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Did you know?

  • The stomach of crocodile has a size of football ball, he eats little, but many times per day.
  • Hippo weights 3,2 tones and is one of the heaviest land mammals.
  • Giraffe is one of the rare animals that have horns at birth.
  • The elephants walk on tiptoe, because under their heel they have thick layer of fat.
  • The biggest snakes of the world can eat a human in one time and a meal lasts for one year.
  • Flamingos get the color of their feathers because of their specific nutrition.
  • African elephant can run faster then a human and can walk several hours without any rest.
  • In first year of hippo’s life 45% of them die.
  • Shark is swimming with average speed of 3km/h and maximum speed of 95 km/h.
  • Giraffe has a same number of vertebrae like most of the mammals, but theirs are much longer.
  • Bushbabies got a name because of their sounds that reminded first explorers of crying babies.
  • Elephants communicate through vibrations that they make by hitting the ground with their feet.
  • Most of the elephants sleep standing and only 2-3 hours per day.
  • Hippo can stay 5 minutes under the water-surface and can even run on the bottom of the lake.
  • The biggest known shark in the world was 13 meters long and had 15 tones
  • Leopard likes to drink water everyday, but he can stay without it up to one month.
  • Wild elephant can eat 230 kg of food and drink 125 liters of water per day sometimes at once.
  • Near relative of African ostrich is South American nandu and Australian emus.
  • Ostrich, zebra and giraffe can kill with their kick even the mighty lion.
  • Turtles, birds and crocs like to rest on the backs of hippos.
  • African tribes are hunting bushbabies by leaving a palm wine in the forest and collecting drunk animals from it.
  • Warthog can run 50 km/h and they are very skillful to defend themselves.
  • The head of the rhino weights 200 kg.
  • Black leopard or Panther was first considered as different species, but in same family can be puppies of normal and black colour.
  • The biggest turtle in the world is belonging to the species of leatherback and weights 752 kg.
  • The grey rat is living everywhere in the world except polar countries. One couple can have up to 800 babies in just one year.
  • Insect-eating bats produce ultrasound of very high frequency, with echoes that bounce back, they get all necessary information.
  • One of the most shamefaced animals in area of high and low tide is octopus.
  • The longest recorded jump of bushbaby from one branch to another was more then 7 meters.
  • From 1830 on each year 10 to 30 thousand slaves were sold at slave market on Zanzibar.
  • Coconut palm can live up to 100 years but can reproduce only 20 years.
  • Warthog’s only enemies are lion and leopard.
  • In darkness leopard can see 6 times and hear 2 times better then human.
  • Monkey species of red colobus are living only in forest Jozani on Zanzibar Island.
  • Cheetahs are running 120 km/h, but only 20 seconds. This is still enough for successful hunting.
  • Insectivorous bats obtain most of the water they need from their prey, cave bats can lick up condensation.

Tanzanian news

2008

June

Mafia islands to vanish in 100 yrs

Scientists believe that the islands of Zanzibar and Mafia are likely to disappear under water by 2100 due to a rise in sea level caused by global warming. The islands close to Tanzania Mainland coast could be submerged in the ocean following a catastrophic rise in the sea level caused by the melting of polar ice.

Tanzanian rhinos

The United States Government has shown interest to assist Tanzania in bringing back a pack of Rhinoceroses that had been taken to a South African animal sanctuary some years ago and now the country is struggling to have the animals back. Apparently Tanzania is negotiating with the South African Government on how the animals could be brought back. At the moment the Ngorongoro Conservation Area has a total of 24 rhinos all of which are equipped with GPS tracking system to protect them from poachers who hunt them for their horns. It is reported that less than 50 rhinoceroses survive in Tanzania today.

Tourism now peaks at high altitude

Mountain climbing is the form of highly favoured tourism in sub-Sahara Africa. Tanzania captures over 90 percent of all mountain climbing and serious trekking tourists, with Mt. Kilimanjaro being the key attraction. Demand for mountain climbing and trekking above 4,000 meters according to the study is growing rapidly in popularity, although environmental concerns are growing. The number of tourists climbing Mount Kilimanjaro annually is reported to be coming closer to 40,000, making the mountain to be one of the busiest locations on the continent. It is still a far cry from Ngorongoro crater which amasses some 350,000 visitors every year.

