Zimbabwe History | Overland Africa

Tanzania Overland Travel

Red-robed Maasai tribesmen, wildlife-packed savannahs, lofty snow-capped peaks ... Tanzania offers the Overland traveller what they’re looking for - and then some.  Besides the classic Tanzania destinations of the Serengeti, Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro Crater and Zanzibar, this huge East African country is also home to gorgeous tropical beaches, castaway-style desert islands, dripping rain forests and mighty lakes; if you’ve ever wanted to experience Africa in one country, you could do a lot worse than head for Tanzania.

And it’s made for Overlanding: shop for exotic fresh produce at colourful markets, haggle for souvenirs, try out your Swahili with wide-eyed children - there’s a world of experiences waiting for you in a country that devotes an astonishing 25% of its land mass to national parks and conservation areas, and protects around 20% of Africa’s large mammals.

It is also a country that combines well with its neighbours Kenya and Uganda, giving you the opportunity to experience other African highlights such as the Masai Mara and gorilla trekking.

Tanzania Overland Travel Guide

• Modern Tanzania was formed by a union between mainland Tanganyika and the island of Zanzibar.
• At a touch under 950 000 km², Tanzania is East Africa’s largest country and boasts the continent’s highest mountain, some of her biggest parks and reserves and shares her largest lakes.
• Tanzania is incredibly diverse: her environments range from classic savannahs and rainforests to mountain ranges, white sand beaches and volcanic calderas.
• Although inland Dodoma is the official capital of Tanzania, everything still happens in coastal Dar es Salaam while the safari industry is based in and around the northern town of Arusha.
• Tanzania has many local languages but Swahili is the country’s lingua franca while English is widely spoken and remains the language of tourism.
• Tanzania’s coast is hot and humid almost all year round: January to February is the hottest, August the coldest. There are two coastal rainy seasons: short rains from September to November and long rains from March to June.
• Away from the coast, Tanzania is drier and, given the altitude of the Rift Valley region, cooler. The rainy seasons for the safari-dominated north are March to May and October to December, the main dry season is June to October.
• The best time for the Serengeti Wildebeest Migration is between November and July.

Travel Tips:

  • You’ll need a visa for Tanzania - bring US dollars for the entry fee
  • US dollars are used everywhere, even though the Tanzanian Shilling is the official currency
  • Don’t change money on the street - stick to bureau du exchanges
  • A valid yellow fever vaccination may be required - find out before you go
  • If you’d like to take a picture of the Maasai, please ask them first!

Dont forget to:

  • Go on a game drive in the Serengeti
  • Take the ferry across to Zanzibar
  • Conquer Kilimanjaro - or at least have a look!
  • Witness the wildebeest migration
  • Try your negotiating skills at a local market
  • Fly over the Serengeti in a hot air balloon
  • Eat seafood like a local at the coast

Quick Facts:

  • At 950 000sqkm, Tanzania is East Africa’s largest country
  • Mount Kilimanjaro is on the Tanzania border, and is Africa’s highest mountain
  • The diverse landscape includes white sand beaches, savannah, volcanic calderas and rainforests
  • Tanzania’s main language is Swahili but English is spoken widely
  • The coast is hot and humid; the safari dry season is June to October