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Kilimanjaro & the Spice Islands Beckon!
Are you looking for classic Africa? Most of the continent’s iconic landscapes are yours for the taking when during one of our Tanzania tours!
Experience for yourself the snow-capped peak of Mount Kilimanjaro. Witness the millions of wildebeest following the rains during your Serengeti adventure. Or embrace the breathtaking views during a Ngorongoro tour. To finish? It has to be the mystical spice islands of Zanzibar!
If you are more adventurous, you can easily get away from the beaten path.
Enjoy a number of smaller national parks, such as Tarangire and Manyara, with a special charm all of their own, as well as Lake Victoria, the source of the Nile river and the largest lake in Africa.
Witness unforgettable sunsets on the mighty Rufiji River in the Selous. See elephants and antelopes cavorting at the beach in Saadani.
Have close encounters with chimpanzees in Mahale and Gombe Stream. Venture into remote Katavi and Ruaha where you will rarely see another vehicle.
At the end of your Tanzania tour, relax at one of the beautiful offshore islands, where beaches take center stage and tropical coral reefs are shoaled by bright Indian Ocean fish. Bliss!
Recommended Tanzania Tours
Places: Dar es Salaam (1 day) → Ruaha (3) → Selous (3) → Ras Kutani (4) → Dar es Salaam (1)
Tour Highlights: The National Museum, City Tour, Contemporary African City Culture, African Big Five, Game Drives, Bush…
The best travel time for your tour of Tanzania depends on which regions you wish to visit, and what you want to experience during your Tanzania vacation. The country is located just south of the equator and the temperatures range between 25°C and 30°C.
Moisture can be very high in the coastal region, particularly in the regions around Arusha, and the island of Zanzibar.
In the highlands of Tanzania, the humidity is lower.
These are the typical seasons for you to bear in mind as you plan your travel to Tanzania:
Long wet season: mid March – June
Winter: June – October
Short rainy season: November – December
Summer: Mid December – March
The two seasons may vary slightly depending on the region. During the winter, it can become somewhat fresher, but the cool air during this time is ideal to admire sunsets at the campfire with a cup of hot tea!
The mountains of Tanzania are remarkable exceptions compared to the otherwise complex but regular climate. The temperatures on Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru can fall below freezing.
If you stay on the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater, it becomes cold in July, July and August, up to 10°C during the night, so do pack warm clothing for your Tanzanian trip.
The best travel time for your Zanzibar vacation Zanzibaris some latitude south of the equator and therefore enjoys a tropical climate. On average, the entire island bathes in eight to nine hours of sunlight per day -which provides the perfect remedy for cloudy winter moods! The best time to plan your Zanzibar vacation is in winter or summer, outside the rainy seasons.
Questions? As an individual travel provider, we would be pleased to advise you on your Tanzanian trip. Contact us for an obligation-free and complimentary quote.
Top 10 Attractions, Activities & Highlights in Tanzania
The Great Migration of animals in the Serengeti is one of the most moving natural spectacles on the planet. More than one million wildebeests, hundreds of thousands of zebras, and other animals travel through the endless savanna landscape. But hungry predators are waiting and waiting for prey! This is nature in all its beauty and cruelty, a touching struggle for survival.
The Ngorongoro Crater is pure, original Africa. Within this comparatively small area is an unrivaled diversity of species – especially Lake Magadi, which attracts many thirsty animals. We recommend you get up early, so you have the whole day seek out the Big Five.
The legendary Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain on the continent and is therefore also called ‘The Roof of Africa’. A climb up to the top of the mountain is reserved for experienced climbers, but the lowly lush green slopes can be explored on day hikes and are suitable for beginners.
During your cultural tour of Tanzanian, the historic spice islands of Zanzibar should not be missed! Stroll through the winding streets of Stone Town, enjoy the wonderfully fragrant markets and countless architectural jewels, and observe the sunset over the blissful and pure white sandy beaches.
Selous Game Reserve is the largest in Africa. Its lifeline, River Rufiji is a haven for thirsty hippos, crocodiles and elephants. With a little luck, you can also admire the very rare African wild dog.
Wild, secluded and original – Ruaha National Park offers you a particularly authentic Tanzanian safari experience. In the barren, harsh landscape you will meet giant elephant herds, buffaloes and gazelles.
The mystically beautiful city ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani will remind you of glorious yesteryear, when the former harbor city lay along important trade routes. Today, slowly decaying palaces and mosques spread a morbid charm.
If you are looking for peace and quiet, then we have a special travel tip for you: Pemba Island is the perfect spot for your Tanzania beach vacation. Blinding white beaches, hidden coves and dense mangrove forests invite you to dream.
Head to Lake Eyasi for an authentic, off-the-beaten-track experience of Tanzania. This lake is not easily accessible, but attracts thousands of flamingos when the water levers are right. You can also meet the Hadzabe and Dagota ethnic peoples, who continue to leave a traditional way of life off the land.
Would you like to travel to Tanzania and get to know all aspects of this wonderful country? Our Africa specialists will be pleased to advise you!
History of Tanzania
The first humans in Tanzania were hunters and gatherers and agriculture is thought to have begun around 1,000 BC. By the 4th century AD, Bantu people, with their iron tools and weapons, began migrating to Tanzania, followed by the Persians, Romans, and eventually the Arab merchants who brought Islam to the country in the 8th century.
Renowned Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama traveled to Tanzania in 1498 and captured many of the islands.
By the early 18th century, the spice island of Zanzibar was held by the Sultan of Oman, before the British took over and abolished the slave trade that was renowned in Zanzibar in the late 19th century.
