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    Top 10 things to do in Tanzania in 2023

    12 minutes read
    giraffe Easy travel tanzania

    When you hear the word Tanzania, you may think of safari, Serengeti, and wild animals. However, there are more things to do in Tanzania besides these lovely components that will be discussed later in this guide.

    Tanzania is more than game drives, iconic African sunsets, and the home of Africa’s highest mountain – Kilimanjaro. It’s also the birthplace of Freddy Mercury (the lead singer of Queen), home to the most giant crab in the world, tree-climbing lions, and the only volcano currently erupting carbonatite lava.

    Tanzania is also an ideal post-Covid travel destination. Tanzania travel restrictions are minimal and only require a negative 72-hour PCR test and a Traveller’s Surveillance Form. No two-week mandatory quarantine is needed!

    If that’s not enough to tempt you to buy a flight to Tanzania and visit, the rest of this list will. Ready Freddie? Here are ten reasons to visit Tanzania!

    Things To Do #1. The Great Wildebeest Migration

    Things to do in tanzania

    One only comes to Tanzania after going on safari – at least once. The country has many wildlife experiences, but the creme de la creme? The Great Wildebeest Migration. This annual wildebeest migration is the largest animal migration in the world.

    Each year, between June and October, two million wildebeest, zebra, and Thomson’s Gazelle make the dangerous roundtrip between Tanzania’s Serengeti and Kenya’s Masaai Mara national parks in search of water.

    Along the way, the animals have to side-step hungry crocodiles in rivers, big cats waiting to pounce, and hyenas waiting to pick off the weak and young.

    With so much action, it’s not surprising the annual migration has been dubbed “the greatest wildlife show on earth”.

    1. The Great Wildebeest Migration FAQs:

    – What’s the best time to see the great wildebeest migration? July and August 

    – Where is the migration in Tanzania? In Serengeti National Park

    – What causes the great wildebeest migration? The East Africa

    – When is the best time for calving season during the great wildebeest migration? February

    Things To Do #2. Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

    Tanzania - climbing mount kilimanjaro in august - top 10 things to do in tanzania in 2023

    Tanzania is home to quite a few world records. You have:

    – The largest animal migration in the world.

    – The largest crab in the world.

    – The only volcano currently erupting carbonatite lava.

    And the country’s crowning glory? Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest peak and one of the world’s Seven Summits.

    Each year, approximately 35,000 people attempt the trek to watch the sunrise from the Rooftop of Africa. However, it’s a challenging feat.

    Things like altitude sickness and not choosing the best route for Kilimanjaro stop many trekkers from reaching the top. But for those that do, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

    Along the way, you’ll trek past five climate zones, giving the mountain vastly different landscapes the higher you go. And if you’re lucky, you might spot herds of elephants and other wildlife around the base!

    The ultimate hiking trip in Africa and a mini safari? Yes, please!

    Want to join the ranks of successful Mount Kili trekkers? Check out our resources to help you train, pack, and plan your trip:

    You have:

    The largest animal migration in the world.

    The largest crab in the world.

    The only volcano currently erupting carbonatite lava.

    And the country’s crowning glory? Mount Kilimanjaro – Africa’s highest peak and one of the world’s Seven Summits.

    Each year, approximately 35,000 people attempt the trek to watch the sunrise from the Rooftop of Africa. However, it’s no easy feat.

    Things like altitude sickness and not choosing the best route for Kilimanjaro stop many trekkers from making it to the top.

    But for those that do, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Along the way, you’ll trek past five climate zones which give the mountain vastly different landscapes the higher up you go. And if you’re lucky, you might spot herds of elephants and other wildlife around the base!

    The ultimate hiking trip in Africa and a mini safari? Yes, please!

    Want to join the ranks of successful Mount Kili trekkers? Check out our resources to help you train, pack, and plan your trip:

    The ultimate hiking trip in Africa and a mini safari? Yes, please!

    Want to join the ranks of successful Mount Kili trekkers? Check out our resources to help you train, pack, and plan your trip:

    Things To Do #3. Stone Town

    Tanzania - be modest in zanzibar - top 10 things to do in tanzania in 2023

    If you don’t automatically associate Tanzania with safaris, you most likely have Zanzibar on the brain. The island lies 35km off the coast of the mainland and forms part of the Zanzibar archipelago.

