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Top 10 things to do in Tanzania with limited time

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    Tanzania is a country with endless beauty and abundant, rich wildlife. The landscape is covered with breathtaking savannahs, sun-soaked islands, and towering mountains.

    Tanzania is also home to some of Africa’s most well-known national parks and natural attractions, such as the mighty Mount Kilimanjaro. Although the most popular things to do in the country are safaris and wildlife-related adventures, there are other exciting things that you can do in the country while you’re here.

    Most visitors pass through Dar es Salaam and head out to the areas of wilderness and other safari destinations. For those who are up for a swim, the Zanzibar beaches are worth visiting with their white sand beaches and stunning turquoise water.

    Since Tanzania has many things to offer, you can’t do everything with limited time. To help you with this dilemma, we’ve listed the Top 10 Things To Do in Tanzania with limited Time.

    Best things to do & see in Tanzania with limited time

    Tanzania with limited time

    Tanzania is rich in culture, wildlife, history, natural resources, and tourist spots that offer adventure, such as:

    Some of the things that you can do include trekking, sightseeing, swimming and a lot more! Furthermore, when it comes to great experiences and views, you can opt to visit the following popular spots in Tanzania:

    1. Mount Kilimanjaro National Park

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    Mount Kilimanjaro is an iconic image of Tanzania. The mountain is the highest peak in Africa, which is 5,895 metres high.

    The mountain is unique as it has five distinct climate zones—which are:

    • Savannah (800 to 1,600m)
    • Rainforest (1,800 to 2,800m)
    • Heather and Moorland (2,800 to 4,000m)
    • Alpine Desert (4,000 to 5,000m)
    • Arctic (5,000 to 5,895m)

    There are more than 30,000 trekkers who visit Tanzania to conquer the highest free-standing mountain in the world and see its rare, magnificent beauty. Unlike the other national parks in Tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro National Park isn’t visited primarily for its wildlife but its remarkable and beautiful snow-capped mountain.

    On top of that, it brings great pride to trekkers who conquer one of the 7 Summits of the world. If you’re planning to climb Kilimanjaro, make sure to do it during the dry season to have the best views of the scenery in Kilimanjaro.

    2. Serengeti National Park

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    Serengeti National Park is a wide plain, consisting of 1.5 million hectares of Savannah and is famous for the annual wildebeest migration, which consists of over a million wildebeest.
    On top of that, you can also view the Big Five here— which are the elephant, cape buffalo, lion, leopard, and rhino. There are approximately 500 species of birds that have been recorded at the Serengeti National Park.

    In addition, it’s home to 1,500 exotic wild animals, such as:

    •  Addax (Addax nasomaculatus)
    • Arabian Oryx (Oryx leucoryx)
    • Bactrian Camel (Camelus ferus bactrianus)
    • Bison (Bison bison)
    • Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra)
    • Capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris)

    The above is only a small fraction of a large number of rare animals in the Serengeti National Park. Moreover, it’s the second-largest National park in Tanzania with tens of thousands of tourists every year.

    The best time to visit the Serengeti National Park for wildlife viewing is January to February or June to September. These are the driest months and offer a much better experience in viewing the incredible wildlife in the park.

    3. The Zanzibar beaches: White sand paradise

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    Love to plunge yourself into seawater? Then never miss the opportunity to experience the Zanzibar beaches!

    The beaches are stunning with their turquoise water and white-sand beaches. The beaches are beautiful and peaceful, making it a great getaway for a quiet, relaxing, and short vacation.

    Zanzibar Island, or locally known as Unguja, is a great holiday destination in Tanzania as it’s known for its breathtaking beaches, which are part of the Zanzibar archipelago. This archipelago consists of two islands—the Zanzibar and Pemba.

    In the heart of Zanzibar, you can find the historical city of Stone Town, recognized for its old Arabian Townhouses, busy port, and narrow alleyways.

    4. Lake Manyara National Park

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    With your limited time in Tanzania, you can opt to visit Lake Manyara, National Park. It’s composed of woodland, forest, swamps, and grasslands.

    Two-thirds of Lake Manyara is composed of water, hosting thousands of flamingos and various bird species. The highlight of this tour is seeing the large populations of hippos, elephants, and tree-climbing lions.

    At Lake Manyara, you can see animals at a close range compared to other national parks. This is also the home to the world’s largest baboon concentrations.

    Some activities to enjoy at Lake Manyara are:

    5. Ngorongoro Conservation Area

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    The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is found between Lake Manyara and the Serengeti. It’s home to the famous volcanic crater—the Ngorongoro Crater, which is known as one of the best wildlife viewing areas in Tanzania.

    The huge volcanic crater provides a perpetual water supply, drawing thousands of animals to stay in the area rather than choosing to migrate. Most tourists visit here to see large animals and birds.

