Travel to Tanzania

Tanzania

Tanzania boasts the most impressive National Parks and game reserves in all of Africa. The plains and savannahs of Serengeti National Park are considered “the” spot on the continent to see wildlife up close. Nearby, the Ngorongoro crater teems with wildebeest, gazelle, zebra, lions, leopards, cheetahs and even the elusive white rhino. Not to be forgotten, the Selous Game Reserve is larger than Switzerland.

A mountain that needs no introduction is Mt Kilimanjaro, snow-capped and standing as Africa’s tallest mountain at 5,895m (19,341ft). Open for climbing to those with energy and time on their hands, the week-long ascent is one of Africa’s most challenging achievements.  Tanzania is home to over 120 different ethnic groups and takes pride in its multicultural heritage. The tall, red-robed Maasai are the best known of Tanzania’s people and are easily visited as part of a safari itinerary.

Tanzania’s coastline, known as the Swahili Coast, was a stop on ancient trading routes between the Indian sub-continent and the Middle-East. Spices, jewels and slaves once passed through, bringing with them a melange of cultural riches that remain today. The language of Swahili was born here, and old mosques, coral palaces and pearly-white beaches still remain.

Overview

Tanzania boasts the most impressive National Parks and game reserves in all of Africa. The plains and savannahs of Serengeti National Park are considered “the” spot on the continent to see wildlife up close. Nearby, the Ngorongoro crater teems with wildebeest, gazelle, zebra, lions, leopards, cheetahs and even the elusive white rhino. Not to be forgotten, the Selous Game Reserve is larger than Switzerland.

People

Tanzania’s population is concentrated along the coast and isles, the fertile northern and southern highlands, and the lands bordering Lake Victoria. The relatively arid and less fertile central region is sparsely inhabited. So too is much of the fertile and well watered far west, including the shores of Lake Tanganyika and Lake Nyasa (Malawi). About 80% of Tanzanians live in rural communities.

Zanzibar, population about one million (3% of Tanzania’s population), consists of two main islands and several small ones just off the Tanzanian coast. The two largest islands are Unguja (often referred to simply as Zanzibar) and Pemba. Zanzibaris, together with their socio-linguistic cousins in the Comoros Islands and the East Africa coast from modern-day southern Somalia to northern Mozambique, created Swahili culture and language, which reflect long and close associations with other parts of Africa and with the Arab world, Persia, and South Asia.

Tanzanians are proud of their strong sense of national identity and commitment to Swahili as the national language. There are roughly 120 ethnic communities in the country representing several of Africa’s main socio-linguistic groups.

Language

Kiswahili & English

History

Coastal and island Tanzania organized into city-states around 1,500 years ago. The Swahili city-states traded with the peoples of the interior and the peoples of the Indian Ocean and beyond (including China). Many merchants from these trading partner nations (principally from inland Africa, the Arab world, Persia and India) established themselves in these coastal and island communities, which became cosmopolitan in flavor.

The Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama explored the East African coast in 1498 on his voyage to India. By 1506, the Portuguese claimed control over the entire coast. The coastal peoples rose up against the Portuguese in the late 1700s. Their resistance was assisted by one of their main trading partners, the Omani Arabs. By the early 19th century the Portuguese were forced out of coastal East Africa north of the Ruvuma River and the Omanis moved in.  British influence over the Sultanate steadily increased in the 1880s until Zanzibar formally became a British Protectorate in 1890.

German colonial interests were first advanced in 1884. In 1886 and 1890, Anglo-German agreements were negotiated that delineated the British and German spheres of influence in the interior of East Africa and along the coastal strip previously claimed by the Omani sultan of Zanzibar. In 1891, the German Government took over direct administration of the territory from the German East Africa Company and appointed a governor with headquarters at Dar es Salaam. The Maji Maji rebellion of 1905-07 united the peoples of the Southern Highlands in a struggle to expel the German administration. The German military killed 120,000 Africans in suppressing the rebellion.

German colonial domination of Tanganyika ended after World War I when control of most of the territory passed to the United Kingdom under a League of Nations mandate. After World War II, Tanganyika became a UN trust territory under British control. Subsequent years witnessed Tanganyika moving gradually toward self-government and independence.

In 1954, Julius K. Nyerere, a school teacher who was then one of only two Tanganyikans educated abroad organized a political party—the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU). TANU candidates were victorious in the Legislative Council elections of September 1958 and February 1959. In December 1959, the United Kingdom agreed to the establishment of internal self-government following general elections to be held in August 1960. Nyerere was named chief minister of the subsequent government.

In May 1961, Tanganyika became autonomous, and Nyerere became Prime Minister under a new constitution. Full independence was achieved on December 9, 1961. Julius Nyerere, then age 39, was elected President when Tanganyika became a republic within the Commonwealth a year after independence. Tanganyika was the first East African state to gain independence.  The Union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar adopted the name “United Republic of Tanzania” on April 26, 1964.

