Tanzania, situated in the Southern Hemisphere of eastern Africa, is a quintessential representation of the region, adorned with abundant natural attractions, historical monuments, and vibrant cultural traditions. Boasting some of the finest beaches and hosting Africa’s highest peak, Tanzania stands as a unique destination. The people of Tanzania, known for their distinctiveness, are characterized by openness, friendliness, and independence. Your adventure awaits in Tanzania – a country eagerly anticipating your arrival!

Tanzania on the Map

Tanzania on the map

Geographical Location

The Republic of Tanzania lies just south of the equator on the east coast of Africa, its shores embraced by the Indian Ocean, showcasing a coastline extending 1400 kilometers. Along this coastal stretch, numerous picturesque islands, including Zanzibar and Pemba, are nestled, often surrounded by vibrant coral reefs.

To the west, the East African rift traverses the country, marked by depressions and hosting narrow, deep lakes such as Nyasa and Tanganyika. In the northwest, Tanzania shares a border with Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake, with Ukerewe as its largest island. The country shares land borders with Kenya, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Uganda, Burundi, and Rwanda.

The central and northeastern regions of Tanzania are mountainous, featuring the continent’s highest peak, Kilimanjaro—an extinct volcano standing at 5895 meters, crowned with eternal snows.

Numerous rivers crisscross the country, either flowing into the Indian Ocean or contributing to the Congo. The Ruvuma and Rufiji are among the longest rivers.

Tanzania’s wildlife is teeming with diversity, encompassing all the iconic animals of the African continent. Majestic herds of antelopes and zebras traverse the savannah, giraffes and elephants roam freely, while lions and leopards lurk in the shadows. The rivers host hippos feeding, and crocodiles patiently watch for prey.

To safeguard this unique ecosystem, Tanzania has established 17 large national parks, underscoring its commitment to preserving its unparalleled natural heritage.

Safety for Tourists

Global Peace Index: Tanzania is ranked 51st in the global Peace Index, alongside Panama and South Korea. This ranking considers factors such as the overall calmness of the situation and the attitude toward tourists.

General Safety: Vacationing in Tanzania is generally considered safe. Kidnappings and lethal incidents targeting tourists are rare, and the terrorist threat is minimal. The primary criminal risks in the country are pickpocketing and scams, mainly prevalent in urban areas, where crowds offer cover for these activities. While local cities may lack major tourist attractions, exercising caution in crowded places can mitigate risks.

Common Scams: A prevalent scam involves a local resident following tourists, offering guidance and information, only to demand money for an unsolicited tour at the end. Staying vigilant and cautious can help avoid falling victim to such schemes.

Sanitary and Hygienic Conditions: Sanitary conditions in Tanzania can be challenging. It is advised not to drink tap water, and purchased fruits should be thoroughly washed. Eating at reputable establishments is recommended, as street food may be prepared in unknown conditions and exposed to the sun.

Health Concerns: The sun in Tanzania is intense, posing a risk of sunburns and heat strokes. The sea remains warm throughout the year, but sea urchins are common on the ocean floor. While sharks typically stay away from the shore due to shallow waters, there are land-based predators and snakes, including poisonous varieties like the black and green mamba.

Epidemiological Risks: Tanzania faces complex epidemiological challenges, making it susceptible to diseases like malaria, yellow fever, and sleeping sickness. Travelers are advised to take necessary health precautions.

Overall Assessment: In comparison to popular resorts in Egypt or Thailand, vacationing in Tanzania is considered slightly more challenging due to health risks and certain safety concerns. However, exercising common-sense precautions and staying informed can contribute significantly to a safe and enjoyable experience in this diverse African destination.


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Despite economic challenges, the people of Tanzania are known for their vibrant and joyful spirit, cherishing celebrations as an integral part of life. The country observes 11 public holidays, a mix of secular and religious occasions, reflecting a deep respect for its history and diverse cultural fabric.

