TOP 11 Things to do in Tanzania + Travel tips

In this Tanzania travel guide, I’ll tell you the 11 best things to do in Tanzania with map and the most important travel tips for unforgettable days in Africa.

You don’t want to miss any things to do in Tanzania and highlights during your trip to East Africa? Then JOURNICATION is the right place for you! With the BIG5 checklists, a map with all Tanzania highlights and my personal experience report with the best activities, photo spots and insider tips in Tanzania you are well prepared. You will see that Tanzania has much more to offer than just Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar, the Serengeti, the Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara. So you are well prepared for a trip to Tanzania in 2022!

What do you learn in this article?

Checklist of the 11 best Things to do in Tanzania

Here you have an overview of the 11 highlights in Tanzania, so to speak your personal Tanzania Bucket List to check off. This way you can make sure that you don’t miss any of the best things to do in Tanzania during your city trip.

  1. Zanzibar
  2. Ascent of Kilimanjaro
  3. Serengeti National Park
  4. Lake Manyara National Park
  5. Ngorongoro Crater
  6. Tarangire National Park
  7. Selous Game Reserve
  8. Lake Eyasi
  9. Mikumi National Park
  10. Ruaha National Park
  11. Arusha National Park

 

Aerial view on a safari jeep in Ruaha National Park in Tanzania

Aerial view on a safari jeep in Ruaha National Park in Tanzania

#1 Tanzania Sightseeing: Zanzibar

Zanzibar is undoubtedly one of the best destinations in Tanzania. The island off the African mainland is world-famous for its crystal clear waters, pristine coral reefs and gorgeous beaches. But there is much more to discover: Zanzibar offers a rich history and culture, like the historic Stone Town.
The best time to visit Zanzibar is during the dry season from June to October. Like mainland Tanzania, you can generally visit Zanzibar all year round.

This makes Zanzibar a great destination to combine with other Tanzania highlights. First, adventure with a climb of Kilimanjaro or game viewing in one of the many national parks. Then relax on Zanzibar’s beautiful beaches – a perfect combination!

The famous white sand beaches on Zanzibar Island in the Indian Ocean

The famous white sand beaches on Zanzibar Island in the Indian Ocean

#2: Climbing Kilimanjaro

At 5,898 meters, Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest freestanding mountain in the world.
Kilimanjaro is located in northern Tanzania, near some of the best safari parks in Africa. So it is possible to combine the Kilimanjaro climb with a safari. The Serengeti, the Ngorongoro, the Lake Manyara or the Tarangire National Park are ideal for this.
The mountain holds a special fascination for mountaineers and adventurers from all over the world.

But what makes Kilimanjaro so special? Kilimanjaro is one of the most easily accessible peaks in the world, making it a great destination for trekkers from all over the world. The surrounding national park is still an untouched and protected area that is carefully monitored. So, as a climber, you can enjoy nature without leaving any traces.

I have already stood on the summit of Kilimanjaro. If you want to know more about the preparation for the Kilimanjaro climb, feel free to read on in a detailed article on this topic. Also helpful for you are my experience report and a comprehensive Kilimanjaro packing list.

 

 

 

#3: Things to do in Tanzania: Serengeti National Park

We already have beach vacations and mountain climbing, what is still missing in Africa? Right, an exciting safari! Probably the most famous national park and therefore one of the top Tanzania attractions is the Serengeti. Serengeti means “endless plains” in the Maa (Maasai) language. The Maasai people live in the area surrounding the Serengeti National Park. It is mostly steppe and offers spectacular views of distant plains in the center.

The Serengeti is a great place for various activities to experience the African wilderness up close:

Here you can not only watch the animals from a Jeep, but also take part in an exciting walking safari. Imagine walking through the vast savannah of Africa….

In the Serengeti National Park you can wonderfully watch various rare birds and witness the great migration of animals. It is really very impressive how thousands of animals thunder over the land.

A highlight is a safari tour by hot air balloon. During the sightseeing flight over the national park you can observe the animals from a great perspective.

Things to do in Tanzania highlights travel tips Travel Guide Checklist Maps: Hot air balloon with cheetah in the savannah of Serengeti National Park in Tanzania

Hot air balloon with cheetah in the savannah of Serengeti National Park in Tanzania

#4: Lake Manyara Nationalpark

Lake Manyara National Park is one of the most impressive parks in northern Tanzania. Here you can expect beautiful landscapes and diverse African wildlife.

The Soda and Alkali Lake is very shallow. It reaches only a maximum depth of 3.70 meters. The vegetation in the park is also very diverse. The flora transitions from groundwater forests to flood plains and finally to Vachellia forests.

Lake Manyara National Park is famous for its tree-climbing lions.

