Tanzania, a land of unparalleled beauty and boundless adventure, awaits your discovery! From the iconic Serengeti plains to the sun-kissed beaches of Zanzibar, Tanzania offers an array of unforgettable experiences perfect for any intrepid traveler. Ready for the African adventure of a lifetime? Let’s embark on a journey through Tanzania, where you’ll uncover 20 of the most incredible things to do in Tanzania.
Whether you’re a wildlife enthusiast, a beach lover, or a history buff, Tanzania’s diverse attractions are bound to leave you spellbound. Imagine witnessing the Great Migration in the Serengeti, climbing the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, or diving into the rich cultural heritage of Stone Town in Zanzibar. The possibilities are endless, so let’s dive right in and explore the wonders of Tanzania!
Table of Contents
- Experience the Serengeti National Park and Zanzibar’s stunning beaches!
- Conquer Mount Kilimanjaro and uncover Gombe Stream National Park’s primate paradise!
- Delve into the Ngorongoro Conservation Area & cruise Tanzania’s great lakes for an epic adventure!
Things to do in Tanzania
1. Experience the Serengeti National Park
The Serengeti National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is undoubtedly one of Tanzania’s crown jewels. With the highest concentration of mammals on earth, this national park offers incredible wildlife viewing, including:
- The annual wildebeest migration
- Over a million wildebeest thundering across the vast plains
- Thousands of other herbivores joined in the spectacular display known as the Great Migration
Imagine witnessing this awe-inspiring sight of a hot air balloon firsthand.
The magic of the Serengeti is best experienced during the long dry season from July to October. During this time, animals often gather around water sources, creating exceptional safari opportunities. With abundant sightings of:
The Serengeti National Park is an essential destination for any African adventure, showcasing the beauty of national parks.
2. Explore Zanzibar’s Beaches
Zanzibar, a paradise off Tanzania’s coast, is renowned for its stunningly beautiful beaches. Imagine sinking your toes into powdery white sand, gazing at crystal clear waters, and marveling at a dazzling array of marine life. With idyllic beaches such as:
The options for relaxation and water activities are endless.
From June to October or December to February, Zanzibar’s weather is ideal for:
- Underwater exploration
- Scuba diving
Zanzibar’s beaches offer many exhilarating experiences that will leave you longing for more.
3. Conquer Mount Kilimanjaro
For those seeking a truly epic adventure, conquering Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, is the ultimate challenge. This awe-inspiring mountain, located within the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park, offers trekkers:
- Breathtaking views
- Diverse ecosystems
- Opportunities to spot elephants, buffalo, monkeys, and leopards
- An abundance of birds of prey in the alpine zone
The rewards are extraordinary, while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is a challenge of medium difficulty. The preferable seasons for trekking are January to March and June to October when the weather is most conducive, ensuring hikers a pleasant and optimal experience. Upon reaching Uhuru Peak, you’ll stand at the highest point in Africa with a sense of accomplishment that few experiences can rival.
4. Uncover Gombe Stream National Park’s Primate Paradise
For a truly unique wildlife encounter, head to Gombe Stream National Park, where you can observe chimpanzees in their natural habitat. Made famous by the groundbreaking research of Jane Goodall, Gombe Stream National Park is now home to the longest-running behavioral research program of its kind in the world.
Beyond observing the intriguing chimpanzees, the park also offers hiking and swimming opportunities for visitors. Witness these incredible primates interact, play, and go about their daily lives, providing a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will leave you in awe of the natural world.
5. Delve into Ngorongoro Conservation Area’s Natural Wonders
Nestled between the Serengeti and Lake Manyara, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a must-visit destination for any wildlife enthusiast. Home to the famous volcanic Ngorongoro Crater, a UNESCO World Heritage site, this conservation area offers visitors a unique glimpse into Tanzania’s natural wonders. The nearly three million-year-old Ngorongoro Crater, an unbroken volcanic caldera, provides a stunning backdrop for an unforgettable safari experience.
