Tanzania is an East African country known for its vast wilderness areas. They include the plains of Serengeti National Park, a safari mecca populated by the “big five” game (elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino), and Kilimanjaro National Park, home to Africa’s highest mountain. Offshore lie the tropical islands of Zanzibar and Mafia Marine Park, where whale sharks swim through reefs.
Weather and Climate in Tanzania
The climate of East Africa is typically equatorial with high temperatures year round and little seasonal variation, especially closer to the equator. Large variations in temperature are caused by altitude; it is cooler the higher you get. In Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, daily highs average 25°C annually and lows 13°C. This is mild for an interior region and is due to Nairobi’s elevation. In Mombasa, on the coast and so around sea level, average annual temperatures are 30°C maximum and 22°C minimum.
There are two short rainy seasons in East Africa; one around April time, and the other in October and November. Rainfall is strongly influenced by the Inter-tropical Convergence Zone that streams low pressure around the equator.
DAR ES SALAAM
Dar es Salaam ("The harbor of peace"), formerly Mzizima, is Tanzania's largest and richest city, the largest city in eastern Africa by population, and a regionally important economic Centre. It is the capital of the Dar es Salaam Region administrative province and consists of three local government areas or administrative districts: northern Kinondoni, central Ilala, and southern Temeke. The region had a population of 4,364,541 as of the official 2012 census. Although Dar es Salaam lost its status as the nation's capital to Dodoma in 1974 (not completed until 1996), it remains the locus of the permanent central government bureaucracy.
SIGHTSEEING / THINGS TO DO IN DAR ES SALAAM
Mwenge village: Mwenge Village is the site of a score or more stalls selling carvings, jewelry, exotic cloth and trinkets of all kinds at bargain prices.
Mnazi Moja Park: On one side is seen the Uhuru Torch Monument erected to symbolize the Freedom Torch placed at the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro upon Tanzania's attainment of independence. On the other side of the park is the Republic Fountain which commemorated
Village museum: The Village Museum is 12 km north of the Centre of Dar es Salaam. It is an open-air site which has a collection of authentically constructed traditional houses of various Tanzanian tribes. It displays several distinct architectural styles with building materials.
Kariakoo market: This beautiful main market has an interesting local color and a diversity of peoples as well as exotic fruits, fresh fish, food products, handicrafts, local textile material and many other locally made products.
TANZANITE EXECUTIVE SUITE (3*)
Located in the business hub of the city 15 minutes away from the Airport, 3 minutes away from the ferry to Zanzibar, 5 minutes away from several major banks and restaurants. The hotel has 65 Rooms of 4 different types (Studio Room, Executive Room, Deluxe Suite and Family Suite) all designed specifically to accommodate business travelers, backpackers and families traveling together. Recommended for families and couples.
AMANI BEACH HOTEL (4*)
Located just 33 km South from the bustling city of Dar es Salaam and set among 80 acres of beautiful tropical gardens, Protea Hotel Amani Beach has ten luxury beach bungalows that overlook the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. Recommended for families and couples.
SEA CLIFF HOTEL (5*)
Located in Msasani Peninsula, this beachfront hotel is in the city center, 1.4 mi (2.3 km) from The Slipway, and within 6 mi (10 km) of Little Theatre and Nyumba ya Sanaa. Makumbusho Village and Dar es Salaam International Conference Centre are also within 6 mi (10 km). Recommended for families, couples and business travels.
Bagamoyo lies 75kms north of Dar es Salaam and was the starting point of the slave caravan routes and also the terminus of the white missionaries.
SIGHTSEEINGS / THINGS TO DO IN BAGAMOYO
Bagamoyo Town: With its cobwebbed portals, crumbling German-era colonial buildings and alleyways where the sounds of children playing echo together with the footsteps of history, central Bagamoyo , or Mji Mkongwe (Stone Town) as it’s known locally, is well worth exploration.
Kaole Ruins: Just south of Bagamoyo are these atmospheric ruins. At their Centre are the remains of a 13th-century mosque, which is one of the oldest in mainland Tanzania and also one of the oldest in East Africa.
Catholic Museum: About 2km north of town and reached via a long, mango-shaded avenue is this mission, with the excellent Catholic Museum – one of Bagamoyo’s highlights and an essential stop.
College of Arts: Located about 500m south of Bagamoyo along the road to Dar es Salaam is this renowned theatre and arts college, home of the national dance company. When school is in session there are occasional performances, and it’s possible to arrange drumming or dancing lessons.
New Top Life Inn: New Top Life is about 50m back from Kizota Guest House towards the main junction, which serves delicious local meals
NEW BAGAMOYO BEACH RESORT (4*)
If a relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life is what you seek, then look no further; located 75km north of the city of Dar-es-salaam. The New Bagamoyo Beach Resort is your get away. Recommended for families and couples.
