Tanzania

Last updated on May 26th, 2020 at 06:46 am

TANZANIA AT A GLANCE

Tanzania is an East African country known for its vast wilderness areas. They include the plains of Serengeti National Park, a safari centre populated by the “big five” game (elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino), and Kilimanjaro National Park, home to Africa’s highest mountain. Offshore lie the tropical islands of Zanzibar, with Arabic influences, and Mafia, with a marine park home to whale sharks and coral reefs. Tanzania is the second-largest country in East Africa and one of the continent’s stalwart safari destinations. It lies on the idyllic Indian Ocean coast and shares borders with other incredible safari destinations like Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique.

Arusha, Tanzania
Arusha, Tanzania

HOW DO I PLAN SAFARI TO TANZANIA?

This is one of the most frequented questions I get about Tanzania, well the majority of Tourist coming to the home of Africa’s highest mountain, Mt Kilimanjaro. Tanzania consistently competes with its powerhouse neighbours Kenya as one of Africa’s greatest safari destinations. An average of 90,000 people a month from across the world visit this diverse country every single month. That said, let us focus on the tips and insights that will help you make the most of your time and money.

BEST TIME TO GO

Getting your timing right depends, mostly on how much you are willing to spend. Some are held by their jobs and can only travel in a particular time of the year; others are willing to travel during low season which fits in well if you are on a tight budget.

Deciding when to visit Tanzania depends entirely on what it is that you want to experience.

Peak game viewing in Tanzania is in the dry winter season (about June to October). This is the ideal time to explore the Serengeti, Ngorogoro Crater and Lake Manyara because the game is concentrated around water sources. The Wildebeest Migration river crossings also take place between July and October. If you’d prefer to avoid high season crowds, I recommend combining Ruaha and Selous with a beach break on the coast or heading to Lake Victoria to combine chimp trekking in Mahale and Gombe with game viewing in the Katavi, advising Go to Africa.

WHY TRAVEL TO TANZANIA?

Tanzania is rich with various destinations and sightseeing. This is one country once you are in, you don’t want to leave. It will keep you glued to his subtle beauty. Let us delve in and look at what you will experience in Tanzania.

The wildlife

Lioness and cub, Tanzania
Lioness and cub, Tanzania

Tanzania offers incredible wildlife viewing. There are three different safari circuits, and each one of them alone would make Tanzania a great wildlife destination. The Big Five and most other sought-after safari animals are easily seen. The black rhino is very rare throughout, except for the Ngorongoro Crater.

The wildebeest migration is one of Africa’s greatest wildlife spectacles. At least two million ungulates – mainly wildebeest, but also zebra and gazelle – move around the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem. The wildebeest calving season is also a very special time to visit. The large concentrations of wildebeest and their calves attract many opportunistic predators, and this is a good time to see some action.

THE BEST BEACHES IN ZANZIBAR

Unguja, also known as Zanzibar Island, is the main island in the Tanzanian archipelago of Zanzibar. Stone Town, part of Zanzibar City, is an old trade centre, with mosques and winding lanes. The 1883 House of Wonders is a former sultan’s palace with a clock tower. The Old Fort now houses a cultural centre and a stone amphitheatre. Underground aqueducts fed hot water to the late-19th-century Hamamni Persian Baths.

The Beaches

Bwejuu Beach, Relaxation & Reef Safari

Sand Beach
Sand Beach

This is one of the best beaches in Zanzibar. This white sandy beach on the island’s southeast coast is lined with palm trees and only an hour and a half away from Stone Town.

It’s one of the quietest parts of Zanzibar and a popular choice for those seeking total relaxation, peace and privacy.

Michamvi Beach, a Remote Coral Lagoon

Michamvi is a peninsula on the central east coast of the island.

Although there are two large beach resorts in the area, Michamvi feels remote and has long stretches of empty beaches to explore.

The peninsula consists of two parts, Michamvi-Pingwe and Michamvi-Kae.

Nungwi Beach, for partygoers

nungwi beach zanzibar
Nungwi beach Zanzibar

Nungwi Beach on the northwest coast is one of the most beautiful and popular beaches in Zanzibar. Nungwi is one of the liveliest areas on the island and the numerous beach resorts, hotels, restaurants and bars offer a variety of night-time entertainment.

