The United Republic of Tanzania, or Tanzania for short! The capital is Dodoma and the country’s population size is about 56 million. The official languages are Swahili and English and the dominant religious populations are roughly equally split between 30 to 40 percent Christian and 30 to 40 percent Islam, with the rest of the population believing in various indigenous religions. The time zone is 7 hours ahead of EST.
For outdoors enthusiasts, head to Mount Kilimanjaro and go on an incredible hike. The summit gives breathtaking views, and is the highest point in Africa. The hike can be difficult due to the high altitude, though, so prepare in advance and do not be discouraged if it is hard to get to the top – the views are worth it!
An amazing fact is that the wild elephants found in Tanzania today are thought to have lived in the water before they were on land. These elephants are believed to have evolved from Dugongs that lived in Tanzania 55 million years ago. Some dugongs can still be found today in warm waters between East Africa and Australia.
Here is the optimal way to safari in Tanzania:
1) Fly into Kilimanjaro airport
2) Fly from Kilimanjaro to Serengeti airstrip. Otherwise the drive is about four hours which can feel longer because of the 50 km zones and slow trucks on the highway toward Dodoma.
3) Book 2 nights at a lodge inside of the Ngorongoro Conservation District at the rim of the crater. Best lodge Serena or Sopa lodges, Wildlife lodge isn’t as nice but has great views. For a less expensive option spend time at Eileen tree lodge, a 1 hour drive to the rim.
The crater is wonderful and teaming with wildlife, particularly the west end.
4) Then onto the Serengeti! Make sure to during the migration season which begins in (earnest) in mid-March. The luxurious choice is the Four Seasons Serengeti Lodge.
Tour operators: Leopard Tour is the largest operator with access to many lodging options. Settle on an itinerary and then shop various vendors or book one yourself!
Two best safari options: Kenya versus Tanzania. I’d have to give the nod to Kenya-why? More diverse viewing options. If flying from place to place you can travel south to the Masai Masa where game viewing is effortless. Then fly northward and spend 1 to 2 nights at the arc (not to be missed)! Sabi Sabi? Yes! Doesn’t get any better than this.