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Safaris in Tanzania

Tanzania is home to the great wildebeest and zebra herds and the pursuing predators that trek the Serengeti in an annual migration in search of fresh grazing and water sources.  The annual migration of an estimated two million animals can happen anytime between May and July, depending on the rains, with the animals returning to the southern Serengeti from the Masai Mara around October.

This incredible wildlife spectacle is just one of Tanzania’s many attractions. Other attractions include the Ngorongoro Crater, the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro which is the highest free standing mountain in the world, the Selous Game Reserve, the largest game reserve in Africa and the exotic spice islands of Zanzibar and Pemba. Tanzania combines very well as a safari destination with neighbouring Kenya and is easily accessible to Uganda and Rwanda to see the amazing gorillas.

Full Country Name: United Republic of Tanzania
Area: 943,000 sq km
Population: 46.22 million (UN 2011)
Capital: Dodoma
Borders: Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique and Democratic Republic of Congo.
Religion: Mainland Christian 30%, Muslim 35%, Indigenous beliefs 35%, Zanzibar – more than 99% Muslim
Time Zone: Standard time is three hours in advance of Greenwich Mean Time
Languages: Kiswahili or Swahili (official), English (official, primary language of commerce, administration, and higher education), Arabic (widely spoken in Zanzibar), many other local languages
Country Dialling Code: +255

CLIMATE
Although Tanzania lies close to the Equator, the climate is healthy and generally agreeable due to altitude – it is the coastal zones, which have what can truly be described as a tropical climate.  There is plenty of clear sunshine all year round.  Much of the terrain is above 1,500 metres and here the climate, although warm by day is often chilly at night.  The 'long rains' usually fall in the months of April and May.

The migration usually takes place after the long rains, when from August to October the wildebeest migrate from Tanzania into Kenya to find new grazing.  During the months of October and November, there are occasional scattered rains, the 'short rains', which freshen the atmosphere and vegetation and lay the dust.

CURRENCY & BANKS
The Tanzanian currency is decimalised with 100 cents to the Shilling.  At the time of writing, hotel bills and extras have to be paid for in foreign currency.  It is possible to change Tanzanian Shillings into US Dollars on departure from the country, and bank receipts are required for this.  Please note the import and export of Tanzanian Shillings is not permitted.

US Dollar notes printed before the year 2000 will not be accepted.  Barclay’s Bank in Tanzania has implanted a new policy where they will no longer accept notes printed before 2000.  Clients who carry US Dollar notes printed before 2000 will be compelled to accept a rate of exchange lower than normal.

ELECTRICITY
In Tanzania the general voltage is 230 and the frequency is 50 Hz.  The British three rectangular blade plugs are common.  Some lodges and camps only have power in the early mornings and evenings.  Batteries may be recharged in camps during the day but it is wise to double check with the camp manager.

As the sockets can vary a ‘Travellers Adaptor Set’ is recommended.  Voltage sometimes fluctuates and whilst power cuts are rare, they are not unknown.  It is useful to carry a torch.

HEALTH
Health requirements vary from country to country.  We recommend you speak to your local Travel Doctor for up-to-date information and advice.  The following information is to be used as a guide only.

Malaria: It is recommended that precautions against malaria are taken for travel to most regions in Africa.  We suggest you contact your doctor for advice on which prophylactic is recommended.

Yellow Fever: A Yellow Fever vaccination is required.  All travellers must carry proof that the Yellow Fever vaccine has been administered at least 10 days prior to travel.

ROAD TRAVEL
Tanzania like most countries in Africa is a third world country.  Therefore please be aware that the infrastructure in certain areas is not up to the standard you would find at home.  Specifically some of the roads are often very rough and short journeys can take much longer than expected. Some days will be very long, bumpy and dusty due to Tanzania’s road conditions.  In saying this though the views and spectacular scenery encountered usually make the trip well worthwhile.

VISA INFORMATION At the time of writing, a visa for Tanzania is required for Foreign Passport Holders.  The visa can be obtained on arrival at the airport or at border posts.

Single Entry Visa: USD $50 per person on an Foreign Passport (subject to change).

We hope that you will find this country Information on Tanzania useful for reference when preparing for your holiday.  All the information above was correct at the time of writing and is to be used as a guide only.  Health, visa and other specific details should be double checked by your travel agent at the time of booking.

Tanzania is a country rich in culture and traditions, from the early days of mankind’s history, to the merchants and traders along the Swahili coast. With its diversity of landscapes – from the Serengeti savannahs to the lakes, mountains, tropical rain forests and beautiful beaches , Tanzania offers the ideal destination for travellers, be it game viewing on safari in the National Parks and Reserves, climbing the highest Mountain in Africa – Mt Kilimanjaro, or relaxing on the exotic beaches of Zanzibar.

