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Quick Facts
CapitalDar es Salaam; note - legislative offices have been transferred to Dodoma, which is planned as the new national capital; the National Assembly now meets there on regular basis
Governmentrepublic
CurrencyTanzanian shilling (TZS)
Areatotal: 945,087 sq km
note: includes the islands of Mafia, Pemba, and Zanzibar
water: 59,050 sq km
land: 886,037 sq km
Population37,187,939 (July 2002 est.)
LanguageKiswahili or Swahili (official), Kiunguja (name for Swahili in Zanzibar), English (official, primary language of commerce, administration, and higher education), Arabic (widely spoken in Zanzibar), many local languages
Religionmainland - Christian 30%, Muslim 35%, indigenous beliefs 35%; Zanzibar - more than 99% Muslim
Time ZoneUTC +3
Country Calling Code255 (007 from Kenya and Uganda)
Internet TLD.tz

Tanzania is the largest country in east Africa, bordering Kenya to the north, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to the south.

Cities

  • Dar es Salaam
  • Zanzibar
  • Arusha
  • Moshi

Other destinations

  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Africa's highest peak and the world's highest free standing mountain. You can climb it with the help of a guide.
  • Ngorongoro Conservation Area - includes the Ngorongoro Crater and Olduvai Gorge
  • Arusha National Park
  • Gombe National Park
  • Ruaha National Park
  • Rubondo National Park
  • Serengeti National Park
  • Kilimanjaro National Park
  • Lake Manjare National Park
  • Mikumi National Park
  • Tarangire National Park

See also African National Parks

Understand

Geography

A large central plateau makes up most of the mainland (at between 900m and 1800m) and the mountain ranges of the Eastern Arc and the Southern and Northern Highlands cut across the country to form part of the Great Rift Valley.

A land of geographical extremes, Tanzania has the highest peak � Mount Kilimanjaro, the lowest point � the lakebed of Lake Tanganyika, and shares the largest lake � Lake Victoria - on the African continent.

Get in

By plane

There are two major airports; one in Dar Es Salaam and one in Kilimanjaro, in addition to several smaller airports. KLM and BA have daily flights from Europe. In addition, flights are also offered by Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, South African Airlines, and Kenyan Airlines.

By train

The Tanzania - Zambia train service known as TAZARA operates trains between New Kapiri Mposhi, Zambia and Dar es Salaam twice a week. TAZARA site (http://www.tazara.co.tz/level0/services/passenger_transportation.html)

A domestic train network links the country's major cities, including Kigoma, Mwanza, Dodoma, Tabora and Dar es Salaam. The domestic train service is usually reliable and ticket prices affordable. Ticket prices differ, however, according to 'class', typically first, second and third. First and second classes offer cabins with two and four beds, respectively. Third class is open seating. Hot meals and beverages are usually available from the dining car. It is not uncommon for the train kitchen to purchase fresh produce at many of the stopping points along the way. It is also possible to purchase fruit and snacks directly from local vendors who frequent the many train stations on each of Tanzania's many train routes.

By car

By bus

By boat

Get around

Bus is the most common way to travel around Tanzania. Most buses are simple and the roads are poor, although on the Dar-Moshi-Arusha route, 1st class air-con buses can be taken. Nearly all buses go in and out of Dar Es Salaam. The main bus station in Dar (where all buses go), Ubungo, is 8km west of the city centre. In Dar, shared taxis called Dalla-Dallas can be taken cheaply to most places.

Do

For a lot of money, Tanzania allows game hunting. Prices vary, but I've heard a lion can cost e20,000

See

Tanzania is a country with great national parks where you can see some of the finest African flora and fauna

Talk

Tanzanians speak Swahili and, to some extent, English. Smaller regional languages are also very common.

Buy

There are many markets in tourist cities that sell standard "African" goods. Beaded jewelry, carved soapstone and Masaai blankets make interesting gifts. Be aware that most "ebony" wood is fake (shoe polish), and make sure to bargain hard for everything. Masks are not typical of most East African groups, and the ones you will find in the markets are either imported from West Africa, or are strange things made just for tourists.


