When traveling to another country, it’s helpful as well as common courtesy to know a bit about it before you arrive. If you ever find yourself buying a ticket to Tanzania, this breakdown should help you out with basic facts and information.
Happy traveling to Tanzania:
Location: East Africa, bordering Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, and the Indian Ocean
Capital: Dodoma, though Dar es Salaam is the largest city and most well known
Government: Unitary presidential constitutional republic
President: Jakaya Kikwete (2005-present)
Prime Minister: Mizengo Pinda
Official Languages: Kiswahili and English
Population: 45 million
Currency: Tanzanian shilling (TSH) TSH 1,600=$1
History: The region was an English colony under the name Tanganyika until 1961. Then in 1964 it combined with Zanzibar to become the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. Later that same year it changed it’s name to the United Republic of Tanzania. Before colonization, it was made up of several nomadic tribes, the earliest of which can be dated to about 4,000 years ago.
Government: Presidents and vice presidents are elected together for a five year term, meaning elections are due in 2015. The president then appoints a prime minister and cabinet members. Though Tanzania is a relatively safe and stable country, the government is widely corrupt, and many feel that it’s best interests are sacrificed to ensure the wealth of the president.
Climate: Tanzania is located just south of the equator, which means it’s a tropical climate and hot all year round. “Winter,” meaning slightly cooler temperatures, occurs in June-August. There are two distinct rainy seasons, one is October-December and the other is March-May. However, temperature and rainfall can vary slightly, depending on where you are – the northern highlands are much cooler, and coastal places are sweltering – 90 F in the summer time.
Geographical Attractions: Mount Kilimanjaro in the north is Tanzania’s most famous asset. Hikers can climb to the top, or people can gaze at it from a distance. Next is the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater where most people come for safari and wildlife viewing. Other parks include Arusha, Tarangire, and Ruaha, all of which can be visited. Off the coast of Tanzania is the island paradise – Zanzibar. Covered in white sand beaches and surrounded by clear blue water, tons of tourists find their way here every year.
What are other basic facts that you can share with us on Tanzania?