Things to know about Tanzania


Country, culture and climate


The United Republic of Tanzania lies on the east coast of Africa and is bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north; by Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west; by the Indian Ocean to the east; and by Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to the south.

Savannah and bush cover over half the country, and semi-desert accounts for the remaining land area, with the exception of the coastal plains.

Kilimanjaro, 5,895m (19,341ft) above sea level, Africa's highest peak and the highest free-standing mountain in the world is situated in Tanzania.

Wildlife resources of Tanzania are described as "without parallel in Africa”. It contains some 20% of the species of Africa’s large mammal population, found across its 14 national parks, reserves, conservation areas and marine parks, spread over an area of more than 42,000 sq km and forming more than one-third of the country's territory.



Tanzania is home to over 120 different ethnic groups. The tall, red-robed Masai are the best known of Tanzania's people.

About 40-45% of Tanzania’s population is Christian and about 35-40% are Muslims. A small number follow traditional religions and there are some Asian communities including Sikhs and Hindus.

Kiswahili and English are the official languages. The term Swahili refers to the people while Kiswahili refers to the language. Originating along the coast, Kiswahili is a Bantu language with many words derived from Arabic.

The standard greeting of 'hello' is jambo. People are delighted if visitors can greet them in Kiswahili.



The climate is tropical and the northwestern highlands are cool and temperate. There are two rainy seasons; the short rains are generally from October to December, while the long rains last from February to April.

In the cooler season, from June to September, jackets and sweaters may be needed, especially in the evenings. It can get very cold at night on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater and early morning game drives may be chilly before the sun comes up.


Temperature Forecast (Celsius)









































Brief description of national parks we shall visit

Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA)

• The area is part of the Serengeti ecosystem and to the north-west it adjoins the Serengeti National Park and is contiguous with the southern Serengeti plains.

• The south and west of the area are volcanic highlands, including the famous Ngorongoro Crater and the lesser known Empakai. The southern and eastern boundaries are approximately defined by the rim of the Great Rift Valley wall.

• A population of approximately 25,000 large animals, largely ungulates along with reputedly the highest density of mammalian predators in Africa, lives in the crater: in particular, the Ndutu Lake area to the west has strong cheetah and lion populations.

Serengeti National Park

• Serengeti National Park is widely regarded as the best wildlife reserve in Africa due to its density of predators and prey. It is most famous for its annual migration of over one and a half million wildebeest and 250,000 zebras. .

• The park is usually described as divided in three regions; Serengeti plains : the endless, almost treeless grassland of the south is the most emblematic scenery of the park, the Western corridor; black clay soil covers the swampy savannah of this region and Northern Serengeti; the landscape is dominated by open woodlands (predominantly Commiphora) and hills, ranging from Seronera in the South, to the Mara river in the limit with Kenya.

• The name Serengeti is an approximation of the word used by the Maasai to describe the area.

Lake Manyara

• Lake Manyara is a shallow lake in the Natron-Manyara-Balangida branch of the East African Rift in Tanzania.

• The name Manyara comes from the Maasai word emanyara, which is a euphorbia species of plant that is grown into a hedge around a family homestead. The name is a Masai description not for the lake, but in general for a lake shore region.

• Lake Manyara provides opportunities for viewing and observing over 300 migratory birds, including flamingo, Long-crested Eagle and Grey-headed Kingfisher.


Dos and Don’ts for the tour


* Consult your family physician before leaving India to make sure you are carrying medicines that may be required

* Carry bags that are light weight and have wheels as we will be traveling a lot. A small day pack to bring with you on safari drives to hold your snacks, etc.

* Insure your baggage

* Carry 2 sets of photo-copies of all important documents and store them separately

* Carry neutral colored, lightweight clothes that dry quickly. Clothing in earthy tones does not attract insects and blends in with nature. Bring a jacket, light woolens for early morning drives and chilly nights.

* Stay hydrated when traveling.

* Carry camera and binoculars (optional). Also carry universal adaptor with flat pins.


* Click pictures of people without asking their permission

* Display expensive items openly

* Hold expensive items near/outside vehicle windows when traveling

* Venture out alone in a public place

* Leave baggage unnoticed/unlocked

* Eat/drink street side food/water


Permitted Baggage on airlines

Check-in bag: maximum 20 kilos per person

Cabin baggage: maximum 6 kilos per person