At 54.600 Km the Selous is the largest game reserve in Africa. To put it in perspective, the Selous is larger than Switzerland and half the size of the U.S. state of Ohio.Vast, pristine and largely undiscovered, the spectacular Selous Game Reserve is a World Heritage Site and the largest expanse of game reserve in Africa. Covering 54,600 square kilometers of rolling savannah, lakes, rivers and deltas, it is four times the size of the Serengeti and larger than the entire nation of Switzerland. Home to the largest concentrations of elephants in the world, this unique wildlife arena also boasts some of the most exclusive and pioneering boating safaris that Africa has to offer.
MIVUNO LODGE (5*)
Standing high on the banks of the slow, brown Rufiji River, with glorious views down to the plunging torrents of Stiegler's Gorge, the Serena Mivumo River Lodge offers just twelve timbered chalets each with a private viewing deck and plunge pool. Recommended for families and couples.
RUAHA NATIONAL PARK
Ruaha National Park is the largest national park in Tanzania. The addition of the Usangu Game Reserve and other important wetlands to the park in 2008 increased its size to about 20,226 square kilometers (7,809 sq. mi), making it a candidate for one of the largest national parks in Africa.
The park is situated in central Tanzania between Latitudes 7° and 8° S and Longitudes 34° and 35° E about 130 kilometers (81 mi) west of Iringa. The park is a part of the 45,000 square kilometers (17,000 sq. mi) Rungwa-Kizigo-Muhesi ecosystem, which includes Rungwa Game Reserve, Kizigo and Muhesi Game Reserves, the Mbomipa Wildlife Management Area, and several other protected areas.
There are upwards of 560 species of birds; half of all Tanzania’s birds may be glimpsed in this park making it one of the continents premier birding destinations.
Ruaha also holds one of the greatest populations of elephant in any African park, buffalo gather in large herds as well as giraffe, zebra, impala, eland, hippo, crocodile, lion and leopard. The rarer, less-seen creatures can also be found including sable and roan antelope, dikdik, greater and lesser kudus, Grants gazelle, honey badgers and is second to only Selous Game Reserve for the largest population of wild dog.
RUAHA RIVER LODGE
Set on one of the most stunning stretches of the Great Ruaha River, you can see game throughout the day from the comfort of your veranda; there can surely be few other camps as perfectly situated. Recommended for families and couples.
JONGOMERO CAMP (5*)
Under the magnificent shade trees, on the banks of a seasonal river in the remote southern sector of the Ruaha National Park, Jongomero is gloriously isolated.Far from the madding crowds, this secluded idyll offers a chance to discover true unadulterated wilderness. Recommended for families and couples.
283 km (175 miles) west of Dar es Salaam, north of Selous, and en route to Ruaha, Udzungwa and (for the intrepid) Katavi.
Size: 3,230 sq. km (1,250 sq. miles), the fourth-largest park in Tanzania, and part of a much larger ecosystem centered on the uniquely vast Selous Game Reserve
SIGHTSEEING / THINGS TO DO IN MIKUMI
Mwana mbogo Dam: The Mwana mbogo Dam is the larges lake in Mikumi National Park
Birds: Mikumi National Park is full of birds, ranging in size from very small to pretty large
Hippopotamuses: There are a few man-made pools in Mikumi National Park. The only good place to spot hippopotamuses (and crocodiles) is around these pools.
KIKOBOGA LODGE (4*)
Located just inside the entrance to Mikumi National Park. It has a pool and 12 simple, clean cottages made of stone and thatch. Each chalet has a spacious bedroom, and a bathroom with a hot-and-cold shower. On the large veranda you have fantastic views of the vast plains and nearby waterholes. There are two waterholes right in front of camp, which are often busy with wildlife. Kikoboga’s close proximity to the road is convenient, but it does mean that you can often hear the hum of vehicles. Recommended for families and couples.
Udzungwa is the largest and most bio diverse of a chain of a dozen large forest-swathed mountains that rise majestically from the flat coastal scrub of eastern Tanzania. Known collectively as the Eastern Arc Mountains, this archipelago of isolated massifs has also been dubbed the African Galapagos for its treasure-trove of endemic plants and animals, most familiarly the delicate African violet. Udzungwa alone among the ancient ranges of the Eastern Arc has been accorded national park status. It is also unique within Tanzania in that its closed-canopy forest spans altitudes of 250 meters (820 feet) to above 2,000 meters (6,560 ft.) without interruption. Size: 1,990 sq. km (770 sq. miles).Location: Five hours (350 km/215 miles) from Dar es Salaam; 65 kms (40 miles) southwest of Mikumi.
UDZUNGWA LODGE (4*)
Graciously located on the slopes of Udzungwa Mountains National park is our Beautiful lodge. All our guests have been consistent in praise for our hospitality, warm service and delicious foods. The Udzungwa hikes, water falls, flora & fauna coupled with wild game make this place a must visit.Recommended for families and couples.