    On the crater floor, you can see thousands of various animals, cush as:

    • Thompson’s gazelles
    • Elephants
    • Rhinos
    • Lions
    • Zebras
    • Wildebeest

    The bird watching here is fantastic, particularly around Lake Magadi—which usually attracts several flocks of flamingos to the shallow waters. Moreover, you can also witness families of hippos submerging themselves during the day and grazing in the evening at the nearby grasslands.

    The Ngorongoro Crater is also the biggest and oldest intact caldera in the world, which formed approximately three million years ago. Before it exploded and collapsed, it is said to have been one of the tallest mountains in the world.

    6. Katavi National Park

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    The Katavi National Park is settled in an unspoiled wilderness of a remote region. It highlights an enormous flood plain and is divided by the Katuma River, along with several other seasonal lakes.

    These lakes support huge groups of crocodiles, hippos, and over 400 bird species. Another spectacle worth seeing is the hundreds of hippos trying to squeeze themselves into a pool of water during the dry season.

    During the dry season, the Katavi National Park is full of life, consisting of troops of lions, giraffes, impala, and reedbuck that can all be seen near the streams and pools. There are also thousands of buffaloes and elephants that meet in the park during the floodwater recession.

    7. Tarangire National Park

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    The Tarangire National Park is another must-see park during your limited time in Tanzania. It was established in 1970 and is a fantastic site for wildlife viewing.

    The best time to visit here is during the dry season, which is from July to September, wherein the animals are pooled along the river.

    Every dry season, the Tarangire National Park has one of the highest migratory wildlife concentrations. Some of the migratory animals you can see in the park are:

    • Impala
    • Wildebeest
    • Buffalo
    •  Zebra
    •  Gazelle
    • Hartebeest

    Furthermore, the park is well-known for its large elephant populations and birdlife species. At this park, you’ll have a great time watching over 300 species of birds, including:

    • Herons
    • Buzzards
    • Kites
    • Vultures
    • Eagles
    • Falcons

    8. The Stone town

    Tanzania - the stone town - top 10 things to do in tanzania with limited time

    When you visit Tanzania, there will never be a boring moment. This is because there are a lot of places to visit outside of national parks, like Stone town.

    The stone town consists of splendid old Arabian homes lining the winding alleys and narrow streets. These homes were built in the 19th century when Zanzibar was one of the Swahili significant trading towns throughout the Indian Ocean.

    It’s also the oldest functioning Swahili city and most of its landmarks have been restored to their former glory. Most of the historic buildings are now tourist attractions and some became museums.

    Some of the highlights visiting this place are:

    • The Old Dispensary
    • People’s Palace
    • Forodhani Gardens
    • Hamamni Persian Baths
    • The Old Fort

    9. Arusha National Park

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    The Arusha National Park is smaller than most parks in Tanzania. However, it has a range of habitats consisting of Ngurdoto Crater, Momella Lakes, and Mount Meru.

    This park is also famous for various wildlife, such as:

    • Colobus Monkeys
    • Zebra
    • Warthog
    • Herds of Buffalo

    The Momella lakes of Arusha park are also home to a large variety of migrant and resident waterbirds. It’s also the location of Mount Meru, which is one of the most stunning volcanoes in Africa.

    On top of that, it’s also the second-highest mountain in Tanzania. Its summit is reached through a narrow ridge that provides exceptional views of the volcanic cone—thousands of feet below the crater.

    The ascent is difficult due to the mountain’s steepness, but the trails pass through a giant heather zone, moorland, parkland, and forest—offering diverse experiences from beginning to end.

    10. Ruaha National Park

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    The Ruaha National Park is home to immense herds of gazelle and buffalo. Furthermore, it’s home to some of the largest concentrations of elephants in Tanzania.

    This park became the largest park in Tanzania in 2008, giving grand wildlife viewing on the banks. On top of that, the river provides more electricity to the country through a hydraulic dam located at Kidato.

    It’s best to note that this park isn’t as accessible as other parks in Tanzania. As a result, the landscape of this place is almost untouched.

    Here, you can watch over 400 bird species that aren’t common in northern Tanzania. There are also panoramic canyons and spectacular trees that are fascinating and picture-worthy.


    While there is so much to do and see in Tanzania, it’s not possible to do it all in one trip. We recommend staying for as long as you can and working with an itinerary that has all the best things to do. We understand that it can be hard to choose what to do and where to go, so we highly recommend getting in touch with Easy Travel where our team of Tanzania specialists can assist you in crafting your dream itinerary. Your dream safari awaits!

    Musaddiq Gulamhussein - Owner - Easy Travel Tanzania

    About the author: Musaddiq

    Meet Musaddiq Gulamhussein, owner of Easy Travel Tanzania, a tour company creating life-changing safari experiences for over 35 years. Musaddiq has explored Tanzania, developing a deep understanding of the local cultures and traditions. Follow his journey and gain insights into the African Safari experience through Easy Travel's social media and blog.

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