The great wildebeest migration may be one of the major highlights of Tanzania, but there is so much more Tanzania has to offer. Its people, their culture and history make Tanzania all the more fascinating and many visitors travel to Tanzania to immerse themselves in the culture and learn more about the local communities and their traditions. Visitors can also see anthropological sites, museums and ruins – remnants of old times.
Of course Tanzania also has a diverse ecosystem providing home for hundreds of species, across 23 major national parks. In addition, there are beautiful beaches along Tanzania’s coastline, including the popular island of Zanzibar, while Lake Victoria is a less-visited destination.
We have listed some unique facts about Tanzania, its wilderness areas, geography and history.
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- Tanzania General Facts
- Looking for a safari tour in Tanzania for 2023?
- Tanzania Safari – Everything You Need to Know
- What % of Tanzania is national parks?
- Total number of Tanzania national parks and game reserves
- Total number of mammals, birds, and primates
- List of endangered species in Tanzania
- Total number of Tanzania safari travel partners
- Best time to visit Tanzania
- Average cost of a Tanzania safari
- Ideal length for a Tanzania safari
- Total number of World Heritage sites in Tanzania
- Activities to do on a Tanzania safari
- Major Tanzania attractions
- READY TO GO ON A SAFARI IN 2023?
Tanzania General Facts
- Tanzania gets its name from the two states that merged to create the country in 1964. The ‘Tan’ is from Tanganyika, ‘Zan’ is from Zanzibar. The names of the former states were derived from Swahili words.
- The Tanzanian national flag has four colours – green, yellow, black and blue. The green stands for Tanzania’s natural resources, yellow represents the mineral deposits found in the country, black stands for the native black African people of Tanzania, and blue represents the vast water bodies.
- The national anthem of Tanzania, Mungu Ibariki Afrika, was composed by late South African composer Enoch Mankayi Sontonga.
- Before the creation of the capital Dodoma in 1974, Dar-es-Salaam was the capital of Tanzania. Dodoma used to be a small market known as Idodomya, before being developed by German colonists who were building the Tanzania central railway in 1907. Due to social and historical issues, any plans to control and retain Dar-es-Salaam as the capital failed and in part due to Dodoma’s central location, it became the national capital.
- In 1896, the Anglo-Zanzibar War between the United Kingdom and Zanzibar lasted for 45 minutes. The war is known as the shortest war in history.
- Tanzania is home to 126 tribes, each with its own rich cultural history and distinct cultural traditions. Some of the tribes you might come across on safari include Maasai, Sukuma, Chagga, Hadzabe and Iraqw.
- The most diverse country linguistically in East Africa, Tanzania has a total of 119 languages. Swahili is the national language of Tanzania, while English and Arabic are widely spoken.
- Tanzania is the only African country with tribes representing the continent’s major ethnolinguistic groups: Bantu, Cushitic, Nilotic, Khoisan.
Tanzania Safari – Everything You Need to Know
What % of Tanzania is national parks?
Tanzania, with its 365,756 square kilometre area, is the largest country in East Africa. According to a 2021 source, nearly 30% of Tanzania is national parks, game reserves, and protected areas. Based on this data, around 109,726.8 square kilometres of Tanzania is reserved for the conservation of flora and fauna.
Total number of Tanzania national parks and game reserves
It has approximately 23 national parks, 28 game reserves, and 14 forest reserves. Check out the below list for a complete overview.
|National Parks (23)||Game Reserves (28)||Forest Reserve (14)|
|Arusha National Park
Kilimanjaro National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
Mahale Mountains National Park
Mount Meru National Park
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Ruaha National Park
Serengeti National Park
Udzungwa Mountains National Park
Gombe Stream National Park
Katavi National Park
Kitulo National Park
Mafia Island Marine Park
Mikumi National Park
Mnazi Bay-Ruvuma Estuary Marine Park
Mkomazi National Park
Nyerere National Park
Rubondo Island National Park
Rumanyika-Karagwe National Park
Saadani National Park
Saanane Island National Park
Ibanda-Kyerwa National Park
|Mwiba Wildlife Reserve
Ikorongo Game Reserve
Kigosi Game Reserve
Kijereshi Game Reserve
Liparamba Game Reserve
Lukwati Game Reserve
Piti Game Reserve
Lukwika Lumesule Game Reserve
Msanjesi Game Reserve
Lwafi Game Reserve
Maswa Game Reserve
Mkungunero Game Reserve
Moyowosi Game Reserve
Rungwa Game Reserve
Kizigo Game Reserve
Muhesi Game Reserves
Uwanda Game Reserve
Rukwa Game Reserve
Selous Game Reserve
Swaga Swaga Game Reserve
Ugalla River Game Reserve
Grumeti Game Reserve
Biharamulo Game Reserve
Usangu Game Reserve
Burigi Game Reserve
Pande Game Reserve
Kipengere Mpanga Game Reserve
Northern Kahama Game Reserve
|Magamba Nature Forest Reserve
Pugu Hills Nature Forest
Amani Nature Forest Reserve
Chome Nature Forest Reserve
Kilombero Nature Forest Reserve
Kipo Forest Reserve
Minziro Nature Forest Reserve
Mkingu Forest Nature Reserve
Mount Hanang Nature Forest Reserve
Mount Rungwe Nature Forest Reserve
Nilo Nature Forest Reserve
Rondo Nature Forest Reserve
Uluguru Nature Forest Reserve
Uzungwa Scarp Nature Forest Reserve
Total number of mammals, birds, and primates
Tanzania ranks fourth on Africa’s list of the largest number of animal species. It is home to 430 different wildlife species, including 310 mammal species. It also has around 20% of Africa’s large mammal concentration. A remarkable birding destination, Tanzania has around 960-1000 bird species, ranking third on Africa’s list of the largest number of bird species. There are around 100 species of snakes and 60,000 insect species in Tanzania.
