Tanzania is home to some of Africa’s most famous national parks and natural attractions, including the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain of Africa. Those who want to spend some time soaking up the sun, should definitely visit the beautiful white beaches of Zanzibar. Pemba and Mafia islands are another kind of natural wonders, appreciated by scuba divers and snorkelers who come here from around the world to experience the coral gardens, colorful fish, and crystal-clear waters. Discover your options and explore the most stunning places in Tanzania with us.
Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest peak (5,895 m) and Tanzania’s most iconic image.
Unlike areas in northern Tanzania, is not visited for its wildlife, but for the chance to stand in awe of this beautiful snow-capped mountain. In principle, Mount Kilimanjaro can be climbed at any time, although the best period is from late June to October during the dry season.
Kilimanjaro, a World Heritage Site, was formed over 1 million years ago by volcanic movement along the Rift Valley. The highest point is Uhuru Peak on Kibo, which is part of the Seven Summits of the world.
The mountain rises from farmland on the lower level to rainforest and alpine meadow and then up to a barren lunar landscape at the peaks. The slopes of rainforest are home to buffaloes, leopards, monkeys, elephants and eland. In the alpine zone bird watchers will find an abundance of birds of prey.
Discover Tanzania offers tailor-made private guided safaris in Tanzania including transport, meals, accommodations, and activities. You will be supported by an experienced and knowledgeable driver/guide.
The famous Serengeti National Park is a vast treeless plain with millions of animals living here or passing through in search of fresh grasslands.
It is most well-known for the annual migration of wildebeest and zebra, but you can also see the Big Five here. For this reason, the Serengeti attracts tens of thousands of tourists each year. The best months for wildlife viewing in Serengeti National Park are between June and September. The wet season is from March to May, with the coldest period from June to October.
The annual migration of over 1.5 million wildebeest and hundreds of thousands of zebras and gazelles takes place in May or early June. This migration is one of the most impressive natural events and the primary attraction for many tourists.
The beautiful island of Zanzibar, also called Unguja, is a major holiday destination in Tanzania and known for its beautiful white beaches.
The Zanzibar archipelago consists of the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba, with some of the best beaches in the world. The surf varies depending on what side of the island you are, but all visitors will find soft white sand and clear shallow water, with traditional boats lining the shore. The historic city of Stone Town, known for old Arabian townhouses, narrow alleyways, and a busy port, is located in the heart of Zanzibar.
Located between the Serengeti and Lake Manyara, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is home to the famous volcanic Ngorongoro Crater and is one of Tanzania’s most popular wildlife viewing areas.
The Ngorongoro volcano was one of the world’s tallest mountains before it exploded and collapsed. This huge remaining volcanic crater has a permanent supply of water, which draws thousands of animals that are staying permanently in this area rather than migrating.
Thousands of animals can be seen on the crater floor, including lions, elephants, rhinos, Thomson’s gazelles, and buffaloes. Wildebeest and zebras account for over half of the animals that are at home in the Ngorongoro Crater.
Bird watching is superb, especially around Lake Migadi, which attracts flocks of flamingos to the shallows. Hippos are content to submerge themselves during the day and then graze in the nearby grass in the evening.
Mafia Island draws divers and snorkelers from around the world to the undersea world, 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. March and April are usually months of heavy rain.
The Marine Park has coral gardens, an abundant variety of fish and a relaxed diving atmosphere. Countless birds and over 400 species of fish can be seen in the area. Mafia Island is also a traditional breeding site for the green turtle, which are unfortunately endangered. Moreover, Mafia is also a desirable location for deep-sea fishing, especially tuna, marlin, sailfish and other big-game fish. The first settlers discovered this paradise in the 8th or 9th century, but it became a more important settlement during the 12th to 14th century, when it held a key position in the East African trading routes.
The Arusha National Park consists of the forest of Mount Meru, the Ngurdoto Crater in the southeast section of the park, and the Momella 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. The Momella Lakes are home to a large selection of resident and migrant water birds. 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.
Pemba Island is the northernmost island in the Zanzibar archipelago and some of the best scuba diving in the Indian Ocean can be done here, with unparalleled visibility.
Coral gardens, colorful sponges and sea fans are all found in the underwater haven. The city of Chake Chake, the main population center on Pemba, is a popular base for scuba divers.
Pemba is less visited than Zanzibar and as a result has a more laidback atmosphere. The island is hilly with deep valleys, and it has become popular with mountain bikers who are drawn to the 1,000-meter peaks. Just offshore, one spot not to miss is Misali Island Beach. This incredible white-sand beach is on an uninhabited tropical island.
Pemba is a major world clove producer and is also well known for the juju traditions of medicine and magic. People come from throughout East Africa to learn from the voodoo and traditional healers or seek a cure.
Stone Town is the cultural heart of Zanzibar, and little has changed in the last 200 years. Old Arabian homes are lining the narrow streets and winding alleys give the city its own unique charm.
Most homes in Stone Town were built in the 19th century when Zanzibar was one of the most important Swahili trading towns in the Indian Ocean. Visitors will notice beautifully 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 and tourist attractions. 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 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.
Selous is the largest game reserve in Africa. It was established in 1922 and it covers 5% of Tanzania’s total area.
The southern area is a restricted access zone that is undeveloped, heavily forested and contains a series of steep cliffs. Travelers are only allowed to the area north of the Rufiji River which has large open grassland, woodlands, rivers, hills and plains. The best time to visit Selous Game Reserve is July to October.
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 wildlife can be found on land, including elephants, hippos and rhinos as well as buffaloes, antelopes, giraffes, warthogs, wildebeest, lions, leopards and cheetahs. The diversity of bird life in Selous includes over 350 recorded species.
Dar es Salaam is the largest city and economic capital of Tanzania. Located in a quiet bay off the Indian Ocean coast, the city has gained economic importance and has become a prosperous center of the entire East African region.
Its bustling harbor is the main port in Tanzania. Its industrial area produces products for export and for use throughout the country. Government offices all have their main base in Dar es Salaam, and diplomatic missions and non-governmental organizations in the country all have a presence in the bustling urban city.
Restaurants, shops, office buildings, and government buildings are all common features of Tanzania’s urban center. During German occupation in the early 20th century, Dar es Salaam was the center of the colonial administration. Remnants of colonial presence, both German and British, can still be seen in the landmarks and architecture around the city. The National Museum, the Village Museum, and many colorful markets are well worth a visit. Numerous historical landmarks, including St. Joseph’s Cathedral, the White Father’s Mission House, the Botanical Gardens, and the old State House provide an interesting walking tour around the waterfront and city center.