Tanzania sits on the east coast of Africa with a long coastline on the Indian Ocean and the Zanzibar Archipelago ofUnguja, Pemba, Mafia and numerous other tropical islands, her main tourism attractions are the wildlife infested national parks clustered into two groups: the Northern Circuit (Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Tarangire, Manyara, Ngorongoro and Serengeti as well as many other Wildlife Management Area designates) and the Southern Circuit (Selous, Ruaha, Mikumi, Mahale and Ngombe Stream national parks and other Wildlife Management Area designates). But the country is also famous for adventure tourism including mountain climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru (the second tallest) as well as beach and leisure holidays in Zanzibar, Pemba, Mafia and Dar es Salaam. Other tourism attractions include culture, birding, meetings, incentives, conferences and events.
Unlike countries in Europe, Tanzania has no clear seasons like winter and summer. However, you do have one dry and two rainy seasons, namely from the end of October to the end of December, and from March to May. We were there from the end of December until the middle of January. Except for a bit of rain we didn’t really have much rain there. However, from March to May it can rain so much that many roads become impassable and many resorts on, among others, Zanzibar, close their doors.
For a beautiful safari, June to September or December to February is the best period. Temperatures are high then. June to September are also nice months to go to Tanzania. Temperatures are a bit lower then and the landscape is especially green in June and July.
Currency: Tanzanian shilling
Official languages: Swahili, English
Mt. Kilimanjaro is Africa’s tallest, the world’s second tallest and tallest free standing mountain) and the most popular climb because of her even gradient and well-formed peak. Every year, thousands of adventurists test her mettle and are glad to raise their flag and pop champagne atop her snow-capped peak, the rooftop of Africa. Mt. Meru, Kilimanjaro’s little sister just across the Maasai steppe/west Kilimanjaro in Arusha National Park is another hikers’ attraction with options for a three day climb to her rugged peaks or several different day long hikes on her fringes amongst troops of Black and White Colobus Monkeys and many mammal species.
The spice island of Zanzibar and adjacent Pemba are the haunt of many beach lovers who savor her white sandy beaches from the north to south in addition to cultural tours in her ‘capital’ Stone Town with Arab, Persian and European historical relics dating back to the 13thCentury. The Spice farms themselves are a throwback to the 19thcentury when Zanzibar was governed by the Arab sheikhs and whose cultural influences have remained to this day and can be seen through dress, food, religion and association. NB: although Tanganyika and Zanzibar formed a federation in the 60s which became Tanzania, Zanzibar retains semi-autonomy with an own parliament and ‘president’.
To the west of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania financial capital lying on the Indian Ocean are the relatively untraveled Selous, Mikumi and Ruaha national wildlife parks; remote, arid, romantic and totally off the beaten track savannah parks for excellent game viewing by car or boating on the Ruaha River in search of birds amongst the hippos and crocodiles that infest the river. Further west the Mahale Mountains and Ngombe Stream montane forests national parks sit on the edge of Lake Tanganyika, the world’s longest, second deepest and certainly one of the most beautiful lakes; it is so clear that one can see through her waters for meters and is the source of most of the cichlids (colorful fishes) found in many of the world’s aquariums. The parks are home to numerous species of mammals and primates including habituated Chimpanzees for tracking's.
Tanzania has a generally comfortable climate year-round, although there are significant regional variations. The tropical coast stays quite hot and humid with heavy and reliable rainfall, especially during the rainy season. The central plateau is cooler and arid.
Most visitors (with the exception of citizens of the East African countries and very few other nationalities) require a Visa to enter Tanzania. Whilst many nationalities can obtain a Visa on arrival at the airport (upon payment of the relevant Visa Fees of course), others are required to obtain visas in advance/before boarding for Tanzania (Referral Visa). Visas can be obtained at your nearest Tanzania Embassy or High Commission. For the specific requirements about your nationality, please see. Where possible to obtain a Visa on arrival, do please note there is normally a queue and persons have to wait. Although the time taken on the queue will normally be less than the time it takes to visit the Tanzania Embassy from home in order to get a visa in advance, we do recommend the latter for your peace of mind and to avoid inconvenience. NB: You can now apply (and pay) for a Tanzania Visa online at please see This new and convenient method is recommended for most visitors will soon be the mandatory method. The Tanzania Immigration Officials tend to be strict in enforcing regulations and can be extreme when they are not sure. Visa Requirements can also change from time to time for country to country. To avoid any delays or inconvenience, we recommend getting a visa in advance if it is possible and not too much trouble. Always reconfirm your specific requirements with your travel/ticketing agent at the time of booking and in advance of your departure. It is important to ensure your travel documents are in order before embarking on your journey to Tanzania because improper documents can result in denied entry or other inconveniences.
Although the bus and tuktuk are the most commonly used means of transport in Tanzania, most tourists allow themselves to be transported by taxis or taxi vans. Or they rent a car with a driver who is also the guide. For the taxis and tuktuks you have to negotiate a price in advance. Ask other travellers or your hotel desk clerk what price is reasonable for a certain distance. If you rent your own 4WD car including driver, count on 150 euros per day. However, you still have to pay the guide for meals, tips, etc.
In Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam we made use of taxis and pre-arranged taxi vans. On the mainland we drove a rented 4WD ourselves. The big advantage of this is that you are flexible. You also pay around 100 euros per day for a small 4WD, which is clearly cheaper than with a driver.
Having your own car without a driver also has disadvantages. For example, even small distances take a lot of time. And because the roads aren’t always good or sometimes even bad, I found it very tiring to drive by myself at times. Besides that, the use of a guide is mandatory in some parks. In other parks it can be desirable at any rate. A guide can tell you a lot about the park and knows the route.
It is best to fly the long distances in the country, unless you have months. We have flown with Air Tanzania several times to our utmost satisfaction. Only twice were we delayed. Count on fares of around 50 euros per person for a one-hour flight. Incidentally, we had to get used to the total lack of communication about flights at the airports. Domestic flights are not called or are called incorrectly. A few times we suddenly saw the locals getting up and boarding.
Before you leave on your holiday, there are at least four health-related things you should do. Please check the handbook for specifics, but for now, here’s the short list:
Step 1: Check with the CDC for their recommendations for the countries you’ll be visiting.
Step 2: Have a medical checkup with your doctor.
Step 3: Pick up any necessary medications, both prescription and over-the-counter.
Step 4: Have a dental and/or eye checkup. (Recommended, but less important than steps 1-3.)
A Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate is now a mandatory requirement for all persons entering Kenya. Kenya, like other countries in Africa, sits in a malaria prone area in the African tropics. Anti-Malarial Prophylactics are highly recommended – kindly consult with your physician on this before travel. Whilst contracting Malaria is not necessarily imminent, we also recommend you bring insect repellent, long pants and long sleeved tops for the cooler evenings, as well as sleeping under a mosquito net. Additional recommended, but not mandatory, vaccinations include Typhoid, Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B as well as Tetanus.
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