The following table displays the number of wildlife species in Tanzania:
|Fauna||Number of Species|
*+ indicates more than
List of endangered species in Tanzania
There are more than 700 endangered species of fauna and flora in Tanzania. The list includes 52 amphibian species, 71 bird species, a clams species, 13 crustacean species, 161 fish species, 17 insects species, 17+ mammals species, 240 plant species, a reptile species and 21 snail species. It also includes 131 corals, jellyfish, and sea anemones species. Our list below shares a few endangered species that are popularly known.
Listed below are Tanzania’s endangered wildlife species
|Endangered Wildlife Species||Critically Endangered Wildlife Species|
|Abbott’s duiker (1,500 in wild)||Ader’s duiker (300-600 in wild)|
|African wild dog (less than 6,000 in wild)||Black rhinoceros (5,366-5,627 in the wild)|
|Tree pangolin (African white bellied pangolin)||Aspatharia divaricata (clam species)|
|Chimpanzee (172,000-300,000 in wild)||Pancake tortoise|
|East African oryx (11,000 to 13,000 in wild)|
|Geata mouse shrew|
|Hildegarde’s tomb bat|
|Kihaule’s mouse shrew|
|Kipunji (1,100 in wild)|
|Rondo dwarf galago|
|Tanzanian woolly bat|
|Zanzibar red colobus (1,600-3,000 in wild)|
For the complete list of Endangered species in Tanzania, visit: Earth’s Endangered
Total number of Tanzania safari travel partners
There are over 800 travel agencies that offer fantastic Tanzania safari deals and packages. Visitors can pick a Tanzania group safari or choose something a bit more private with a safari experience tailored to their preferences. Tanzania’s popularity as a premium safari destination has ensured a high availability of safari accommodation, including safari lodges, camps, and hotels. There are more than 3750 such accommodations available in Tanzania.
The following list features Tanzania’s highly recommended premier safari accommodations.
- Farm of Dreams Lodge
- Serengeti Heritage Tented Camp
- Ngorongoro Ang’ata Tented Camp
- Serengeti Bush Camps
- Maramboi Tented Camp
- Ngorongoro Farm House
- Bougainvillea Safari Lodge
- Eileen’s Tree Inn
- Serengeti Heritage Lodge
- Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge
- Tulia Boutique
- Serengeti Wild Camp
- Sangaiwe Tented Camp
- Lake Eyasi Safari Lodge
- Serengeti Thorn Trees Camp Central Serengeti
- Ngorongoro Rhino Lodge
- Octagon Luxury Lodge
- Ngorongoro Rhino Lodge
- Shuhudia Adventure Camp
- Mikumi Bandazi
- Lake Manyara Hotel
- Lake Manyara Serena Lodge
- Serengeti Sopa
- Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge
- Marera Valley Lodge
- Serengeti Acacia Tented Camp
- Kirurumu Tarangire Lodge
Best time to visit Tanzania
The best time to visit Tanzania for safari is from June to October, as Tanzania’s dry season offers the very best wildlife viewing opportunities, with very little or no rain, warm days, water sources attracting wildlife and sparse bush to see wildlife better. However, there are often wonderful experiences and wildlife to be seen throughout the year, you just need to research the best places to visit for the time of year.
Average cost of a Tanzania safari
The prices of a Tanzania safari packages vary from USD 100 per person (1 day) to USD 24,955 per person(29 days).
