Tanzania is situated in East Africa, just south of the equator, lies between the area of the great lakes; Victoria, Tanganyikaand Malawi and borders with Uganda, Kenya, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Zaire, Burundi, and Rwanda.Tanzania is a land of tropical forest, savannah, grasslands, mountains, shimmering lakes, sandy beaches and coral reefs. It is one of the world’s last great wildlife refuges. Tanzania also has fascinating mix of people and cultures living on the mainland and residing on the islands of Zanzibar including Maasai.
Bagamoyo town, just 80 km drivefrom Dar es Salaam City. Bagamoyo town was the centre of the 19thcentury slave trade. The name Bagamoyo is derived from the Swahili bwaga moyo, which means "where the heart lays down its burden". Many of the European explorers passed through here, including Burton,Speke, Grant, Stanley and Livingstone. There are unlimited tourist attractions within easy reach of Dar es Salaam, the arrival City. These include the Islands of Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia located in the range of 50 – 100 km away; national parks, which include Mikumi, Selous, Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Lake Manyara and Tarangire. The permanently snow capped Mt. Kilimanjaro (the highest in Africa) is also within reach from Arusha Town.
Getting in and around Dar es Salaam /Tanzania
By Air - Dar es Salaam is approachable through International Airlines flying into Mwalimu Julius Nyerere International Air Port which is thirty minutes drive from the City Centre. These include British Airways, KLM, Swiss Air, Air Tanzania, Precision Air, Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Air Malawi, Gulf Air, Emirates, Yemen Air and South African Airlines among others. Connections can also be made through Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) which is forty five minutes fly to the Dar es Salaam City and thirty minutes drive from the Arusha City.
By Bus - Dar es Salaam, is about 900 kilometres (twelve hours drive) from Nairobi, Kenya. Intercity buses abound, and you can reach almost any town, big or small, by bus.
Car Hire – There are many car hire companies in Dar es Salaam, Arusha and other major towns. They can be hired with or without drivers. An International Driver’s License is required, and the driving is on the left hand side of the road.
Swahili and English is spoken in major towns and tourist areas, a visitor should be able to get along quite well with English only.
Sightseeing - Tanzania is indeed unsurpassed Africa in the bounty of its wildlife and the beauty of the land: Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain; all of Africa’s Great Lakes; the best game parks in the world; hiking and nature trails such as the Usambara Mountains; the fabulous island of Zanzibar.
Shopping - Locally made products are available at good prices: batiks, Tingatinga paintings, carvings (especially the Makonde artwork), basket ware, jewellers of all kinds, textiles, and more.
The Tanzanian climate is tropical with temperatures averaging 26.6°C. The central plateau is dry and arid with hot days and cool nights, while the northwest highlands are cool and temperate. June to September is the cooler season. The “long rains’ are from-March to May and the “short rains” are between October and December. The hottest months are between October and February with temperatures averaging 32°C. .
In Dar es Salaam the coast, summer wear would suffice. For safaris in the north, during the day, light clothing. Sturdy shoes are recommended. Canvas hats. For Kilimanjaro or other treks, check with a mountain specialist before departure. To bring: sunscreen, lotions, sunglasses, mosquito cream and binoculars.
On safari, avoid brightly colored clothes, they may alarm the animals, browns, beiges and khaki are preferred. Short-sleeve shirts/blouses and shorts are ideal, but pack a sweater, it can be chilly in the early morning and in the evening.
The basic unit is the Tanzanian shilling. It advisable to carry American dollars. Bureau dechange also accept the major convertible currencies. Travelers’ cheques are exchangeable in some places. Major credit cards are accepted in the larger hotels.
Electricity 230 volts AC, 50 Hz
Travelers may enter Zanzibar directly by air or by sea (e.g., cruise ships). There are frequent air and ferry services from Dar es Salaam, and some services from Tanga.
This island on Tanzania's north coast has lured travelers for centuries, and it was the influence of the Shirazi Persians and the Omani Arabs that has lingered mostly on the island. Known as the spice Island and the largest producer of cloves, Zanzibar's east coast beaches are superb you can explore the spice and fruit plantations and visit Jozani Forest.
Best of all is the old stone town of Zanzibar. It's a cluster of winding streets lined with whitewashed coral houses, bazaars, mosques, fortresses, two former sultan's palaces, two huge cathedrals and faded colonial mansions all vividly evoking the islands long history. Zanzibar best known as the 'spice island' was the centre for the slave trade in East Africa and base for David Living stone's expeditions into the unexplored African interior. Smell full of the aroma of cloves and other spices, which still provide a livelihood for many people of Zanzibar.
Zanzibar Prison island tour.
Also known as 'Prison Island', it's the most famous of the offshore islands. This island was once owned by an Arab who used it for rebellious slaves. Later it was sold to general Mathews who converted it into a prison. However it has never been used as such. The island is also home to giant tortoises which are supposed to have been brought over from Aldabra - an Atoll off the Seychelles. The small beach disappears at high tide, but it is superb to swim in the crystal clear water with splendid coral reefs. The island itself is well-forested, nice for a walk, an ideal place for a day trip. Jozani forest is a small National Park centrally located on the island. It is the last remaining sanctuary for the Red Colobus Monkey.