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Why Visit Tanzania?

Most people have heard of the Serengeti, but not everyone knows that it is in Tanzania. This remarkable wildlife reserve is, however, just one of the reasons to come to this great African country. Wildlife is certainly one of the main attractions for visitors to Tanzania, but there are also the Indian Ocean islands of Zanzibar, Mount Kilimanjaro, unique cultures and stunning scenery. Here is our top 12 list of things to do

WHY TANZANIA

As a destination a Tanzania holiday really does have it all covered (apart from skiing): Tanzania is blessed with the best safari National parks in Africa and hundreds of miles of beautiful Indian Ocean coastline, gorgeous Indian Ocean tropical islands.
Safety: Tanzania has managed to avoid the internal political upheaval that has plagued so many other African nations and is therefore one of the safest Country in Africa. Tribal conflict here simply does not exist, despite the fact that it is one of the most diverse nations in Africa, with more than 120 ethnic groups. Formerly named Tanganyika, Tanzania peacefully gained its independence from Britain in 1961. Its next door neighbor, Zanzibar, became independent in 1963, and a year later the two nations joined forces, becoming the United Republic of Tanzania. Today, it is often used by other nations as a neutral meeting ground, giving it the unofficial title, “Switzerland of Africa.” Since October 29, 1995, Tanzania has been hold National democratic elections. They were entirely peaceful.

Uniqueness: What sets Tanzania aside from all other African countries is the ease with which you can integrate safari with beach time. Home to the Serengeti (the most famous wildlife park in the world), the Ngorongoro Crater (8th wonder of the World), Mount Kilimanjaro ( Highest mountain in Africa 5895m) the Mahale mountains (where chimps still roam freely) and the southern wilds of Selous and Ruaha; it has so much to offer that planning your time is key.

Culturally: it has a wealth and depth unlike its neighbors. The fascinating old port of Stone Town on Zanzibar, once a key link in the spice and slave trades, is a melting pot of cultures and extraordinary sights. In the north you can visit Olduvai Gorge, the first footprint and birthplace of mankind or visit the Masai tribes and see their way of life first hand.

Many people want to to extend their Tanzania holiday to include time at the beach. For those who want diving there are great options for all levels. Zanzibar has excellent reefs just off it’s shores (including the world famous Mnemba atoll) and for those who want serious pro dives sites, the islands of Pemba and Mafia take things to the next level. On Zanzibar there is so much to do – pedalos, canoes, kite surfing, Dhow sunset cruises, deep sea fishing, spice tours, Stone Town tours, swimming with dolphins.

For the less active there are dolphin trips, Dhow (local boats) sundowners cruises, excursions to the Jozani Forest to see the red colobus monkeys, spice tours to the spice farms of the interior, and trips to the historic capital Stone Town, and trips to near-by islands such as prison island.

In terms of safari holidays: the Serengeti hosts the wildebeest migration and has ridiculous concentrations of game. Most wildlife documentaries are filmed here – and for good reason. It is classic flat plains Africa and we ensure that whenever you are travelling, your location will be spot on to make the most of the game. For those looking for a less hectic, more “old Africa” charm, then the parks of Selous and Ruaha offer a true wilderness, far away from the crowds. And for those on about their seventh safari, there is Katavi – which is truly prehistoric!

The Serengeti’s Great Migration: is one of the greatest natural events on the planet. Up to three million wildebeest move round the Serengeti and Masai Mara ecosystems followed closely by approximately two million zebra and 900,00 assorted other antelopes. The best way to think of the herds is as one sprawling mass of wildebeest moving in a circular fashion around the parks. The mega herd is the very center of this sprawling ball with splinter herds heading off in different directions all across the park. It is very easy to design an itinerary to locate herds.

The Ngorongoro Crater: is one of Africa’s most famous sites. Once a volcano supposedly taller than Kilimanjaro, the Ngorongoro Crater is 20 kilometers across with 600 meter high walls. Africa’s Big Five are found on the Crater floor as well as large herds of buffalo, zebra and wildebeest. The Crater’s prize sightings are black rhino and some of the largest tusker elephants left in Africa today. Its popularity means that the Crater is always busy, and small size means that you really notice the other vehicles here. However, the Ngorongoro is without any doubt one of the continent’s most beautiful game viewing environments – a must see on a Northern circuit safari. why travel to Tanzania

Perfect for honeymooners, families: first-time safari goers and hardened veterans, with its perfect beaches and extraordinary safari options – Tanzania really does have something for everyone. Placed right on the equator Tanzania has great weather all year round apart from the seasonal rains in April and May. The close proximity of beach with safari makes it the ultimate country to visit in Africa.

