10 Reasons to Travel to Tanzania
Tanzania represents, and contains, every part of Africa.
It is Africa land of contrasts. From the snow-capped peak of Kilimanjaro to the endless plains of the Serengeti, from the sun-kissed islands of the Zanzibar Archipelago to the gentle shores of the Great Lakes, Tanzania contains immense cultural and natural wealth. It was here, on the dusty floor of Olduvai Gorge that humankind earliest relatives walked, leaving their footprints behind as a mark of humanity beginning. It was here, on the palm-fringed beaches of Zanzibar, that Swahili traders welcomed dhows from across the Indian Ocean.
For millennia, Tanzania has played an essential part in the life of the African continent. The great wildebeest migration alone comprises the largest movement of land animals on the planet. With over 25% of the country total landmass dedicated to wildlife parks and conservation areas
Tanzania remains wholeheartedly committed to the preservation of Africa great wilderness and incredible range of animal species. The Republic of Tanzania is one of Africa most peaceful countries. Home to a flourishing democracy and prospering economy, the country is known for its peace and stability.
For those who want to take a break and spend some time soaking up the sun, the beautiful beaches of Zanzibar beckon. Off Pemba and Mafia islands is a whole other kind of natural wonder, one most appreciated by the scuba divers and snorkelers who come here from around the world to experience the coral gardens, colorful fish, and crystal clear waters.
Importance to know
Tanzania is the best safaris destination in Africa.
Tanzania has been voted one of the best destinations for 2015. The New York Times, Travel + Leisure, and other travel gurus have weighed in, and they all agree: Tanzania is one of the top travel spots on earth! These publications put Tanzania in the top-20 can’t miss destinations worldwide. We couldn’t agree more!
Here are 10 reasons that should convince you to travel to Tanzania.
1. Mount Kilimanjaro “the roof of Africa”
Where else can you experience five climate zones in the span of a few days? One of the most frequented attractions in Tanzania; Mount Kilimanjaro National Park is home to Africa’s highest mountain peak. Unlike other parks in northern Tanzania, this one is not visited for the wildlife but for the chance to stand in awe of this majestic snow-capped mountain and, for many, to climb to the summit. Mount Kilimanjaro can be climbed at any time, although the best period is from late June to October, during the dry season.
Mount Kilimanjaro is the world’s largest freestanding mountain and Africa’s highest peak, rising in breathtaking isolation from the surrounding coastal scrubland – elevation around 900 meters – to an imperious 5,895 meters (19,336 feet). Kilimanjaro is one of the world’s most accessible high summits, a beacon for visitors from around the world.
Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s Leading Tourist Attraction 2013, 2015, 2016 & 2017: nominated and wins the Africa’s Leading Tourist Attraction World Travel Award 2017
Kilimanjaro is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was formed over 1 million years ago by volcanic movement along the Rift Valley. Three points – Shira, Kibo, and Mawenzi came to be about 750,000 years ago. The highest point is Uhuru Peak on Kibo, which is one of the Seven Summits of the world.
The mountain rises from farmland on the lower level to rainforest and alpine meadow and then barren lunar landscape at the peaks. The slopes of the rainforest are home to buffaloes, leopards, monkeys, elephants and eland. The alpine zone is where bird watchers will find an abundance of birds of prey.
When to go
Clearest and warmest conditions from December to February, but also dry (and colder) from July- September.
Huts and campsites on the mountain. Several hotels and campsites outside the park in the village of Marangu and town of Moshi.
2. SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK
Serengeti National Park
The Serengeti is a wilderness area in Africa with a unique ecosystem that is one of the oldest in the world, its name meaning “endless plains” in the Maasai indigenous language, Maa. The Serengeti is best known for being home to the largest terrestrial mammal migration in the world, which has been called one of the natural travel wonders of the world.
Over 90,000 tourists visit the Serengeti National Park each year to go on safari and witness the magnificent migration of the wild animals.
