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Country Facts

From the heights of Kilimanjaro to the depths of Ngorongoro crater, from the wildlife at Lake Victoria to the plains of the Serengeti, from Zanzibar to The Great Rift Valley, leave Tanzania's crumbling economy aside and dig through the heat and dust to bask in a superb sunset, the fragrant spices, an Arabian palace and the beautiful heritage of this land. To get under the skin of Tanzania read, the autobiography, 'Memoirs of an Arabian Princess' by Emily Said-Ruete, watch the documentary 'Kilimanjaro--To the Roof of Africa' by David Breashears, and listen to 'Music from Tanzania & Zanzibar'.

  • Capital: Dodoma
  • Official Languages: Swahili, English
  • Government: Republic
  • Currency: Tanzanian Shilling
  • Time Zone: +3:00 GMT (2½ hrs behind India)
  • Telephone Calling Code: 00255

When To Go

Best time to visit: Late June to October. The average temperature in Tanzania is 23.0°C. The highest average temperature is 32°C in October and the lowest average temperature is 15°C in June, July.

What To Do

Tanzanian cuisine is based on starches such as millet, sorghum, beans, pilaf and cornmeal. Ugali, the national dish is typically eaten out of a large bowl shared by everyone at the table. Wali (rice) and samaki (fish) cooked in coconut are the preferred by coastal communities. Spices are used with rice, curries.

What to eat and drink
  • Ugali: A stiff dough made of cassava flour, cornmeal, millet, or sorghum, and usually served with a meat or fish sauce with beans or vegetables
  • Chappatis (yes!)
  • Ndizi Kaanga: Fried bananas or plaintain
  • Wali na Nazi: Rice in coconut milk
  • Pilau
  • Date-nut bread
  • Sweet potato pudding
  • Chai
  • Konyagi: White rum drink


Black wood statues, Masai blankets and knives, Makonde sculptures, Sukuma jewellery, musical instruments, Swahili papyrus.



Travel Tips



By Air

Emirates, Kenya Airways and Jet Airways provide good connections out of India.

By Road

Taxis: Regular taxis are found easily on the street and outside hotels. Tuk-tuks can be used over short distances in the beach resorts along the coast. Boda-bodas are a cheap and fun way to travel over short distances, but you need to hang on tightly. With all of these, prices should be negotiated before setting off.

Rental Car Hire: Driving in Tanzania can be dangerous because everyone does pretty much as they please, and traffic in Dar es Salaam is especially chaotic. The roads are not always well maintained and frequent potholes are a problem, so keep your speed down and avoid driving at night because of the danger of domestic and wild animals on the road.

If you're confident that you can hold your own on Tanzanian roads, you can either book a car at your country of origin from one of the large agencies or contact them once you arrive. Avis (www.avis.com), Budget (www.budget.com), and Hertz (www.hertz.com) have several offices in Dar es Salaam and Arusha.

To hire a car, you must be over 23, and while you don't necessarily need an international driver's license, your license must be in English.

Buses / Coaches: The most reasonably efficient and comfortable buses are operated by Scandinavian Express and Royal Coach. They have modern ticket offices in each of the towns and cities, you can choose your seat onscreen, buses are speed governed, most have air-conditioning, and complimentary drinks and biscuits / cookies are offered onboard. Always exercise caution around the bus stations, as petty theft can be a problem.

By Rail

Please avoid. If you insist on traveling by rail, you should opt for first class, always lock your door, and never leave your possessions unguarded.

  • Your Health Is Vital. Malaria :This is the most feared disease to most of the visitors. Make sure that before you travel you visit your doctor to get ant-malaria tablets. Also you can buy mosquito sprays. All the accommodation places now days have mosquito nets fixed to your beds and the rooms are sprayed with mosquito repellents too. And just for your information malaria transmitting mosquitos only bites at late night so its likely that you won't be exposed if all the precautions are taken care of.
  • Vaccination: The yellow-fever vaccination is no longer officially required when entering Tanzania, yet because the disease is endemic many doctors will recommend it as a precaution. Other vaccinations that might be considered before you travel include typhoid, hepatitis A and B, meningitis, and tetanus. For more information, contact your doctor.
  • Food and Water: While on trip in Tanzania make sure that you drink bottled water, make sure that if you eat on streets the food is hot, avoid eating salads, juices on streets because it's likely that they were not prepared in a hygienic way.
  • Most standard and high end restaurants prepare their food at a required hygienic standards so you shouldn't worry about eating anything there. But be advised that if you are not sure of what you ordered don't eat it.
  • Affection. Public displays of affection are disapproved of. Kissing, holding hands and hugging in the street are unacceptable. Yet friendly affection between members of the same sex is considered perfectly fine, such as holding hands among the same sex. However, homosexuality is not only taboo in Tanzania but is also illegal.

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