Serengeti National Park

The Serengeti National Park is one of the world's last great wildlife refuge. This vast area of land covering 14,763 sq. kms supports the greatest remaining concentration of plain game in Africa, on a scale unparalleled anywhere else in the world. The name Serengeti comes from the Masai 'Siringet', meaning endless plains. The park contains an estimated three million large animals, most of which take part in a seasonal migration that is one of nature's wonders and is the centre of the Serengeti ecosystem, roughly defined as the annual 'wildebeest migration' that serves as pasture for wild animals. The migration of more than 1.5 million Wildebeests accompanied by hundreds of thousands of Zebras and Gazelles help to preserve the species.  Predators such as Lions, Leopards, Cheetahs, Hyenas and Crocodiles are too glutted to take advantage of all the opportunities. Vultures, marabou stocks and other eagles clear the skies to accumulate at the feast. There are some creatures living in the Kopjes. Best Time: For the migration from December to May in the South of the Park and from June to October to the Western Corridor and to the North.
 

Ngorongoro Crater

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a huge area with a total of 8,288 sq kms. The area includes some other small craters known as Empakai, Olmoti, together with mountains, the archaeological sites of Olduvai Gorge, rolling plains, forests, lakes, dunes and of course Ngorongoro Crater. The highest peak of the area stands at 3,600 mts above the sea level known as mount Lolmalasin. Active volcanoes of mount Oldonyo Lengai is located on the North East side of the Area, Ngorongoro Crater, the first view of it is absolute splendor. The most striking feature, the Eden of Africa, one of the wonders of the world! The Crater has an area of about 260sq Km that is 19 km across. It stands 2,286mt above the sea level, the floor lies about 610mt below the rim. The crater has a spectacular concentration of wildlife. Within the crater there is shallow Soda Lake (Magadi) and flamingos that dwell around the lake which remains dry sometimes. It is the best place to see rhinos throughout the year, the bird life is also rich and the hunting ground for lions, cheetahs and hyenas. Between the Ngorongoro and Serengeti area lies the world's most important archaeological site the "Olduvai Gorge". "The cradle of mankind', where the oldest trace of men and animals were found by the Leakeys. Best Time: Whole year - rainy season in April

Lake Manyara National Park

Within the Greatest African Rift Valley, the Lake Manyara National Park covers an area of 325 sq. kms and consists of five distinct vegetation zones with a wide range of flora. The park is famous for its tree climbing lions that often laze on the branches of acacia trees. Manyara Park is sanctuary to elusive buffalos and hippos, giraffes, impalas, zebras, troops of baboons, elephants, reedbuck, waterbuck, blue and vervet monkeys and many more. Lake Manyara itself is a magnet for large varieties of birdlife, other species can be found around its shores, including huge flocks of flamingos. The Hotels and Lodges are situated at the top of the rift walls offering comfortable accommodation and spectacular views of the Park and the Lake. The dry season is from June to September and January to February. Best time: Whole year

Island of Zanzibar

Zanzibar is located about 35 kilometers off the East Coast of Tanzania. It comprises the 1,464 square kilometers, of Unguja (also known as Zanzibar) and the island of Pemba (868 - square kilometers), which is located about 50 kilometers north of Unguja and famed for its deep-sea fishing and scuba-diving; and a number of smaller islands. Kiswahili is the main language and more than 90 per cent of the population is Muslim. Visitors should dress modestly in public places. Zanzibar is warm almost all year round with heavy rains from March to May and lesser rains during October and November. February is the hottest month with a maximum average temperature of 29 degrees Celsius, while in August the temperature falls to 21 degrees Celsius. Think of Zanzibar and images of romantic dhows with curved white sails, veiled women, ancient ruins and exotic spices, float before your eyes. Zanzibar is known throughout the world as the jewel of the Indian Ocean and has a romantic, colourful history of seafarers and explorers, of riches and tragedy, and the dark stain of slavery. Best Time: June to Mid March with the hottest months from January.

Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park, with an area of 2600 sq. kms, situated only 120 km from Arusha, is famous for its dense wildlife population. The park offers a splendid view over the savannah, interpassed with acacia and baobab trees includes the swamps, rivers, and rock outcrops. The area is engulfed by several hills. Between June and December thousands of animals migrate from the dry Maasai steppe to Tarangire River looking for water. Among species to be seen in Tarangire are buffalo, elephant, lion, warthog, eland, the fringe-eared, and a large number of impalas and gazelles. Tarangire National Park is also famous for the tree climbing pythons and abundant bird life. Best Time to Visit: From June to February.

Mount Kilimanjaro

The highest in Africa just 330 kms South of Equator in Northern Tanzania. It is composed of two dormant volcanoes Mawenzi (5,149 mt.) and the permanent snow caped Kibo, the highest peak 19, 330 feet (5,895 mt). The total area of the Park is 755 sq. kms. Kilimanjaro also one of the world's highest solitary mountain can be climbed at any time of the year except during the long rains from March to May. The ascent can be made by any normal fit person with assistance of guides and porters via Marangu route. The route usually requires 5 to 6 days. This mountain, apart from featuring breath taking landscape is also notable for its birdlife and beautiful rain forest.  Those who reach Uhuru Peak, the actual summit or Gillman's Point on the lip of the Crater will have earned their climbing certificate and their memories. There are six major Trekking Routes. Best time: Whole year except April and May rainy seasons.

