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    Top 10 things to do in Tanzania

    11 minutes read
    top things to do in tanzania

    Combining show-stopping wildlife experiences, a fusion of architectural influences, and flawless beaches, there are many things to do in Tanzania!

    Tanzania is a destination that will leave you swooning, drooling, and planning your next trip back before your vacation ends. This is East Africa’s jewel.

    Wondering what to do in Tanzania? The possibilities are endless, regardless of whether you come during the rainy or dry seasons.

    From trekking to the top of one of the world’s Seven Summits or hiking up Mount Meru to witnessing the annual wildebeest migration and visiting historical monuments, Tanzania has something for every kind of traveler.

    Or are you looking for a beautiful beach to kick back and relax on? Zanzibar Island has you covered. Below, you’ll find a roundup of the top things to do in Tanzania, including the best tourist attractions and off-the-beaten-path destinations.

    Hike mount Kilimanjaro

    Things to do in tanzania

    What’s a visit to Tanzania without seeing the iconic Mount Kilimanjaro?

    One of the iconic things to do in Tanzania is visit and climb Africa’s tallest Mountain—Mount Kilimanjaro. This landmark deserves to be on your must-see list. Looming 5,895 meters over Tsavo, Africa’s highest peak, has captured travelers’ hearts and imaginations for centuries.

    Officially a World Heritage Site, it comprises three volcanic cones (Shire, Kibo, and Mawenzi). The highest point is Uhuru Peak, one of the world’s Seven Summits. Don’t worry, dear traveler. Kibo is a dormant volcano without volcanic activity for hundreds of years.

    Each year, hundreds of hikers travel to Tanzania to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and stand on the Rooftop of Africa at sunrise.

    With almost every kind of ecological system found on the mountain (rainforest to moorland to an arctic summit) and its slopes home to herds of elephants, eland, and leopards, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime trek.

    Watch the great migration in Serengeti National Park

    Tanzania

    Want to see predators like lions and wild dogs in action? A Serengeti safari is the perfect option.

    If you’ve spent time on Pinterest or Instagram, you’ve probably stumbled across drool-worthy images from Serengeti National Park.

    Home to the spectacular annual migration of wildebeests (the longest overland migration in the world), over 1.5 million wildebeest, zebra, and other buck travel 800 km (500 miles) between Tanzania’s Serengeti and Kenya’s Maasai Mara. The vast herds move as one through the land and are certainly a marvel to witness.

    The natural phenomenon began in the 1960s, earning it the moniker of “The Greatest Wildlife Show on Earth.” Unsurprisingly, it’s one of the top things to see in Tanzania and a chance to witness the circle of life.

    Explore Zanzibar's beaches

    Things to do in tanzania

    Regarding the top things to do in Tanzania, Zanzibar’s beaches are scene-stealers. The island (Unguja) is famous for its incredible coastline. Picture soft, white sandy beaches and clear turquoise water as far as the eye can see.

    Soak up the sun on the mainland at one of the luxury beach resorts, or hop onto a traditional Dhow boat and stay on one of the other Spice Islands in the Zanzibar archipelago.

    Chumbe and Mnemba Island are all fantastic options for a beach holiday in Zanzibar. Expect underwater adventures, pristine coastlines, majestic coral reefs, and glimpses of the slow-moving whale sharks.

    Go on safari in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area

    Tanzania - ngorongoro conservation area - top 10 things to do in tanzania

    While Zanzibar is known for its beaches, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area has phenomenal wildlife encounters. Once one of the tallest mountains in the world before exploding and collapsing, the Ngorongoro Crater is now the world’s largest inactive, intact, and unfilled volcanic caldera.

    On the crater floor, you can spot thousands of animals like:

    – lions

    elephants

    – rhinos

    hyenas

    – buffaloes

    – zebras

    – Thomson’s gazelles

    – wildebeests

    With abundant birdlife in the area, the crater is one of the best birdwatching destinations in Tanzania. Around Lake Magadi, you can watch giant flocks of flamingos and pelicans look for food and breed.

    The best time to visit? Book your Ngorongoro Crater safari between March and June, and you’ll have prime seats for the breeding season.

    For an unforgettable Tanzania safari you’ll rave about for years, ensure the Ngorongoro Crater is firmly on your itinerary.

    See tree-climbing lions in Lake Manyara National Park

    Tanzania - tree climbing lions - top 10 things to do in tanzania

    Ever seen a lion climb a tree?

    No?

    Travel to Tanzania’s Lake Manyara National Park,where tree-climbing lions and the world’s largest concentration of baboons are the norm.

    Located between the Great Rift Valley and Lake Manyara, the park was established in 1960 to protect the vast herds of elephants and 400 bird species that flock to its alkaline shores.

    Crammed with incredible wildlife sightings, grassy plains, marshlands, and acacia woodlands, this spot is a must-see in Tanzania for any safari lover.

    Want a break from game drives and walking safaris?

    Lake Manyara boasts the scenic Maji Moto hot springs. Relax near the idyllic oasis while feasting on local dishes like chips maiyai (a French omelet) and nyama choma (BBQ).

