Tanzania is a special African gem. This East African country, which borders the Indian Ocean, offers everything from breathtaking, wild savannahs teeming with wildlife to highly sought-after island getaways – with rich history, wildlife watching and unique culture thrown in for good measure.
And as far as African travel experiences go, Tanzania offers some of the best around! Because, when you visit this East African nation, you have the chance to experience everything from dormant volcanoes and epic craters to amazing, unspoilt beaches and islands and of course, wonderful African wildlife and birdlife in some of the world’s most protected, astoundingly beautiful places.
In this post, we look at five of the best travel experiences to enjoy in tantalising Tanzania:
1) See – or Climb – Mighty Mount Kilimanjaro
As both Africa’s tallest peak and the world’s tallest free-standing mountain, this famous dormant volcano is one of Tanzania’s many unmissable attractions.
It is also a wonderful travel experience. So, whether you choose to simply admire it from afar – or decide you wish to climb up it, this mountain is a glorious sight to behold and a travel wonder firmly intended for the memory books.
Best of all, Kilimanjaro is popular among experienced mountain climbers and novices alike because, unlike most of our world’s more famous, often imposing, mountains, climbing up Mount Kilimanjaro requires no technical skill whatsoever. With adequate fitness levels, you can hike up the mountain – even without any mountaineering gear!
The hiking routes vary but generally, a hike up this famous African mountain can take anywhere from five to nine days.
It is best to book your climb with one of the local travel guides or tour operators. This way, you can safely enjoy experiencing Tanzania from the ground up… literally!
2) Explore the Incredible Serengeti National Park
This incredible World Heritage Site, which overflows with abundant, rich wildlife and magical travel experiences, is one national park that everyone visiting Africa and indeed, Tanzania should try experience at least once in their lifetime.
Here, you will discover the true home of the famous Great Migration, while also sighting many other animals and birds.
The Serengeti National Park is home to the world-famous Big Five, as well as many other beautiful creatures, including eland, impala, birds and even awe-inspiring insects!
A great way to explore the Serengeti National Park is by embarking on a guided safari. This is a sure-fire way to enjoy some amazing wildlife watching, while also gaining local insights and information on both the animals and this gorgeous national park.
Although the Serengeti National Park is glorious throughout the year, most visitors choose to explore it during the dry season (from June to October). This is because it is easier to spot both the Great Migration – and animals in general – as the wildlife tends to gather around the rivers and waterholes as temperatures rise.
However, if you prefer to skip the crowds and queues, you can rather visit during the wet season (from November to May).
In so doing, you may even see some predator action in the southern Serengeti during calving season (usually from late January to February) – or enjoy excellent birdwatching. Plus, rates are also lower so travel and accommodation becomes more affordable.
3) Go Wildlife Watching at Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Spanning some 809,440 hectares, the amazing Ngorongoro Conservation Area is another Tanzanian treasure. Consisting of highland plains, savannah woodlands, forests and savannahs, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a special conservation area located quite close to Arusha, over in northern Tanzania.
The area is home to a wealth of wildlife – everything from hippos to lions and elephants. Additionally, it is also where you can see the Ngorongoro Crater, a national landmark in its own right. So why not go on a safari in the crater and enjoy experiencing a different, equally stunning part of Tanzania?
This conservation area offers incredible game viewing year-round so you can travel there during any season. Although, again, the dry season is favoured, as it allows for easier wildlife spotting.
4) Visit Beautiful Arusha National Park
Another excellent, though small, national park in Tanzania is undoubtedly Arusha National Park. This park is a popular haunt for visitors, as it offers rich, varied ecosystems and beautiful views of Mount Meru – another local crater and Tanzania’s second-highest mountain.
Attractions and highlights found within the park include Ngurdoto Crater, the Momela Lakes, Mount Meru and even beautiful highland forests.
Wildlife is abundant here as well – and slightly more unique too, as everything from buffalo, giraffe, monkeys, warthogs and more call different parts of this park home.
On clear days, the park also offers great views of both Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro – and during your visit, you can enjoy many great picnic spots, viewpoints, walking tours and more.
5) Hit the Beach at Mafia Island and Swim with Whale Sharks
Last but by no means least, we have Tanzania’s gorgeous Mafia Island. If you are a beach- or island-lover, this travel experience is perfect for you!
Renowned for being a world-class diving destination thanks to its excellent, healthy reefs and bountiful sea life, a visit or stay on Mafia Island is exquisitely beautiful and offers plenty of fun under the sun!
Although there are many quality activities to enjoy in and around Mafia Island, some of the stand-outs include:
- year-round underwater diving or snorkelling;
- swimming with the world’s largest fish, whale sharks;
- sunset cruises that allow you to really soak up the beauty of the crystal clear, mesmerising waters and pristine, sugar-white beaches;
- and interesting cultural island walks.
Mafia Island also offers a variety of world-class, dreamy accommodation. Everything from boutique lodges to beach bungalows, relaxed B&Bs and camping options too.
These are just five of the most incredible travel experiences in Tanzania. Which are you keen to experience first?