Tanzania is considered one of the most beautiful countries in Africa. This is a country with a plenty of natural places of interest which many of us associate the continent itself with: in particular the natural reserve of Serengeti, Lake Victoria, Ngorongoro and of course the legendary Mount of Kilimanjaro.
The name of Tanzania was born in 1964 when two independent previously states: Tanganyika and Zanzibar, got united and the name of each appeared in the name of the new country by its first syllables.
This country is quite a unique place in Africa where the tourist can get many unforgettable memories. In particular, there reigns a great variety of flora and fauna- from the snow-covered Mount of Kilimanjaro to the tropical islands of Zanzibar.
In total Tanzania have 12 national parks- each having an amazing diversity of nature. It is here that hides the real essence of Africa, allowing you to roam the endless snows, to penetrate the jungle untouched by man or look at the serene waters of the lakes. In these places people are really connected with nature. In addition, you can enjoy boating, flying in a balloon, climbing and other unusual sports. For those who like to have a leisurely vacation here are some of the best beaches in this part of Africa.
Tanzania is the home of safari- here you will be able to touch the wilderness, get to know all of its features and personally see the wild animals in their natural habitat.
In Tanzania they speak Swahili and English.
For their own safety the tourists should follow a few simple rules:
- Do not visit Tanzania from March to May due to the heavy rains, which at high temperatures create a climate that is hardly tolerated by the Europeans. At the same time there is a high risk of contracting malaria or gastro-intestinal tract diseases.
- Do not leave your belongings unattended to avoid thefts.
- Carry a photocopy of your passport.
- Do not take photos of local people before you get permission to do so.
- Smoking is not allowed at movie theatres and the public transport.
- Do not throw away and better not use plastic bags - it is prohibited by the country's environmental laws.
- Do not get too close to the animals in the national parks - you are preventing them to hunt.
- Be prepared for problems with water and electricity - is the scourge for most towns. If your hotel is supplied with electricity from solar panels, lights turn off at about 22.30-23.00. After that you can use candles and oil lamps.
Contrary to your expectations, the night life in Tanzania is concentrated not in the clubs and discos but in the bosom of nature. The most popular entertainment after dark in these places is the night safari, when you can see the animals in a totally new environment. All groups go with an experienced guide who will introduce you to the mysterious world of nocturnal Tanzania.
The main types of outdoor activities here are diving and safari, which in their turn can be on a boat, canoe, horseback, bicycle or on foot. From the water sports- white water rafting, paragliding and fishing - in freshwater or deep waters, depending on your preferences.
Shops are open every day from 9.00 to 19.00, and in the big cities frequently up to 22.00. The most popular souvenirs are primarily made of black wood, also known as ebony. You can buy leather goods, malachite beads and soapstone. Excellent reminders of the journey will be statues, drums, batik, braids, and even coffee. For connoisseurs of precious stones the rare tanzanite would be of particular interest, it is also called «blue diamond.» That mineral is found only here. But unfortunately you cannot buy it in Tanzania. However it is found on the markets of Kenya for free sale.
January 1 - New Year
January 12 - Zanzibar Revolution Day
April 26 - Day of the Union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar
April-May - Easter and Easter Monday
May 1 - International Labour Day
June 7 - Industrial Day
August 8 - Day of the peasants
December 9 - Independence Day
December 25 - Christmas Day
December 26 - Christmastide
One of the entertainments available in Tanzania is traveling to Zanzibar, also known as the «Spice Island». Here you can get acquainted with the ancient architecture and spacious sandy beaches. It's still a great place for excursions and recreation, even the gourmets will be happy to taste fresh fish in one of the local restaurants.
If you are sufficiently prepared, you can make an entertaining trekking to Kilimanjaro- it's a real adventure designed especially for you. After rising to the top through the mist of the rainforest, you'll feel as a bold pioneer.
If you just want to relax, walk into the house of Kisani, lost in the islands in the greenery of the wild nature. It can accommodate up to 20 people and is built entirely from natural materials according to the canons of the local Aboriginal people. All furniture is made by hand, which gives it an unusual island flavor.
