ABOUT Tanzania is the country which has many extraordinary tourist attractions. More than 25 per cent of Tanzania’s land area is covered with magnificent game reserves and national parks. There are 13 national parks, 29 game reserves, 40 controlled conservation areas and marine parks. Tanzania is also home to the famous Roof of Africa - Mount Kilimanjaro. Because Tanzania lies below the equator, the coolest months occur during the northern hemisphere’s summer, and all-year round the weather remains pleasant and comfortable. Between June to October, temperatures range from around 10 C in the northern highlands to about 23C on the coast. Located in the heartland of Tanzania, Dodoma is the nation’s official political capital and the seat of government in the country. Comparably much smaller and less developed than the country’s commercial centre Dar es Salaam, Dodoma remains a centre for national politics. Situated on the eastern edge of the southern highlands, the city is surrounded by a rich agricultural area and pleasant scenery. It is the centre of Tanzania’s growing wine industry and the Tanganyika Vineyards Company is actively promoting its products.
CLIMATE The main rainy season lasts during March, April and May. Afternoon tropical downpours are the norm – which are heavier and more predictable beside the coast and on the islands. The humidity is high and daily temperatures reach the low-mid 30°s. The dry season lasts throughout June, July, August, September and October is when rainfall is unusual, even on the islands. Temperatures vary hugely with altitude and location, but it's usually a fine, clear sky and sunny weather – it's a great time to visit Tanzania. During November and December there's another rainy season. These are much lighter than the main rains and less reliable. If it has rained during the these rains, then it normally dries up for a few months, January and February, which is Tanzania's 'short dry season', before starting to rain again in earnest in March.
BEWARE Although most visits to Tanzania are trouble-free, violent and armed crime is increasing, with incidents reported both on the mainland, Zanzibar and the islands. Muggings, bag grabs (especially from passing cars) and robberies, including forced withdrawal from ATMs, sometimes armed and accompanied by violence or the threat of violence, have increased throughout Tanzania especially in areas frequented by backpackers and expatriates. All visitors, particularly women, should avoid walking alone and close to the road, especially in isolated areas and on beaches. You should always walk as far away from the road as possible. If you need to walk along the road you should walk towards the traffic, if possible, and keep your bag facing away from the road at all times. Do not make yourself an obvious target for muggers and pickpockets. Do not carry cameras or large sums of cash in the streets or wear expensive-looking jewellery or watches. Do not accept transportation with strangers or in unlicensed taxis and if possible ask your local hotel to arrange your transportation; always ask for official identification before accepting transport. Travellers should also exercise caution at the Ubungo bus station and places frequented by backpackers, especially around the city centre in Dar es Salaam where muggers, pickpockets and unlicensed taxis with the intention to commit robbery, have singled out tourists. There are cases of armed crime in Dar es Salaam, including in the peninsula area and Coco beach, which is popular with expatriates. There has been an increase in the number of reported muggings and robberies, sometimes armed and accompanied with violence, occurring in Stone Town and on popular tourist beaches in Zanzibar.