The Serengeti is home to over 70 species of large mammals and more than 500 kinds of birds. Serengeti is famed for its annual Great migration, when some millions hooves pound the open plains, such as zebra Thomson’s gazelle join the wildebeest’s. This annual mass movement of animals across the Serengeti, in search of food and water, is an awe-inspiring sight.
Fauna at the Park
The wildlife present in the Serengeti comprises of different species of bats, rodents, monkeys, baboons, genets and civets, hyenas , mongoose, wild cats, dogs, weasels, scaly anteaters, aardvarks, hyraxes, elephants, zebras, hippopotamuses, giraffes, buffalo, bushbucks, kudus, elands, duikers, dwarf antelopes, gazelles, reedbucks, waterbucks, , antelopes, topis, impalas, hartebeest and wildebeest , birds and reptiles.
Feel the power of Big Five
Just as you enter the Park, you will hear about the ‘Big Five’. The Big Five is the name given to the group of five ferocious animal’s viz. Lions, Leopards, Rhinos, Cape buffalo and enraged Elephant.
Meet the Little Five
The Little Five group comprises of the Ant lion, Rhino beetle, Elephant shrew, Buffalo weaver and the Leopard tortoise.
The names are interesting and so are these little creatures.
Park’s Night Life
During the evening the zebras bid farewell to retire for their nightly sleep. Just as the sun disappears, many animals find places to secure themselves from the nocturnal carnivores. Night is the best time for the predators such as hyenas, lions, and leopards to hunt their prey. It is also a perfect time to come out for some smaller animals that are eaten by raptors during the day time.
Birds and Insects
Some of the birds at the park are a black-crested Snake Eagle, the African Fish Eagle, the Fisher’s Lovebird, Secretary bird and numerous vultures. Quite a good number of insects such as termites, butterflies, dung beetles, ants and grasshoppers are found in the park.
The Savanna type vegetation of the park comprises of the sausage tree, strangler fig, wild date palm, candelabra Euphorbia, commiphora, yellow fever tree, umbrella tree, toothbrush tree and many more.
14,763 sq km (5,700 sq miles).
335km (208 miles) from Arusha, stretching north to Kenya and bordering Lake Victoria to the west.
Scheduled and charter flights from Arusha, Lake Manyara and Mwanza. Drive from Arusha, Lake Manyara, Tarangire or Ngorongoro Crater.
Hot air balloon safaris, Maasai rock paintings and musical rocks. Visit neighbouring Ngorongoro Crater, Olduvai Gorge, Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano and Lake Natron’s flamingos.
To follow the wildebeest migration, December-July. To see predators, June October.
Accommodation options in the Park range from Safari Lodges, luxury tented camps, mobile camps and normal camps.
Depending upon your budget you can choose the accommodation.
3. NGORONGORO CONSERVATION AREA
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Located between the Serengeti and Lake Manyara, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is The Ngorongoro Conservation Area boasts the finest blend of landscapes, wildlife, people and archaeological sites in Africa. Often called an ‘African Eden’ and the ‘Eight Wonder of the Natural World’, it is also a pioneering experiment in multiple land-uses. The volcanoes, grasslands, waterfalls and mountain forests are home to an abundance of animals and also to the Maasai people.
The multiple land-use philosophy in the area is to maintain the peaceful co-existence of human and wildlife in a natural and traditional setting. Pastoralism, conservation of natural resources and tourism are the three, main components that are given equal consideration by the area’s managers.
The Ngorongoro Crater, a World Heritage Site, is nestled in a range of extinct volcanoes which rise to heights of more than 3,500 metres (11,483 feet).
It is the largest unflooded and unbroken caldera in the world – 19.2 km (12 miles) in diameter, 610 m (2,000 feet) deep and 304 sq km (117 sq miles) in area. The first view of the Ngorongoro Crater takes your breath away. The crater alone has over 20,000 large animals including some of Tanzania’s last remaining black rhino. No fences or boundaries border the crater walls; animals are free to enter or leave the crater, but many of them stay for the plentiful water and grazing available on the crater floor throughout the year. Thousands of wild game can be seen on the crater floor, including lions, elephants, rhinos, Thomson’s gazelles, and buffaloes, but wildebeests and zebras account for over half of the animals that call the Ngorongoro Crater home. Bird watching is superb, especially around Lake Migadi, which attracts flocks of flamingoes to the shallows. Hippos are content to submerge themselves during the day and then graze in the nearby grass in the evening.