For example, for USD 100, you can step into Tanzania’s secluded and magical Chemka Hot Spring, where you can spend a peaceful day enjoying and exploring its warm blue waters. On the other end of the scale, a USD 24,955 luxury safari will take you on a 29-day journey in the heart of Africa’s premium destinations from Zanzibar to Botswana’s Okavango Delta. Nights are spent at 5 star hotels and lodges enjoying lavish amenities.
- Budget safari costs per person/per day approx: USD 100-200
- Mid-range safari cost per person/per day approx: USD 350+
- Luxury safari costs per person/per day approx: USD 600+
So based on an average day rate of around USD350 for an average safari length, you are looking at around £3,000 per person, not including international flights.
Ideal length for a Tanzania safari
Tanzania tempts visitors into crossing oceans to bask in its glorious wildlife and cultural attractions. The duration of a safari varies from person to person, but ideally, a visitor spends 7-10 days on a Tanzania safari. If you also plan to explore Zanzibar, add 3-4 days more to your safari. You can always choose to go on a longer safari trip if you are planning that once in a lifetime adventure. Some luxury safaris can last for at least a month.
Total number of World Heritage sites in Tanzania
There are seven official World Heritage Sites in Tanzania
- Kondoa RockArt Sites
- Kilimanjaro National Park
- Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara
- Serengeti National Park
- Selous Game Reserve
- Stone Town of Zanzibar
- Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Apart from these seven, the Tanzania government has a tentative list of five sites to be nominated for World Heritage Site status:
- Eastern Arc Mountains Forests of Tanzania
- Gombe National Park
- Oldonyo Murwak
- Jozani-Chwaka Bay Conservation Area
- The Central Slave and Ivory Trade Route
Activities to do on a Tanzania safari
On a Tanzania safari, visitors are likely to experience safari activities such as game drives, bush walks, and bird watching. Visitors can also partake in optional activities at additional costs. Some of the optional activities include:
- Hot air balloon safari
- Horse riding
- Mountain climbing
- Boat safari
- Mountain biking
- Canoe trip
- Waterfall trip
- Hot spring trip
- Coffee tour
Major Tanzania attractions
- Mount Kilimanjaro, the world-renowned dormant volcano , is in Tanzania. At 5,895 meters it is the highest mountain in Africa. It has a diverse ecosystem, including rainforest, moorland, alpine desert, cultivated land, heath and the Arctic summit. These ecosystems are rarely found together at such close proximity.
- Tanzania is home to part of Lake Tanganyika, the deepest lake in the world.
- With the largest African wild dog population in Africa, Tanzania is an exceptional safari destination for African wild dog viewing. The African wild dog is also known as the painted dog or Cape hunting dog.
- In 2003, a new monkey species, Kipunji, was discovered in Tanzania. This newly discovered species has been classified as endangered due to their low numbers found only in Tanzania’s Rungwe-Livingstone Forests and Ndundulu Forest.
- Zanzibar leopards are endemic to Zanzibar, Tanzania. It is an evolved African leopard species, thought to have evolved when the island split from Tanzania mainland due to rising sea levels, probably during the last ice age. As they evolved, the rosettes diminished into spots and the leopard’s size altered, becoming smaller.
- Some of the baobab trees found in Tarangire National Park are centuries old. Baobab trees can live for thousands of years; the oldest one in South Africa is thought to be around 6,000 years old.
- Another attraction in Tarangire National Park is the unusual tree-climbing lions, a behaviour they’ve been doing for years. No one knows why the lions exhibit this behaviour, but some suggest that it’s a way of the lions avoiding irritating insect bites when lying on the ground or to escape the sweltering heat at ground level.
- The Zanzibar archipelago, with its stunning beaches, is home to the coconut crab, also known as the robber crab. It’s the largest land-living crab in the world with a carapace diameter of up to 45 cm. The name coconut crab comes from the crab’s favourite food, coconuts, which it opens with powerful claws once it’s climbed the coconut tree.
- The renowned palaeoanthropological site Oldupai (Olduvai) Gorge is located in Tanzania. The gorge is known for the discovery of early human fossils.
- At Laetolithe, a footprint trail of early hominids who evolved and first stood upright over 3.7 million years ago was first discovered.
- Gregory Rift in Arusha, Tanzania, is presently home to the only active carbonatite volcano in the world, Ol Doinyo Lengai. The carbonatite lava is rich in sodium, potassium carbonates, gregoryite and nyerereite. The lava composition causes eruptions at low temperatures. Unlike the silicate lava, carbonatite lava doesn’t have a red glow (often characterized as volcano lava) instead, the lava appears black in sunlight.
- Even after one million years, the Serengeti ecosystem has retained its diversity of rich flora and fauna. In addition to the fauna, Tanzania also has 11,000 plant species, a large number of which are endemic to Tanzania.
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