Zanzibar’s blackout

The electricity blackout in Zanzibar is in its second week and the Tanzanian island's energy ministry says it is unclear when the problem will be fixed. Small-scale entrepreneurs have been severely hit by the power crisis.

May

Vehicle in Ngorongoro Crater

The vehicle I have in mind would be similar to those used in Montana's Glacier National Park. It's a Ford custom built vehicle using both petrol and gas (natural gas/propane). With Tanzania having the largest gas field in the southern hemisphere at Songo Songo this would mean using the country's own resources to power the vehicle. Advantages of large 20-seater vehicles: lower cost for tourists, easy to sell safaris, fewer vehicles in the crater, less impact environmentally and pollution, less disturbance to the animals etc.

750,000 arrivals

Tanzania’s booming tourism industry has become the country’s leading foreign-income earner. Tourism contribution to the GDP is now three times that of the agricultural sector, which has been the leading one for most of its history. In the past, many tour operators to East Africa offered Tanzania as extension to other countries. Not anymore, tourists want to visit Tanzania and even lesser known Southern Circuit. The largest country in East Africa, is focused on wildlife conservation and sustainable tourism. It is home of 15 National Parks and 33 game reserves, the tallest mountain in Africa, NP Serengeti, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, the world famous Ngorongoro Crater, Olduvai Gorge, the Cradle of Mankind, NP Selous, the world’s largest game reserve, NP Ruaha, now the largest National Park in Africa.

Lake Natron’s flamingos in danger

Plans to construct a soda ash plant at Lake Natron have received very strong opposition from local communities alongside the lake. This is due to its social and environmental threats to the rare lesser flamingos and the entire ecosystem of the lake. The flamingos attract many people from different parts of the world to come to Lake Natron to see them. Lake Natron is a saline lake located in the northern Tanzania, close to the Kenyan border in the Great Rift Valley of Africa. This lake is the only breeding area for the millions of endangered lesser flamingos that live there. The area is rich in salt, vitamin and bacteria which flamingos feed on.

Hemingway’s footsteps

Ernest Hemingway author of the "Snows of Kilimanjaro", "Under Kilimanjaro" and "Green Hills of Africa", among dozens of other titles, had his final Africa Safari between 1953 and 1954. Some people still like to come and trace his way through Tanzania.

April

Northern circuit and heavy rains

It is raining like never before and cancellations would be normal, but not so this year. Foreign visitors are still coming. Observations made recently at the Kilimanjaro International Airport indicated more arrivals of tourists into the Northern Zone circuit, despite the ‘Masika’ (long rains) season having started. On average the country gets at least half a million tourists per year (by latest figures there were 523,966 leisure visitors in 2006) and 80 percent of these normally head for the Northern Zone circuit. Most visited are the legendary Big Three: Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater and Mount Kilimanjaro.

Can the Hadzabe survive

Many people are concerned about the negative effect that tourists could have on Hadzabe tribe. They might stop relying on their own survival skills and each they more on help from outside. The Hadzabe in the Lake Eyasi area a just shadow compare to the previous size of their community. They are rare surviving members of the hunter gatherer tribe - once numerous and widely dispersed throughout the African Savannah lands. To meet with the Hadzabe is to meet with a culture unlike any other on this planet. To meet and to understand the Hadzabe does not necessarily mean that it is at a cost to their culture and their survival. That is totally down to the individuals concerned and, as importantly, the quality of guiding that brings about the meeting.

March

Zoo Steve Irwin

James Morobo, 54, has set up the private zoo next to a plot of land near the city of Dar es Salaam for tourists who flock to Tanzania for its wildlife. A so-called conservationist in Africa has started a zoo and named it after the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin.