SerengetiC leopard

The Serengeti

Miles and miles of Africa lie waiting for you. A wide-open landscape of grasslands interrupted by acacia trees and rock kopjes is home to millions of animals. You will mostly explore this wilderness by 4×4 safari vehicle with an expert guide, often private, but you might want to consider a hot air balloon trip for a different perspective. Your choice of lodges and camps here is very good, and we can help you find the right camp for the standard and time of year you want to visit.
Of course the other very important aspect of this park is that it is the ecosystem where the annual wildebeest migration takes place, but this is such a key event that it deserves its own description, so please read the next point …

The Great Wildebeest Migration

Within the Serengeti ecosystem, including the Masai Mara in Kenya, there are roughly 1.5 million wildebeest and half a million zebras, plus Thompson’s gazelles and elands, which are on a never-ending circuit of this vast wilderness. Following the rains which bring fresh grass, the herds move around this circle of life, giving birth in the southern plains around February, moving west and north, arriving in northern Serengeti and the Mara by about July, then setting off back south about October. But bear in mind that nothing is set in stone, it’s all about the rains.

migration serengeti
migration serengeti

The Great Wildebeest Migration

Within the Serengeti ecosystem, including the Masai Mara in Kenya, there are roughly 1.5 million wildebeest and half a million zebras, plus Thompson’s gazelles and elands, which are on a never-ending circuit of this vast wilderness. Following the rains which bring fresh grass, the herds move around this circle of life, giving birth in the southern plains around February, moving west and north, arriving in northern Serengeti and the Mara by about July, then setting off back south about October. But bear in mind that nothing is set in stone, it’s all about the rains.

ngorongoro crater

Ngorongoro Crater

This is not only a UNESCO world heritage site, but a quite unique African Eden. In this ancient caldera (remnants of an enormous extinct volcano) measuring 16kms in diameter, the grasslands, freshwater and soda lakes, and acacia forests are home to a wide diversity of wildlife including the big five. Giraffes and impalas are the only common species you won’t find here.

Chimpanzees of Mahale Mountains

The Mahale Mountains are in the west of the country on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. There are around 1000 chimpanzees here, plus 8 other primate species such as red colobus monkeys and baboons.
The experience of tracking and watching chimps in the wild is magical and thrilling, and it is made even more special because of the beautiful landscape as well as the places you can stay here.

Choose Greystoke Mahale if you can push the boat out, but if not, pick the less expensive Kungwe Beach Lodge, but either way, get yourself here!

Mahale Gombe waterfall
Mahale Gombe waterfall

Chimpanzees of Mahale Mountains

The Mahale Mountains are in the west of the country on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. There are around 1000 chimpanzees here, plus 8 other primate species such as red colobus monkeys and baboons.
The experience of tracking and watching chimps in the wild is magical and thrilling, and it is made even more special because of the beautiful landscape as well as the places you can stay here.

Choose Greystoke Mahale if you can push the boat out, but if not, pick the less expensive Kungwe Beach Lodge, but either way, get yourself here!

zanzibar dhow

Zanzibar & the Indian Ocean spice islands

Whether you’re planning a visit to Tanzania’s Indian Ocean coast as a standalone beach holiday or as a bit of chilling out following a safari or perhaps after climbing Kilimanjaro, there is plenty choice of gorgeous places to stay. You’ll certainly want to flop by the coast for a time, but make sure you also leave some time to explore Stone Town too. Divers and snorkellers are in seventh heaven here, with some world class diving sites to choose from.
For more about the main island of Zanzibar5
If you fancy looking at one of the smaller islands5
And if you’re game for lesser-known mainland coast options5

Mount Kilimanjaro

African’s highest peak towers 5,895m above the plains beneath. Kilimanjaro is a summit just begging to be conquered. It is not a technical climb, as in you don’t need ropes and crampons and so on, but don’t underestimate it, it’s a tough climb.

