Tanzania is a country rich in natural wonders, traditions and culture. It is home to a range of diverse landscapes including, sweeping plains, tropical rain forests, mountains, lakes and beautiful beaches. Tanzania is the ideal destination for any type of visitor, whether your interest is game viewing on safari, climbing Africa’s highest peak or relaxing on the exotic beaches of Zanzibar – Tanzania has it all!
An unparalleled one-quarter of Tanzania’s surface area has been set aside for conservation purposes and with areas like Serengeti National Park and the famous Ngorongoro Crater, it is the best safari destination in Africa.
Tanzania is one of Africa’s most peaceful and stable countries, which makes it an ideal choice for both first-time visitors and old timers.
Below are a sample of the must see destinations on your trip...
Serengeti is Tanzania's most popular national park - a world heritage site and one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Africa. The Serengeti is famed for its annual migration, when hundreds of thousands of zebra and Thomson’s gazelle join more than 1 million wildebeest on their trek for fresh grazing. Yet even when the migration is quiet, the Serengeti offers arguably the most scintillating game viewing in Africa!
Teeming with wildlife including great herds of buffalo, groups of elephant and giraffe, and thousands of eland, topi, kongoni, impala and Grant’s gazelle, as well as vast population of birds. The spectacle of predator versus prey dominates Tanzania’s greatest park boasting the largest lion population in Africa. Lion prides feast on the abundance of plain grazers, while solitary leopards haunt the acacia trees lining the Seronera River and a high density of cheetahs prowl the South Eastern plains.
The Ngorongoro Crater is the best place in Tanzania to see the big five and due to the shape and size of this incredible natural landscape. The Crater is the world’s largest inactive volcano caldera and its beauty is awe-inspiring. A healthy population of black rhino and some of the largest tusker elephants left in Africa today are highlights, as well as the Crater being home to strong populations of lion, leopard and hyena along with good herds of non- migrating wildebeest, buffalo and zebra. Other game in the Crater include: serval cat, cheetah, jackal, Grant's and Thompson's gazelle, flamingo and bat eared foxes, along with approximately 400 species of bird.
Once you have finished your game drive in the Crater there are many activities within Ngorongoro Conservation Area including walking, visiting the Maasai and Olduvai Gorge. Tanzania is often referred to as the “Cradle of Mankind” due to the discovery of the earliest known humans at Olduvai Gorge. It is one of the most famous archeological sites in the world and well worth a visit.
Often overshadowed by the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire has immense concentrations of game in the peak months (July-February) and a fraction of the visitors that go to any of the other Northern parks. The game viewing is superb and the atmosphere and habitat is completely different from the other parks.
Tarangire is surprisingly large, giving visitors more space and a more intimate game-viewing environment of all the parks in the region. Tarangire is a sanctuary for an incredibly large elephant population and animals congregate along the Tarangire River, which provides the only permanent water supply in the area. Majestic baobab trees and interesting landscapes are a feature of the park, as well as a great diversity of wildlife including lion, leopard, cheetah and over 6000 elephant.
Lake Manyara is a beautiful, scenic park on the road from Arusha to the Ngorongoro Crater. The lake itself takes up much of the park leaving a strip of land running down its shores where game concentrates. Famous for its tree-climbing lions, flamingos, breathtaking scenery and the soda-ash lake in the centre makes it reason enough to visit here for a day, especially in the wet months (March-June) where the elephants are enjoying the lush surroundings.
At the lowest point of the Rift valley in East Africa sits the shallow soda lake of Lake Natron. The lake is highly alkaline and is an ideal environment for flamingos to feed and to breed while enjoying relative security from predators, thus the lake is home to more than 2 million of the birds. Every evening thousands of pink flamingos fly overhead, exposing the deep garnet feathers under their wings.
In addition to seeing these amazing birds, you can hike to the beautiful waterfalls in the area or for those wanting a little more adventure, you can try hiking the active volcano of Oldoinyo Lengai. “Oldoinyo Lengai” means “The Mountain of God” in the Maasai language. The summit of this strato-volcano is 2962 metres above sea level, and affords direct views into the caldera of Tanzania’s only officially certified active volcano, and the world’s only carbonatite volcano. This is an extremely challenging hike because it is quite steep and covered in volcano ash, which is like walking in soft sand. The hike can take anywhere between 8-12 hours and is done during the night so you can experience an amazing sunrise at the summit.
Lake Eyasi is a soda lake located at the southwest corner of Ngorongoro Crater in the conservation area highlands. The Hadzabe Bushmen live in this region, as do the Datoga and Mbulu tribes. A visit with the Bushmen is well worthwhile - they will show you their way of life and you have the opportunity to go hunting with them. They survive entirely off the bush and by bow hunting. Everything they use is made from local materials, including their bows, which are strung with giraffe tendon, and their arrows, which are coated in lethal poison. Their language resembles that of Kalahari Bushmen tribe, which has a range of clicking noises, rather than speech.
This is an incredible way to experience a lifestyle very different from your own and gain insight into a very special local culture.
Standing at 19,336 feet (5,895 metres), Mt Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa and the largest freestanding mountain in the world. It is also one of the world's only summits of similar height that can be accessed by a wide range of hikers of different fitness levels and preparedness.
Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro is a once in a lifetime experience and a draw for mountaineers and thrill-seekers the world over. The park itself displays an astounding variety of environments. At lower altitudes, the mountain forest provides a home for elephants, buffalo and primates. Climb higher and the forest is overtaken by moorland topography. Higher still and you will come into the alpine desert zone. Finally, the ascent takes you to a glacier of snow and ice, where you stand, on the roof of Africa.
African Scenic Safaris can help you prepare for this amazing adventure!
Zanzibar is the ultimate beach experience, with its fascinating historical Stone Town, interesting culture and magnificent beaches.
Stone Town is one of the oldest living Swahili towns in East Africa. It's unique winding, narrow streets are adorned with beautiful buildings and intricately carved wooden doors, famous in the area. Established by Arab slave and spice traders in the early 19th century, Stone Town is the cultural heart of Zanzibar. It's a UNESCO World Heritage site, which has enabled some of the beautiful houses to get much needed renovation.
Travel out to the beaches and you will enjoy relaxing on the pristine white sand looking out over the clear blue Indian Ocean. There are a wide range of activities for the more adventurous traveller including water sports, sunset cruises, snorkelling or diving tours.