Tanzania is one of the only country in the World with Kenya where you can make a safari, which is an overland journey. It is a form of tourism in East Africa.
You can see wild animals in their original context. And Tanzania welcomes exceptionnal species as giraffes, lions or leopards and 130 amphibian and over 275 reptile species.
The problem is that up to 250 000 wildebeest perish each year in the long and arduous movement to find forage in the dry season. But Tanzania has developed a Biodiversity Action Plan to address species conservation.
| Zanzibar :
Zanzibar forms part of the East African nation of Tanzania. It is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean 25–50 km off the coast, consisting of numerous small islands and two large ones: Unguja and Pemba. Zanzibar was once a separate state with a long trading history within the Arab world. It united with Tanganyika to form Tanzania, and still enjoys a high degree of autonomy within the union. The capital of Zanzibar, located on the island of Unguja, is Zanzibar City, and its old quarter, known as Stone Town, is a World Heritage Site.
Zanzibar's main industries are spices, raffia, and tourism.
Zanzibar is a conservative, Sunni Muslim society. Its history was influenced by the Arabs, Persians, Indians, Portuguese, British and the African mainland.
Stone Town is a place of winding lanes, circular towers, carved wooden doors, raised terraces and beautiful mosques. Important architectural features are the Livingstone house, the Guliani Bridge, and the House of Wonders. The town of Kidichi features the hammam (Persian baths), built by immigrants from Shiraz, Iran during the reign of Barghash bin Said.
Zanzibar was the first region in Africa to introduce colour television, in 1973. The current TV station is called TvZ. The first television service on mainland Tanzania was not introduced until some twenty years later.
Zanzibar criminalised gay and lesbian sex in 2004. In September 2006, a radical Islamic group on the archipelago, Uamsho, forced organizers to abandon plans to mark the 60th birthday of the late Freddie Mercury (born Farouk Bulsara into the Parsi community of Stone Town, who reached fame as the lead singer of the rock group Queen), saying he violated Islam with his openly bisexual lifestyle.
Kilimanjaro with its three volcanic cones, Kibo, Mawensi, and Shira, is an inactive stratovolcano in north-eastern Tanzania. Although it does not have the highest elevation, Kilimanjaro is the tallest free-standing mountain rise in the world, rising 4600 m from its base, and includes the highest peak in Africa at 5895 meters, providing a dramatic view from the surrounding plains.
Near Kilimanjaro, there is the Kilimanjaro National Park which covers an area of 753 km˛.
| Bagamoyo :
This small town has played various historical roles in Tanzania. Apart from being a slave and ivory port, it was also a German headquarter in 1891. Explorers such as Burton, Speke, Grant, Livingston and Stanley all passed in this town. The name Bagamoyo comes from Swahili words "bwaga moyo" a despair expressed by people who were captured as slaves of knowing that they face a long uncertain future. Lies 75 kilometers north of Dar es Salaam.
The Bagamoyo Church : It was was built in 1868 and considered to be the first church in East Coast of Africa. A cemetery, where the early missionaries were buried and a small shrine which was built by freed slaves in 1876 are all seen. "We are told that between 1934 and 1991, 35 Dutch priests worked here” The last of this long line of priests from the Netherlands was Father Frits Versteijnen who stayed in Bagamoyo for 30 years and started the first museum in the old Fathers’ House in March 1968. The second Fathers’ House in Bagamoyo, constructed close to the Mother of all Churches in East Africa, has also fallen victim to the corrosive effects of the coast region’s relentlessly humid climate. Its ground floor was built in 1873, the first floor in 1877 and the second floor in 1903.
Ngorongoro Crater :
Ngorongoro Crater is the world's largest unbroken, unflooded volcanic caldera. The Crater, which formed when a giant volcano exploded and collapsed on itself some two to three million years ago, is 610m deep and the floor is 260km˛ (102 square miles). Estimates of the height of the original volcano range from fifteen to nineteen thousand feet high.
Although thought of as "a natural enclosure" for a very wide variety of wildlife, up to 20% or more of the wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) and half the zebra (Equus burchelli) populations vacate the Crater in the wet season. Animal populations in the crater include most of the species found in East Africa, but there are no impalas (Aepyceros melampus), topis (Damaliscus lunatus), oribis (Ourebia oribi), giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis), or crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus).
