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About Tanzania

Tourism - General Information

Tanzania is among the few countries in the world endowed with such a vast range of tourist attractions. Tanzania has 13 national parks, 29 game reserves, 40 controlled conservation areas and marine parks that are located in the Northern and Southern parts of the country. More than 25% of Tanzania’s land area of about one million square kilometers is covered with magnificent game reserves and national parks. It is also home to Mt. Kilimanjaro, commonly referred to as the Roof of Africa. Kilimanjaro rises 5963 metres (about 19563 feet) above sea level. It is the tallest mountain in Africa and the tallest free-standing mountain in the world. The breathtaking natural beauty of Mt. Kilimanjaro inspired the legendary author Ernest Hemingway to camp at its slopes and wrote one of his famous novels “Snows of Mt. Kilimanjaro.” The miles long silver sand beaches and the rich historical site of the spicy islands of Zanzibar are yet another attraction that Tanzania is blessed with.

The Northern Circuit

The Ngorongoro Crater is among the world’s largest. It is in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The crater is a renowned world heritage site and a natural wonder, earning the title of the Eighth Wonder of the World. Ngorongoro Crater is 2,286 meters above sea level, surrounded by steep walls rising 610 meters from the crater floor. It sprawls over 250 square kilometers. The crater is also home to thousands of animals. The Ngorongoro Crater has some world famous attractions, including the Olduvai and Laetoli Gorges. These are archeological and paleontological sites famous for the discovery made by Dr. Louis Leakey of the remains of Homohabilis or “handyman” and trails of footprints left by the three hominids 3.8 million years ago. Other discoveries include those of prehistoric elephants, giant horned sheep and enormous ostriches.

Serengeti National Park is the best-known wildlife sanctuary in the world. It is also famously known for its great migration of animals, thus making it the only place on the earth where there is a spectacle of 1.5 to 2 million animals on the march. Toward the end of May or early June, huge herds of wildebeest, gazelle and zebra begin their spectacular migration. Following the migration closely are the predators, the ions, cheetahs, wild dogs, hyenas and vultures circling overhead. Serengeti is also home to 35 species of plains animals including the “big give” - elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and buffalo.

Tarangire National Park is also located in the northern circuit. It is famous for its dense wildlife population which is most spectacular between June and September. During this period thousands of animals including wildebeest, zebra, eland, elephants, buffalo and oryx, migrate from the Masai steppe to the Tarangire River in search of water.

Lake Manyara Park is home to millions of flamingos, tree climbing lions and pythons. This is yet another unique attraction, which Tanzania is blessed with.

The Southern Circuit

The Southern Circuit boost of National Parks and Africa’s greatest protected game reserve the “Selous.”

The Selous Game Reserve covers an area of 55,000 square kilometers. It has Tanzania’s largest population of elephants, buffalos, hippos and wild dogs. Other commonly seen species in the Selous Game Reserve are are lions, bush boars, impalas, giraffes, greater kudus, zebras and baboons. Selous contains some of the finest virgin bush life in Africa.

Ruaha National Park is Tanzania’s third largest park and the largest elephant sanctuary. The park derives its name from the great Ruaha River which flows along its entire eastern border creating spectacular gorges and scenery. Flowing into the Rufiji River, the Great Ruaha is home to hippos, crocodiles, waterbucks, reedbucks and buffalos. Bird life is prolific. Over 370 species have been recorded, some of which are not found in northern Tanzania. Eurasian migrants flock to Ruaha twice a year, in March to November, joining the resident kingfishers, hornbills, sunbirds, egrets and plovers.

Gombe Stream National Parkis harbosr some of the rarest species of animals in Africa, including chimpanzees, yellow baboons, sykes monkeys, red tailed monkkeys and savannah colobus monkeys. Gombe Park is famous for its chimpanzees. The famous British researcher Ms. Jane Goodall and her foundation continue to spend a great deal of time to study Gombe chimpanzees’ communities.

Spicy Islands of Zanzibar... a visit to Tanzania cannot be complete without a visit to the Spicy islands of Zanzibar – a paradise where Arabia meets Africa. The islands of Unguja and Pemba that constitute the Spicy islands of Zanzibar have a long history that dates back to the time when Zanzibar was the Eastern gateway to the Middle East and Far East. It was therefore not by accident that explorers Livingstone and Burton established their homes there. Zanzibar was also the center of the infamous slave trade, and was at one time famous for the ivory trade. In the 19th century, cloves were introduced to Zanzibar. To date Zanzibar is still the world’s largest clove producer. Its fame and beauty mesmerized and attracted the Sultan of Oman who designated Zanzibar his capital. “Beit-el Ajaib” (House of Wonders), which was the Sultan’s Palace is worth seeing.

