Tanzania & Zanzibar
Tanzania is a country synonymous with Africa itself. Α place combining such huge natural and cultural richness that’s probably the ideal induction point in the black continent, for every traveler. Here you will find some of the most important national parks, such as the Serengeti and Ngorongoro, where fauna offers pictures and experiences like in documentaries. Here is the roof of Africa, the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, but also a part of its largest lake, Lake Victoria. And of course the two emerald islands of the Zanzibar archipelago, with their exotic beaches of whitewashed sugar sand and dazzling blue waters. The cultural and anthropological abundance of Tanzania is so unique and varied, from the proud tribe of the Masai to the mystical Islamic atmosphere of Stonetown in Zanzibar. On this African land, the ancestors of our human kind were walking 1.9 million years ago, with fossil findings confirming the theory that we are all Africans.
Zanzibar is an archipelago that includes two large and many smaller islands in the Indian Ocean that are a semi-autonomous province of Tanzania. The Arab-Islamic former Sultanate, and later British Protectorate, joined Tanganyika in 1963, forming the state of Tanzania, but retaining its quite different characteristics.
Like all Africans, the people of this country are proud and patient. After all, their motto in the local Swahili dialect is “pole pole” which means slowly-slowly and stress-free. In Tanzania, you will find unique tribal groups, with the larger and most famous tribe of Masai, the Hadzabe hunting tribe, as well as the Arabic mix of the Zanzibar islands’ population.
The traditionally Islamic background of the inhabitants of Zanzibar makes them relatively distant and introverted to the crowds of tourists who flock to enjoy the turquoise beaches and tropical climate.
Tanzania was formed after the Tanganyika union with Zanzibar and is one of the poorest countries in the world. Although the official capital is Dodoma, Dar Es Salaam is the largest city and administrative capital. From here you can go by flight or by -comfortable enough- buses to the northern city of Arusha, which is the starting point for Safaris in the biggest national parks of the country. There you’ll find a variety of packages and prices depending on the duration of the safari and especially the type of accommodation you’ll choose, from camping with poor hygiene conditions to luxurious lodges at astronomical costs. Another activity is Kilimanjaro climbs, which requires a good physical condition and 5 to 9 days. Many tourists visit some of the Masai villages, many of them not quite authentic anymore but rather a set-up touristic show. In Zanzibar (Unguja is the original name of the island but is usually named after the archipelago), the island of spices and also a slave-market at earlier times, you can either go by a short flight or by 2-hour boat route. The choices on this great island are many, with endless enchanting beaches. The northern ones are more favourable, with less tide, but that doesn’t mean that the eastern shore are less beautiful, with traditional villages scattered everywhere. The visitor should not overlook the magic of the capital town of the island named Stonetown, which is a World Heritage Site with Islamic architecture, traditional buildings covered with patina of time. The other islands of the archipelago are less known and less touristic, like the islands of Pemba and Mafia, are paradises that await to be discovered by those who can afford the cost.