Visitors come here primarily to see this most beautiful and fascinating area, for viewing large game and bird watching, but also of interest in the conservation area is the Olduvai Gorge. This important archeological site has revealed ancient skull and bone fragments that have delivered critical information about early mankind.
Olduvai GorgeOlduvai Gorge is one of the most important archeological sites in Tanzania its original name was ‘Oldupai’ but was wrongly spelt as ‘Olduvai’. It is located in the East of Serengeti plains around Arusha, there were research programs established to find out more about the human evolution in this place. It is found on a series of fault lines and was formed by erosion; it is among the Serengeti migratory ecosystem.
Olduvai Gorge contains the oldest and well-kept archaeological records about human evolution. This is so because a German professor discovered some fossil bones in 1911 while searching for butterflies in the gorge. Later as research went on various bones, skull fragments were collected and a skull and are said to be over 2 million years old and different hunting tools and weapons close to 1.5 million years are also in this gorge. A visit to the Olduvai gorge is interesting- You will also get to see the popular foot prints of a woman, man and a child at Laetoli which confirms what is said that at least 3 people lived there over 2 million years ago. Visit the Olduvai Gorge today, learn more and be a part of history!
4. TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK
Experience plentiful wildlife. Visit Tarangire National Park for its famed elephant population, as well as large herds of zebras and wildebeests
It is the vast number of baobabs that first capture the eye as you enter Tarangire National Park. The gently rolling countryside is dotted with these majestic trees, which seem to dwarf the animals that feed beneath them.
Is the one place in Tanzania where dry-country antelope such as the stately fringe-eared Oryx and peculiar long-necked gerenuk are regularly observed.
Guided walking safaris; day trips to Maasai and Barabaig villages, as well as to the hundreds of ancient rock paintings in the vicinity of Kolo on the Dodoma Road.
Year round but dry season (June – September) for sheer numbers of animals.
Accommodation options in the Park range from Safari Lodges, luxury tented camps, mobile camps and normal camps. Other accommodations available outside the park.
Depending upon your budget you can choose the accommodation.
5. Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park Tucked below the majesty of the Rift Valley wall, The Park offers a virtual microcosm of the Tanzanian safari experience. is comprised of forest, woodland, grasslands, and swamps. Two-thirds of the park is covered by water and Lake Manyara is host to thousands of flamingoes, at certain times of year, as well as other diverse bird life. The highlight of Lake Manyara Park is the large population of elephants, tree-climbing lions and hippos that can be observed at a much closer range than in other parks. This park is also home to the largest concentration of baboons in the world.
Wildlife drives, canoeing (when water levels are high enough), mountain bike tours and bird watching are the most popular activities in Lake Manyara National Park.
Some unique facts about this park include the underground water forest, tree climbing lions, Hot Spring, flamingos in the lake shore, as well as the aquatic Migratory birds.
Game drives, canoeing when the water levels is sufficiently high. Cultural tours, mountain bike tours, abseiling and forest walks on the escarpment outside the park.
Dry season (July-October) for large mammals; wet season (November-June) for bird watching, the waterfalls and canoeing.
Accommodation options in the Park range from Safari Lodges, One luxury treehouse-style camp, public bandas and campsites inside the park. Other luxury tented camp and lodges perched on the Rift Wall overlooking the lake; several guesthouses and campsites in nearby Mto wa Mbu.
6. Arusha National Park
Arusha National Park
Arusha National Park, although smaller than most in Tanzania, has a range of habitats that consist of the forest of Mount Meru, Ngurdoto Crater in the southeast section of the park, and Momela Lakes, a series of seven crater lakes. Black and white Colobus monkeys are easily spotted in the forested area while the marshy floor of the crater is dotted with herds of buffalo, zebra and warthog. Momela Lakes is home to a large selection of resident and migrant waterbirds. People come here to see wildlife and also to climb Mount Meru.
