Tanzania boasts some of Africa's most spectacular topography, including the Great Rift Valleywhich includes Lake Tanganyika, Mr Kilimanjaro (the continent's highest peak at 5892m), the vast Serengeti Plains and the wonderful Ngorongoro Crater.
Offshore are idyllic islands ringed by beautiful palm-fringed beaches, and Unguja, better known as Zanzibar Island with its exotic Stone Town.
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The archaeological treasures of Tanzania include hominid fossils, which is more than 300 million years old.
Tanzanian music and dance dominates much of East Africa. Strong in rhythm and renowned for hard-hitting lyrics, the country's Swahili-based sounds are kept very much alive by a thriving dance-band scene.
Nyama choma (barbecued meat) has taken over in a big way, especially in restaurants with attached bars. But on the coast and in Zanzibar and Pemba islands, there's a decent range of traditional Swahili dishes based on seafood.
There is a wide range of optional activities to make your experience in Tanzania absolutely unforgettable. Some great floating is to be had in hot-air balloons over the Serengeti and swimming with dolphins around the island of Zanzibar. Snorkeling and scuba diving is equally popular around the world-class coral reefs off nearby Pemba and Mafia islands.
The coastal strip along the Indian Ocean and the offshore islands of Pemba and Zanzibar has a hot, humid, tropical climate alleviated by sea breezes. Only on the mountain slopes of the northeast does the country enjoy an almost temperate climate for most of the year. Rainy season is from mid-March to mid-May.
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