15+ Unforgettable Things to do in Tanzania

15+ Unforgettable Things to do in Tanzania
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Welcome to Tanzania! Found in the heart of East Africa, Tanzania is a country with a treasure trove of experiences to be had. From the iconic wildlife safaris of the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater to the stunning beaches of Zanzibar, Tanzania is a land of wonders waiting to be explored. 

It’s one of my favourite African countries, and below we’ll take you on a journey through some of the most amazing things to do in Tanzania. Prepare yourself for an unforgettable African adventure!

 

– Contributed by Deb Hendricks from Introvert With Itchy Feet

 


PS – Useful Travel Resources that will help you plan better for your Trip to Tanzania as you tick off the Best Things to do in Tanzania – 


 

Unforgettable Things to do in Tanzania

Plan your Tanzania Itinerary with as many of these Best Things to do in Tanzania, as you can, or choose a few to really delve into!

Pin this Tanzania Trip Planner featuring 15+ Unforgettable Experiences in Tanzania

 

1. Climb Mount Kilimanjaro

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is a challenging adventure! It typically takes 6 to 8 days, with routes of varying difficulty. A reasonable fitness level is required, including cardio and leg strength. 

But, even though Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa, you don’t need any mountain climbing experience or equipment. A good pair of hiking boots and a little bit of training, and you’re good to go!

The best time to climb is during the dry season, from late mid-June to October and from December to mid-March. Guides and porters and permits are required. 

The scenery along the journey, not to mention from the top, is spectacular. Plus, there’s a unique sense of accomplishment for those who reach its 5,895-meter (19,341-foot) summit! You can even decide just to do some base hikes to get a feel for the experience.

The best way to tick off this Unforgettable experience in Tanzania, is by signing up for 7 Day Kilimanjaro Group Trek via Lemosho Route.

 

2. Explore Serengeti National Park

The Serengeti National Park gives you the chance to see Africa’s epic wildlife. The park is home to the Big 5 (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhinoceros), plus 430 more species. 

The Beauty of Serengeti National Park in Tanzania

The best time to visit Serengeti National Park is during the dry season, from late June to October. This is when the Great Migration happens, and when wildlife congregates around water sources. 

But, the park is open year-round, and different seasons offer unique experiences. For example, fewer crowds and lower prices during the wet season from November to May.

Apart from signing up for the Wildlife Safari in Serengeti National Park, you can also sign up for the Serengeti Hot Balloon Safari, and tick off yet another offbeat experience in Tanzania, off your Tanzania Bucket List.

 

3. Visit the Ngorongoro Crater

The Ngorongoro Crater is one of Tanzania’s most iconic natural wonders. A massive volcanic caldera with a unique ecosystem, the Crater is located in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

The Ngorongoro Crater is often referred to as the “Garden of Eden” due to its lush, fertile landscape. This and the remarkable density of wildlife that it hosts make it an unforgettable experience. Inside the crater’s walls is the ideal location for game viewing. Your chances of encountering a high number of area’s epic animals while you’re here are exceptionally high.

Ngorongoro Crater | Photo by Ben Preater on Unsplash

The best time of year to visit the Ngorongoro Crater is during the dry season, typically from June to October. This is when the weather is pleasant, and the wildlife congregates around the crater’s water sources, making it easier to spot. The dry season offers the best visibility and photography opportunities.

If you are looking for a Premium  Tanzania Safari Experience, we suggest you to sign up for this 7 Day All – Inclusive Luxury Tanzania Safari experience, which includes a stopover at Ngorongoro Crater, along with other highlights of Tanzania, including the Serengeti National Park and Tarangire National Park, where you have the chance of spotting the Big 5 during your Tanzania All Inclusive Safari.

 

4. Go to the Olduvai Gorge

A visit to Olduvai Gorge is a must for its profound historical significance in the field of archaeology and human evolution. This site has played a crucial role in unraveling the mysteries of our ancestral past. 

It is often referred to as the “cradle of mankind” because fossils found here may have come from the first human beings to exist. You’ll have the opportunity to witness the actual excavation sites where these groundbreaking discoveries were made. 

The experience will give you a unique perspective on the scientific processes involved in uncovering our ancient origins. There’s also a small museum at the site that will provide you with valuable context and exhibits related to the fossils, tools, and the history of human evolution.

Plus, surrounding the gorge you’ll find the striking landscape of the dramatic Great Rift Valley. The geological features and panoramic views are spectacular. 

 

5. Discover the Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara

These ruins are a fascinating look into the rich historical and archaeological heritage of East Africa. Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, are ports, each on their own small island near Tanzania’s coast.

