Tanzania

Fishing boats on Tanzanian coast.

Get up close and personal with big game in Tanzania's wildlife-packed National Parks or climb Africa's highest peak - snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro. Laze on a white sand beach fringed with palm trees and dive and snorkel in the warm, turquoise Indian Ocean waters. Stop at a village to try mbege (home-brewed beer made with bananas). If you prefer urban exploration visit Dar es Salaam or the new capital, Dodoma. The magic of historic Zanzibar and the other spice islands' is just a short hop away.

Background

Dominated by 19,335-foot Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania's mountainous north-east contrasts with a large plateau in the country's centre. To the west are dense forests and the vast lakes of Victoria, Tanganyika and Nyasa; to the east, the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. In the 1990s, Tanzania's National Assembly moved to central Dodoma, and declared it Tanzania's new capital. Bustling Dar es Salaam remains the commercial capital, and is still home to several government offices.

Urban

Start off in Dar es Salaam, the international gateway and commercial hub, or visit Dodoma in central Tanzania, the country's new capital. In the west, see the town of Kigoma, one of the busiest ports on vast Lake Tanganyika. Vibrant Mwanza is Tanzania's major city on Lake Victoria in the north-west. Going on safari? With a lively music scene, Arusha, in the north near the Kenyan border, is a good base. Along with Moshi, it's also a starting point for an ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Rural

Watch lions stalk wildebeest on the plains of the Serengeti and photograph zebra and elephants in the Ngorongoro Crater. Chimpanzees are in the forests of Gombe Stream National Park, but you'll have to look hard to spot them. Feel proud and humble at the same time looking out over the endless plains after conquering the highest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro. Seek out spices in their natural forms on Zanzibar, and after all that dive, snorkel or just laze under a coconut palm on a white sand beach.

Fast Facts - Tanzania

Language
Swahili, English, Arabic and local languages
Currency
The Tanzanian shilling is the official currency, although US dollars are widely accepted
GMT
GMT +3
Electricity
230V AC, 50 Hz, three-pin plugs are standard

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