Tanzania, East African country situated just south of the Equator. Tanzania was formed as a sovereign state in 1964 through the union of the theretofore separate states of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. Mainland Tanganyika covers more than 99 percent of the combined territories’ total area. Mafia Island is administered from the mainland, while Zanzibar and Pemba islands have a separate government administration. Dodoma, since 1974 the designated official capital of Tanzania, is centrally located on the mainland. Dar es Salaam is the largest city and port in the country.
The Tanzania mainland is bounded by Uganda, Lake Victoria, and Kenya to the north, by the Indian Ocean to the east, by Mozambique, Lake Nyasa, Malawi, and Zambia to the south and southwest, and by Lake Tanganyika, Burundi, and Rwanda to the west.
One of the top tourist attractions in Tanzania, Serengeti is where the world’s most astonishing phenomenon of the annual migration of millions of wildebeests and zebras, followed by their predators, takes place in an intact ecosystem.
Besides, this place where humans have been living for the last 4 million years, and its savannahs, kopjes, rainforests, and rivers, referred to as the Serengeti plains, house rare species like the Nile crocodiles, patas monkeys, lions, African leopard, ground pangolin, etc. This is where you can enjoy safaris to see the Big Five Game animals, the Masai holdings, etc.
Location: Seronera, Northern Tanzania, East Africa
One of the most fascinating natural wonders in the world, Ngorongoro Conservation Area is bestowed with unimaginable beauty of vast savannas, ancient tropical rainforests, and lakes, and incredible natural wonders. This is one of the few places where ancient hominid fossils dating back 3 million years were found.
This is where threatened animal species like wildebeest, lions, etc. coexist with elusive Masai tribes. The highlight here is the world’s largest unbroken caldera, which dates to the late Tertiary period.
Owing to its population of elusive tree-climbing lions and migratory pink flamingos, Lake Manyara National Park is a haven for wildlife lovers and one of the best places to visit in Tanzania. Besides, this park houses a huge number of impalas, warthogs, waterbucks, Dik-Dik, klipspringer, spoonbills, waders, etc.
Besides wildlife viewing, you can enjoy super fun activities like tree-top canopy walks, forest walks, bike tours, canoe safaris, etc.
Also known as Chole Shamba, a property of the Sultan of Oman, Mafia Island is a part of the Zanzibar Archipelago and was an important trading spot for the Omanis, Turkish, and Chinese traders. The island is nothing short of a dreamy beachside destination that’s loved for its remote location and is one of the most beautiful tourist attractions in Tanzania.
It houses outstanding marine life comprising 450 fish and 50 coral species. Its mangroves house rare African birds like Western reef egrets, Terek sandpipers, etc. the high cliffs here act as great diving sites for you to see groupers, rays, turtles, and sharks.
Considered to be one of the top places to watch the game, this national park is an absolute must-visit. In its marshes, thickets of the ancient baobab trees and Elephants, and vast grassy fields, it protects rare African wildlife including wildebeest, Grant’s gazelle, leopard, and almost 550 bird species.
Don’t miss to see dwarf mongoose hiding in the huge termite mounds strewn all over the park. You can see these either through walking and jeep safaris or a more fun way of hot air ballooning.
One of the most enticing tourist attractions in Tanzania, this old town area is famous around the world for its artistic architecture that’s influenced by Indian, European, Persian, and Arab elements. The buildings here are made with coral stone that gives the place a warm brownish-red hue.
It consists of several long and short alleys that house shops selling spices, jewellery, artworks, etc. Don’t miss to see the House of Wonders, the stone-made Old Fort, the 18th-century Persian hamams, and the Palace Museum here.
The astonishingly beautiful Zanzibar beaches are where the balmy sun, sand, and sea meet, making them the best tourist attractions in Tanzania. There are so many of these scenic beaches that offer a plethora of super fun activities, that it becomes difficult to choose.
You can visit Bwejuu that is loved for its seclusion and solitude and offers activities like diving, dhow boat trips, etc., or the Michamvi Beach that houses coral lagoons, Nungwi Beach that’s loved for its nightlife, fantastic coral reefs, dolphins, and turtles.
Location: The best Zanzibar beaches are Nungwi, Paje, Nakupenda, Pongwe, and Jambiani.
Visiting Arusha National Park is an experience of a lifetime because it houses the world’s largest giraffe population, making it one of the most interesting places to visit in Tanzania. Besides, its stunning landscape of ancient rainforests, acacia scrubs, and moors house incredibly diverse African wildlife.
This includes turacos, trogons, blue monkeys, cape buffalo, etc. Besides enjoying game drives, walking safaris, canoe safaris, etc., you can see thousands of pink flamingos at Lake Momella, visit the Ngurdoto crater and museum, and explore the naturally-created fig tree arches.
One of the largest national parks in not only Tanzania but the whole of East Africa, Ruaha consists of several smaller ecosystems like Rungwa Game Reserve and Usangu Game Reserve.
The highlight of the park is the Big Five Game animals along with the endangered elands, African leopard, sable antelope, impala, bat-eared foxes, agama lizards, etc. Besides, it has more than 1600 plant species and 500 bird species.
Made famous by the primatologist Jane Goodall, this is one of the best places to visit in Tanzania for chimpanzee tracking to see these primates in their natural habitat displaying almost close-to-human behaviour! Besides the chimps, you can also spot red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, olive baboons, hippos, etc.