Travel Guide

Currency

The unit of currency is the Tanzanian shilling (Tsh) and there are no smaller denominations. It’s best to carry as little cash as possible when travelling to avoid further inconvenience if anything should be lost or stolen.

Weather

Tanzania has a tropical climate along the coast but it gets temperate in the highlands.
April & Mid – May = Long rains (Green Season)
June – Sept = Cool season
Nov – Dec = Short Rains
October – March = Hottest season
The range of Temperatures in Tanzania is fairly limited and always hot, running from 77 to 86 degrees F on the coast while the rest of the country apart from the highlands run from 71 to 80 degrees F.

Health Requirements

A yellow fever vaccination is required only for persons from, or those who have visited yellow fever endemic countries.  Malaria Precautions are necessary.  Please speak to your doctor for further advice.

Visa Requirements

A passport and visa are required for travel to Tanzania. U.S. citizens with valid passports may obtain a visa either before arriving in Tanzania or at any port of entry staffed by immigration officials.  U.S. passports should be valid for a minimum of six months beyond the date the visa is obtained, whether it is acquired beforehand or at the port of entry.  Also, foreigners may be required to show their passports when entering or exiting Zanzibar.

Credit Cards

Major Credit Cards may also be acceptable in some large Hotels.

Electrical Appliances

240 Volts AC, 50 – 60 Hz

Water

It is best to only drink bottled water.

Map

A: Alexandria
B: Amboseli National Park
C: Arusha
D: Aswan
E: Bazaruto Island
F: Benguerra Island
G: Botswana
H: Bwindi Impenetrable NP
I: Cairo
J: Cape Town
K: Cape Winelands
L: Central Kalahari Region
M: Chobe National Park
N: Denis Island
O: Desroches Island
P: Drakensburg
Q: Dubai
R: Dubai Beaches
S: Dubai City Center
T: Dubai Desert
U: Dubai Marina
V: Durban
W: Eastern Cape
X: Eastern Cape Safaris
Y: Egypt
Z: Ethiopia
AA: Etosha National Park
AB: Franschhoek
AC: Garden Route
AD: Greater Kruger National Park
AE: Greater Winelands
AF: Hermanus
AG: Hwange National Park
AH: Johannesburg
AI: Jordan
AJ: Kafue National Park
AK: Kampala
AL: Kariba
AM: Kenya
AN: Kigali
AO: Knysna
AP: Kruger National Park
AQ: Kwazulu Natal
AR: La Digue
AS: Lake Manyara NP
AT: Lake Nakuru
AU: Lewa Wildlife Conservation
AV: Linyanti/Savuti Region
AW: Livingstone
AX: Lower Zambezi National Park
AY: Luxor
AZ: Madagascar
BA: Madikwe Game Reserve
BB: Mahé
BC: Maldives
BD: Mana Pools National Park
BE: Masai Mara
BF: Mauritius
BG: Mombasa
BH: Mozambique
BI: Nairobi
BJ: Namibia
BK: Ngorongoro Conservation Area
BL: North Island
BM: Okavango and Moremi GR
BN: Oman
BO: Oudtshoorn
BP: Plettenberg Bay
BQ: Port Elizabeth
BR: Praslin
BS: Queen Elizabeth National Park
BT: Quirimbas Archipelago
BU: Rwanda
BV: Sabi Sands
BW: Samburu National Park
BX: Selous Game Reserve
BY: Serengeti National Park
BZ: Seychelles
CA: Sharm El Sheik
CB: Sheik Zayed Road
CC: Silhouette Island
CD: Skeleton Coast National Park
CE: Sossusvlei
CF: South Africa
CG: South Luangwa
CH: Stellenbosch
CI: Sun City
CJ: Sun City and Surrounds
CK: Swakopmund & Walvis Bay
CL: Tanzania
CM: Tarangire National Park
CN: Timbavati Region
CO: Uganda
CP: Umhlanga
CQ: Victoria Falls
CR: Vilanculos
CS: Volcanoes National Park
CT: Windhoek
CU: Zambia
CV: Zanzibar and Pemba Island

Destinations

Explore the rest of our Tanzania destinations:

