Featured Posts

Tanzania

Tanzania Adventures – Climbing, Safaris and Zanzibar

Climbing If you're looking to climb, you're most likely interested in climbing Kilimanjaro. Kilimanjaro is one of Africa's most famous symbols, it also happens to be the highest mountain on the planet that you can climb with next to no mountaineering skills. What this means is that there isn't any … [Read More...]

Tanzania

Getting Around Tanzania

Recently roads have been improving, which will make getting around Tanzania much more enjoyable. The Dar-es-Salaam - Morogoro road is improving everyday and they are extending it down to Mikumi. There is a road from Dar-es-Salaam to Arusha which should also be getting improvements but it's still up … [Read More...]

Tanzania

General Tanzania Information

Tanzania is a great tourist destination for travelers and is a favorite for many because of the many attractions it holds. You have the highest mountain in Africa, three of Africa's largest lakes as well as home to Africa's largest game reserve. You might be in for a rude awakening if you have a … [Read More...]

Eating Healthy While Traveling

Electric Kettle

When I was traveling one of the toughest problems I had was keeping my nutrition in tact with all of the delicious cuisine options in all of the different countries. I pride myself on eating healthy, but sometimes that’s hard to do. You will find that you are constantly compromising your diet because of time, laziness, cost or excitement to try a new food.

I love the aspect of trying new cuisine, so I’m not saying you should avoid the local fare, I’m saying you should make an effort to be healthy most of the time and not succumb to unhealthy menu options all the time. Now, you may be like me, where health is a huge issue or maybe you’re traveling with a food allergy, which is hard to do if you don’t speak the local language.

You might also find the local style of cooking to be unhealthy. For example, flour and oil are often pretty cheap so in poorer countries you will find lots of flour style carbohydrates that have been deep fried in oil to cook them. Having a few meals in this local fashion is great, but if you’re doing it meal after meal, you may start having an issue.

Whatever the reason, I thought it would be important to share two important tips I use or have come across that will help you stick to your preferred diet.

Cook for Yourself

A great skill to have while your traveling is the ability to cook. You don’t even need to be a professional chef, but the better you are the more options you will have, and all that variety will keep you from getting bored with your food, which will make you more likely to go off your diet.

One of my favorite things to do in a new city or country is to find a local market and check out all the different fruits, vegetables and meats. You can get an idea of how much items will cost during your stay and it gives you a chance to go shopping. Many times you’ll be in a country that has different produce than what you’re used to, so you have the option to try new and exciting things.

Fresh fruit and vegetables are often some of the  healthiest and cheapest things you can buy and after you make sure they are clean you can just eat them raw. It’s healthy, cheap, fast and easy and one of my favorite snacks.

One of my other favorite meals is to pick up some meat and cheap vegetables and throw them all together in a pan to make a stir-fry style dish. Then I serve it over rice or pasta and have some fresh fruit for dessert.

The possibilities are endless and the more you practice the more dishes you’ll be able to cook.

Be Prepared

As I mentioned earlier, one of the reasons you may have to watch what you eat is because you have food allergies. The people over at http://www.eatglutenfreediet.com have to deal with this problem on a daily basis and they have a whole section dedicated to eating gluten free while on the road.

Their whole position is to be prepared, which I think is some great advice. They even suggest bringing a small electric kettle (like the picture below) with you in your bag.

Electric Kettle

I think this is a genius idea, because it allows you to boil water anywhere you can find an electric outlet. With boiled water you have the option to cook a huge variety of different dishes–the easiest of which are just boiled potatoes or hard boiled eggs.

This would be super helpful to save money and stick to a diet, especially if you happen to be staying somewhere that doesn’t have a kitchen.

It doesn’t have to be complicated, but with just these two tips you will be well on your way to traveling and eating healthy while you do it. The next time I travel I’ll definitely be investing in a tea kettle to see how it works. Doing this will further propel me to make good and healthy decisions regarding my diet while I’m traveling. However, I always recommend making time to try out the local cuisine, I just make sure not to go overboard if a lot of that cuisine is unhealthy.

Head on back to the main page.

Zimbabwe Information

Zimbabwe has had a troubling past filled with violence and hyper-inflation. After 2009, there was finally a lift of the ban on the US Dollar. After this the country has slowly been making its way back to being a friendly and safe African country. Today, you can easily find ATMs that dispense USD and your credit cards will work fine. However, always carry ZAR with you in case you run into a situation where you need to use it because of how hard it is to come across US change for smaller denomination bills.

