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USEFUL INFORMATION ABOUT TANZANIA

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Tanzania has one of the largest wild animal populations in the world. To see all of Tanzania’s attractions in one visit would be impossible.

A few of Tanzania's must see attractions are Zanzibar, Mt Kilimanjaro National Park, Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

Dar es Salaam is Tanzania's premier city and trading centre. Here you will see the colourful Kariakoo Market and clock tower, the government quarters to the north, the National Museum and the Botanical Gardens in the city centre, the Village Museum, which is located 10km from the city centre and Oyster Bay is the city's nearest beach.

Zanzibar, otherwise known as Unguja or Spice Island, is located off Tanzania's East Coast. It has a strong Persian and Arab flavour. Zanzibar's Stone Town is absolutely fascinating with its maze of winding streets lined with whitewashed coral-rag houses with brilliantly carved brass-studded doors. There are also many little shops, bazaars, mosques and courtyards. You will also see two sultans' palaces and cathedrals, not to mention some ancient colonial mansions. Around the island you can find such things as the ruined Maruhhubi Palace, the Mangapwani Caves and various spice and fruit plantations at the island's heart.

Mt Kilimanjaro National Park is one of Africa’s most spectacular sights. An enormous 5895m perfectly shaped volcano, it's the highest peak on the continent. From cultivated farmlands on the lower levels, the mountain rises through lush rainforest to alpine meadow and finally across an infertile lunar landscape to the twin summits. The rainforest is home to many animals including elephant, buffalo, rhino, leopard and monkey.

Serengeti National Park is Tanzania's most famous game park. Here you are able to catch a glimpse of what much of East Africa must have looked like before hunters. On these seemingly endless and almost treeless Serengeti plains are millions of animals. They are always on the move in search of grassland and are watched and preyed upon by their predators. It's probably one of the most incredible sights you will ever encounter. Serengeti is also famous for its lion, cheetah and giraffe populations.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area houses the 600m tall Ngorongoro Crater, where you can see spectacular views. On Ngorongoro’s 20km wide floor you are able to see endless amounts of wildlife, including lions, elephants, rhinos, buffalos, gazelle, zebra and reedbuck, as well as thousands of flamingo wading in the Lake Magadi, the soda lake on the floor of the crater. Local Masai tribespeople have grazing rights here, and you may well come across them tending their cattle.

 

Culture

Tanzania has over 100 different tribal groups, most of which are of Bantu origin. The major non-Bantu people on the mainland are the Masai, who inhabit the north-eastern section of the country.

Swahili and English are the official languages. There are also many local African tongues, reflecting the tribal diversity of the country. Outside the cities and towns, far fewer local people speak English.

The two main religions are Christianity and Islam, with Hindus making up about a quarter of the population. There are still many tribes who follow neither of the big-name religions and instead worship the ancient spirit of their choice.

Tanzanian music and dance dominates East Africa. It is strong in rhythm and famous for the hard-hitting lyrics. The Swahili-based sounds are kept alive by a thriving dance-band scene.

The most popular meal is nyama choma, which is barbecued meat. However, on the coast and in Zanzibar and Pemba islands, there is a huge range of traditional Swahili dishes, which are based on seafood. The national beer is Safari Lager and the local liquor is konyagi, a white-rum style drink.

 

Local_Currency

The currency in Tanzania is the Tanzanian shilling (TSh).

 

Transport

Tanzania has two non-charter airlines, Air Tanzania and Precision Air, operating domestic flights. There are two train lines in Tanzania, that link Dar es Salaam with various destinations. You may also wish to travel by Bus, they travel throughout the day only, as they are not permitted to travel at night. You can rent a car at one of the agencies in Dar es Salaam, for most trips you will need a 4WD. There are also ferries that operate on Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika, Lake Nyasa and along the coast if you don’t want to travel by road.

 

Visa_Information

All visitors require a visa except citizens of some Commonwealth countries (Canada and the UK excepted), 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 will need proof of yellow fever vaccination if travelling to Zanzibar from the mainland.
 

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