Tanzania

Grimaces of pain become smiles of joy as we reach the top of Africa |  <i>Chloe Ryan</i> A baby elephant and mother in Tanzania |  <i>Sue Badyari</i> Safari jeeps roam Tarangire National Park in search of wildlife |  <i>Chloe Ryan</i> Breakfast under a clear blue sky and under the watchful eye of the Mountain, Karanga Camp |  <i>Eva Moons</i> School students making their summit bid on Kilimanjaro |  <i>Eva Moon</i>
  • Along with the wildlife, climbing Mt Kilimanjaro is the main reason schools like to visit Tanzania. At 5895m, the permanently snow capped peak of Kilimanjaro is a natural objective for any fit student. Utilising the very best ground services available on the mountain, WYA takes no chances with our school groups’ safety on Kilimanjaro and we have extensive experience in tailoring itineraries to ensure the safest route and time on the mountain to acclimatise. Talk to us to discuss whether an ascent of Kilimanjaro is right for your school.

    The safety of our young travellers is our number one priority

    Our commitment to provide a proper duty of care guides everything we do

    World Youth Adventures has an unblemished record in the operation of school & youth adventures

    We will only operate tours in accordance with strict operational standards that have built our reputation as leaders in the student travel industry

    Every tour is underpinned by an industry leading risk assessment plan that exceeds the benchmark standard in Australia, New Zealand, the UK as well as the USA and Canada

    Three decades of tailoring successful student expeditions adds another dimension to the overall student experience

    Our Price & Value Guarantee

    Thanks to careful management and thorough consultation with local partners our track record is exemplary

    Our industry leading risk management procedures have become a skill that we continue to refine

    All of our school group experts are highly trained and experienced consultants who have safety as their number one priority

    Expert leaders, risk assessments, quality inclusions and your financial security all come standard when travelling with World Youth Adventures

    Learn more about our safety practices on our Safety page

    World Youth Adventures is committed to responsible travel and true sustainability

    The National Park authorities charge daily entry fees that are used to maintain and improve National Park infrastructure, protect wildlife, and also to assist in the development of local communities. These fees are included in the price of all our Tanzania trips.

    Our operations campaigned to stop the construction of the Serengeti Highway, a proposed 50km stretch of road that was to cut through the path of the 2 million wildebeest and zebra on the annual Great Migration.

    We encourage our travellers to avoid purchasing products made from endangered species, hard woods or ancient artifacts.

    Since 2012 World Expeditions has sponsored a guide every year to complete a scholarship training course through the Kilimanjaro Guide Scholarship Foundation, which will train them in Tour Operations, Tourism Geography, Wildlife Knowledge and Basic Computer Application.

    Our Kilimanjaro porters are paid a rate in excess of the Kilimanjaro Porter Assistant Project (KPAP) recommended minimum wage for porters. They are also provided with a suitable mountain kit that includes a sleeping bag and mat as well as waterproof boots, gloves, hat, torch and warm clothes. In fact our operation responsible for our Kilimanjaro climbs is one of the founding members of KPAP.

    Before arriving in a community our travellers are given information concerning local customs and traditions ensuring that they are aware of the impact their behaviour can have on a local community.

    We invest in our staff. All staff is trained in first aid, which is updated every three years. Loans are given to full time employees on a 0% interest basis.

    Our local operations have been involved in the development of local schools and the construction of a new training centre for Tanzanians to learn hospitality skills.

    World Youth Adventures has sent many school groups on Community Projects n Tanzania. Since 2009 the work completed by 3 groups of World Expeditions Community Project Travellers as well as funding received from the World Expeditions Foundation has seen the primary and secondary schools at Magara transformed. Renovation work on both schools has been completed and a computer room has been built, solar panels installed, new computers purchased and installed, 3 computer teachers trained and an ongoing computer maintenance fund provided.

    Learn more about our commitment, and view our free Responsible Travel Guidebook, on our Responsible Travel Page

  • Journey inside the Ngorongoro Crater&#160;-&#160;<i>Photo:&#160;Maria Rainone</i>

    Ngorongoro Crater: The 100 sq km Ngorongoro Crater lies within a large volcanic caldera in the highlands west of Arusha. The crater is one of the last refugees for the endangered black rhino in northern Tanzania; the rhino population here is carefully protected and they are quite commonly seen. With over 30,000 animals, the Ngorongoro Crater can be regarded as a “Garden of Eden” and is home to the highest density of lions anywhere in Africa.