Zimbabwe has a decent bus and train scene, which makes it fairly easy to connect to different cities. The most popular train will take you from Victoria Falls to Bulawayo via Hwange National Park and from Bulawayo to Harare. The next best option, in my opinion, is to hire a car, especially if you have a group of people, as it will save you money if you want to visit Matobo National Park or the Great Zimbabwe ruins.

You’ll find accommodation in Zimbabwe similar to other countries like South Africa as it has a decent network of backpacker hostels. However, you many find many are closing their doors because of a reduced number of travelers. When you do find an open hostel you can expect a fair price and a friendly owner. They will typically be white and some of the hostels may just be private homes that people open up for travelers. There’s also the option to camp and national parks have decent accommodation and camping. Price-wise you’re looking at about $20-30 USD for a bed.

You shouldn’t have a problem eating and drinking what you like here. If you’re looking to eat like the locals ask for sadza and tsunga. Sadza is a thick ground corn paste which will resemble polenta and has the consistency of extra thick mashed potatoes. Tsunga is a stew. The locals eat it virtually every meal, because it’s cheap, tasty and filling. During the wet season you need to be careful of malaria (especially in the valley). During the dry season the malaria risk is very low.

Recommended Adventures

  • One of the most popular tourist destinations in Zimbabwe is Victoria Falls and it’s located in the western corner of the country. There are many things to do and places to stay depending on your budget. Accommodation ranges from budget (Shoestring Backpackers Lodge) to ultra-swanky (Victoria Falls Safari Lodge).
  • Great Zimbabwe is where you can see and learn about the vast empire known as the Munhumutapa through the archaeological remains of this ancient city, which was built from stone. The word ‘Zimbabwe’ means ‘house of stone.’
  • If you’re looking for beautiful landscapes and views then head to the Easter Highlands. You will be on the border of Mozambique. Look for the village, Chimanimani, which is a popular destination, especially if you’re into walking.
  • If you like nature then head to Kariba, in the north. Here you have the opportunity to watch African wildlife in the closest to pure natural environment that you can find. It’s also the largest source of hydro-electric power for Zimbabwe. If you have the time/money you could rent a houseboat for a few days, which will give you fantastically unique experience.
  • Matobo has some beautiful rock formations that seem to be impossible. They were caused by the wind blowing out the sand between them.

Take me back to the homepage, please!

Diving in Mozambique

When I can afford to go one of my favorite adventures is scuba diving. I grew up swimming from a young age so the water always feels like home. I got certified back in 2007 in Hawaii and have been hooked ever since. Mozambique offers some great diving at affordable prices.

Mozambique is great for diving because of the climate that it is in. The climate is a tropical one and has two seasons, a wet season from October to March and a dry season from April to September. The sea temperature is also tropical and water temperatures range from 29 degrees C in the summer to 22 degrees C in the winter. The winter temperature of 22 is rare and you will seldom see ocean temperatures below 24 degrees C. Because of this you can expect great diving all year around here. However, if you happen to be from a colder climate you might enjoy the diving in the winter as you won’t have to deal with as many mosquitoes this time of the year.

The marine ecology of Mozambique is Tropical Indo-Pacific, which is the most diverse marine ecology you can have. Visibility can range from 8-40 meters, depending on the amount of plankton in the water. This is great for all the diverse marine life available to see. Obviously you won’t be able to find EVERY species from this bioregion in EVERY dive site but you can’t have it all can ya? Depending on what dive site you go to you should expect to find a wide range of reef building corals, the invertebrate fauna that shares the shelter provided by the corals and a wide diversity of colorful fish species. If you’re diving from June through November you might even encounter humpback whales during their migration. Whale sharks are present all year around and found in abundance between November and March. These amazing and gentle creatures can reach up to 40 feet in length and weigh around 40,000 pounds!

Dive Sites

There are hundreds of dive sites to be found here so I’ll just list some of the most well known and some of my favorites:

Tofo Beach

Tofo Beach has decent coral but is most known for its abundance of manta rays, reef sharks, humpback whales and whale sharks. If you’re looking for a dive center to dive with in Tofo then look into Liquid Adventures. They are PADI certified and offer all courses from Open Water through Assistant Instructor as well as other water sport activities.