Choose your Experience

Breezes Beach Club

Located along a pristine beach on the east coast of the island, the hotel, with 70 air conditioned rooms leading out to balconies or terraces, is renowned for its attention to detail, design, flair and hospitality. Stroll on the white sandy beach, dine in candlelight, and relax and enjoy an excellent variety of recreational, dining and spa facilities.

Elewana Air Safari

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In Kiswahili ‘Elewana’ means ‘Harmony’, and this breathtaking air safari combines the game rich wilderness of Northern Tanzania with a luxurious aircraft and stylish accommodation.  This journey, in an executive styled Cessna Caravan, takes you to some of Tanzania’s best National Parks, offering a unique air safari in the region.

Lake Manyara National Park

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As you approach Lake Manyara National Park your first view is spectacular, regardless of direction. When you approach it from the east, the Rift Valley Escarpment looms on the horizon forming an impressive backdrop to the lake. Approaching from the west and viewing from the top of the escarpment, the park lies in a green strip below, the shallow alkaline lake reflecting the sunlight. Thousands of flamingoes and pelicans use this lake as one of the stopping off points on the Rift Valley’s aerial highway. The large variety of mammals, reptiles and birds in the park, all within a small area, make Lake Manyara a diverse and particularly memorable place to visit en route to Ngorongoro and Serengeti.

Ngorongoro Crater

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Covering an area of 264 km. sq., this is the largest caldera in the world and has an abundance of wildlife permanently residing on the crater floor. Approaching the crater is a unique experience, the road winds upwards through a beautiful area of montane forests and flowering meadows, before a final bend which then reveals the crater 2,000 ft. below in all its incomparable glory.

A unique ecosystem where one can observe Africa’s predator and prey unfold their daily ritual at close quarters. The crater floor with its grasslands, salt pans and stands of Acacia forest hosts a fascinating diversity of large mammal species

Ruaha National Park

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Ruaha National Park is the second largest national park in Tanzania. It covers an area of about 12,950 km. sq. located in the middle of Tanzania, about 130 km. from Iringa. The park is part of a more extensive ecosystem which includes the Rungwa and Usangu Game Reserves.

This unspoiled wilderness derives its name from the Great Ruaha River, which flows along its south-eastern margin and is the focus for game viewing. Driving along the Ruaha River with its rocky gorges and deep pools provides a wonderful scenic backdrop to look for large cats, elephants, roan and sable antelope. Guests can stay in one of the six lodges and camps which are found here. The park can be reached by car via Iringa or there is an airstrip at Msembe park headquarters.

Selous Game Reserve

Locations: Arusha

This remote reserve in southern Tanzania has vast tracts of virgin bush and provides the more adventurous travelers with a taste of untouched Africa.

The Selous Game Reserve (54,490 km. sq.) is five times the size of the Serengeti, and with its mighty Rufiji River, forests, and rolling savannah is one of the strongholds for some of Africa’s wildest elephants. Due to its remote location, being easily accessible only by small aircraft, the Selous Game Reserve has remained one of the untouched gems of Tanzania’s wilderness areas, and offers visitors a chance to see a wild and expansive Africa far from paved roads and curio shops.

Being a game reserve, walking activities and canoeing on the Rufiji River are allowed. This can bring about close encounters with the elusive, endangered African wild dog.

Selous Game Reserve

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This remote reserve in southern Tanzania has vast tracts of virgin bush and provides the more adventurous travelers with a taste of untouched Africa.

The Selous Game Reserve (54,490 km. sq.) is five times the size of the Serengeti, and with its mighty Rufiji River, forests, and rolling savannah is one of the strongholds for some of Africa’s wildest elephants. Due to its remote location, being easily accessible only by small aircraft, the Selous Game Reserve has remained one of the untouched gems of Tanzania’s wilderness areas, and offers visitors a chance to see a wild and expansive Africa far from paved roads and curio shops.

Being a game reserve, walking activities and canoeing on the Rufiji River are allowed. This can bring about close encounters with the elusive, endangered African wild dog.

Serengeti National Park

The Serengeti is undoubtedly the most famous wildlife sanctuary in the world, unequalled for its natural beauty and greatest concentration of plains game anywhere.

Covering 14,500 km. sq., it is renowned for its lions and other predators which in turn thrive on the vast herds of wildebeest, zebra and antelopes.

Calving takes place in January in the southern sector before the wildebeest embark on their arduous trek north in search of fresh grazing. The Western Corridor, a narrow strip of dense vegetation, provides one of the biggest migratory barriers. In search of grass they must cross the murky crocodile infested Grumeti River, en route north to the Masai Mara. The herds pass through here in April and May reaching Northern Serengeti in June

Tarangire National Park

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With hundreds of huge baobabs scattered across this dry landscape, large herds of elephants pass through here in search of food. The Tarangire River provides the major lifeline for all the game. It then runs into huge swamps in the south. To the northwest, the lush Lake Manyara National Park with its prolific birdlife provides a forest home to thousands of monkeys and tree climbing lions.

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Arusha

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