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I would like to thank Stan and his very professional team. Our journey to the top of ...” Read More

1. Climb to the Roof of Africa—Mount Kilimanjaro

Camps set up by climbers at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Conquer the Roof of Africa: Embark on an epic journey to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, where breathtaking views and personal triumph await.

Summit Africa's highest peak on a multi-day trek to Mount Kilimanjaro, an adventure that tests your endurance while rewarding you with breathtaking vistas. This 5,895-meter (19,341-foot) giant offers various routes, from the challenging Umbwe to the more gradual Rongai, catering to diverse fitness levels. Traverse diverse ecosystems, from lush rainforests to alpine deserts, en route to the Uhuru Peak's snow-capped summit.

Alternative destinations:

  • Mount Meru: Embark on a thrilling trek to the second-highest mountain in Tanzania, Mount Meru. As you ascend this 4,566-meter-long mountain, the vegetation transitions from mountain forests to alpine deserts, offering ever-changing scenery. A Mount Meru trip is the perfect alternative to the Mount Kilimanjaro trek for those seeking a challenging adventure in a less crowded setting. Choose between different routes like the Momella or Meru Crater routes and prepare for an unforgettable trekking experience.
  • Usambara Mountains: Escape the crowds and immerse yourself in the beauty of the Usambara Mountains, a hidden gem in northeastern Tanzania. These ancient mountain ranges offer multi-day hiking trails through lush rainforests, waterfalls, and traditional villages of the Shambaa people.

Best time: January, February, and September offer the most favorable climbing conditions, with drier weather and moderate temperatures.

Insider tip: Although climbing Mount Kilimanjaro doesn't require special climbing training, proper acclimatization is crucial for a successful ascent. Consider spending a night or two at higher elevations before your summit push.

Tours in Kilimanjaro

2. Witness the Great Wildebeest Migration in Serengeti National Park

Wildebeests crossing the Mara River during the great migration.
Behold the breathtaking Wildebeest migration, defying death as they navigate the treacherous Mara River, battling crocodiles to reach the greener lands of Masai Mara.

Marvel at one of nature's most awe-inspiring events, the Great Wildebeest Migration, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Tanzania. The annual spectacle features over two million wildebeests embarking on an epic journey from Serengeti in Tanzania to Maasai Mara in Kenya in search of greener pastures. The migration of zebras, gazelles and other wildlife around the same time add to the spectacle. The event typically takes place from May to July in Serengeti when the wildebeests have grazed on the lush grasses of southeastern Serengeti and given birth to their calves. The exact date of the migration may vary, but it usually falls between late April and early June. So, plan your safari to the Serengeti National Park accordingly.

Alternative destination:

  • Maasai Mara National Reserve (Kenya): Continue your migration experience across the border in this legendary Kenyan reserve. Maasai Mara is renowned for its abundant wildlife, including the Big Five, and offers prime viewing conditions for wildebeest migration between July and October.

Best time: January to March for calving season and May to July for the start of the migration in Serengeti.

Insider tip: To witness the Great Wildebeest Migration, travel with a knowledgeable guide who can get you directly to the best and safest vantage points for observing the wildebeests crossing the Mara River.

Tours in Serengeti National Park

3. Relax in the Pristine Beaches of Zanzibar

View of the sandy shore, boats, and waters of Nugwi Beach in Zanzibar.
Don't miss out on experiencing the thrill of boating in the calm waters of Nungwi Beach while in Zanzibar, as it is one of the top things to do in Tanzania.

With a multitude of enchanting beaches, the coastal paradise of the Zanzibar archipelago is one of the best places to visit in Tanzania. Take a break from your safari and climbing adventures in Tanzania to indulge in a memorable Zanzibar vacation. Nighttime revelry, water activities, serene solitude—Zanzibar has it all! Experience the vibrant nightlife and dive into marine wonders on Zanzibar’s best beaches, including Nungwi, Matemwe, Kendwa, and Kiwengwa. From fishing to kite surfing to snorkeling, you will never run out of fun things to do in Zanzibar.

