania as it offers good game viewing along with a comfortable climate. From November until the main rains in April, the humidity starts to climb in the country with the most humid (and, arguably, most uncomfortable) period in January and February.
Passport & Visa Info
Generally, travellers to Tanzania require a valid VISA each time they enter the country. For detailed VISA requirements and conditions visit www.immgration.go.tz Visas can be obtained at any Diplomatic or Consulate Mission of the United Republic of Tanzania abroad, normally within one business day. Visitors are urged to do so to avoid any possible inconvenience at point of entry in Tanzania.
Tanzania has issues with a number of potential harmful diseases and many of these can be vaccinated against before you travel. Before departing for your trip, it is advisable that you speak with your physician about getting vaccinated against the following: Typhoid, Hepatitis A & B, Meningitis, Rabies. These are in addition to the vaccinations that all travelers should have up to date regardless of where they are traveling, such as: MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, chickenpox, polio, and a flu shot. Malaria is prevalent throughout Tanzania, except in high altitude areas (above 1,800m) such as Mt. Kilimanjaro and Ngorongoro. It is also advisable that you speak with your physician about measures that you can take to minimize your chance of exposure to malaria and cholera.
Finally, if you are traveling from an area where yellow fever is a problem, you will be required to have a yellow fever vaccination as a condition of entry. If you are traveling from such an area and do not have a vaccination certificate, your visa application may be denied.
Health & Safety
When it comes to medical attention, nurses and doctors in Tanzania are highly qualified, especially in cities such as Arusha and Dar Es Salaam. Most camping sites, lodges, and hotels have on site physicians and are in close contact with the Flying Doctors Service should an evacuation be needed.
Tanzanians are well known for their friendly, laid-back attitude. In most cases, you will be humbled by their hospitality despite the fact that most people are a lot poorer than you. Crime in Tanzania is opportunistic as in most countries. Although most visits to Tanzania are trouble-free, violent and armed crime is increasing and therefore you should remain alert and cautious at all times. Snatch and grabs occur in busy places including markets and even in traffic.
Zanzibar – The population in Zanzibar is majority Muslim and holds traditional values. Some Zanzibar newspapers have warned that women deemed to dress immodestly may be subject to harassment. You should dress modestly, behave in a conservative manner, and exercise caution in public.
Tanzania has a decent network of tarmac and all-weather roads connecting the major towns. Away from the main highways, however the majority roads are in bad state and hazardous, and therefore a hardy 4×4 vehicle may be necessary to navigate poorly maintained or dirt roads en route to national parks and wilderness areas. Unless otherwise indicated, your transfers will always be private. Your comfort and safety whilst traveling are paramount to us, and we only work with drivers and companies that comply with the same high standards.
All national parks and some of the top-end luxury lodges have airstrips and charter planes operating between the main airports on the mainland and the islands of Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia. Flying between destinations saves a lot time, particularly on short holiday and normally preferred as it saves days of road or rail travel.
Mobile Tented Camp
Mobile tented camp is a unique, modern safari experience. Unlike other camps, which are seasonal and semi-permanent these mobile camps can be disassembled on demand, and moved to different locations in accordance to nature, its rainfall patterns, vegetation, and game movements that include the annual wildebeest migration – one of the greatest wildlife spectacles on earth. The mobile safari camp may be fully staffed with a private guide and game viewing vehicle, chef and a camp host, with each itinerary individually tailored according to guests’ personal interests, and preferred safari activities
Hike Mount Kilimanjaro
Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the tallest freestanding mountain on earth. Crowned with an everlasting snow-cap, this majestic mountain can be found inside the Kilimanjaro National Park of Tanzania.There are six official routes on which one can complete a Mount Kilimanjaro hike. They are the Lemosho and Shira from the West, Machame and Umbwe from the South-west and South respectively, the Marangu from the South-east and the Rongai route from the North-east. The Mweka route is used for descent only.
Game drives are the highlight of any safari and one of the most amazing things you are ever likely to experience. Whether it’s early morning or late evening, expert rangers and trackers will guide you through the African Wilderness chasing the ultimate predators. View nocturnal animals; leopards, hippos, porcupines, genets, civets, bush babies and lots more. Also a sensory experience listening to the night sounds and learning more about the African stars. Night Game Drives can be held just outside the park gates at the Serengeti and Tarangire (accommodation specific). Tarangire and Lake Manyara have accommodations and/or specialized operators who can conduct the Night Game Drives inside the park boundary. A successful night game drive, with several good viewings of wildlife can be very rewarding.
Walking safaris in Tanzania are about the authentic eminence of your game-watching experience. Depending on the fitness of the individual and the nature of the terrain, a bush walk can be a gentle amble for around one to two hours to half a day, immersing yourself in the natural world, or it can be a more demanding adventure during fly camping expeditions lasting multiple days, in which you confront yourself and achieve a specific target. The key to a successful African walking safari is being in the presence of a specialist walking guide and also in a strategic game walk location, and not any other but also the realistic assessment of your own capabilities including your open-mindedness of safety and dangers being out in the wild on foot. Guided walking safaris close to most luxury, deluxe and value accommodations enable you to become familiar with ambient wildlife, birds, insects, plants, and larger animals from their scat, footprints and reverberations. Walks can be best taken in the early morning as life begins to stir. Botanical walks, elephant caves visits, bird watching or butterfly expeditions are available at specialized locations.
