Whether you are in Tanzania or living here temporarily or you are just visiting, here are the best things to do in Tanzania in summer or winter or any other time of the year that you plan to visit.
From the spectacular highest free-standing Mountain Kilimanjaro to the magical Wildebeest Migration of Serengeti, you will never want to leave once you visit these world-renowned destinations in Tanzania. No matter what you decide to do in Tanzania, any destination you choose will captivate, surprise and inspire you. A trip to this wonderful East African destination, will prove to be worthwhile because there’s so much to see and do.
There is no denial that Tanzania is probably the most naturally blessed country with breathtaking attractions in the world! There is a reason that Tanzania was named the ‘best safari country’ in Africa. With so many unique attractions in Tanzania, it’s easy to get confused as to which destination attraction to choose.
And with all that Tanzania offers, it may be a bit daunting when trying to plan for a safari. So, if you don’t have a clue about where to start, here are the best things to do in Tanzania.
1. Explore Top Archeological Sites
We all agree that we’re never the first to inhabit this wonderful world, our ancestors did, in the past. However, with the technological advancement, we have experienced so far, for example, if we could go a few decades back, It would be hard to figure out how our ancestors sustained and enjoyed life to the fullest with so many innovations missing. Thanks to the study of archaeology, which has facilitated the preservation of past activities, we can now have an idea of life in the past. And this is one of the ’10 Best Things to Do in Tanzania’.
In terms of archaeology, this wonderful destination has a lot of unique sites and here are some of them:
Located in the Great Rift Valley, Oldupai which is commonly referred as ‘Olduvai Gorge’, is one of the most important places in the world that has helped the world understand the evolution of human being.
In Oldupai Gorge, the evidence of the evolution of early humans as hunters and gatherers to develop stone tools and develop further into using iron tools is simply a rewarding flashback that will live you with a lot to admire about our ancestors. It is in this Gorge, palaeontologists Louis and Marry Leakey found the skull of the thought earliest human being, believed to have lived between 1.1 to 2.6 million years ago.
Oldupai is really among the places you should visit in Tanzania if you’re a history lover.
Do you know the earliest trade interactions between the people of Tanzania and overseas? Look no further, Songo Mnara in the Coastal Region is the place to learn and see evidence of the earliest trade centres in Tanzania. Worship houses as well as the earliest coins to be used in the country can be found here.
Songo Mnara, recognized a UNESCO World Heritage Site has at least six ruins of the earliest mosques of East Africa which were skilfully built of stones.
Ras Mkumbuu Ruins
Do you want to see the ruins of Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest mosques of the 13th and 14th Centuries? Ras Mkumbuu Ruins is the place to go.
Ras Mkumbuu, located in the Zanzibar Archipelago, will surely give you the best flavour of how our ancestors strived to cope in the least developed technological era.
Have you ever heard of Sheikh Ali Muhamad al-Hatim? Well, regardless of whether you have heard of this legendary and most well-known Sheikh along the Coast of Tanzania in the ancient ages, his influence in shaping Tanzania’s Coastal areas are monumental.
With Kaole containing several stone ruins and about 30 tombs which are said to be the graves of local rulers of the area known as Diwanis, this magnificent site should to be in your top bucket list among the best things to do in Tanzania. Kaole is the perfect place to see the ancient ruins while learning the impressive history of Sheikh Ali Muhamad al-Hatim.
When we talk about Kilwa Kisiwani we talk about the long history dating back to 10th Century when Sultan Ali ibn al-Hassan Shirazi found the sultanate that became one of the strongest empires in East Africa Swahili.
Kilwa Kisiwani has uncountable ruins of stone-built houses and mosques which make the place very unique. It is no wonder Kilwa has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Kondoa Rock-Art Sites
Now, for the artwork lovers!
Kondoa was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006. It is one of the best places to learn a history of artwork of our ancestors. The Site has an amazing collection of rock arts that you wouldn’t want to miss among your top things to do in Tanzania.
Have you ever wondered if our ancestors engaged themselves in agriculture?
