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Intro|Stats|Overview|Safari Planning|Visas & Entry Requirements|Useful Info

TANZANIA an introduction

Warm, wild & free, a land of wide-open spaces and magnificent wildlife, of idyllic palm fringed islands kissed by turquoise seas. Of explorers' tales and sultans palaces and a warm hospitable people.

Comprising of the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, with Dodoma as the political capital, located in the very center of the country. Dar es Salaam, is the economic capital, located on the coast and almost opposite the Spice Island of Zanzibar. Of 945,087sq km, over 100,000 sq km are devoted to National Parks and Reserves. Mountains, Lakes, Volcanoes and tropical beaches. Boundless stretches of savannah, dotted with herds of game. Warriors dancing in the warm hues of a sunset, rich tropical forests and the monolithic snow-capped peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro rising out of and floating majestically over parched and dusty plains Located below Kenya, Tanzania is the largest east African nation. It is half the size of Western Europe and is bordered by shimmering lakes and the Indian Ocean. Off its white sandy beaches lie the sleepy islands or Pemba, Mafia and the exotic spice island of Zanzibar. Lake Tanganyika, Africa's longest and deepest freshwater lake and the second deepest in the world runs along its southwestern border. To the northwest Lake Victoria, Africa's largest lake and the source of the River Nile.

Tanzania's rich and colorful cultural diversity includes more than 126 loosely defined tribes, ranging from the few hundred ancient nomadic Kindiga to the million strong Sukuma of Lake Victoria. The colour of the Swahili people and the aromatic spices of the Zanzibari's on the coast to the nomadic and graceful Masai in the Serengeti. Not surprisingly, nearly a quarter of all of Africa's game is found on the savannahs of this wonderful country, one quarter of which is made up of national parks and game Reserves. Tanzania is without a doubt a country made for "Safari'.

Geographic coordinates:     6 00 S, 35 00 E

Area:           Total: 945,087 sq km

                  Land: 886,037 sq km

                  Water: 59,050 sq km

                  Note: includes the islands of Mafia, Pemba, and Zanzibar

Area - comparative:
slightly larger than twice the size of the US state of California

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An Overview

Wild and warm and free... is how one of our visitors to Tanzania described it! Tanzania is a vast country, possibly more than twice the size of Kenya with so much to offer. Generally not as developed as Kenya in terms of tourist product, and generally slightly more expensive. Distances between safari destinations in Tanzania are greater than those of Kenya, making travel slightly more expensive. Kilimanjaro is still undoubtedly the jewel of East Africa and an integral part of every itinerary - whether climbed or just admired from a distance.

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Safari Planning

In order to make the most of the extraordinary safari opportunities on offer in both Kenya and Tanzania, many travelers include both countries in their itineraries. There tend to be more international flights arriving in Nairobi, and it is found to be easier to start in Kenya and venture south over the Namanga border post into Northern Tanzania to the Safari town of Arusha. Tanzania exclusive itineraries generally involve the start of a safari from Arusha, towards Lake Manyara, across to the Ngorongoro Crater, to the Serengeti National Park, and back to Arusha, where all Kilimanjaro climbs are based. Dar es Salaam, widely regarded as the economic capital of Tanzania, is the starting point for safaris south to the famed Selous and Ruaha National parks. Getting around the country is easy due to the reliable network of internal airlines. Roads are generally good, though further off the beaten track they can be rough and dusty.

Zanzibar tends to be the main choice for those who wish to relax and soak up the colourful culture and atmosphere after a game oriented safari. Daily flights take travelers to Stone Town from Europe and Nairobi. Internal flights from Arusha and Dar es Salaam are by far the easiest way to get there after a Tanzania game safari.

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Visas and Entry Requirements

All visitors require a passport, valid for the duration of their stay. Preparations are under way for visitors to obtain visas at any entry point, and this time-saving facility is available to visitors arriving at Zanzibar International Airport. Other points in Tanzania currently offering visa on entry are Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro International Airports, and Namanga on the road border between Tanzania and Kenya. Nationals of some countries do not require visas, so it is advisable to check with your nearest Tanzanian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate prior to visiting. Key Tanzanian diplomatic missions:

Tanzania High Commission

43 Hertford Street

London W1Y 7FF

United Kingdom

Tel: + 44 20 7491 3600

Tanzanian Embassy

2139 R Street NW

Washington DC 20008

United States

Tel: + 1 202 9396128

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Time Zone                                  GMT + 3

Currency                                     Tanzanian Shilling (Tsh)

Approximate exchange rate        US$ 1 = 1,000 Tanzanian Shillings = 100 cents

Official languages                       Kiswahili & English

Electricity                                    220 - 240 V AC, 50 Hz

Religion                                      Predominantly Christian on the mainland

International Dialing code          + 255, followed by area code and local number.



Tanzania Travel Guides

Tanzania: The Bradt Travel Guide Philip Briggs

Tanzania & Zanzibar Annabel Skinner (Editor)

Lonely Planet: Tanzania, Zanzibar and Pemba Mary Fitzpatrick

The Rough Guide to Tanzania (Rough Guides) Jens Finke

Tanzania Reference

The Safari Companion: A Guide to Watching African Mammals Richard D. Estes

Lonely Planet: Swahili Phrasebook Martin Benjamin, et al

Tanzania Coffee Table Books

Kilimanjaro: to the Roof of Africa Audrey Salkeld

Tanzania: African Eden Graham Mercer, Javed Jafferji

Serengeti: Natural Order on the African Plain Mitsuaki Iwago (Photographer)

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