    Olduvai Gorge: Known as the ‘Cradle of Mankind’, Olduvai is one of the world’s most important prehistoric sites since the discovery of fossils, bones and artifacts linked to some of the earliest humans on earth.

    Mt Kilimanjaro: At 5895m, the permanently snow capped peak of Kilimanjaro is a natural objective for any fit student. Utilising the very best ground services available on the mountain, WYA takes no chances with our school groups’ safety on Kilimanjaro. Call our team to discuss whether an ascent of Kilimanjaro is right for your school.

    Mt Meru: At 4555m, Mt Meru is a much more achievable objective for schools short on time or not ready to tackle Kilimanjaro. The climb of Meru involves huts, and ascends through slopes that are home to a large wildlife population including elephants and mountain reedbuck.

    Other National Parks: If time and budget do not allow a visit to Ngorongoro, other famous parks which offer an equally impressive wildlife excursion include Lake Manyara, famous for tree climbing lions, the endless plains of the Serengeti as well as Tarangire National Park and its huge herds of elephants.

    Local Welcome, Kakoi village in Tanzania&#160;-&#160;<i>Photo:&#160;Ian Williams</i>

    With a rich history and complex cultural profile, modern Tanzania is the product of various African and international influences over the course of thousands of years. The cultural, political and religious influences of various occupations have shaped mainland Tanzania and its islands (in particular, Zanzibar) into what they are today.

    Most of the known history of mainland Tanzania prior to the 1880s concerns the coast, with the exception of a few inland prehistoric sites of archaeological significance. The most important site is Olduvai Gorge, near the Ngoro Ngoro Crater in the northwest, where archaeologist Mary Leakey uncovered the near-perfect skull of the Paranthropus boisei, or “Eastern Man”—an early hominin (ancestor to modern humans). Leakey’s discovery places human ancestors in the region as far back as 2.3 million years ago.

    East African dynasties had been trading with merchants from the Indian Ocean world for many centuries already, but the 8th century saw the rise of Islam in the Middle East, and Arabic, Indian, Persian and Chinese merchant ships arriving along the East African coast in earnest. Communicating via their new lingua franca of Swahili (a variant of Bantu language with many Arabic, Persian and Portuguese words), the new business relationships and family dynasties forged between visiting merchants and the wealthy Bantu resulted in the development of many prosperous new commercial cities along what is now known as the Swahili coast. Business flourished as merchants traded exotic goods such as spices, silks, animal skins, ivory and gold from throughout the Indian Ocean world. A distinctive Swahili culture emerged, marked by Arabic and Asian-influenced art and architecture and an almost-universal adoption of Islam throughout the region.

    During this time, many Asian and Arab trade towns were established along the coast and interior of Tanzania as a result of trading contacts, and relations appear to have been friendly between the Arabs and local Africans. The power of the Arab merchants gradually waned after the arrival of the Portuguese in the late 1400s, but the Portuguese paid little attention to the interior, focusing their occupation on the coast.

    Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama arrived in 1498 and in capturing the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa—at that time the seat of Swahili power—was able to gain control of the Swahili coast, with the Portuguese going on to occupy all of the important coastal trading towns. The turn of the 18th century saw the Portuguese overthrown by Omani Arabs who then succeeded to but later ousted from power the Mazrui clan of Mombasa. The Sultan of Oman then moved the capital of his empire from Muscat to the island of Zanzibar, off the coast of Tanzania. The Sultan developed a successful commercial empire on Zanzibar, bringing new prosperity, and merchant and landownership systems to the Swahili coast. Trading of slaves and exotic goods thrived in Zanzibar’s capital and main port of Stone Town, with financial and cultural effects along the Swahili coast.

    The slave trade had already existed for centuries along the East African coast, but labor forced demands on the Sultan of Oman’s own plantations on Zanzibar, as well as on French plantations on the islands of Réunion and Mauritius, and further abroad in Europe and the Americas, intensified the search for and trade of slaves. This would continue until a British protectorate claimed over Zanzibar reduced the sultan’s power and curtailed slavery.

    The mid-1880s saw Germany, Britain and France carving up East Africa, and although they recognised the authority of the Sultan of Oman over Zanzibar and small parts of the Kenyan coastal strip, Britain and Germany took control of modern-day mainland Kenya and Tanzania.

