Tanzania is a popular East African destination for visitors, it has many natural attractions including Zanzibar, Mount Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater. Tanzania is a large country and its infrastructure isn't great so it takes time to get around. Tanzanians have a very friendly reputation and other than petty theft, violent crime is quite rare.
Tanzania is East Africa's largest country and is also one of its most diverse, providing a home for more than 100 different ethnic groups, as well as some of the largest wildlife on the continent. Its Topography is Africa's most spectacular, this are the Great Rift Valley, Mt. Kilimanjaro ( Highest Mountain in Africa) and the undulating vast Serengeti plains.
At the coast , are idyllic islands ringed by beautiful palm- fringed beaches, and Zanzibar Island with its fame for cloves (Spices) and rich Arabic Culture, being once a center of Slavery.
Tanzania is rich in geological and archaeological discoveries. Don't fail to visit the famous Olduvai Gorge where remains of first man was discovered , the Ngorongoro crater which is one of Africa's best known wildlife - viewing areas and one of Tanzania most visited.
Location: Tanzania is located in East Africa bordering the Indian Ocean, between Kenya and Mozambique, see map.
Area: 945,087 sq km, a little more than twice the size of California.
Capital City: Dodoma (but the commercial capital and largest city is Dar es Salaam).
Population: Around 39 million people live in Tanzania.
Language: Kiswahili or Swahili (official), English (official, primary language of commerce, administration, and higher education), Arabic (widely spoken in Zanzibar) and many local languages.
Religion: Mainland - Christian 30%, Muslim 35%, and indigenous beliefs 35%. Zanzibar, more than 99% Muslim
Climate: Tanzania lies just south of the equator and on the whole enjoys a tropical climate. There are two rainy seasons, generally the heaviest rains (called Masika) usually fall from mid-March to May and a shorter period of rain (called mvuli) from November to mid-January. The dry season, with cooler temperatures, lasts from May to October. More about Tanzania's weather.
When to Go: The best time to go is January - February and July - October....Read more
Currency: Tanzanian Shilling, click here for currency converter.
Tanzania's Main Attractions:
Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater -- Part of the "northern circuit" of parks, these two wildlife parks/reserves are the jewels in the crown and arguably offer the best safari experience in Africa. More about safaris in Tanzania.
Mount Kilimanjaro -- Africa's highest mountain draws hikers from all over the world. It takes about a week to climb and no technical expertise is necessary to summit Uhuru Peak. More about hiking up Kilimanjaro.
Zanzibar -- Gorgeous beaches, romantic islands as well as a fascinating capital built by Arab slave-traders and spice merchants called Stonetown, make Zanzibar a unique destination. More about Zanzibar.
Travel to Tanzania
Tanzania's International Airport: Tanzania has two international airports, one outside the commercial capital Dar es Salaam (airport code: DAR) and the other near Arusha (and Mount Kilimanjaro) called Kilimanjaro International Airport (airport code: JRO). Charter flights and some international operators fly directly to Zanzibar Island (airport code: ZNZ)
Getting to Tanzania: If you're planning to visit Northern Tanzania, the best airport to arrive at is Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA). KLM has daily flights from Amsterdam. Ethiopian and Kenya Airways also fly into KIA.
If you're planning to visit Zanzibar, southern and western Tanzania, you'll want to fly to the capital Dar es Salaam. European carriers that fly into Dar es Salaam include British Airways, KLM and Swissair (which codeshares with Delta).
There are long-distance bus services between Tanzania and Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Mozambique and Uganda.
More about getting to Tanzania...
Tanzania's Embassies/Visas: Most nationalities need a tourist visa to enter Tanzania, they are valid for 6 months from the date of issue. Check directly with a Tanzanian Embassy for fees and procedures.
More Tanzania Practical Travel Tips
Tanzania's Economy and Politics
Economy: Tanzania is in the bottom ten percent of the world's economies in terms of per capita income. The economy depends heavily on agriculture, which accounts for more than 40% of GDP, provides 85% of exports, and employs 80% of the work force. Topography and climatic conditions, however, limit cultivated crops to only 4% of the land area. Industry traditionally featured the processing of agricultural products and light consumer goods. Continued donor assistance and solid macroeconomic policies supported real GDP growth of 7.1% in 2008.
Brief History/Politics: Shortly after achieving independence from Britain in the early 1960s, Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form the nation of Tanzania in 1964. One-party rule came to an end in 1995 with the first democratic elections held in the country since the 1970s. Zanzibar's semi-autonomous status and popular opposition have led to two contentious elections since 1995, which the ruling party won despite international observers' claims of voting irregularities.