Tanzania

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About

• Tanzania lies south of the equator in East Africa.
• It borders on the Indian Ocean to the east, and has land borders with eight countries: Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique.
• Tanzania is the largest country in East Africa.
• The area of Tanzania is approximately 945,000 sq km (365,000 sq miles).
• As of 2008, the population was roughly 42,500,000.
• Dodoma is the official capital and seat of Tanzania’s Union Parliament.
• There are some 120 ethnic groups on the mainland, none exceeding 10% of the population.
• Larger groups include Sukuma, Nyamwezi, Chagga, Masai, Haya and Gogo.
• The official languages are Kiswahili and English; of these, Kiswahili is by for the more widely spoken.
• Religions in Tanzania consist of: Christianity (35%), Islam (35%) and traditional beliefs (around 30%). (Zanzibar is roughly 98% Muslim).
• A large central plateau makes up most of the mainland.
• The mountain ranges of the Eastern Arc and the Southern and Northern Highlands cut across the country to form part of the Great Rift Valley.
• A land of geographical extremes, Tanzania houses the highest peak (Mount Kilimanjaro), the lowest point (the lake bed of Lake Tanganyika), and a portion of the largest lake (Lake Victoria, shared with Uganda and Kenya) on the African continent.
• If there is anything that can be called Tanzania’s national dish, then Ugali would most likely win out. A polenta-style dish made with corn flour, it accompanies cooked meat and a variety of stews, and it’s eaten with your hands. Recipes vary from village to village, and everyone has their own way of making it.

HISTORY

    • The mainland of Tanzania became a German colony called Tanganyika in 1884.
    • The Sultanate of Zanzibar became a British Protectorate in 1890.
    • Tanganyika became a British mandated territory in 1918 and achieved independence in 1961.
    • In 1963 Zanzibar achieved independence, and a year later formed a union with Tanganyika under the new name of Tanzania.

FACTS

    • In Tanzania you drive on the left side of the road.
    • The world’s earliest human skull was found in the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania.
    • At 264 square kilometers, Ngorongoro Crater is the largest complete crater in the world, and home to many wild animals.
    • Tanzania is famous for its Mpingo tree, also known as the African Blackwood tree. It is the most expensive hardwood tree in the world
    • The Amani Nature Reserve in eastern Tanzania is said to be the only location on earth where African Violets grow wild.
    • The Largest crab in the world is the Coconut Crab which inhabits the waters off Zanzibar’s Chumbe Island.
    • Lake Tanganyika is the longest fresh water lake in the world (677km), and the second deepest (1433m), with over 250 species of fish.
    • Lake Victoria is Africa’s largest and the world’s second largest freshwater lake.
    • The late Freddie Mercury, who was lead singer and front man for the band Queen, was born in Zanzibar on 5 September 1946.
    • Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world.
    • About 33% of the Tanzanian population is illiterate.
    • The earliest remains of humans including the legendary 2 million years old Homo habilis was recovered in Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania.
    • Lake Manyara National Park, in Tanzania, is home to the world’s only tree-climbing lions.

Avg. Costs

• Price of beer and coffee in a pub- 1 USD
• Local drink called “Kava”, made from local coffee + water + some herbs – 100 Tsh
• Entrance to cinema for one – 8000 Tsh (7 USD approx)
• In Dar, minibuses called Dala-Dalas can be taken cheaply to most places within the city. The fare is written on the front next to the door – currently it’s usually TSH 250 for adults except for longer distances.
• There are loads of National Parks for those wanting to watch Tanzania’s wildlife. You can gain entry for around $100 US and benefit from a tour (and sometimes a night’s accommodation).

Currency

Information is coming soon.

Safety

• Although most visits to Tanzania are trouble-free, violent and armed crime is increasing, with incidents reported both on the mainland, Zanzibar and the islands.
• Muggings, bag grabs and robberies, including forced withdrawal from ATMs, have increased throughout Tanzania especially in areas frequented by backpackers.
• All visitors, particularly women, should avoid walking alone and close to the road, especially in isolated areas and on beaches.
• Do not make yourself an obvious target for muggers and pickpockets. Do not carry cameras or large sums of cash in the streets or wear expensive-looking jewelry or watches.
• Do not accept transportation with strangers or in unlicensed taxis and if possible ask your local hotel to arrange your transportation; always ask for official identification before accepting transport.
• Tanzania has its fair share of venomous and deadly insects and animals, such as Black and Green Mambas, scorpions, spiders, stinging ants, lions, sharks, and others. You should take care when walking through high grass.