    The British-occupied territory (Kenya) was declared a region of the East Africa Protectorate, and in 1891 the German-occupied region (Tanzania) was declared a protectorate as part of German East Africa.

    The Germans were integral to the development of Tanzania’s valuable agricultural resource industry, with German agronomist Richard Hindorff introducing the very successful sisal crop to the territory in 1892. The construction of railway lines from the new capital of Dar es Salaam on the coast to Lake Tanganyika, and another from Tanga to Moshi, opened up export capabilities and encouraged the coffee-growing industry in the fertile foothills of Mt Kilimanjaro.

    During WW1, Britain and Germany engaged in hostilities which would devastate the Kenyan and Tanzanian populations, resulting in casualties (of both civilian and forced-labour African troops), food shortages and soil depletion (in turn causing drought and famine). Most European settlers joined the troops, leaving their wives to look after farms, or abandoning them altogether.

    During the war, Britain was successful in capturing the German territory, and in 1920 renamed the land Tanganyika Territory. Britain’s own land holdings were renamed Kenya (after its highest mountain peak). Post-WWII, Tanganyika focused on ensuring economic recover from the effects of war and the Great Depression, largely by making itself as independent from imported goods as possible.

    Britain retained control of Tanganyika during WWII, after which is became a United Nations trust territory. One of the main conditions of the United Nations trusteeship was that Britain was expected to help positively develop the political system of Tanganyika, however, real changes only became apparent in the 1950s.

    Politician Julius Nyerere’s TANU party was victorious in the 1960 Legislative Council elections, and Nyerere became the newly-independent Tanganyika’s president in 1961. Nyerere shortly resigned from his post and was succeeded by Rashisi Kawawa, and Nyerere focused instead on writing important political papers such as “Ujamaa—the Basis for African Socialism,” which would later served as the ideological grounding for the 1967 Arusha Declaration.

    After having achieving independence from British rule in 1961, Tangayika adopted a republican constitution on December 9, 1962, and in the same year, President Nyerere announced that multi-party elections would now be banned.

    On December 10, 1963, Zanzibar achieved independence as a member of the Commonwealth. On April 26, 1964, Tanganyika and Zanzibar joined together to form the United Republic of Tanzania, under the leadership of President Nyerere. One-party rule politics persisted from the 1970s until the 1990s, with the first democratic elections in two decades held in 1995. Despite unification back in 1964, Zanzibar has continued to largely pursue its own policies and administration, operating as a semi-autonomous state.

    The political philosophies put forth by Nyerere in “Ujamaa—the Basis for African Socialism,” (ujamaa meaning ‘familyhood’ in Swahili) called for socialism, self-reliance, and political freedom from foreign aid and influence. His thoughts organised into the 1967 Arusha Declaration, Nyerere’s ideology did not garner sweeping support. The next two decades were marked by tense relations with neighbouring countries, and resentment within Tanzania due to the ongoing one-party policy and failure to hold elections in Zanzibar. In 1972, Abeid Karume, the first president of Zanzibar, was assassinated by the Tanzanian military.

    Nyerere resigned in November 1985, succeeded by Ali Hassan Mwinyi, whose inheritance of an suffering economy meant that Nyerere’s political resistance to foreign aid could not be maintained. International aid was accepted, and by the mid-1990s was needed more than ever when Tanzania’s economy and food supply was collapsing under the strain of a large influx of refugees arriving from Rwanda, Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) and Burundi.

    During the late 1990s and early 2000s, Tanzania suffered terrorist attacks, violent civil demonstrations and bombings due to resentment from extremist Islamic groups unhappy with the government’s refusal to adopt their extremist views.

    2005 saw the launch of the East African Community Customs Union, a group forged between Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda in an effort to stimulate economic development in the region. Rwanda and Burundi joined the group in 2009, at which time Tanzania signed a customs/trade agreement allowing the free movement of people and goods across the East African Community. Tanzania's rapidly developing tourism sector continues to boost the economy, with Zanzibar, Mt Kilimanjaro and the mainland's many safari parks and reserves attracting tourist spend.

    Tanzanians are often praised as a balanced and tolerant people, and apart from some ongoing tussles with Zanzibar over autonomy, modern day Tanzania is known to be a largely peaceful and well-integrated nation with tribal rivalries being practically nonexistent.