These ruins are remnants of a once-prosperous trading empire that had its heyday from the 13th to the 16th century. Everything from gold and perfume to Arabian pottery and Chinese crockery passed through here.

At Kilwa Kisiwani, you can explore the impressive Great Mosque, the Gereza Fort, royal tombs, and the ornate Husuni Kubwa palace. The ruins at Songo Mnara include well-preserved houses, tombs, and mosques. They offer an interesting look into the daily life and culture of the people who lived here very many years ago.

 

6. Take a Walking Safari in Arusha National Park

This is a terrific way to experience Tanzania’s natural beauty and wildlife up close. You’ll have the chance to see animals like giraffes, zebras, buffaloes, and even flamingos in their natural habitat. Everything looks bigger from the ground!

The park itself is home to some incredible landscapes, from sweeping grasslands in the south to colourful lakes in the north

Experienced guides lead the walking safaris, and they share their knowledge about the park’s plants, animals, and ecosystems. The more you know about it, the more beautiful the park becomes.

Arusha National Park | Photo by ray rui on Unsplash

Beyond the wildlife and landscapes, a walking safari in Arusha National Park will give you a sense of adventure and a deeper connection to nature. It’s a thrilling and unforgettable way to explore the park.

The best time for a walking safari is during the dry season, which falls from June to October or from January to February. The weather is comfortable, and the wildlife is easier to spot. But walking safaris are generally available throughout the year, and they’re always worth the time.

 

7. Relax on Zanzibar’s Beaches

Exploring Zanzibar’s extraordinary beaches is a quintessential Tanzanian experience. Each of the 25 beaches around the island has its own vibe. There’s one to suit every traveler’s preference.

Lively and energetic Kendwa Beach on the northwest shore is where you’ll find the bulk of the island’s beachfront resorts. And if you’re after Zanzibar’s nightlife – look no further. 

The southeastern beaches of Paje and Jambiani are more tranquil and laid-back. These areas are known for their long stretches of white sand and shallow, turquoise waters. They’re perfect for long walks and lounging in the sun. 

Photo by Olga Budko on Unsplash

Stone Town, the island’s historical heart, also offers its own unique beach experience. Its shoreline is less suitable for swimming. But the seafront promenade is an excellent backdrop for leisurely stroll, as well as the Forodhani Garden Night Market.

The best way of experiencing the beauty of Zanzibar, is by staying at one of the best All Inclusive Resorts in Zanzibar such as Zuri ZanzibarZanzibar Bay Resort and Spa  |  Kiwengwa Beach Resort  |  Nungwi Beach Resort by Turaco

The best part about having an All Inclusive Vacation in Zanzibar, is that the cost of these All Inclusive Zanzibar Resorts is a fraction of the cost compared to All Inclusive Resorts in destinations like Maldives or Mauritius.

 

8. Stop in at the Iraqw Village

The Iraqw Village is near Karatu, on the way to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. It offers a glimpse into the lifestyle of the Iraqw people, a major ethnic group in Tanzania’s Arusha Region. 

The village features traditional houses made of natural materials, in which some tribes people still live. You’ll learn about their culture and history, including past conflicts with the Maasai over their land. 

Inside the village, you can interact with residents, explore their unique agricultural methods, and enjoy their warm hospitality, often with tea or a meal. And if you visit on the 7th or 25th day of the month, you can even explore the Karatu market for unique souvenirs.

 

9. See Lake Manyara National Park

This compact park between Lake Manyara and the Great Rift Valley is home to a range of wildlife and stunning landscapes. It’s known especially for its tree-climbing lions, its large herds of elephants, and the more than 400 bird species that fly here.

Tree Climbing Lions ⬆️ | ⬇️ Flamingos at Manyara National Park

As you explore Lake Manyara Park, you’ll encounter a variety of animals, including giraffes, zebras, and hippos, along with the elephants and lions. Thousands of flamingos are often seen as well, covering the waters of the alkaline lake.

A stopover at Lake Manyara Park is one of the highlights of this 7 Day Tanzania Classic Tour, including trips to other National Parks of Tanzania including Serengeti National Park and Tarangire National Park.

 

10. Visit Gombe Stream National Park

Gombe Stream National Park is along the eastern shores of Lake Tanganyika. It’s known for its contribution to the study of primatology and its connection to Dr. Jane Goodall. This small but significant park is famous for being the location of Dr. Goodall’s pioneering research on wild chimpanzees, which revolutionised our understanding of these creatures and ourselves.

Here you get an unforgettable opportunity to observe the chimpanzee community where it was first studied in the 1960s. You can see these primates up close, and observe their social behaviour, feeding habits, and familial interactions during guided treks led by experienced park guides.

