Tanzania boasts some of the most famous tourist attractions in Africa. Home to Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa; the Serengeti plains with its spectacular migration; the perfect Ngorongoro Crater, described by some to as the world’s eighth wonder; and the exotic spice islands of Zanzibar, Tanzania offers incredible cultural tourism, beach holidays, game hunting, historical tours and certainly the best wildlife photographic safaris on the continent.
Top 10 Travel Destinations
1.The Ngorongoro Crater is stunning and most certainly unique. The crater has an immediate and overwhelming initial impact on all ones senses. Designated as a World Heritage Site, the crater has one of the largest concentrations of wildlife in Africa. An estimated 25,000 large mammals in a relatively small area make it a ‘must’ destination when on safari on the Northern Tanzanian Safari Circuit. This natural amphitheater is as diverse as the immense Serengeti with a cross-section of wildlife and habitats all contained in the collapsed volcanic crater. Ngorongoro is home to one of the few remaining populations of black rhino in Tanzania.
2.The Serengeti National Park has so much to offer for it is vast and every season is special in this amazing National Park. However, for most safari itineraries the main focus of any trip to the Serengeti is the migration, depending on the long rains from February to May, where up to two million herbivores take advantage of the short grass of the southern Serengeti to calve and feed, before moving north westerly to eventually arrive at the dramatic crossing of the Grumeti river, home to some of Africa’s biggest crocodiles. Large numbers of lion, hyena and cheetah follow these massive herds producing some of the finest game viewing on earth.
3.The Zanzibar archipelago consists of fifty or so islands the main island is called Unquia but usually referred to as Zanzibar Island. Stone Town is the capital of Zanzibar being the port and entrance to these spiced islands. As you step off the ferry onto the quay, the smell of cloves is carried on the breeze to greet you and immediately you are transported into this tropical paradise. Dhows sails, shaped like the crescent moon, sail out of the harbor and pass along the miles of palm fringed beaches – this is heaven on earth.
4.Tarangire National Park is probably Tanzania’s most underrated park. This park is used as a stop over point on the way to or from the Serengeti. It is a special area, a bird watchers paradise and in the dry season many animals are attracted to the area as it has a year round water supply along the River Tarangire. There are some wonderful camps here such as Swala Camp and then the magnificent Oliver’s Camp in the wilderness area of the Park. The park is most legendary for the large concentration of elephants and the huge baobab Trees that dominate the park.
5. Lake Manyara National Park is a small but scenic safari park. The wooded parts of this park get so humid that the only escape from the heat is to climb the trees. Although it is most unusual for lions to climb trees, this park is famed for its tree climbing lions. The park also offers canoeing on the lake and this is a fabulous way to get out of the safari vehicle burn off a few calories and see the game from an unusual perspective.
6. Mt. Kilimanjaro, sitting on the Tanzania- Kenyan border, is remote, alluring and simply put, awe inspiring. Part of the adventure of climbing this mountain is to begin on the dusty plains of equatorial Africa and experience the non technical climb to near arctic conditions at the summit, passing through tropical rain forest, moorland and alpine desert onto snow and ice. Located in Northern Tanzania, Kilimanjaro dominates the landscape. This is Africa’s highest point.
7.The Selous Game Reserve is huge and wild, roughly the same size as Belgium. This park is on the Southern Circuit and has much to offer. Although it is not as popular as the national Parks in the North of Tanzania, in recent years visitors have begun to realize this park has much to offer the tourist looking for the remote wilderness experience. The northern section of the park has a handful of luxury camps. This area is one of the few places in Africa where wild dogs are found. As the animals here are not as habituated to humans they are much more difficult to spot. However this park truly offers the Out of Africa experience.
8. Ruaha is probably the most arid of Tanzania’s parks. It is on the Southern Circuit and is sometimes know as Giraffe Park as it has in excess of 8,000 Maasai giraffe. The Kudu is also prolific in this park and when surprised this animal will stand as a statue, blending perfectly into the background. The rare and endangered African hunting dog are fairly common in Ruaha. As is the case in most areas of Tanzania, bird life here is spectacular. From December to January the park enjoys a large number of the rare Eleanor’s falcons.