Mount Meru is one of the most beautiful volcanoes in Africa and the second highest mountain in Tanzania. The summit is reached by a narrow ridge, which provides stunning views of the volcanic cone lying several thousand feet below in the crater. The ascent is steep but the route passes through parkland, forest, a giant heather zone and moorland.
Forest walks, numerous picnic sites; three- or four-day Mt Meru climb – good acclimatisation for Kilimanjaro.
To climb Mt Meru, June-February although it may rain in November. Best views of Kilimanjaro December-February.
A lodge, rest houses, camp sites, mountain huts inside the park; lodges at Usa River outside the park and many hotels and hostels in Arusha town.
7. ZANZIBAR ISLAND BEACHES
This archipelago in the Indian Ocean is comprised of Zanzibar and Pemba islands. Zanzibar Island is also called ‘Unguja’. Zanzibar is more like a small slice of the paradise with various numbers of white sand beaches and resort which makes it a major holiday destination. There is nothing as amazing as surfing, sailing on traditional boats and diving in ocean waters- there are great scenic views in Zanzibar such as the sun sets, the coral reefs, and lagoons also you can’t miss out on the dolphins, manta-rays and turtles.
Zanzibar is also an amazing place concerning history since it was the major centre of slave trade during the 1800s. While in Zanzibar visit the Stone Town; it is located in the centre of Zanzibar and is regarded as the world’s oldest Swahili city- It was built in the 19th Century, so those interested in history will have a great time seeing ancient Arabian buildings, narrow streets. Visitors will have chance to see some historic buildings which are now museums, there are also old churches like the Anglican church, other things to see are the Beit el-Amani, Central Darajani Market, Beit el-Sahel which is the former home of the sultans, the Old Dispensary with engraved balconies made of wood, Old Fort among others.
Zanzibar has the unique Tourist Attraction in the World; it has the Africa’s Leading Beach Resort, Luxury Island, Private Island Resort and All-Inclusive Resort
In World Travel Award 2017 Zanzibar Wins on the;
- Africa’s Leading Private Island Resort 2017 &Beyond Mnemba Island Lodge, Zanzibar
- Africa’s Leading Luxury Island 2017 Thanda Island, it is in Zanzibar
- Africa’s Leading All-Inclusive Resort 2017 Diamonds La Gemma dell’Est, Zanzibar,Tanzania
- Africa’s Leading Beach Resort 2017 Diamonds La Gemma dell’Est, Zanzibar,Tanzania
Watching the sunset, Zanzibar is also synonymous with stunning red sunsets and there are a number of unique locations to experience them.
Full Moon Party, Welcome to Zanzibar, home to white sandy beaches, blue paradise like waters and … the Full Moon party.
Relax on the Beaches, Zanzibar has some world class beaches all over the island, so wherever you go, you’re sure to love it!
Eat at a Zanzibar Pizza at Forodhani Gardens and Try the Local Food
Take a Spice Tour
Visit Prison Island (Changuu)
Take a Walking Tour of Stone Town
Scuba or Snorkel at the Mnemba Atoll
Thanks to its location to the south of the equator, Zanzibar has a tropical climate allowing you to plan your seaside vacation in this part of Eastern Africa at any time of the year without any extreme variability in temperatures when compared to Southern Africa. The monsoon breezes blowing in from the Indian Ocean help to maintain its warm temperatures.
Dry season from July to September is a very popular time to travel. However, most times of year are worthwhile, with balmy temperatures and sunshine the norm. During the short rains in November and December, downpours are followed by blue skies, with only the peak of the ‘long rains’ in April and May being very wet.
There is a wealth of hotels in Stone Town, with accommodation to suit a range of budgets. Most hotels occupy historical or restored buildings within a short walking distance of the main attractions, and have all the mod cons including air conditioning and WiFi. Many have indoor and/or outdoor pools, and some offer ocean views. Outside of Stone Town, hotels are dotted along the archipelago’s coastline, mostly in the north and east. Many are part of luxury beach resorts offering everything you need to have a serene and indulgent stay, such as spa facilities, swimming pools, seafood restaurants and, of course, spectacular ocean views.
