• tanzania
  • Overview

    Tanzania is the Africa of a thousand dreams. It is a land of great lakes and grassy plains, of lush rainforest and snow-capped peaks. There are soft sandy beaches, huge rocky gorges, ancient fossils and ancient trees. Set on the east coast, just beneath the equator, it stretches from the Serengeti to the Indian Ocean and encompasses the island archipelago of Zanzibar. Colonised by the Germans in the nineteenth century and later by the British, it was known to settlers as Tanganyika. The modern name reflects the merger of the islands and the mainland into the United Republic of Tanzania.

    Drama seems to be written into the very topography of Tanzania. It is the site of the continent’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro, whose slopes rise through farmland and verdant forest to a snowy-white summit. It is home to expanses of three of the great lakes: Lake Malawi, Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika, the last two being, respectively, Africa’s largest and Africa’s deepest lakes. It is also the location of the magnificent Serengeti National Park, the stage for what is possibly the world’s finest wildlife spectacle, the Great Migration. Every year, herds numbering up to 1.5 million wildebeest, 200,000 zebra and thousands of gazelles, thunder across its grasslands as they travel south from Kenya following the rains. As they move, they are pursued by hungry predators, including lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas and wild dogs. There is more theatre at Lake Natron, a mineral-rich salt lake by the Kenyan border. During the dry season, when its waters evaporate, bacteria flourish and soon turn the shallows a brilliant pink. It is beautiful, but toxic. However, one species of bird can breed by these shores: it is the lesser flamingo and upwards of 2.5 million gather here each year to feed.

    Tanzania is the very cradle of human civilisation, and hominid fossils six million years old have been unearthed. It has a rich cultural heritage, kept alive by indigenous peoples such as the Maasai and the Chaga, the latter inhabiting the slopes of Kilimanjaro. An incredible one hundred languages are spoken here. It was famously the setting for one of the most memorable encounters in history, when Henry Morton Stanley found Dr David Livingstone at Ujiji, on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. Meeting the explorer, who had been presumed dead, Stanley stretched out his hand and uttered the immortal phrase, “Dr Livingstone, I presume.” Scientific history was made years later when primatologist Dame Jane Goodall began work at Gombe Stream National Park, studying the chimpanzee community. Her observations, which revealed that chimps used tools, developed strong social bonds and hunted small primates, revolutionised scientific thinking.

    When to go

    The wildebeest migration is best observed in June and July, while their river crossings in the Serengeti generally occur during August and September. There is less vegetation around at this time, so animals can be easier to spot. Generally, June to October is good for wildlife spotting and November to May is the peak time for birdwatching, as migratory species also arrive. It is in January and February that wildebeest give birth to their calves, so this is another good time to visit the Serengeti.

    Climate

    Tanzania has two distinct seasons. The dry season runs from June to October and the wet season runs from November to May. The climate is tropical but varies across the country, especially with altitude. The hottest, most humid conditions are experienced on the coast.

  • Hotels
 

Tanzania is the Africa of a thousand dreams. It is a land of great lakes and grassy plains, of lush rainforest and snow-capped peaks. There are soft sandy beaches, huge rocky gorges, ancient fossils and ancient trees. Set on the east coast, just beneath the equator, it stretches from the Serengeti to the Indian Ocean and encompasses the island archipelago of Zanzibar. Colonised by the Germans in the nineteenth century and later by the British, it was known to settlers as Tanganyika. The modern name reflects the merger of the islands and the mainland into the United Republic of Tanzania.

Drama seems to be written into the very topography of Tanzania. It is the site of the continent’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro, whose slopes rise through farmland and verdant forest to a snowy-white summit. It is home to expanses of three of the great lakes: Lake Malawi, Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika, the last two being, respectively, Africa’s largest and Africa’s deepest lakes. It is also the location of the magnificent Serengeti National Park, the stage for what is possibly the world’s finest wildlife spectacle, the Great Migration. Every year, herds numbering up to 1.5 million wildebeest, 200,000 zebra and thousands of gazelles, thunder across its grasslands as they travel south from Kenya following the rains. As they move, they are pursued by hungry predators, including lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas and wild dogs. There is more theatre at Lake Natron, a mineral-rich salt lake by the Kenyan border. During the dry season, when its waters evaporate, bacteria flourish and soon turn the shallows a brilliant pink. It is beautiful, but toxic. However, one species of bird can breed by these shores: it is the lesser flamingo and upwards of 2.5 million gather here each year to feed.

Tanzania is the very cradle of human civilisation, and hominid fossils six million years old have been unearthed. It has a rich cultural heritage, kept alive by indigenous peoples such as the Maasai and the Chaga, the latter inhabiting the slopes of Kilimanjaro. An incredible one hundred languages are spoken here. It was famously the setting for one of the most memorable encounters in history, when Henry Morton Stanley found Dr David Livingstone at Ujiji, on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. Meeting the explorer, who had been presumed dead, Stanley stretched out his hand and uttered the immortal phrase, “Dr Livingstone, I presume.” Scientific history was made years later when primatologist Dame Jane Goodall began work at Gombe Stream National Park, studying the chimpanzee community. Her observations, which revealed that chimps used tools, developed strong social bonds and hunted small primates, revolutionised scientific thinking.

When to go

The wildebeest migration is best observed in June and July, while their river crossings in the Serengeti generally occur during August and September. There is less vegetation around at this time, so animals can be easier to spot. Generally, June to October is good for wildlife spotting and November to May is the peak time for birdwatching, as migratory species also arrive. It is in January and February that wildebeest give birth to their calves, so this is another good time to visit the Serengeti.

Climate

Tanzania has two distinct seasons. The dry season runs from June to October and the wet season runs from November to May. The climate is tropical but varies across the country, especially with altitude. The hottest, most humid conditions are experienced on the coast.

Featured hotels

Melia Zanzibar

5 star

This spacious resort covers an estate measuring more than forty acres on Zanzibar’s eastern coast.

Request a quote

Breezes Beach Club & Spa

5 star

Charming and relaxed this friendly, comfortable, eco-aware, family run hotel enjoys a wonderful location on Bwejuu Beach, a beautiful stretch of white sand on Zanzibar’s east coast.

Request a quote

Elewana Kilindi Zanzibar

5 star

A glorious fifty acres of lush forest and secluded beach are part of this stunning resort surrounded by the Indian Ocean. Guests stay in white-domed pavilions, each with a private plunge pool and incredible sea views.

Request a quote

Fundu Lagoon

4 star

An enchanting retreat on an island off Zanzibar, Fundu Lagoon offers barefoot luxury with a castaway feeling.

Request a quote
See all hotels in Tanzania

Featured hotels

Melia Zanzibar

5 star

This spacious resort covers an estate measuring more than forty acres on Zanzibar’s eastern coast.

Breezes Beach Club & Spa

5 star

Charming and relaxed this friendly, comfortable, eco-aware, family run hotel enjoys a wonderful location on Bwejuu Beach, a beautiful stretch of white sand on Zanzibar’s east coast.

Elewana Kilindi Zanzibar

5 star

A glorious fifty acres of lush forest and secluded beach are part of this stunning resort surrounded by the Indian Ocean. Guests stay in white-domed pavilions, each with a private plunge pool and incredible sea views.

Fundu Lagoon

4 star

An enchanting retreat on an island off Zanzibar, Fundu Lagoon offers barefoot luxury with a castaway feeling.

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