Tanzania is East Africa’s largest country, and an immensely rewarding place to visit. There are the plains of the Serengeti National Park, home to the Big 5 (rhino, leaopard, hippo, elephant and buffalo), Ngorongoro Crater, a Unesco Heritage site, snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro and just offshore the mainland is Zanzibar, with its idyllic white sand beaches and historic Stone Town. Tanzania is so much more than these highlights. Add to this the country’s rich ethnic diversity, some superb hiking, and other activities like snorkeling and diving, and you have the holiday of a lifetime. But Tanzania’s best asset is undoubtedly its people. It is like no other country when it comes to tradition. Our cultural safaris include meeting some of these warm and wonderful people who have retained their traditional way of life.
An immensely rewarding place to visit
Tarangire National Park
It lies a little distance to the south east of Lake Manyara and covers an area of approximately 1,100 square miles. The hilly landscape and vegetation is incredibly diverse with a mix that is not found anywhere else in the northern safari circuit.
The park is famous for its huge number of elephants and lions. not to mention numerous zebra, wildebeest, waterbuck, giraffe and olive baboons. Home to more than 550 species, the park is a haven for bird enthusiasts. The swamps are the focus of the largest selection of breeding birds anywhere in the world.
Serengeti National Park
Tanzania’s oldest and most popular national park, also a world heritage site and recently proclaimed a 7th world wide wonder.
The Serengeti is famed for its annual wildebeest migration, when some six million wildebeest migrate on the open plains, as more than 200,000 zebra and 300,000 Thomson’s gazelle join the wildebeest’s trek for fresh grazing. Yet even when the migration is quiet, the Serengeti offers arguably the most scintillating game-viewing in Africa: great herds of buffalo, smaller groups of elephant and giraffe, lions, and thousands upon thousands of eland, topi, kongoni, impala and Grant’s gazelle.
The world renowned Ngorongoro Crater forms part of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) within the Serengeti ecosystem. The Crater itself is home to more than 25,000 large mammals. Once a large volcano that later collapsed, it is now the largest intact caldera in the world.
The Crater floor has excellent grazing for resident herbivores, while the Crater walls are covered in lush vegetation, forming excellent protection for the large numbers of game.
This is an area of spectacular beauty and superb game viewing, a truly unique safari destination.
The Swahili word safari means journey, the verb means “to travel”.
The vast majority of Tanzanians are still living very close to their traditional lifestyles. Most of the people are subsistence farmers. The Maasai people, favored by photographers for their strikingly colorful décor, live a pastoral existence following their herds of cattle to better grazing areas, still adhering to the traditions and ceremonies of their ancestors. Their “villages” are located throughout northern Tanzania. Other small tribes of hunter-gatherers, living according to their ancient customs and traditions can also be found in this area.
Kuchanga Travel and our Tanzanian partners consider the cultural component of any safari to be subtle yet essential. All of our guides are Tanzanian born. They are an excellent resource to help you gain greater insight into the local culture. We don’t promote specially staged dances and tourist oriented presentations. Instead, on most of our trips, we begin with a visit to a traditional village where you are welcomed as friends of our guides. As we drive between parks, we pass many villages and Masai Bomas giving you further glimpses into the lives of the Tanzanian people. We also offer a special trip in which our guests travel well off the beaten path to spend time among the Wahadza people and observe their ancient hunter-gatherer ways.
Tanzania Fast Facts
Official Name: United Republic of Tanzania
Location: East Africa, bordering Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Indian Ocean
Climate: It’s tropical, coastal areas are hot and humid, while the northwestern highlands are cool and temperate. There are two rainy seasons; the short rains from October to December, and the long rains last from March to June. The central plateau tends to be dry and arid throughout the year.
Largest City: Dar es Salaam
Population: 48 million
Currency: Tanzanian Shilling (TZS)
Languages: Swahili, English and 124 others
Currency: Tanzanian Shilling (TZS)