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Tanzania Travel Guide

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Interesting Facts

  • Julius Nyerere, one of Tanzania's late presidents prevented tribal warfare in the country by splitting tribes and relocating them to distant areas and forcing them to live with foreign tribes. Hence Tanzania is one of the safest African countries with very few faction fights.
  • Kilimanjaro is the highest free standing mountain in the world.
  • The Great Rift Valley stretches some 6,400 km from the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea, through the Red Sea and Tanzania up to Mozambique
  • Lake Tanganyika, on the border between Tanzania and Congo is the second deepest freshater lake in the world, 1,620 meters or 5,315 feet deep

Dar Es Salaam

Possibly the main reason any person would want to visit Dar is as a port of call on the way to a safari destination or to Zanzibar. However, there are many sights to be seen in the East African city.
Dar is the economic capital of Tanzania, with most of the activity surrounding the harbor. This is where dhows, still made in century old tradition, call to drop off there goods, or take new products out to other ports. It is fascinating just to sit and watch them navigate through the myriad of larger cargo ships and cruise liners. Just as interesting is to watch the activities going on in the fish market, that is if you are able to handle the smell. Beware of walking alone in this area, as their are many pickpockets, and rip-off artists who will gladly relieve you of your well earned dollars. It is best if you stay in a larger group, and try not to  make any deals with shady looking characters offering you fantastic exchange rates for TShillings.
The city is fascinating if you want to see how African business is conducted. A mix of western business styles and the traditional African styles of business can be found all around the streets. The many street vendors show just how entrepreneurial Tanzanian's are.. sometimes too much so when it comes to tourists.

Arusha

Arusha is located about 60 km from Kilimanjaro International Airport. This is the hub of the northern circuit safaris and most visitors to the country will spend a night or two here before departing on safari.
The town does not have much to offer unfortunately. The surrounds of Arusha are beautiful with great views of Mount Meru and on clear days you can see Mount Kilimanjaro.
The most active part of town is near the clock tower. This is the absolute center point between Cape Town and Cairo. Many local vendors offer their products for sale to tourists and some fantastic bargains can be found if you are prepared to haggle. Beware of tricksters though and don't exchange any cash with people on the street.

Surrounding coast

Tanzania is situated on the Indian Ocean and has some of the best coastline in the world. Turquoise waters and pristine white palm fringed beaches are a holiday makers dream. The benefit of holidaying to Tanzania is that you get the best of both worlds, magnificent sea and beach, as well as the best safari destinations in the world.
The most popular beaches in an around mainland Tanzania is Pangani and Bagamoyo, near Tanga. Pangani was once the home of Arab merchants and slave traders, and is now a sleepy village with fantastic coastline. Bagamoyo lies closer to Dar and was once also used by slave traders. Both places are fairly easily accessible but seldom visited by tourists.

Mafia Island

This laid back island lies just off the coast of Dar. Measuring 394 km2 with some 40,000 inhabitants, it is the anglers and divers paradise. This paradise does not come cheap, with access mainly by air, and only 2 upmarket lodges on the island, it is not for the budget traveler. There are six major dive sites, and many smaller sites that offer some of the best diving on the East Coast of Africa. The dives are however mainly organised by the two lodges. Some of the oldest ruins are also found, especially on the island of Chole Mjini. Near Chole Bay a marine reserve has been set up, thus protecting the underwater treasures of this coastline.
Mafia Island is for nature enthusiasts, walkers, divers and people just looking to relax.

Ras Kutani

Ras Kutani lies on an undeveloped Indian Ocean beach; a 3 mile crescent of white sand and gentle surf, cooled by trade winds, surrounded by a tropical forest replete with colobus monkeys, set adjacent to a fresh water lagoon. For those who prefer a more active stay there are facilities for sailing, windsurfing, snorkeling and fishing. You can take advantage of the empty beaches with long walks or explore the forests in search of the 4 different species of monkeys. This is where you go for that private Indian Ocean getaway.


 
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