Lying just south of the equator, Tanzania is East Africa’s largest country, and an immensely rewarding place to visit. Filling the brochures are several world-famous attractions: the plains of the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro (Africa’s highest mountain) and Zanzibar, with its idyllic palm-fringed beaches and historic ...
Lying just south of the equator, Tanzania is East Africa’s largest country, and an immensely rewarding place to visit. Filling the brochures are several world-famous attractions: the plains of the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro (Africa’s highest mountain) and Zanzibar, with its idyllic palm-fringed beaches and historic Stone Town. Yet there’s a whole lot more to Tanzania than these obvious highlights. Almost everywhere you go you’ll find interesting wildlife and inspiring landscapes (over forty percent of the country is protected in some form or other) ranging from forest-covered volcanic peaks to dusty savanna populated by elephants, antelopes, lions, leopards and cheetahs. Tanzania is one of the four most naturally diverse nations on earth: it contains Africa’s second-largest number of bird species (around 1500), the continent’s biggest mammal population and three-quarters of East Africa’s plant species (over ten thousand). Add to this the country’s rich ethnic diversity, some superb hiking and other activities like snorkelling and diving, and you have the makings of a holiday of a lifetime.
For all its natural diversity, Tanzania’s best asset is its people: friendly, welcoming, unassumingly proud and yet reserved – you’ll be treated with uncommon warmth and courtesy wherever you go, and genuine friendships are easily made. The best known tribe are the Maasai, a pastoralist cattle-herding people who inhabit the region around the safari parks in the north, yet there are at least 127 other tribes in Tanzania, perhaps not as visually colourful as the red-robed, spear-carrying Maasai warriors, but with equally rich traditions, histories, customs, beliefs and music, much of which survive despite the ravages of colonialism, modernity and Christianity. For many years, only those with months on their hands had the privilege of really getting to know these people, but since 1995, an award-winning cultural tourism programme has broken new ground in enabling tourists, even those with little time or limited budgets, to experience for themselves local life in an intimate and inevitably fascinating way.
Tanzania offers the traveller a varied geography that ranges from Mount Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti and Lake Tanganyika to the shores of the Indian Ocean. This guide includes practical information on getting about from buses to bicycle and boat rental, while listings sections provide reviews of the accommodation, eating and drinking for all budgets. Also covered in the book is hiking and outdoor information including trekking Kilimanjaro to snorkelling off Pemba's coral reefs.