Talk to us about the various routes on offer, and we’ll advise which might suit you best.

kilimnajaro elephants
kilimnajaro elephants

Mount Kilimanjaro

African’s highest peak towers 5,895m above the plains beneath. Kilimanjaro is a summit just begging to be conquered. It is not a technical climb, as in you don’t need ropes and crampons and so on, but don’t underestimate it, it’s a tough climb.

Talk to us about the various routes on offer, and we’ll advise which might suit you best.

Massai Wild G8

The Maasai and other tribal cultures

There is little doubt that the Maasai tribe is one of the most widely recognised tribes of Africa. Warriors and elders with their red shukas (blankets) and beaded adornments are seen throughout northern Tanzania especially.

Their traditional culture is fascinating and learning about this is a great experience if done sensitively. Other tribes you might come across include the Iraqw and the Barabaig.

Ruaha National Park

This lesser-known park is actually Tanzania’s largest. In an area larger than the Serengeti it has only about 10 lodges, so this really is somewhere you can have almost to yourself. The wildlife here is truly excellent and it’s a beautiful region.

Often combined with Selous Game reserve, it’s neither the easiest nor the cheapest place to get to, but everyone that comes tends to agree that it’s very well worth it, and there are some first class places to stay.

ruaha lions
ruaha lions

Ruaha National Park

This lesser-known park is actually Tanzania’s largest. In an area larger than the Serengeti it has only about 10 lodges, so this really is somewhere you can have almost to yourself. The wildlife here is truly excellent and it’s a beautiful region.

Often combined with Selous Game reserve, it’s neither the easiest nor the cheapest place to get to, but everyone that comes tends to agree that it’s very well worth it, and there are some first class places to stay.

wilddog

Nyerere National Park (was Selous Game Reserve)

Nyerere is still better known as Selous. It is only about an hour’s light plane flight from Dar es Salaam on the coast. The reserve is good for a diverse range of wildlife, including Africa’s highest population of wild dogs.

This reserve is excellent for seeing the wildlife in different ways: game drives, walking safaris and boat trips on the Rufiji River and Lake Tagalala

Remote Katavi

It’s miles from anywhere, and hardly anybody comes here – this is the attraction, or one of them. The other is that in this small park, especially July to October (the dry season) the concentration of wildlife can be remarkable.

There are only 3 camps here, each at a different price point, with Chada Katavi at the top end, though all are quite rustic. It’s not for the first-time safari goer, but if you want something unusual this is one to consider.

katavi hippos
katavi hippos

Remote Katavi

It’s miles from anywhere, and hardly anybody comes here – this is the attraction, or one of them. The other is that in this small park, especially July to October (the dry season) the concentration of wildlife can be remarkable.

There are only 3 camps here, each at a different price point, with Chada Katavi at the top end, though all are quite rustic. It’s not for the first-time safari goer, but if you want something unusual this is one to consider.

flamingoes

Lake Natron

This inhospitable soda lake between the Ngorongoro highlands and the Maasai mountain of God, Ol Donyo Lengai, is a hugely important breeding ground for lesser flamingos.

A visit here tends only to be for the hardy traveller as it’s quite extreme in terms of the terrain and the accommodation is limited (and very simple), but if you want some dramatic scenery, some amazing walks, and to see thousands of flamingos, give it a try.

Tarangire National Park

Tarangire is one of the parks on the northern circuit. It’s only about 1½ hours drive from Arusha, so you can be here relatively soon after landing in Kilimanjaro airport.

The park is dotted with ancient baobab trees, giving it a unique character, and the Tarangire River runs through it attracting wildlife from miles around in the dry season (July to October especially). It might not have the same repute as the Serengeti, but we’d highly recommend a visit, especially if you like elephants.

Tarangire elephant pack
Tarangire elephant pack

Tarangire National Park

Tarangire is one of the parks on the northern circuit. It’s only about 1½ hours drive from Arusha, so you can be here relatively soon after landing in Kilimanjaro airport.

The park is dotted with ancient baobab trees, giving it a unique character, and the Tarangire River runs through it attracting wildlife from miles around in the dry season (July to October especially). It might not have the same repute as the Serengeti, but we’d highly recommend a visit, especially if you like elephants.