Tanzania, General Information

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The United Republic of Tanzania has a landmass of 956,000 square kilometers and a population of 40 million people. Tanzania shares borders with Kenya and Uganda to the North, Malawi and Zambia to the South, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire), Burundi, and Rwanda to the West, and the Indian Ocean to the East. Therefore, Tanzania is the splendid center from which to explore eastern, central and southern Africa. It is a land of contrasts; from the snow-capped peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro to the endless plain of Serengeti, from the sun kissed island of the Zanzibar Archipelago to the gentle shores of Lake Victoria.

Tanzania is the “cradle of mankind” for it is here where Dr Lous Leakey discovered the fossilized remains of Homo habilis, or “handy man”, calculated to be 1.75 million years old Arab merchants visited the coast some 2000 years ago and settled. The intermarriage of Arabs and the local people created a new people with their language-Kiswahili (Swahili). After the scramble and partition of Africa continent in the end of 19th century Tanzania fall under Germany occupation and later after World War 1, came under British protectorate. Tanzania was born out of the 1964 union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar, with the latter comprising of the islands of Unguja and Pemba.

Tanzania is endowed with ultimate climate. The coastal areas are humid with the average day time temperature of 30C. Sea breeze makes the climate very enjoyable from June to September. The hilly country between the coast and the northern highlands has a pleasant climate from January to September with temperature averaging around 20C. Temperature varies from around Kilimanjaro according to season registering a low 15C during May-August rising to 22C during December-March. For the whole country the hottest months are from October to February. The main, long rainy season is from mid-March to late May. This climate vacillation makes Tanzania to be a favorable land to support tourists from around the World for almost the whole of the year.

The republic of Tanzania is one of Africa’s most peaceful countries. Home to a flourishing democracy and security; therefore, attracting many investors from abroad to dump their resources to this known “Island of peace”. When one is at Tanzania he feels more secured than at her/his mother land. Due to this scenario many tourists around the World have been wishing to visit Tanzania just to experience the taste of peace, security, freedom and exclusive environment.

Most visitors require visas with the exception of citizens of certain countries of the Commonwealth. It is advisable to obtain them in advance from Embassies and High Commissions as several airlines insist of them prior to departure. They can also be obtained on arrival at international airports and at the Namanga Gate on the Tanzania / Kenya border. Requirements may change, so you are advised to contact the appropriate diplomatic or consular authority before finalizing travel arrangements.

Visitors from countries infected with cholera and yellow fever must produce international certificates of vaccination. This is particularly relevant for those traveling from other African countries. The UK Department of Health recommends vaccinations against hepatitis A, polio and typhoid. It is essential for visitors to take a course of malaria prophylaxis. Modern medical services are available in Dar es Salaam and other major centers. There are only a limited number of chemists in the country, so visitors are advised to bring their own medicines with them.

What to take
Don't forget the camera, camcorder and binoculars, and take a torch for finding your way around the camp at night. Stock up with replacement batteries for all these goods. The main electricity supply is 220V; 50Hz. Plugs are usually the 13-amp 3-pin square (British) type. Take sun-glasses, hat, sun lotion, lip balm and some insect repellent. It is better not to get stung, even if you are taking anti-malaria tablets. A spare pair of glasses or contact lenses is also a good idea. Take plenty of film; it can be difficult to obtain outside the main centers. While traveler’s cheques can be exchanged in cities and towns, banking facilities in remote areas are restricted, so cash is useful too.

Travel light
Some safaris / air charters limit baggage to a 10 - 15 kg maximum. It is sometimes easier to carry two small bags rather than one large and as most good camps have laundry service, large amounts of clothing are not necessary.

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