Tanzania, situated in East Africa is well-known for its vast wilderness areas. An experience like no other awaits you inside the borders of this country. From safari adventures to extreme mountain climbing, or simply a relaxing beach getaway, Tanzania has it all and more.
Tanzania is the most popular tourism destination in the East African region. It’s hard to find a traveller who has regrets about their visit to Tanzania. If they do, it’s most likely because they missed something whilst there.
To eliminate any post-travel remorse on your next trip to Tanzania, read our top reasons to visit and how to take advantage of them all.
Reach the Top of Africa
Tanzania is home to Africa’s highest mountain: Mount Kilimanjaro. This great dormant volcano towers over Tanzania and its neighbouring countries. Since it is not part of a mountain range, it is also the highest free-standing mountain in the world.
Many people travel from afar to climb to the top and stand on ‘the roof of Africa’ as they say. Since the summit is so high, climbing the mountain can be somewhat strenuous for those who are not quite fit, but most stories of summitters are successful. With the right guide, equipment, and attitude, reaching the top is an experience of a lifetime and one not to be missed, should you get the chance.
The Ngorongoro Crater
The Ngorongoro Crater, situated in Northern Tanzania, was once a gigantic volcano. It is the largest intact caldera in the world and it’s believed by some that before it erupted, it would have been higher than Mount Kilimanjaro.
Today it is an extensive highland area with the famous 600 m deep Ngorongoro Crater as its focal point. The Crater is also the best place in Tanzania to see the Big Five. No trip to Tanzania would be complete without a visit to Ngorongoro.
Tanzanian Indigenous Tribes
Tanzania is the only African nation whose tribes represent all four of the continent’s major ethnolinguistic groups; Bantu, Cushitic, Nilotic, and Khoisan.
There are 5 main tribes in Tanzania which you are sure to encounter during your stay. These are:
- Maasai – This tribe is the most famous in Tanzania, they reside in both Kenya and Tanzania, living along the border of the two countries
- Hadzabe – An indigenous ethnic group in north-central Tanzania, they are one of the last hunter-gatherer tribes still existing on Earth.
- Chagga – The third largest ethnic group in Tanzania, the Chagga tribe traditionally live on the southern and eastern slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru and near Moshi.
- Sukuma – They are the largest ethnic group in Tanzania, with an estimated 8.9 million members. Sukuma means “north” and refers to “people of the north.”
- Makonde – The Makonde traditionally carve household objects, figures and masks. Makonde art has become part of the important contemporary art of Africa today.
While visiting these tribes, you are able to experience their cultures, with their very own traditional dress, food and dance. Most tribes are accustomed to tourists and will welcome you with open arms. They will also have souvenirs that you can buy from them to bring home.
Zanzibar is an archipelago of islands just off the coast of Tanzania. Stone Town, spices, amazing beaches and wondrous reefs make Zanzibar a must-see when visiting Tanzania.
Stone Town is Zanzibar’s very own cultural heritage site. This ancient town is well-known for its labyrinth-like streets and many visitors list ‘getting lost in Stone Town’ as one of their most memorable activities. The town boasts many attractions and holds the culture of the island in its avenues.
You can reach Zanzibar from Tanzania by taking a short plane trip, or by taking the ferry. The plane ride involves just 30 minutes of cruising shakily across the waters, but the ferry is cheaper and can be a far more pleasant experience, although it does take around 2 hours.
Africa’s Big Five
The Big Five are a large attraction to Tanzania. You will find each animal in its own natural habitat, roaming the wild as all wildlife should. They are usually out and about in the months of February- March and again in June- November.
You can see lions in Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara National Park and Ruaha National Park.
Leopards are best spotted in Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, and Ruaha National Park.
African elephants can be seen at the Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire National Park, Ruaha National Park.
The African Buffalo, or the Cape Buffalo, is one of the most unique creatures on the planet. You can spot them in the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater.
Rhinoceros are critically endangered due to years of poaching. They are visible in the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater.
The Great Migration
Africa’s Great Migration is the annual journey of more than two million wildebeest, joined by zebras and other antelopes, from the plains of the Serengeti in Tanzania to the grasslands of the Masai Mara, Kenya.
The animals give birth to their young in January, in the plains of the southern Serengeti and the neighbouring Ngorongoro Conservation Area. As the months pass, the young grow stronger, and the food starts to run out, so the animals begin to migrate.