Venture into the incredible Ngorongoro Crater and encounter:
- Massive herds of wildebeest
Take advantage of the Olduvai Gorge, an archeological site where ancient skulls, bone fragments, and fossils have been discovered, providing invaluable information about the earliest human populations.
Every trip to Tanzania is complete with exploring the awe-inspiring landscapes and wildlife of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
6. Cruise Tanzania’s Great Lakes
Tanzania’s great lakes, including Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika, and Lake Nyasa, offer various exciting experiences for travelers. Cruise along these vast, scenic waters on a ferry journey, taking in breathtaking sunsets and witnessing the bustling activity in port villages.
Board the MV Liemba ferry for a memorable journey. The ferry sails between Bukoba and Mwanza on Lake Victoria. As you traverse these incredible waters, marvel at the stunning views during daybreaks and sunsets, providing a perfect opportunity to connect with the natural beauty of Tanzania’s great lakes.
7. Marvel at Tarangire National Park’s Wildlife
Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts, boasting a significant elephant population, diverse habitats, and remarkable wildlife viewing experiences. As you explore this incredible park, watch for the herds of buffalo, zebra, warthog, and the unique tree-climbing lions that call Tarangire home.
Tarangire National Park is best visited during the dry season, from July to September. During this time, animals gather near the river, providing extraordinary safari encounters. Tarangire National Park is an essential stop on any Tanzanian adventure, with abundant wildlife and picturesque landscapes dotted with baobab trees.
8. Trek the Udzungwa and Usambara Mountains
The Udzungwa and Usambara Mountains in Tanzania are a perfect escape for hiking enthusiasts and those who appreciate stunning views. With well-established trails suitable for all levels of trekkers, these mountain ranges provide a challenging yet rewarding experience as you traverse their lush landscapes and encounter rare species like the Sanje Crested Mangabey and the Iringa Red Colobus.
One of the best routes for trekking the Udzungwa and Usambara Mountains is the 4-day village-to-village trek from Lushoto to Mtae in the Usambara Mountains. As you journey through these awe-inspiring landscapes, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding countryside, including lush forests, rolling hills, and distant mountains.
9. Discover Ancient Kondoa-Irangi Rock Paintings
Unearth the secrets of Tanzania’s rich history with a visit to the ancient Kondoa-Irangi rock paintings, a collection of artworks dating back to 30,000 years. Exploring the 14 major sites housing these remarkable paintings will afford a unique insight into the lives of their creators.
These ancient artworks depicting animals, humans, and geometric patterns offer a fascinating insight into Tanzania’s rich cultural heritage. Take advantage of the opportunity to step back in time and uncover the mysteries of the Kondoa-Irangi rock paintings on your Tanzanian adventure.
10. Wander through Rondo Forest Reserve
Immerse yourself in nature with a visit to the biodiverse Rondo Forest Reserve in Tanzania. Boasting dozens of unique plants and the world’s smallest known bushbaby, the Rondo Forest Reserve offers an array of exciting experiences for nature lovers.
Explore the reserve’s lush landscapes, home to:
- the East Coast akalat
- spotted ground thrush
- Rondo green barbet
These rare bird species make Rondo Forest Reserve an internationally recognized Important Bird Area.
Whether you’re a birdwatcher, a plant enthusiast, or an adventure seeker, Rondo Forest Reserve and Rubondo Island National Park are hidden gems waiting to be discovered.
11. Relax on Zanzibar’s Idyllic Beaches
If you’re searching for tranquility, Zanzibar’s idyllic beaches provide a serene environment for relaxation and rejuvenation. Soak up the sun on pristine white sand beaches like:
- Bwejuu Beach
- Michamvi Beach
- Paje Beach
- Nungwi Beach
- Jambiani Beach
- Kiwengwa Beach
All are providing a perfect paradise for beach lovers.
