10 Best Things to Do in Tanzania

10 Best Things to Do in Tanzania

Whether you are from Tanzania or living here temporarily or are just visiting, here are the best things to do in Tanzania in the summer or winter….or any time of the year that you plan to visit.

From the spectacular highest free-standing Kilimanjaro Mountain to the magical wildebeest migration of Serengeti — you will never want to leave once you visit even a handful of these world-renowned destinations around Tanzania.

Trust me, no matter what you decide to do on your Tanzania adventure, every destination you head to will captivate, surprise and inspire you.

A trip to this wonderful East Africa destination, will prove to be worthwhile because there’s so much to see and do.

There is no denial that Tanzania is probably the most naturally blessed with breathtaking attractions in the world, sure! There is a reason Tanzania was named the best safari destination in Africa following more than 2,300 reviews from over 1,000 people from 53 nationalities.

With so many unique attractions in Tanzania, it’s easier to mix things up and ending up having a trip to forget.

And with all that Tanzania has to offer, it may be a bit daunting when trying to plan for a safari. So, if you don’t have a clue about where to start, here are the best things to do in Tanzania.

1. Explore Top Archeological sites

We all agree that we’re never the first to inhabit this wonderful world, our ancestors did in the past.

However, with the technological advancements, we have experienced so far, for example, if we could go only a few decades ago, it’s hard to figure out how our ancestors sustained and enjoyed the life to the fullest with so many innovations missing.

Thanks to the study of archaeology which has facilitated the preservation of past activity, we can have an idea of life in the past. And this is one of the 10 best things to do in Tanzania I want you to pay attention.

As I told you before, Tanzania is reached in tourist attractions, in archaeological sites cases, for example, this wonderful destination has more than 10 unique sites and here are the top I would recommend;

Oldupai Gorge

Located in the Great Rift Valley, Oldupai which is commonly referred to as Olduvai Gorge is one of the most important places on the planet that have helped the world understand the evolution of human being.

In the Oldupai Gorge, the evidence or early human evolution from being hunters and gatherers to developing stone tools and develop further into using iron tools is simply a rewarding flashback that will live you with a lot to admire about our ancestors.

It is in this Gorge, a palaeontologist Louis and Marry Leakey found the skull of the believed the earliest human being believed to have lived between 1.1 to 2.6 years ago.

Oldupai is really among the places you should visit in Tanzania if you’re a history lover.

Songo Mnara

Want an Idea of the earliest trade interactions between people of Tanzania and overseas?

Look no further, Songo Mnara in the Coastal region is the place to learn and see evidence of the earliest trade centres in Tanzania, worship houses as well as among the earliest coins to be used in the country.

Songo Mnara, recognized as UNESCO world heritage site has at least six ruins of the earliest mosques of East Africa which were skilfully built of stones.

Ras Mkumbuu Ruins

Do you want to see the ruins of the sub-Saharan Africa largest mosques in the 13th and 14th centuries? Ras Mkumbuu Ruins is the place to go.

Ras Mkumbuu which is located in Zanzibar archipelago will surely give you the best flavour of how our ancestors strived to cope in the least developed technological era.

Kaole

Ever heard of Sheikh Ali Muhamad al-Hatim?

Well, regardless of whether you have heard of this legendary and most well-known Sheikh along the cost of Tanzania in the ancient ages, his influence in shaping Tanzania cost areas are monumental.

With Kaole containing several stone ruins and about 30 tombs which are said to be the graves of local rulers of the area known as Diwanis, this magnificent site should you be in your top bucket list among the best things to in Tanzania.

Kaole is the perfect place to see the ancient ruins while learning an impressive history of Sheikh Ali Muhamad al-Hatim.

Kilwa Kisiwani

Talk about the long history dating back to 10th Century when Sultan Ali ibn al-Hassan Shirazi found the sultanate which would go on to become one of the strongest empires in the East Africa Swahili.

Kilwa Kisiwani has uncountable ruins of the stone-built houses and mosques which makes the place very unique. It is no wonder Kilwa has been designated by UNESCO as a world heritage site.