Beckham to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro

Football star David Beckham has been invited by rock star Bono to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa. Beckham is keen on climbing the mountain because Bono wants him to help raise funds for the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef). The source added: "He was a bit uncertain at first but he found out, like many celebrities before him, that Bono can be very persuasive. No date has been set as yet because David is very busy with his LA commitments."

February

Sex and the isles (By Kizito Makoye)

As HIV/AIDS continue to spread, prostitution in Zanzibar is increasing. Young women make their way to the island in search of holiday makers. The Express investigation conducted over the weekend can reveal that the prostitutes mostly come from the Tanzanian Mainland, especially Tanga, and they have started coming in large numbers as the tourist peak season is approaching. This Express reporter, who visited several places in the isles, saw many women dressed in indecent clothing heading to various entertainment centres, prominently hotels and night clubs, especially in Nungwi, Kiwengwa and sections of Stone Town. Speaking on conditions of anonymity, the prostitutes said they see Zanzibar as a lucrative destination where they can easily get money from tourists who are coming in big numbers.The police in Zanzibar have been fighting against prostitution but often fail to implicate prostitutes, because the Penal Code Laws do not define prostitution as a criminal offence. Punishment is often a fine of not less than Tsh. 2,000 or imprisonment of not less than six months.

New specie mammal discover in Tanzania

OSLO (Reuters) - A new type of shrew-like creature with a snout similar to an elephant's trunk has been found in the mountains of Tanzania, the first new species of the mammal found since the 19th century, scientists said. The creature, a type of elephant shrew to be named the grey-faced sengi, was found in the Udzungwa-mountains of south-central Tanzania by scientists. The creature has a distinctive grey face and a black lower rump and weighs 25 percent more than any of the other known 15 species of sengi. Elephant shrews use the snout to help probe for insects, their main food. The sengi, with a bizarre mixture of relatives including elephants, sea cows and aardvarks, was first spotted by Italian scientist Francesco Rovero who had set up automatic cameras in a remote forest in 2005. Scientists say discoveries of new mammals are rare and pollution, clearance of forests for farms and cities, climate change and other factors are raising the risks of extinction.

Tourism Idea Welcome

As for tourism, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi boast of a variety of wild animals, pristine beaches and towering mountains, attracting about one million visitors annually. All this marketed together, the five countries stand to benefit a lot. Ironically, because of its developed transport infrastructure, Kenya has become the gateway to most foreign tourists visiting the region. For example, it is estimated that about 40 per cent of tourist visiting Tanzania and more or less a similar number touring Uganda, come through Kenya. That is why the political violence in Kenya affected the flow of tourists in the entire EA region. Had countries in the region cooperated in tourism earlier on, this would not have been the case because tourists would have flown straight to other countries in the region.

Hungry refugees in Tanzania are eating chimpanzees (By George Obulutsa)

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Hungry refugees in Tanzania are eating chimpanzees and other endangered species in order to supplement their meagre-diet, said international conservation group Traffic. They were also illegally hunting buffalo, topi, eland, elephant and waterbuck. In neighbouring Kenya refugee camps housing thousands of people who fled violence after disputed December 27 were damaging the environment, as displaced people chopped down trees for firewood. The refugees' vegetarian food aid rations were partly to blame for the poaching problem. According to the U.N. refugee agency Tanzania hosted 11 camps in January 2007, housing 287,061 refugees, most of the refugees fled conflict in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo from as far back as the 1960s, and Rwanda in the 1990s.

January

Kenyan chaos hits Dar tourism (Daily News)

Tanzania is losing business worth billions of shillings daily due to post election violence in neighbouring Kenya, with tourism being the hardest hit. Several tour operators told the 'Daily News' that at least 170 visits were being cancelled everyday. The Managing Director of Bushbuck Safaris Limited said the northern circuit was currently losing about 42,000 US dollars (about 49m/-) daily in terms of parks, transport and accommodation fees. Safari enquiries have dropped drastically from between 30 and 40 per day to hardly four or five. Many European tour companies have stopped sending clients to Tanzania and Kenya's national parks and beaches. Hotels operators in northern circuit, Serena and Sopa lodges with a combined capacity of accommodating 1,120 tourists, have also complained bitterly. The General Manager of Serena Hotels and Lodges puts booking cancellations from his hotels and lodges at 75 every day.