  • Mainland: Muslim 35%; various indigenous beliefs 35%; Christian 30%. Zanzibar: more than 99% Muslim

    Society in Tanzania can be discussed in three broad segments: Muslim or Swahili, Christian and indigenous/tribal (with the Maasai people, although not the largest in number of the Tanzanian tribes, often being the most visible to visitors).

    The islands of the Zanzibar archipelago (along with parts of the coast) are almost exclusively Muslim, with Muslim communities also found along the old inland routes taken by Arab caravans centuries ago. In these areas, mosques are found in every town and village, and the adhan (call to prayer) can be heard 5 times throughout the day. Most families live fairly simply and self-sufficiently in small villages and towns. Marriage is an important institution, with polygyny (multiple wives) common, as elsewhere in the Muslim world. Girls and women dress modestly with the head and chest covered by a hijab headscarf, but are often wrapped in colourful Swahili "kanga" fabrics: vibrant, patterned cotton fabrics emblazoned with Swahili proverbs and sayings. Muslim men can often be seen in the traditional long shirtdress and kofia (brimless cap), but young men can increasingly be seen wearing more western clothing such as jeans and tshirts

    Life in mainland cities and larger towns is a combination of more traditional Muslim and more westernised Christian home life, with expats and immigrant families diversifying the complex cultural profile of the country. Christians tend to dress in modest but western-style attire

    The pastoral Masai people travel in nomadic bands throughout the year, living traditionally in ‘kraal’ encampments made of mud-dung houses and surviving on the meat, milk and blood of their cattle herds. Marriage is an important institution, with polygyny (multiple wives) common among older Masai males. Between the ages of about 14 to 30, Masai men live in isolation in the bush, honing tribal skills and developing the qualities of strength, endurance and fearlessness that Masai warriors are renowned for. The most important social institution of Masai life is the tiered system of ‘age sets’. Each age set lasts roughly 15 years, as similar age groups of men ascend the hierarchy from junior and senior warriors, to junior and senior elders. Senior elders are highly respected members of society and form the council responsible for decisions concerning the tribe. The Masai people are highly recognisable in their traditional attire: vibrant red blankets and intricate beaded jewellery adornments.

    Many other different tribes exist across Tanzania (upwards of 130 in total) with communities of people living based on traditional tribal beliefs, customs and social structures

    Tribal rivalries are practically non-existent, and the harmony of Tanzanian society hinges on the nature of the Tanzanian people themselves: polite, respectful and courteous. Great effort goes into maintaining positive relationships with everyone in the community: family, friends, elders, neighbours, officials—even strangers. Don't be surprised to hear Tanzanians engaged in multiple rounds of respectful greetings prior to just about any exchange

    Tanzania is a mixture of Christian, Muslim and traditional beliefs

    People are generally very polite, and they should be treated with respect and you should behave (and dress) with a reasonable amount of modesty

    If you want to take photographs (especially of Masai or other tribal people) you should always seek permission first

    Pens, pencils, exercise books and paper are much better than sweets/candy as small gifts for the rural children that you meet on your travels. Sweets create dental issues for the children and pollution issues for the local environment when wrappers are dropped

    Visiting a Masai village provides a good opportunity to learn about the inner workings of local village life. However, you need to be aware that the commercial reality of permitting this fascinating glimpse of Masai culture necessitates the sale of handicrafts, jewellery and other items. Of course you are under no obligation whatsoever to purchase these items, however should be aware they will be offered

    Travellers should take particular note of the dates of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting, as visits to Muslim areas during this month are not advisable for the average traveller due to the large number of restaurants, bars and other businesses closed during the daylight hours, making travel difficult

    Ramadan is a holy time of sacrifice for Muslims, so if you do find yourself in Muslim parts of Tanzania during this month, please exercise respect for people observing Ramadan by not eating, drinking, smoking or kissing in public view during daylight hours. Consideration should also be given to the fact that any Muslims observing Ramadan may be weak from fasting (especially as Zanzibar is very hot and humid), so patience is key!

    Tanzanians are known for being very polite and courteous, always exchanging multiple rounds of greetings (and also queries about one's health and wellbeing, and one's family's) before 'getting down to business'. Any attempts to use Swahili greetings and respectful phrases before asking a question or a favour will earn you extra smiles and courtesy.

