Kirawira Luxury Tented Camp - Tanzania at a glance

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Tanzania at a glance

'Home to the ‘greatest wildlife show on earth’

Official name

The United Republic of Tanzania (Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania).

Location

Eastern Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean, between Kenya and Mozambique.

Capital city

Administrative capital: Dodoma. Commercial capital: Dar es Salaam.

Area

Total: 945,087 sq km, land: 886,037 sq km, water: 59,050 sq km. Note: includes the islands of Mafia, Pemba, and Zanzibar.

Borders

Total: 3,861 km. Border countries: Burundi 451 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 459 km, Kenya 769 km, Malawi 475 km, Mozambique 756 km, Rwanda 217 km, Uganda 396 km, Zambia 338 km.

Climate

Tanzania's climate is predominately tropical. Coastal areas are usually hot and humid, but on the beaches a sea breeze cools the air considerably. The average day temperature is 30°C. Tanzania has two rainy seasons - the long rains from late March to June and the short rains from November to January. The long rains fall in heavy downpours, often accompanied by violent storms, but the short rains tend to be much less severe. The hottest time of the year is from December to March, before the long rains begin. The coolest months are June, July and August, when the weather is often overcast. In high-altitude areas such as Kilimanjaro and the Ngorongoro Highlands, temperatures can fall below freezing.

Population

40,213,160 (2008 est.)

Ethnic make-up

Tanzania has over 120 ethnic groups. Mainland - African 99% (of which 95% are Bantu consisting of more than 130 tribes), other 1% (consisting of Asian, European, and Arab); Zanzibar - Arab, African, mixed Arab and African.

Religion

Mainland - Christian 30%, Muslim 35%, indigenous beliefs 35%; Zanzibar - more than 99% Muslim.

Language

Kiswahili or Swahili (official), English (official, primary language of commerce, administration, and higher education), Arabic (widely spoken in Zanzibar), many local languages. Communications
International Direct Dial is available. The country code for Tanzania is +255. The outgoing international code is 00 for the United States, or 000 for all other countries. Public call boxes in post offices and main towns operate on a card system, available from most small shops. Several cellular phone companies operate in Tanzania and roaming lines work near most major cities and towns. Internet cafes are plentiful in major city centres.

Currency

The Tanzania shilling (Tsh or TZS), divided into 100 cents. There is no limit to the importation of foreign currency.

Currency exchange

Most hotels offer forex facilities, though sometimes at disadvantageous rates. Forex facilities remain open at the main airports.

Banking

Banks and bureau de change are available at airports and in all major towns. Banking hours are from Monday - Friday 8.30 am - 3.00 pm, Saturdays 8.30 am - 1.30 pm. A few branches in the major towns are open until 4.00 pm. Please note that banks are closed on Sundays.

Credit cards and traveller's cheques

Credit cards (Access, MasterCard, Visa, American -Express, and Eurocard) are accepted only at major lodges, hotels, and travel agents. A surcharge may be added for this service. ATM and 24-hour cash machines are available in branches of major banks. Travellers' cheques in pounds sterling or US dollars are recommended, though it may be difficult to exchange them outside the main cities.

Tipping

Tipping is appreciated. Most hotels and restaurants include a 10% service charge.

Time

GMT +3 all year-round. Tanzania maintains an almost constant 12 hours of daylight. Sunrise is typically 06.30 and sunset at 18.45.

Electricity

220-240 volts AC.

Water

Tanzanian tap water is not safe to drink. Bottled water is readily available.

Landscape

Plains along the coast; central plateau; highlands in the north. Kilimanjaro (5, 895 m) is the highest point in the country and in Africa. Tanzania is bordered by three of the largest lakes on the continent: Lake Victoria (the world's second-largest freshwater lake) in the north, Lake Tanganyika (the world's second deepest) in the west, and Lake Nyasa in the southwest.

The national parks and reserves

The game parks of Tanzania have been set aside by the government as wildlife and botanical sanctuaries that enjoy a high degree of protection and management. 25% of Tanzania is gazetted as national parks and reserves making conservation a major element in land use. Tanzania has more than 20 game reserves including the world's largest, the Selous. Five game reserves have been declared and there are about 50 game-controlled areas totalling more than 120,000 square kilometres. Forest reserves make up 15% of the country.