    On the eastern shores, you’ll find a seafront promenade lined with a mesmerizing mix of Arabic, Persian, Indian, and British architecture. This is Stone Town.

    A UNESCO Heritage site, back to the 16th century. Once the home of sultans and an ancient spice trading hub, it’s now a city frozen in time.

    Stay in old merchant’s houses like the Emerson Spice Hotel – the former home of the last Swahili ruler of Zanzibar. Stay aware of the winding alleyways and visit important historical sites like Tippu Tip’s house, the Shiv Shakti Hindu temple, and the Old Fort.

    And when hunger hits, stop by the food stalls at Darajani Market or grab dinner at the Forodhani Gardens night market in Stone Town.

    Things To Do #4. The Ngorongoro Crater

    Tanzania - shutterstock 1825200461 - top 10 things to do in tanzania in 2023

    If you’re looking for some of the most famous places to visit in Tanzania, the Ngorongoro Crater deserves a spot on your bucket list.

    This huge volcanic crater is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that attracts thousands of animals to its permanent supply of water, Lake Magadi.

    Pack your tele-zoom lens and a pair of binoculars, and you can spend hours spotting lions, elephants, flamingos, hippos, and rhinos in Ngorongoro…the list is almost endless! Need a bigger reason to draw you here?

    Here’s a quick-fire round of what makes the Ngorongoro Crater one of the best things to do in Tanzania:

    It’s the largest intact ancient caldera in the world.

    It’s nearly three million years old.

    The volcano was one of the tallest mountains in the world before it erupted and collapsed.

    It’s one of the New Seven Natural Wonders of Africa.

    The Ngorongoro Crater size is 264 square kilometers.

    It has a fertility mountain! The Maasai believe climbing Ol Doinyo Lengai (Mountain of God) can help women who are having difficulty conceiving.

    Things To Do #5. The Maasai Culture

    Tanzania - maasai ngorongoro - top 10 things to do in tanzania in 2023

    Beyond the natural beauty, one of the biggest reasons to visit Tanzania is the culture. And most notably, the Maasai people. Who are the Maasai? They are one of the last remaining indigenous tribes in East Africa and are known worldwide for their distinct culture.

    An estimated one million Maasai live between Kenya and Tanzania, and visiting one of the tribes is a cultural highlight for any traveller.

    These semi-nomadic people are known for their warriors, dancing, and intricate ceremonies, easily recognizable with striking red blankets and colourful beaded jewellery.

    Combine your safari trip with a village visit, learn about the Maasai way of life and traditions, and tap into their deep understanding of living in harmony with nature.

    Things To Do #6. Selous Game Reserve

    Tanzania - nyerere national park formerly known as selous game reserve in june - top 10 things to do in tanzania in 2023

    With its secluded and off-the-beaten-track safari experience, Nyerere, formerly Selous Game Reserve, offers an incredible spectacle that stands out on the African continent. Boasting the impressive title of the largest national park in Africa, it covers a sweeping area of 30,000 square kilometres!

    But the charisma of Nyerere doesn’t stop there. The park is also home to the mighty Rufiji River, a sight to be noticed, making it one of the premier tourist attractions in Tanzania.

    Nyerere became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986. Its dramatic landscapes, diversity, and wildlife corridor with Mozambique’s Niassa Reserve make it one of Africa’s most important wilderness areas.

    What is the best time to experience Nyerere in all its glory? July through October. The April and May rains are over, and the animals congregate in huge numbers around the dwindling watering holes.

    Top tip: Be sure to sign up for a walking safari! Nyerere is one of the few national parks that allow hiking, giving you a unique opportunity to explore Tanzania’s natural heritage without a safari vehicle.

    Things To Do #7. Snorkelling and Diving in Zanzibar

    Tanzania - go diving around mafia island - top 10 things to do in tanzania in 2023

    Visit Zanzibar; it is more than just a beach destination. This beautiful island, located off the coast of northern Tanzania, houses some of the world’s best scuba diving and snorkelling.

    Its stunning beaches offer lapping turquoise waters to marvel at and mesmerizing coral reefs hidden under the surface, ready for exploration. Encapsulating the true essence of an African adventure, Zanzibar should be high on your bucket list.

    Get your PADI Open Water qualification and explore The Spice Islands’ 30+ dive sites. With warm waters all year round, you can swim past underwater shipwrecks and try to spot the 500-something marine species found here. But the real star of the show? The world-famous Mnemba Atoll.