Well, Engaruka which is located in the Great Rift Valley, in Northern Tanzania, proves the earliest development made by our ancestors especially in irrigation and cultivation. Engaruka is one of the most important Iron Age archaeological site that you should consider on your top things to do in Tanzania.
2. Go for Cultural Tourism.
A world without culture would be a very boring place to live!
Tanzania has among the most diverse and unique cultures you can ever imagine and this is what makes cultural tourism as one of the ’10 Best Things to do in Tanzania’.
However, interestingly, Tanzania Tanzania has more than 100 different tribes and all these tribes have managed to live together in harmony.
If you have time, the following places worth a visit for cultural tourism: House of Wine and Stone Town in Zanzibar, Cultural Heritage in Arusha, The Old Fort, famously known as ‘Ngome Kongwe) in Zanzibar, Old Slave market in Zanzibar, Tanzanite Experience Arusha and Old Boma Road in Bagamoyo to mention a few.
3. Experience 10% of the world’s Lion population in Ruaha
Well, forget about the lions for a second!
Ruaha has the third-largest population of wild dogs in the world. It is arguably the largest national park in East Africa, hosting the Great Ruaha River.
The fact that Ruaha is less-visited due to the park being far from the famous northern tourist circuit of Tanzania is the reason we call this park the must-visit among the 10 Best Things to Do in Tanzania. Being not regularly visited has made this national park as natural as virgin land.
A visit to this park is an experience that you will forever live with.
Apart from a very good number of Lions, Ruaha National Park will give you a stunning experience of viewing Cheetahs, Leopards, Wild dogs, Hyenas, Hippos, Buffaloes, Giraffes and Antelopes.
Ruaha is again known to have a large elephant population in Africa, which makes it even the best place to visit in Tanzania.
4. Explore the largest game reserve in the world, Selous
No one would like to miss the largest and the oldest game reserve of the continent in their top 10 things to do in Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve Or currently raised to become Nyerere National Park.
Named after the legendary hunter, Sir Frederick Selous, who spent more than 40 years exploring the African bush. This is another perfect protected area in Tanzania for game viewing.
It is shame Fredrick Selous had to die after being shot by a German sniper in the 1910s but at least, his grave remains at this legendary Game Reserve.
There is really a few parks with so many wild animals like Selous in the whole world. Lions, for example, is estimated to be more than 3,000 while it has among the biggest elephant concentrations on the planet, not to mention uncountable Buffaloes, Wildebeests, Zebras, Impalas, Hippos and Crocodiles just to name a few.
Selous should truly top your list in the 10 Best Things to Do in Tanzania!
5. Tree Climbing Lions of Lake Manyara National Park
If there are Lions that are fond of trees then they are those of Lake Manyara National Park. This in itself, is enough reason to have this magnificent park in your 10 Best Things to Do in Tanzania.
However, Tree-climbing Lions aren’t the only reason to have this park in your bucket list. If you like birds, Lake Manyara National Park should as well top your list. It is one of the few places in Tanzania with so many birds. Flamingoes and other water birds find this emerald park a paradise.
Herds of Elephants are also common in Lake Manyara National Park. Other animals that are found in the park are such as Hippos, Giraffes, Buffaloes, Cheetahs et cetera.
6. Take a game drive to Tarangire
If you need a park in Tanzania to give you a good flavour of Tanzania wildlife within a limited time, Tarangire is the one. It can be done as a day trip. If you’re in Arusha or landing near Arusha (Kilimanjaro International Airport), Tarangire should be your top choice as it is just 120kms away, roughly 2 hours’ drive.
Apart from its large concentrations of Elephants, Tarangire has a good variety of wildlife. There are chances of spotting Lions, Leopards, Cheetahs, Kudus, Oryxes to mention a few.
In terms of birdlife, there are about 500 different species of birds. The large Baobab trees and Elephants make this park to be called the ‘Park of the Giants’.
We can’t stress this enough, but Tarangire should be in your top 10 Best Things to Do in Tanzania.
7. A Visit to Ngorongoro Crater
If one was to describe Ngorongoro in just 5 words, then it would be ‘world’s largest, intact and unfilled volcanic caldera’.