The mainland area of what is known today as Tanzania, is thought to have been named by a British civil servant in 1920, derived from the Swahili words ‘tanga’ (sail) and ‘nyika’ (bright arid plain).
Independence reached Tanzania in 1961 and by the following year the country became a republic with Julius Nyerere as Prime Minister and the father of the nation. A policy of socialism was adopted but failed, causing the country to go into debt until the mid-1980s.
Today, after political and economic reform, the country is recovering and Tanzania tours have prospered. The country is not only strong but also graciously offers refuge to over a half a million civilians fleeing violence from surrounding countries.
The vast cultural diversity of Tanzania is most witnessed in the lyrics of the country’s national anthem Mungu Ibariki Afrika, which focuses on unity.
As a patriarchal, community-centric culture, Tanzania considers family to be very important. By learning the basic Kiswahili language, such as Jambo (Hello), you will be a guest who is positively received!
The majority of Tanzanians (55%) are Muslims, and there are 35% Christians, as well as a few ethnic groups with their own native belief systems.
The culture is very respectful to its different religions and Eid ul-Fitr and Christmas are usually celebrated together by all. Intermarriages are common, and it is not uncommon to find few Christians having more than one wife or Muslims drinking beer during some cultural ceremonies.
Culture in Tanzania embraces creativity. Tanzanian literature boasts few eminent writers – Shafi Adam Shafi, Chachage Seithy L. Chachage, Amandina Lihamba, Edwin Semzaba, Penina Muhando Mlama and Euphrase Kezilahabi.
Makonde sculpture is quite famous in Tanzania and the country has its own unique Tingatinga painting style. In music, in among traditional forms, you may also experience during your Tanzania tour the new genre of Bongoflava, a derivative of American hip hop.
English and Swahili are the official languages spoken in Tanzania and Swahili is the national language of Tanzania. There are a total of 128 languages spoken throughout Tanzania, with most from the Bantu Family.
Wildlife and nature are an important part of the culture, which is best experienced meeting local people during your Tanzania safari within one of the country’s spectacular national parks.
Top Tanzania Travel Tips – Culture:
With the Islamic influence, you can expect the coastal areas to be more conservative and we recommend when you are not on the beach you should dress respectfully and discreetly, covering up exposed arms and legs.
During conversations, people are generally addressed by their surname or married name.
Tanzanians are likely to touch your shoulder or hand, and look you in the eye. Eye contact is very important if it is a conversation requiring trust, as avoiding eye contact implies that you are dishonest or not committed to what you saying.
People often talk at close range as standing away is an unwelcome sign.
Public displays of affection, anger, or other emotions are not acceptable as it is considered boastful and arrogant.
Punctuality is not considered important in the culture, therefore a degree of patience may be required.
Bargaining is not only a commonly used practice but also a necessary one. Unless you are in a high-end store where prices are fixed, please feel free to bargain.
There is a vast difference between the rich and poor, and pick-pocketing is quite prevalent. Precautions should be taken in towns and cities like in any other city worldwide. Make use of hotel safes or deposit boxes during your Tanzania tour; Check beforehand with hotel staff, your guide or police about the areas you plan to visit; Avoid wearing visible jewelry or carrying cameras and bags over your shoulder and just carry minimum cash; Keep mobile phones and wallets hidden from view.
In Tanzania connections to various accommodations in the national parks can be accessed by either road or, if distances are too far, by air on small bush planes. There are daily flights to the major parks. Charter flights are also available and guests are free to choose this option depending on their preference and budget.
Go on your Tanzaniatour with an open heart and you will have a marvelous time!
Cuisine in Tanzania
Food in Tanzania greatly varies from region to region and depends on what food products are available.
Tanzanian meals are incomplete without staple carbohydrates – rice, corn, cassava, plantains or sorghum. These are often made into a thick mash or porridge, known as ugali.
On the mainland, you can expect most meals to comprise of meat stews, but with a large immigrant population from the Indian subcontinent there are also lots of spicy curries, and biryani available.
By the coast, you can enjoy a lot of fresh seafood for surprisingly low prices during one of our Tanzania tours. Naturally, the catch of the day in Zanzibar, known as the Spice Island, is usually delicately flavored with spices and coconut milk.
Tanzania is a nation of tea, coffee and buttermilk drinkers and you can expect nyama choma (roasted meat of goat or beef) to be a popular item on the menu, which is often flavored with lime and hot pepper.
To complete a meal or for a daytime snack there is always an abundance of tropical fruit!
There is also a lively street food culture and when you are on your Tanzania tour, you may come across in the towns corn on the cob or fried plantains/sweet potatoes, being roasted on charcoal. Dried fruit, fried and dried fish, peanuts and popcorn are also available street side.
Tanzanian specialties you shouldn’t miss include:
Ndizi Nyama: a stew of green banana with meat or fish, onions, bitter tomatoes, carrots, bananas, sweet pepper and lady fingers, usually served with rice or ugali.
Supu ya Ndizi: plantain soup that has been cooked in chicken stock.
Wali wa Nazi: rice made with coconut milk accompanying chicken, meat, fish and curry dishes.
Mchuzi wa Kamba: a traditional Indian style prawn curry, created with coconut milk and tomato sauce flavored with tamarind.
Mandazi: the Swahili donut, slightly sweet East African street food prepared with coconut milk and flavored with cardamom and grated fresh coconut.
Top Tanzania Travel Tips – Cuisine:
We recommend you buy bottled water. Prevent dehydration in the East Africa heat by drinking as much water as possible.
When dining out, gratuities are usually not included on bills in restaurants and we recommend around 10% of the bill.
The Enchanting Travels team look forward to planning unique Tanzania tours just for you!