The traditional cuisine of Tanzania is not very refined. The local restaurants serve typically British dishes (soups, steaks, steamed vegetables and fried poultry, coffee and desserts). In the few Asian restaurants they cook some local dishes but there are not many of them. They serve dishes from bananas (here they are not sweet and resemble potatoes) and goat. The local beer does not have very good taste, it is better to try the local vodka from papaya - «konyagi.
Selous Park is located about 8 hours drive from the international airport of Dar-es-Salaam to the south. It is the largest park on the continent, covering an area of 55,000 sq. km. It is also among the ten largest parks in the world. There are more than 120 000 elephants, some 160,000 buffaloes and about two thousand rhinos. There are also many crocodiles, hippos and hyenas.
Mount Kilimanjaro National Park - first of all it is famous the most with the mountain itself which towers over the picturesque plains. Its height is 5890 meters and yet it is the highest mountain on the continent. Its base is about 60 km in diameter. Climbing the mountain is possible throughout the year but the best time is considered the periods from August to October and from January to March.
Arusha Park - is one of the smallest parks in terms of area. Located in close proximity to the city of Arusha, it contains the Momela Lake, Mount Meru and the unusual Ngurdoto crater. This place has become home to more than 400 species of birds. It is also home to the black and white colobus monkeys.
Serengeti Park - the park is one of the most famous parks in Tanzania, many experts consider it the best in the world. First of all, its popularity is due to the annual migration of many animals, including antelopes which are more than half a million in the park.
Ngorongoro National Park - the place for a long time had been cut off from the outside world, which resulted in formation of its own unique habitat for many unique animals that exist only here.
Lake Manyara - Located just 130km from Arusha this national park is best known for being inhabited by lions who can climb trees. In addition there are many birds, most of them fishing in the lake.
Tarangire Park - is located in the northeastern part of the country, offering to the attention of the travelers the entire variety of wild animals. It is especially easy to see them in the dry season- during this time zebras, buffaloes, elephants and many others come to drink water from the river of Tarangire.
Meserani Park of snakes - is located 20 km from the town of Arusha. Here the travelers can see the amazing variety of snakes and reptiles in Africa.
The island of Zanzibar - is the main island of the archipelago, as well as one of the most amazing resorts in the Indian Ocean. The special attention of the tourists is attracted by the coral reefs around the island.
Mnemba, Pemba and Mafia Islands - together with a small atoll of the coral islands represent unusual ocean sanctuary where you can relax in the nature, untouched by man.
How to reach
In Tanzania there are three international airports- they are located in the cities of Arusha, Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar. Most of the travel programs around the country start from the second airport, which in particular is located near the Mount of Kilimanjaro. Since there are not direct flights to the country the tourists will have to use connecting flight- the most comfortable it will be via Amsterdam (by KLM). If you are looking for more budget options, this will be a flight to the airport of Dar es Salaam by Emirates Airlines, Swiss, or Qatar.
The climate in Tanzania is equatorial- monsoon. In the southeastern part the hot tropical climate prevails because of the topographic features. There are no significant changes in the temperature, on average it remains in the range from +25 to +27 C, while in the mountains may fall up to 12 C. The amount of rainfall is highly dependent on the area - it might be from 1000 mm to 2000 mm per year, depending on the area. The islands climate is predominantly maritime, the temperatures- around 27 C. It is best to visit Tanzania from June to September.
When it is best to visit
The best time to travel to Tanzania is from December to July. This is the of migration of the ungulates. If you prefer watching the predators, come in between July and October.
From October to November here come the «short rains» which generally do not disturb the recreation. But from March to May is the season of the «long rains» which can essentially ruin your vacation.
Each part of the country has its own best time to visit. The north of the country's is the most hospitable from July to October and from December to March, the South- from June to October, the West- from December to March and from May to October. The islands of Zanzibar and Mafia appear in front of your eyes in their entire splendor during the periods from July to October and from December to March. It does not worth to go to Tanzania from March to May due to the heavy rains, which at high temperatures create an atmosphere, barely tolerated by Europeans. At the same time there is a high risk of contracting malaria or gastro-intestinal tract diseases.