Whether you prefer a secluded escape on remote beaches such as Bwejuu Beach or Michamvi Beach or a lively experience in the villages of Jambiani and Nungwi with their restaurants, bars, and shops, Zanzibar’s beaches cater to every traveler’s desires.
Indulge in water activities like swimming, snorkeling, kitesurfing, and diving in the Indian Ocean, or relax and unwind as you listen to the gentle waves lapping the shore.
12. Immerse Yourself in Stone Town, Zanzibar
Stone Town, Zanzibar, rich in cultural heritage, is a historic area characterized by narrow streets, lively markets, and opulent mansions. As you wander through the maze of winding lanes and twisting streets, you’ll be enchanted by the grand old Arabian mansions that showcase the island’s unique blend of Swahili, Arab, Indian, and European influences.
Don’t miss the opportunity to explore Stone Town’s vibrant attractions, including:
- The UNESCO World Heritage site
- The bustling Darajani Market
- Majestic Beit el-Amani
- City Hall
- The stunning Anglican Cathedral
- The picturesque Forodhani Gardens
- The enchanting Old Dispensary with its carved wooden balconies.
Immerse yourself in the captivating atmosphere of Stone Town, where history, culture, and adventure intertwine.
13. Dive into the Depths of the Mafia Archipelago
The Mafia Archipelago is a treasure trove of underwater wonders awaiting exploration, perfect for scuba diving and snorkeling enthusiasts. Comprising Mafia Island, the largest island in the archipelago, and several smaller islands, the Mafia Archipelago is a prime destination for marine life encounters, including coral reefs and whale sharks.
Discover the vibrant coral gardens and an incredible array of marine species that inhabit the Mafia Island Marine Park waters. Whether you’re an experienced diver or a first-time snorkeler, the crystal-clear waters of the Mafia Archipelago provide an unforgettable underwater adventure that will leave you mesmerized by the beauty of Tanzania’s marine life.
14. Visit Mnazi Bay-Ruvuma Estuary Marine Park
Mnazi Bay-Ruvuma Estuary Marine Park, a notable location, is teeming with diverse places and rich wildlife. Here, you can explore:
- Estuarine ecosystems
- Mangrove ecosystems
- Tidal ecosystems
- Peninsular ecosystems
- Island ecosystems
- Coral reef ecosystems
With opportunities for snorkeling, diving, and wildlife watching, this marine park offers visitors an immersive encounter with Tanzania’s coastal ecosystems.
Spot hawksbill, green turtles, and humpback whales during their migration season from July to December. Whether you’re marveling at the underwater world or exploring the pristine beaches of the marine park, Mnazi Bay-Ruvuma Estuary Marine Park promises a unique and captivating experience for all nature lovers.
15. Savor Tanzania’s Seafood Delights
Savor the delectable flavors of Tanzania’s seafood cuisine, especially in coastal towns and cities like Zanzibar. Enjoy fresh catches prepared with local ingredients and spices, reflecting the region’s rich culinary heritage.
Sample delicious dishes like ghee-fried Zanzibar pizzas stuffed with seafood, vegetables, chicken, or beef, or indulge in Swahili doughnuts at Forodhani Gardens’ nightly food market in Stone Town. With an array of enticing seafood delights, your culinary journey through Tanzania will surely be memorable.
16. Embrace Tanzanian Culture
Delving into Tanzania’s culture by visiting local villages, learning about traditional customs, and engaging in cultural experiences helps to appreciate the country’s beauty. Connect with the Maasai tribe, a nomadic group in East Africa, and witness their fascinating customs, such as fire-making demonstrations and high jumping.
Discover the Shanga Village, a project that supports disabled people by selling arts and crafts. As you immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Tanzanian culture, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the country’s history, traditions, and way of life.
