In urban areas and tourist centres, you'll be able to get by fine with English. In rural areas, knowledge of basic Swahili phrases will make your travels easier and more fun.

Courses

Tanzania is the best place in East Africa to learn Swahili, the country's official language, together with English. Swahili in coastal areas, especially the Zanzibar Archipelago, is generally considered more pure than the Swahili spoken inland. Some schools can arrange home stays.

ELCT Language & Orientation School This is a long-standing mission-run language school on the outskirts of Morogoro town.

KIU Ltd At various locations in Dar es Salaam, plus branches in Iringa and on Zanzibar Island.

Meeting Point Tanga (www.meetingpointtanga.net) Just south of Tanga.

MS Training Centre for Development Cooperation About 15km outside Arusha, near Usa River.