The crater highlands on the side facing the easterly trade winds receives 800–1200mm of rain a year and is covered largely in montane forest, while the less-steep west wall receives only 400–600 mm. This side is grassland and bushland dotted with Euphorbia bussei trees. The crater floor is mostly open grassland with two small wooded areas dominated by Acacia xanthophloea.
The Munge Stream drains Olmoti Crater to the north, and is the main water source draining into the seasonal salt lake in the center of the Crater. This lake is known by two names: Makat as the Maasai called it, meaning salt; and Magadi. The Lerai Stream drains the humid forests to the south of the Crater, and it feeds the Lerai Forest on the Crater floor ( when there is enough rain, the Lerai drains into Lake Magadi as well ). Extraction of water by lodges and NCA ( Ngorongoro Conservation Area )headquarters reduces the amount of water entering Lerai by around 25%.
Fire is being used to manage vegetation in the Crater. The other major water source in the Crater is the Ngoitokitok Spring, near the eastern Crater wall. There is a picnic site here open to tourists and a huge swamp fed by the spring, and the area is inhabited by hippopotamus, elephants, lions, and many others. Many other small springs can be found around the Crater floor, and these are important water supplies for the animals and local Masaai, especially during times of drought.
Aside from herds of zebra, gazelle, and wildebeest, the crater is home to the "big five" of rhinoceros, lion, leopard, elephant, and buffalo. The crater plays host to almost every individual species of wildlife in East Africa, with an estimated 25 000 animals within the crater.
Following the recommendations of the ad hoc committee of scientists convened after the 2000 drought, an ecological burning program was implemented in the Crater, which entails annual or biannual controlled burns of up to 20% of the grasslands. Maasai are now permitted to graze their cattle within in the Crater, but must enter and exit daily.
| Lake Victoria :
Lake Victoria or Victoria Nyanza (also known as Ukerewe and Nalubaale) is one of the Great Lakes of Africa.
Lake Victoria is 68,800 square kilometres in size, making it the continent's largest lake, the largest tropical lake in the world, and the second largest fresh water lake in the world in terms of surface area (third largest if one considers Lake Michigan-Huron as a single lake). Being relatively shallow for its size, with a maximum depth of 84 m and a mean depth of 40 m, Lake Victoria ranks as the seventh largest freshwater lake by volume, containing 2 750 cubic kilometres of water. It is the source of the longest branch of the Nile River, the White Nile, and has a water catchment area of 184 000 square kilometres. It is a biological hotspot with great biodiversity. The lake lies within an elevated plateau in the western part of Africa's Great Rift Valley and is subject to territorial administration by Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya. The lake has a shoreline of 3 440 km, and has more than 3 000 islands, many of which are inhabited. These include the Ssese Islands in Uganda, a large group of islands in the northwest of the Lake that are becoming a popular destination for tourists.
Lake Victoria is relatively young. Its current basin formed only 400,000 years ago, when westward-flowing rivers were dammed by an upthrown crustal block. The lake's shallowness, limited river inflow, and large surface area relative to its volume make it vulnerable to climate changes. Cores taken from its bottom show that Lake Victoria has dried up completely three times since it formed. These drying cycles are probably related to past ice ages, which are times when precipitation declined globally. The lake last dried out 17 300 years ago, and filled again beginning 14 700 years ago. The fantastic adaptive radiation of its native cichlids has taken place in the short period of time since then.
Dar es Salaam :
Dar es Salaam, formerly Mzizima, is the largest city in Tanzania. It is also the country's richest city and a regionally important economic centre. Dar es Salaam is actually an administrative province within Tanzania, and consists of three local government areas or administrative districts : Kinondoni to the north, Ilala in the center of the region, and Temeke to the south. The Dar es Salaam Region had a population of 2 497 940 as of the official 2002 census. Though Dar es Salaam lost its official status as capital city to Dodoma in 1996, it remains the centre of the permanent central government bureaucracy and continues to serve as the capital for the surrounding Dar es Salaam Region.