    The azure waters of the Indian Ocean fringe the idyllic stretches of white sand beaches in Zanzibar, making it one of the best places to dive and encounter the ocean’s biggest fish – the whale shark. Coupling this with the proximity of the invigorating Mafia Island Marine Park, home to endangered sea turtles, playful dolphins, and neon-tinted tropical fish, you’re assured an unbeatable diving experience.

    Indeed, if an unparalleled under-the-sea adventure is what you seek, a visit to Zanzibar is a must.

    Things To Do #8. The Food in Tanzania

    Tanzania - zanzibar food top 10 foods to eat on holiday - top 10 things to do in tanzania in 2023

    Tanzania may be known for its seemingly endless safari destinations, but its food is an underrated part of the country. Foodies will have plenty of things to try with a mix of traditional, Arabic, and Indian cuisine influences.

    Nibble through the rich culture by trying popular foods in Tanzania, like the classic Zanzibar pizza dish. It’s top-notch street food with savoury and sweet fillings like meat, chocolate and banana.

    Other dishes like biryani and pilau are delicious reminders of Tanzania’s history. The Indian-inspired rice dish was brought to the country by Indian migrant workers. Since then, the locals have given it a Swahili twist, turning it into some of the best food in Tanzania. Feeling hungry yet?

    Things To Do #9. Great Rift Valley

    Tanzania - where to go lake natron - top 10 things to do in tanzania in 2023

    If none of these reasons to visit Tanzania has you reaching for your passport, the Great Rift Valley will change your mind. This natural wonder of the world is one of Tanzania’s top natural attractions, boasting hot air balloon safaris, a rich history, and undeniable beauty.

    Along the 6,000 km geological trench (which runs from northern Syria to central Mozambique), you’ll find majestic mountains and some of the deepest lakes in the world. No doubt, visiting Tanzania will create unforgettable memories of extraordinary adventures.

    Some of the top attractions in Tanzania are found here, including:

    Lake Natron

    Ngorongoro, Empakai, Olmoti and Lengai volcanoes

    While the area is vast, it’s a geologic marvel which deserves a prime spot on your Tanzania itinerary.

    Things To Do #10. Visit Gombe National Park’s Chimpanzee

    Tanzania - gombe stream national park - top 10 things to do in tanzania in 2023

    Gombe National Park is a wildlife lover’s dream. Despite being one of Tanzania’s smaller and lesser-known national parks, it’s home to an essential part of world history.

    Long story short, Jane Goodall came here in 1960 to start her ground-breaking research on chimpanzees in Tanzania. Her work turned into the longest-running behavioural research program in the world, and it’s still going on today.

    If you are passionate about experiencing wildlife in its natural habitat and are planning to visit Tanzania, consider heading to the eastern shores of Lake Tanganyika, the world’s second-deepest lake. This location is home to the lush Gombe Stream National Park.

    The park serves as a sanctuary for about 150 chimpanzees. To explore, you’ll embark on an invigorating boat ride to reach the park from the lakeshore. Once there, you can relish the thrill of walking safaris guided by knowledgeable guides who’ll help you navigate the forest’s trails and enjoy a close encounter with Tanzania’s incredible wildlife.

    May to October is the best time to visit Gombe for photos and hiking, while in the rainy season (November to May), the vegetation is lush, and the waterfalls are in full force.

    Other notable mentions:
    Lake Manyara National Park
    Tarangire National Park
    Mount Meru
    Ruaha National Park
    Pemba Island
    Arusha National Park

    Plan Your Ultimate Tanzania Vacation Today!

    Want help planning a trip to Tanzania, Africa’s visual masterpiece?

    Speak to our Tanzania travel experts, and let’s turn your Tanzania wish list into reality.

    When you travel with us, you can be sure to experience:

    – The best game-viewing in the world: we know Tanzania’s national parks like the back of our hand, and whether you want to see the “Big Five” (elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard and rhino) or get up close and personal with more unusual species like giraffes, zebras and wildebeests, we’ll create a Tanzania safari that’s perfect for you.

    – The most stunning scenery: from the snow-capped peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro to Serengeti’s endless plains and everything in between, Tanzania is a feast for the eyes.

    – A wide variety of experiences: whether you’re looking for an action-packed safari or a more relaxed beach holiday, we can tailor-make your perfect trip.

