You will suddenly feel very small when you step out onto the vast, open plains of Tanzania in East Africa on one of our Tours to Tanzania. On these plains roam the largest wild animal populations in the world. Among them, you’ll spot lion, cheetah, antelope, wildebeest, monkey, flamingo, crocodile, gazelle and more from as far as your eyes can see. But the animals are not the only draw cards of this beautiful country that has been blessed by Mother Nature. With vast plains providing stunning scenery, amazing habitats and rich cultures, it is a place you cannot afford to miss out on if you are a world traveller.
Famous historical sites such as Olduvai Gorge where the oldest remains of our ancestors may be found. Vast blue-hued lakes are spread across the country such as Lake Manyara, Lake Duluti (near Arusha), lakes in Arusha National Park where you can spot a flamboyance of flamingos and pods of pelicans.
Tanzania’s game parks are even better known than those of Kenya, and you may struggle to choose between places like beautiful Zanzibar, the never-ending Serengeti National Park, the wildlife-dense Ngorongoro Conversation Area and the irresistible peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Why go to Tanzania?
* Fantastic wildlife viewing on day and night safaris
* The Wildebeest Migration
* Watch the sun rise in the Ngorongoro Crater
* Conquer Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro
* Masai Village visit and cultural experience
* Swimming with the dolphins
* Beaches of Zanzibar
* Spice Tour
* Fresh fish night-market
* Tanzania is also one of the Top 10 Best Places in the World to Photograph!
Weather in Tanzania
Tanzania is a typical tropical climate where the weather is humid and hot in the day and cool at night. The heaviest rains (called Masika) fall from the middle of March to May, with less rain (called mvuli) covering the area from October to January. The heavy rains can make certain areas impassable so please check with our consultants on how to plan your trip for the season. The high mountain areas, however, (Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru) can have temperatures that fall to below freezing and can be quite unbearable at night so effective measures must be taken to avoid an impact on your body.
The dry season can have temperatures soaring to above 35°C in Dar es Salaam. Plenty of sunscreen of Factor 50 is needed when you hit those golden beaches!
Best time to visit Tanzania
Due to the heavy rains it makes sense to visit Tanzania during the dry season from May to October. Trekking and safaris can be uncomfortable during the heavy rains. In the dry season you will also see more wildlife because they tend to congregate around the watering holes. One of the main reasons you may wish to go to the Serengeti is for the great migration and February and March are probably the best times to do this in. You may also see the results of breeding with young calves being reared by their doting parents.
December and March experience soaring temperatures so spending time in the bush can lead to sweltering conditions. All of the safari trucks are fitted with air-conditioning which does give you some reprieve, but rest camps may mean being in the unforgiving sun.
How to get to Tanzania
Tanzania has two International Airports – one outside Dar es Salaam – Julius Nyerere International Airport – and Kilimanjaro International Airport, near Arusha. There are also some charter flights that will take you directly to Zanzibar Island.
If you are heading to Northern Tanzania we suggest you arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport.
If your destination is Zanzibar, or Southern and Western Tanzania it is best to fly to Dar es Salaam. European airlines include British Airways, KLM and Swissair.
Facts on Tanzania
Full name: United Republic of Tanzania
Capital city: Dodoma (official); Dar es Salaam (administrative)
Area: 945,090 sq km; 364,899 sq miles
Time Zone: GMT/UTC + 3 ()
Languages: Swahili (official); English (official)
Religion: Christian (45%); Muslim (40%); indigenous beliefs (15%)
Electricity: 230V; 50HzHz
Electric Plug Details: British-style plug: 2 flat blades & 1 flat grounding blade, South African/Indian-style plug: 2 circular metal pins above a large circular grounding pin
Country Dialling Code: 255
Money matters: Per Capita Income: US$120, Currency: Tanzanian Shilling (Tsh) & USD
Medical matters: Hepatitis, Yellow fever, Malaria, Schistosomiasis (Bilharzia), Cholera, Meningococcal meningitis, Typhoid, HIV/AIDS
Where to go in Tanzania
Serengeti National Park
The Serengeti is the world’s largest protected grassland and savannah ecosystem due to the huge financial gain from tourism that supports the country’s economy. Therefore, by visiting this UNESCO World Heritage site you are assisting in contributing towards the sustainment of the country’s economy and the annual migration of the wild wildebeest.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Marked as a World Heritage site, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is well-populated with wildlife for your African safari experience. The crater is the main attraction of this area as it is the world’s largest inactive volcanic caldera. Two to three million years ago the volcano exploded and then collapsed in on itself, leaving a large gaping hole where animals roam freely.
Locally known as Unguja, Zanzibar Island gets most of the headlines, but the archipelago also consists of lush Pemba to the north and many more smaller islands and islets poised in amazingly turquoise seas. Visiting the museums and taking a walk through Stone Town is a good way of getting an idea of Zanzibar’s rich and turbulent slave-trade past. The architecture will surely fascinate you, as will the street markets.
The old city of Stone Town is the cultural heart of Zanzibar, and little has changed there for hundreds of years. The majority of Stone Town’s buildings were built by Omani sultans in the 19th century when Zanzibar was one of the most important trading centres in the Indian Ocean. In order to preserve these architectural markers of history, the Stone Town Conservation Authority has been working towards restoring this ancient town.
The chilled out resort of Nungwi Beach is on the northern tip of the island, which is the busier, more commercial side. It’s regarded as one of Zanzibar’s best beaches, because here you can swim to your heart’s delight, as it’s one of the few beaches with no coral reef. Also, it doesn’t matter what tide you swim in because the tide doesn’t draw back for miles, as on the east coast, which is a long walk before you can frolic in the water.
The East Coast
The East Coast of Zanzibar is the less commercial, more traditional side of the island, where you can chill out on the beach on one of the wooden beds with a good book and maybe a traditional masseuse. They, along with one or two ‘kikoi-selling’ locals walk up and down the beach to sell you a little something of Zanzibar.
Dar es Salaam
Tanzania’s premier city, Dar es Salaam is a teeming metropolis of 1.5 million people. It is the largest city in Tanzania, as well as the wealthiest, dealing in manufacturing and trade.
Olduvai Gorge ‘Cradle of Mankind’
Olduvai Gorge is a steep-sided ravine in the Great Rift Valley and is about 48km (30mi) long. The original spelling was Oldupai, which is Maasai for the wild sisal plant that grows there. Olduvai is often referred to as the ‘Cradle of Mankind’ because the first humanoid skeletons were discovered there. There is a museum that’s documented all its remarkable findings.
Mt Kilimanjaro National Park
Jutting out from Tanzania’s north-eastern plains is Mt Kilimanjaro, an almost perfectly shaped volcano. It’s truly a sight to behold. At a solid 5896m (19343ft), its snow-capped peak is the highest in Africa.
Selous Game Reserve
One of our planet’s last great wild places, the 55,000 sq km (21,235 sq mi) Selous Game Reserve offers you a fantastic African budget safari: untamed bush, emerald green floodplains and crocodile-filled lakes.
Often overlooked because of the other two big, famous parks, the small-in-size, yet-large-in-wildlife 325km² Lake Manyara offers a really unusual Africa overland tour. It lies about 130km from Arusha near the small town of Mto Wa Mbu.