Besides chimpanzee safaris, you can also enjoy hiking, swimming in Lake Tanganyika, and forest walks.
Location: Western border of Tanzania.
Timings: Year Around.
Katavi National Park
One of the best places to visit in Tanzania and the remotest national parks in Tanzania’s Central African Rift Valley, Katavi National Park is a secluded expanse of raw wilderness. Its incredible wildlife includes the Big Five Game, crocodiles, antelope, giraffe, and almost 400 bird species.
Named after a local spirit, this national park’s grounds are worshipped by the locals even today. Enjoy game drives and walking safaris for an amazing bush experience. This park offers an out-and-out rustic experience due to the lack of showers or flush toilets. But it’s amazing being out in the open watching the stars and listening to the night calls of animals.
One of the most famous of the Great African lakes and the largest lake here, this almost 4 lac years old lake tops the charts. This tranquil expanse of great shimmering waters is where the rare Cichlids are found along with hippos, African clawless otters, cane rats, bohor reedbuck, etc.
You can’t miss super fun activities like hiking, fishing trips, bird watching, and swimming, etc. here. The surrounding cotton and coffee plantations are also worth a visit.
Location: The lake lies in Tanzania and Uganda and borders Kenya.
In the southwest of Lake Victoria lies Rubondo Island, an extraordinary example of wildlife conservation. It’s Africa’s largest island national park at 26km long and up to 10 km wide. More than 75 percent of the island is covered in pristine equatorial rainforest. Since the 1960s, the island has been a haven for wild chimpanzee, sitatunga antelope, elephant and giraffe.
Located just below Mount Meru, Arusha is one of the most ethnically diverse Tanzanian cities comprising of indigenous Africans, Indian, and Arab populations. Established in the 1830s, Arusha is a major contributor to the economy of Tanzania and is also known as the ‘safari capital’.
The beauty of Arusha lies in its chaos of busy streets, bustling markets, colonial-era buildings all set amidst lush expanses. Arusha’s landscape is dotted with high peaks like that of Mount Meru, lakes, and vast plains that let you experience the best of the African wilderness.
Admire the exotic wildlife at the Arusha National Park, one of the top places to see in Tanzania, as you see the Big Five Game animals, flamingos, hippos, and zebras. The very interesting Cultural Heritage Center and its mask museum, spice center, etc. are not to be missed. Tanzania’s famous hominid fossils along with insect displays can be seen at the National History Museum.
The serene countryside of the place can be enjoyed on a canoe safari on the Small Momella Lake in the Arusha National Park. Challenge your limits and try a hike to the 14, 961 ft. high Mount Meru. Those who love to collect mementoes must shop for crafts and jewellery at the Masai Women Fair Trade Center.
Dar es Salaam is Tanzania’s largest city and its former capital. It was established in 1862 on the East Coast and was an obscure port till the time Germany established the East Africa Company here. It is now amongst the fastest growing cities in the world and the epicenter for Tanzanian fashion, arts, and films.
The beauty of Dar es Salaam’s landscape is incomparable to any other Tanzanian city. Sprawled over a picturesque harbour and miles of lush fertile lands, the city has pristine beaches, mountains, humongous wildlife parks, and stunning lakes.
No trip to Dar es Salaam is complete without exploring its scenic beachside beauty and trying out the famous seafood. You can visit Mbudya Island and Kivukoni Fish Market, which are great places to do this. Those interested in architecture cannot miss visiting the 18th- century St. Joseph’s Cathedral, famous for its stained-glass paintings and Gothic architecture. People interested in war history must visit the Askari monument dedicated to World War I Tanzanian soldiers.
Dar es Salaam, one of the best places to visit in Tanzania, is a haven for those who love to shop and eat. You can enjoy beachside dining at places like The Slipway Stretch and browse through the chic boutiques here. Nature enthusiasts must see the Hawksbill turtle breeding at Masaki and snorkel to see coral reefs here.
Due to its equatorial location, the city experiences a hot and humid climate with a good deal of rainfall. The best time to visit is in the drier months of June-March.
No trip to Tanzania is complete without visiting the tallest African and the highest free-standing mountain (19, 341 ft.) in the world that has vast ice fields and snow caps. What’s fascinating is that out of its three volcanic cones, one is still active.
This is one of the few places to visit in Tanzania in the world to have rain forest, moorland, alpine desert, and an arctic summit ecosystem on it. Its forested slopes and the nearby game reserve protect elephants, blue monkeys, duikers, Abbot’s starling, etc.
Location: Kilimanjaro region, Northeast Tanzania.
Timings: The best time to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro is from December-March and June-October.
People Also Ask About Tanzania
What are the best cities to visit in Tanzania?
1. Dar es Salam: Get a beautiful experience of the country’s modernity intertwined with history here. You can see glitzy malls standing along with historical monuments, cathedrals, and many pristine beaches.
2. Moshi: No trip to Tanzania is complete without visiting this city where Mt. Kilimanjaro stands. A haven for adventure enthusiasts, Moshi is the best city for hiking, rock climbing, plantation trails, waterfall viewing, etc.
3. Mwanza: The best city to let you explore the stunning Lake Victoria, Mwanza is also loved for its traditional markets, dancing rock formations, etc.
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