Tanzania is located in East Africa between longitude, 29 degrees and 41 degrees east and latitude 1 degree and 12 degrees south. Tanzania borders Kenya to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to the south, and is the largest country in East Africa (943,000 sq km), comprising both the mainland and the Zanzibar Archipelago. A large central plateau makes up most of the mainland (at between 900m and 1800m) and the mountain ranges of the Eastern Arc and the Southern and Northern Highlands cut across the country to form part of the Great Rift Valley.
Zanzibar Our Base:
Portuguese invasion and control of the Swahili Coast in the late 16th century ended the golden age of the archipelago, although the Omani Arabs returned to power less than a century later. Today, many of the winding streets and high townhouses of old Stone Town remain unchanged and visitors can walk between the sultan’s palace, the House of Wonders, the Portuguese fort and gardens, the merchants’ houses, and the Turkish baths of the old city. Day-long spice tours to working plantations offer visitors the chance to observe the cultivation of cloves, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and other spices that have made the island famous. Zanzibar’s coastline offers some of the best beaches in the world, but sand and surf vary depending on what side of the island you’re on. On the east coast, waves break over coral reefs and sand bars offshore, and low tide reveals small pools of starfish, small minnows, and anemones. Up north, ocean swimming is much less susceptible to the tides, and smooth beaches and white sand make for dazzling days in the sun.
The port city of Stone Town dominates the west coast, and although the beaches of Mangapwani, where slave caves are visible at low tide and nearby Bububu are less than half an hour’s drive away, a night or two spent on the east or north cost is well worth the extra hour it takes to drive there. That said, the Chole Island Marine Park just off Stone Town – and nearby Prison, Grave, and Snake Islands – make a refreshing day-trip and a good break from exploring the winding passageways of the old city.
On the south coast of Zanzibar lies the Menai Bay Conservation Area, a sea turtle protection area for the endangered species that come to breed on the island. Roads to the southeast coast take visitors through the Jozani Forest, home to Zanzibar’s rare Red Colobus monkeys and a number of other primate and small antelope species.
Tanzanian Shillings (TSHS) 1,600 TSHS = US$ 1 approx (this can change)
UK style plugs 220V
Christianity and Islam are the predominant religions of Tanzania. About 40-45% of the population practice Christianity, about 35-40% practice Islam. The rest of the population adhere to traditional beliefs, most of which centre around ancestor worship and nature-based animism. Most Christians live on the mainland, where missionary stations and schools reach deep into the continent. Islam is the major religion of the coastal areas but is also practiced further inland along the old caravan routes.
Because Tanzania lies below the equator, the coolest months occur during the northern hemisphere’s summer, and all-year round the weather remains pleasant and comfortable. Between June to October, temperatures range from around 10°C in the northern highlands to about 23°C on the coast. On the plains and the lower-altitude game reserves, the temperatures from June to October are warm and mild. On the coast, these months are some of the most pleasant to visit, with balmy, sunny weather much of the day and cooling ocean breezes at night. From December to March, the days are hot and sunny with often not a cloud in the sky. Temperatures range from the mid-twenties to the low thirties throughout the country while visitors flock to the parks and beaches to escape the dreariness of late winter in colder climes. Clear sunny days are the norm in the northern highlands and the heat of mid-day is tempered by the golden light in late afternoon and the especially striking sunsets
Tanzania’s equatorial climate brings two seasons of rain each year: the “masika”, or long rains that fall from mid-March to the end of May, and the “mvuli”, or short rains, that come intermittently throughout November and parts of December, and sometimes stretch into early January. During the long rains, heavy showers fall in the early mornings but usually clear up by mid-day, with the weather often remaining clear and sunny until late afternoon.
Best time to visit:
Frankly anytime, but the target season is JUNE – OCT and the DEC- MARCH.
Please respect the Islamic culture of our country and dress decently. Bring light cotton clothing for the summer during winter carry some warm clothing as temperatures can drop quite a lot in the highlands.
Mosquito repellants, copious amounts of Sun Blocks (for the beach lovers), hat, torch and few other gizmos you can think of.
Every visitor who comes to Tanzania will take away with them something special to remind them of their trips to our country, be it a ring fitted with glittering Tanzanite or a carving of giraffe or buffalo on the wind-swept plains. Specialist art like Tinga Tinga and Makonde carvings (ebony wood) are very popular and make fantastic mementos. Tanzania is also famous for the rare Tanzanite gemstone, if you cant win your loved one with a diamond, this one will certainly do the trick. The deep blue of Tanzanite is magnificent, ranging from ultramarine to a light purplish blue. The most coveted colour is a blue which shows a purplish hue shimmering around it, which is extremely spectacular in sizes above ten carats. Fakes abound, so if you’re going to invest in one of Tanzania’s largest exports, be sure to do it right. Don’t buy from dealers on the street or anyone who looks suspect. Most licensed curios shops and dealers stock different grades, cuts, and colours of the popular gem and please be sure to follow export procedure. NOTE! Responsible tourism entails refraining from supporting trades or services that do harm to the people or the environment, and travellers to Tanzania should be very aware its importance.
Please avoid purchasing wildlife products such as ivory and skins as the market created by these purchases encourages poaching and terrible injuries to the animals themselves.
Removal of coral, shells from turtles or any other kind of marine animal also causes a tremendous upset to the balance of marine life which is more often than not impossible to correct.Wood carvings too, should be checked to ensure that the material comes from a renewable, sustainable source. There are several items that might be band from importation in your country, we suggest you please check this out, before buying any curios made from skin, bone, wood etc.
Visa are required for almost all countries and can be available at designated entry points such as such as at Dar-es-salaam International Airport, Kilimanjaro International Airport, Zanzibar International Airport, Namanga (Tanzania - Kenya Border Post to the North), Tunduma (Tanzania - Malawi Border post to the South), Taveta and Holili (Tanzania - Kenya Border post to the North East)
A handful of countries require a referral visa. We recommend that you get further information from www.tanzaniatouristboard.com. We recommend that you take a visa prior to arrival to save time at immigration counters.
Game parks and places of interest
There is so much to see and do and the Tanzania Tourist Board website has it all. Please explore the website as it gives a comprehensive upto date information. www.tanzaniatouristboard.com
For easy online booking of a wide selection of Zanzibar hotels go to www.zanzibar-islands.com