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Tourism

Where to go?

The Northern Circuit

This is the best developed tourism route in the country. It is the home of classic “safari” (journey) experience, a spectacularly diverse cluster of eco-system and habitats, linked by the movements of as definitive a cross section of wildlife as is found on the African continent.

From the endless short-grass plains of the Serengeti to the dense riverine forests of Lake Manyara the classic African Savannah of Tarangire to the lushly blended eco-systems of Ngorongoro, there runs a shifting migration of African wildlife that perfectly captures the safari experience.

Serengeti

The name ‘Serengeti’ has come to represent the safari experience itself, evoking images of sweeping savannahs swarming with wildlife. In the language of the Maasai, the word means ‘endless plain’ and the 14,763 sq. km of parkland in Northern Tanzania does indeed seem infinite. Upon these grasslands roam more game animals than anywhere in the world. There are over a million wildebeest alone.

Throughout the winter months of December to March, many of the animals are concentrated in the park’s southern regions, near Ngorongoro. During the spring months of May or June, the vast heards of wildebeest and zebra start to head west in search of water, beginning the migration that takes some of them to shores of Lake Victoria, and others to northern areas and to Kenya’s Maasai Mara park just across the border.

Ngorongoro

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a protected area and a World Heritage Site located 180 km west of Arusha in the Crater Highlands. The area is named after Ngorongoro Crater, a stunning, large volcanic caldera within the area. The crater is the world’s largest inactive, intact and unfilled volcanic caldera.

Approximately 25,000 large animals, mostly ungulates, live in the crater. Large mammals in the crater include the black rhinoceros, the African buffalo or Cape buffalo and the hippopotamus. There also are many other ungulates: the blue wildebeest, Grant’s zebra, common eland, and Grant’s and Thomson’s gazelles. Lake Magadi, a large lake in the southwest of the crater, is often inhabited by thousands of mainly lesser flamingos and crater has one of the densest known population of lions.

Lake Manyara

This fine park has a stature that far exceeds it modest 325 sq. km area, having been a Mecca for seekers of wildlife, since safari travel began. Along its western border lie the cliffs of the Great Rift Valley escarpment and its eastern border runs along the shores of Lake Manyara.

Within this long and narrow corridor are dense concentrations of wildlife inhabiting a lovely and diverse landscape, which ranges from forest of tamarind, mahogany, and fig in the north to the wide open grasslands of the park centre. Elephant, giraffe, lion, buffalo, and zebra are all to be found here, in addition to many other game and bird species.

Tarangire National Park

The Tarangire River runs through the park and attracts all manner of wildlife. The park is home to nearly all of Tanzania’s most iconic wildlife, but Tarangire’s most notable inhabitants are the elephants. The park is home to one of the largest concentration of elephants in Africa, with herds of up to 300 elephants roaming the plains. Bird watchers will also find joy here with over 450 species of birds to be spotted.

The Southern Circuit

The National Parks in the Southern Circuit have gradually earned reputation amongst connoisseurs as the best-kept secret on the African safari circuit offering remote, untouched swathes of game-filled wilderness with an exclusive born of isolated access.

Remote location, limited bedscape and boundless bush will ensure even as awareness grows of the bounteous wildlife roaming these lands, the safari experience of Tanzania’s Southern safariland will remain of the true and un unadulterated variety.

The principal areas are Selous Game Reserve, Mikumi, Ruaha and the Udzungwa Mountains National Parks.
The Selous Game Reserve is the largest protected wildlife area in Africa . A UN World Heritage site, this pristine, uninhabited area is larger than Switzerland.

Selous Game Reserve

The Selous is the largest game reserve in Africa. With about 55,000 sq. km, the reserve carves out a huge portion of Southern Tanzania. The immense size of the game reserve makes it ideal for the traveller seeking a sense of isolation, exploration and discovery. The Selous is off the beaten track and more dense in vegetation, so you’ll bump into less tourists than during the more famous Northern Circuit.

Mikumi

Located only 283 km from Dar es Salaam, the park is an important educational centre for students of ecology and conservation, having been established to protect the environment and resident animals. The Mikumi flood plain is the main feature of the park along with the bordering mountain ranges.