Secular Holidays: Secular celebrations encompass significant historical milestones in Tanzania. Unification Day holds a special place, commemorating the union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar into a single state. This event is marked with great reverence and widespread celebrations.

The arrival of the New Year is marked with colorful festivities, particularly in tourist regions like Zanzibar, where mass celebrations captivate locals and visitors alike.

Religious Holidays: Muslim holidays, such as Uraza Bayram and Mawlid, hold prominence in Tanzania’s celebrations, reflecting the significant Muslim population. Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter are also widely observed, bringing communities together in joyous festivities.

Exotic Tribal Holidays: The rich tapestry of Tanzania’s cultural landscape is adorned with unique holidays celebrated by various African tribes. These exotic celebrations pique the interest of tourists, offering a glimpse into the diverse traditions that flourish in the country.

Fun and Adventure in Tanzania

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In recent years, Tanzania has witnessed a remarkable boom in its tourism industry, attracting over 1.5 million visitors annually. While the country may lack significant historical monuments, its breathtaking natural landscapes, including beaches, coral reefs, national parks, lakes, and mountains, compensate for it.

Here are the top 10 attractions that make Tanzania a must-visit destination

1. Beach Vacation: The Zanzibar archipelago boasts the country’s best beaches. From lively shores with numerous vacationers to tranquil ones offering solitude and a connection with nature, there’s a beach for every preference.

2. Diving and Snorkeling: Tanzania’s waters are a paradise for diving enthusiasts. Colorful tropical inhabitants and vibrant coral reefs make Zanzibar and Mafia Island popular destinations. Divers can even experience the thrill of swimming with whale sharks.

3. Kitesurfing: While traditional surfing might not be prevalent due to the absence of strong waves, kitesurfing has gained popularity. Paje Beach in Zanzibar is considered the capital of kitesurfing, attracting hundreds of enthusiasts.

4. Yachting: The Tanzanian islands are ideal for yachting, offering calm and crystal-clear seas. Yachters can enjoy stunning views and even witness the underwater world from the deck.

5. Fishing: Zanzibar is a hotspot for fishing lovers. Whether fishing from a yacht or joining local fishermen on their boats, the catch in these waters often exceeds expectations.

6. Safari: Tanzania’s safari experience reaches new heights with several national parks, where off-road vehicle tours allow encounters with diverse local fauna. Serengeti Park, in particular, is renowned for the grand spectacle of the great migration.

7. Trekking and Hiking: With popular trekking routes, including challenging climbs up mountains and volcanoes, Kilimanjaro stands out. Trekking enthusiasts are drawn to the stunningly interesting landscapes.

8. Lake Natron: A visit to Lake Natron offers a unique excursion. This salt lake near the Ngorongoro volcano periodically turns red or pink and serves as a feeding ground for thousands of flamingos.

9. Serengeti Park: Among Tanzania’s most popular national parks, Serengeti is famed for the incredible spectacle of the great migration. Every November, massive herds of antelope, zebra, giraffe, and buffalo migrate from Kenya to Tanzania.

10. Ethnotourism: Tanzania is home to various African tribes, including the Maasai, Datoga, and Hadza. Special tours allow visitors to immerse themselves in the customs and traditions of these tribes, contributing to a rich ethnotourism experience.

Whether it’s the thrill of adventure, the serenity of beaches, or the cultural richness of tribal traditions, Tanzania offers a diverse range of experiences for every type of traveler.

Important Information about Tanzania for Visitors


The official languages of Tanzania are English and Swahili. English, a legacy of the country’s colonial history under British rule, coexists with Swahili, the indigenous language of Tanzania. Many African tribes also speak their own dialects, and Arabic is widely spoken in certain coastal areas.


Tanzania is home to just over 60 million people, with approximately 23% residing in urban areas. The country is characterized by a rich tapestry of ethnic diversity, boasting over 100 national groups, primarily belonging to the Bantu peoples.

