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A bird's-eye view of Tanzania will reveal constantly changing landscapes — from white, sandy beaches to rugged mountains, and lush, green parks to barren wasteland. As an important stop on the trade route to the Orient, Tanzania still bears the marks of its European, Arabic, and indigenous tribal history at several ports and coastal towns. The country remains relatively untouched by the political and civil strife that erupted in many of its neighbouring countries, and is a joy for anyone looking to observe wildlife in its most natural environment. National parks are scattered throughout the country although the must-see ones include the Serengeti National Park to see the annual wildebeest migration, Ruaha National Park for its large elephant and lion population, and Ngorongoro Conservation Area where you can see the Maasai grazing their cattle.
Visit Stone Age ruins at Isimilia Gorge and witness the merging of African, European, and Arabic cultures on the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba. For scuba diving and snorkelling without the crowds, head to Mafia Island where the reserve is teeming with several species of marine life. Tanzanian food has some unusual combinations and you can try the beef and bananas or chips with eggs to see if they suit your palate. In the Kilimanjaro area, you can even find a beer made from bananas.
The airport at Dar es Salaam (DAR) is the main destination for international flights to Tanzania. Kilimanjaro (JRO) airport is a better destination for those heading up the mountain or to Arusha and Moshi. Airports at Zanzibar (ZNZ), Mwanza (MWZ), and Mtwara (MYW) also handle international traffic. Airlines offering flights to Tanzania from Canada include Lufthansa, Delta, Air Canada, KLM, and Swiss. Passengers from Canada will most likely have to fly via the US or a hub airport in Europe.
Tanzania experiences heavy rainfall from October to December and from end-March to May. Travelling in the country during this time is inadvisable as several parks and tourist destinations throughout the country are closed during this time. A large hat, bottle of water, and sun-block will come in handy during the summer season when temperatures can rise to 35°C and higher in Dar es Salaam. The coastal areas are hot and humid throughout the year but especially so from November to March.
Tourist peak seasons occur in the months of July and August and during the Christmas/New Year period. The ideal time to visit is October and November, when the rains are not at their heaviest and the crowds have reduced.
If you hope to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the best months are between January and mid-March or between June and October. Some Christmas and New Year climbs do take place but are frequently cancelled because of heavy rains.