Ruaha National Park

At 13,000 sq. km, it is the second largest Tanzanian park and one of the wildest. It is also the world’s largest elephant sanctuary. The park represents a transition zone where eastern and southern African species of fauna and flora overlap. It is the northernmost example of miombo woodland, common in central Africa, and the most southerly protected area in which Grant’s gazelle, lesser kudu and striped hyena are found. To be able to see both greater and lesser kudu and roan and sable antelope in the same park is one of the special attractions of Ruaha.

Udzungwa Mountains National Parks

Udzungwa Mountains National Park is a national park with a size of 1,990 sq. km. The habitats contained within the national park include tropical rainforest, mountain forest, miombo woodland, grassland and steppe.

 It has the second largest biodiversity of a national park in Africa. Six primate species have been recorded in the park, five of which are endemic. The Iringa red colobus and Sanje crested mangabey are only found in the Udzungwa Mountains National Park.

The Western Circuit

The Western circuit falls under the western highlands which lace a ridge of Rift Valley escarpment, high above Lake Tanganyika and within the game-filled enclaves that sit along its spine there exist two small perfectly formed worlds of natural splendour, and one vast expanse of prime African bush.

Gombe National Parks

Gombe Stream lies at the northern end of Lake Tanganyika. The park’s forested mountain slopes, which help define the Great Rift Valley are home to chimpanzees. Gombe Stream National Park is where Jane Goodall conducts her celebrated studies of chimpanzees. You can trek with the chimps and watch them in their natural habitat.

One of the best highlights of Gombe is Lake Tanganyika, where guests can snorkel and swim with hundreds of cichlid fish. The lush tropical rainforests are also a must-see, especially in June-October when there is no rain and the sun shines bright. This is also the best time to spot Chimpanzees as they move to lower grounds in search of food.

Mahale National Parks

In Mahale National Park, the funniest inhabitants are the chimpanzees. In these beautiful mountain forests, approximately 1700 chimpanzees call the trees home. On safari in Mahale, when you’re not trekking the forests for our closest relatives, you can search for hippos and crocodiles along Lake Tanganyika.

Mountain

Tourist’s sites in Tanzania are indeed God sent gifts. Visitors to Tanzania do not only encounter the overwhelming force of nature but also enjoy a serene contact with it.

They observe it and feel it at work in almost all the national parks and game reserves. Mountain climbers can also have a field training trying to reach the top of the highest mountain in Africa.

Mt. Kilimanjaro

It doesn’t get more epic than ticking climb Kilimanjaro off your bucket list. There is no better feeling of accomplishment than reaching the highest peak of Africa, knowing your own two legs brought you there.

Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the tallest free-standing mountain in the world! This impressive monolith is made up of three volcanic cones, Mawenzi, Shira and Kibo. Mawenzi and Shira are no longer active, but Kibo, the highest peak, is dormant and the most recent activity was about 200 years ago. Kilimanjaro has been a popular mountain for climbers, not only due to its height, but because of the variety of ecosystems found on the mountain. In fact, nearly every type of ecological system can be found on the mountain from cultivated land, forest, heath, and moorland to alpine desert and an arctic summit.

There are 6 official routes to Uhuru, the peak of Kilimanjaro. Each offers a different level of difficulty and each is a totally unique experience. These routes are the Machame route, Lemosho route, Rongai route, Shira route, Umbwe routes and the Marangu route.

The Coastal Circuit

Tourist’s sites in Tanzania are indeed God sent gifts. Visitors to Tanzania do not only encounter the overwhelming force of nature but also enjoy a serene contact with it.

They observe it and feel it at work in almost all the national parks and game reserves. Mountain climbers can also have a field training trying to reach the top of the highest mountain in Africa.

Zanzibar

The coast of Tanzania is perhaps most famous for the Zanzibar Archipelago, a cluster of islands that saw the growth and survival of Swahili civilisation and trade until the mid-twentieth century.

Zanzibar enchants and beguiles with its oriental mystique and forgotten exoticism, the very name evokes the Spice Islands and the dhow trade, sultans and palaces built of limestone and corals against the palm trees and the crashing surf. But there’s more to the islands of Tanzania than just Zanzibar. Throughout the archipelago, deserted islands and sandbars beckon and abound. Some have slave caves and colonial graves, others have the ruins of sultan’s palaces and stately plantations. In Pemba, villages steeped in culture and traditions which preserve the Swahili way of life, almost oblivious to the world around them. On the islands of Mafia, old trading towns line the walkway to abandoned ports and the gentle sea. Throughout the Swahili Coast, diving, swimming with whale sharks, and snorkeling offer superb vistas of thriving coral and marine life. Whether you’re content to stay on the mainland coast, or want to venture off into the atolls and islands of the Indian Ocean, the Tanzanian coast is a place of untouched beauty and enchantment.