    Contact our travel experts today if you’re ready to start planning your Tanzania adventure. We can’t wait to show you our fantastic country!

    Frequently Asked Questions - Things to Do in Tanzania in 2023 (FAQs)

    1. What are some of the top activities to do in Tanzania?

    Tanzania offers a wide range of activities to suit diverse interests. You can go on a safari in the Serengeti National Park, witness the natural wonder of the Ngorongoro Crater, and see wild animals in the Tarangire National Park.

    Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is an excellent option for those who prefer high-energy activities. If you’re a beach lover, the beautiful beaches of Zanzibar are a must-visit.

    Lastly, bird enthusiasts can enjoy a unique birdwatching experience during the rainy season.

    2. How safe is it to travel to Tanzania?

    Generally, Tanzania is a safe destination for travellers who adhere to regular safety precautions. Petty theft does occur, particularly in crowded areas, so be cautious about your belongings.

    It is advised to respect local traditions and customs to avoid cultural misunderstandings. Moreover, always do so with a reputable tour operator when going on a safari or a hike.

    Following local travel advisories and staying informed can contribute to a safe travel experience.

    3. What's the best time to visit Tanzania?

    The best time to visit Tanzania often depends on the activities you’re interested in. The dry season (June to October) is ideal for general wildlife viewing.

    However, if birdwatching is your primary interest, the rainy seasons—April to May for the long rains and November for the short rains—are preferable. If you aim to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the best times are generally from July to October and January to March.

    4. What is the cultural etiquette in Tanzania?

    Tanzanians are known for their hospitality and politeness. When greeting, it’s common to shake hands and ask about one’s well-being. Dress modestly, especially in rural areas and during visits to religious sites. 

    English and Swahili are the official languages; learning a few words of Swahili is appreciated. Tipping for good service is customary and welcomed in Tanzania.

    5. What's the local cuisine like in Tanzania?

    Tanzanian cuisine is a mix of traditional Arabic, African and Indian influences. Staple foods include ugali (a stiff porridge), beans, rice, and meat.

    Seafood dishes are popular in coastal regions, particularly Zanzibar. Tanzania also boasts a variety of delicious fruits like mangoes, pineapples, and bananas. 

    Take advantage of the local street food such as chipsi mayai, a popular dish made of chips and eggs.

    6. What currency is used in Tanzania?

    The official currency of Tanzania is the Tanzanian Shilling. While many places accept major credit cards and foreign currency, it’s always handy for small businesses and roadside vendors to have local currency.

    ATMs are in larger cities and towns but might be scarce in remote areas. You can also find currency exchange at the airport, banks, and Bureau de Change facilities.

    7. Are there any health advisories for travelling to Tanzania?

    Before travelling to Tanzania, consult your doctor about recommended vaccinations, like Hepatitis A, Typhoid, and Yellow Fever. Malaria is a risk in Tanzania, so antimalarial medication may be recommended.

    Always ensure that you drink bottled or boiled water. It’s also essential to have travel health insurance in case of any medical emergencies.

    8. Do I need a visa to visit Tanzania?

    Most travellers require a visa to enter Tanzania, which you could apply for online or upon arrival at an international airport. Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months from arrival.

    However, visa requirements vary by country, so checking with your local Tanzanian embassy or consulate before travelling is best.

    9. Is English spoken in Tanzania?

    Yes, English is an official language in Tanzania, alongside Swahili. In major cities and tourist hubs, many people speak English, especially those in the tourism industry.

    However, in more remote areas, Swahili might be more prevalent. Learning a few basic Swahili phrases can be beneficial and is often appreciated by locals.

    10. How are the connectivity and internet access in Tanzania?

    In urban areas and tourist hotspots, internet connectivity is generally good, with many hotels, restaurants, and cafes offering Wi-Fi. However, internet connectivity can be limited or unavailable in remote or rural areas.

    Purchasing a local SIM card with mobile data can be a good option for those needing regular internet access while travelling around the country.

    11. Is it advisable to purchase travel insurance for a trip to Tanzania?

    It’s highly advisable to get travel insurance for your trip to Tanzania. Such insurance typically covers unexpected travel issues like flight cancellations or delays, lost or stolen baggage, and, most importantly, any healthcare emergencies you might face while abroad. Always read your policy carefully to ensure you understand what is covered.

    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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