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Tanzania is an incredible country with so many things to do it can be hard to choose: climb Africa’s tallest mountain, bask on the beaches of Zanzibar, or go on a wildlife safari. You can do all of this and more when you visit Tanzania. Read on for a list of the best places to visit in Tanzania.
Tanzania’s tourist attractions include mountains, UNESCO world heritage Sites, national parks, and world-renown beaches. Think: Mount Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti, and Zanzibar. Tanzania is known for its wildlife, landscapes, and beauty. Serengeti embodies true wilderness, while Zanzibar and Oldupai Gorge are locations where you can walk back in time and experience the rich history of Tanzania. With so much to do, you’ll need a good list of the best places to visit in Tanzania. Read on for what to see and do when you visit Tanzania.
See Serengeti National Park When You Visit Tanzania
The most famous national park in Tanzania, and perhaps all of Africa, is Serengeti National Park. The site of the annual wildebeest migration and a unique ecosystem have awarded this national park UNESCO World Heritage status.
You’ll experience the unchanged wild of Tanzania here in tours to Serengeti National Park and have a good chance of spotting all of the Big Five most dangerous animals in Africa, too!
To Do: Watch the wildebeest migration and go on a hot air balloon ride over the Seronera.
Location: Serengeti National Park is in Northern Tanzania, near the Kenya border.
Lake Manyara National Park
A bird-lover’s paradise, this national park is not-to-be-missed. Lake Manyara National Park is the place to see tree-climbing lions, hippos in the massive alkaline lake, and breathtaking flocks of pink flamingos.
To Do: The park has a tree-top walk—a series of aerial pathways strung from the trees, so you can get out of the safari jeep and wander high up with the birds.
Location: Lake Manyara National Park is in Northern Tanzania, near Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
Visit Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park
Tarangire National Park hosts the largest number of elephant herds in Tanzania. If you hope to see these gentle giants in the wild, then Tarangire National Park is the spot for you. The Tarangire River attracts herds of animals like zebras and gazelles during the dry season, so you can spot plenty of animals here. The park also has ancient baobab trees for some really unique photography opportunities.
To Do: have an outdoor picnic overlooking the Tarangire River with elephants cooling off in the waters below.
Location: Tarangire National Park is near Arusha town, close enough to visit this park as a day drive.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Ngorongoro Conservation Area is home to Ngorongoro Crater and Oldupai Gorge (also known as Olduvai Gorge). It is an archeological site where some of the first human tools, estimated to be 1.8 million years old, were excavated by Mary and Richard Leakey.
Ngorongoro Crater is the world’s largest volcanic caldera, forming a natural bowl that is home to resident lions, elephants, and the endangered Black Rhino. The crater is famous for having the highest density of animals found anywhere in the world.
To Do: Visit Oldupai Gorge and learn about the beginning of human civilization, then drive through Ngorongoro Crater and see the resident black rhinos.
Location: Ngorongoro Crater is approximately 2 hours from Arusha and 3 hours from Moshi town. It is a great stop on the way to Serengeti National Park.
You Must See Mount Kilimanjaro When You Visit Tanzania
Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the most walkabout mountain in the world. It is a great trek for novice climbers and an interesting ‘night climb’ to reach the peak in time for sunrise on the roof of Africa.
Mount Kilimanjaro is a bucket-list adventure that adventure-seekers of all types are sure to enjoy.
To Do: Climb with a reputable company, like Altezza Travel, to safely reach the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Ol Doinyo Lengai
Ol Doinyo Lengai is an active volcano that climbers can summit in Northern Tanzania. Located in the remote area of Lake Natron (a beautiful alkaline lake that is the nesting grounds of migratory flamingos), this sacred mountain erupts with unique ‘cold lava’ that has been interesting scientists for decades.
To Do: Challenge yourself to climb this active volcano and feel the active steam vents. Your trek will be led by a traditional Masaai warrior, allowing you to learn about the culture and customs from a local.
Location: Ol Doinyo Lengai is located in a remote area of Northern Tanzania, near Lake Natron.
Mount Meru + Arusha National Park
Mount Meru is Tanzania’s second-highest mountain and a dormant volcano (it last erupted over 100 years ago). Trekking Mount Meru offers you the chance to walk among giraffes and zebra as you approach the mountain base in Arusha National Park. On the way back, you can pause at the lovely Tululusia Waterfall for some well-earned rest.
To Do: Trek Mount Meru over 3 or 4 days, depending on how fast you want to descend the mountain. You’ll stay in overnight huts along the way, so no need to pack a tent!
Location: Mount Meru is located within Arusha National park.
Nyerere National Park in Tanzania
Formerly known as Selous Game Reserve, Nyerere National Park is Tanzania’s largest (and newest!) national park. Set aside several days to really take in the beauty of this massive park. Because of its size, visitors can go on a walking safari or boating safari in addition to the traditional game-drive safari.
To Do: Go on a walking safari in Tanzania’s largest national park and feel at one with nature.
Location: The national park is in southern Tanzania, about 230 km (143 miles) from Dar es Salaam.
Known as the “Geneva of Africa,” Arusha city is a diverse, peaceful town that acts as the springboard for many northern circuit safaris. If you want to balance your safari drives with some spa days or dine at 5-star restaurants, add a day or two to Arusha city to your itinerary.
During the months of September and October, the native jacaranda trees shower purple flowers across the streets of the town, and there is a constant view of majestic Mount Meru for really spectacular photos.
To Do: go to a spa and enjoy souvenir shopping at the local craft market.
Location: Arusha town is in northern Tanzania, an ideal place to start your northern-circuit safaris to Tarangire or Serengeti National Parks.
Visit Zanzibar in Tanzania
To experience the true Swahili culture, visit magical Zanzibar. While technically an archipelago, most tourists visit the lovely Unguja Island (commonly referred to simply as “Zanzibar Island”). Here you can experience authentic Taraab music, taste the famous Spice Island dishes, and enjoy a boat ride on a traditional dhow.
There are historical sites, like the Old Slave Market and Anglican Church, along with Prison Island’s ruins, to visit.
On the eastern shore, you can snorkel on a coral reef, learn how to kite surf, or swim with dolphins in the wild. Of course, you can always swim in the clear, warm waters of the Indian Ocean and bask on the beautiful soft-sand beaches all over the island.
With so much to do, there’s a reason Zanzibar is one of the favorite Tanzania vacation spots!
To Do: There are so many activities in Zanzibar: snorkeling, kite surfing, diving, swimming, deep-sea fishing. Tour historical sites, go on a tasting tour of a spice plantation, or learn how to cook traditional Zanzibar dishes. Or, simply relax on the beach. Location: Zanzibar is in the Indian Ocean, just off the coast of Dar es Salaam.
Book Your Tour to Visit Tanzania
Now that you know what to do in Tanzania, the next step is to book your tour. Choose a reputable tour operator to handle all your travels in Tanzania. They can connect you with the best experiences and handle all the details so you can really enjoy your trip.
Whether you hope to climb Mount Kilimanjaro or swim with dolphins in Zanzibar, choose a local, Tanzania-based company to arrange your tour. Our top pick is Altezza Travel because they have a great safety record, are locally operated, and give back to the community through social initiatives.
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When You Visit Tanzania
Mount climbing, wildlife viewing, and ocean diving are just a few of the things to do in Tanzania. If you’re seeking the adventure of a lifetime, come to Tanzania!