Things to do in Tanzania highlights travel tips Travel Guide Checklist Maps: Lions also climb trees

Lions also climb trees

 

It is home to thousands of waterbirds and the largest concentration of baboons in the world. Don’t miss the Rift Valley Escarpment, which offers breathtaking views.

Things to do in Tanzania highlights travel tips Travel Guide Checklist Maps: Beautiful landscape with mountains and water at Manyara Lake

Beautiful landscape with mountains and water at Manyara Lake

#5 Tanzania Hightlights: Ngorongoro Crater

One of the best Tanzania sights in the north of the country is Ngorongoro Crater National Park. The Ngorongoro Crater was formed by the eruption of a huge volcano and its subsequent collapse. This explosion created a caldera (incorrectly called a “crater” today) about two and a half million years ago.

Within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area there are several impressive attractions. Here you can marvel at the Ngorongoro, Olmoti and Empakaai craters moving in the sand.

Ngorongoro is also known as the cradle of mankind. Here is Oldupai Gorge, a deep gorge in the Great Rift Valley. This is the place where palaeoanthropologists Louis and Mark Leakey found traces of Homo habilis, the first known human species. These traces date back more than 2 million years.

This is not the only reason why the national park today has the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Ngorongoro National Park is very well accessible via the hub Arusha.

Things to do in Tanzania highlights travel tips Travel Guide Checklist Maps: Ngorongoro Crater National Park with breathtaking landscape

Ngorongoro Crater National Park with breathtaking landscape

#6: Things to do in Tanzania: Tarangire National Park

The Tarangire National Park attracts many safari lovers because of its diversity of animals. They ride especially with the jeep.
Tarangire has the largest elephant population in northern Tanzania. A large number of zebras, giraffes, water buffalo and warthogs are also waiting for you here. Especially exciting are the local large predators such as lions, leopards and hyenas.

The best time to visit Tarangire National Park is during the dry season from June to October. Then you can see an impressive abundance of wildlife cavorting around the few remaining waterholes.

Baby elephant with mother in Africa

Baby elephant with mother in Africa

#7: Selous Game Reserve

The Selous Game Reserve is Africa’s largest and oldest game reserve and one of the most scenic wildlife areas in Tanzania.
The northern part of Selous Park is crisscrossed with a network of canals and lagoons that branch off from the Rufiji River.

This lush landscape provides water for wildlife throughout the region. Towards the end of the dry season, the concentration of animals around these water sources is phenomenal.

The park is nowhere near as crowded as other Tanzania attractions and national parks. Therefore, an absolute recommendation for a great safari in Tanzania.

Things to do in Tanzania highlights travel tips Travel Guide Checklist Maps: Hippos in a lake in the Selous Game Reserve

Hippos in a lake in the Selous Game Reserve

#8: Things to do in Tanzania: Lake Eyasi

Lake Eyasi is a seasonally shallow salt lake in the Great Rift Valley at the foot of the Serengeti Plateau. It is located south of the Serengeti National Park and immediately southwest of the Ngorongoro Crater in the crater highlands of Tanzania.

Therefore, a trip to the lake can be wonderfully combined with the national parks.

Special experiences at Lake Eyasi are cultural tours & activities with the Hadzabe Bushmen and the Datoga tribe. Here you will meet some of the last communities of traditional hunter-gatherers in Africa.

 

 

#9: Tanzania Sightseeing: Mikumi National Park

Another rather unknown Tanzania sightseeing is the Mikumi National Park. It is the fourth-largest national park in Tanzania, with a total area of 3,230 square kilometers. Mikumi National Park includes the famous Uluguru Mountains in the eastern part.

The park is surrounded by mountains and hills, which makes for beautiful scenery and fabulous colors and lights in the park. The sunset and sunrise views are especially beautiful when hiking to the top of one of the park’s hills or mountains.

Time and time again, Mikumi National Park is also referred to as the “little Serengeti.” This is because it is rich in wildlife. The park is home to a large number of big games, which include four members of the African Big Five, only the rhinos are missing.

Besides the many different safaris and the possibility of watching various birds, Mikumi National Park is best known for its breathtaking scenery. It changes color several times a day and is a true paradise for photographers.

Giraffes and zebras in Mikumi National Park

Giraffes and zebras in Mikumi National Park

#10: Things to do in Tanzania: Ruaha National Park

With more than 570 different species, the park is known as one of Tanzania’s bird paradises. Of these, some are known to be migratory birds within and outside of Africa. In East Africa, Ruaha is also considered to have the highest concentration of elephants in a national park.

