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Things to do in Tanzania that no traveler should miss

by Juan José Herranz | March 28, 2022
two giraffes strolling through the savannah in Tanzania what to see in tanzania

Are you looking for a place to travel where you can have some real adventure? Also, are you a die-hard animal lover? If the answer to these questions is yes, then there is no better place on earth than Tanzania to experience all of it and more! Home to some of the best national parks in Africa, Tanzania is truly a dream destination for every adventure lover.

The country is home to not only exotic wildlife, but also some of picturesque destinations such as Mount Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar beaches, Mafia Island and many more places. In Tanzania things to do are abundant, you’ll never get bored even for a minute here. So, stop waiting and start planning your Tanzania trip. Below are our choices for things to do in Tanzania that all travelers should include in their itineraries. 

Famous things to do in Tanzania: Mount Kilimanjaro

If there is one place that you should visit in Tanzania as you land there, it is Mount Kilimanjaro. You can either view the mountain from afar or choose to climb it if you are into some adventure. Though you can climb the mountain at any time of the year, the best recommended time is during the dry season, from June to October.

Mount Kilimanjaro is also a World Heritage Site that was formed more than a million years ago as a result of volcanic movement. You can also witness three volcanic cones here named Kibo, Shira and Mawenzi.

This majestic mountain is rising from the farmland located on the rainforest and alpine meadow. The rainforest below is home to many animals such as monkeys, buffaloes, elephants, elands and leopards.

Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania

Lake Manyara National Park

There is no shortage of parks in Tanzania, and each is unique on its own. One such great park is Lake Manyara National Park, which consists of woodland, swamps, forest and grasslands. Lake Manyara itself is home to thousands of pink flamingoes frequenting the lakefront, making it a great sight to watch. In addition to flamingoes migrating, you can also spot eagles, storks and kingfishers.

Another amazing highlight of Lake Manyara National Park is the wildlife living here, such as tree-climbing lions, hippos and a large population of elephants. You can enjoy plenty of activities in the park such as canoeing, mountain biking and bird watching. It's also one of the best spots for safari Tanzania.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

The famous Ngorongoro Conservation Area is located between Lake Manyara and Serengeti. Ngorongoro is one of the most famous wildlife viewing areas of Tanzania. It is also home to the popular volcanic crater.

This crater offers a permanent water supply that fills thousands of animals migrating through the area. Tourists usually love this conservation area as they can view many animals on the crater floor, such as elephants, gazelles, wildebeests, lions, zebras and buffaloes. Bird watching is another great activity to enjoy here.

Serengeti National Park, one of the best things to do in Tanzania

Being the second-largest national park in Tanzania, Serengeti National attracts a large number of tourists every year from around the world.

The park is ideal for viewing wildlife and is too crowded from June to September. Don’t miss out on the sight of the annual migration of thousands of zebras and gazelles that takes place in May or June.

But don’t limit your travel plans to migration season only. The park offers an amazing sight of wildlife all year round. You may spot elephants, leopards, cheetahs and even lions living in their natural habitats across the park.

What to do in Tanzania includes wildlife spotting

Beaches of Zanzibar

Tanzania is not just about wildlife and safaris! The answer to what to do in Tanzania also includes visiting some of the most beautiful beaches of Africa. The island of Zanzibar in Tanzania is a famous beach spot that consists of various islands and beaches.

One of the best beaches in Zanzibar is Paje Beach, which is widely popular for kitesurfing. In addition, the clear water of the beach is home to thousands of fishes and turtles, making it an ideal scuba diving destination.

Jambiani Beach is another beautiful beach you can visit, especially if you are after relaxation and solitude as the beach hardly sees any crowds. Some other things to do in Tanzania, and specifically in Zanzibar,  include visiting Kiwengwa Beach, Matemwe Beach, Pingwe Beach, and Bwejuu Beach.

beaches of Zanzibar with pier

Mafia Island: one of the lesser-known things to do in Tanzania

The crystal clear waters of Mafia Island draws thousands of snorkelers and divers from all over the world. The Marine Park of Mafia Island comprises of beautiful coral gardens that are home to a variety of fish living in their natural habitat. Over 400 types of fish and unlimited birds can be found on the island.

One of the most amazing things to experience here includes swimming with whale sharks.

By paying about $60, you can swim with these huge creatures on the island. Another great thing to do is take a tour of Chole Island where you won’t see any cars. Yes, that’s absolutely true. For more enjoyment, stay at one of the treehouses at Chole Mnjini and enjoy your unique stay at a private treehouse that is built around Bao Trees.

Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park may not be the largest or most famous park in Tanzania, but it is worth visiting. The park is another amazing area to view the wildlife.

The recommended time to visit the park is from July to September, when all the animals can be seen gathering along the river.

A large number of zebras, wildebeests, impalas, elands and gazelles can be seen crowding the lagoons in the park. The park is also home to elephants that can be spotted on lush landscapes. Tarangire National Park is also home to over 300 species of birds such as vultures, storks, falcons, eagles, herons and buzzards.

The delicious Tanzanian cuisine

We can't complete a list of things to do in Tanzania without including the local cuisine. Here, the food is not only unique but also super delicious.

You can taste some of the best food items in Tanzania made locally, such as rice served with spinach and beans, grilled meat with a curry sauce, Mchuzi wa Biringani which consists of fried eggplants sliced into small pieces and many more interesting food dishes. With food, sip the best local alcohol that you’ll not find anywhere else.

Many choices of beers are available such as banana and honey beer.

Visit a Masai Village

Don’t leave the town without meeting the friendliest Masai people of Tanzania. The Masai tribe gives you an insight into how they live, how they work, what they eat and a lot of other interesting things you’d love to learn about.

The Masai people mainly reside in and around the Serengeti Region. When you visit their village, make sure to buy some of their beaded jewelry, all hand-made by them. A visit to a Masai Village is something that is going to last in your memories for a lifetime, and it’s definitely a must-do in Tanzania!

Stone Town

If you are done with wildlife viewing, visit Stone Town and learn about the African culture here. The city features some of the old Arabian homes standing along the narrow streets.

The majority of these homes were built in the 19th century when Zanzibar used to be one of the most important trading towns in the Indian Ocean. Many of the landmarks in the town have been restored to their original form. Some of the ancient buildings have turned into museums attracting thousands of tourists every year. Don’t forget to visit the famous Darajani Bazaar and buy some local gift items to take back home with you.

Apply for a Tanzania e visa, start packing your bags and be ready to explore this beautiful country of the world!