Tanzania is situated directly south of the Equator and covers 938,000 sq. km with an estimated population of 40 million people. The country is densely populated in the northern, eastern and coastal areas while the southern part is not densely populated.
Climate. Tanzania climate is tropical and there are two rain seasons the longer being March through May and the shorter between October and November. The dry season lasts from July through October with clear sky and sunshine the whole day. The weather is suitable for beach vacations. The coastal area is normally hot and humid.
Visa: Coming to Tanzania has been made easy for visitors. It is easy to obtain a Tanzanian visa and there are three ways to obtain it: You can get a visa from a Tanzanian Embassy or High Commission from your country or upon arrival at the port of entry or you can apply online via Tanzania Immigration site, that is, the airport or at the border port. The above procedure applies to North American and European citizens. For more details about visas please contact the nearest Tanzanian Embassy or High Commission in your area.
Tanzania’s International Airports: Tanzania has two international airports, one outside the commercial capital Dar es Salaam (airport code: DAR) and the other near Arusha (and Mount Kilimanjaro) called Kilimanjaro International Airport (airport code: JRO). Charter flights and some international operators fly directly to Zanzibar Island (airport code: ZNZ)
Getting to Tanzania: If you’re planning to visit Northern Tanzania, the best airport to arrive at is Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA). KLM has daily flights from Amsterdam. Ethiopian and Kenya Airways / Precision Air also fly into KIA.
If you’re planning to visit Zanzibar, southern and western Tanzania, it is ideal to fly to the capital city of Dar es Salaam. European carriers that fly into Dar es Salaam include British Airways, KLM and Swissair(which share codes with Delta). There are long-distance bus services between Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda.
Attractions: The country has a lot to offer educationally, historically, for leisure and adventures. These adventures are safaris (game) driving in the National Parks like Serengeti, Manyara, and Tarangire to see wildlife, historical sites such as museums, landscapes, mountains, beaches, lakes, rivers, and culture.
Social life: The country has more than 120 tribes. Each tribe has its own vernacular. Although there are many languages “Swahili” was adopted as the national language in 1961 right after independence. The language has spread and is being used in the neighboring countries of Uganda, Kenya, and Central Africa. English is the second official language of the nation. You will find that Tanzanians are very welcoming and friendly.
Political system: Tanzania is perhaps the leading country on the continent of Africa for its political stability, peace, and tranquility. The political system is multi-party and the government is democratic. Political and religious conflicts are resolved through dialogue. In short, religious and tribal conflicts are very rare in this country because every citizen is free to worship as he/she pleases provided that one does not violate the law of the land
Currency: The national currency of Tanzania is the “shilling” (Tshs). Exchange rates vary and are subject to change anytime. Credit cards such as Euro-card, American Express, Master Card, Access, and Visa are accepted by most tourists’ hotels, carving shops, bureau de change, and banks. Also, Traveler’s Cheques in sterling pounds and US dollars are acceptable.
Religions: Because of its historical diversity Tanzania is a land of various religions. Nevertheless, the major religions are Christianity, Islam, Hindu, and African Traditional Religions. On the east coast – Dar es salaam, Bagamoyo, Zanzibar, and Tanga – the dominant religions are Islam and Hindu. This is due to the advent of Arabs and Eastern Indians which led to the spread of the two religions. The mainland is dominantly Christian and this is since European colonists, like Arabs, spread the Christian religion to the indigenous people.
Infrastructure & Accessibility: Major roads are paved and accessible throughout the year. Side roads and those around and within the National Parks are muddy and rough. For this reason, a 4WD car is required for safaris. Four-wheel cars include Toyota Land Cruisers, Land Rovers, and Toyota Hiace 4WD. These are the cars commonly used. The railway is also used in the eastern, southern, central, and western parts of the country.
Time: The time zone is GMT + 3 and the electricity is 220 – 240 V AC, 50 Hz.