8. STONE TOWN IN ZANZIBAR
Stone Town is the cultural heart of Zanzibar and little has changed in the last 200 years. The grand old Arabian homes lining the narrow streets and winding alleys give the city its own unique charm. The majority of homes in Stone Town were built in the 19th C when Zanzibar was one of the most important Swahili trading towns in the Indian Ocean. Visitors will notice the bras-studded, intricately carved wooden doors on many of the houses.
As the world’s oldest functioning Swahili city, many of the landmarks in Stone Town have been restored to their original glory. Some of the historic buildings are now museums which can be visited. The town also has a couple of interesting old churches of historical significance. A walk along Creek Road takes visitors to the original Stone Town area and the location of the Central Darajani Market, Beit el-Amani, City Hall, and the Anglican Cathedral. Some of the other key highlights include the Forodhani Gardens, the Old Dispensary with its carved wooden balconies, the former home of the sultans known as Beit el-Sahel or the People’s Palace, the Hamamni Persian Baths built in 1888, and the oldest structure in Stone Town, the Old Fort.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Stone Town – TripAdvisor.com
9. SELOUS GAME RESERVE
Selous Game Reserve
Selous is the largest game reserve in Africa. Established in 1922, it covers 5% of Tanzania’s total area. The southern area is a forbidden zone that is undeveloped, heavily forested, and contains a series of steep cliffs. Travelers are limited to the area north of the Rufiji River. This area of the Selous Game Reserve has large open grassland, woodlands, rivers, hills and plains. The best time to visit is July through October.
Selous Game Reserve covers an area of over 50,000 sq km; this makes it one of the largest protected areas in the world Africa’s oldest and largest game reserves; it is endowed with beautiful scenery.
The reserve is shared among five regions of Tanzania; this means it covers 5% of Tanzania’s land area. Selous is an excellent safari destination for both African honeymoons and family safaris- it is home to different animals with a high concentration of buffaloes and elephants. Other animals are Leopards, giraffes, wild dogs, crocodiles, lions, antelopes, wildebeest, hippos, and a high concentration of birds.
The Rufiji River bisects the Selous Game Reserve and has the largest catchment area of any river in East Africa. The river is an important feature of the reserve providing the opportunity to watch the diverse water-based wildlife. A broad range of game can be found including elephants, hippos and rhinos as well as buffalo, antelope, giraffe, warthog, wildebeest, lion, leopard and cheetah. The diversity of bird life in Selous includes over 350 recorded species.
Enjoy activities while here such as boating safari on the Rufiji River whereby you will have chances of seeing a variety of flora and fauna. Other activities are fly camping, nature walks, and game drives.
A walking safari is a must do if you are looking for something very special and different in the Selous game reserve.
Where to stay, there are various accommodation facilities ranging from luxurois loddges to camps such as Azura Selous Game Reserve, Selous Serena Camp, Selous Kinga Lodge, Selous Wilderness Camp, Selous Butembo Lodge & Camp Site, Selous Ngalawa Camp, and Lake Manze Tented Camp. Book and enjoy game viewing at Selous today!
10. LAKE VICTORIA
Lake Victoria is the largest freshwater lake in Africa and is bordered by three countries Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. This lake is the source of the White Nile and provides an income for millions of residents along its shores. The Tanzanian section of Lake Victoria is one of the least visited regions in the country; however the towns of Bukoba, Musoma and Mwanza have a number of attractions. Near Mwanza and Musoma are many islands, some have become wildlife sanctuaries. Bird watching and fishing trips are popular excursions, and boat trips or hikes can be arranged around Lake Victoria.
Rubondo Island National Park, which includes several other smaller islands, is on the southwest shores of Lake Victoria.
“From the roof of Africa to the deepest jungle, rarely seen places and untold stories, there’s nowhere on Earth where life puts on a greater show. This is the last place on earth that you can come eye to eye with the greatest animals that walk the planet. This is Africa.”