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Tanzania

Tanzania is blessed with some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the world. It is beautiful because of the light, colors and life in almost every scene. Tanzania is the land of safaris. Wildebeest stampede across the plains. Hippos jostle for space in muddy waterways. Elephants wander along seasonal migration routes and chimpanzees swing through the treetops. It is mountainous and densely forested in the northeast. Three of Africa's Great Lakes are partly within Tanzania: Lake Victoria, Africa's largest lake, Lake Tanganyika, the continent's deepest lake, and to the southwest lies Lake Nyasa. To the east Tanzania is humid and tropical and blessed with some of the most beautiful islands.

Highlights

Below our picks of the best places to visit in Tanzania.

  1. Take the train - did you know that you could actually reach several of Tanzania’s national parks by railway? Like the Selous Game Reserve. The train cuts through the Selous Game Reserve. This train runs not all the time, normally only during Christmas, Easter, New-Year and other public holidays. You can ride the train from Dar Es Salaam. One line goes right through the remote and brilliant high rain forest of Udzungwa National Park and a cheap and special way to see the country. For more information, check out TAZARA..
  2. Mount Kilimanjaro - Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain on the African continent and the tallest freestanding mountain in the world. The peak is 5,895 m above sea level. Most itineraries vary from 5 – 8 days. There are seven established routes to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. The climb is very challenging due to the high altitude. The longer you take to climb it the less chance getting altitude sickness and the higher the chance you reach the top.
  3. Ngorongoro crater - tthe Ngorongoro crater is the largest un flooded and unbroken caldera in the world. It is 20 km wide, 600 meters deep and a total area of 300 sq km. It is said that it has one of the highest density of wildlife in the world. If you can afford the $100+ a night to stay at the luxury camps then indulge yourself because this place is something else.
  4. Selous National Park -This is Africa’s largest reserve and it is home to the Cheetahs, Lion, and Hyenas. It is located in the South of Tanzania. Selous is untouched African wilderness and yet still easily accessible from Dar Es Salaam and Zanzibar. July to October is the best time of year to spot animals, but in general it is very good in various areas throughout the year.
  5. Pembe Island - Pembe is a lush, green island that is still quite unexplored. It is really nice for diving. We never saw another dive boat on any of our dives. The diving off the coast of Pemba was by far the most beautiful diving.

What to eat

Tanzania is regularly identified as the African country that most values its native food. For that reason, it is a great place to sample some authentic East African delicacies.

  1. Chipsi Mayai - Chipsi mayai is Swahili for “chips and eggs”. To simply say it: fresh, handcut fried potatoes and omelet. Although it is simple that’s also its strength. Perfect comfort food. You’ll find chipsi mayai sold at most eateries and outdoor food stalls.
  2. Zanzibar pizza– a sheet of dough filled with onions, peppers, meat, a raw egg and maybe a slice of cheese, all wrapped up into a pocket and then fried. A delicious treat!
  3. Coconut Bean Soup- this sweet and spicy soup is made of coconut milk (off course), red beans, onions, spices and shredded coconut. It is a very popular food all over Tanzania, and served as a main course.
  4. Pilau - as well as in Kenya, also Tanzania knows this famous dish. It consists of rice flavored with cardamom, cloves, cumin and cinnamon. It originates from India.
  5. Date Nut Bread - the date nut bread will make your day! It is made of coarsely pitted dates, and walnuts, which is both nutritious and delicious. It is a recipe that reflects the huge cultural diversity found in Zanzibar’s cuisine. It is often eaten at the end of Ramadan.
  6. Sweet Potato Pudding - if you like pudding then you have to try this one. It contains of sweet potato, cardamom and saffron.
  7. Makubi - ia delicious mix of wild spinach, sweet potato leaves, tomatoes and onions cooked in a creamy, peanut butter sauce. It says it also has medical benefits.

When to go

Climate varies greatly within Tanzania. In the highlands, temperatures range between 10 and 20 °C. The rest of the country has temperatures rarely falling below 20 °C. The hottest period is from November to February and the coldest occurs between May and August. Tanzania has two major rainfall periods: short rains from October to December and longer rains from March until May. These rains aren’t as regular or as intense as they once were. It is best to avoid the two rainy seasons because many roads become inaccessible. The high season is from January until the end of September.

What to know

Most visitors to Tanzania must have visas. You can download a Tanzania visa application form here. Tourist visas are issued for a period of 90 days and at present cost in the region of $50. You can either buy your visa on arrival in Tanzania or at the embassy at home.



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