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This Destination

Tanzania

Related Destinations

Alexandria
Amboseli National Park
Arusha
Aswan
Bazaruto Island
Benguerra Island
Botswana
Bwindi Impenetrable NP
Cairo
Cape Town
Cape Winelands
Central Kalahari Region
Chobe National Park
Denis Island
Desroches Island
Drakensburg
Dubai
Dubai Beaches
Dubai City Center
Dubai Desert
Dubai Marina
Durban
Eastern Cape
Eastern Cape Safaris
Egypt
Ethiopia
Etosha National Park
Franschhoek
Garden Route
Greater Kruger National Park
Greater Winelands
Hermanus
Hwange National Park
Johannesburg
Jordan
Kafue National Park
Kampala
Kariba
Kenya
Kigali
Knysna
Kruger National Park
Kwazulu Natal
La Digue
Lake Manyara NP
Lake Nakuru
Lewa Wildlife Conservation
Linyanti/Savuti Region
Livingstone
Lower Zambezi National Park
Luxor
Madagascar
Madikwe Game Reserve
Mahé
Maldives
Mana Pools National Park
Masai Mara
Mauritius
Mombasa
Mozambique
Nairobi
Namibia
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
North Island
Okavango and Moremi GR
Oman
Oudtshoorn
Plettenberg Bay
Port Elizabeth
Praslin
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Quirimbas Archipelago
Rwanda
Sabi Sands
Samburu National Park
Selous Game Reserve
Serengeti National Park
Seychelles
Sharm El Sheik
Sheik Zayed Road
Silhouette Island
Skeleton Coast National Park
Sossusvlei
South Africa
South Luangwa
Stellenbosch
Sun City
Sun City and Surrounds
Swakopmund & Walvis Bay
Tanzania
Tarangire National Park
Timbavati Region
Uganda
Umhlanga
Victoria Falls
Vilanculos
Volcanoes National Park
Windhoek
Zambia
Zanzibar and Pemba Island

Related Hotels

Serena Selous Luxury Camp
Singita Faru Faru Lodge
Tarangire Treetops
Arusha Coffee Lodge
Arusha Hotel

Related Vacations

Elewana Sky Safari, Tanzania
Great Parks of East Africa
Kenya & Tanzania Explorer
Kenya and Tanzania Classic Safari
Safari and Saffron

Related Tours

Hot Air Balloon Safari
Maasai Village Visit


Top Stays

Kapinga Camp
Kapama Karula
Exeter Dulini Lodge
Phinda Zuka Lodge
Selinda Camp

Top Vacation Packages

Five Senses of South…
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Kenya & Tanzania…
Elewana Sky Safari,…

Hotels/Lodges

Serena Selous…

With 360-degree views over the surrounding bush, the twelve widely…

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Singita Faru Faru…

Situated on a slope, basking in the abundance of animal species and…

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Arusha Coffee Lodge

Beautifully positioned below the rugged peaks of Mount Meru, is the…

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Arusha Hotel

Exquisite hotel located in the heart of Arusha offering views of the…

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Breezes Beach Club

Situated on a pristine, peaceful beach on the East coast of the…

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Fumba Beach Lodge

Situated on one of Zanzibar’s most beautiful and secluded beaches,…

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Gibbs Farm

Gibb’s Farm is a working Farm located on the forested slopes of…

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Kilindi

he resort, fringed by casuarina trees and set on a magnificent beach…

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Matemwe Main Lodge

ONE OF VERY FEW boutique lodges on the north coast of Zanzibar,…

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Mivumo River Lodge

Standing high on the banks of the slow, brown Rufiji River, with…

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Ngorongoro Serena…

This unique lodge clings to the rim of the magnificent Ngorongoro…

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Olakira

As the great Migration makes its way across the expansive Serengeti…

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Oliver’s Camp

Oliver’s is the real Africa - you go to sleep after port with…

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Sarova Lion Hill…

Just two hour’s drive from Nairobi; Sarova Lion Hill is situated…

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Selous Safari Camp

Selous Safari Camp is a classic luxury tented camp located on the…

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Serengeti Bushtops…

Imagine yourself standing on the 120 square meter deck, gazing out…

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Serengeti Migration…

Hidden among the rocky outcrops or kopjes of the vast,…

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Serengeti Serena…

The Serengeti Serena Safari lodge is set high on the saddle of a…

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Singita Sabora…

Reminiscent of a bygone era, Sabora Tented Camp dishes up lavish…

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Singita Sasakwa…

Singita Grumeti Reserves offers an absolutely unique and exclusive…

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The Manor at…

Nestled adjacent to the breath taking Ngorongoro Conservation Area…

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The Swahili House

Located in the bustling heart of Stonetown the building was…

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Zanzibar Serena Inn

Idyllically situated on the sea-front of ancient Stone Town, and…

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Vacation Packages

Elewana Sky Safari,…

8 Days, 7 Nights
From $6898 per person based on double occupancy*
Arusha . Serengeti National…

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Great Parks of East…

10 Days, 9 Nights
From $6089 per person based on double occupancy*
Nairobi . Amboseli .…

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Kenya &…

13 Days, 12 Nights
From $5168 per person based on double occupancy*
Nairobi . Masai Mara . Lake…

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Tanzania Tented…

8 Days, 7 Nights
From $4469 per person based on double occupancy*
Lake Manyara . Serengeti…

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Tanzania Tented…

7 Days, 6 Nights
From $6084 per person based on double occupancy*
Serengeti National Park .…

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Tanzania Wildlife…

10 Days, 9 Nights
From $3505 per person based on double occupancy*
Arusha - Tarangire - Manyara…

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Tanzanian Vistas

14 Days, 13 Nights
From $6,159
Arusha . Lake Manyara . …

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Tours

Maasai Village Visit

This fascinating cultural expedition brings you to a local manyatta…

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