Kendwa Beach

Kendwa Beach for an incredible Sunsets and Swimming this is the place to be on such a moment. Kendwa is sometimes referred to as the “little sister” of Nungwi Beach, despite being quieter than Nungwi.

This is one of the few beaches on Zanzibar where the tide doesn’t really change, which means the clear waters are perfect for swimming, snorkelling and diving.

Kizimkazi Beach

Kizimkazi Beach is a small fishing village on the south coast of Zanzibar consists of two adjoining settlements: Kizimkazi Dimbani to the north and Kizimkazi Mkunguni to the south.

The coastline here is very different from the classic palm-backed lagoon of the east coast.

Here, a coral rag cliff elevates the waterfront above the ocean and the beaches take the form of small coves rather than broad expanses of sand.

For this reason, there are fewer accommodation options and the area has a distinct and authentic atmosphere.

The village of Kizimkazi is famous for its dolphin safaris. However, if you’re visiting Kizimkazi please be mindful about joining boat trips which offer the opportunity to swim with dolphins.

Matemwe Beach

Matemwe is a section of coastline on the northeast of Zanzibar.

The long, idyllic beach at Matemwe (the longest beach in Zanzibar) has some of the finest sand on the island and amongst the palm trees at the back of the beach, you’ll find traditional fishing villages, which offer a fascinating insight into the local culture.

Around two kilometres offshore, just beyond the main reef, is the world-famous island of Mnemba Atoll; a popular scuba diving spot surrounded by pristine and very accessible coral reefs.

The area around Matemwe Beach has the best diving and snorkelling on the island, plus some excellent kitesurfing and sailing.

Pongwe Beach

Pongwe Beach is arguably the best swimming beach in Zanzibar.

Pongwe’s quiet arc of the beach is dotted with palm trees and backed by dense vegetation; this is about as close to a quintessentially tropical paradise as you can get.

Pongwe Beach is lucky in the fact that the whole beach is protected by an offshore reef, which keeps the inner waters calm and safe for all to swim in. Snorkelling and boat trips can also be arranged to the reef.

Paje Beach

paje beach zanzibar
paje beach Zanzibar

Located on the southeast coast, Paje beach has all the makings of a perfect beach: long stretches of white sand, palm trees swaying in the breeze, turquoise waters and exquisite sunsets.

Bordered by a small village on one side, Paje is peaceful and quiet, making this beach a great alternative to the busier, more developed beaches in the north of Zanzibar.

Paje beach is known for its water sports and the excellent kitesurfing conditions draw amateur and professional kite surfers from all over the world to this specific area of the island.

REFERENCE: WAY FAIR TRAVEL

TANZANIA CULTURE

I am a Kenyan, and if you asked anyone in my country, they will tell you our neighbouring brothers and sisters are the politest people on Earth. However, do not take their kindness for weakness. I have outlined their known culture below, lets delve in full.

The Right Hand.

Tanzanians eat their food with the right hand, it is believed that the right hand is clean, when you are their visitor you should do the same.

Do Not Kiss in Public

According to Culture Trip, Tanzania, and its island of Zanzibar in particular, are popular with honeymooners looking for an idyllic and uninhibited break. While cuddles and kisses are perfectly acceptable in your hotel room, or perhaps around the pool at an island resort, doing this on public beaches and on sidewalks is deeply frowned upon. Much of the population of Tanzania is Muslim and believe that affection of any kind between a man and women is strictly left to the privacy of a bedroom.

Rite of passage

Most tribal law in Tanzania dictates that youths have to pass through various rites of passage before becoming adults. Boys who have not undergone circumcision are almost never considered to be men, while girls who have not passed through female rites of passage are often considered to be worth less than those who have, and are seldom chosen as wives.

CUISINE

Tanzania has tasty food, which you can never get enough of, once you visit Tanzania make sure to taste the following.

Mchicha

Mchicha is the most popular Tanzanian dish. This thick and creamy vegetarian meal is usually prepared with leafy vegetables such as amaranth or spinach with added grated coconut, coconut milk, peanut butter, tomatoes, and onions. It is recommended to serve mchicha with rice, ugali, or samp and beans on the side to make a satisfying main course.

