The new year has started. Most likely you are already making travel plans for 2018 and hopefully Tanzania is on this list. But with so much to see and to do in this country, it can be a challenge to create the perfect itinerary. To make things a little easier for you, we have listed down eight of Tanzania’s most iconic and unmissable spots!
1. Witness the dramatic river crossings of the Great Migration
It is one of the world’s greatest wildlife spectacles. Thousands of thundering hooves passing the plains of Serengeti National Park. Anxious sounds from the wildebeest and zebras, waiting impatiently at the riverside for their moment to cross. The crossing of the Mara River in northern Serengeti is dramatic and unpredictable. Observing this natural event is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Want to be sure that you are at the right spot at the right time? Check out our Wildebeest Migration Guide with the movement of the herd month by month, which will help you to work out where and when to go.
2. Track chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park
When thinking about a Tanzania safari, the Big 5 quickly comes to your mind. But how about meeting our chimpanzee cousins in the jungle? Situated on the remote shores of Lake Tanganyika, Gombe Stream National Park is an untamed place of ancient forest trees, steep slopes, river valleys and clear lake views. Enjoy a walk deep into the lush rainforest and sit with the extraordinary primates for an entire morning. Watch how they rest, play and feed themselves. It is another, unique way of watching wildlife in their natural environment.
Tip: stay at Gombe Forest Lodge, a beautiful intimate lodge located right in the park and on the shores of Lake Tanganyika.
3. Walk in the footsteps of the Hadzabe tribe
While you must have heard a lot about the Maasai tribe, there is another, possibly even more fascinating and enthralling tribe living in Tanzania. The Hadzabe Bushmen are Tanzania’s first inhabitants and the last living hunter-gatherers in the world. Their home is in the Lake Eyasi region, a salt lake on the floor of the Great Rift Valley.
Wake up early in the morning and join the Hadza on a walk, in search of honey, or on a hunt with bow and arrow. Be amazed by their knowledge about wildlife and nature, a valuable wisdom that the rest of the world has lost. Meeting this forgotten tribe is an exceptional experience. Though remember that it is carried out with the utmost effort to not disturb but rather enhance the livelihoods of this small ethnic group.
4. Float above the wilderness in a hot air balloon
Enhance your safari with a hot air balloon ride in Serengeti or Tarangire National Park. Rise gently with the sun and float above the scenic wilderness while you enjoy the breathtaking panoramas. As the balloon is able to fly relatively low, it will give you fabulous views of the abundant wildlife and possibly the Great Wildebeest Migration. End your balloon safari with a champagne breakfast served in the middle of the bush and it will be a safari experience to never forget.
5. Get lost in history at Zanzibar
Zanzibar is famous for its spectacular beaches. But even more fascinating is its charming history and the spice trade. Wander through the labyrinthine alleys of historic Stone Town, visit the bustling port and the colorful bazaars while you smell the exotic spices. The Arabic influences can be sensed and seen everywhere, from the old Arabic-style building such as the House of Wonders to the former slave market and the ornately carved doors. Get lost in Zanzibar’s magic!
Curious what else Zanzibar has to offer? Discover our Top 10 things to do!
6. Discover untamed Ruaha National Park
Despite being Tanzania’s second largest national park, Ruaha National Park is one of the least well-known and undoubtedly one of the most spectacular protected areas in the country. Follow the meandering Ruaha River through the fascinating wild landscape, remote grasslands and woodland. Wildlife is abundant with animals such as elephants, lions, giraffes, buffaloes, different types of antelopes and even several packs of wild dogs. End the day with a perfect sundowner as you enjoy the serenity and feel that you have the whole of this unique gem to yourself.
Tip: stay at Kichaka Frontier Camp for the ultimate luxury and comfort in the heart of the wilderness!
7. Swim with the whale sharks in the Indian Ocean
Dive deep into the warm waters of the Indian Ocean and explore the extraordinary underwater world that surrounds Mafia Island. The crystal clear waters are teeming with colorful coral reefs and amazing marine life such as yellow snappers, barracudas, rays and green turtles. Between October and March you can make your diving adventure even more special and swim with whale sharks! Whale sharks are not whales and lack the scary appearance of sharks. They are however the world’s largest fish, growing in size up to 15 meters long and weighing almost 15 tons. Swimming closely to these gentle giants is overwhelming and a truly magical experience!
8. Climb the roof of Africa
It is on the bucket list for many travelers, but all we can say is: live your dream and climb the highest mountain in Africa! With 5895 meters high, the Kilimanjaro is also the tallest freestanding mountain in the world. There are different routes, each with different scenery and varying degrees of exertion required. Ascend your way through tropical rainforest, moorland and a volcanic desert, to finally reach the eternal snow. Enjoy the extraordinary views extending hundreds of miles and experience the overwhelming sense of achievement when you reach the top and look out over Africa. The world is at your feet!
Inspired by these eight places to visit in Tanzania? Contact us for more details and we will help you step by step to make your dream trip come true!