Bring down your airfares or get out of Africa (by Jacques Sotero Agboton)

There are no reasons for airlines to charge African passengers 4 to 5 times higher airfares than passengers of Europe, Asia and the Middle-East for the same duration of flights. It is apparent that the prohibitive airfares are to limit African passengers from crossing frontiers where they can explore personally environments so far denied them by racists and their institutions under so-called immigration laws. DELTA AIRLINES, NORTH AMERICAN AIRWAYS, AIR FRANCE, IBERIA, LUFTANSA, SN BRUSSEL AIRLINES, TAP of Portugal and BRITISH AIRWAYS are charging African passengers for cross-Atlantic flights between 1200 to 2200 Dollars for economy passengers while these fares would have been First Class between North America and Europe. Fares between North America and Europe can be as low as 200 Dollars.

Government to inject 101 million in conservation of water bodies (Daily News)

The government would in 2008/09 set aside 101 million for the conservation of marine and coastal environment, as well as lakes and river ecosystems and dams. This was revealed in Dar es Salaam by the Permanent Secretary in the Vice - President’s Office, during a meeting with development partners on Urgent Actions for the Conservation of Marine and Coastal Environment, Lakes and River Ecosystems and Dams. She said that the project is estimated to cost 10.5bn/-, the amount she said the government could not afford at the moment. The destruction of coral reefs and mangroves has led to serious loss of bio-diversity in marine and coastal areas whereas pollution in lakes and rivers was a serious environmental problem that also posed hygienic challenges around the areas. The project should take off in July 2008.

Government fears on tourism decline (Daily News)

The government has said that there was no cause for alarm in tourism sector following Kenya’s post-election violence. Speaking to the ‘Daily News’ in separate occasions, the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, said that Tanzania was not relying on Kenya for country tourism, because tourists come directly through Zanzibar route or Kilimanjaro International Airport. He said currently more tourists were coming to Tanzania from South Africa and there was a direct flight from Mozambique. He said there were some cancellations but said they were insignificant. Some few tourists, who had to come via Kenya, might have cancelled their tours.

Study gives green light to Arusha-Musoma highway

Days of people travelling to the lake zone through Kenya, especially during holiday seasons are numbered. A recently conducted feasibility study by the Tanzania Roads Agency (Tanroads) has okayed the Arusha – Musoma Highway project as beneficial to the economy. This was revealed during the regional road committee meeting chaired by the Arusha Regional Commissioner, Isidore Shirima at the Impala Hotel in the second week of December 2007. The road is projected to become one of the busiest highways in the Northern Zone.

2007 was a difficult year for wildlife

A total of 210 giraffes were killed in the wild of West Kilimanjaro between February and December 2007, wildlife disasters history. Two giraffes were butchered in West Kilimanjaro wildlife corridor in the night of December 2, bringing the total number of killed giraffes to more than 210 within just 10 months. Local game rangers say at least 20 giraffes are killed every month on average, a trend that has reportedly been going on since February 2007.

Operators brace for influx of tourists as civil unrest damages Kenya’s image

Just when Kenya is reeling in civil unrest, tourist stakeholders with the Tanzanian northern tourist circuit are brainstorming on how to attract more tourists to fly directly into Tanzania. Many tourists who visit Tanzania prefer to come into the country via Nairobi because there are more international flights that land in Nairobi and fares are cheaper compared to flights destined to Kilimanjaro or Dar es Salaam airports. The on-going mayhem in Kenya following last months General Election has led to tourist bookings cancellation adversely affecting operations of tourist related businesses and the national economy in general.

New gem discovered in Ngorongoro

While the precious Tanzanite gemstones are reported to be diminishing in Mererani mining hills, a new valuable gem has just been discovered in remote parts of Ngorongoro district, authorities in the area have confirmed. The mineral known as Specitite is said to be as rare as Tanzanite and is used in making expensive ornaments, bracelets, rings and other products, just like the Mererani blue stones.

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