Tanzania, officially the United Republic of Tanzania (Swahili: Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in East Africa within the African Great Lakes region. It borders Uganda to the north; Kenya to the northeast; the Indian Ocean to the east; Mozambique and Malawi to the south; Zambia to the southwest; and Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain, is in northeastern Tanzania. According to the 2022 national census, Tanzania has a population of nearly 62 million, making it the most populous country located entirely south of the equator. At 947,303 square kilometers (365,756 sq mi), Tanzania is the 13th largest country in Africa and the 31st largest in the world, ranked between the larger Egypt and smaller Nigeria. Tanzania's population is composed of about 120 ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups. Christianity is the largest religion in Tanzania, with substantial Muslim and Animist minorities. Over 100 different languages are spoken in Tanzania, making it the most linguistically diverse country in East Africa; the country does not have a de jure official language, although the national language is Swahili which is used in parliamentary debate, in the lower courts, and as a medium of instruction in primary school, spoken by up to 90% as a second language. English is used in foreign trade, in diplomacy, in higher courts, and as a medium of instruction in secondary and higher education, while Arabic is spoken in Zanzibar.
Wildlife and conservation
The Masai giraffe is Tanzania's national animal. Tanzania contains around 20% of the species of Africa's enormous warm-blooded animal populace, found over its 21 National parks, reserves, 1 conservation area, and 3 marine parks. Spread over a zone of in excess of 42,000 square kilometers (16,000 sq. mi) and shaping around 38% of the nation's area. Tanzania has 21 national parks, plus a variety of game and forest reserves, including the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, however there are so many people who live in Ngorongoro and try to affect the environment. In western Tanzania, Gombe Stream National Park is the site of Jane Goodall's ongoing study of chimpanzee behavior, which started in 1960. Tanzania is highly biodiverse and contains a wide variety of animal habitats. On Tanzania's Serengeti plain, white-bearded wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus mearnsi), other bovids and zebra participate in a large-scale annual migration. Tanzania is home to about 130 amphibian and over 275 reptile species, many of them strictly endemic and included in the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red Lists of countries. Tanzania has the largest lion population in the world.
Great Wildebeest Migration
Every year, about two million wildebeest and 20,000 plains game travel from Tanzania’s Serengeti to Kenya’s Masai Mara in search of abundant grazing pastures and life-giving water. The seasons dictate this deadly Great Wildebeest Migration voyage, and when the rains come, the wildebeest follow. This historic Great Migration Africa route begins in the north and ends in the south, stretching about 3000 kilometres and seeming to go on forever. The Wildebeest Migration is a breathtaking natural phenomenon and a must-see safari for adventurers, wildlife enthusiasts, and those seeking a little more from their African vacation. Because the Great Wildebeest Migration has no beginning or endpoint and moves in a clockwise route, herd tracking is difficult to forecast.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area also protects Oldupai or Olduvai Gorges, situated in the plains area. It is considered to be the seat of humanity after the discovery of the earliest known specimens of the human genus, Homo habilis as well as early hominidae, such as Paranthropus boisei.
Approximately 25,000 large animals, mostly ungulates, live in the crater. Large mammals in the crater include the black rhinoceros, the local population of which declined from about 108 in 1964-66 to between 11–14 in 1995, the African buffalo or Cape buffalo, and the hippopotamus. There also are many other ungulates: the blue wildebeest (7,000 estimated in 1994), Grant's zebra (4,000), the eland, and Grant's (Nanger granti) and Thomson's gazelles (3,000). Waterbucks occur mainly near Lerai Forest.
i, oribi, crocodile. Cheetah, East African wild dog, and African leopard are rarely seen. Spotted hyenas have been the subject of a long-term research study in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area since 1996.
Although thought of as "a natural enclosure" for a very wide variety of wildlife, 20 percent or more of the wildebeest and half the zebra populations vacate the crater in the wet season, while Cape buffalo stay; their highest numbers are during the rainy season. Tanzania had a 2019 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 7.13/10, ranking it 54th globally out of 172 countries.