This Caldera came as a result of the fallen and sunk volcanic mountain about 2-3 million years ago.
Ngorongoro Crater also termed as a veritable ‘Garden of Eden’, is such a unique safari destination. With a large concentration of animals and short grasslands, game viewing in the crater or more appropriately caldera, is excellent as animals are everywhere! This caldera is also reputed to contain the highest density of carnivores in the world. It is also one of the best places to see the endangered Black Rhinos.
Topped up with amazing sunrise and sunset, Ngorongoro should really be among your 10 Top Things to Do in this magnificent Tanzania destination.
8. Go and relax in Zanzibar Beaches while enjoying the History of Stone Town
Well, it is not only it’s cool and clean beaches that should take you to Zanzibar. Zanzibar is also known as the Island of Spices.
When you are blessed with a climate that ensures a profusion of exquisite produce, as Zanzibar, it is only natural that our local cuisine showcases abundance in its freshest, simplest and most flavorful form.
Zanzibar Pizza, Mchuzi wa Pweza, Ugali, Zanzibar Biryani, a mixture of Chips and Eggs, Mishkaki, Octopus and Cassava, Urojo, Coconut Bean Soup, Durian and Mandazi, to mention a few, are a joy for the eyes and the palate.
With so many clean beaches to choose from in Zanzibar, a visit to the old Stone Town and Ngome Kongwe (The old Fort) will surely make your Tanzania safari awe-inspiring.
To make the Zanzibar holiday even more beautiful, consider visiting the following in your:
- Matemwe Beach
- Stone Town
- Chumbe Island Coral Park
- Jozani Forest
- Mangapwani Slave Chambers
- Dhow Boat Experience
- Prison Island or Changuu Island
- Hamamni Persian Baths
- Spice Farm
- Ngome Kongwe or The Old Fort
With all the above in Zanzibar, it’s no wonder that this unique Island usually tops most visitors’ 10 Best Things to Do in Tanzania.
9. Conquer Mount Kilimanjaro
If we tell you Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain on the planet, it won’t be a lie. Well, this is the highest free-standing mountain to ever be on the planet. Everest might be the tallest mountain, but it doesn’t stand on its own. Kilimanjaro is a loner, and proudly so.
Whether it is a day trip to this roof of Africa or several days or a hike to the top of the mountain, or even a perfect view from Arusha Town, Kilimanjaro should, without doubt, be in your best things to do in Tanzania.
Kilimanjaro has been an attraction to over 52,000 visitors each year. Some of them try to reach the top of this iconic mountain. If you are adventurous, hiking on Kilimanjaro should be among your priorities in the things to do in Tanzania.
10. Experience Wildebeest Migration in Serengeti
Ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters and our winner is…..
That is the voice heard from the SafariBookings Empire as this vast land defeated all other safari parks of Africa and came to the top after voters (both, industry experts and visitors) said through their votes that Tanzania’s Serengeti is the ‘Best Safari Park of Africa’.
Well, travellers from all over the world, industry experts, at least crowned Serengeti this accolade. We are in no way telling you not to include Serengeti in your bucket list of the 10 Best Things to in Tanzania.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site has consistently welcomed at least 350,000 visitors per year. It is also among the oldest parks of Africa. Serengeti which has its name in the 7 Natural Wonders of Africa is one of the few places in the world with the largest concentration of wild animals. Lions, Cheetahs, Elephants, Buffaloes, Rhinos, Leopards, Wildebeests, Giraffes, Zebras, Hyenas, Hippos, Dik-diks, Nile Crocodiles, Monkeys, Gazelles, Impalas, Hartebeests, Topis, Waterbucks and Hyraxes, for example, are among the common animals in this endless plain.
Our list of 10 Best Things to Do in Tanzania could go on and on, but the above destinations, activities, archaeological sites, cultural spots and other attractions should be some of your favourite things to do and see in Tanzania.
There are so many reasons to love Tanzania and one of them is that it is probably the best place in Africa to get a mixture of wildlife, culture and beaches.
If you haven’t visited yet, you should definitely give Tanzania a top priority in your bucket list for your holiday destinations.
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