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“It was so exiting watching thousands of wildebeest crossing the serengeti, it was an experience of its own, never seen such a thing before, just in Tanzania, just with Ipam Safaris.”

--- Colms Coleman---

CEO Ceba Company

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Traveling to Tanzania for an African safari holiday is truly like traveling to the Africa you always dreamed about. And who wouldn't want to be able to visit a place where some of the names of the travel destinations on an itinerary are some of the most legendary places of all – The Serengeti, Lake Victoria, Mount Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar to name just a few!

Why choose to go to Tanzania

The great reasons are almost too many to list but not only is Tanzania one of the safest and most politically stable regions on the African continent it is also home to the amazing well known destinations you probably even learned about as a child – the sprawling Serengeti Plains, the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, the fascinating Ngorongoro Crater and the historic, exotic and fabled islands of the Zanzibar Archipelago.

In addition to these well-known destinations the country as a whole simply offers the finest African safari and African holiday experiences to people of all tastes on the continent. Tanzania is a place that offers unique experiences for wildlife enthusiasts, history buffs, photography fans and beach lovers.

In addition to the huge number of natural wonders that Tanzania offers it is also a land that is rich in cultural diversity and boasts some of the most spectacular architecture – and historical ruins – that can be found in Africa. Complement all of this with the warmth and friendliness of her citizens and Tanzania really is a land that offers all the best characteristics of Africa in a single country and a place that will offer more than a holiday you'll love it will give you wonderful memories that will last a lifetime.

Traveling Destinations in Tanzania

Tanzania is a sprawling country spread out over 364,898 square miles (945,203 km). For political and administrative purposes the country is divided into twenty six different regions but for a visitor to Tanzania on an African safari holiday, a Tanzania honeymoon or a simple Tanzania beach holiday it is more helpful to think of the country in terms of its three major travel areas.

Northern Circuit – Northern Tanzania is home to many of the things that have made Tanzania such a popular place to visit – the sprawling Serengeti that is home to so many animals and forms of flora and fauna, the amazing to behold Ngorongoro crater, a natural wonder that has a denser population of wildlife than anywhere else in Africa and of course the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa.

Western and Southern Circuit – Much of these regions are still very much unspoiled and larges areas are even almost completely unexplored. However as they gain reputation as some of the best wilderness regions on the continent then more and more visitors is discovering its treasures. The amazing Selous Game Reserve offers the chance to get up close to some of the world's most extraordinary selection of wildlife while the Gombe Stream National Park is one of the last natural chimpanzee habitats in the world. and the Mahale Mountains National park offers tropical rain-forests and deep lagoons that just beg to be explored.

Coastal Circuit - Most people have heard of Zanzibar – the original tropical getaway and the place that most people conjure up in their minds when they think of their perfect beach paradise, even if they have never seen it! However there are many more beautiful beaches and amazing marine environments dotted up and down the coast of Tanzania, each of them offering something different to those on a Tanzania holiday.

People of Tanzania with their language and culture;

A united people
There are over 120 different ethnic groups among Tanzania’s population. But no one group is dominant, many being fairly small.

In northern Tanzania, groups speak Khoisan or ‘click-sound’ languages, such as the Sandawe. Some groups speak Nilotic languages such as the Maasai. These nomads live as they have for centuries, herding cattle across large areas and living off the animals' milk, blood and meat. The Maasai are particularly known for their distinctive dress and the warrior-status of their men. Males go through a number of stages, from junior warrior to senior elders.

Among the different ethnic groups, the vast majority are Bantu-speakers; the largest is the Sukuma, with others including the Nyamwezi, the Makonde and the Chaga of the Kilimanjaro region.

Unlike in other African countries, most people identify themselves as Tanzanian first and foremost. This reflects the ideals which were introduced by the leader of the nation for over twenty years, Julius Nyerere – see History & Politics.

Under his leadership, the learning of Swahili was prioritised over local languages. Swahili is therefore widely spoken as the national language.

English is used as the language of higher education, as well as in business and government. And in Zanzibar and other predominantly Muslim places, Arabic is also spoken. There are also small communities of Asians speaking languages such as Gujarati and Hindustani.

The arts and sport

With a national pride in Swahili, novels and poetry in the language are popular and there is a strong background of literature. The graphic arts are also important. The colourful and distinctive tinga tinga paintings (mainly of animals and birds) and the ebony carvings of the Makonde people are particularly prized. Sculptures and carvings are also made for the important tourist industry.

Tanzania has a wide range of sports. But as in many countries, football is the national obsession.

Religions side-by-side
With large communities of both Muslims and Christians, it’s not uncommon for towns to have a mosque and a church. And festivals/holidays of both religions are given equal recognition.

Politeness and tolerance
From a young age, Tanzanian children are taught how to be polite and respectful. They will normally greet their elders with the phraseshikamoo, which literally translates as ‘I hold your feet’.

Due to the sense of brotherhood fostered by Julius Nyerere, adults will frequently address strangers as dada (sister) or kaka (brother), or alternatively as ndugu (comrade or relative). Serious friction between people of different groups or religions is rare. 

Cities and Towns of Tanzania

You will not find too may large modern cities while visiting the country on a Tanzania holiday but what the towns and villages across the country lack in size they most certainly make up for in character. Most people visiting the country on an African safari holiday will make at least a stop in the largest city in the country –Dar es Salaam. Although it is no longer the official capital of the country – that honor now belongs to Dodoma – it is still considered to be the social capital of Tanzania as the new capital is not really very well known outside the country.

