In 1964 Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form the nation of Tanzania, resulting in the largest of the East African countries. It has three regions of spectacular landscapes islands and coastal plains to the east, a saucer-shaped inland plateau and highlands. The Great Rift Valley runs from the north-east of Africa through central Tanzania contributes to the beauty.
Tanzania has the snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro, pristine sandy beaches and the largest concentration of wild animals in many National Parks and Game Reserves.
Dar es Salaam is Tanzania's commercial capital and major sea port, also serving its landlocked neighbours Malawi, Zambia, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda.
The 30,000 square kilometre Serengeti National Park stretches across two East African countries. Twenty percent of it is in Kenya and the rest is in Tanzania. Of all the world's wildlife parks, Serengeti is the best known and the one where you are most likely to spot the animals you most want to see. Not surprisingly, almost 100,000 tourists visit the park each year, and the only shooting done is with a camera.
A stunning way to take it all in is with Serengeti Balloon Safaris. After a pre-dawn Land Rover pick-up, you drive to the launch site at Maasai Kopjes for a briefing and to watch the balloon inflation. Then you rise as the sun does and let the winds take you where they want.
Sometimes you are at treetop height, sometimes at 300 metres wherever you are, for an hour you will float silently over some of the world's most remarkable animals, going about their morning activities.
Champagne is served after landing and breakfast is served at tables set with linen cloths, china and silver. All very Out of Africa.
After that you board a four-wheel drive and your guide takes you up close to animals right in their own environment. Operators works together and they let one another know where there is a pride of lions, a family of leopards, flocks of ostriches, elephants, giraffes, hippos, impala or graceful gazelle.