The park is also home to magnificent mammals such as kudu, sable and roan antelope. The park is also a habitat for endangered wild dogs. Other animals in the park include lions, leopards, cheetahs, giraffes, zebras, eland, impala, bat-eared foxes and jackals.

In addition to large animals, the park is also home to a number of reptiles and amphibians such as crocodiles, poisonous and non-poisonous snakes, monitor lizards, agama lizards and frogs.

Elephant family with baby in Africa

Elephant family with baby in Africa

#11: Things to do in Tanzania: Arusha National Park

Arusha National Park is one of the best parks in northern Tanzania. The main gate is located only 25 km east of Arusha. It is particularly well-travelled due to its short distance from Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) and can be combined with a Kilimanjaro climb.

The park is home to an abundance of unique wildlife species such as the African elephant, Cape buffalo, hippo, zebra, giraffe and even wildebeest. In addition, the park is also home to the amazing birdlife and is home to the famous migratory lesser flamingo.

An outstanding feature of Arusha Naional Park is that it has alpine conditions on its high slopes. The majestic Mount Meru further enhances the picturesque setting of this truly amazing national park.

In addition to hiking Mount Meru, you can especially enjoy canoeing on Lake Momella or a great horseback ride through Arusha National Park.

Safari jeep in a national park in Tanzania

Safari jeep in a national park in Tanzania

BIG5 Things to do in Tanzania & Travel Tips

You don’t want to miss any Tanzania highlights in one day? Find all travel tips and your city trip checklist for one day in Tanzania here:

BIG5 Tanzania – Speed Date

What should you know before your trip to Tanzania? So let’s go on a speed date:

What is outstanding in Tanzania?

No question, a trip to Africa changes you, if you let yourself in. The VALUES and experiences you can take away from the joyful people are “outstanding” here.

What sucks in Tanzania?

There are often no exact times – thus no timetables and no typical German punctuality. You have to practice patience: A plus point you can take home with you.

What you should definitely DO in Tanzania?

A safari in one of the many national parks: Once in a lifetime see a lion or elephant in the wild – very impressive!

What NOT TO DO in Tanzania?

Don’t get in blindly with every cab driver in the bigger cities! Personally, nothing unpleasant has ever happened to me. But you hear again and again that robberies are not uncommon.

What not to tell your mother about Tanzania?

It is an African country where there are one or two other unofficial traffic rules. In Tanzania, there are tropical diseases, but you can protect yourself with travel advice from a doctor and precautions. You do not necessarily have to hang on the big bell when you tell your mother about the beautiful destination Tanzania 😉

BIG5 Tanzania – Rapid Fire Q&A

Is Tanzania safe?

Generally yes! The country is politically comparatively stable and therefore one of the safest travel destinations in East Africa. Nevertheless, the population is anything but rich. Classic “wrong place, wrong time” can happen, leading to robberies and theft.

I never had any problems. Especially if you pay attention to a few things: Don’t walk alone through the alleys of the bigger cities or show valuables unnecessarily. Treat the locals with respect.

In general, the people are helpful and happy about the tourism, especially if you support the people there with relief programs, then they can get quickly familiar 🙂

What is the best safari in Tanzania?

Besides the classics like Serengeti and Ngorongoro, a safari in the rather unknown national parks like Ruaha National Park is especially worthwhile.

How many days should you plan for Tanzania?

If you are traveling to Tanzania just for a safari, a good week is sufficient. If you want to include other elements like a beach vacation in Zanzibar or the ascent of Kilimanjaro, you should take at least two weeks.

What animals are there in Tanzania?

In Tanzania you can observe an incredible variety of animals. Here you can see the BIG Five of Africa: elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and rhino. But also many other mammals like zebras, hyenas, wildebeests, antelopes, various birds and reptiles.

What is Tanzania known for?

Tanzania is known for its great biodiversity, the many national parks with their safari offers and the diverse vegetation. From tropical beaches to savannah to alpine high mountains – here you can experience it all.

Close up of a male lion in Africa

BIG5 Tanzania – Orga

What is the best travel time for Tanzania?

The best time to travel to Tanzania is from June to September. This period is climatically the most pleasant, it is not too hot and the humidity is not too high. Theoretically, Tanzania can be visited all year round.

How to get to Tanzania?

Do you need a visa for Tanzania? 

Visa: Check here whether you need a visa for Tanzania with your passport

How to get to Tanzania by plane? 

The best airports for a trip to Tanzania are Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam (IATA: DAR) and Kilimanjaro Airport (IATA: JRO), which have direct daily flights from many international airlines.

How to get to Tanzania by bus? 

From Nairobi there are daily bus connections to Arusha and Moshi in Tanzania.

Next you can go to Nairobi or Mombasa (both Kenya) or Rwanda & Uganda

Where is the best place to stay in Tanzania?