9. Mafia Island is set off the coast of central Tanzania, twenty kilometers from the Rufiji River Delta, making this remote island an ideal place for relaxing after a safari in the Selous. A small island, fifty kilometers long and fifteen kilometers wide and completely surrounded by a barrier reef, entry by light aircraft is required. The reef is teaming with marine life. There are over 460 species of tropical fish in these reefs as well as five species of turtles. The diver, either beginner or more experienced, has a profusion of underwater habitats to explore.
10. Arusha National Park is a lovely park is set between the peaks of Mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro. It is a tiny park – only 53 square miles. The Park is an area of outstanding beauty and can be visited easily for a few hours from the nearby town of Arusha. The highlands are forested, with the peak of Mount Meru rising above the forests to dominate the park. The forests are populated by a thriving and varied bird life and climbing in the ancient cedar trees is the dramatically marked black and white colubus monkey, barking its haunting call through the quiet forest.
The United Republic of Tanzania is found just below the equator. Tanzania sits below Kenya. Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania share the great Lake Victoria and form East Africa. Tanzania was formed out of the two sovereign states of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. Tanzania gained independence 9th December, 1961 and became a Republic the following year. The Government of the United Republic of Tanzania is joined together by two independent governments, which is that of the Tanzania mainland and the Zanzibar Revolutionary Government.
Tanzania is the largest of the three countries of East African. Tanzania has a truly spectacular landscape made up from three types of physical geography regions; the exotic Spice Islands and coastal plains; the inland saucer-shaped plateau; and the highlands. The Great Rift Valley that runs from north east of Africa through central Tanzania is another landmark that adds to the dramatic landscape of the country. Tanzania has the largest concentration of wild animals in Africa. It also has pristine sandy beaches, the warm crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean and Africa’s highest [snow-capped] mountain, Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Tanzania is home to several world famous National Parks and Game Reserves such as: Ngorongoro Crater, Selous Game Reserve, Gombe Stream, Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Mikumi, Arusha, Ruaha, Saadani, Udzungwa Mountains, and Mkomazi Game Reserve. Other Game Reserves include: Amani, Kigosi, Lukwika-Lumesule, Maswa, Monduli Mountains, Msangesi and Ugala. All parks charge park fees. Dar es Salaam is a great city to shop and party and is the commercial capital and major sea port for the Tanzania Mainland. In the 19th Century Tanzania was the gateway into East and Central Africa; this is still true today. This makes Tanzania a great place to invest; this is reflected in the changing face of Dar Es Salaam. Dar was a sad neglected city a few years ago but daily it metamorphoses into a vibrant, cosmopolitan city.
Administrative : Dodoma
Commercial capital: Dar es Salaam
Tanzania comprised of the mainland and the Zanzibar archipelago, is the largest country in East Africa and borders Kenya to the north, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to the south. Tanzania is located between 29 and 41 degrees east and between 1 and 12 degrees south.
Tanzania has only one time zone. Local time is GMT + 3 and Daylight Savings Time is not used.
Approximately 35 million
945, 000 sq km
The climate is tropical. The coastal areas are hot and humid with an average day temperature of 30 degrees centigrade. The central plateau is dry and arid with hot days and cool nights. In the northwest highlands around Arusha and Ngorongoro, the climate is temperate and cooler between June and September. The long rains are from March to May and the short rains fall between October and December. The hottest months are between October and February.
Main Land: Native African 99% (of which 95% are Bantu consisting of more than 130 tribes), other 1 % (Asian, European and Arab).
Zanzibar: Swahili, native African, Arab, Indian and Chinese.
Mainland: Christianity 45%, Muslim 35 % , Indigenous beliefs 20%
Zanzibar: Over 99% Muslim, additional 1% made up of Hindu, Christian and Zoroastrian.
