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Paws Africa Safaris - General information on Tanzania

General information on Tanzania

Capitals

Administrative : Dodoma

Commercial capital: Dar es Salaam

Location

Tanzania comprised of the mainland and the Zanzibar archipelago, is the largest country in East Africa and borders Kenya to the north, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to the south. Tanzania is located between 29 and 41 degrees east and between 1 and 12 degrees south.

Time

Tanzania has only one time zone. Local time is GMT + 3 and Daylight Savings Time is not used.

Population:

Approximately 35 million

Area:

945, 000 sq km

Climate

The climate is tropical. The coastal areas are hot and humid with an average day temperature of 30 degrees centigrade. The central plateau is dry and arid with hot days and cool nights. In the northwest highlands around Arusha and Ngorongoro, the climate is temperate and cooler between June and September. The long rains are from March to May and the short rains fall between October and December. The hottest months are between October and February.

Ethnic Groups

Main Land: Native African 99% (of which 95% are Bantu consisting of more than 130 tribes), other 1 % (Asian, European and Arab).

Zanzibar: Swahili, native African, Arab, Indian and Chinese.

Religions

Mainland: Christianity 45%, Muslim 35 % , Indigenous beliefs 20%

Zanzibar: Over 99% Muslim, additional 1% made up of Hindu, Christian and Zoroastrian. 

Official Language

Kiswahili and with English widely spoken.

Currency

The Tanzanian shilling (Tsh or TZS), divided  into 100 cents is the national currency.

Credit cards and travelers cheques

Credit cards (Access, MasterCard, Visa, American-Express, and Eurocard) are accepted only at major lodges and hotels. ATM and 24 – hour cash machines are available in branches of major banks. Traveler’s cheques in pounds sterling or US dollars are recommended, though it may be difficult to exchange them outside the main cities.

Banking

Banks and bureau de change are available at airports and in all major towns. Banking hours are from Monday – Friday 8.30 am - 3.00 pm, Saturday 8.30 am – 1.30 pm. A few branches in the major towns are open until 4.00 pm. Please note that banks are closed on Sunday.

Electricity

215 - 230 Volts, 50 Cycles AC