The Great Rift Valley – and Tanzania in specific – still captures what in my mind rates as the imagery portraying Africa at its most iconic. Geography, visual drama and wildlife combine in wilderness areas such as the Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Kilimanjaro, and it is easy to see why these regions will always feature on the bucket list for any tourist planning an African safari.

Lake Olduvai is a renowned hominid site, with many of the oldest fossils left behind by our homo erectus forebears found here. Most contemporary tourists, however, will visit this East African country for the spectacular wildlife sightings; it is said that Tanzania has the highest animal density in the world.

Proud Maasai pastoralists hold sway on the semi-arid inland plains, and they can often be seen tending their herds of big-horned ankole cattle and feral goats. Serengeti and Ngorongoro weave their own special magic: the former boasts endless plains dotted with classic umbrella acacia trees, while the crater brims with lush rainforests pockets and vast herds of big game.

Together with Kilimanjaro, these are the landscapes which shape Tanzania, and visiting here undoubtedly rates as a once in a lifetime experience. Self-driving is an adventure in itself, though, with monster potholes, river crossings, soggy marshes and stone-covered plains just some of the natural obstacles to be negotiated.

Colonial rule by both Germany and Britain during the late 19th and 20th centuries made for a convoluted history before the ‘United Republic of Tanzania’ was formed in 1964. These days, a staggering 120 ethnic, linguistic and religious groups contribute to a complex contemporary population, with Christianity as a main religion and Swahili and English used to communicate. The country is currently governed as a de facto one-party state.


COMPANY: Helium One (LON Listed:HE1)
PROJECT FOCUS: Commodity – Helium Gas
LOCATION: Rukwa, Tanzania



Capital City: Dodoma

Health: Malaria, dengue fever and cholera are common

Population: 58.01 million

Exchange Rate: R1 = approximately 170 Tanzanian Shilling

Crime: Street crime is rampant in urban areas; political insurgency can be an issue

Local Time: East Africa Time (EAT) / Greenwich Mean Time (plus 3 hours)

Transport: Road network consists of trunk, regional and district roads with only 20% of them paved. Rail network are limited to Dar es Salaam, with 28 airports and Julius Nyerere as the main international connection. Ferries connect the mainland with Zanzibar and other islands.

Climate: Tropical, hot and humid, with heavy downpours. Central plateau is cooler and arid.

Currency: Tanzanian shilling

Dialing Code: +(255)

Official Language: Swahili; English

Entry Requirements: Valid passport for minimum 6 months; at least one blank visa page.

Tourist Information: / Tel. +255 22 2664878/9


ENGLISH: Hello, how are you?
SWAHILI: Jambo! Habari yako?


Most of mainland Tanzania lies at an altitude above 200m ASL, with vast plains, plateaus and mountain ranges. The dramatic geography notably includes both Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro, at 5,895m, and the world’s second deepest lake, Tanganyika, at 1,436m.