    Muslim holidays are celebrated with great enthusiasm on Zanzibar and in other Muslim parts of Tanzania. Travellers should take particular note of the dates of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting, as visits during this month are not advisable for the average traveller due to the large number of restaurants, bars and other businesses closed during the daylight hours.

    Eid-e-Fitr, on the other hand (the four-day celebration immediately following the end of Ramadan), is a joyful party experience you won't soon forget. Celebrations happen throughout Zanzibar and other Muslim areas, but especially in Stone Town. Also known locally as "sikukuu" (celebration), it's the biggest party of the year and the streets are full with people of all ages: exchanging gifts, wearing new clothes, dancing and sharing feasts with family and friends.

    Falling after the Hajj (mecca pilgrimage season) Eid-e-Hajj is another Islamic holiday celebrated with great joy on Zanzibar, with music, dancing, special prayers, sermons, gift-giving, feasts and general merriment.

    Mwaka Kogwa is a four-day celebration of the Shirazi (Persian) New Year, and although it happens in various places over Zanzibar, it is best observed from Makunduchi, a village in the south. Happening in late July each year, it features banquets, rituals and mock fights.

    The Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) takes place in Stone Town every June/July and one of the biggest events in the East African cultural calendar, with film, music, dance and other art forms coming from all of the "dhow countries" including East Africa, India, Pakistan, Iran and other Arabic countries.

    Sauti Za Busara ("sound of wisdom") is a four-day festival of Swahili music and culture, taking place in Stone Town (Zanzibar) each mid-Feb. Expect music, dance, theatre, film and other arts

    Jahazi Literary and Jazz Festival takes place in Stone Town in late August/Early September, featuring open-air jazz concerts, poetry readings and story telling

    Zanzibar's northwest beach town of Kendwa is home to monthly full moon parties, held on the Saturday closest to the full moon, with guest numbers swelling as partygoers flock to the beautiful Kendwa Beach area for a noisy night of drinking and dancing. Accommodation is difficult to secure on these weekends so plan ahead.

    Christians throughout the country celebrate religious holidays and festivals such as Lent, Easter and Christmas. These holidays go by largely unnoticed on Zanzibar, however, some English-speaking Muslim locals may still wish you a Merry Christmas on December 25

    Secular public holidays include: Zanzibar Revolution Day (12th January); Union Day (26th April); Nyerere Day (14th October) and Independence Day (9th December)

    Total population is 48,261,942; Tanzania being the 28th most populous country in world, growing at a rate of 2.82%.

    The median age is 17.3 years; with 44.8% aged 0-14 and 2.9% aged 65+.

    Sex ratio is 0.99 males to 1 female

    The urban population is 26.7% (2011), with average annual rate of urbanization at 4.77%.

    Mainland: African 99% (of which 95% are Bantu consisting of more than 130 tribes), Other 1%. Zanzibar: mix of Arab, African, and mixed Arab/African descent.

  • Landscapes of the Tanzanian national park, Africa&#160;-&#160;<i>Photo:&#160;Gesine Cheung</i>

    Tanzania's climate varies from fertile west to arid interior to tropical coastline, but as a general rule, the country is usually warm by day and cool by night.

    Tanzania has three climatic seasons: the 'short rains' (October - November), the 'long rains' (March - May) and the dry season outside of these months. Downpours generally occur in the late afternoons, with the earlier part of the day usually being warm and sunny.

    Mainland Tanzania is divided into four climatic and physiographic regions: the highlands of the northeast and southwest; the high inland mountiand and lake region near Mt Kilimanjaro; the hot arid central plateau; and the humid lowlands of the coast.

    Half of the mainland receives insufficient precipitation to support crop cultivation, with the coast and offshore islands receiving high annual rainfalls.

    Temperatures plummet near the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro, where it is possible to experience temperatures as low as -20°C (-4°F), with rain, cold, snow and high-altitude conditions all commonplace as you ascend.

    Zanzibar and Pemba have high temperatures and humidity year-round, with rainfalls highest in April - May and lowest in November - December.