Ponta Morrungulo

This is located about half-way between Inhambane and Vilanculos

Dive Sites Include:

Sylvia shoal - A few miles north of Ponta Morrungulo. The shoal is about 7 miles long and is home to a large variety of nudibranchs, turtles, mantas, rays, eels and sharks

New Year reef — A 9km long reef system south of Sylvia shoal that has the Sherwoods Bookshelf and King Deep dive sites.

Take me back to the homepage, please!

General Mozambique Information

When you travel to Mozambique you will notice a few things…amazing beaches, cool locals, tasty cuisine and hard to get around. If you’re the type of traveler that can get along without the common western comforts then you will be ok, otherwise, you might want to reconsider if you’re more of a high-maintenance traveler. There’s a language barrier that might hinder you at times and it’s a relatively more expensive country than South Africa. However, these downsides are a small price to pay (in my opinion) to be in a stunningly gorgeous country.

When you’re in Mozambique I can recommend some of my favorites to look out for: Tofo Beach and Imhambane, Maputo (if you’re into nightlife), Berea, and Whale Shark and Manta Ray scuba diving excursions. Also, the locals, man-o-man are they great. Food-wise, enjoy the seafood in restaurants or buy from fish markets to cook yourself. Piri-piri chicken is a popular dish and make sure you try the cashew nuts.

I didn’t really mind the language barrier (Portuguese) because I kind of enjoy the beauty of non-verbal communication, however, if there is something important and specific I need to get across it can kind of be a drag. I mentioned earlier that it’s hard to get around, expect to spend lots of time in the back of a minibus taxi, which can be uncomfortable when you’re traveling long distances.

Mozambique is generally safer than South Africa, however, you should never let your guard down and always take the proper precautions to minimizing your risk by being alert and avoiding risky situations.

Although Mozambique is more expensive than South Africa, most Americans and Europeans will still find it cheap. The nightlife and eating out can get expensive for what you actually get for your money but accommodation can be quite cheap. I budgeted about $35-40US a day, which easily covered food, basic accommodation and most of my transport. If you enjoy the spoils of traveling, you can easily double or triple this figure if you indulge regularly.

Money-wise you will find ATMs in all of the major towns and cities. Many places will have a South African rate along with the local rate so if you carry both currencies you can just use whichever is cheaper. It’s also a good idea to keep your money in small denominations as it is always difficult to find change and change makes it much easier when trying to haggle.

Accommodation is a mixed bag with easy to find hostels in Tofo, Imhambane, Maputu and Vilankulo, but sparse and hard to find anywhere else.  Visas are available at a majority of the border crossings and can be paid for with Mozambican Metacais, South African Rand, US dollars or Euros, but local currency is the cheapest option.

Malaria and heat stroke are serious risks here so sleep under a net, wear sunblock and drink lots of water. If you feel flu like symptoms head straight to get tested. Repellent and sunscreen are not always easy to find away from the capital, so stock up while you can because it is VERY useful at certain times of the year.

Take me back to the homepage, please!

 

Getting Around South Africa

Hire a Car

If you’re looking for freedom, this is the option for you. There is much to see here in South Africa and much of the country’s best sights are found when you get out of the center of town. Public transport isn’t the best here so the next option is to rent your own car. The price goes down the longer you are renting and if you can find a group to pitch in with you, it can be quite affordable. 30 days is usually the amount of time that qualifies you for a long term rental, which comes with unlimited miles (make sure you double check this). To make sure you get a good deal, book in advance through the internet before you arrive in South Africa. A very common trip is from Johannesburg to Cape Town (or vice-versa) along the coast, and it’s very easy to set up a one way drop off with your rental car, which can be as low as $20US. If you are planning on staying in South Africa for a longer trip, then this should definitely be your go-to option.

The Baz-Bus

I touched a bit on this in an earlier post but this is a great option for someone who can’t or just doesn’t want to drive and deal with directions. The Baz-bus is a hop-on-hop-off backpacker bus that picks you up and drops you off directly at your hostel and follows the most popular route around the coutry–the coast. Since you have to make different pick-ups and drop offs, you can imagine that the bus can take a while, and it’s notoriously late. However, if you’re traveling solo, it’s a great way to meet people to travel with. You’re going in the same direction and are on a bus together for hours at a time. Once you get to your hostel you will have to pay for a taxi if you want to get anywhere but many of the hostels have everything you could need for affordable prices.