Mafia Island

Mafia archipelago of the mouth of Rufiji Delta. The word “Mafia” has nothing to do with the Mafia organisation. There are those who pay that the word comes from the Grab word “Morfieyeh” which means a group, and may be used to describe the group of 4 peaceful coral islands comprising the archipelago. It may also mean a place of good health (mahali pa afya) in the Kiswahili language

  • It is considered as a natural aquarium – rich in marine fauna.
  • A paradise for anglers.
  • Breathtaking palm beaches and azure blue waters.

Mafia’s highlights are its attractive lodges, its diving and its tranquillity. Whale sharks are another attaraction and are best seen from around November to January. The archipelago’s main island, Mafia, lies just a short flight southeast of Dar es Salaam. Days are spent snorkelling, ralaxing or exploring some of the smaller islands. At night, enjoy the magnificent array of stars overhead.

Top Destinations

National Park

Serengeti National Park

Serengeti National Park is undoubtedly the best-known wildlife sanctuary in the world, unequalled for its natural beauty and scientific value, it has the greatest concentration of plains game in Africa.

It is home to the great migration of wildebeest and zebra.

Balloon Safaris, Birding Safaris, Wildlife Safaris

National Park

Arusha National Park

Arusha National Park (ANAPA) is a gem of varied ecosystems and spectacular views of Mt. Meru, the crater that gives the region its name.

It is a popular destination for day trip visitors who are about to embark from the town of Arusha on longer northern circuit safaris.

Birding Safaris, Cultural Tourism, Mountain Climbing, Walking Safaris, Wildlife Safaris

National Park

Gombe National Park

Gombe Stream National Park, located on the western border of Tanzania and the Congo, is most famous for Jane Goodall, the resident primatologist who spent many years in its forests studying the behaviour of the endangered chimpanzees.

Birding Safaris, Mountain Climbing, Walking Safaris, Wildlife Safaris

National Park

Lake Manyara National Park

Located beneath the cliffs of the Manyara Escarpment, on the edge of the Rift Valley, Lake Manyara National Park offers varied ecosystems, incredible bird life, and breathtaking views.

Birding Safaris, Boating and Canoeing, Horse and Camel Riding, Mountain Biking, Wildlife Safaris

National Park

Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park has some of the highest population density of elephants as compared to anywhere in Tanzania, and its sparse vegetation, strewn with baobab and acacia trees, makes it a beautiful and distinctive location to visit.

Balloon Safaris, Birding Safaris, Wildlife Safaris

National Park

Ruaha National Park

Ruaha national park is one of the few Tanzania’s famous wilderness area where one can have a rare experience of game viewing spiced up by the fascinating landscape. The park is rich of plants and animals…

Birding Safaris, Boating and Canoeing, Walking Safaris, Wildlife Safaris

National Park

Ngorongoro Crater

The Ngorongoro Crater is the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera.  Forming a spectacular bowl of about 265 square kilometres, with sides up to 600 metres deep; it is home to approximately 30,000 animals at any one time.

Birding Safaris, Cultural Tourism, Mountain Climbing, Walking Safaris, Wildlife Safaris

National Park

Mount Kilimanjaro

At 5896m Mt. Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest mountain and one of the continent’s magnificent sights, It has three main volcanic peaks, Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira.

Birding Safaris, Mountain Climbing, Paragliding and Microflights, Walking Safaris

National Park

Mount Meru

Mount Meru is a dormant stratovolcano located 70 kilometres west of Mt. Kilimanjaro in the country of Tanzania, and is the fifth-highest of the highest mountain peaks of Africa.

Mountain Climbing

Islands & Beaches

Mafia Island

Mafia Island is renowned as an excellent world-class diving destination with some of the richest reefs in the world, the park covers the Southern part of Mafia Island and includes the inhabited islands of Chole, Juani Jibondo and Bwejuu.

Beach holidays, Diving, Snorkeling, Whale shark safari

Islands & Beaches

Zanzibar

Known as the Spice Island, the beautiful island of Zanzibar on Africa’s east coast is bursting with culture and history, seemingly at odds with its idyllic geography of white-sand beaches with palms swaying lazily in the sea breeze.

