TANZANIA

Wildebeest Migration

Whether your interests are in the splendors of the modern world or the fascinating remnants of the past, Tanzania is the perfect travel destination. Few places so beautifully meld plants, animals, and humans harmoniously with the planet on which they live. Tanzania is less developed than Kenya, its neighbor to the southwest, but Tanzania is as fascinating and exciting as any safari destination in the world. With its wildlife populations, the Serengeti Migration (one of the 10 natural wonders of the world), and the corals and spices of Zanzibar, Tanzania will delight any traveler, from the most experienced African adventurer to the person viewing true African beauty for the first time. Buffalos, wildebeests, zebras, gazelles, and hartebeests graze the grassland, while elephants roam the wooded areas, and hippos gather in marshes and ponds. Lions, spotted hyenas, and golden and black-backed jackals are easy to find, and Tanzania is also home to cheetahs and black rhino.

The name Tanzania comes from a combination of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, united in March 1964. Tanzania is a modern, progressive state with a rich cultural and historical heritage that began almost four million years ago when our primitive ancestors first left the forest and walked upright on the plains. Spread across the vast topographical tapestry are 26 million people made up of more than 100 loosely defined "tribes." Some of these cultural groups can trace their ancestry back to pre-historic times, while others are recent immigrants of the last 100 years.

Geographical Features

Tanzania has a tropical climate, with cooler temperatures in the high mountainous region, such as the northeast, where Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak, is situated. To the north and west are the Great Lakes of Lake Victoria (Africa's largest lake) and Lake Tanganyika (Africa's deepest lake, known for its unique species of fish). Central Tanzania comprises a large plateau, with plains and arable land. The eastern shore is hot and humid, with the island of Zanzibar lying just offshore.

Tanzania's natural wonders include towering volcanoes, paradisiacal islands, and a variety of animal life. Most commonly known is Tanzania's "northern circuit" which includes Lake Manyara, the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater, and the vast Serengeti National Park. But there is even more fascinating country, from the beaches and resorts of Zanzibar (The Spice Island) to the wild virgin bush of Ruaha and Selous with their abundant wildlife, and the highest freestanding mountain in the world, the snow-capped Kilimanjaro.