Tourism & Communications
Tanzania’s tourist industry revolves around its spectacular wildlife and over a third of the country has been set aside for nature.
The Serengeti is probably the most famous wildlife area. It’s from here that over 2 million animals begin their long migration north to Kenya’s Maasai Mara region, including vast herds of wildebeest (see photo). The annual spectacle of wildebeest crossing rivers and braving crocodiles and lions, is the subject of many documentaries.
Because of the country’s vast size, safari-goers often choose to focus on a particular area. The northern safari circuit includes the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area (see Map); the southern circuit has the Selous Game Reserve (see Map) and the Kitulo National Park near the border with Malawi.
Risks of living near wildlife
The expansion of reserves in the north has meant more villages are located near to wildlife, putting inhabitants at risk from tsetse flies – see Poverty & Healthcare.
Legendary tourist locations
As well as its safari parks, Tanzania has two other legendary tourist magnets – the island of Zanzibar and Mount Kilimanjaro.
Zanzibar (see photo) is a very famous tourist destination, with the same type of legendary status as Timbuktu in Mali or Marrakesh in Morocco. Visitors are not only attracted by the beaches and coral reefs, but by Zanzibar's rich heritage. Zanzibar (or Unguja in Swahili) has a long history as a Muslim trading centre, with merchants arriving here for the island’s spices. Later, many of the palaces, mansions and marketplaces were built with the proceeds from the slave trade.
At 5,895 metres, Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain on the continent and sometimes called ‘the roof of Africa’. It takes at least a week to climb, trekking through thick rainforest on the lower slopes, to alpine meadows and then up to the barren cold tundra at the top.
Mount Kilimanjaro is an extinct volcano, but steam and sulphur are still released from the crater’s centre. At the very top, the mountain peak is covered in glaciers and snow. However, with global warming, these are predicted to disappear by 2020.