Tanzania has a tropical climate but has regional variations due to topography. In the highlands, temperatures range between 10 and 20°C (50 and 68°F) during cold and hot seasons respectively.
The rest of the country has temperatures rarely falling lower than 20 (68°F). The hottest period extends between November and February (25-31°C or 77.0-87.8°F) while the coldest period occurs between May and August (15-20°C or 59-68°F).
Seasonal rainfall is driven mainly by the migration of the Inter-tropical Convergence Zone. It migrates southwards through Tanzania in October to December, reaching the south of the country in January and February, and returning northwards in March, April, and May. This causes the north and east of Tanzania to experience two distinct wet periods-the short rains (or ”Vuli”) in October to December and the long rains or (“Masika”) from March to May – while the southern, western, and central parts of the country experience one wet season that continues October through to April or May.
The onset of the long rains averages 25 March and the cessation averages 21 May. A warmer-than-normal South Atlantic Ocean coupled with a cooler-than-normal Eastern Indian Ocean often causes the onset to be delayed.
Of the land area, 84.1% has a tropical wet and dry/ savanna climate (Aw), 6.9% has a semi-arid/ steppe climate (BS), 9% has temperature/ mesothermal climate with dry winter (CW). On the population, 80.5 percent live in the tropical wet and dry/Savannah climate (AW). 9.5 percent live in a semi – arid/ steppe climate (BS), 10 percent live in a temperate/mesothermal climate with dry winter (CW).
The evocative mix of people and cultures in Tanzania creates a tapestry of memories for the visitor.
Since the dawn of mankind, when the savannahs of east and southern Africa saw the birth of humanity, Tanzania has been home of countless peoples of many different origins. Tanzania’s history has been influenced by processions of peoples, from the original Bantu settlers from the south and West Africa to the Arabs from Shiraz in Persia and Oman; from the Portuguese to the Germanys and the British. Tanzanians took control of their own destiny with the independence in 1961.
Tanzania has a population of over 26 million with 120 African ethnic groups, none of which represent more than 10 percent of the population. The Sukuma and other including the Nyamwenzi, the Makonde and the Chaga of the Kilimanjaro region, of which is the largest group, live in the North – Western part of the Country who live on a mix of cotton farming and cattle herding.
Unlike the other African countries, most people identify themselves as Tanzanians first and foremost. This reflects the ideals which were introduced by the leader of the nation for over twenty years, Julius Nyerere.
The Hadzabe of Northern Tanzanis have built a society based on hunting and gathering food, while the Iraqw live in the central Highlands of Mbulu and they are known for their statuesque, immobile posture and sharply delineated features. They grow their own food and tend cattle. The Masai, who are perhaps the most well-known of the East Africa’s ethnic groups, are pastoralists whose livelihood and culture based on the rearing of cattle, which are used to determine social status and wealth.
They dominate Northern Tanzania but only occupy a fraction of their former grazing land in the north, much of which they now share with National Parks and other protected areas. They are easily recognized by their single red or blue garments and their ochre covered bodies.
North of Masai steppe, on the slopes of Kilimanjaro, live the Chagga, who farm the mountain side. Through cooperative farming they have achieved a fair standard of living. The Gogo live near Dodoma and have developed slowly due to the lack of water. The formerly warlike Hehe live in Iringa District’s highland grasses.
The Makonde are internationally famous for their intricate wood (Ebony) carvings ( sold over much of East Africa) They are along the coast on the Makonde Plateau and their relative isolation has resulted in a high degree of ethnic self-awareness.
The Nyamwezi, whose name translates into “People of the Moon”, were probably so called because of their location in the west. The Nyamwezi, now caltivators, were once great traders. The 19th century European explorers regarded them the most powerful group in the interior
The Haya, located along the shores of Lake Victoria, to the North West of Nyamwezi, grew and traded coffee long before the arrival of the Europeans and today have established tea and coffee processing plants. Haya women produce excellent handicrafts
In an area of forest and bush live the Ha who retain a deep belief in the mystical. They live in relative solitude with their long-horned cattle and wearing hide or fibre of tree barks. They are well known for their artistic expression, and especially their dances and celebration. Tanzanians will tell you that the reason for the relative harmony between the various ethnic groups is that virtually everyone speaks Swahili in addition to their native tongue.
Today, great majority of the population have accepted and fluently use Kiswahili, and English is generally well known. As a result of the linguistic situation, many of the 120 tribal languages are slowly withering away with every new generation. Kiswahili on the other hand has grown into an international language that is widely use across multiple borders. Kiswahili is ranked among the top 10 international languages. Apart from Tanzania, it is now used in Kenya, Uganda, DRC Congo, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to name a few.
Safaris in Tanzania have something to offer to everyone. Experience the adventure of budget camping or opulence of luxury camping safaris. Enjoy a truly memorable lodge safari, or take it one step further and fly camping. Hunting safaris are also possible
Tanzanians are warm – hearted and generous people and are eager to help to help visitors get the most out of their stay. Hotels are safe and have Watchmen. Tanzania is politically stable, multi democratic country. However, as in all countries, a little common sense goes a long way and reasonable precautions should still be taken, such as locking valuables in the hotel safe and not walking alone at night
You can now apply for an online Visa to Visit the United Republic of Tanzania (Both Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar)
You are required to fill in the online form, make payment, and submit your application online. Your form will be internally reviewed and processed. Applicants will be notified through their e-mails whether their application have been accepted or rejected. They may also TRACK their application statuses through the online system. Applicants may as well be required to visit the nearest Tanzania Embassies or Consular offices for interviews.
It is believed that modern human originates from the rift valley region of East Africa, and as well as fossilized remains, archaeologists have uncovered Africa’s oldest human settlements in Tanzania
In 1959, Dr. L.S.B. Leaky, a British anthropologist, discovered at Olduvai Gorge in North East Tanzania the fossilized remains of what he called Homo Habilis, who lived about 1.75 million years ago. Tanzania was later the site of Paleolithic cultures. By the beginning of the first millennium A.D. different parts of the country, including the coast, were thinly populated. At this time overseas trade seemed to have been carried out between the coast and North Africa, South West Asia and India.
By about A.D 900 traders from South West Asia and India had settled on the coast, exchanging cloth materials, beads, and metal goods for Ivory. They also exported small numbers of Africans as slaves, By this time there were also contacts with China, directly and via Sri Vijaya (Indonesia) and India. By 1200, Kilwa Kisiwani (situated on an island) was a major trade center, handling Gold exported from Sofala 9on the coast of modern Mozambique) as well as goods (including Ivory, Bees wax and Animal Skins) from the near interior of Tanzania. By 1000 the migration of Bantu – Speakers into the interior of Tanzania from the West and the South was well under way, and the population greatly increased. The Bantu were organized in relatively small political Units