Beach Holidays, Boating and Canoeing, Cultural Tourism, Fishing, Historical Sites

National Park

Selous Game Reserve

Selous Game Reserve is Africa’s largest game reserve and one of favourite game viewing areas in Africa. Covering 50,000 square kilometers, is amongst the largest protected areas in Africa and is relatively undisturbed by human impact.

Balloon Safaris, Birding Safaris, Boating and Canoeing, Walking Safaris, Wildlife Safaris

Lakes n Rivers

Lake Tanganyika

Lake Tanganyika is the world’s longest (660km), deepest in Africa and second-deepest in the world (more than 1436m) and second-largest (by volume) freshwater lake.

Birding Safaris, Boating and Canoeing, Horse and Camel Riding, Mountain Biking, Wildlife Safaris

World Heritage Site

Bagamoyo Town

The town of Bagamoyo is a home to world class Historical sites and one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites with rich cultural heritage waiting you to explore.

Cultural Tourism, Historical Sites, Museum and Monuments

World Heritage Site

Kilwa Kisiwani

Kilwa Kisiwani is UNESCO’s World Heritage site which was once the East Africa trading city port linking Zimbambwe with Middle East, Persia, Indonesia and China. Kilwa Kisiwani is a tourist site, standing among the leading, earliest trading towns on the East African coast.

Cultural Tourism, Historical Sites

National Park

Mahale Mountains National Park

Mahale Mountains National Park is like its northerly neighbor Gombe, a home to some of the Africa’s last remaining wild chimpanzees, a population of roughly 900, they are habituated to human visitors by a Japanese research project founded in the 1960s.

Boating and Canoeing, Diving and Snorkelling, Fishing, Mountain Climbing, Walking Safaris

Towns & Cities

Dar es Salaam City

Dar es Salaam is the largest city and economic capital of Tanzania. Located in a quiet bay off the Indian Ocean coast, the city has developed into an economic importance to become a prosperous centre of the entire East African region.

Beach Holidays, Diving and Snorkelling, Fishing, Historical Sites, Museum and Monuments, Shopping and Nightlife

Towns & Cities

Dodoma City

Located in the heartland of Tanzania, Dodoma remains a centre for national politics. It’s the nation’s official political capital and the seat of government in the country. Comparably, it is much smaller and less developed than the country’s commercial centre, Dar es Salaam.

Shopping & Nightlife

When to go?

Tanzania can be visited all year round, the climate is tropical and coastal areas are hot and humid, while the northwestern highlands are cool and temperate.

There are two rainy seasons; the short rains are generally from October to December and it can be very humid in December through to February. The long rains last from March to June and some lodges in the parks and many coastal hotels close for the months of April and May.

The central plateau tends to be dry and arid throughout the year and temperatures on Mount Kilimanjaro and Meru drop to below freezing.

High Season (Jun–Sep)

  • Weather is cooler and dry.
  • Hotels in popular areas are full, with high-season prices.
  • Animal-spotting is easiest, as foliage is sparse and animals congregate around dwindling water sources.

Shoulder (Oct–Feb)

  • Weather is hot and humid especially December through to February.
  • From late October, the mvuli (short rains) fall and the kusi (seasonal trade wind) blows.
  • High-season prices from mid-December to mid-January.

Low Season (Mar–May)

  • Heavy rains make secondary roads muddy and some areas inaccessible.
  • It seldom rains all day, every day. Landscapes are lush and green.

Some hotels and lodges close; others offer discounts.

Travel Tips:

The Government of Tanzania’s has placed a prohibition on plastic bags effective June 1, 2019.

All plastic carrier bags, regardless of their thickness, will be prohibited from being imported, exported, manufactured, sold, stored, supplied, and used in Mainland Tanzania. The only exceptions to the plastic bag ban will be for plastic or plastic packaging for medical services, industrial products, the construction industry, the agricultural sector, foodstuffs, and sanitary and waste management.

Visitors to Tanzania are also advised to avoid carrying plastic bags in their suitcases or hand luggage, with the exception of the required “Ziploc type” bags specifically used to carry toiletries and other liquids of 100 milliliters or less through airport security screenings. These “Ziploc” bags must remain in the permanent possession of the traveler and not disposed of in Tanzania.

For more official information about tourism in Tanzania, please visit Tanzania Tourism Board.

Karibuni Tanzania

“I never knew a morning in Africa, when I woke up that I was not happy”

-Ernest Hemingway-

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