The Wonders of Tanzania for an Unforgettable Journey
Tanzania is a country that is nothing short of amazing with a spectacular landscape of diversity and nature at its finest! Here’s your definitive guide to the best places to visit in Tanzania, ensuring an unforgettable journey filled with unparalleled (wildlife) experiences. Spark your inspiration for a dream trip from the Mount Kilimanjaro to the Serengeti plains, the pristine beaches of Zanzibar, and stunning underwater biodiversity of Mafia and Pemba Islands, and more.
Let’s embark on a virtual journey through the top destinations that promise a splendid blend of nature, wildlife, and adventure.
Table of Contents
- Best Places to Visit in Tanzania 1: Serengeti National Park
- Best Places to Visit in Tanzania 2: Ngorongoro Crater
- Best Places to Visit in Tanzania 3: Zanzibar
- Best Places to Visit in Tanzania 4: Mount Kilimanjaro
- Best Places to Visit in Tanzania 5: Tarangire National Park
- Best Places to Visit in Tanzania 6: Lake Manyara National Park
- Best Places to Visit in Tanzania 7: Mafia Island
- Best Places to Visit in Tanzania 8: Mount Meru and Arusha National Park
- Best Places to Visit in Tanzania 9: Lake Natron and Ol Doinyo Lengai Volcano
- Best Places to Visit in Tanzania 10: Lake Eyasi Tribes
Best Places to Visit in Tanzania 1: Serengeti National Park
Serengeti National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is famous for a good reason. Synonymous with wildlife spectacle, it’s in our opinion the best place in the entire world to observe wildlife, regardless you catch a glimpse of the Great Migration or not. Serengeti is vast, and to be able to truly enjoy the spectacle, we recommend a 3-night stay in the Serengeti National Park. Yes, it’s expensive but an absolute must-visit for a safari experience of a lifetime in Africa. Check out our previous blog posts for wildlife you are likely to encounter in Serengeti, and start saving your coins!
Best Places to Visit in Tanzania 2: Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro Crater is a geological marvel and home to an astonishing concentration of wildlife. While nowhere nearly as vast as Serengeti, it’s a unique self-contained ecosystem with an opportunity to witness the Big Five against the backdrop of the stunning crater walls.
Safaris on the crater floor are limited to 6 hours, and in our opinion this Noah’s Ark is a spectacular amphitheater of wildlife and can’t be missing on any safari itinerary. For the best experience, make sure to stay overnight at the crater rim for a quick access to the crater floor. Most tour operators stay in Karatu town for cost-saving purposes, which means standing in line and longer commute times. Read more about this natural wonder on our blog post below.
Best Places to Visit in Tanzania 3: Zanzibar
Idyllic waters of Indian Ocean, white sandy beaches lined with palm trees, a mix of cultures and interesting history from Arabian princesses to slave trade, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed maze of Stone Town, local villages. spice farms, mangrove forests, and an impressive array of marine life – to name only a few of the countless attractions on the island of Zanzibar, already make this stunning jewel a rewarding travel destination.
Zanzibar simply offers the perfect blend of cultural and tropical experiences. Check out our one-week itinerary for more ideas about how to spend your holiday on Zanzibar.
Best Places to Visit in Tanzania 4: Mount Kilimanjaro
Tackling Africa’s rooftop is presumably a bucket list item for many. In our opinion climbing Mount Meru or Ol Doinyo Lengai Volcano is a more rewarding experience than climbing Kilimanjaro, however, how about running under the watchful eyes of Kili? Challenge yourself with a marathon, half marathon or fun run! Check out the details of an unmissable and accessible experience on the African continent at this link!
Best Places to Visit in Tanzania 5: Tarangire National Park
For an up-close encounter with majestic elephants, venture into Tarangire National Park. The park’s diverse landscapes, including the iconic baobab trees, provide a stunning backdrop for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers alike. While this little park is not our favorite, it can be incorporated into a safari itinerary as the first destination (after visiting Serengeti, it will be disappointing). Check out our blogpost on Tarangire below.