Alternative destination:

  • Mafia Island: This remote island paradise boasts some of Tanzania's best diving and snorkeling sites. A notorious prison island during colonial times, Mafia Island now attracts visitors with its rich marine life and fascinating history. Explore the untouched coral reefs teeming with marine life, and learn about the island's dark past at the historic Kua Ruins, a former slave trading post.

Best time to visit: June to October and December to February, when the weather is dry and sunny.

Insider's tip: Schedule your Zanzibar trip toward the end of your Tanzania itinerary so you can unwind and rejuvenate after your safari and climbing adventures. Also, don’t forget to take a spice tour to learn about the island’s historic spice route.

Tours in Zanzibar

4. Spot the Big Five in Ngorongoro Crater

Tourists on a game drive safari witnessing an elephant up close.
Embark on a mesmerizing Tanzanian game drive safari in the Ngorongoro Crater and immerse yourself in the raw beauty of wildlife; a truly unforgettable adventure!

Descend into the iconic Ngorongoro Crater, a Unesco-listed natural wonder, for an unforgettable safari experience during your Tanzania trip. This collapsed volcanic caldera shelters one of the densest populations of large mammals in the whole of Africa, including the Big Five—lions, elephants, buffaloes, leopards, and rhinos. Embark on game drives across the crater floor, where you may witness lions lounging on the grasslands, elephants grazing by waterholes, and the rare black rhino roaming the acacia forests.

Alternative destinations:

  • Serengeti National Park: Serengeti’s vast ecosystem offers unparalleled game viewing opportunities, including the Big Five, across its endless plains and diverse habitats.
  • Lake Manyara National Park: While smaller in size, Lake Manyara packs a punch with its incredible biodiversity. The soda lake attracts flocks of flamingos, while the dense woodlands are home to tree-climbing lions and large elephant herds.

Best time to visit: Safaris are best done during the dry seasons stretching from June to October and from December to February. Vegetation is sparse, and animals congregate near water bodies during these times, giving them the best viewing opportunities. 

Insider tip:
 
Ask your tour operator to book you a game package that covers the entire Northern safari circuit so that you can tour the must-visit national parks.

Tours in Ngorongoro Crater

5. Take a Cultural Sightseeing Tour of Dar es Salaam

A local tribe in Tanzania performing its cultural dance.
While in Tanzania, witness mesmerizing rhythms of traditional tribal performances in places like Daar Es Salam and Pwani.

Explore the bustling streets of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania's largest city, and witness the fusion of traditional and modern influences. Immerse yourself in the vibrant energy of the Kariakoo district, known for its lively markets and street food stalls. Marvel at the intricate architecture of the city's mosques and churches, reflecting the diverse cultural tapestry. Visit the Village Museum, a living showcase of traditional Tanzanian life, and gain insights into the country's rich heritage.

Alternative destinations:

  • Stone Town: Step back in time as you wander through the narrow alleys and historic buildings of Stone Town, a Unesco World Heritage Site on the island of Zanzibar. Admire the intricate carved doors, visit the bustling markets, and soak in the unique blend of Swahili, African, Arab, and Indian influences that define this cultural melting pot.
  • Pwani Region: As you venture into the Pwani Region, you will encounter six districts: Bagamoyo, Kibaha, Kisarawe, Rufiji, Mkuranga, and Mafia. Each district is home to distinct native peoples, including the Zaramo, Kwere, Doe, Ndengereko, Zigua, and Rufiji. Engage with the friendly locals and learn about their culture and way of life.
  • Arusha: Visiting the Maasai tribe is one of the best things to do in Arusha. Explore the bustling Maasai markets where vibrant colors and traditional crafts abound. Visit the traditional bomas (villages) of the Maasai people, where you can observe their daily life and culture. Interact with the friendly Maasai and learn about their unique customs and traditions that have been preserved for generations.

Best time: Year round.

Insider's tip: Learn some Swahili to forge better connections with the locals.