Biosphere reserves

Lake Manyara National Park, Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

World Heritage Sites

Ngorongoro Conservation area, Selous Game Reserve and Serengeti National Park.

National museums and historical sites

Olduvai Gorge, The National Museum of Dar es Salaam, The Catholic Mission and prison of Bagamoyo, Ujijii Cultural Centre, Sukuma Museum, Mwanza, The Amboni Caves and Hot Springs, the Tongoni Ruins, the National Museum of Zanzibar (also the Kidichi Persian Baths, the House of Wonders, the Arab Fort, Livingstone's House, Mangapwani Slaves Caves, the Maruhubi Palace, the Old Slave Market and the People's Palace).

Flora

Tanzania's forests offer over 50 tree species and 200 species of shrubs.

Fauna

The East African plains support some of the last great herds of wildlife left in the world, offering a greater number and diversity of species than any other continent: Tanzania offers over 80 major species, including ‘The Big Five' (elephant, lion, buffalo, rhino and leopard), and 600 species of butterfly.

Avifauna

From glacial mountain to savannah plain, semi desert to tropical rainforest, Tanzania's botanical versatility supports more than 1,000 bird species.

Entry requirements

A valid passport. Most visitors to Tanzania require a visa to enter the country. Three-month single-entry tourist visas are available from all Tanzanian embassies (price subject to nationality). For further information contact: www.tanzaniatouristboard.com

Health certification

The yellow-fever vaccination is no longer officially required when entering Tanzania; however
this is still a requirement for Zanzibar.

Vaccinations

A number of vaccinations are recommended for visitors to Tanzania (check with your doctor in advance).

Malaria

Malaria is endemic in tropical Africa and protection against it is necessary.

HIV/AIDS

HIV/AIDS is a serious problem throughout Africa.

Medical insurance

Travellers to Tanzania are recommended to obtain medical insurance prior to arrival.

Security

Tanzania is a safe country to travel in. Tanzanians are warm-hearted and generous people and are eager to help visitors get the most out of their stay. Tanzania is a politically stable, multi-democratic country. As in all countries, a little common sense goes a long way and reasonable precautions should still be taken, such as locking valuables in the hotel safe and not walking alone at night.

Travelling to Tanzania

By air
Tanzania has three international airports: Dar es Salaam International Airport (which handles most international flights), Kilimanjaro International Airport and Zanzibar International Airport.
Dar es Salaam International Airport
Located 15 km southwest of Dar es Salaam and takes approximately 25 minutes to reach by car from downtown.
Kilimanjaro International Airport
Lies 40 km from Arusha and takes approximately one hour to reach by car. Shuttle bus services to the airport run regularly from both Arusha and Moshi.
Zanzibar International Airport
Located approximately 7 km from the centre of Stone Town.

By road
From the north, paved roads connect the Kenyan capital of Nairobi with Arusha and cross the border at the Namanga post. A number of shuttle buses, leaving twice daily between the two cities, also follow this route. The trip takes approximately 4 - 6 hours.
From the south, the road from Malawi enters Tanzania at Karonga before continuing onwards to Mbeya. There are no viable bus services along this route.

Driving

Driving (international driving licence required) in Tanzania is on the left-hand side and traffic signs are international.

Public transport

Buses and taxis operate in most towns. Price is open to negotiation and should be decided in advance.

Dressing

Tanzania has no winter and lightweight clothing is worn all year-round. It is considered insulting by local tradition to dress scantily or improperly.

Do's and don'ts

It is an offence to: deface a Tanzanian banknote; urinate in public; sunbath topless; hire a prostitute; buy or take drugs; remove wildlife products from Tanzania, export products made from elephant, rhino or sea turtle derivatives, or to remove coral. Swearing and blasphemy are inadvisable. Visitors are requested to stand when the Tanzanian anthem is played, or the national flag raised or lowered. They are also advised that photographing the president without prior permission or any military installation is not permitted.

Photography

It is considered courteous to ask people if you may take their picture before doing so, particularly in the more far-flung rural areas. A small (token) payment for the photograph may be expected, rather more as a form of polite appreciation than anything else.

Kirawira Luxury Tented Camp, Tanzania

Kirawira Luxury Tented Camp, Tanzania

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Western Serengeti National Park

Tel: (+255) 272545555 or 282621518

Fax: (+255) 272545368 or 282621517

Call: +254 732 123 333