Along with chimpanzee tracking, Gombe Stream National Park offers sublime hiking trails. You can spot a variety of other wildlife, including baboons, red-tailed monkeys, and various bird species. The park’s breathtaking scenery, with its dense vegetation and serene lakeshore, is another highlight for any nature lover.

 

11. Get to Know Stone Town, Zanzibar

Stone Town invites you to delve into the island’s history, culture, and architectural heritage. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, the historic heart of Zanzibar City, is a cultural crossroads with several must-see landmarks.

The paths through Stone Town are a labyrinthine of alleys, each lined with unique architectural gems. The town’s intricate wooden doors, with their brass studs and carvings, are a hallmark of its Arabian, Indian, and European influences. 

You can explore the House of Wonders, an impressive palace-turned-museum, and the Sultan’s Palace Museum, and get a glimpse into Zanzibar’s royal history.

And for fans of music history, a visit to Freddy Mercury’s house, the former residence of the Queen frontman, is a no-brainer. You can also join in the town’s busy markets and savour the local cuisine and spices that are such a part of Zanzibar’s culture.

The best way to explore Stone Town in Zanzibar, is by signing up for this top rated Stone Town Private Guided Walking Tour. This way, apart from admiring the beauty of the place, you’ll also get to know about the history and stories related to Stone Town, Zanzibar.

 

12. Discover the Selous Game Reserve

Selous Game Reserve is an awesome adventure for animal and nature lovers. The huge game reserve covers 50,000 km² of pristine wilderness in southeastern Tanzania. It’s known for its incredible biodiversity and for being relatively unspoiled by humans.

Elephants playing together in Selous Game Reserve | Photo by Aron Marinelli on Unsplash

One of the primary draws of the Selous Game Reserve is the opportunity to witness the Big 5 (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhinoceros) in the wild. The reserve’s remote and less crowded nature really allows you the feeling of a true wilderness safari. You can enjoy game drives, boat safaris along the Rufiji River, and walking safaris led by experienced guides.

 

13. Scuba Diving Mafia Island

Diving in Mafia Island is an astounding experience. It’s celebrated for its pristine underwater world and its status as the gateway to the Mafia Island Marine Park. The marine park encompasses an extensive network of coral reefs, channels, and islets. It’s a perfect destination for divers and snorkelers alike.

Mafia Island is one of the best places for diving in Tanzania. This is due to the relatively unspoiled and uncrowded nature of its marine environments. Compared to more popular diving destinations, such as Zanzibar or Pemba Island, Mafia Island offers a quieter and less commercialized experience. 

Underwater, you can expect to see a variety of marine life, including colourful coral and tropical fish species, reef sharks, manta rays, and leatherback turtles. The highlight of Mafia Island’s diving experience, though, is the chance to meet large species like whale sharks and manta rays. 

If you’re incredibly lucky, you may even bump into an endangered dugong!

 

14. Drop in on Engaruka

Engaruka is an Iron Age archaeological site made up of a system of ruins. Located just east of the Ngorongoro area, it stands out for its sophisticated irrigation and cultivation structures. 

Dating back to the 15th century, these ruins are believed to have been originally constructed by a Cushitic-speaking group of farmers. These ancestors of the Iraqw people abandoned Engaruka for reasons that are still a mystery. 

But the site bears witness to the resourcefulness and ingenuity of these early inhabitants.

 

15. Visit the Maasai Market

The Maasai Market Curios and Crafts in Arusha. In this busy and colorful market, you can buy a huge variety of traditional Maasai crafts, jewelry, and artisanal products. It’s a great place to immerse yourself in the culture and artistry of the Maasai people.

At this market you’ll find a wide variety of handmade items that showcase the incredible craftsmanship of the Maasai community. Some of the typical products available include beaded jewelry, wooden carvings, textiles and fabrics, beaded belts and sandals, and Maasai fabrics, known as “shukas” or “lesos”.

You’ll have the chance to interact with local Maasai artisans and vendors and hear the stories behind their creations. Haggling is a common practice in the market, so don’t hesitate to negotiate prices with a friendly and respectful approach.

 

16. Explore Bagamoyo

Bagamoyo is an old town on Tanzania’s coast, known by locals as Mji Mkongwe, or Stone Town. Bagamoyo holds an important place in East African history. In the late 19th century, it served as a major trading and slave port.

It connected the interior of East Africa with the rest of the world. Today, Bagamoyo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, appreciated for its historical and cultural heritage.

When you visit Bagamoyo, you’ll encounter a variety of attractions that offer a look into its past.

You’ll find the old German administrative headquarters, as well as the German customs house.

The town boasts other historic buildings as well, including the Old Fort and an old German boma. The 19th-century school was the first multiracial school in the area.

