The United Republic of Tanzania, by far the largest country in the East Africa community, is situated on the coast, with the Indian Ocean forming its Eastern boundary. To the North is Kenya and Uganda and at the Southern boundary are Mozambique and Malawi. Zambia borders Tanzania to the southwest, and The Democratic Republic of Congo. Burundi and Rwanda border Tanzania to the west.
Tanzania also includes the Islands off the coastline, most prominently, Zanzibar and Pemba. There are three mountain ranges, the Livingstone Mountains in the Southwest, and the Pare and Usambara ranges in the Northeast. Mount Kilimanjaro, at 19,340 ft., is Africa's highest mountain; it is in the North, right on the Kenyan border.
Tanzania encompasses many lakes within its borders and of course, Lake Victoria to the West and Northwest, is the most prominent. Most rivers in Tanzania are seasonal, with the exception of the Nile, Zaire and Zambezi, this is their origin. The mainland portion, formerly Tanganika, gained independence in 1961 and the Zanzibar Archipelago, as it was called, in 1963. In 1964 they formed what is now known as the United Republic of Tanzania. A total of 38% of the land mass has been put aside for conservation; there are 16 National Parks, the most famous being the Serengeti. There are also a number of forest and game reserves, notably the Ngorongo Crater. In the Western section of Tanzania, Jane Goodall's on-going study of the Chimpanzee has been carried on in the Gombe Stream National park.
There are three main climatic areas in Tanzania;
1) the coastal area and immediate hinterland, where conditions are tropical with temperatures averaging 26.6°C (80°), rainfall varying from, 40 to 76 inches and high in humidity;
2) the central plateau, which is hot and dry (rainfall 20 to 30 inches), although with considerable daily and seasonal temperature variations;
3) the third region is the semi-temperate highland areas, where the climate is healthy and cool.
In addition, there are anomalies: The eastern sections average only 30 to 40 inches of rain, while the western parts receive up to 90 inches. A small area north of Lake Malawi receive 100 inches of rain.
Generally, there are two rainy seasons; from November to December and from April to mid-June.
All visitors wishing to enter United Republic of Tanzania must obtain a visa, either outside the country, or when arriving at an entry point. Travelers from the following countries do not require a visa: Botswana, Gambia, Ghana, Hong Kong, Kenya, Lesotho, Malaysia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Nationals of the East African Community need neither visa nor entry permit to enter United Republic of Tanzania. Passports must be valid for at leave six months.
Official Currency: Tanzania Shilling=100 cents
Foreign Exchange: $1 US is equal to 2,200 shillings
BANKING & BUSINESS HOURS
Banking: Monday to Friday: 0830-1500 Saturday: 0830-1300
Shops: Monday to Saturday: 0830-1200 and 1400-1800
ATM's are available in all urban centers.
Tanzania is three hours ahead of GMT
If you need medical care whilst in Tanzania, it is best to be aware that medical providers may not accept payment through your insurance company. In these circumstances you will have to pay in full after your treatment and file a claim with your insurance company for reimbursement. Therefore, you should have access to cash, either from a credit card or by wire transfer. If you need assistance contact the country's local embassy or representative.
To be compensated you must be treated by licensed medical personnel and provide your insurance company with proper documentation and receipts.
It is advisable to always ensure you have a comprehensive travel insurance policy which covers you for repatriation to your home country.