Tanzania

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Tanzania is a popular East African destination for visitors; it has many natural attractions including Zanzibar, Mount Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater. Tanzania is a large country and its infrastructure isn’t great so it takes time to get around. Tanzanians have a very friendly reputation and other than petty theft.

Tanzania is bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north; Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west; and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country’s eastern border is formed by the Indian Ocean.

The name “Tanzania” derives from the names of the two states, Tanganyika and Zanzibar, that united on 26 April 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. On 29 October 1964, the country was renamed the United Republic of Tanzania. The Articles of Union are the main foundation of Tanzania. Over 120 languages are spoken in Tanzania. Most of these are Bantu languages, a category of over 535 languages and dialects that are spoken throughout Africa.

At 947,300 square kilometres (365,800 sq mi), Tanzania is the world’s 31st-largest country and the 13th largest in Africa. Compared to other African countries, it is slightly smaller than Egypt and slightly larger than Nigeria. Tanzania got in the north east, the Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, situated. Three of Africa’s Great Lakes are partly within Tanzania. To the north and west lie Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake, and Lake Tanganyika, the continent’s deepest lake, known for its unique species of fish. To the south-west lies Lake Nyasa. Central Tanzania is a large plateau, with plains and arable land. The eastern shore is hot and humid, with the Zanzibar Archipelago just offshore.

Tanzania has a tropical climate. 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 °C (68 °F). The hottest period extends between November and February (25–31 °C or 77–87.8 °F) while the coldest period occurs between May and August (15–20 °C or 59–68 °F). Annual temperature is 20 °C (68.0 °F). The climate is cool in high mountainous regions.

Tanzania is in the bottom ten percent of the world’s economies in terms of per capita income. The economy depends heavily on agriculture, which accounts for more than 40% of GDP, provides 85% of exports, and employs 80% of the work force. Topography and climatic conditions, however, limit cultivated crops to only 4% of the land area. Industry traditionally featured the processing of agricultural products and light consumer goods.

Fun facts

  • Tanzania has the largest concentration of wildlife animals per square kilometer, with more than 4 million wild animals and representatives of 430 species and subspecies
  • The world’s earliest human skull was found in the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania.
  • Once upon a time, the ancestors of the wild elephants that live in Tanzania today didn’t roam on the land, they swam in the water! Dugongs were sea cows that lived in Tanzania in sheltered waters 55 million years ago. They grew about 3.5 meters in length and lived to be about 70 years old.
  • Tanzania shares it national anthem with South Africa and Zimbabwe. It’s titled “Mungu Ibariki Afrika” (God Bless Africa) and was composed by Enock Sontonga
  • Tanzania is divided into 26 regions (mikoa), 21 on the mainland, 3 on Zanzibar Island and 2 on Pemba Island. These are further divided into 99 districts (wilaya)! That’s a lot of parts and pieces to divide a socialist country into. The stacks of paper must be huge
  • Tanzania is the home of the coconut crab. This crab, the largest crab in the world (and reportedly one of the most delicious), can be found on Chumbe Island of Zanzibar.

Extra Info on Tanzania

  • Full name: The Republic of Tanzania
  • Population: 47,78 million (UN, 2012)
  • Capital: Dodoma
  • Area: 947,300 kilometres (365,800 sq mi)
  • Major religion: Islam 35%, Animist 35%, Christian 30%
  • Monetary unit: Tanzanian shilling
  • Languages: English (official), Swahili (national), and numerous indigenous languages

Project opening dates

2015:
18th July – 31st July for 2 weeks
17th Oct – 13th Nov for 4 weeks
17th Oct – 30th Oct for 2 weeks
31st Oct – 13th Nov for 2 weeks

2016:
2nd July – 29th July for 4 weeks
2nd July – 15th July for 2 weeks
16th July – 29th July for 2 weeks

Group dates are available year round.

School holidays

Late November – mid January
Mid April – early May
Early to late August

Location

The location of this project is within the town of Moshi. From Moshi you get spectacular views of Mt Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. Here there is a wealth of banana plantations, rivieras, and on a clear day, spectacular views of the mountain itself. This area is ideal for both climbing Mt Kilimanjaro and also the Northern Safari Circuit, Zanzibar and Mombasa are also within reach.

An economically poor country Tanzania is the largest country in East Africa. The many local African tongues, combined with Swahili and English, reflect this land’s tribal diversity. A land of spectacular game reserves and the dusty savannah grasslands of the Serengeti, wide expansive palm-fringed beaches and the snow-capped peaks of Kilimanjaro. Stood out on the vast open plains of Tanzania you are amongst one of the largest wildest animal populations in the world. Wildebeest, monkey, antelope, lion, cheetah, gazelle, flamingo, elephants, giraffes – the list is endless. Tanzania is also home to the colourful, fragrant and mystical spice islands of Zanzibar, across the Indian Ocean from the ancient kingdoms of the coastal regions.

Climbing the peaks of Mount Meru or Kilimanjaro, exploring the crater of the Ngorongoro, driving through the grasslands of the Serengeti, or exploring the beautiful beaches of the island of Zanzibar, Tanzania has something to offer to everyone, be it climber, explorer or animal fanatic.

Accommodation

Housing is in a secure location close to the project site. Your accommodation is provided by the local community and shared with your fellow volunteers, usually girls in one room, boys in another. Beds are foam mattresses on the floor.

For our current project site we’re using a fairly luxurious house. There is running water, a shower and 2 flushing toilets. However, in the past we’ve use different accommodation closer to our other project sites. These houses are close to a water source water source, but do not have running water. There are shower cubicles either indoors or outdoors where you can take a traditional ‘bucket shower’. Be aware that we may be using this kind of housing for future projects.

There is electricity available at the house but the area suffers regular power cuts. In this case we’ll provide alternatives, usually candles of paraffin lamps which create a cosy atmosphere in the evenings.

There is no wifi available at the volunteer house. You can use the wifi at hotels and restaurants in Moshi on weekends. Alternatively you could get a local sim card with an internet bundle but the connection can be far from great.

Arriving in Tanzania

Do I need a visa?
What do I need when landing into Tanzania?
Do I need to bring any medications?
Budgeting
What we don’t cover
Do I need malaria medication?
What vaccinations do I need?

Staying in Tanzania

Where will I find the shuttle at the airport?
What if I don’t arrive on a Saturday?
How does the Departure Work?
Do I need to bring cash or can I use my debit / credit card?
Can I drink the tap water?
Are there a lot of mosquitoes?
What kind of food are we going to eat?
What is the accommodation like?
Is it possible to smoke?
Will I have internet access?
What happens if there is an emergency?
Are there plug sockets?
Is it safe on my project?
Why do I have to pay to volunteer?
Should I bring donations?
I want to make the most of my programme, what length of time is best?
What do I need to pack?
How do I get to my project?
Will I meet other volunteers from other Projects?
Can I take photos of the children?
I’m scared of HIV and AIDS, what are the risks?
How many hours / days will I be working?
Will I have time off?
What are my working hours?
How many people sleep in a room?
Will there be a possibility to go shopping, (for food or groceries etc) while at the program, or are we just staying at the Volunteer House?
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