Tanzania Travel Information

Photo Welcome to Tanzania. It is East Africa's largest country. The bulk of the country is a highland plateau, some of it semi-desert and the rest savannah and scattered bush. The wildlife is very diverse in Tanzania. Nowhere else on earth will you see wildebeest, gazelle, zebra and antelope in such enormous numbers. Tanzania offers some of the best wildlife spotting opportunities on the continent. Famous parks such as the Serengeti and Mt Kilimanjaro, or the wonderful crater of Ngorongoro are well worth the stopover. Although the weather in Tanzania is varied due to it's landscape one thing is for sure. If there's a time to avoid Tanzania, it's during the long rainy season from March to May when it rains almost every day. There's also a short rainy season from November to January.
Swahili and English are the official languages, with English the principal language of commerce. There are also many local African tongues, reflecting the tribal diversity of the country. Outside the cities and towns, far fewer local people speak English than in comparable areas in Kenya. It's said that the Swahili spoken on Zanzibar is of a much purer form than elsewhere, and quite a few travelers head for the island to learn it.
There's precious little difference between local food in Kenya and Tanzania - which is not great news for gourmets. As in Kenya, nyama choma (barbecued meat) has taken over in a big way, especially in restaurants with attached bars. But on the coast and in Zanzibar and Pemba islands, there's a decent range of traditional Swahili dishes based on seafood. The national brew is Safari Lager and the local liquor is a lethal white-rum-style concoction called konyagi.
Visiting Tanzania can be done on a budget and a good time can be had by all. Hotels range from fleapits and brothels to grandiose establishments. The choice is yours and there's usually plenty to choose from. On the rougher side, camping sites with facilities are scarce except in national parks. For a comfortable enough budget trip, you can get by on US$20 a day. Around US$100 a day is quite normal for a safari. With a little sniffing about, good value restaurants and hotels make it possible to really live it up for no more than US$30-35 a day.

Important: Travel to Tanzania may require a travel visa. Whether a visa is required for travel depends on citizenship and purpose of journey. Please be sure to review Travisa's Tanzania visa instructions for details. Visa instructions for other countries are available on our do I need a visa page.

Country Statistics

Full country name: United Republic of Tanzania
Capital city: Dar es Salaam
Area: 947,300 sq km
Population: 46,912,768
Ethnic groups: mainland - African 99%
Languages: Kiswahili or Swahili
Religions: mainland - Christian 30%, Muslim 35%, indigenous beliefs 35%
Government: republic
Chief of State: President Jakaya KIKWETE
Head of Government: President Jakaya KIKWETE
GDP: 67.9 billion
GDP per captia: 1,600
Annual growth rate: 6.4%
Inflation: 12.7%
Agriculture: coffee, sisal, tea, cotton, pyrethrum
Major industries: agricultural processing
Natural resources: hydropower, tin, phosphates, iron ore, coal, diamonds, gemstones, gold, natural gas, nickel
Location: Eastern Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean, between Kenya and Mozambique
Trade Partners - exports: China 14.3%, Japan 7.8%, India 7.8%, Germany 6.7%, UAE 4.5%
Trade Partners - imports: India 18.8%, China 17.4%, South Africa 6%, Kenya 5.9%, UAE 4.7%