One of the most spectacular sites in Zanzibar is the Stone Town, which is its cultural heart. It has not changed in the last 200 years. The Stone Town is a place of winding alleys, bustling bazaars, mosques and grand Arab houses whose extravagance is reflected in their famous brass-studded and carved wooden doors. In addition to its rich history and attractive sites that Zanzibar offers, enthusiasts and relaxation seekers alike can enjoy walking miles of silver sand beaches or participate in water skiing, board sailing, diving, and swimming in warm waters. The Island of Pemba is rich in spices and beauty, and is an excellent diving destination, surrounded by fringing reefs, coral reefs, and coral islets which support coral down to 64 meters. About 50% of Tanzania's coral reefs are around Pemba. It is also famous for its deep sea fishing.

Historic And Cultural Sites

Besides the natural attractions mentioned above Tanzania has historical and cultural sites. The Coastal towns of Kilwa and Bagamoyo for example have long a long history and rich cultural traditions that date back to the 13th century. Kilwa was the center of gold trade and Bagamoyo was already well-established natural harbor, which bears the reminders of the infamous slaves’ trade and ivory trade. This port was widely used by Arabs, Persians, Chinese and Portuguese traders.

Bagamoyo...  in addition to its history, Bagamoyo also offers water sports, big game fishing and scuba diving. Its magnificent resort hotels are fully equipped for sports activities. About two miles south of Bagamoyo one can find the ruins of the once prosperous Arab town Kaole, which was forced into decline by the Portuguese in the 15th century. The Kaole ruins date back to the 12th century includes two mosques and a well which never runs dry. All these buildings were built using carved coral stone blocks. A safari to historical sites will also take you to another coastal world’s heritage town of Kilwa.

Kilwa is home to the most spectacular 13th century a ruin on the East African Coast. It was during the 13th century that Kilwa established itself as a center for gold trade. Signs of its prosperity can still be seen through the ruins.

Dar es Salaam, which means “Heaven of Peace” in Arabic, is the commercial city of Tanzania. Dar es Salaam is one of the finest natural harbors in the world. Over the years, it has become a bustling port bust has retained its charm. The city is also a melting pot for both local and international cultures. The city has a rich history seen through its architectural delights that depict Asian, Arabic, British and German-Bavarian influence. The Asian influence is strong.

The State House, St. Joseph Cathedral, the Lutheran Azania Front Church, Dar es salaam botanical garden and the City Council office (old Boma) just to mention a few are the legacies of the German era. They are worth seeing. Dar es Salaam has a lot to offer in terms of cultural and art tourism including panoramic tour of the newly built fish market, water sports at its silver beaches, hi-life and so on. Local tour operator can put up the most exciting tour to suit all needs and desires at short notice. Dar es salaam offers a wide choice of hotels accommodation to suit every pocket ranging from five star hotels to Guest hoses in the center of the ”Heaven of Peace.”

Southeast of Dar es Salaam lies a world-class paradise island for of divers, fisherman and water sport lovers. This is no other island than Mafia, an island at the far reaches of the ever-busy world. While on this island, time seems to come to a stop. Its warm waters are incredibly transparent with its rich variety of the coral permitting unimaginable quantity of fishes.

In addition to the fantastic wildlife, glorious beaches and stunning scenery there are plenty of other things to see in Tanzania. These include:

Amboni Caves are located in Tanga Region. They are limestone caves formed during the Jurassic Age some 150 million years ago and are the most extensive cave system in East Africa.

Isimla Stone Age Site is located in south of Iringa where in 1951 the richest finds of Stone Age were discovered together with many fossilized bones believed to be those of mammals related to the modern giraffes, but having much shorter necks and hippopotamus with unusual periscope-like projections.

Kondoa Irangi Rock Paintings in central Tanzania are some of the finest examples of rock paintings in the world. These paintings depict the animals and customs of the people at the time.

Kalambo Falls which drop 215 metres are found near the southern tip of Lake Tanganyika. It is one of the highest water falls in the world after Tugela Falls in South Africa.

Lake Victoria is the world’s second largest fresh water lake after Lake Superior found in North America. It is here that the first European Burton Speke saw the source of the River Nile. The Lake is also famous for its large population of Tilapia and the Nile Perch. It serves as a bridge for the three East African countries of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The Lake also provides water for domestic, industry and irrigation purposes.

