Tanzania is a country with many tourist attractions. More than 44 per cent of Tanzania’s land area is covered with game reserves and national parks. There are 16 national parks, 29 game reserves, 40 controlled conservation areas and marine parks. Tanzania is also home to the famous Roof of Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro.
Tanzania’s most well known tourist attractions are located in Northern of the Country and include Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain. Serengeti National Park is the world famous and has spectacular seasonal migrations of animals.
The Ngorongoro Reserve is an extinct volcanic caldera with excellent game viewing from the crater rim. The reserve has large herds of wildebeest and zebra, and lions and the endangered black rhinoceros.
Below are Tanzania’s Top Attractions:
The island of Unguja, part of Zanzibar, makes up the final Spice Island. Once part of the British Empire, today Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania…more on Zanzibar
Wildlife Parks and Reserves in Tanzania
Lake Manyara National Park: the boundaries of this park encompass a fresh water lake. The lake and its shores are home to a rich wildlife and bird population which features; impala, lion, baboon, hippo, flamingo, stork, buffalo, wildebeest and kingfisher. The lake is popular for bird watching and guided tours on foot are available.
Mount Kilimanjaro National Park: this park encompasses the breathtaking Mount Kilimanjaro which can be reached by road from Arusha or Moshi. The mountain is frequented by climbers and offers a fairly reasonable challenge. Wildlife usually in thick forested areas includes; leopard, elephant, antelope, and buffalo. Mount Kilimanjaro is an inactive volcano in north-eastern Tanzania, near the border with Kenya. At 5,892 meters (19,331 feet) above sea level, Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest peak and the world’s highest free-standing mountain…more on Mount Kilimanjaro.
Mount Meru: a small volcanic mountain standing at a height of 4,566 meters above sea level. The mountain offers interesting terrain and vegetation which make it ideal for hiking. There is also a variety of wildlife here including zebra, giraffe, elephant and baboon. The mountain is situated within the boundaries of the Arusha National Park.
Serengeti National Park:
Serengeti National Park is among the best-known big game safari destinations in Africa and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Tanzania. It is famous for its annual wildlife migration of wildebeest and zebra. This is one of the continents premier wildlife parks. The park is situated within the Serengeti region which occupies parts of northern Tanzania and southern Kenya.
The region also includes the Maasai Mara National Park in Kenya, Olduvai Gorge and the Ngorongoro Conservation area. Serengeti offers one of the seven wonders of the modern world. This is the annual wildebeest migration in which more than a million wildebeest and zebra traverse the Serengeti region in relation to yearly rainfall patterns.
HIV/AIDS continues to pose the biggest health problem for Tanzania at present. The condition directly affects about 8 % of the country’s population and it is estimated that 1.6 million people are living with HIV/AIDS in Tanzania. Other health problems are related to food and water hygiene and there is a high risk of falling sick with diarrhea or typhoid fever.
It is important to take standard precautions including drinking boiled water and eating clean food; fresh fruit and vegetables especially need to be washed with clean water. Bottled water is easily available and can be bought at Kiosks and supermarkets. Malaria and Rift Valley Fever are also a threat and anti-malarial medication taken prior to travel can significantly reduce one’s chances of falling sick.
Major towns and cities such as; Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Dodoma and Moshi have a number of decent health facilities including hospitals and clinics. Pharmacies are also present.
The Tanzanian Shilling (TZS) is the title of the country’s currency. The money was introduced to replace the East African Shilling in 1966. One Shilling is equal to 100 Cents. The distribution and regulation of exchange rates for this currency are handled by the Bank of Tanzania. Exchange rates are displayed by the bank’s website and a number of online foreign exchange information resources.
Coins exist for 5, 10, 20, 50 Cents, 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 Shillings. Banknotes exist for 500, 1000, 2000, 5000 and 10000 Shillings.
Exchange rates against major currencies:
At the time of writing (July 2006); one $US was equivalent to 1,263.5 TZS; one British Pound was equal to 2,332.3 TZS and one Euro was equal to 1,593.8 TZS.
Tanzania Facts & Figures:
– Location: Eastern Africa, off the Indian Ocean, south of Uganda, southwest of Kenya.
– Capital City: Dodoma.
– Population: 37, 445, 392.
– Other major towns and cities: Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Moshi, Musoma, Pangani, Tabora.
– Religion: Christian, Islam, Traditional, Others.
– Languages: English, Swahili are the official languages, Arabic, Indigenous.
– Currency: Tanzanian Shilling (TZS).
Public Holidays in Tanzania:
-New Years Day on the 1st of January
-Zanzibar Revolution Day on the 12th of January
-Heroes Day (Zanzibar) on the 7th of April
-Union Day on the 26th of April
-Labour Day on the 1st of May
-International Trade Fair Day on the 7th of July
-Farmers Day on the 8th of August
-Nyerere Day on the 14th of October
-Independence and Republic Day on the 9th of December
-Christmas Day on the 25th of December
-Boxing Day on the 26th of December
Religious Holidays (dates vary each year): Eid El Haj, Maulid, Good Friday, Easter and Eid El Fitr.
People of Tanzania:
Tanzania has an estimated population of 37, 445, 392 people. The country is home to more than 130 indigenous tribes mostly of Bantu origin. Populous tribes are; Sukuma, Haya, Chaga, Nyamwezi, Gogo, Hehe, Ngoni, Nyakyusya, Masai, Datog and Hadzabe. There are also small populations of Europeans, Asians, and Arabs.
The main religions in the country are Christianity, Islam and traditional beliefs. Zanzibar is dominantly Islamic with well over 90 % of the population here being Muslim. Swahili which is also spoken in neighboring East African Countries is the official language here alongside English. Arabic is widely spoken in Zanzibar and indigenous languages are spoken by communities around the country.
Food in Tanzania:
“Ugali” which is made from mixing boiling water and maize flour to a firm-like porridge is the staple food in Tanzania. The food is not eaten on its own and is had with either vegetables or stews, or a combination of these.
Rice is also popular and is locally known as “Wali”. “Pilau” is a tasty flavored rice dish and displays the rich cultural background of the people here. The larger cities have a more extensive selection of restaurants and in places like Dar es Salaam, you can find a variety of fast foods including; chips (fries), burgers and pizza. There is even a Subway restaurant at the city centre.
Ensure you drink boiled or bottled water. Tap water may not be safe for consumption. There are a number of pubs and night clubs especially in Dar where you can sample a variety of the local brews. Beer is very cheap and locally made wine is also available.