Kondoa Rock-Art Sites

Now, for the artwork lovers!

Kondoa which was declared UNESCO world heritage site in 2006 is the best place to get an idea of the artwork of the ancestors.

The site has an amazing collection of rock art that you wouldn’t want to miss among your top things to do in Tanzania.

Engaruka

Ever wondered if our ancestors engaged themselves in agriculture?

Well, Engaruka which is located in the Great Valley, Northern Tanzania proves the earliest development made by the ancestors especially in irrigation and cultivation.

Truly, Engaruka is one of the most important Iron Age archaeological site that you should consider on your top things to do in Tanzania.

2. Go for cultural tourism.

A world without culture would be a very boring place to live, they say!

Mixed from Bantu people and Arabs, Tanzania has among the most diverse and unique culture you could ever imagine.

That is what makes cultural tourism among my list of the 10 best things to do in Tanzania.

However, what strikes me most about this is how Tanzania has more than 100 different tribes but they have managed to live together in harmony, while everyone maintaining their culture & traditions without bothering one another.

Nevertheless, a stone town in Zanzibar, National Museum & House of culture, Village museum is famously known as Kijiji cha makumbusho and Askari monument should be among the tops things to do in Tanzania if culture is your thing.

I like you to have the best ever Tanzania safari, you know

It is with this reason I am not going to limit you with the options. So if you have time, the following are again worth to pay a visit in the cultural tourism category;

  • House of wine, stone town Zanzibar
  • Cultural heritage in Arusha
  • The old Fort, famously known as Ngome Kongwe in Zanzibar
  • Stone Town, Zanzibar
  • Old slave market in Zanzibar
  • Tanzanite experience, Arusha
  • Old Boma, Bagamoyo.

Picking a few among the mentioned above will really make your Tanzania safari a memorable experience.

3. Experience 10% of the world’s lion’s population in Ruaha

Well, forget about the lions for a second!

Ruaha has the third-largest population of wild dogs in the world. It is arguably the largest national parks in East Africa hosting the great Ruaha River.

The fact that Ruaha is less-visited due to the park being far from the famous northern tourist circuit of Tanzania is the reason I call this park the must-visit among the 10 best things to do in Dar es Salaam.

Being not regularly visited has made this national park as natural as virgin land.

A visit to this park is an experience that you will forever live with it.

Apart from a very good number of lions, Ruaha national park will give you a stunning experience of viewing cheetahs, leopard, wild dogs, hyenas, hippos, buffalo, giraffe and antelope.

Ruaha is again known to have a large elephant population which makes it even the best place to visit in Tanzania.

4. Explore the largest game reserve in the world, Selous

No one would like to miss the largest and the oldest game reserve of the continent in their top 10 things to do in Tanzania.

Named after the legendary hunter who spent more than 40 years exploring the African bush, Sir Frederick Selous, this is the perfect park for a game drive and trophy hunting.

Its shame Fredrick Selous had to die after being shot by a Germany sniper in 1910s but at least, his grave remains at this legendary game reserve of Selous.

One thing that set Selous completely unique from other wildlife parks of the country is its status of being a game reserve rather than a national park. Being a game reserve excuse Selous from uncounted rules which guides the national parks.

There’s really a few parks with so many wild animals like Selous in the while world.

Lions, for example, are estimated to be more than 3,000 while it has among the biggest elephants concentration on the planet, not to mention uncountable buffaloes, wildebeests, zebra, impala, hippo and crocodiles just to name a few.

Selous should top your list in the 10 best things to do in Tanzania, truly!

5. Tree climbing lions of Lake Manyara National Park

If there are the lions who are fond of trees then it’s those of Lake Manyara national park.

Themselves, are enough reason to have this magnificent park in your 10 best things to do in Tanzania list.

However, tree-climbing Lions aren’t the only reasons to have this park in your bucket list, if you like birds, Lake Manyara National Park should as well top your list. I don’t remember seeing so many flamingos anywhere else than the one in Lake Manyara.