Best Places to Visit in Tanzania 6: Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara is a compact yet diverse National Park, known for its flocks of flamingos and the unique sight of tree-climbing lions (hard to spot). Especially in green season, this little park offers a variety of ecosystems, making it a photographer’s delight. Again before heading into Serengeti and Ngorongoro, it’s a worthwhile quick safari option to include in your itinerary.
Best Places to Visit in Tanzania 7: Mafia Island
Mafia Island is not as famous nor developed as the neighboring Zanzibar. While it does not have the pristine beaches, it’s a diver’s paradise with pristine coral reefs, rivaling other top dive destinations like Egypt or Belize. Mafia offers the chance to explore untouched dive sites in the tranquility of this off-the-beaten-track tropical escape. To top it off, when in season, you can snorkel with Whale Sharks! Read our blog post on Mafia Island below.
If you are looking for great diving with tropical sandy beaches then Pemba Island is the place. It boasts both the pristine beaches of Zanzibar and coral reefs of Mafia.
Best Places to Visit in Tanzania 8: Mount Meru and Arusha National Park
Mount Meru is the fifth highest peak in Africa and the second highest in Tanzania at 4,566 meters (14,990 feet). Its peaks and eastern slopes lie protected within the Arusha National Park, home to 400 different species of birds, rhinos, elephants, buffalo, monkeys, warthogs, black and white Columbus monkeys and antelope.
Meru offers unparalleled views of its famous neighbor and the endless savannah, and in our opinion it’s a far more rewarding hiking destination than ‘Kili’ itself. The hike up to the summit of Mount Meru takes you through tropical rainforest, parkland, heathland and moorland, making it a prime hiking experience!
Overnight stay is in cozy mountain huts. Meru can be summitted on a 3-night/4 day trek. If you are short on time or don’t want to challenge yourself, Arusha National Park is a great place to spend a day of safari and hiking along the lower slopes of the mountain.
Best Places to Visit in Tanzania 9: Lake Natron and Ol Doinyo Lengai Volcano
Escape the crowds and delve into the untouched beauty of this diverse landscape in Lake Natron, framed by the looming active volcano Ol Doinyo Lengai.
Over half the world’s lesser flamingos are born in the lake, and you are likely to see clouds of shimmering pink as the flamingos settle and stalk on the still waters. You can explore this stunning terrain of salt marshes and freshwater wetlands with its unique flora, leading to sparkling waterfalls on walking safaris and game drives.
Climb up Ol Doinyo Lengai if you dare (it’s a challenging and super steep hike with 1700 m elevation gain over 5km!) accompanied by Maasai guides. As it’s too hot in the day, the hike starts midnight and takes around 10-12 hours to complete.
Those who are not keen on the volcano hike can opt to do the Great Rift Valley day hike instead, and spend the evening watching the sun set pink and gold over this incredible landscape, swim in natural pools and observe countless birds and other animals. On our 10-day adventure trip in Tanzania, you’ll experience all these and more! Check out our itinerary at this link.
Best Places to Visit in Tanzania 10: Lake Eyasi Tribes
If you are keen to exploring indigenous culture and African tribes, look into integrating Lake Eyasi and its Datoga and Hadzabe tribes into your itinerary for a more authentic experience.
The Hadza tribe is one of the last hunter-gatherers in the world – last of the first. About 1000 Hadza still live in caves around Tanzania’s Lake Eyasi region. Their language is believed to be the oldest still spoken (indeed they sounded like cavemen). Even if we were involved in a fake tourist show, it felt extremely real, as if we were back in stone age.
Whether you are a seasoned safari-goer or a first-timer, Tanzania’s safari parks, mountain peaks and tropic islands promise an immersive and unforgettable experience. We promise, you’d want to stay put forever in this mighty African nation.
On a final note, allow me to give a piece of advice: Plan your adventure of a lifetime wisely, choose reputable tour operators that value customer satisfaction over profit.
Check out all our Tanzania blog posts here: earthmaho.com/category/tanzania and chat with us if you need help organizing your dream trip.
Get ready to witness the wonders of the wild in these remarkable destinations in Tanzania and may you take home joyful memories and one-of-a-kind tales.
MAHO on Earth