Dar is Tanzania's most important city for both business and government. The city contains unusually high concentrations of trade and other services and manufacturing compared to other parts of Tanzania, which has about 80 percent of its population in rural areas. For example, about one half of Tanzania's manufacturing employment is located in the city despite the fact that Dar holds only ten percent of Tanzania's population. Located on a natural harbour on the Indian Ocean, it is the hub of the Tanzanian transportation system as all of the country's main railways and several highways originate in or near the city. Its status as an administrative and trade centre has put Dar es Salaam in position to benefit disproportionately from Tanzania's high growth rate since the year 2000 so that by now its poverty rates are much lower than the rest of the country. The Julius Nyerere International Airport connects the city with other African countries, the Middle East, India, as well as Europe. There is also a railway infrastructure (TAZARA) connecting the coastal town of Dar es Salaam to the neighbouring country of Zamiba on its western border.
| Serengeti Park :
The name "Serengeti" has come to represent the safari experience itself, evoking images of sweeping savannahs swarming with lion, wildebeest, and gazelle. The Serengeti National Park, the largest in Tanzania, is about 14 763 square kms in area. One of the largest wildlife sanctuaries in the world and it is the site of one of the most breathtaking events in the animal kingdon, the migration of thousands of woldebeest. The park's name, Serengeti, means 'endless plains' and is derived from the Maasai language. The park was gazette in 1951. The park lies in a high plateau between the Ngorongoro highlands and the Kenya/Tanzania border, and extends almost to Lake Victoria. The park encompasses the main part of the Serengeti ecosystem. Upon these grasslands roam more game animals than anywhere in the world. There are over a million wildebeest alone. About 35 species of plains animals can be seen here including so called "big five": elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and buffalo.
Throughout the winter months of December to March (the best time to come), many of the animals are concentrated in the park's southern regions, near Ngorongoro. During the spring months of May or June, the vast herds of wildebeest and zebra start to head west in search of water, beginning a circuitous migration that takes some of them to shores of Lake Victoria, and others to northern areas and to Kenya's Maasai Mara park just across the border. Virtually every African game animal can be seen in the Serengeti; however, because the animals are more dispersed between July and November visitors should give themselves sufficient time to track them down.
The commitment to its preservation shown by the government of Tanzania is important in a country faced by land shortage and a rising population. Activites and Special Interests Bird watching, photography, walking safaris, and ballooning with Serengeti Balloon Safaris.
Wildlife Large herds of antelope of all sorts including: Patterson's eland, Klipspringer, Dikdik, impala, Zebra, gazelles, water, bush and reed buck, topi, kongoni, cotton's oribi, grey bush duiker, roan antelope buffalo, and wildebeest.
Plus: lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, bat eared fox, hunting dog and jackal.
Smaller mammals: spring hare, porcupine, warthog, hyraxes, baboon, vervet monkey, colobus monkey, patas monkey, and mongooses.
Larger mammals: giraffe, rhino, elephant, hippopotamus.
Nearly 500 species of bird, including vultures, storks, flamingoes, martial and fish eagles, ostrich.
Reptiles : crocodiles, a number of species of snakes and lizards.
| Why was it so many safaris chose to end their trek in Zanzibar? During the period of the great safaris Zanzibar was an Oman colony. Wonderful palaces graced the islands, and room and board was cheap, grand, and very relaxing.
Today, most of that rings true. The colonies are gone, but accommodations are inexpensive, and the best part of Zanzibar is that even now the beaches are largely untouched by commercial tourism.
Although when you think of Zanzibar, you think of the largest island, Unguja, Zanzibar is a collection of a few islands, including Pemba, where one of the worlds largest production of cloves is located, and the island of Mafia, where sports fishing and scuba reign.
Most tourists come to Zanzibar for the beaches. The islands are literally surrounded with them, but the best picks are on the east shore of Unguja, the main island. Zanzibar beaches on the west shore are too close to the port of Stone Town, with shipping, pollution, and what comes with city life.
If you run into a fellow tourist in Zanzibar, you may be told that the beautiful beach at Jambiani is crowded and that everyone goes there. The fact is, Jambiani Beach is miles of startling white sand. It would take a lot of tourists to crowd out this piece of paradise.
What to expect? There are no swimming pools, no casinos, no discos, bars... and mainly no electricity - except at some guesthomes. Your idea of paradise? Then welcome to Jambiani Beach, Zanzibar.
These beaches are actually home to small fishing villages. Fishing isn't for commercial gain; it's for the village. However, you will find that locals in Jambiani harvest seaweed. Because of the nature of the reef, about a mile out, the wave action litters the beach with seaweed at low tide. Seaweed is taken, dried, and sold to exporters - generally making its way as a nutritional product in Japan.
Transportation for the locals consists of riding bikes along the beach. You can rent bikes at various places along Jambiani Beach.
Another fun event would be to take a ride on a Dhow boat, the local fishing boat. Ask the locals for a ride during sunset. You'll stay within the reef and see the beach like few tourists have.