    Go diving around Mafia Island

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

    With a coastline you won’t believe, Mafia Island is known as one of the best places to go in Tanzania, but it’s what lies below the water’s surface that is the true showstopper.

    Divers and snorkelers from around the world come here to explore the protected Mafia Island Marine Park.

    Between October and March, you’ll have crystal-clear visibility for dives, allowing you to explore the coral gardens and spot over400 fish species.

    Plus, the island is a breeding site for the endangered green turtle. Come here between February and July to watch the hatchlings break free from their nest, scurry into the ocean, and begin their adventure into the world.

    Book a walking safari in Tarangire National Park

    Tanzania - tarangire walking safari - top 10 things to do in tanzania

    Safaris are among the top things to do in Tanzania. You could photograph the wildebeest migration and go home (like most visitors do).

    But if you want to encounter more wildlife without the crowds, Tarangire National Park is the perfect safari destination.

    Despite being one of the lesser-known game reserves in Tanzania, Tarangire gives the Serengeti a run for its money.

    The park boasts herds of up to 300 elephants, 500 species of birds, and one of the highest concentrations of migratory wildlife in the dry season.

    If you need more than that to make you want to grab your telephoto zoom lens and take your safari attire out of storage, this will: Tarangire doesn’t only offer game drives.

    You can stay at camps specializing in walking safaris (one of the best ways to experience the African bush). Along the way, you’ll trek past toweringbaobab trees, and you can visit ancient rock paintings in Kolo.

    Looking for options? Check out these Tarangire tours.

    Escape to Pemba Island

    Tanzania - pemba island - top 10 things to do in tanzania

    Pemba Island is a dreamy island getaway, only a 30-minute flight from Zanzibar.

    While it’s possible to make a day trip out of exploring the archipelago’s northernmost island, there’s something magical about spending a night or three here.

    With a more laid-back atmosphere than Zanzibar (and fewer tourists), Pemba is home to world-famous Indian Ocean dive sites.

    When you are not exploring the colorful coral gardens, you can head inland on your mountain bike and conquer the island’s 1,000-meter peaks.

    Still not enough to entice you?

    Just offshore from Pemba Island isMisali Island Beach. Located on an uninhabited tropical island, it offers a white-sand beach where you can relax, snorkel, and, if lucky, catch a glimpse of nesting sea turtles.

    Pemba Island is a true tropical retreat and, without a doubt, one of the best places to see in Tanzania.

    Explore Zanzibar’s historic Stone town

    Tanzania - historic stone town - top 10 things to do in tanzania

    If you’re heading to Zanzibar, one of the best places you can visit is Stone Town. It’s an absolute must-see for history buffs and travelers who want to learn about Tanzania’s unique culture.

    Stone Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its fascinating architecture. Walking down the cobbled streets, you’ll see a beautiful fusion of Arabic, Indian, European, and African architectural influences.

    With most homes built in the 19th century,  Stone Town is the world’s oldest functioning Swahili city. Over the years, essential landmarks have been restored, giving travelers a glimpse into what life was like when Zanzibar was one of the most important Swahili trading towns.

    To truly appreciate what you’re seeing, hire a guide from Easy Travel. While the intricately carved wooden doors, former homes of sultans, and ancient buildings are marvels in themselves, without historical context, you miss out on the local stories, making visiting Stone Town so magical.

    Go on a remote safari adventure in Selous Game Reserve

    Tanzania - remote safari adventure - top 10 things to do in tanzania

    Rounding off the best things to do in Tanzania is the impressive Selous Game Reserve.

    As the largest game reserve in Africa, it covers 5% of Tanzania’s total area and is approximately 4x bigger than the Serengeti. Yet despite its massive size and World Heritage status, it’s a secluded, off-the-beaten-track safari destination.

    Adventurous travelers who venture into the remote region can explore the reserve on foot. Selous is one of the few ample game reserves that allow hiking, giving you a unique opportunity to explore Tanzania’s landscapes from a different perspective.

    With large wildlife numbers, such as 110,000 elephants and 4,000 lions (the highest concentration in Africa), you can expect a phenomenal game-viewing experience.

    Book your dream Tanzania vacation

    Tanzania is home to some of the most stunning landscapes and unique wildlife on the planet. While you may feel it is off the beaten track, it is easily accessible via several flights from across the globe. Click here to check available flights, and contact us today to see how we can help you plan your Tanzania experience of a lifetime.

    Ready to start turning your Tanzania Pinterest board and Instagram “saved” folder into your reality?Speak to our Tanzania travel experts, and let’s start planning your dream Tanzania trip. We can guarantee you the best authentic experience East Africa has to offer.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1. Is scuba diving available in Tanzania?

    Tanzania boasts some of the world’s most pristine dive sites along its coastline and around the islands of Zanzibar and Mafia. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced diver, there are opportunities for everyone to explore the colorful coral reefs teeming with marine life. From vibrant coral gardens to thrilling drift dives, Tanzania offers diverse underwater experiences for scuba diving enthusiasts.

