Tanzania is a “cradle of mankind” for it was here in the Olduvai Gorge, that Dr Luicy Leakey discovered the fossilized remains of homo habilis,or handy man, calculated to be 1.75 million years ago and the fore runner of modern man. Arab merchants visited the coast some 2000 years ago and settled in Zanzibar around the 8th century AD later established trade routes to the interior. The inter marriage of Arabs and local people crated a new people with their own language Swahili whose word for a journey “safari” has become international description for a trip to a wild.
The Portuguese established temporarily settlement in the 16th century, supplanted by the oman’s in the late 17th century who developed the infamous slave trade.The scramble of Africa by European powers at the end of 19th century led to the occupation of the mainland by Germany although Zanzibar became a British Colony. After the 1st world war, Germany was forced to surrender its territory to the British. Tanganyika as the mailand was then known to achieve its independence in 1961 Zanzibar became independent two years later and shortly afterwards joined with the mainland to become the UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA
Tanzania covers 937,062 sq. km, making it the largest country in the East Africa. Just south of Equator it boarders Kenya and Uganda to the north; Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi into the west; and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. Through the interior runs the Great Rift Valley, that vast fault-line down the spine of Africa that, in Tanzania, has created many fascinating topographical features such as the Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Tanganyika.
The central plateau (1,200m above sea level) is a huge expense of savannah and sparse woodland. To the north, the 5895m (19,340ft) Mount Kilimanjaro rises, the top roof of Africa. While the interior is largely arid, the 800km coastline is lush and palm fringed as the islands of Zanzibar, Pemba, and Mafia.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view) there are many guide books that have been written about Tanzania by non-Tanzanians. This has caused the problem of reporting and publishing of information that is not often accurate.
Most people who write guide books have their own “personal points of view” that may or may have much to do with Tanzanian reality. Some guide books push the “accepted norm” that Tanzania is “cheap” and that is just not the case. In some cases it is cheap (compared to what?) and on the other hand is not. This causes problems for locals because most of our guests use the guide books as “travel bibles” and often demand ridiculously low prices for certain products or services. This often creates problems with the tour operators that have to “compete by lowering prices” as opposed to competing with better services. We feel most guide books are helpful, and have generally good information.
For 2013, the following are public and national holidays: