Things to do in Tanzania
Tanzania is one of our favourite countries in all of Africa. People welcome you with open arms yelling “Jambo” and everyone always seems to have a huge smile on their face. The landscape is lush and beautiful, the energy was vibrant and exciting and the wildlife is second to none.
1. Climb Mount Kilimanjaro
Our number one pick for adventure in Tanzania is to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
To climb to the roof of Africa and look out over the Furtwängler Glacier is an awe inspiring sight.
Climbing the Machame Route gives you an extra day to acclimate to the elevation and it is considered the most scenic route.
You will have an excellent chance of reaching the summit of one of the most famous climbs on earth.
At 5895 metres, it is a feat to be proud of when you reach the summit. Don’t miss this trek of a lifetime.
2. Go on Safari in the Serengeti
The Serengeti is Africa’s number 1 wildlife destination. And with good reason!
Every year over a million wildebeest migrate over its great plains along side thousands of the other herbivores of Africa like the gazelle and zebra.
Don’t limit yourself to migration season only though. Visiting the Serengeti offers amazing wildlife viewing year round as you spy lions, cheetahs, elephants and leopards living in their natural habitats on the vast African plains.
3. Snorkel or Scuba Dive in Zanzibar
No trip is complete without island time and Zanzibar is paradise on earth.
This spice island is not only beautiful above its turquoise water with its sandy white beaches, it is beautiful below.
Considered to have the best diving on the entire east coast of Africa, snorkellers will also be satisfied with what they will see.
Make your way to the north of the island to Nungwoi and snorkel only 800 metres off the coast at the Kendwa Reef.
4. Gombe Stream National Park
Hire a guide to take you to trek and see the famous chimpanzees of the area. You are almost guaranteed a sighting of our closest cousins.
5. Marvel at the Rift Valley
The Great Rift Valley spans from Lebanon all the way through Africa through Tanzania to where it ends in Mozambique.
It is a beautiful vast site in Tanzania housing the Ngorongoro crater and the Serengeti.
Stay at the Kilimamoja Lodge for the very best view of this massive valley you’ll have anywhere.
6. Visit the Iraqw Village
The Iraqw Village located near the town of Karatu, not far from the Ngorongoro crater was a highlight for us when visiting Tanzania.
This tribe hails from Ethiopia and opens its doors to tourists where they teach you about their customs, language and way of life.
If you are going to visit one village in Tanzania, this is it!
7. Oldupai Gorge (Olduvai)
Oldepai Gorge is known as the cradle of civilization.
In the 1970’s Mary and Louise Leakey discovered the existence of the first human species dating back 3 million years. This significant find established the fact that humans evolved in Africa.
8. Stone Town – Birthplace of Freddie Mercury
Zanzibar is known for its beaches and turquoise water, but walking around Stone Town makes for an interesting day.
Freddie Mercury of Queen was born in Zanzibar and it was a highlight for us to see the door to his house and to visit Mercury’s bar for a drink. Okay, so maybe I am too much of a Queen fan there are a lot of other things to do in this UNESCO World Heritage town.
It was once the king of the spice trade and sadly the slave trade. Walk through the narrow alleyways and marvel at the famous Zanzibar doors, (Freddie Mercurie’s old house has a door saying Mercurie’s house) smell the spices and visit the old fort and night markets.
Hot tip: Stone towns stone maze streets get very hot. Choose accommodation on the waterfront to keep cool.
9. Take a Balloon Safari
If you are up for a splurge, there is nothing better than taking a hot air balloon over the Serengeti Plains.
See wildlife from above and have a great adventure flying over Africa.
Balloon flights end with champagne and breakfast starting your day off right!
Be prepared balloon safaris on the Serengeti go as high as $600 but if it’s your once in a lifetime trip, it’s worth every penny.
10. Tarangire National park
It may not be the largest or most famous national park of Tanzania, but it packs a punch.
It was in Tarangire that we had some of our most unique animal encounters in Tanzania. From an ostrich mating to lions in a tree, Tarangire is an excellent spot to see African animals.
By staying inside the park at the Sopa Lodge, we had the opportunity to look out over the plains and marvel at wildlife coming in at sunrise and sunset.
We went on Safari to Tanzania with Lappet Faced Safaris, check out their website for Tanzania safari adventures.
11. Nogorngoro Crater
It’s the largest unbroken caldera in the world that is not submerged in water and it houses 45,000 animals living in harmony.
Visiting the Ngorongoro crater is a beautiful experience watching wildlife within the volcano.
Massive herds of wildebeest, zebras and elephants roam the landscape and you will come across a lion or two and if you are lucky, a rhino may cross your path.
12. Visit a Masai Village
You cannot visit East Africa without visiting a Masai Tribe.
The original nomads and Masai warriors will welcome you into their villages showing you how they make fire while putting on performances and jumping high in the air.
Their majestic voices will win you over and you won’t be able to leave without digging deep into your wallets to buy a souvenir.
Be prepared: The Masai have been running tours for decades and know the art of the deal. They’ll quote high prices but you can barter.
13. Lake Manyara
For birds and beauty, Lake Manyara is the place to be.
This alkaline lake is famous for its pink flamingo population. But aside from the thousands of migrating flamingoes, you also see storks, kingfishers and eagles.
It’s not just for the birds though, we were mesmerized by the baboon colony walking en masse like Planet of the Apes to the forest and the statue-like giraffes reflections in the water.
14. Arusha Cultural Centre
Located in Arusha the cultural centre is a new attraction housing African art and paintings.
It’s a fascinating walk through African culture all in a tranquil setting. Sip cappuccinos on the terrace or browse the gift shops.
15. Shanga Village
Also located in Arush, the Shanga Village is a project that helps disabled people hone their skills selling arts and crafts.
The workshop lets you walk through to enjoy artisans at work and learn how they make glass ornaments, tapestries and clothing.
You can buy jewelry or other crafts to support the project that runs on a sustainable model of recycling materials.
If you want an epic adventure. Take a ride from Arusha in the north to Mbeya in the south.
See everything that Tanzania has to offer from the seat of a bicycle. Ride through coffee plantations and lush countryside.
This is the Africa you have always dreamed of. Epic climbs through tropical forests, switching between paved roads and bumpy trails will challenge and excite you.
Make your way to the Capital of the country Dodoma. See a Tanzania that other travellers never will and get to know the people of Tanzania up close and personal as you stop for a coke on the side of a highway.