Tanzania is home to 17 national parks with a variety of flora and fauna. With delicious food, amazing adventure activities, wildlife safaris, opportunities to meet the local people and more, Tanzania has something to offer every visitor!
The best time to visit Tanzania is June to October. The Great Migration is at its greatest in June and July, and in January and February when the wildebeest drop their calves.
Mount Kilimanjaro - Awe-inspiring, breath-taking, mind-boggling and majestic. Composed of three distinct peaks of Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira, Kilimanjaro is one of the world's leading single and freestanding mountains.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area - A large volcanic caldera, a protected area and a World Heritage Site located 180 km west of Arusha in the Crater Highlands of Tanzania.
Tarangire National Park - Named after the river, Tarangire is the sixth largest national park of Tanzania. The park is famous for the termite mounds that dot the landscape. The abandoned mounds are often home to dwarf mongoose.
Lake Manyara National Park - Located in both Arusha Region and Manyara Region, but under the jurisdiction of Tanzania National Parks Authority, Lake Manyara National Park is known for the flamingos that inhabit the lake in flocks of thousands.
Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous area of Tanzania, and made up of two islands: Unguja (the main island, often referred to informally as Zanzibar) and Pemba. Stone Town is the older area of the city of Zanzibar.
Pemba Island - Known as "The Green Island" in Arabic, Pemba Island is dominated by agriculture and is rich in spices. A large proportion of the Zanzibar export earnings comes from cloves from Pemba Island.
House of Wonders - Built in 1883 for Barghash bin Said, second Sultan of Zanzibar, it is the largest and tallest building of Stone Town. It currently houses the Museum of History & Culture of Zanzibar & the Swahili Coast. Hamamni Persian Baths - This is an historical building of Stone Town. It was built between 1870 and 1888 for Sultan Barghash bin Said for use as public baths, and maintained this function until 1920. Old Fort of Zanzibar - The oldest building and the most important attraction of Stone Town, this fort was built in late 17th century by the Omanis to defend the island from the Portuguese.
National Museum of Tanzania - Located next to the botanical gardens is a consortium of five Tanzanian museums preserving and exhibiting the history and natural environment of Tanzania.
Kizimkazi Mosque - One of the oldest Islamic buildings on the East African coast, the Kizimkazi Mosque is a mosque situated on the southern tip of the island of Zanzibar
Old Dispensary - It is also known as Ithnashiri Dispensary, and owes its name to the fact that it served as a dispensary in the first half of the 20th century. It is a very finely decorated building with carved wooden balconies and stained glass decorations. The main structure is built with traditional Zanzibari coral rag and limestone, but covered with stucco adornments of European neo-classical taste.
Tanzania contains 17 national Parks with about 20 percent of the species of Africa’s large mammal population.
Tanzania is known for its predators - Serengeti National Park is one of the best places for spotting lions, cheetahs and leopards. There are more than four million wild animals with about 430 species and subspecies. And also there are over 1000 species of birds, 60000 insect species, about 25 types of reptiles or amphibians, 100 species of snakes and numerous fish species.
Wildlife enthusiasts visit Tanzania for the Great Migration of wildebeest (and zebra and antelope) - herds of millions moving with the seasons, preyed upon by big cats and crocodiles.
The main staple in Tanzania is ugali, a porridge made from maize that is eaten all over Africa. Tanzanians are largely meat eaters and a standard meal is nyama choma, roasted beef or goat meat, usually served with a spicy relish called kachumbari, often a mixture of peppers, onions and tomato.
A specialty is halau, a sweet dessert made from almonds. Various dishes can be bought at roadside shelters from street vendors who prepare and cook over charcoal.
The traditional Swahili coffee vendors sell black coffee made in large portable conical brass coffee pots with charcoal braziers underneath, served in small porcelain cups - it tastes excellent!
No matter where you travel to, there are certain safety precautions you should take. Always look at your home country's travel advisory for each area of the world you plan to visit. The following list contains some general advice about travel to Tanzania - it is not an exhaustive list. Enjoy your journey to its fullest, by traveling safely and avoiding incident.
1. Check your country's travel advisory about travel to Tanzania and follow the advice given.
2. Do not display valuables: Wearing fancy jewelry, watches, and carrying expensive electronics like phones and cameras can make you a target for theft in some areas. Keep these items concealed unless you are in major tourist areas.
3. Take care with purchasing street food. Street food (in any country) is notorious for harbouring bacteria and making travelers (who might not have much immunity to local bugs) quite ill. If you do decide to risk eating that tasty-looking kebab at the roadside, ensure it was recently cooked and is still piping hot when you get it.
4. Ensure you have received all relevant travel vaccines, and take anti-malaria pills.
5. Beware of thieves posing as police officers or private security officers: always ask to see identification before paying any on-the-spot fines.
6. Don't walk on your own at night in the major cities or on an empty beach.
7. Avoid traveling at night - the roads are much safer during daylight hours.
The rainy season, or the 'long rains', occur during March, April and May. The humidity is high and daily temperatures reach the low-mid 30°s.
The long dry season lasts throughout June, July, August, September and October. Temperatures vary hugely with altitude and location, with clear sky and sunny weather ideal for a visit to Tanzania.
During November and December there's another rainy season: the 'short rains'. These are much lighter than the main rains and less reliable.
Tanzania has over 120 different ethnic groups, the vast majority are Bantu-speakers; the largest is the Sukuma, with others including the Nyamwezi, the Makonde and the Chaga of the Kilimanjaro region. In northern Tanzania, groups speak Khoisan or ‘click-sound’ languages, such as the Sandawe. Some groups speak Nilotic languages such as the Maasai.
Many Maasai are nomadic and live as their ancestors did for centuries - herding cattle across large areas and living off the animals' milk, blood and meat. The Maasai are particularly known for their distinctive dress and the warrior-status of their men. Men go through a number of stages, from junior warrior to senior elders.
The leader of the nation for over twenty years, Julius Nyerere has instilled a sense of patriotism among the people and most identify as Tanzanian first and foremost.
Rock paintings north of Dodoma indicate the presence of hunter-gatherers active in Tanzania from around 10,000 years ago. Bantu-speaking farmers began settling from around the 1st/2nd century AD, pushing nomadic groups into less fertile regions.
Arab merchants introduced the religion of Islam along the coast from 8th century onwards. The Port of Kilwa Kisiwani was known as one of the most beautiful cities in the world in the 1300s.
In the 15th century, Nilotic-speaking pastoralists moved here from the southern Sudan region. These were the ancestors of the Maasai people.
Sailing a gunboat into the harbour of Zanzibar, the Germans also laid claim to the islands in the 19th century.
Germany’s defeat in World War 1 led the British to take over the administration of the territory under a mandate from the League of Nations.
Britain left Tanganyika in 1961 and Zanzibar in 1963. These two territories joined into one in 1964 and became the United Republic of Tanzania.