This journey takes them through the Grumeti River, which poses threats such as crocodiles, and many wildebeest do not make it across the river. They continue moving in a loop across the Serengeti Park, crossing into the Masai Mara National Reserve, and then travel back towards where they began. Ultimately, they end up back where they started, in time to begin the process again.
The period in which you are visiting, will affect where you are able to view the migration. It takes some knowledge from locals who are tracking the animals to know where they are precisely, since they are led by instinct and won’t necessarily keep up with our human calendars.
With all the amazing things to do, places to see and experiences to have in Tanzania, it may become overwhelming trying to fit it all in during your stay. Which is why booking a safari tour is highly recommended. Safari tour guides know their land, and they are experts at showing you the best things to see, and the best times to see them.
Have a look here at some the Safari Tour companies that really stand out.
This tour company knows what they are doing when it comes to safaris. Their tour guides are trained and competent.
Donak Safaris offer:
- Packages to suit your budget – basic, comfort and luxury
- Mount Kilimanjaro hiking tours
- Day tours
From your airport pick-up to your accommodation and everything in between, booking with Donak means it is all covered and all you have to do is pack your bags and arrive.
This safari guide company was started by a local businessman with a vision to expand the tourism in his own town. They offer amazing wildlife viewing in Tanzania. Their tour guides are well-trained and knowledgeable in their fields. With Macho Halisi, you are guaranteed to experience Tanzania’s culture and be blown away by the beauty of this country.
When visiting Tanzania, Macho Halisi offer you the chance to:
- See the Great Migration on the move
- Climb Kilimanjaro!
- Visit the World Heritage Site — Ngorongoro Crater
- Explore Stone Town on the island of Zanzibar
- Fish for Nile perch in Lake Victoria
- Walk or hike in the forest or bush
- Visit the interesting and colourful tribes
Another company full of local, passionate, well-informed guides. Gosheni Safaris offer packages across Africa, but specialize in their home country, Tanzania.
Gosheni safari tour offers include:
- Honeymoon safaris
- Mount Kilimanjaro tours
- Zanzibar beach holiday
They boast 7-seater custom safari Land Cruisers with a pop-up roof for game viewing and sightseeing.
Tinga Tinga are located in Arusha, Tanzania, giving them sound local knowledge on the country and the best safari routes to take.
With Tinga Tinga, you can choose from the following types of holiday experiences:
- Beach holiday in Zanzibar
- Day Tours
- Safari Tours
- Group Safaris
- Migration Safaris
- Mountain Tours
They offer services which cover your entire holiday, including airport pick-up & drop-off, accommodation, food & beverage etc.
True to their name, this company offers you a truly local Tanzanian experience. They pride themselves on their knowledge of Tanzania since their guides have all lived and grown up there.
Tanzania Experience offer:
- Climbs on Mt Kilimanjaro via the Marangu, Machame, Lemosho or Rongai routes with very skilled, experienced mountain teams and quality equipment.
- Climbs on Mt Meru.
- Private trekking tours in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
- Beach holidays on Tanzania’s coastline and on the islands of Zanzibar, Mafia and Pemba.
- Day trips, balloon safaris, boat trips, day hikes and cultural excursions.
Also based in Arusha, Bright African Safaris offer you only the best, local guides for your safaris.
All safaris and trekking are guided by local Tanzanian tour guides. Their services vary from budget to luxury.
Just a few of Bright African Safaris tours include:
- Ndutu Plain Migration Safaris
- Tanzania Highlight Safaris
- Wildlife & Culture Walking Safaris
Provided you find a knowledgeable, passionate group of tour guides, taking a safari tour through Tanzania means you get to encounter the greatness of each of the above attractions. You can arrange to do hiking tours along with your safari tours, request to stay overnight in the places you find most exciting, and best of all, you won’t have to stress over the planning and preparation, because they do that for you.
Tanzania truly is a fantastic place to visit. Along with the reasons mentioned here, there is a long list of things to do, see, and experience. Tanzania is a place where nature is at its wildest, but also has a thriving city life, so you will not be in complete wilderness when visiting.
Tanzanians welcome tourists, as this is where their economy grows. This means that you will find impeccable hospitality from the locals. English is widely spoken, so you will be understood while visiting, but it is always fun to try and learn a few Swahili words from the local people. They are also a very friendly nation, and you are sure to be met with smiles wherever you go.