Kiswahili and with English widely spoken.
The Tanzanian shilling (Tsh or TZS), divided into 100 cents is the national currency.
Credit cards and travelers cheque
Credit cards (Access, MasterCard, Visa, American-Express, and Eurocard) are accepted only at major lodges and hotels. ATM and 24 – hour cash machines are available in branches of major banks. Traveler’s cheques in pounds sterling or US dollars are recommended, though it may be difficult to exchange them outside the main cities.
Banks and bureau de change are available at airports and in all major towns. Banking hours are from Monday – Friday 8.30 am – 3.00 pm, Saturday 8.30 am – 1.30 pm. A few branches in the major towns are open until 4.00 pm. Please note that banks are closed on Sunday.
215 – 230 Volts, 50 Cycles AC
Prior to departing for Tanzania, it is essential that you check with the Tanzania embassy or consulate regarding the visa requirements for entry. It is advisable to purchase visas prior to departure for TZ in order to avoid any delays upon arrival. While it is possible to purchase a visa upon arrival in Tanzania, it can mean standing in a long queue after an international flight and only US dollars are accepted for visas.
Departure tax from mainland Tanzania is included in the price of your ticket, however in the Zanzibar there is a departure tax of USD 25 payable at the airport. There is a TSH 5,000 (approx USD 5) tax levied on passengers within Tanzania.
Tanzania has a tropical climate and different bacteria, flora and fauna than most visitors are accustomed to, so it is advisable to take a few health precautions when travelling to make sure that your trip goes as comfortably and smoothly as possible.
Malaria is usually top on the list of visitor’s worries and prevention goes a long way toward keeping you protected. Make sure to visit your doctor to get a prescription for anti-malarial drugs that best suits you. The yellow fever vaccination, is no longer officially required when entering Tanzania, however, this is still a requirement if you wish to visit Zanzibar. Other vaccinations should be considered. For more information, contact your doctor well in advance of your visit.
Tanzania is a safe country to travel in. Tanzanians are warm-hearted and generous people and are eager to help visitors get the most out of their stay. Tanzania is a politically stable, multi – democratic country. As in all countries, a little common sense goes a long way and reasonable precautions should still be taken, such as locking valuables in the hotel safe and not walking alone at night.
Many of the animals and reptiles you will see are potentially dangerous. Attacks by wild animals are rare. However, no safari in Africa can guarantee that such incidents will not occur. Please note that most camps are unfenced. Please make sure that you listen to and abide by the safety talks given by your guides or lodge/camp staff. Don’t wander off on your own without a guide – even to your room. After retiring to your rooms at night, don’t leave your rooms without signaling for a guard to come and escort you. If you are sensible, you will be safe.
Visitors to Tanzania are prohibited from taking tap water. Always go for bottled water. This is to avoid getting amoeba. Africa Classic Escapes will provide 2 bottles of ½ litre mineral water during the drives from one point to another.
Language used at the hotels / lodges / camps
English is widely spoken in lodges, camps and at the towns, but Swahili is a beautiful language, and you may want to learn some basic words. Here are some basic phrases to get you started.
|Thank you very much
|How many shillings?
|How much money
When visiting remote areas or national parks and reserves, the roads will be rough and bumpy. Occasionally you will travel “off road”, where it is possible that injuries may occur – if for example a hidden pothole is struck. Most main roads are tarred, but not those in the national parks.
Responsible Tourism is an attitude of mind to which we should all aspire. When on a walking safari or camping safari it is a must to keep to the tracks laid out in the parks; in Tanzania it is important to keep to the designated trails whilst on safari. If a driver is caught making a new trail with his safari vehicle he looses his license and is banned from all National Parks. To keep to the trials helps protect fauna and prevents soil erosion. Tanzania takes its responsibility towards the environment very seriously. The safari trade in these parks is the heritage of the Tanzanian people.