Lake Tanganyka is the world’s second deepest fresh water lake. Famous for its large population of sardines and more than 250 different species of fish, the lake also links Tanzania with the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Zambia.

Lake Nyasa is well known for its unique species of aquarium fish. The Lake also links Tanzania with Malawi.

Travel & Accommodation

Several Airlines including British Airways / American Airlines, KLM / Northwest, Swiss International Airline, South African Airlines / Delta, Air India, Emirates, Ethiopian Airline among others operate scheduled flights at competitive pries to all three major airports in Tanzania namely Dar Es Salaam, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar International Airports.

There are also weekly charter flights from Europe that fly directly to Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar International Airports. For further details on schedule and charter flights, kindly contact the respective airline or your travel agent.

Once in the country, you can travel to all tourist destinations by air, coach, sea ferries or by renting a car. Some of the airlines that operate schedule and charter flights within Tanzania are Air Tanzania, Precision Air, ZanAir, Costal Aviation and TanzanAir. Coaches include Scandinavia Bus Services, Comfort, Dar Express, Royal Coach and many others. Most coaches start departing from 05.30 in the morning. Major car rental companies in Tanzania are Hertz, Avis, Rent-a-Car Tanzania, National, Evergreen, and HIMA to mention a few. Sea ferries to and from Zanzibar are Sea Express, Azam Marine, Sea Star Services and Mega Speed liner that has services between the Spicy Islands and Mombasa.

Affordable accommodation in convenient locations is available in major cities, towns, beaches and in national parks. Visitors have a wide choice of accommodation to choose from. Ranging from renowned five star hotels, serviced apartments to comfortable guesthouses. Some of these hotels are Legacy Royal Palm, Golden Tulips, Holiday Inn, Dar Es Salaam Courtyard, Impala, Serena, The Palms, Protea and many others are known for their hospitality and quality services and mouth watering international and local cuisines. Luxurious Lodges at the National Parks include Sopa, Serena, Tarangire Sanctuary, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara among others offer beautiful panoramic views and relaxing romantic atmosphere. Protea Blue Beach resorts, Beachcomber, Zanzibar beach resort, Mafia Lodge are some of the comfortable beach resorts that one can stay at while in Dar Es Salaam, Zanzibar or Mafia.

Nature lovers and camping enthusiasts can stay at luxurious camp lodges or camp at camping sites located in the vicinity of most of the national parks, beaches, Arusha and Kilimanjaro towns. Local tour operators in Tanzania will be glad to assist with all travel, accommodation, safari or other needs.

Investment and Trades

The Tanzania economy offers unlimited opportunities which cut across sectors. These opportunities are available to both local and foreign investors. This section presents highlights about some of these opportunities. The purpose is to inform and encourage potential investors to take their capital to Tanzania where they can make good profit. These opportunities fall into the following major categories:

  • Those based on Tanzania’s endowment with abundant natural resources
  • Those based on Privatization of public enterprises
  • Those arising from investments in the above two areas.

Tanzania’s endowment with a wide range of natural resources provides immense potential business opportunities.

Abundant arable land - Tanzania has nearly 90 million hectares of arable land which is suitable for all agricultural purposes. Only 17 per cent of this is utilized. The remaining 83 per cent is available for new investment in direct crop production, livestock production, poultry production, etc. There are also numerous related opportunities such as supply of agricultural inputs, provision of extension services, marketing/export of agricultural produce and agro-based -industrial activities.

Abundant mineral resources - Gold, Diamond, gemstones such as Tanzanite and Ruby, Coal and Natural gas provide unlimited mining and related opportunities such as supply of mining equipment, provision of exploration services, processing and export of mineral products. The development of mining centers would naturally attract other essential services such as medical care, education, water supply, supermarkets, transport services, etc, all of which constitute important business opportunities.

World famous tourist attractions – Kilimanjaro Mountain, Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Manyara Game Reserve, Selous Game Reserve, Mikumi and Katai National Parks and the beautiful beaches on the Indian Ocean coast of Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar provide an array of tourism related business and investment opportunities such as Hotel and restaurant services, Air charter and land transportation services and tourist guides services, and so on.

Large Water masses which include the Indian Ocean, Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika, Lake Nyasa, and several large rivers provide numerous business opportunities related to fishing, sea and lake transport, water supply for both domestic and commercial purposes, irrigation and electricity generation.

