Tanzania - Travel/Philately/Numismatics/Memorabilia Profile

Tanzania, a country in Central East Africa bordered by Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique and the Indian Ocean has a total land area of 364,898 square miles and a population of around 44 million. Tanzania is teeming with wildlife in all categories - birds, animals, amphibians, reptiles, and fish. It has abundant mineral resources that include natural gas, gold, diamond, coal, iron ore, tin, platinum and Tanzanite. The major sectors of its economy are agriculture, tourism, construction, manufacturing, financial services and mining. The developed countries firmly believe the mining sector exploited in the right manner can take the country further faster. The government has taken the lead in promoting tourism in the country.

Travel Resources: 

Given the diversity of its wildlife, Tanzania qualifies as a year-round destination. In general, the dry season between June and October is a good time to visit Tanzania for wild life viewing. Birding comes alive when everything turns green, which is usually in January and February. Tanzania is renowned for its beautiful national parks – Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Selous, Mikumi, and Gombe. Mt. Kilimanjaro (Africa’a highest peak), Lake Victoria (Africa’s largest lake), Lake Tanganyika (Africa’s deepest lake), and Kalambo Falls all adds to its unique beauty. Lake Natron, and East African mangroves are also ecologically significant habitats. Dar-es-Salam, Zanzibar, and Mafia Islands are other options to pursue. Its cuisine is spicy and usually sauced with coconut milk. Rice, ugali, chapati, nyama choma, mshikaki, fish, and biriyani are typical dishes. Maandazi, kabab, samosa, and vitumbua are some of the popular snacks


ResourceISBN or ASINBest PriceDescription
The Rough Guide to Tanzania978-1848360754$17The best overall travel resource available for Tanzania.
Northern Tanzania: The Bradt Safari Guide with Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar978-1841622927$17Best Safari Guide and Kilimanjaro Traveler’s Information Resource Available! 304 pages.
Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi Nelles Map978-3865742612$121:1.5M Scale. Insets include Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar-Stonetown, Arusha, Pemba Island, and Zanzibar Island.
Tanzania Grounded Adapter Plug – GUD and GUFB0016ZNX1Q$14

Philatelic Profile:

The first stamps of Tanzania were a set of four stamps released on July 7, 1964 showing map and emblem. The set (Scott #1 to #4) catalogs for around a dollar MNH or used. The stamp has the inscription ‘Tanganyika and Zanzibar’ but it was sold and valid only in Tanzania, not Zanzibar. Tanzania (Tanganyika at the time) joined Zanzibar on April 26, 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. The following year, the country became the United Republic of Tanzania. The first set was followed by another set of fourteen stamps released on December 9, 1965 with the Tanzania inscription showing local scenes. The set (Scott #5 to #18) catalogs for around $20 MNH and around $15 used. The designs show Hale Hydroelectric Plant, flag, army squad, road building, native handicraft, giraffes, zebras, Mount Kilimanjaro, Dar es Salaam Harbor, Zinjanthropus skull and Olduvai Gorge Excavation, sail fish, dhow, and map of Mafia Island, sisal industry, State House at Dar es Salaam, and Tanzania Coat of Arms. Tanzania is mountainous in the Northeast and Mount Kilimanjaro represented in this set has Africa’s highest peak. To the North lies Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake and to the West Lake Tanganyika, Africa’s deepest lake.

