Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Tanzania
Tanzania is home to Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, and is one of Africa’s most popular safari destinations. The country also has dozens of beautiful white sandy beaches such as those found in the island of Zanzibar.
Off Pemba and Mafia islands is a whole other kind of natural wonder, one most appreciated by the scuba divers and snorkelers who come here from around the world to experience the coral gardens, colorful fish, and crystal clear waters.
- Mount Kilimanjaro – Mount Kilimanjaro National Park is home to Africa’s highest mountain peak. Unlike other parks in northern Tanzania, this one is not visited for the wildlife but for the chance to stand in awe of this majestic snow-capped mountain and, for many, to climb to the summit. Mount Kilimanjaro can be climbed at any time, although the best period is from late June to October, during the dry season.
- Serengeti National Park – Serengeti National Park is a vast treeless plain with thousands, even millions of animals searching for fresh grasslands. As the largest national park in Tanzania, the Serengeti attracts thousands of tourists each year. The best months for wildlife viewing are between December and June. The wet season is from March to May, with the coldest period from June to October. The annual migration of millions of zebra and wildebeest takes place in May or early June. This migration is one of the most impressive natural events and the primary draw for many tourists.
- Zanzibar Beaches – The island of Zanzibar, also called Unguja, is a major holiday destination known for its beautiful beaches. Visitors will find soft white sand and clear shallow water, along with traditional boats. Stone Town is located in the heart of Zanzibar and features old Arabian townhouses, narrow alleyways and a busy port.
- Mafia Island – Also part of the Spice Islands, but smaller than Pemba, Mafia Island has a population of around 40,000 people. Don’t expect organized crime: the name derives either from the Swahili “mahali pa afya,” meaning “a healthy dwelling-place,” or from the Arabic “morfiyeh,” meaning “archipelago”. The island attracts scuba divers, game fishermen, and people wanting to relax on one of the island white sandy beaches.
- Tarangire National Park – Tarangire National Park is best visited in the dry season from July to September when the animals gather along the river. During the dry season, Tarangire National Park has one of the highest concentrations of migratory wildlife. Wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, gazelle, hartebeest and eland crowd the lagoons. One of the most noticeable highlights of Tarangire National Park is the baobab trees that dot the grassy landscape.
- Ngorongoro Conservation Area – Ngorongoro is formed form a volcano erupting two to three million years ago which has collapsed and formed a crater. The steep sides of the crater have become a natural enclosure for a wide variety of wild animals. It is also presently one of the most likely areas in Africa to see the endangered Black Rhino. Local Maasai people are permitted to bring cattle to graze in the crater but are required to leave at the end of each day.
- Lake Victoria – Lake Victoria is the largest freshwater lake in Africa and is bordered by Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. This lake is the source of the White Nile and provides an income for millions of residents along its shores. The Tanzanian section of Lake Victoria is one of the least visited regions in the country.
- Stone Town – Stone Town is the cultural heart of Zanzibar and little has changed in the last 200 years. The grand old Arabian homes lining the narrow streets and winding alleys give the city its own unique charm. The majority of homes in Stone Town were built in the 19th C when Zanzibar was one of the most important Swahili trading towns in the Indian Ocean. Visitors will notice the bras-studded, intricately carved wooden doors on many of the houses.
- Tanzania Great Rift Valley Lakes – The Great Rift Valley is an unforgettable scenery, featuring hot springs, geysers, and lakes, as well as volcanoes, some of which are still active. Lakes on the floor of the valley, are a major feature of the Great Rift Valley, especially the Eastern Rift. Most of these inland lakes are generally shallow and contain a high mineral content, but also supports a diversity of bird-life; some are even surrounded by National Parks making them interesting attractions in Tanzania.
- Pemba Island – Known as the Green Island in Arabic, Pemba Island lies in the Indian Ocean and is part of the “Spice Islands”. As neighboring Zanzibar is becoming more and more popular with tourists, more adventurous travellers are seeking out the less-crowded Pemba. The island is especially popular with divers who come here for the untouched coral and very abundant marine life.