    Kenya and Uganda to the north; the Indian Ocean to the east; Mozambique to the south; Malawi and Zambia to the southwest; Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west; and Rwanda and Burundi to the northwest

    947,300 square km (365,754 square miles) / (31st largest country in the world), divided into 30 region

    Tanzania is ranked at 143 out of 178 countries, with a slight improving trend, on the Environmental Performance Index (2014), which quantifies and benchmarks performance of government environmental policies and outcomes

    Environmental issues include soil degradation, deforestation; desertification; threat to marine habitats due to destruction of coral reefs; effect of drought on agriculture; and illegal hunting and poaching, especially for ivory

    Natural hazards include flooding on the central plateau during the rain season and drought

    Tanzania is a signatory to various international environmental and conservation agreements

    Tanzania's national parks and reserves are quite possibly its greatest cultural legacy: home to abundant wildlife and spectacular scenery at every turn

    Tanzania is home to a staggering diversity of wildlife—due in part to the low penetration of human settlement—including lions, leopards, cheetahs and wildcats, elephants, giraffes, primates, many different ungulates (including zebra, gazelle, impala, wildebeest, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses), buffalo, crocodiles, birds, fish, marine mammals and insects. Tsetse flies and mosquitoes infest parts of the country, spreading sleeping sickness and malaria respectively

    From July to October each year, around 1.5 million white bearded wildebeest follow a predictable migration route from the Serengeti National Park, north through Tanzania to the greener pastures of Kenya's Maasai Mara National Reserve. Joined by hundreds of thousands of gazelle, eland, zebra and other animals, the wildebeest journey northward for months and are greeted by an annual audience of hungry predators, including crocodiles, lions, hyenas and cheetahs. Within the Serengeti are some of the best spots to view the incredible spectacle of the great migration

    The country is dotted with many more spectacular national parks known for their significant wildlife populations, including the Selous Game Reserve, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Gombe National Park and Kilimanjaro National Park

    Tanzania's distribution of different vegetation is directly linked to each region's distribution of wildlife. The western and southern plateaus are predominantly miombo woodland. Highland areas are mainly forested, due to high precipitation and no sustained dry season. Bushland and thicket cover most areas of lower rainfall, and wooded grasslands covers most of the floodplain and anywhere else with poor drainage.

    Large herds of wildebeest, zebras, giraffes, buffalo, gazelles, elands, dik-diks and antelope are found in most of Tanzania parks and game reserves. Lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas and wild dogs are their main predators, and crocodiles and hippopotamuses are common along lakeshores and riverbanks. Gombe National Park near Lake Tanganyika is home to bands of chimpanzees. Tanzania is home to over 1,500 different identified bird species.

    Long-term human settlement on Zanzibar and Pemba has resulted in the clearance of most forests, and replacement with the domestic crops such as coconuts, bananas, spices and citrus fruits. Monkeys, mongooses, civet cats, bird and marine life can be found on both islands

    Agriculture plays a critical role in Tanzania’s economy, with coffee, cashew nuts and cotton all important export crops. The "spice islands" of Zanzibar and Pemba are also responsible for the cultivation and export of large volumes of culinary spices

    View of Mt Kiliminjaro, Tanzania&#160;-&#160;<i>Photo:&#160;Peter Brooke</i>

    Tanzania contains a dazzling array of different and spectacular natural environments including deserts, rainforests, grasslands, beaches, coral reefs and the rugged valleys and peaks of the Great Rift Valley

    The Great Rift Valley (also called the Eastern Rift Valley) is one of two major branches of the East African Rift System, one of the world's largest rifts, extending from Jordan through East Africa and down to Mozambique. The Eastern Rift Valley longitudinally bisects Tanzania's central highlands, with the country's (and Africa's) highest peak being the snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895 m / 19,340 ft). The Western Rift Valley branch of the system latitudinally bisects Tanzania and is marked by Lakes Tanganyika (the world's second deepest lake) and Rukwa. The vast central plateau falls between the two branches and accounts for two thirds of the land mass of the mainland

    Extending from the northern coast, the Usambara and Pare mountain chains run in a southeast-to-northwest direction, culminating in the country's highest peak of Mt Kilimanjaro and continuing beyond to Mt Meru. To the west of Meru another mountain chain begins, which includes Ol Doinyo Langai (an active volcano) and the Ngorongoro Crater, the world's largest volcanic depression

    Local transportation options at Nungwi Beach on Zanzibar&#160;-&#160;<i>Photo:&#160;Christa Cameron</i>