Train

Shosholoza Meyl Long-Distance Passenger Trains

This is your train if you’re traveling on a budget. It links Johannesburg with Cape town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and East London. They are safe, highly recommended and a nice hidden gem of South Africa. I took the Cape Town to Johannesburg train while I was there and was treated with beautiful scenery and paid 560 rand for a 4-berth sleeper. The train has modern sleeping-cars and a restaurant car.

These trains are known to get fully-booked a month or two in advance so as soon as you know your dates of travel, book your tickets. If you live in South Africa you can call the office directly at 086 000 8888 or you can book with the African Sun Travel agency online. If you live outside of South Africa, you need to use the African Sun Travel agency’s website.

Premier Classe Trains

These are your trains for the traveler who wants a little more luxury than the Shosholoza trains offer but not the top of the line trains. These trains link Cape Town and Johannesburg weekly for about 2,500 rand. This includes a private sleeper, all meals and afternoon tea in their restaurant car. You can can also use this train to link Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth twice a week as well as Johannesburg to Durban once a month.

Use African Sun Travel to book your ticket.

The Blue Train

This is a high end luxury train and the most famous train in South Africa. It connects Cape Town to Pretoria two times a week and costs about 10,000 rand one way. This includes your meals, wine and even cigars. You are not allowed to share the 2-berth sleepers with random people so if you’re traveling solo you have to buy the whole sleeper so you’re looking at double the price. It’s worth it if you have the money. You can book tickets at their website, linked above.

Plane

South Africa has a reasonable budget airline network available should you need to save time by making jumps between big cities. However, I don’t recommend this route as you miss much of the scenery and the best that South Africa has to offer is far away from the major urban hubs.

To go back to the homepage, click here.

General South Africa Information

South Africa was one of my favorite countries while I was in Africa and it is definitely an under-rated backpacking destination beacuse of the amazing hostel and budget accommodation network. It has great backpacker culture, great country culture, natural beauty and it’s relatively affordable. You can go on safaris, scuba diving, visit the stunning views of Cape Town and everything in between.

Depending on your preferences you can make your trip as traditional–living in land huts or as un-traditional–enjoying the shopping centers or crazy adventures like the countries highest bungee jump or swimming with Great White Sharks. South Africa is great because of its excellent value; it is a well developed country and away from many of the over visited tourist spots. Your money will go much further here than it will in Australia, Europe, Japan or the USA.

With all the great things about South Africa, there is usually a reason for it. In my opinion it’s the crime, or fear of crime. Statistically, it is a very dangerous area and there are many reports of people being killed for their possessions. Public transport can’t be relied on and normally means you have to venture into the un-safe areas to catch. Therefore, I highly recommend joining a hop-on-hop-off backpacker bus like The Bazbus or hiring your own personal car. However, the country is getting better and crime has been decreasing each year since the World Cup in 2010. If you keep your wits about you, you shouldn’t have any issues. The way I look at it is that there’s always a danger of something bad happening to you no matter where in the world you are traveling (even if you aren’t traveling), you should do your best to mitigate the risk as much as possible but at the same time you shouldn’t let your fear restrict you from having an amazing experience. Do your research, be smart and have a backup plan.

The Bazbus is great because it travels from Johannesburg to Cape Town with the option to stop at many towns along the way. I personally recommend Drakensberg, Coffee Bay, Wilderness and Jeffery’s Bay. It’s an affordable hop-on-hop-off service with many different pricing points to meet any of your travel needs and the drivers will pick you up and drop you off at any of the hostels they have a relationship with (which is a lot). This is the route I took and had an amazing experience. Each the hostels had unique layouts and activities, great vibe, great food (many had community dinners) and really interesting travelers.

I’d highly recommend this country (please don’t let the initial paranoia regarding crime stop you) because of the amazing network of hostels with great social scenes (and I can’t recommend using the Bazbus for this and its safety enough). There are many attractions and beautiful views in many of the cities at affordable rates. If you do get out here you have to make a stop in Drakensberg as it’s stunningly gorgeous. When I went there was only one hostel that the bazbus stopped at: Amphitheatre Backpackers. This place is legit. One of the coolest layouts I’ve seen and really amazing tours. I went on the day trip to Lesotho (where the hostel makes a large donation to the schools from your ticket price) and the day hike to the falls.

To go back to the homepage, click here.

