Tanzania Travel Information
Tanzania is part of East Africa, the largest of the three (3) countries. It' s amazing scenery is most evident in its national parks and game reserves. Below are some of Tanzania's major parks.
Full country name: United Republic of Tanzania
Area: 945,090 sq km (364,879 sq mi)
Capital city: Dodoma
People: 99% native African (over 100 tribes), 1% Asian, European and Arabic
Languages: Swahili, English, indigenous.
Religion: 40% Christian, 33% Muslim, 20% indigenous beliefs
Government: Republic (multi-party state)
President: Jakaya Kikwete
GDP: US$7 billion
GDP per head: US$220
Major industries: Tobacco, sugar, sisal, diamond and gold mining, oil refining, cement, tourism
Major trading partners: India, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Rwanda, the Netherlands, South Africa, Kenya, U.K., Saudi Arabia, China
FACT FOR TRAVELLER'S
Visas: All visitors require a visa except citizens of some Commonwealth countries (Canada and the UK excempted), Scandinavian countries, the Republic of Ireland, Rwanda and Sudan. For these nationalities, a free visitor's pass, valid for one to three months, can be picked up at the point of entry (you'll be asked how long you plan to stay - three months is no problem). You will need proof of yellow fever vaccination if travelling to Zanzibar.
Health: Yellow fever, malaria, bilharzia, tsetse fly, cholera, hepatitis, meningitis, and typhoid. HIV/AIDS is a serious risk, though not as prevalent as in Uganda. Tampons are imported and available only in the bigger towns and cities. Locally made sanitary napkins are generally plentiful.
Time: GMT/UTC plus three hours
Weights & measures: Metric
When to Go
The standard tourist season is in January and February, when the hot, dry weather at this time of year is generally considered to be the most pleasant. But to catch the Serengeti at its best you want to avoid the dry season when virtually all the animals go on holiday to Kenya. Be prepared if you're heading into the big wet, as many roads - particularly on the south coast - can become too squishy to drive on.
Zanzibar and the coastal areas are hot and humid and average daily temperatures hover in the 30°C range. October to March is the hottest period. Sea breezes however temper the regions' climate and June to September is coolest with temperatures falling to 25°C. In the Kilimanjaro area, temperatures vary from 15°C in May-August period to 22°C over December - March. As you head to the peaks of Kilimanjaro, temperatures can drop to below freezing, especially at night.The climate is temperate in the northern national parks. The central plateau suffers a dry and arid climate with hot days and cool nights. The highlands in the south and northeast are cool and temperate. For the country as a whole the hottest months are October to February. The long rains fall between March and May and the shorter wet season falls in November.
Visitors entering Tanzania from yellow fever infected areas require yellow fever international certificate of vaccination. Exemptions are made for visitors arriving from non-endemic areas such as Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand. The northwestern forest region is considered a high-risk area for yellow fever. Malaria is common in Tanzania. Visitors are strongly advised to take anti-malaria medication commencing two weeks before travel.
It is recommended to take vaccinations against hepatitis A, polio and typhoid. HIV-AIDS is prevalent in the country and I cannot emphasize enough the need for protection measures. Some fresh water lakes and rivers carry the risk of Bilharzia and you are advised not to swim in such areas. Though proof of vaccination is not required, cholera is a risk throughout the country and precautions are necessary. Modern hospitals and chemists are available in Dar es Salaam, Arusha and other major urban centres.
The biggest annual event in Tanzania begins at the Serengeti National Park near the Kenyan border, when huge herds of wildebeests head for greener pastures in Kenya. Starting in April each year, more than 2 million of these animals migrate across the Serengeti's southern plains accompanied by zebras, antelopes, gazelles, lions and tourists. Tanzanian Independence Day (December 9) somehow pales in significance.
Step out into the vast open plains that dominate much of Tanzania and you suddenly feel very, very small. And so you should. You've just joined one of the largest, wildest animal populations in the world. Wildebeest, monkey, antelope, lion, cheetah, crocodile, gazelle, flamingo - you name them, Tanzania's had great White plunderers shoot them. But these days they use cameras rather than guns. An economically poor country troubled by rowdy neighbours and opportunistic colonial powers, Tanzania offers some of the best wildlife spotting opportunities on the continent. Famous parks such as the Serengeti and Mt Kilimanjaro, or the wonderful crater of Ngorongoro, make many drab towns here well worth the stopover. Then there's the country's very sexy appendage - Zanzibar. One of several islands off Tanzania's coast, this former spice centre simply oozes exotica and scented Persian bath water.