Arusha on the other hand could be considered the safari tourism capital of Tanzania as its unique location puts it in easy reach of the best known and most visited game reserves an National Parks.

Every town you might visit on a Tanzania holiday will have its own unique character though. Many of them have been influenced over the centuries by a number of different cultures and while some still retain a very Arab influences Eastern flavour the Europeans who came to Tanzania – the Portuguese, the Germans and the British – all left a lasting mark which when mingled with the African spirit of the land makes for truly diverse and fascinating towns that offer visitors a new experience wherever they go.

The History and Economy of Tanzania;

The United Republic of Tanzania came about when two counties with long, rich histories – Tanganyika and Zanzibar – came together to form one nation. The history of the nation and the story of its economic development could fill dozens of books (and has) but this simple time-line will help visitors better understand the country that they are guests in:

The Early Centuries Anno Domini – Groups of Bantu farmers migrate to the areas that will one day become Tanganyika and Zanzibar from both the South and the West, displacing many of the original ethnic groups that have been living there for many centuries.

8th – 12th centuries – Persian, Indian and Arab traders discover the area and quickly build highly advanced cities all along the coast that include Kibaha, a large settlement that was the most important city in the region until it was destroyed in 1500s.

Late 1400s – Early 1800s – Portuguese explorers travel to the East African coast and claim the entire area for themselves. Their control of the area however is only ever nominal and by the early 1800s they found themselves being driven out for good.

Mid 1800s – More Europeans arrive to explore the country, led by intrepid English explorers and fervent German missionaries.

1840 – The Sultan Seyyid Said, an Omani Arab, moves his base of operations from Muscat to Zanzibar where he begins promoting a very lucrative trade in ivory, spices and slaves.

1876 - Said is coerced into ceasing his slave trade by the British. 1884 – The head of the recently formed Society for German Colonization, one Karl Peters, brokers a series of treaties with tribal chiefs in the country's interior, which establishes a German protectorate across the area.

1886 -1890 - More treaties are signed that designate British and German areas in the interior of the country. In the process Zanzibar becomes a British protectorate although it is administered by an Arab Sultan.

1905-1907 The Maji Maji rebellion that seeks to overthrow European rule erupts. 120,000 Africans die, either in battle or from starvation.

1918 – Britain assumes total control of Tanganyika.

1954 – The nationalist Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) is founded by Tanganyika African National Union (TANU). 

1956 - In Zanzibar Abaid Karume founds the The Afro-Shirazi Party 1959 – The British agree to allow internal self government in Tanganyika and appoint Nyerere chief minister. later that year the country achieves complete independence and Nyerere becomes president.

1963 – Zanzibar is also granted independence.

1964 – Zanibar and Tanganyika form a union, creating the United Republic of Tanzania.

1970s – Increasing oil prices begin to seriously endanger the country's economic stability.

1977 – TANU and the Afro-Shirazi Party merge together to form the Chama Cha Mapinduzi.

1977 Idi Amin's Ugandan invasion attempt costs more than $500 million to repel, plunging the economy of Tanzania into chaos.

1985-86- Julian Nyerere is succeeded by Ali Hassan Mwinyi, who accepts the International Monetary Fund's and World Bank's Structural Adjustment Package (SAP) in order to qualify for increased borrowing and a rescheduling of debt payments.

1995 – The very first multi party elections are held in Tanzania

As you can see the people of Tanzania have survived a lot, especially throughout the 20th century. Although still a poor nation, the Tanzanian economy is growing. It is still very dependent upon agriculture, in which 75% of the population are still employed but making more of its other natural resources, including natural gas, precious metals including gold and the exclusive top the country tanzanite and its budding tourism industry are all contributing factors in the gradual rebuilding of the Tanzanian economy.

 Weather and Geography of Tanzania

Because Tanzania is so close to the equator the seasonal temperature variations are in no way extreme. But as it is such a large country the climate and general weather conditions do vary considerably from region to region:

The climate along the beautiful Tanzanian coast, the place to head for the perfect Tanzania beach holiday, is a tropical one that can be quite humid at times. The sea breezes do compensate for that though, especially out on the islands and the average year round temperature range is around 27-29 C (80 – 84F)

In the far north and the central and western areas of Tanzania the temperature is altered by the fact that it mainly consists of highland plateau. For the most part they hover around 25C (77) for much of the year but the temperature can drop as low as 20C (68F) in June and August and rise as high as 30C (86F) between December and March.

In the very mountainous areas of Kilimanjaro, Arusha and Mara the temperatures are similar to those on the coast but during the months of June and July it is not too unusual for the mercury to drop down to around 15C (59F) at night. And if you happen to be around the Rungwe Mountains at that time it can get as cold as 6C (42) after the sun sets.

There are two rainy seasons in Tanzania – the long rains that fall between March through May and the short rains that fall as briefer downpours between November and early January.

The most rain falls in the mountainous regions of the north east and the southwest with around 2000mm of annual rainfall. By way of contrast the central regions are almost semi-arid and less than 500mm of rain generally falls on an annual basis. along the coast and out on the islands rainfall totals vary – ranging from 900mm – 1900mm from year to year.