Top 15 Facts About Tanzania That Will Inspire You To Travel
Tanzania has become a popular destination for travellers, known for its exotic wildlife and rich culture. Simply put, this is one of the most iconic safari destinations in the world. You can witness the amazing wildlife including the great wildebeest migration amongst other highlights.
In this guide, we take a look at why Tanzania should be your next vacation destination and how you can secure your eVisa.
But before all of that, let’s start with some basics.
1. Tanzania is the largest country in East Africa
Tanzania is situated in East Africa and includes the islands Zanzibar, Mafia and Pemba. It borders Kenya and Uganda to the north and Mozambique, Zambia and Malawi to the south. It also shares borders with Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.
Dodoma, the capital city of Tanzania, is located right in the heart of the country. The population in Tanzania is just over 56 million people. The average life expectancy is 64 years old.
2. Tanzanians speak swahili
Tanzania is a multilingual nation with many different languages. Swahili is the official language of Tanzania. However, English is widely spoken.
Here are some basic Swahili phrases to help you on your travels:
Hello – hujambo (hoo-jahm-boh)
Goodbye – kwaheri (kwah-hair-ree)
Please – tafadhali (tah-fah-dhal-ee)
Thank you – asante (ah-sahn-tay)
You’re welcome – karibu (kah-ree-boo)
Yes – ndiyo (ndee-o)
No – hapana (hah-pahn-ah)
3. Tanzania currency
The currency in Tanzania is called the Tanzanian shilling.
4. Is a holiday to Tanzania affordable?
The average daily cost for a person travelling varies depending on what activities you do and where you stay.
While safaris can be quite pricey (a mid-range budget lodge safari in Tanzania costs from about €283 per person per day), you can enjoy other activities like the (Maasai village tour in the Serengeti for €9) at an affordable cost.
Here are some tips you may find useful while exploring Tanzania:
In safaris and tours it is common to tip the driver, tour guide and other staff.
Bargaining is also allowed when you are buying an item in a village. Locals tend to name a higher price for items tourists are buying. However, they don’t like aggressive tourists.
Ladies should cover their shoulders and legs. Strappy t-shirts and shorts are a no go!
6. Tanzania culture
The locals in Tanzania are very friendly and polite to tourists. Some things you should and shouldn’t do in Tanzania include:
Don’t touch others of the opposite sex in public as this may offend some locals
Don’t smell food before eating, it is a sign of distaste and something wrong with the food
Ask before you take a photograph of something, some ethnic groups believe that the flash steals a bit of their soul.
Only offer your right hand when greeting locals because the left hand is considered dirty.
7. The Maasai tribe
There are over 120 ethnic groups living across the country.
The Maasai people are perhaps the most well-known.
They are a semi-nomadic tribe who live in northern Tanzania and Kenya. They are known for their unique colourful clothes and traditional ways of living.
Their language is called maa and they live near the Ngorongoro area and the Serengeti National Park. They have a deep relationship with their cattle and you will often see the Maasai people herding them on the roads.
8. Tanzania is home to the tallest mountain in Africa
Tanzania is probably best known for Mount Kilimanjaro. It is the highest mountain in Africa. Almost every type of ecological system can be found here. If you’re a hiker, it is definitely worth climbing.
9. The world’s largest mammal migration takes place in Tanzania
Serengeti National Park is the oldest park in Tanzania and is another highly visited tourist destination. All of the big five can be found here (lion, buffalo, elephant, leopard and rhino).
In July and August, you can catch a glimpse of the great wildebeest migration. This is when millions of wildebeest, zebras and antelopes cross the plains of Serengeti to search for fresh grass. Meanwhile, hungry crocodiles and predators wait in the river. Yikes!
10. Ngorongoro Crater is home to the world’s densest population of wildlife
There are approximately 25,000 animals living in the park. Located in North Tanzania between the Serengeti and Lake Manyara, it has been named one of Africa’s seven natural wonders.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is home to the volcanic Ngorongoro Crater and is full of much different wildlife including elephants, black rhino, black-maned lions, ostrich and zebra. During the rainy season, the lakes are home to thousands of flamingos.
11. The largest concentration of baboons live in Lake Manyara National Park
This park consists of forests, swamps and grassland. It is home to a variety of birdlife including thousands of flamingos at certain times of the year.
It is also home to the largest concentration of baboons in the world. Some activities that you can do here include a wildlife drive, canoeing, mountain biking and bird watching tours.
12. Zanzibar beaches are considered some of the most beautiful in the world
The Zanzibar beaches are a must-see while in Africa. They are located just off the coast from the city of Dar es Salaam. Renowned for the white sand, blue water, and swaying palms, they are regarded as some of the most beautiful beaches in the world!
You should also try diving or snorkelling off one of Zanzibar’s islands. There are a number of locations you can go diving however, Nungwi on the northeast tip of Zanzibar is definitely a great location to start.
You will encounter amazing sea creatures such as seahorses, whitetip reef sharks and turtles among the corals. Prices for diving start from €80 and vary depending on how many dives you go on and how many days you spend diving.
The city of Stone Town is the historical heart of Zanzibar, it is known for its narrow alleyways, Arabian townhouses and a busy port.
13. Lake Tanganyika is the longest freshwater lake in the world
It is also the second-largest lake in Africa, second deepest and second oldest in the world. The lake is shared with 4 countries, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi and Zambia. It is home to almost 350 different species of fish, most being endemic.
14. Tanzanian cuisine is definitely worth trying
If you’re looking to try new food, Tanzania is definitely the place to be. You can sample crocodile, antelope and ostrich. Spices play a big part in the food cooked by Tanzanians.
A lot of the food is produced locally like fruit, coffee and nuts. Some local favourites include Mandazi (fluffy fried bread), Ugali (a side dish made from cornmeal, like polenta) and the popular street food, Mshikaki (marinated meat on skewers).
15. Lake Manyara National Park is famous for its tree-climbing lions
Lake Manyara National Park is one of the smaller parks in Tanzania. However, this does not mean it’s less important.
Apart from the amazing scenery, the park is well-known for its tree-climbing lions. You may also get a chance to see elephant families move through the forest.
Popular FAQs you may find useful
Do I need a visa to visit Tanzania?
Yes, you will have to apply for a visa if you are going to travel to Tanzania on holiday or for business purposes. The Tanzania eVisa is a single entry visa which will be valid for maximum 90 days after the first entry.
Which countries are eligible for an eVisa for Tanzania?
How long does it take to get a visa for Tanzania?
The eVisa for Tanzania is usually issued within 10 working days.