Tanzania Adventures – Climbing, Safaris and Zanzibar

Tanzania

Climbing

If you’re looking to climb, you’re most likely interested in climbing Kilimanjaro. Kilimanjaro is one of Africa’s most famous symbols, it also happens to be the highest mountain on the planet that you can climb with next to no mountaineering skills. What this means is that there isn’t any “technical” climbing, it’s more of just a 4-6 day uphill battle of determination. Although it is iconic, it’s also quite expensive and physically exhausting, even for someone who is fit and experienced.

If you’re die-hard set on climbing Kilimanjaro you need to have at least $1,000 US, although it will probably end up being closer to $2,000 US. This price does include the new park fees and rates for your sherpas/guides/cooks. One of the reasons it’s so expensive is because of the recent government park fee increase over the past few years. The fees are priced on a per day and night in the park so the longer you take to climb the more you will end up paying. In my opinion it’s a pretty poor value for your money considering all the other options you have in this country. If you can’t afford it, but are into climbing, you still have the option to head north and climb mount Kenya or Meru. The mountains can be both cold and hot in the harsh sun and can even be wet depending on what time of the year it is. Most of the equipment you need will be supplied or can be hired in Moshi, however, I advise bringing a few of the essential items so you can make sure they are up to par.

I mentioned Mount Meru above, it’s less popular than Kilimanjaro but, in my opinion, a much better option. It’s the fifth highest mountain in Africa, so your excursion will be shorter (usually 2-3 days), cheaper, prettier and far less traveled by the average tourist.

Do your proper research and decide what is more important for you before deciding on an option.

Safaris

There are hundreds of options in Arusha for booking a safari and the competition is pretty intense. In all this competition you have good and bad tour companies. Here is my advice for you: get there at least a day in advance and start talking to as many different tour operators that you can. Don’t be intimidated if they try to pressure you into booking a trip by telling you it’s your only chance. The key to a great safari is a good guide/driver and some luck.

After you’ve talked to multiple companies, pick whichever one offers what you need and you feel the most comfortable with. If you want the full package, which could include Ngorongoro, Serengeti, Manyara and Tarangire then you’re looking at a 5 day minimum with 7 days being the optimum length.

Never be afraid to ask for a deal when it looks like business is slow, you’re a walk-in. Another good idea is to pair up with other travelers to try and get a group discount. Note that the high cost is also a reflection of the increasing park entry fees. To read more about Tanzania National Parks and the fees that are associated with them, check out this link.

Zanzibar

The best way to get to Zanzibar is from Dar-es-Salaam as there are many ferries from there to Zanzibar that take turns making the trip (so about three trips a day). This means you don’t really need to book in advance, unless you have a very strict schedule on your traveling. All of the ferries charge around $35-$40US. Sometimes the trips can be rough depending on sea conditions and they even have cheaper nightly journeys (though I’d avoid the night trips personally). You can also fly using the travel agencies in the area like Kangaroo Travel. Kangaroo Travel offers 15 minute flights, which include transportation at both ends for not much more than a ferry ticket.

When you’re coming back to Dar-es-Salaam there is a night ferry that is quite comfortable in first class (which is the only class a tourist is allowed to take). Make sure you get there early so you can claim an entire couch to lie on. The nice thing about the night ferry is that it’s cheap and will save you from having to get a hotel for the night, although I’d highly recommend to try and not use the bathrooms.

To go back to the homepage, click here.

Getting Around Tanzania

Tanzania

Recently roads have been improving, which will make getting around Tanzania much more enjoyable. The Dar-es-Salaam – Morogoro road is improving everyday and they are extending it down to Mikumi. There is a road from Dar-es-Salaam to Arusha which should also be getting improvements but it’s still up in the air. In some areas the road seems to be getting more and more worn away which makes for some exciting traveling, if you’re in to that sort of thing. The old gravel road to Ngorogoro crater has been replaced as well. There is easy travel (meaning decent roads and quick buses) that connect Dar-es-Salaam to Arusha, moshi, Tanga, Dodoma and Morogoro. The roads are improving everyday it seems but there is still much to do, so don’t let it stop you from seeing the beautiful areas.

Buses

A lot of the buses in Tanzania are ancient and always driving way too fast so make sure you take care when choosing a company to do your traveling with. When you’re in the Dar-es-Salaam area look for Royal coach. They are a new company with new buses and they regulate their speed at 80 kph for the entire journey. If you’re in a hurry there is also the Dar-es-Salaam express, which has recently added many buses to their fleet, so there are multiple trips every day. In a general sense, Scandinavia coach line is your best bet for travel all throughout Tanzania. However, if you’re looking to venture out there is also The Dar Express, Royal, Akamba and Tawfig buses. If you’re looking for popular routs between Arusha, Nairobi and Moshi use Riverside Shuttle as a good resource.