Climate

• Tanzania’s weather varies from humid and hot in low lying areas, such as Dar es Salaam, to hot during the day and cool at night in Arusha.
• There are no discernible seasons, such as winter and summer — only the dry and wet seasons.
• Tanzania has two rainy seasons: The short rains from late-October to late-December, and the long rains from March to May.
• Many popular resorts and tourist attractions on Zanzibar and Mafia Island Marine Park close during the long rains season, and many trails in the national parks are impassable during this period.
• During the dry season, temperatures can easily soar to above 35°C in Dar. You should seek shelter from the sun during the midday heat.

Best times to visit are:
• June to August: This is the tail-end of the long rainy season and the weather is at its best at this time of year — bearable during the day and cool in the evening. However, this is not necessarily the best time of year for safaris, as water is plentiful in the parks.
• January to February: This is the best time to visit the Serengeti. It is usually at this time that huge herds of Wildebeest, Zebra and Buffalo migrate to better grazing areas. Be advised this is most likely the hottest time of year in Tanzania, when even the locals complain about the heat.

Places to See

Zanzibar
• A big island that belongs to the Republic of Tanzania.
• The island of Zanzibar is around 30 km far from Tanzania, and its weather is tropical quite in the whole territory.
• This island is today very famous because of its wonderful ocean and sandy beaches.

Stone Town
• Located in Zanzibar, Tanzania.
• Locally known as Mji Mkongwe, it is the cultural heart of Zanzibar.
The city experiences hot weather all year round with average temperatures of 30-35C.
• It has two wet seasons, April-June and November-December. The best time to visit is June-October.
The town gets its name from the 19th century coraline rock constructions that dot the region. Traditionally an important centre of trade in spices and slaves, today the economy is based on agriculture and tourism.
• Stone Town has been designated as a World Heritage Site.

Dar es Salaam
• Formerly known as Mzizima, Dar es Salaam is the largest city and former capital of Tanzania.
• It is located on a bay of the Indian Ocean.
• Dar es Salaam is a pleasant city with a picturesque harbour, exotic beaches, a vibrant nightlife and interesting historical buildings.
• There is also an international airport and two major train and bus stations.

Arusha
• Arusha is situated at the foot of Mount Meru in northern Tanzania.
• It has a population of 270,485 inhabitants.
• The city experiences a temperate climate. With two wet seasons, March-May and October-December, the best time to visit is June-September.
Expeditions to the Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Lake Manyara, Olduvai Gorge, Tarangire National Park, and Mount Kilimanjaro National Park all begin at Arusha.
• The famous Masai tribe make up a majority of the local population.

Etiquette

Communication Etiquette:
• Greetings tend to be Westernized
– Men will shake hands with one another
– Women will bow or shake hands with one another
– The appropriate greeting between men and women depends on their relationship
• Handshake or bow
– Women extends her hand first
• Being an indirect communicator tends to be much more polite then being specific or direct
– Especially when talking to superiors
• Do not be too blunt about your problems
– They address problems differently
– Urban Tanzanians are more use to direct communication
• They enjoy a good joke
• Personal space will be different from place to place
– It is less between members of the same gender
– Touching is also acceptable between same gender
• People will look down out of respect when talking to an Elder
– When talking to someone of opposite sec too much direct eye contact is looked at as rude
– A woman who does this will be interpreted as flirting
• When calling someone by name it is best to use surnames
– Wait to be invited to use first names

Business Etiquette:
• It is important to show up on time for meetings
– You may be kept waiting
• The higher rank someone is the sooner they should be greeted
– Small talk is important in Tanzanian society
– Very formal opening and closing speeches during meetings
– Person who is hosting should open and close the meeting
– Bargaining is essential for small things such as groceries but also in the workplace
– Expected at any street or market place
• Be friendly and polite
– Be firm and willing to walk away
• There is no protocol about giving and receiving business cards
– But give and receive with your right hand

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