Canoeing Safari is the ultimate in relaxing excitement to enjoy the astonishingly beautiful scenery. It is appropriate for guests who like to experience a different but easy Activity option and it is also good for guests who do not have plenty of time in the National park. Accompanied by qualified guides, guests meet at the canoe launching site. Canoeists glide over the smooth lake water drifting past giraffe, buffalo and elephant. The most popular canoe safari destinations are Arusha National Park, Lake Manyara National Park and Lake Victoria.
Diving & Snorkelling
When taken in comparison with some of the world’s best dive spots, such as Sipadan in Malaysia, or the Blue hole, Tanzania may not rank all that highly. For many that are looking just to have a few scenic dives during their beach stay the island of Zanzibar will definitely tick the spot and, for those looking to “drop in” on something a little larger or spend a bit more time in the water then the islands of Mafia and Pemba, to the north and south of Zanzibar, will certainly suit.
Hot Air Balloon Safari
A balloon offers an opportunity to see the Serengeti from a unique perspective. You will notice wildlife trails made by generations of animals impossible to see from the ground. Rising in the chill before first light, then bouncing along bumpy roads in a game drive vehicle to a rendezvous with a hot-air balloon may seem a fairly strange activity on an African Safari. But fast forward a few hours and you are sitting around a splendidly laid table, under a flat-topped acacia tree, on the legendary plains of the Serengeti sipping champagne and the picture becomes one of refinement.
In Tanzania, flamingos can be found in the Arusha National Park at the Momella lakes, at Lake Manyara, Lake Natron, Lake Magadi in the Ngorongoro Crater and at pretty much all the other alkaline lakes on the northern circuit. Nothing beats seeing a huge flock of flamingos flying over you in sync. Flamingos are one of the most unique but yet well-known birds. They are tall and elegant, with long necks and thin long legs. The plumage of both species is mostly pink. Greater flamingos are however a little paler with red wing coverts and black flight feathers. Flamingos are waders, which means that their preferred habitats are shallow lakes, lagoons and wetlands. In Tanzania one of the best places to see flamingos is at Lake Natron.
Do lodges and camps have mosquito nets?
Not all camps/lodges in Tanzania have mosquito nets. It all depends on their individual location, i.e. altitude, near open water, etc.
Also, much of the accommodations are tented camps. These tents tend to be tightly sealed and zipped tight avoiding the need for mosquito netting. Furthermore, at most camps/lodges, while you enjoy dinner, housekeeping will complete a turndown service and spray the rooms with mosquito repellent. Regardless of mosquito netting, you should always bring insect repellent with DEET, trousers/slacks, sports/long sleeved shirt and/or blouse and dress/skirt for ladies.
Are ATMs readily available?
ATMs that accept both Visa and MasterCard are available in most cities and non-existent at National Parks. You will be able to withdraw from your account in local (Tanzanian shillings) currency. Be sure to alert your bank that you will be traveling to Africa. Many banks will deem transactions made out of your native country as suspicious and may lock access to your accounts if you have not forewarned them.
Where is the best place in Tanzania for birding?
The Tarangire National Park and the dramatic cliffs of the Rift Valley to the vast Serengeti plains and the specialist birds of the Usambara, Uluguru and Udzungwa mountains, northern Tanzania is a birders paradise. With close to 1,150 species of birds, of which 23 species are endemic and 36 species globally threatened, Tanzania ranks as one of the top birding destinations in Africa, and the second most varied avifauna of any country on the African continent.
Is internet service available in Tanzania?
In some lodges or major hotels do have internet access but it is slow and not reliable. Outside of major cities you may find an internet connection but it’s speed will likely be extremely slow and frustrating. Plan to unplug while you are in Tanzania.
Will I have mobile reception?
There are four mobile providers in Tanzania: Zain, Zantel, Vodacom, and Tigo; all of which offer roaming services. Mobile network coverage for both data and phone calls is quite good across Tanzania. You should still be able to access your phone while on safari, although some areas of the national parks do not receive coverage.
What is the electrical current in Tanzania?
Electricity is supplied at all lodges and at most permanent tented camps, however it is not available at mobile camps. Generators are run during the day to recharge video or digital camera batteries. In lodges and hotels (where it is available) electrical current is 220 or 240 volts and the outlet is a type-G British three-pin rectangular pronged plug.
Is tipping obligatory in Tanzania?
The traditional gratuity to safari guides, camp staff, mountain porters etc. is not included in the price of your tour but is completely discretionary. You should tip in accordance with the level of service you have received. However, beware of unscrupulous people who try to exhort extra payment from unwary passengers just for shuffling their bags around. They are usually to be found at airport arrivals zones – anyone helping you at a safari lodge or tented camp will be a legitimate employee of that establishment.
How far in advance should I book my safari?
It is better to book as far in advance as possible to ensure availability at the time you wish to travel, especially during the high/peak seasons – June to Oct and Christmas/New Year season.
Is drinking water safe?
In some places tap water is safe, but generally, it is not advisable to drink or brush your teeth with tap water. Bottled water is available everywhere and in almost all Lodges and Hotels and all super markets. On treks and safaris, it is better to carry sufficient bottled water.
Are credit cards acceptable?
International credit cards (especially Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Thomas Cook) are accepted in most stores, restaurants, hotels, camping sites, lodges, car rental companies, etc. Many smaller stores will not have EFTPOS facilities, so it is generally better to carry cash.
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