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Tanzania Overview

Tanzania has been home, haven, and stopover to countless people of many different origins. Her historyhas been influenced by a procession of people from the original Bantu settlers from South and West Africa to the Arabs from Shiraz in Persia and the Oman, from the Portuguese to the Germans and the British.

Tanzania was still known as Tanganyika when she achieved her independence in 1961. When Zanzibarbecame independent in 1964, the two countries united as the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. In late 1964 they renamed their country the United Republic of Tanzania.

Tanzania offers some of the greatest wildlife viewing on earth amidst a dramatic setting of snowy peaks, volcanic craters and the Maasai steppe of endless plains. Unfenced and untamed, the animals roam free across the vast grasslands, and hordes of wildebeest and Zebra migrate annually followed by a host of predators. Few countries in the world can compare to Tanzania in natural beauty and cultural diversity. Tanzania offers an incredible array of wildlife and unique cultures in a spectacular setting.

The Northern safari circuit, which is the most popular area for first time visitors, includes: The snow capped Mt. Kilimanjaro – the highest mountain in Africa; Arusha National Park of Momella lakes, Ngurdoto crater and the Mount Meru; Tarangire National Parks famous for its dramatic baobab trees; Lake Manyara National Park with its tree climbing lions and flamingos and water birds at its lake shores; the incomparable Ngorongoro crater, a natural 20 km amphitheatre; and the mighty Serengeti, teeming with 3.5 million animals together with its dramatic annual migration of wildebeest.

All of the National Parks and Reserves abound with plains animals, bird life, and local tribal history. Here you find elephants, rhinos, lions, leopards, buffalo, elands, orix, impalas, hyenas, jackals, foxes, crocodiles, kudus, waterbucks, bushbucks, dik dik, klipspringer, Grant & Thomson gazelle, topis, hartebeest, cheetahs, serval cats, spring hare and many other species. As for birdlife, Tanzania is a jewel for the ornithologist. Professionals and amateurs will find water birds, bird’s of prey, forest species, and plains species. Over 1040 species of birds have been sighted in Tanzania.

The Tanzanian climate is tropical. The central plateau is dry and arid with hot days and cool nights, while the north-west highlands are cool and temperate. June to September is the cooler season. The long rains are from March to May and the short rains are between October and December. The hottest months are between October and February. On the coast it rains in November and December and from March to May. Coastal areas are hot throughout the year.