Tanzania has suitable accommodation for all budgets: From simple to luxurious, from tent on safari to ultimate lodge.

Find the best accommodations in Tanzania here!

What is the Price Level / Budget for Tanzania?

  • What is the currency in Tanzania? – The currency in Tanzania is the Tanzania Shilling (TSH). Currently, the exchange rate is approx. 1 Euro = 2.500 Tanzania Shilling.
  • Can I pay with Euro in Tanzania? – No, in Tanzania you pay everywhere with Tanzania Shilling. In some tourist places US Dollar is also accepted.

Withdraw money: In the big cities and tourist centers, you will still find ATMs in many places. The further off the beaten path you go, the more cash reserves you should have. To save money while traveling, you should use a credit card that does NOT charge additional fees abroad. I have been using the free DKB VISA credit card for many years.

Beer indicator: For a normal beer you should expect around 1.50 – 2.00 Euro, depending on the region.

What is the Taxi fare in Tanzania?  In Tanzania, the cost of a cab consists of the basic price of about 5,000 shillings and the price per kilometer of about 3,000 shillings. Attention: Basis for negotiation!

Cost for public transport: That depends entirely on the route. But public transport is by far the cheapest mode of transport in Tanzania, even for long distances.

Do you need a travel adapter plug for Tanzania?

In, D & G sockets are used with a voltage of 230 V with a voltage of 50 Hertz.

Do you need a travel adapterfor the sockets? Then I can recommend you SKROSS Pro World travel adapter, which I myself have in my luggage for some time:

 

BIG5 Tanzania – The must do Activities

What activities should you not miss in Tanzania in any case? Here are my BIG5:

  • Relax on the beautiful beaches of Zanzibar
  • Experience the local cultures like the Maasai or Hadzabe tribes
  • Go on a walking or jeep safari
  • Walk in the footsteps of (colonial) history in cities like Stone Town
  • Hike in breathtaking landscapes like Kilimanjaro or Mount Meru

 

Cheetah on a tree trunk

BIG5 Tanzania – The best Photo spots

You may be wondering about the best photo locations to take pictures for Instagram or your holiday album. Here we go:

  • The white sandy beaches of Zanzibar
  • A photo from the summit of Kilimanjaro
  • The impressive landscape of the Ngorongoro Crater
  • Wild animals in the water
  • Seeing lions in the wild

 

 

BIG5 Tanzania – Insider Tips / Things to do off the beaten track

  • Go on safari in Ruaha National Park
  • Lake Eyasi is rather off the beaten track
  • See the many animals in Mikumi National Park
  • Relax on Mbudya Island
  • Enjoy the hot springs of Kikuletwa

BIG5 Tanzania – Communication

What language do you speak in Tanzania?

In Tanzania, you speak Swahili / Kiswahili.

Here are the BIG5 words for basic friendly communication in the local language:

  • thank you – asante sana
  • yes – ndiyo
  • no – hapana
  • hello – habari
  • goodbye -kwaheri / toutunana

BIG5 Tanzania – Culinary Journey: What to eat in Tanzania?

  • Chipsi Mayai – delicious French fries omelette, popular street food from Dar es Salaam
  • Ugali – typical maize flour porridge in East Africa
  • Ndizi – delicious local plantains
  • Chapati – flatbread, eaten in Tanzania with all kinds of sauces
  • Samosa – fried filled dumplings, also known from e.g. India

BIG5 Tanzania – Helpful Websites & Resources

  • You don’t want to take care of everything yourself? Just enjoy your vacation and still not miss the best things to do in Tanzania? No problem, great tours and excursions are offered on site:

 

 

  • As additional inspiration source and a local travel guide, I recommend the Lonely Planet for :

 

The 11 best Things to do in Tanzania 🇹🇿

Once again, summarizing the Tanzania highlights for you at a glance:

  1. Zanzibar
  2. Ascent of Kilimanjaro
  3. Serengeti National Park
  4. Lake Manyara National Park
  5. Ngorongoro Crater
  6. Tarangire National Park
  7. Selous Game Reserve
  8. Lake Eyasi
  9. Mikumi National Park
  10. Ruaha National Park
  11. Arusha National Park

 

Now you know the 11 best Tanzania sights and see what a great destination the country in East Africa is. Is Tanzania with impressive highlights like Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar or the Serengeti now also on your bucket list? What do you find particularly exciting? Let us know in the comments!

 

Are you looking for more exciting travel destinations in Africa? Then JOURNICATION is the right place for you:

East Africa:

West Africa:

North Africa:

 

Pin the article for your future Tanzania, travel planning on Pinterest:

 

 

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This