Mshikaki

Mshikaki
Mshikaki

The name of this popular Tanzanian and Kenyan street food dish, mshikaki, refers to skewered pieces of marinated meat such as beef, goat, or mutton that is slowly cooked over hot coals. The meat is marinated in a combination of various herbs and spices that are popular along Africa’s eastern coast. The dish is most often enjoyed after dusk when the vendors start to sell mshikaki at their stalls, and it is said to taste even better when accompanied by sauces or dips on the side.

Chips Mayai

Chipsi mayai or chips and eggs is a staple of Tanzanian street food. French fries are combined with eggs to make a dish that is similar to an omelette with fries dispersed throughout it. Alternatively, the dish can be made with additional ingredients such as bell peppers or onions. It is typically served with kachumbari sauce on the side, consisting of tomatoes, chilli peppers, and onions. If you are ever in Tanzania and see a big black wok filled with bubbling yellow oil in front of a restaurant, it is a pretty sure sign that the restaurant serves chips mayai.

Zanzibar Pizza

Zanzibarian-Pizza
Zanzibarian-Pizza

Although it shares the name with the traditional Italian dish, this version from Zanzibar does not have much in common with Italian pizza. It is made unleavened dough that is stretched thin and filled with various ingredients. When filled, the sides are wrapped, and this pancake-like creation is then fried in ghee until it is golden and crispy.

The combination of ingredients in the filling may include anything from meat such as beef or chicken, seafood, various vegetables, cheese, mayonnaise, or eggs. Sweet versions often consist of different combinations of bananas, chocolate spread, mangoes, or peanut butter.

Although it is not known how and when it originated, this quick and filling snack has become a common sight in Zanzibar. It is mostly prepared and sold by street vendors.

Reference: Taste Atlas

What to pack for your Tanzania Safari?

What to Pack for Your Safari?

Packing for your first safari can be a bit daunting. What do you bring? What don’t you need? Below you’ll find our recommended list of things to bring along with you when you’re on safari.

A backpack

While there is plenty of room in safari vehicles for your larger suitcase, it’s always handy to have a more manageable bag that you can have with you in the vehicle. Sometimes during Safari, you may be compelled to carry some light items and that is where your backpack comes in handy as your suitcases will be left in your lodges during game drives.

A warm sweater or light fleece

Nights and mornings in Tanzania can be cold, so it’s always good to have something a little warmer to throw on until the sun warms the plains up. This comes in handy during those early morning game drives, it will be a bit chilly during the morning so your light fleece comes to your rescue.

Walking shoes or boots

Much of your safari takes place within your safari vehicle, but you’ll need a comfortable pair of shoes or hiking boots for walking to your lodges, snapping photos from the picnic spot, or if you’ve added any walking safaris to your itinerary. Even in the car, you’ll want a pair of comfortable shoes that cover your skin to prevent sunburn and insect bites.

A long sleeve dress shirt and trousers

Perfect for both sun protection and to ward off hungry mosquitoes, a long sleeve shirt and trousers are also a good option for a cold morning or evening. If you’re staying in nicer lodges, you’ll also want these handy for dinner and drinks at the end of a long day.

Sunglasses

Despite looking cool in those designer glasses. The sun in Tanzania can be quite something, so sunglasses are a good protective measure and have the benefit of reducing glare while you’re game-viewing.

Hat

Sun protection should be a priority while you’re on safari. While your vehicle provides shade, having the top up for game-viewing means you’ll be exposed to the elements. A good hat is a great way to avoid nasty burns or heatstroke. Most of the tour Company give out branded hats as an incentive, e.g. Incredible Kenya Adventures

Sunscreen and lip balm

Another valuable precaution against the often-harsh equatorial sun, sunscreen and lip balm will protect you where your clothes don’t.

Insect repellent

Mosquitoes and tsetse flies are both capable of carrying diseases and their bites can be quite irritating or painful. Tsetse flies can deliver a particularly nasty sting. A good insect repellent is a good way to ward off these blood-thirsty little guys.