Tanzania Tours and Safaris
Tanzania is the largest country in East Africa. A land of extremes, Tanzania houses the highest peak (Mount Kilimanjaro), Zanzibar with its old city, a portion of the largest lake (Lake Victoria) on the African continent and several national parks and game reserves.
Tanzania is arguably one of Africa’s best-kept secrets. Tanzania’s national parks and conservation areas cover an area in excess of 200 000 square kilometres.
On a Tanzania safari one can gaze in awe as millions of herbivores cross the Serengeti in their annual migration, marvel at the Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest unbroken caldera and explore the remote Selous Game Reserve.
Zanzibar is an archipelago off the coast of Tanzania, consisting of Zanzibar Island, Pemba Island, and many smaller islands. Zanzibar island is approximately 90km long and 30km wide.
There are a lot of things to do on Zanzibar Island. Stone Town, recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most unique cities in the world blending Moorish, Middle Eastern, Indian, and African traditions and architectures.
The sand of the beaches is brilliant white, and the warm waters of the Indian Ocean are a deep teal. You can find plenty of opportunities for scuba diving, swim with the dolphins, arrange for a ride on a local’s dhow and sit and stare at the water for hours on end.
Zanzibar maintains its own immigration service and you need to have a valid passport to enter, even if you come from mainland Tanzania.
Tanzania’s weather varies from humid and hot in low lying areas, such as Dar es Salaam, to hot during the day and cool at night in Arusha. There are no discernible seasons, such as winter and summer — only the dry and wet seasons. Tanzania has two rainy seasons: The short rains from late-October to late-December and the long rains from March to May.
Many popular resorts and tourist attractions on Zanzibar and Mafia Island Marine Park close during the long rains season, and many trails in the national parks are impassable during this period.
Best times to visit are:
– June to August: This is the tail-end of the long rainy season and the weather is at its best at this time of year — bearable during the day and cool in the evening. However, this is not necessarily the best time of year for safaris, as water is plentiful in the parks and animals are not forced to congregate in a few locations to rehydrate, as they do in the middle of the dry season right after Christmas.
– January to February: This is the best time to visit the Serengeti. It is usually at this time that huge herds of Wildebeest, Zebra and Buffalo migrate to better grazing areas. Be advised this is most likely the hottest time of year.
Good To Know
The Namibian Dollar (NAD) has been introduced in note denominations of NAD200, 100, 50 and 10.
It is linked to the South African Rand (R) on a 1:1 basis. The South African Rand is also acceptable as currency in Namibia.
Currency exchange is available in banks and at bureaux de change. A better rate of exchange can be obtained on travellers cheques than on cash.
American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are accepted.
To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take travellers cheques in US Dollars or South African Rand.
Tropical clothing is worn throughout the year, but in the cooler season, from June to September, jackets and sweaters may be needed, especially in the evenings. Clothing appropriate to temperatures below zero is required on the higher slopes of Kilimanjaro and Meru.
Also note that it can get very cold at night on the Ngorongoro Crater and early morning game drives may be chilly before the sun comes up.
There are two major airports; one in Dar es Salaam, Julius Nyerere International Airport and one in Kilimanjaro which is halfway between Arusha and Moshi.
There are two major airports; one in Dar es Salaam, nd one in Kilimanjaro – which is halfway between Arusha and Moshi. Regional Air provides almost daily service to all major cities, including Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Mwanza, Mbeya, Zanzibar, and most national parks.
The bus is the most common way to travel around in Tanzania. Most buses have a simple design, and the roads are poor, although 1st class air-con buses are available on the Dar-Moshi-Arusha route. Nearly all buses go in and out of Dar es Salaam.
If you can afford it, flying around Tanzania is faster and safer.
The local currency is the Tanzanian Shilling (Tsh). Visitors can take in any amount of foreign currency, subject to declaration. Taking out of foreign currency is limited to the amount declared upon arrival. Major currencies such as US dollars and the Euro and travelers cheques can be converted at major hotels, banks and forex bureaus in the main towns and tourist areas.
In Tanzania credit cards are not widely accepted. And when accepted the exchange rate is unfavorable.