It is easy to see why Tanzania is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Africa. Home to the ‘Big 5’, antelopes, zebras, crocodiles and wildebeest; Tanzania rains one of the best wildlife safari destinations in the world. What’s more, Tanzania also boasts the biggest free-standing mountain in African; Mount Kilimanjaro.
Whether you are embarking on a life-changing hike to the snow-capped summit of Kilimanjaro, experiencing the spine-tingling wildebeest migration that roars through the Serengeti Plains, staring into the clearest star-strewn skies that soar high above the untouched wilderness of the Ngorongoro Crater, or relaxing on the pearl white beaches in Zanzibar while fully immersing yourself in the local culture; Tanzania offers endless opportunities for adventure.
However, before we dive into the must-see tourist attractions in Tanzania, first we must cover the important “essentials”.
When to Travel
Tanzania’s peak season is from June to September. These months are the best time to see wildlife, however, please note that it gets very busy with tourists and prices are higher. The low season is between March to May. This is mainly due to the fact that there is a lot of heavy rainfall.
If you are planning to climb Kilimanjaro, June is the best time, with decent weather and fewer crowds than the summer months.
Passports and Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller
Most nationalities need a visa to visit Tanzania. Visit the Tanzania High Commission to apply https://tzhc.uk/visa-application. Visas are valid for 90 days.
WHAT ARE THE NATIONAL LANGUAGES?
Swahili and English
WHAT IS THE CURRENCY?
Tanzania is on East Africa Time (GMT +3)
The Must-See Attractions and Destinations in Tanzania
1. Mount Kilimanjaro
Standing at an impressive 5,895m, Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest peak and Tanzania’s most iconic landmark. Mount Kilimanjaro National Park, unlike other parks in northern Tanzania, is not visited for the wildlife but for the chance to climb to the incredible summit.
Mount Kilimanjaro can be climbed at any time throughout the year, however, the best period is from late June to October (during the dry season). See full trip details here.
This World Heritage Site was formed over 1 million years ago by volcanic movement along the Rift Valley. Now, Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcano with three volcanic cones – Shira, Kibo, and Mawenzi – and at 19,336ft, is the tallest climbable peak in the world (after Everest of course). The highest point is Uhuru Peak on Kibo, which stands proudly as one of the Seven Summits of the world.
Kilimanjaro is an imposingly beautiful place, boasting many diverse levels of flora and fauna, agricultural fields, rainforests, fresh meadows, a desert (yes, a desert) and snow-capped peaks.
Africa is known as one of the best destinations for adventure travel and what can be more adventurous than hiking up the world’s tallest free-standing mountain?
2. Serengeti National Park
The Serengeti National Park is not only the oldest national park in the country (with a world heritage site and a 7th worldwide wonder status), Serengeti is also the perfect setting for a traditional African Safari.
This vast treeless plane is home to millions of animals and is most famous for the annual wildebeest migration.The annual migration of over 1.5 million wildebeest and hundreds of thousands of zebra and gazelle takes place in May or early June. This migration is one of the worlds most impressive natural events and the primary draw for many tourists.
The migration also makes Serengeti fantastic for spotting the “Big Five”, as well as feasting your eyes on the 500 species of birds that live here.
The best months for wildlife viewing in Serengeti National Park are between December and June. The wet season is from March to May, with the coldest period from June to October.
3. Ngorongoro Crater / Conservation Area
Located on the borders between Serengeti and Lake Manyara, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is home to the world largest volcanic crater, Ngorongoro. Ngorongoro Crater was created between two to three million years ago when a large volcano exploded and collapsed in on itself.
In 1978 it was then declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and now happens to be home to the highest density of aminals in the whole of Tanzania. This is mainly due to the fact that Ngorongoro produces a permanent water supply and acts as a natural enclosure for almost every specifies of wildlife found in East Africa – including the very rare black rhino.
Nearly all visitors come here to spot the thousands upon thousands of animals that graze the crater floor. Animals include lions, rhinos, elephants, gazelles, buffaloes, wildebeests, zebras and more.
Impressively, The Maasai people still live within the conservation area and is also home to Oldupai where some of the man’s earliest remains have been found.
4. Zanzibar Beaches
The Island of Zanzibar, also known as Unguja (a semi-autonomous archipelago off the coast of Tanzania), is famed for its crystal clear waters, world-renowned beaches and Arabian influences.
Simply put, Zanzibar is a beach lovers paradise. Boasting some of the most gorgeous white sandy beaches on the planet, untouched surf spots, a world heritage listed capital city (Stone Town) and the clear turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean – Zanzibar acts as the perfect getaway spot after a high-paced African Safari.
Tradtionally famous for its spices, Zanzibar also became an important slave trading post under its Arab rulers. Stone Town, Zanzibar’s capital, still boasts beautiful traditional houses, narrow alleyways, a Sultan’s palace, and many mosques.
Zanzibar is not to be missed!
5. Mahale Mountains
Nestled quietly on the Lake Tanganyikan shoreline (in western Tanzania), the Mahale Mountains is one of the best places for up-close encounters with chimpanzees in the world.
Traditionally, Mahale was the research base for a team of Japanese anthropologists for several decades and despite its breathtaking clear waters of Lake Tanganyika and the obvious draw of the chimpanzees themselves, Mahale was not actually established as a tourist destination until about 10 years ago.
Now Mahle is famed for its beauriful forested mountains cascade that flows down to meet to the lakeshore, crystal-clear waters that lap against white sand coves and the mist-covered peak of Mount Nkungwe.
Besides the large chimp populations, the mountains are also home to other primates including yellow baboons the red colobus.
The best time to visit Mahale is during the dry season from May to October.
Other Top Destinations
Lake Manyara National Park – Comprised of forests, swamps, woodland and grasslands, two-thirds of the park is covered by water. Even more impressively, however, Lake Manyara is host to thousands of flamingoes that migrate throughout the year. This park also has the highest concentration of Baboons in the world.
Mafia Island – This island draws divers and snorkelers from around the globe to explore the undersea world that is currently protected by the Mafia Island Marine Park. The best months for diving are October to March but the best weather on Mafia Island is May to October. Boasting perfect white beaches, turquoise waters, attractive lagoons, coral reefs and sea life, it’s easy to see why Mafia Island earned its protected marine park status.
Tarangire National Park – This park has one of the highest concentrations of migratory wildlife. Incredibly, both wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, gazelle and hartebeest all crowd the surrounding lagoons. What’s more, Tarangire is also famed for its large population of elephants, and the baobab trees that litter the grassy landscape.