    Ngorongoro Conservation Area (1979) Ngorongoro is a property of outstanding environmental, biological and cultural significance. At 8,094 sq km (3,125 sq mi), this vast Heritage Listed property stretches from the plains of the Serengeti National Park to the eastern branch of the Great Rift Valley, taking in a huge variety of spectacular landscapes. The site contains the Ngogongoro Crater, the world’s largest caldera, an enormous cauldron-shaped crater caused by volcanic activity in the eastern Rift Valley, as well as the Olduvai Gorge. The property’s many different landscapes include highland plains, forests, woodlands, savanna, grasslands, springs and lakes. The area is home to lions, cheetahs, leopards, servals, black rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses, African elephants, zebras, wildebeest, elands, gazelles, hyenas, jackals, African wild dogs and over 500 bird species, and the northern plains of the property form part of the annual migration zone of millions of wildebeest and other land animals. Archaeological evidence uncovered within the site places hominids (early human ancestors) in the area as far back as 3.6 million years ago. Today, semi-nomadic pastoralist Maasai people live traditionally within the property, herding and grazing cattle

    Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara (1981) Off the Tanzanian coast some 300 km south of Dar es Salaam are two islands, Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara, which bear the remains of two port cities of the same name. Inhabited from the 9th to 19th centuries, the two cities were extremely prosperous trading ports between African, Arab, Persian, Indian, Chinese and European merchants, peaking between the 13th and 16th centuries. The substantial ruins include palaces, mosques, houses, public squares, prisons and burial grounds and provide an outstanding archaeological record of the unique architecture, culture, commerce and history of the Swahili East Coast

    Serengeti National Park (1981) From July to October each year, nearly two million wildebeest follow a predictable migration route from the Serengeti National Park, north through Tanzania to the greener pastures of Kenya's Maasai Mara National Reserve. Joined by hundreds of thousands of gazelle, eland, zebra and other animals, the wildebeest journey northward for months and are greeted by an annual audience of hungry predators, including crocodiles, lions, hyenas and cheetahs. Within the vast and spectacular Serengeti National Park are some of the best spots to view the incredible spectacle of the world’s largest animal migration

    Selous Game Reserve (1982) With an area of 50,000 sq km (19,305 sq mi) Selous Game Reserve is one of the largest protected areas in Africa. This vast property, largely unaltered by humans, is home to an outstanding biodiversity of plant and animal life. The property’s many different environments, including forests, woodlands, savanna grasslands, rivers and swamps, are home to globally significant populations of African elephant, black rhino, hippopotamus, buffalo, wildebeest, eland, zebra, giraffe, crocodile and hundreds of species of bird.

    Kilimanjaro National Park (1987) At an elevation of 5,895 m (19,341 ft), Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa. With its impressive snow and glacier-capped massif, the isolated Kilimanjaro stands abruptly amidst the surrounding plains. The name Mount Kilimanjaro encompasses the triple volcanic cones of Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira, with Kibo’s Uhuru Peak being the highest point. The national park includes the surrounding environments of montane forest, moorlands, alpine desert and savanna bushland, and is home to diverse flora and fauna, as well as many villages inhabited by the Chagga people

    Stone Town of Zanzibar (2000) Stone Town, the main settlement on the island of Zanzibar, is one of the best-preserved examples of the unique and intriguing Swahili culture and bears witness to the history of East Africa. Developed in the early 1800s, Stone Town became a flourishing trading port between African, Arab, Persian, Indian and European merchants, with trade of spices and slaves particularly lucrative. Stone Town today is a fascinating mix of cultures inhabiting a labyrinth of narrow streets. Its well-preserved 19th century architecture, including palaces, mansions and grand buildings, are made from a mixture of local coral limestone, lime, laterite (red rock soil) and timber (including elaborately carved wooden doors from India), show a marriage of Arab, Persian, Indian, African and European artistic styles

  • World Youth Adventures can tailor make a school expedition to Tanzania to your school’s budget and curriculum requirements.

    Talk to us about your next school expedition, or if you need some ideas check out the trips below.


  • Capital City:  Dodoma
    Time zone:  Tanzania is +3 hours ahead of UTC/GMT
    Language:  Swahili (official)
    Currency:  Tanzanian Shilling (divided into cents)
    Highest Mountain:  Mount Kilimanjaro
    Highest Mountain Elevation:  5,895 mts / 19,341 ft
    Yellow-edged black band runs diagonally through centre from bottom left to top right, dividing flag into two large triangles (top/left is green, signifying natural vegetation; bottom/right is blue, signifying lakes, rivers and the Indian Ocean). Yellow signifies rich mineral deposits and black signifies the indigenous people.