If you’re looking for that African Experience you can utilize the dall-dallas, which are mini-buses. They are great for general travel and shorter distances between towns. They are privately owned and usually crammed as they travel along set routes, letting passengers disembark whenever they want. They are cheap, and like I said, quite the experience if you are looking to get around like the locals do.

Trains

There are two train companies in Tanzania: TAZARA and the Tanzania Railway Corporation. TAZARA is nicer and very safe, but the trains only go from Dar-es-Salaam south to Mbeya and then on to Zambia, ending in a place called Komperi mposhi, which is about 2-3 hours from Lusaka. It’s important to note that Visas are available on the trains. All of the Tanzania railroad trains go west. And even though most of the trains are safe, it’s not unheard of for muggings to happen, even when sticking close to locals. If you are a traveler you need to be vigilant to make sure you and your belongings stay as safe as possible. Bring a chain and a lock with you to tie your baggage in the cabins and keep the window locked (Tanzania railroad provides you with a wooden wedge for this), especially when going through Morogoro and out by the lake. If you have an important deadline to make I wouldn’t count on these trains being on time all the time. They are definitely not known for their punctuality. First class is available and comfortable if you have the money and the desire to travel that way.

Air

Traveling by air in Tanzania is also available. The main domestic airline is Precision Air. Air Excel also operates between Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Dodoma and Arusha. You can find details on all flights through their websites but actually booking flights online can be frustrating.

Home.

General Tanzania Information

Tanzania

Tanzania is a great tourist destination for travelers and is a favorite for many because of the many attractions it holds. You have the highest mountain in Africa, three of Africa’s largest lakes as well as home to Africa’s largest game reserve. You might be in for a rude awakening if you have a short trip planned for the country because of all that it holds to see. Here is a short list which will include what I’ve already mentioned:

  • Kilimanjaro – Africa’s highest mountain
  • Lake Victoria – Africa’s largest lake by area and the largest tropical lake in the world
  • Selous Game Reserve – Africa’s largest game reserve
  • Ngorongoro Crater –  the world’s largest inactive, intact, and unfilled volcanic caldera
  • Zanzibar – A beautiful archipelago
  • The Serengeti – One of the seven natural wonders of Africa because of its large lion population as well as home to the worlds largest terrestrial mammal migration.

Since these are the most popular destinations for quick trip visitors you can expect that they are relatively much more expensive than many of the other activities that you can do here. However, if you’re a budget traveler, don’t let the prices detour you, there are plenty of other adventures to partake in that won’t burn through your travel budget as quickly.

Tanzania is a large country and it’s very easy to get off the beaten path to encounter some beautiful people and cultures in some absolutely stunning locations, which in my opinion are much more worth while than the recognizable attractions that I listed above.

As I said above you might be in for a rude awakening if you’re planning on doing a quick hit-it-and-quit-it type trip through Tanzania but it is definitely do-able and if that’s all that you have available you shouldn’t let your lack of time be a deterrent from visiting this country. Two-weeks is a pretty standard vacation time for the average person and with this chunk of time you would have no problem seeing some of Africa’s prime attractions and going home very happy and with lots of stories and pictures. This option requires more money, but that is just the way it goes.

If you’re a budget traveler you will likely be blessed with more time to see the country and that kind of lifestyle is perfectly suited for Tanzania. Get out there for at least four weeks and you will be able to visit some big attractions, while also stretching your dollar with basic accommodations and transport to see miles and miles of beautiful country, that you will likely fall in love with.

Highlights

I’ve mentioned many of  Tanzania’s highlights above. They are heavily tourist based and rather expensive by the regional standards to enjoy, but there’s a reason for this: they are exquisite. Other highlights include great trekking in the south of the country in areas like the Tukuyu and Usambara mountains.  Lake Manyara National Park in the Arusha and Manyara regions is also a must see in the northern safari circuit. If you want a similar experience to Kilimanjaro but don’t have the money, a great alternative is Mount Meru.