Mount Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcano located in Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania. It has three volcanic cones: Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira. It is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest single free-standing mountain above sea levelin the world: 5,895 m (19,341 ft) above sea level and about 4,900 m (16,100 ft) above its plateau base. It is the highest volcano in Africa and the Eastern Hemisphere.
Kilimanjaro is the fourth most topographically prominent peak on Earth. It is part of Kilimanjaro National Park and is a major hiking and climbing destination. Because of its shrinking glaciers and ice fields, which are projected to disappear between 2025 and 2035, it has been the subject of many scientific studies.
The Maasai are a Nilotic ethnic group inhabiting northern, central and southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. They are among the best-known local populations internationally due to their residence near the many game parks of the African Great Lakes and their distinctive customs and dress.The Maasai speak the Maa language, a member of the Nilotic language family that is related to the Dinka, Kalenjin and Nuer languages. Except for some elders living in rural areas, most Maasai people speak the official languages of Kenya and Tanzania, being Swahili and English. The Maasai population has been reported as numbering 1,189,522 in Kenya in the 2019 census, compared to 377,089 in the 1989 census, though many Maasai view the census as government meddling and therefore either refuse to participate or actively provide false information.
Zanzibar is located off the East Coast of Tanzania. The region of Zanzibar is actually a collection of several islands, known as the Zanzibar Archipelago. It contains two main islands, Unguja and Pemba, and several smaller islands. Unguja is the main island, and is most commonly referred to simply as Zanzibar. North of Unguja is Pemba island.
The main island of Zanzibar is still mostly undeveloped. It is only about 100km from the northern tip to the southern edge, and roughly 40km across. The island’s main hub, Zanzibar City lies on the western side of the island. The center of the island is mostly undeveloped tropical forest. The eastern side and northern tip are populated with many white sandy beaches, and surrounded by a coral reef. Many hotels and resorts also populate this area of the island.
Zanzibar is well known for its spice trade, pristine beaches, island lifestyle, coral reefs, and much more. Throughout this article, we’ll dive into each of these topics in greater detail.
Outside of Zanzibar’s main cities and towns, the population is spread throughout small villages on various islands in the archipelago. These villages primarily engage in rural activities such as fishing and farming.
Zanzibar’s tropical climate is a major reason it is such a trendy tourist destination. The islands remain warm year-round because Zanzibar is so close to the equator. Expect highs above 30C (92F) year-round.
Zanzibar’s main areas of industry include the two reasons it is most famous – spices and tourism. Farming and fishing are also a big part of their economic development.
Zanzibar is perhaps most famous for its spice industry. Its biggest spice exports include cinnamon, black pepper, nutmeg, and cloves. In fact, the Zanzibar Archipelago is sometimes known as the “Spice Islands” for this reason.
Zanzibar’s tourism industry remains a major part of its economy. Many tourists visit Zanzibar to stay at its many hotels and resorts, the majority of which are situated on the beaches on the eastern and northern side of the main island.
Zanzibar’s tourism gained popularity in the 1980s when the government ran an aggressive marketing campaign. Since then, it has seen consistent growth.
What to do in Zanzibar?
Now that we’ve developed a solid background knowledge on the island region of Zanzibar, let’s get to the fun stuff. We’ve written this article as a primer for tourists interested in visiting Zanzibar. Let’s examine our favorite things to do in and around Zanzibar. There’s so much to do, that it was tough to narrow down our list. Keep your eyes open to soak up everything Zanzibar has to offer. Here are some of our top picks:
Stone Town is the historic portion of Zanzibar City. It is an ancient city which was designated a UNESCO Heritage Site in 2000. Its architecture has important historical significance in preserving the different influences of Swahili culture. A visit to Stone Town is a fascinating experience. You get to revel in ancient stone architecture, and winding streets and alleys. The best thing to do in Stone Town is just explore. The path is winding and confusing – almost like a giant maze. Take it for what it is and simply enjoy the journey.