Tingatinga paintings, named after the painter who originated that style, are for sale everywhere. Their distinctive style and colors make for attractive souvenirs. A standard size painting can be had for TS 5,000 - 10,000.

Eat

  • Produce is often of very high quality. Meat and milk can be difficult for Western systems, so be sure that all meat is cooked through. At hotels, you will not have any trouble, but if you venture into small villages, make sure that all water is boiled before drinking, and all fruit/veg is peeled before eating. Local dishes include Mtori (cooked beef and bananas) and Ugali (a polenta-style corn dish).
  • Chai Maziwa (chai with milk) is a local favorite and well worth trying if you can handle the large amounts of sugar they add to this drink.

Drink

Boil water before drinking. Konyagi is a wonderful gin-like beverage, sold only in Tanzania. Tusker, Kilimanjaro and Safari beers are western-style and very good. Locally produced banana-beer is also sometimes found. Traditionaly, you will drink this out of a hollowed gourd. Guests drink first, and then pass to the elders.

Sleep

Sunrise and sunset are always the same time (about 6) at the equator.

Learn

Work

Stay safe

Be very careful driving. Some 90% of all accidents involve drunk drivers.

Stay healthy

As in most African countries, the AIDS/HIV infection rate is high. Tanzania's HIV/AIDS infection rate was 9% at the end of 2003 UNAIDS (http://www.unaids.org/en/geographical+area/by+country/united+republic+of+tanzania.asp). This figure is deceiving, however, since many subpopulations such as artisinal miners, itinerant fisherman, truck drivers and sex workers, have HIV infection rates significantly higher than the national average. Do not have unprotected sex in Tanzania or anywhere.

Other major illnesses to avoid include malaria, typhoid and cholera. Malaria is the most common and widespread. Malaria mosquitos are most active at night so it is important to sleep under a treated net, wear trousers and closed footwear in the evening (if not, apply liberal amounts of repellent) and go to bed at a reasonable hour. Typhoid can be avoided by carefully selecting food and drink, avoiding consumption of anything unclean. Typhoid infection, according to the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is marked by 'persistent, high fevers...headache, malaise, anorexia, splenomegaly, and relative bradycardia.' CDC (http://www2.ncid.cdc.gov/travel/yb/utils/ybGet.asp?section=dis&obj=typhoid.htm)

Cholera infection is marked by vomiting and sudden, uncontrollable bowel movements which can dehydrate and ultimately kill the sufferer within 48 hours. It is important to seek medical attention as quickly as possible. Cholera is more or less a seasonal phenomenon in Zanzibar, where outbreaks frequently occur during the rainy seasons. Vaccines and/or oral prevention are available for both typhoid and cholera.

As always, avoid succumbing to gastrointestinal distress by washing fruit and vegetables before eating them. Do not eat street food or restaurant food that appears to have been left in the open air for extended periods of time. Boil water and eat freshly fried or steamed food.

Respect

Tourists should wear modest or conservative attire in general, and especially in Zanzibar. Theirs is a conservative Muslim society. Western women especially should take care not to wear clothing that reveals too much skin. 'Kangas', affordable, brightly-colored wrap-around cloth, are available throughout the country and can serve as a discreet covering.

It is common practice among Swahili-speakers to us 'shikamoo' (prounounced 'she ka moe' and literally meaning, 'I hold your feet')when greeting elders or superiors. The usual response from an elder will be 'marahaba'. The 'shikamoo' equivolent in Zanzibar is 'chei chei'. The traveller will get along very well when using these verbal expressions of respect.

Contact

External links

  • Tanzania Tourist Board (http://www.tanzaniatouristboard.com/) - official website
  • Tanzania Safaris (http://www.africadreamsafaris.com/) - Tanzania tour planning, useful information and booking