If you wander down to the port, you can still watch boat-builders in action, and witness the busy fish market.

 

17. Experience a Zanzibari Spice Farm

A visit to a spice farm in Zanzibar is a true sensory journey. It allows you to explore the island’s rich spice heritage and learn about the cultivation of a wide range of aromatic spices and herbs. 

In addition to spices, these farms also cultivate tropical fruits such as pineapples, papayas, mangoes, and jackfruits. You’ll have the opportunity to taste these fruits at their freshest, picked straight from the trees.

Some spice farms offer cooking classes, allowing you to learn how to use the flavours of Zanzibar’s spices in traditional Swahili dishes. This hands-on experience lets you take a piece of Zanzibar home with you.

During your visit, your experienced guide will share the traditional farming techniques. They’ll let you in on local customs, and the cultural significance of spices on the island.

Check out the reviews for the Best Spice Farm in Zanzibar – The Tangawizi Spice Farm

 

18. Take in Lake Natron

A trip out to Lake Natron is a unique and otherworldly thing to do in Tanzania. You’ll get the  chance to witness one of nature’s most striking phenomena: the gathering of flamingos. 

Lake Natron is a soda lake located in the Great Rift Valley. It’s known for its high alkalinity and vivid red waters, which result from the minerals and salts present in the lake. These encourage the growth of reddish microorganisms – the color can even be seen from space!

Lake Natron – One of the Best Hidden Gems of Tanzania | Photo by Uzuri Safaris Tanzania on Unsplash

The salty waters discourage predators and allow the growth of Spirulina algae, a crucial food source for the flamingos. From August through October, the birds gather in the thousands to lay their eggs and raise their young. This unique ecosystem of Lake Natron is a vital breeding ground for 2.5 million lesser flamingos. Seeing them together is a stunning site! 

The area also has cascading waterfalls, challenging hikes, and of course breathtaking sunsets. 

 

19. See the Rock Paintings of Kolo

The Rock Paintings of Kolo are remarkable archaeological and cultural treasures of the Kondoa region of central Tanzania. The UNESCO World Heritage Site paintings are still used by local tribes in healing ceremonies and ritual feasting.

As well as paintings, beads, pottery, and other artifacts have been found in the region. There are an estimated 150-450 decorated areas, creating an unbelievable outdoor art gallery. Some of the paintings date back as far as 3,000 years.

The art depicts various aspects of local tribes’ daily life, including hunting scenes, rituals, and gatherings. It’s fascinating to see into the culture, traditions, and experiences of these ancient communities.

 

20. Go Skydiving in Zanzibar

One of the most unforgettable experiences to tick off in Tanzania, is Skydiving in Zanzibar. It is one of the most unique ways of experiencing the beauty of Zanzibar.

 

The Best Times to Visit Tanzania

The best time to visit Tanzania depends on your preferred activities:

  • Wildlife Safaris: June to October for prime game viewing and the Great Migration.
  • Mountain Climbing: June to October or late December to early March for clear skies.
  • Beach Holidays: Year-round, with June to October as the driest months.
  • Cultural Experiences and Local Markets: Enjoyable year-round; check for local events.
  • Spice Farm Tours (Zanzibar): Possible year-round, with some rain in November-December and March-May.
  • Hiking: Possible year-round, but weather varies; the dry season of June through October is more comfortable.

Choose your travel time based on your interests and weather preferences. However, there really is no bad time to travel in Tanzania.

 

Top Rated Tours and Activities in Tanzania

While we have already shared the links of all the Top Rated Tanzania Tours and Activities, along with the Best Things to do in Tanzania, we are sharing all of them here again, to make your life easier.

7 Day Kilimanjaro Group Trek via Lemosho Route

7 Day All – Inclusive Luxury Tanzania Safari experience  |  7 Day Tanzania Classic Tour

Skydiving in Zanzibar  |  Stone Town Private Guided Walking Tour

Serengeti Hot Balloon Safari  |   Wildlife Safari in Serengeti National Park

Tanzania is a country full of opportunities for adventure, exploration, and relaxation. You’ll find epic wildlife safaris, fascinating history, and idyllic beaches. From the historical sites to the energetic markets and rich cultural experiences, there’s something for everyone in this incredible country. Tanzania is sure to provide you with memories that will last a lifetime. 

So, as you plan your Tanzanian adventure, remember that this remarkable country invites you to experience the magic of Africa, connect with its natural wonders and rich heritage, and create unforgettable memories.

15+ Unforgettable Things to do in Tanzania | Wildlife Adventure in Tanzania | Big 5 in Tanzania

Pin this Tanzania Trip Planner featuring the Best Things to do in Tanzania for Wildlife Lovers

 

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