    2. What wildlife can I see in Tanzania's game parks?

    Tanzania’s game parks are renowned for their incredible biodiversity, offering visitors the chance to encounter various African animals. In Serengeti National Park, you can witness the annual Great Migration, where millions of wildebeest, zebras, and other herbivores traverse the plains in search of greener pastures.

    Other iconic species you may encounter include lions, elephants, giraffes, leopards, and buffalo, among many others. Each park has its unique ecosystem and wildlife, providing endless opportunities for wildlife enthusiasts to see and photograph these stunning creatures in their natural home.

    3. Can I go on a hot air balloon safari in Tanzania?

    Tanzania offers the incredible opportunity to embark on a hot air balloon adventure over the iconic Serengeti National Park. Drifting silently over the vast plains as the sun rises, you’ll have a bird’s-eye view of the wildlife below, including herds of wildebeest, zebras, and other animals. It’s a magical experience that provides a unique landscape perspective and is perfect for photography enthusiasts and romantic adventurers.

    4. What is there to do at Lake Victoria in Tanzania?

    Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa and the source of the Nile River, offers a variety of activities for visitors. You can fish for Nile perch and other freshwater species, cruise to explore the lake’s islands and shorelines or relax on the sandy beaches.

    Birdwatchers will also appreciate the diverse birdlife around the lake, including kingfishers, fish eagles, and pelicans.

    5. Can I engage in deep-sea fishing in Tanzania?

    Tanzania’s coastline along the Indian Ocean provides excellent opportunities for deep-sea fishing. Whether you’re a beginner angler or a pro, you can rent a fishing boat and venture out to sea searching for marlin, sailfish, tuna, and other prized game fish. The waters off the coast of Zanzibar and Pemba Island are renowned for their abundance of fish and thrilling fishing excursions.

    6. What makes Gombe Stream National Park unique?

    Gombe Stream National Park is renowned for its population of wild chimpanzees, which Jane Goodall’s pioneering research made famous. You can go to the park on guided chimpanzee tracking excursions, allowing you to observe these fascinating primates in their natural habitat. In addition to chimpanzees, the park is home to various other wildlife, including baboons, colobus monkeys, and numerous bird species.

    7. Are there opportunities for hiking and nature walks in Tanzania?

    Tanzania offers numerous hiking and nature walk opportunities, particularly in its national parks and conservation areas. From strolls through lush forests to challenging treks up volcanic peaks, there are options available for hikers of all abilities.

    Some popular hiking destinations include Arusha National Park, the Usambara Mountains, and the Crater Highlands. These hikes allow visitors to experience Tanzania’s stunning landscapes and diverse flora and fauna up close.

    8. How can I visit Tanzania's national parks responsibly?

    When visiting Tanzania’s national parks, it’s essential to prioritize responsible tourism practices to minimize your impact on the environment and wildlife. This includes staying on designated trails, refraining from feeding or approaching wild animals, and properly disposing of waste.

    Additionally, choosing eco-friendly accommodations and tour operators that prioritize conservation and community engagement can further support sustainable tourism efforts in the region.

    9. Are there opportunities for cultural experiences in Tanzania?

    Tanzania is home to a rich tapestry of cultures and traditions, offering visitors the chance to engage with local communities and learn about their way of life. You can visit traditional Maasai villages to experience their customs and rituals, participate in cultural exchanges with indigenous tribes, or attend cultural festivals and events. These experiences provide valuable insights into Tanzania’s diverse cultural heritage and foster meaningful connections with its people.

    10. Can I go on a safari in Tanzania's lesser-known game parks?

    While Serengeti and Ngorongoro are the most famous, Tanzania has several lesser-known game parks that offer unique safari experiences. Parks such as Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park, and Katavi National Park are less crowded but equally rich in wildlife. You can embark on game drives, boat safaris, and walking safaris in these parks, providing opportunities to see various wildlife in their natural habitats.

    11. Are there opportunities for birdwatching in Tanzania?

    Tanzania is a haven for birdwatchers, with over 1,000 bird species recorded in the country. From colorful bee-eaters and kingfishers to majestic raptors and storks, the diversity of birdlife is astounding.

    Birdwatching enthusiasts can explore a variety of habitats, including savannahs, wetlands, forests, and coastal areas, to spot a wide range of avian species. Popular birdwatching destinations include Lake Manyara National Park, the Rift Valley Lakes, and the Usambara Mountains.

    12. What should I know before visiting Tanzania?

    Before visiting Tanzania, it’s essential to research and plan your trip thoroughly to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. This includes getting necessary travel documents such as visas and passports and taking precautions against tropical diseases like malaria and yellow fever.

    13. What should I know before visiting Tanzania?

    Before visiting Tanzania, it’s essential to research and plan your trip thoroughly to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. This includes getting necessary travel documents such as visas and passports and taking precautions against tropical diseases like malaria and yellow fever.

    Additionally, familiarize yourself with local customs and etiquette to show respect for the culture and traditions of the Tanzanian people. Finally, consider hiring a reputable tour operator or guide to help you navigate the country safely and make the most of your visit.

    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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