  • More interesting facts about Tanzanians, their character and local color can be found in this article.


The national currency is the Tanzanian shilling, which is subdivided into 100 pence. In circulation are banknotes of 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, and 10,000 shillings, along with coins in denominations of 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents, as well as 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 shillings.

For tourists, it’s advisable to have cash in dollars, as they are widely accepted and easily exchangeable throughout the country. While dollars circulate alongside shillings, card payments are not as widely accepted, with limited locations having cashless terminals.

Currency exchange can be done in exchange offices, hotels, or stores. It’s worth noting that the most favorable exchange rates are for newer-issue dollars, and those issued before 2006 are not accepted in Tanzania. The approximate exchange rate is 1 dollar to 2500 shillings.


Approximately 58% of the Tanzanian population identifies with Christianity, with the majority being Catholics followed by Lutherans. Around 30% of the population adheres to Islam, and about 12% continue to practice local pagan religions.

Tanzania’s geographical location places it in the subequatorial climatic belt, characterized by minimal fluctuations in the average annual temperature, ranging between +25 and +28 degrees Celsius throughout the year. In the mountains, temperatures can drop to +10 degrees.

The country experiences two seasons, with most of the time being dry and hot. In the north, there are two rainy seasons: March-May and September-October, corresponding to European spring and autumn. In the south, there is a single rainy season from November to April, covering the local summer.

The optimal time to visit Tanzania is considered to be the local winter period, from June to September, when the weather is dry and relatively cooler.

Sea Water Temperature

The sea water temperature off the coast of Tanzania remains consistently suitable for swimming throughout the year.

  • Winter (December-January): +28 to +29 degrees Celsius.
  • Spring (March-May): +27 to +29 degrees Celsius.
  • Summer (June-July): +25 to +27 degrees Celsius.
  • Autumn (September-November): +25 in early fall to +28 degrees Celsius in autumn.

Natural Disasters

Floods: Tanzania is generally considered a safe country regarding the risk of natural disasters. The primary concern is floods, which are common during the rainy season. Destructive floods typically occur in March-April, with occasional instances in autumn and even December.

Seismic Activity: Despite being in a rift zone, Tanzania has a low seismic hazard. Since the beginning of the century, only seven earthquakes with a magnitude exceeding 4.8 have been recorded, causing minimal damage. The most significant was in September 2016, resulting in 23 fatalities.

Volcanoes: While Tanzania has several volcanoes, most are considered extinct. The Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano, the most active, last erupted in 2013. Historical records lack evidence of catastrophic eruptions in the region.

Tropical Cyclones: Geographically north of the usual path of tropical cyclones, Tanzania’s coastline is well-protected by reefs and islands. Cyclone Kenneth in April 2019 skirted Tanzania without causing significant damage.

Other Disasters: Droughts more frequently affect the northern regions, and forest fires are known to occur on Kilimanjaro.

  • For a deeper historical perspective on disasters in Tanzania, you can refer to this article.

Political Structure

Tanzania operates as a presidential republic, with the president serving as both the head of the country and the head of the government. Legislative power is vested in the unicameral parliament, known as Bunge.

Administratively, the country is divided into 31 regions, with Dodoma serving as the capital.

Largest Cities and Resorts

Dar es Salaam: The most populous city in Tanzania, with over 4.3 million residents, Dar es Salaam serves as the financial and cultural hub of the country. Notable for its colonial architecture, vibrant nightlife, and beautiful beaches.

Dodoma: Since 1996, Dodoma has been the capital of Tanzania. A relatively small city in the central part of the country, with a population just over 400 thousand. While lacking in architectural landmarks, Dodoma may not be a prominent tourist destination.

Zanzibar: Zanzibar City, located on the eponymous island, is the former capital of the sultanate. Renowned for Stone Town, which houses numerous historical monuments. While culturally significant, it is not as popular as a beach vacation destination.