Tours in Dar Es Salaam

6. Take Off the Beaten Path to Tanga

A street in Tanga city, Tanzania.
Discover the pristine beauty of Tanga, Tanzania: stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and rich history await.

Venturing off the beaten path to discover the coastal town of Tanga has to be one of the most unique things you can do while in Tanzania. With its pristine beaches, historical sites, and rich Swahili culture, Tanga offers a unique experience. Relax on the secluded shores of Pangani Beach, where turquoise waters meet golden sands. Explore the ruins of the ancient Swahili city of Sisal and delve into the region's colonial past at the Amboni Caves. Tanga's charm lies in its unspoiled beauty and the warm hospitality of its people.

Alternate destinations:

  • Kilwa Kisiwani: Step back in time and explore the Unesco-listed Kilwa Kisiwani, an ancient Swahili trading city located on an island off the southern coast of Tanzania. Discover the well-preserved ruins, including mosques, palaces, and fortified tombs, which offer a glimpse into the region's rich maritime history.
  • Lushoto: Escape to the cool, lush highlands of the Usambara Mountains, where the picturesque town of Lushoto is nestled. Immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture, hike through verdant valleys and waterfalls, and visit traditional villages to learn about the customs of the Samba people.

Best time to visit: December to February

Insider's tip: Be sure to try the famous Tanga oranges, known for their refreshing sweetness.

7. Learn about the History of Human Evolution in Olduvai Gorge

Distant view of Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania.
Hike to the fascinating Olduvai Gorge to unlock the secrets of human evolution.

Unearth the secrets of Tanzania's archaeological treasures as you hike the Olduvai Gorge. This historic site is known as the ‘Cradle of Mankind’ and offers a glimpse into our ancient human ancestors. This hike offers the opportunity to learn more about humanity's origins. You can also explore the history of early hominids by taking a tour of the Olduvai Gorge Museum, which showcases significant fossil discoveries.

Alternate destination:

  • Laetoli Footprints: Venture to the Laetoli site, where you can witness the remarkable fossilized footprints of our early human ancestors that date back over 3.6 million years. These footprints provide tangible evidence of bipedalism and offer insights into the origins of human locomotion.
  • Isimila Stone Age Site: Explore the Isimila Stone Age Site, a significant archaeological site that contains one of the richest concentrations of Stone Age tools and fossil remains in Africa. Learn about the tool-making techniques and hunting strategies of our prehistoric ancestors who inhabited this area over 60,000 years ago.

Best time: Year round (consider the dry seasons for hiking the Olduvai Gorge)

Insider's tip: When in Olduvai, visit the nearby Olduvai Gorge Camp and Museum to enhance your experience and learn about the ongoing research efforts in the area through expert archaeologists or paleontologists.

8. Taste the Tanzanian Cusine

Nyama Choma with side dishes.
Experience the irresistible flavors of Tanzania with Nyama Choma, a mouthwatering grilled meat delicacy that will delight your taste buds.

An absolute must-do in Tanzania is savoring the flavors of its authentic cuisine. Indulge in traditional dishes like Ugali (maize porridge), Nyama Choma (grilled meat), and Pilau (spiced rice). Delight your taste buds with fresh tropical fruits, such as mangoes and pineapples. Don't miss the opportunity to try local specialties like Zanzibar's aromatic spices and Swahili seafood delicacies. Engage in a culinary journey that will awaken your senses and leave you craving for more.

Insider tip: Family-owned eateries and local markets offer an authentic taste of Tanzanian cuisine. Carry enough Tanzanian shillings to pay for your food.

Whether you're scaling the heights of Mount Kilimanjaro, witnessing the Great Wildebeest Migration, or immersing yourself in Zanzibar's coastal charm, Tanzania offers a wealth of things to do at every turn.

Fill out our Tanzania customized trip form to include all of the above-listed things to do in your itinerary under a single package and also include other destinations of your choice.

For more information, go through our Tanzania guide

Tanzania Tours
Published by Erik Jensen, updated on June 5, 2024

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