Lowlights

When you have beautiful things you often have a saturation of tourists that accompanies it. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it’s something I like to avoid whenever possible. You will find this with tours to Zanzibar, Kilimanjaro and Arusha being very cookie cutter-like, intended to get your money and then get you in and out.. However, getting off the tourist trail also has its disadvantages and in Tanzania’s case you have to deal with less than ideal roads, accommodation and camping sites. Also, English isn’t widely spoken once you venture off on your own.

Weather/Climate

Tanzania has a tropical climate along the coast but will get temperate when you get into the highlands. April to mid May is refered to as the Green Season so you can expect long periods of rain. November and December can be filled with short periods of rain. Summer in Tanzania lasts from the middle of December to March. Winter comes from June to October and you can expect dry and cold across the country. The range of temperatures stays between warm to hot, however if you plan to climb any mountains you will need warm clothes because temperatures on Kilimanjaro and Meru can drop below freezing once you get above 3500 meters.

Home.

Southern Africa Newspapers

Tanzania

In English

In Swahili

South Africa

In English

In Afrikaans

In French

Mozambique

In English

In Portuguese

Lesotho

Swaziland

In English

In German

Head back to the homepage.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives

The Tanzania Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives (MAFC) is responsible for contributing high end agriculture and cooperative services while making sure the stakeholders have a safe environment by being the knowledge base of policies and services to create a cooperative and effective agriculture system.

To do this the MAFC implements relevant policies in the agriculture sector and makes sure crops are regulated and monitored correctly; collaborates with the private sector, local governments and other services to make sure cooperative development has the proper research, irrigation, plant protection, crop promotion, mechanization, crop promotion, agricultural inputs and information services; undertaking crop monitoring, maintaining adequate food reserves and correct post harvest technologies and finally, encouraging research and development.

Other functions include:

  • Overseeing agricultural activities
  • Attending to farmers and peasants
  • Checking and controlling internal crop prices for some crops
  • Forming the module underwhich cooperatives function
  • Tight-marking the ‘modus operandi’ of cooperatives
  • Seeking internal and external aid (wherever necessary) for development of agricultural sector

There are many objectives the MAFC needs to accomplish before their ultimate vision can be achieved:

  • HIV/AIDS infections to MAFC staff
  • Sustainable food availability and supply at household level
  • Levels of agricultural production, productivity and quality raised
  • Development, promotion and use of appropriate agricultural technologies increased
  • Integrated and sustainable use and management of natural resources to conserve the environment in agricultural undertakings
  • Capacity of LGAs to deliver quality agricultural services
  • Private sector participation in agriculture increase
  • Capacity of MAFC to carry out its operations efficiently and effectively
  • Crosscutting issues internalized and linkages between agriculture and other sectors of rural development
  • Financial position and performance of cooperative societies improved
  • Clear policies, strategies, legislation and regulatory framework for MAFC activities developed by 2010

Head back to the homepage.

Ministry of Defense

Welcome to the Ministry of Defense. This section provides you with a detailed listing of senior officials in the Ministry, as well as their key functions.

They were founded in September 1964. From its inception, it was ingrained in the troops that they were a people’s force under civilian control. Tanzanian citizens are able to volunteer for military service from 15 years of age, and 18 years of age for compulsory military service upon graduation from secondary school. Conscript service obligation was 2 years as of 2004. Currently the headquarters are located in Upanga, Dar es Salaam

The current leaders of the Tanzanian ministry of defense are:

  • Jakaya Kikwete – Commander in Chief
  • Shamsi Nahodha – Minister of Defense
  • Davis Mwamunyange – Chief of Defense Forces
  • Lieutenant General Samuel Albert Ndomba – Chief of Staff
  • Major Gen Salum Mustafa Kijuu – Commander of Land Forces
  • Major General Raphael Muhuga – Chief of National Service
  • Major General Ulomi – Commander of Air Force Command
  • Major General SS Omar – Commander of the Naval Command

Functions

  • Peace-keeping in the country
  • Rescue missions when necessary
  • Training the nation as a whole for defense in any situation

Army

The Tanzanian army is slowly modernizing and going through restructuring and a lot of their inventory is in storage. As of 2012 they had the following:

  • 5 × infantry brigade
  • 1 × tank brigade
  • 3 × artillery battalion
  • 2 × air defence artillery battalion
  • 1 × mortar battalion
  • 2 × anti-tank battalion
  • 121st Engineer Regiment
  • 1 × central logistic/support group

Head back to the homepage.