Nungwi: Situated on the northern tip of Zanzibar, Nungwi is one of the country’s most popular resorts. Functioning more as a large village with a population of 30 thousand, it offers a plethora of hotels and stunning beaches.

Symbols of Tanzania

Uhuru Torch: A kerosene burner first lit on the summit of Kilimanjaro, symbolizing freedom and light.

Masai Giraffe: A unique species of giraffe found in northern Tanzania, serving as the animal symbol of the country.

Kilimanjaro: The highest mountain in Africa, Kilimanjaro stands as an iconic symbol of Tanzania.

Akuna Matata: This phrase encapsulates the Tanzanian worldview, translating to «no problemЕ and reflecting a laid-back and positive attitude.

Getting to Tanzania

For tourists from Europe, Asia, America, or Australia, the primary mode of transportation to Tanzania is by air. The country has five international airports, facilitating convenient access for visitors.

  1. Julius Nyerere International Airport (Dar es Salaam):
    • Named after Julius Nyerere, this airport in Dar es Salaam accommodates over 2.5 million passengers annually. It is a major hub for international flights, connecting with cities like Paris, Dubai, Amsterdam, Doha, and others.
  2. Kilimanjaro Airport (Near Arusha):
    • Located near the town of Arusha, Kilimanjaro Airport is popular among tourists. Regular flights from Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Zurich, and Istanbul make it accessible. Approximately 800 thousand passengers pass through this airport annually.
  3. Zanzibar Airport:
    • Situated on the island of Unguja, Zanzibar Airport serves up to 1 million passengers annually. It is easily accessible with regular flights from cities like Paris, Tel Aviv, Frankfurt, Poznan, Dubai, Johannesburg, Istanbul. During the season, the main charter flights are directed to this airport.

Air travel remains the most common and practical means for international tourists to reach Tanzania, given the well-connected airports and the country’s geographic location.

Cost of Vacation in Tanzania

The cost of a vacation in Tanzania can vary significantly based on factors such as travel style, use of travel services, and chosen accommodations. Here’s an overview of potential expenses:

  • Flight: A round-trip ticket from Europe, for example, from Paris to Zanzibar, can cost around 500 euros.
  • Tours: Budget tours can start from 1000 to 2000 dollars for a 7-day package, excluding the flight.

In-Country Expenses (Zanzibar Resorts, Prices 2-3 Times Higher on Mainland):

  • Food: Dining at a beach restaurant may cost 20-35 dollars for two people without alcohol. Seafood like lobster could incur an additional cost of 15-20 dollars. A cup of cappuccino is around 1 dollar. Local snack bars offer lunch for 3-4 dollars.
  • Accommodation: Double room prices in a three-star hotel average around $50, while hostels can go as low as $20. More luxurious hotels may offer rooms starting from $300.
  • Attractions: Some attractions are free, but entrance fees apply to museums and zoos. Additional beach services like kiting ( $70 per day), diving ($50), and popular tours such as Blue Safari ($100 per person) come with additional costs. Themed tours, like safaris or Kilimanjaro climbs, may range from $1,000 to $3,000.
  • Souvenirs: Costs for souvenirs are variable. Tanzanite products can go up to $100, stone products may range from $2 to $10, and local coffee can cost about $10 per kilogram.
  • Transportation: Public transport (buses and shuttle buses) costs about 80 cents to $1.4 for a ticket. Taxi fares start at $1.5 with an average of $1.2 per kilometer.
    Considering unforeseen expenses, a 7-day vacation for two people in Tanzania, including the flight, may cost between $1,500 and $3,000. It’s essential to note that the maximum vacation expenditure can be higher based on personal preferences and choices.


If you have had the opportunity to explore Tanzania, we’d love to hear about your experiences! Please take a moment to share your impressions and insights in the comments. Your insights can be invaluable for those planning to visit Tanzania. Thank you for contributing your experiences!

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