Tanzania’s strategic geographical location on the shores of the Indian Ocean makes it an outlet for several neighboring countries - Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Malawi and Zambia. This strategic location provides numerous business opportunities related to sea, lake, road and rail transport, clearing and forwarding and insurance services.

Existence of large tracts of natural vegetation provides business opportunities related to lumbering, bee keeping and hunting activities.

Privatization of Public Enterprises - Since the early 1990s, Tanzania has been implementing an extensive programme to privatize over 400 public enterprises across all sectors of the Tanzania economy. This programme provides a range of business and investment opportunities, including outright purchase of public firms (100% share ownership), joint ownership with government as a minority or majority shareholder, or management contracting. By end of 2002, 324 public enterprises had been privatized. Over 70 firms were still available for privatization. Some of the major parastatals currently on privatization include Air Tanzania Corporation, Tanzania Railways Corporation, Tanzania Harbors Authority and Dar es Salaam Water Supply Authority. There are also several ranches which are on sale, covering a total of 634,597 hectares.

Details regarding the privatization requirements for each of these enterprises as well as the entire privatization programme in Tanzania can be obtained from the Presidential Parastatal Sector Reform Commission (PSRC) at www.psrctz.com.

Investment in the above sectors creates investment opportunities in the following sectors:

Social Services - including Education, health, Water Supply in order to develop a quality labor force needed to work in the various sectors of the economy. Related to these services are opportunities in the supply of educational materials, medical supplies, water purification chemicals, and water drilling and exploration equipments. Given the growing Tanzania population, the demands for these services along with the related activities continue to grow as well.

Transport - The ever growing demand for road, water, rail and air transport services provide lucrative opportunities. Opportunities include those related to infrastructural development such as construction and operation of a road or railway line and actual provision of transport services such as bus service, boat/cruise services, air/charter services etc.

In the mid 1990s, the Government launched a concession system that encourages private investors, both local and foreign to invest in infrastructural development projects under the Build, Operate and Transfer scheme (BOT). To assist investors identify feasible projects, the Government has earmarked the following road stretches for Private Sector Investment; at least for a start.

  1. Dodoma – Tabora – Nzega: 487 km or 304.25 miles
  2. Tabora – Kigoma: 690 km or 421.25 miles
  3. Bagamoyo – Saadani: 40 km or 25 miles
  4. Kigamboni Bridge Project to connect Kigamboni Peninsula with the rest of Dar es Salaam city.

Many more specific projects can be identified on site.

Communication - Increased activities in various sectors of the Tanzania economy has created increased demand for more and efficient communication services in order to facilitate communication between Tanzania and the rest of the world. This presents enormous investment opportunities related to the provision of essential communication services such as telephones, Fax, internet, postal and courier service, radio, TV, newspapers etc.

Financial Services - Corresponding to the expansion of the Tanzanian economy is increased demand for financial services, including banking, insurance and Bureau de Change, etc. which present attractive investment opportunities. Already there are several Banks operating in Tanzania. The major ones include the CRDB 1997 Ltd., Barclays Bank Tanzania Ltd., Diamond Trust Bank Ltd., Citibank Tanzania Ltd., NBC 1997 Ltd., Kenya Commercial Bank Tanzania Ltd., Akiba Commercial Bank Ltd., Standard Chartered Ltd., National Microfinance Bank Ltd. and the International Bank of Malaysia (T) Ltd. Others are Exim Bank Tanzania Ltd., Eurafrican Bank Ltd., Habib African Bank Tanzania Ltd., Kilimanjaro Cooperative Bank Ltd., and the People’s Bank of Zanzibar Ltd.

Manufacturing - provides a wide range of opportunities, including textiles, food processing, brewing, etc.

Trading in a variety of goods and services, both for the domestic and export markets.

Hospitality: Hotel and Restaurant services.

Construction - Opportunities exist in various sectors e.g. construction of roads, airports, ports, railways, buildings/houses, Dam/wells etc.

Consultancy in various sectors.

Legal Services

Housing to cater for the housing needs of people in different social categories.

AGOA - Tanzania is among AGOA-eligible sub Saharan African countries which have already qualified for full benefits provided under the African Growth and Opportunity Act of 2000 (AGOA). This provides opportunities for Tanzania exporters to export into the USA market quota and duty free. Tanzania is also among African countries whose exports to the European market enjoy preferential treatment under the EU “All products but Arms Scheme”. In addition, investing or doing business in Tanzania provides preferential access to the East African and SADC markets to which Tanzania is a founding member.

Source: Embassy Of United Republic of Tanzania Washington DC

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