When I heard about Tanzania for the first time years ago, I could only connect it with the famous Mount Kilimanjaro. But after reading a number of travel articles and also my recent trip to Tanzania, I can totally admit that it is without any doubt the Soul of Africa. From the great wilderness to pristine blue beaches, the options are endless with Tanzania offering an interesting medley for travelers seeking adventure or a leisure holiday.
While planning for the Tanzania trip with my husband, I was kind of overwhelmed with the choice of activities or places I could visit, as this was our first time on the African Continent. While I’ll be writing about the Tanzania experience in the future posts, in this post I am sharing the top 10 reasons why you should visit Tanzania:
1. Ngorongoro Crater
The Ngorongoro Crater is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to on Earth and is also one of my favorites from the trip. The Ngorongoro Crater is one of the world’s largest volcanic caldera and the natural habitat within the Crater is a haven for a large number of wildlife species including Hippos, elephants, and also the endangered rhinos. Drive around the rim of the crater to enjoy the panoramic view of the flora and fauna in the crater floor with the clear blue sky in the background.
Related post: Safari experience at Ngorongoro Crater
2. Serengeti National Park
A visit to Tanzania is incomplete if you haven’t been to the Serengeti National Park, which is considered to be one of the oldest ecosystems. For an ultimate African safari experience, drive around the endless savannahs to witness millions of Wildebeests and various other herbivores migrate around Serengeti and Masai Mara region in search of fresh pastures.
Related post: 48 hours in Serengeti National Park
3. Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro
Pic Courtesy: Huffington Post
Well, this one’s surely for all those adventure junkies around the world! Climb Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak and also World’s largest volcano. A trek to the top of the peak, which is about 19,341 ft. above the sea level, is a must if one is seeking for a once in a lifetime experience while in Tanzania.
4. Visit the Masai Village
Take a peek into the life of the local Masai Tribes by taking a tour of their village and learning about their age-old traditions. A short guided is arranged by various tour companies whereby you will get an opportunity to visit their homes and spend an eventful day with the locals.
5. Game drives
Enjoy the natural beauty of the African plains and wildlife by hopping on to one of the 4X4 vehicles and taking a guided tour of the National Parks in the country mainly chasing the famous Big Five. The Northern circuit (which is what I opted for) is one of the most visited safari destinations, consists of Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Kilimanjaro, Lake Manyara and Tarangire National Parks. The Southern circuit has less accessible but well-preserved National Reserves like Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park.
Related post: Game drive experience at Lake Manyara National Park
For an up-close encounter with the Chimpanzees, take up the Western Circuit, which includes Gombe Stream, the Mahale Mountains and Katavi National Parks. For a more private safari with coastal scenery head towards Eastern circuit that is the Saadani and Mkomazi National Parks.
6. Hot air balloon Safari
Enjoy the Savannah landscape and the wildlife at the Serengeti is one of the most exciting and luxurious (and also romantic) ways by flying high in the sky in one of the hot air balloons. As the sun rises across the grassland and the balloon floating up in the air, you will be in awe with the view that awaits beneath you. End the luxurious African adventure with a champagne breakfast before moving on with your game drives.
7. Explore the streets of Stone Town, Zanzibar
Visit the historical town of East Africa and get lost in the narrow cobbled streets of Stone Town, the main city of Zanzibar Island. The Stone Town architecture showcases an unusual blend of Swahili culture with the Arab, Indian and European cultures and one can easily notice that it is still prevalent in most parts of the old town. Take a break from the bustling streets and head towards one of the many beautiful beaches on the island and lose yourself in the cool blue sea.
Related post: What not to miss when in Stone Town
8. Swahili cuisine
Indulge in some authentic Swahili cuisine and enjoy a delicious meal rich with local spices and fresh produce. Mandazi (Swahili doughnuts), Kaimati (sugarcoated fried dumplings), Veg Samosa (pastry with mix veg fillings), Mchicha wa Nazi (Spinach curry with local spices) and Pilau (spicy flavored rice) are a must eat while in Tanzania.
9. Island Hopping
Plan a day trip visiting the smaller but equally gorgeous islands around the Zanzibar Island. One might try scuba diving, snorkeling at the famous Mnemba Atoll, Mafia Island, Pemba Island or even take a spice tour here or visit the Prison (Changu) Island to take a tour of the former slave prison, currently housing the endangered giant tortoises.
Pic courtesy: Tanzania Tourism
Bird-watch along the shores of Africa’s largest lake, Lake Victoria or spend a day hiking around the Rubondo Island National Park, either way, you will not be disappointed. The untouched beauty of the lake along with the less tourist frequented natural surroundings for Wildlife and tropical birds is a perfect combination for any traveler seeking an offbeat trip.
Hope you guys enjoyed our post on Tanzania and are tempted to plan your next holiday in this beautiful country. Do leave us a comment on your thoughts and also do mention what other interesting things to do in Tanzania!!