Other issues of Tanzania enjoying good philatelic interest include:
  1. A set of fifteen stamps released on December 3, 1973 showing Butterflies. The set (Scott #35 to #49) catalogs for around $30 MNH or used. The designs show papilio hornimani, colotis ione, amauris makuyuensis, libythea laius, danaus chrysippus, sallya rosa, axiocerses styx, eurema hecabe, acraea insignis, euphaedra neophron, precis octavia, charaxes eupale, charaxes pollux, salamis parhassus, and papillo ophidicephalus.
  2. A set of four stamps and a souvenir sheet released on May 22, 1986 depicting Gemstones. The set (Scott #310 to #313 and #314) catalogs for around $30 MNH or used. The designs show pearls, sapphires, tanzanite, diamonds, and rubies.
  3. A set of eight stamps and two souvenir sheets released on February 4, 1990 showing Extinct Animals. The set (Scott #545 to #554, #553 and #554) catalogs for around $30 MNH or used. The designs show tecopa pupfish, thylacine, quagga, passenger pigeon, Rodriguez saddleback tortoise, toolache wallaby, Texas red wolf, Ultah Lake sculpin, Hawaiin O-O, and South Island whekau.
  4. A set of eight stamps and a souvenir sheet released on June 10, 2000 in the Tourism theme. The set (Scott #2078 to #2085 and #2086) catalogs for around $20 MNH or used. The designs show lion and Seronera Wildlife Lodge, hippopotami and hyenas and Selous Game Reserve, fish and Mafia Island, giraffes and Lobo Wildlife Lodge, rhinoceros and Ngorongoro Crater Wildlife Lodge, elephant and Mikumi National Park, elephant and Lake Manyara National Park, elephants and rhinoceros and Kibo Peak at Mount Kilimanjaro, and lion, giraffes, elephant, rhinoceros and Lake Manyara National Park. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is part of the Serengeti ecosystem which hosts the largest migration in the world – nearly two million herbivores travel from the Northern hills toward the Southern plains, crossing the Mara River, in pursuit of the rains. Tanzania started issuing a large volume of colorful stamps starting in the early 1990s. Despite the number of issues and the volume of each issue, many of the sets catalog in the tens of dollar range and enjoy good collector interest.
Numismatic Profile:

The first coin of Tanzania was a Republic Standard Coinage (100 Senti = 1 Shilingi) Bronze 5 Senti issue of 1966. The issue has very high mintage (over 55M) and catalogs for around a dollar in BU or Proof. The Proof is a relative bargain as it has low mintage (5.5K). The first gold coin was a 1000 Shilingi 0.2344 troy ounce gold proof with low mintage (500) released in 1984 that trades at a slight premium over bullion value. Since then, Tanzania has issued a number of commemorative gold and silver proofs primarily for the numismatic market.

Numismatic items of Tanzania include:


ItemPrice RangeDescription
Coins$1 and upCommon UNC Sentis starts around $1. Large Proofs from the 1960s, UNC Animal Sets, etc start around $10. 1966 Commemorative Olympic Patterns, Silver Proofs from the 1970s and 1980s, etc start around $50. Low Mintage Commemorative Proofs and Gold Coins go well into the 100s.
Paper Money$2 and upRecent UNC Shillings starts around $2. Consecutive Serial Number UNC Banknotes of 5-pieces or more, High Values, etc starts around $10. High Value Africa and other Commemorative Sets, Bundles, etc start around $50. Rare Specimens, Scarce Errors, and High Value Bundles go well into the 100s.


Collectible Memorabilia:

Wood carvings of the animals sighted, jewelry, Maasai tartans, and woven baskets are some of the few souvenirs from Tanzania.


ResourcePrice RangeDescription
Gemstones$1 and upRough Natural Star Sapphires, Aquamarines, etc in the 15ct range start around $1. Flawless Natural Tanzanite stones in the 1ct range start around $30. VS Red Winza Mine Rubies in the 1ct range start into the 100s. Certified VVS1 Red Rubies in the 1ct range start around $1000.
Antiques$10 and upMakonde Female Figures, Zaramo Stool Fetishes, etc start around $10. Makonde Helmet Masks, Gogo Stools, Zaramo Wood Combs etc start around $50. Sukumu Dancer pairs, Maasai African Leather Shields etc start well into the 100s.
Art$10 and upBatik Art on Textiles start around $10. Ceremonial Axes, Makonde Family Tree Carvings, etc go well into the 100s.
Miscellaneous Collectibles$2 and upTravel Souvenir Keychains and Magnets start around $2. Original vintage historically relevant and local scenes photographs start around $15. Large Spessartine Garnet and other Mineral Samples start around $25.

Last Updated: 12/2015.

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