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Tanzania has a land of spectacular beauty, and one of the largest countries in Africa, is a union (formed in 1964) between the mainland (Tanganyika), and the Zanzibar Isles consisting of Unguja (also known as Zanzibar) and Pemba.
Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar... The names roll off the tongue like a roster call of Africa's most alluring destinations, all packed into one country. Resonating with hints of the wild and exotic, these four alone are reason enough to justify packing your bag and heading off to Tanzania. But the list isn't finished. Bagamoyo, Tabora, Ujiji: stops on the 19th-century caravan routes into the heart of what was then an unknown continent. Mafia and Pangani: once famed ports of call for merchant ships from the Orient. Kilwa: linchpin of a far-flung Indian Ocean trading network. Kigoma, Kalema, Kipili, Kasanga: bustling outposts along the remote Lake Tanganyika shoreline. Selous: Africa's largest protected area. Ruaha and Katavi: insider tips for serious safari-goers. Mahale and Gombe: prime destinations for seeing chimpanzees in the wild.
Within the space of several hours, it's possible to go from lazing on idyllic beaches to exploring moss-covered ruins of ancient Swahili city-states; from climbing mist-covered slopes in the Southern Highlands to trekking through the barren landscapes around Ol Doinyo Lengai, guided by a spear-carrying Maasai warrior. Yet, despite its attractions, Tanzania has managed for the most part to remain unassuming and low-key. It has also remained enviably untouched by the tribal rivalries and political upheavals that plague many of its neighbours, and this – combined with a booming tourism industry – makes it an ideal choice for both first-time visitors and Africa old hands.
Tanzania is cultural mosaic in which over 100 ethnic groups amicably rub shoulders. While most visitors head straight for the famed northern wildlife-watching circuit, followed by time relaxing on Zanzibar's beaches, Tanzania has much more to offer.
Karibu sana Tanzania