17. Encounter Wildlife in Julius Nyerere National Park
Venturing into the expansive Julius Nyerere National Park, Africa’s largest game reserve, allows you to witness its diverse wildlife and numerous bird species. Experience unique safari adventures amidst the park’s varied landscapes, where you’ll encounter:
Home to over 350 bird species, Julius Nyerere National Park is a paradise for bird watchers and nature enthusiasts alike. Whether you’re embarking on a walking safari, a boating safari on the Rufiji River, or a classic game drive, this incredible park offers a wildlife experience like no other.
18. Admire the Beauty of Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park, with its diverse landscapes, tree-climbing lions, and plentiful birdlife, offers an enchanting beauty that nature lovers will appreciate. Traverse the park’s grassy plains, woodlands, swamps, and savannahs, and marvel at the unique wildlife that calls this area home.
With its diverse habitats and picturesque landscapes, Lake Manyara National Park provides an idyllic setting for wildlife encounters and nature exploration. Whether you’re on a walking safari, a boating adventure on the Rufiji River, or a game drive, the park’s stunning scenery and abundant wildlife are sure to leave a lasting impression.
19. Uncover the Secrets of Pemba Island
Stepping off the beaten path to explore Pemba Island, a lush, unspoiled paradise famed for world-class clove production and unique cultural experiences, will reveal its secrets. Explore the island’s wilderness, where traditional healing and magic practices still thrive, offering a glimpse into the island’s rich cultural heritage.
Discover the hidden gems of Pemba Island, from its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters to the Misali Island Beach, an incredible white-sand beach on an uninhabited tropical island. With its lush landscapes and fascinating cultural traditions, Pemba Island is a captivating destination that will leave you longing for more.
20. Visit Arusha National Park and Mount Meru
Arusha National Park and Mount Meru, one of Africa’s most majestic volcanoes, offer stunning landscapes and diverse wildlife. Explore the park’s varied habitats, including Mount Meru’s forest, the Ngurdoto Crater in the southeast, and the Momella Lakes, a collection of seven enchanting crater lakes.
Embark on an exciting trek to the summit of Mount Meru, Tanzania’s second-highest mountain, to experience breathtaking views of the volcanic cone lying several thousand feet below in the crater.
Whether seeking a challenging hike or a stroll amidst the park’s abundant wildlife, Arusha National Park and Mount Meru offer a captivating adventure for all nature lovers.
With its diverse landscapes, abundant wildlife, and rich cultural heritage, Tanzania offers many unforgettable experiences for every traveler. From the awe-inspiring Serengeti National Park to the tranquil beaches of Zanzibar, the country’s incredible attractions provide a once-in-a-lifetime adventure that will leave you longing to return.
As you embark on your Tanzanian journey, remember to embrace the spirit of adventure, immerse yourself in the culture, and savor the breathtaking beauty of this remarkable country. Your African adventure awaits – are you ready to explore the wonders of Tanzania?
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the five attractions in Tanzania?
Experience the beauty of Zanzibar Island, Mount Kilimanjaro, Serengeti National Park, Udzungwa Mountains National Park, and Saanane National Park on your Tanzania holiday!
What is Tanzania best known for?
Tanzania is an iconic safari destination famed for its remarkable wildlife and culture. Witness the breathtaking wildebeest migration or take in the stunning exotic wildlife from this fantastic country.
Explore the Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Crater, and the Selous Game Reserve, all home to some of the most diverse wildlife.
What do people in Tanzania do for fun?
Tanzania is a bustling place full of music, dancing, and storytelling; checkers and cards for the young, and Mbao – a popular game all across Africa – for the older folk.
Visitors and locals can enjoy their nightlife with numerous nightclubs, discos, bars, pubs, and coffee houses around Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, and Arusha!
Is Tanzania an expensive place to visit?
Tanzania is not a budget-friendly destination, with steep park entrance fees.
Traveling to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro crater will cost a lot, so Tanzania is an expensive place to visit!
What is the best time to visit Tanzania for wildlife viewing?
Experience Tanzania’s wildlife at its best, and plan your visit during the dry season from July to October for an unforgettable adventure!