Area: 945 090 km²
Population: 35 million inhabitants, 120 tribes
Religion: Christianity, Islam and traditional religions
Language: Swahili and English
Currency: Tanzanian Shilling (in beginning 2010: 1€ = 1850 Tsh)
The region is inhabited since the Palaeolithic age. Long before the Middle Ages, Indian, Indonesian, Persian and Arabic merchants came to the coast and the islands in search of gold, ivory and slaves. This trade was later dominated by the Portuguese in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In the seventeenth century, Great Britain established a protectorate over Zanzibar ; while East Africa fell under German reign in 1891. In 1920, Great Britain obtained the mandate for the region since then called Tanganyika . A nationalist movement emerged after the Second World War under the leadership of Julius Nyerere. He gained independence in 1961, was elected in 1962 and realized in 1964 the union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar forming together Tanzania.
The broad central plateau is crossed by several rivers that flow into the lakes of Malawi , Tanganyika and Victoria . They go across the eastern coastal plain that is extended by the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba . The impressive volcanoes Uhuru (Kilimanjaro), Meru and Ngorongoro stand in the north, along the Rift Valley. The tropical climate of the trade winds is differing: drought strikes only the inside, woodlands and savannas with abundant wildlife dominate in most of the country.
Agriculture employs more than 80% of the population. Once badly organized in socialist times (1967-1986), it shows nowadays a higher productivity: cassava, maize, rice, sorghum and livestock prosper; fishery is in progress. Coffee and cotton account for half of the exports. The industry is modest. The rich mineral resources are scarcely exploited. Dar Es Salaam , the main port and business centre is also the terminus of the railroad “Tanzam” which provides the exports of Zambia . In 2000, the FMI has reduced the debt, satisfied with the efforts of the government. Growth is around 4 to 5%. Tourism is booming.
Tanzanians are very welcoming. Greetings are very important; mostly we shake hands (the right one!).
The majority of the inhabitants along the coast is Muslim and you should therefore adapt your clothing.
Tanzanians do not kiss in public, nor generally show their affection.
Be aware that the concept of time is different. Tanzanians do not like impatient or quick-tempered people.
HOW TO GET THERE?
The closest international airport near Arusha, the departure point for the safaris, is Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO).
Possible routes go via Amsterdam by Air France / KLM; via Addis Ababa by Ethiopian Airlines or via Nairobi by Kenya Airways or British Airways (connecting to London ).
The journey Nairobi – Arusha can be done by minibus or by airplane with Precision Air (affiliated with Kenya Airways).
Some charter companies like Corsair or Condor stop at Nairobi or Kilimanjaro as well.
Depending on your plans, you may also arrive in Dar Es Salaam or Zanzibar .
Both airports can be reached by the companies named before as well as Swiss Air, Qatar Airways and Air Tanzania .
Majik safaris can provide you with further information on request, but unfortunately not make reservations for you.
TIPS FOR TRAVELERS:
Visa: Europeans citizens need a passport that is still valid six months after the date of arrival as well as a visa that can be obtained at the Embassy of Tanzania .
You can also get this visa at the airport (Kilimanjaro, Dar Es Salaam , Zanzibar ) and certain border stations (Namanga).
It costs 50 Euros.
Health: Vaccination against yellow fever may be required again. The doctor will recommend you to take an anti-malaria treatment (the best protection is still prevention). It is best to drink bottled water only and follow all the usual rules of hygiene.
Security: Tanzania is a peaceful country. However, general precautions should be taken, such as: do not show things of value, keep your money in a safe place, avoid certain neighbourhoods, take a taxi after night has fallen and listen to the recommendations given by locals whilst your stay.