Tanzania: Wonderful Wildlife and the Origin of Our Species
Want to find out more about where the whole human experience began? Then consider a trip to Tanzania, one of the oldest inhabited areas of the world and one that today offers a combination of stunning landscape, amazing wildlife and colourful culture.
Landscape and Geography
Located in eastern Africa and enjoying an enviable climate, Tanzania offers something for all lovers of magnificent scenery and the great outdoors. For mountain baggers, Mount Kilimanjaro, in the north east of the country, provides a once in a lifetime opportunity to scale the continent’s highest peak.
But for those who prefer to keep their feet on the ground, the three great lakes of Tanganika (Africa’s deepest), Nyasa and the iconic Victoria, the largest lake on the continent, provide amazing scenery and unique aquatic life and the beaches on the east coast are world-renowned.
Tanzania’s wildlife habitat is equally magnificent. The Serengeti Plain sees the annual migration of millions of white-bearded wildebeest – one of the ten natural travel wonders of the world – and Lake Nation in the north, houses the world’s largest breeding site for the threatened Lesser Flamingo. Around 70 large mammal groups are found in Serengeti, as well as over 500 species of birds.
The country’s respected Biodiversity Action Plan provides excellent opportunities for volunteer work to help conserve Tanzania’s habitat and fauna.
Culture and History
Originally formed through the union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, evidence of human and pre-human life stretching back over two million years have been found in the country. Over the centuries, the area was claimed by Arab traders, later by the German Empire and became a British mandatory territory after World War One and traditions from all these colonisations can be found in Tanzania’s languages, food and system of government.
The current population includes people of Indian, Arab and Pakistani origin, as well as European and Chinese communities
The area has always been important for trade with the Near East and beyond and this is clearly evident from the country’s vibrant culture. Tanzanian musical traditions are found in its present day, unique hip hop and its Tingatinga and Makonda art styles are admired and respected around the world. The country has also produced many writers who enjoy a world-wide reputation.
Tourists and visitors are warmly welcomed and English is widely spoken throughout the country. Tourism now accounts for a growing segment of the country’s economy. Although Tanzania has produced several Olympic medallists in track and field, football is now the most popular sport in the country, with European leagues, in particular, followed avidly by many Tanzanians.
Today, Tanzania enjoys a stable political system, with many of its institutions based on British traditions. It is an open democracy, where women have around 30 per cent of the representation.
So, with beaches to drool over, unsurpassed opportunities for wildlife watching, mountains to climb and lakes to sail, Tanzania offers something for every traveller. Throw in a culture that enjoys influences from around the world and you have the ingredients for an experience of a lifetime.