Elephant herds are also common in Lake Manyara national park as well as other interesting wild animals like hippos, giraffes, buffalo and cheetahs.

6. Take a game drive to Tarangire

I like to call this park a small Serengeti.

Have you ever heard of the mighty Serengeti National park which its land runs on forever? Well, if you need a park in Tanzania to give you good favour of Tanzania wildlife within a limited time, Tarangire is the one.

Tarangire can also be done as a day trip.

If you’re in Arusha or landing near Arusha (Kilimanjaro International Airport) Tarangire should be your top choice as it is just 120kms which are roughly 2 hours’ drive.

Apart from its large concentration of elephant herds of up to 300, Tarangire has a good variety of wildlife and you can easily spot lions and other cats (leopard & cheetahs are rare)

With so many birds in Tarangire and stunning large baobab trees, you’d need a bit of luck to spot a tree climbing python like I was luckier in one of my Tarangire trips.

I can’t stress this enough but, guys, Tarangire should be in your top 10 best things to do in Tanzania.

7. A visit to Ngorongoro crater

If you were to describe Ngorongoro in just 5 words here is what they’d be;

World’s largest, intact and unfilled volcanic caldera.

Yes, that is Ngorongoro, my friend

At the moment I am writing, there is no reported largest unfilled caldera than the one in Ngorongoro.

The caldera came as a result of the fallen and sunk volcanic mountain about 2-3 million years ago.

There’ve been claims that had the initial volcano remained, Everest and Kilimanjaro could’ve been nowhere to be found in the highest mountain list.

Having said so, Ngorongoro is simply the best place to see the endangered black rhino and other countless wild animals while experiencing the Tanzania culture in a close proximity.

I should also remind you that Serengeti is a world heritage site famously known as Africa’s Garden of Eden.

With an amazing sunrise and sunset, its close proximity to Arusha enabling you a day tour, Ngorongoro should really be among your 10 top things to do in this magnificent Tanzania destination.

8. Go and relax in Zanzibar beaches while enjoying stone town history

Well, it isn’t only it’s cool clean beaches that should take you there, but Zanzibar dishes as well.

It’s not by mistake Zanzibar is called an island of spices.

When you are blessed with a climate that ensures a profusion of exquisite produce, as Zanzibar is, it’s only natural that our local cuisine showcases our abundance in its freshest, simplest, most flavorful form.

Zanzibar Pizza, mchuzi wa pweza, ugali, Zanzibar Biryani, a mixture of chips & eggs, mishkaki, octopus & cassava, Urojo, Coconut Bean soup, Durian and mandazi just to name a few are a joy for the eyes and the palate.

With so many clean beaches to choose from in Zanzibar, a visit to the old stone town & Ngome Kongwe (The old fort) will surely make your Tanzania safari awe-inspiring.

To make Zanzibar holiday even much beautiful, consider visiting the following in your Zanzibar holiday;

  • Matemwe beach
  • Stone town
  • Chembe island coral park
  • Jozani Chwaka bay national park
  • Mangapwani slave chambers
  • Dhow Boat Experience
  • Changuu Island (Prison Island)
  • Hamamni Persian Baths
  • Visit a Spice Farm
  • The Old Fort (Ngome Kongwe)

With all above worth visiting in Zanzibar, it’s no wonder this unique island usually tops most visitors 10 best things to do in Tanzania.

9. Conquer Kilimanjaro Mountain

If I tell you Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain on the planet, it won’t be a lie, you know.

Well, this is the highest free-standing mountain to ever been seen on the planet.

Everest might be the tallest mountain, but it doesn’t stand on its own.

Kilimanjaro is a loner, and proudly so.

Whether it is a day trip to this roof of Africa or several days hiking to its top, or even a perfect view from Arusha town, Kilimanjaro should, without doubt, be in your best things to do in Tanzania.

Kilimanjaro has been attraction well over 52,000 visitors each year and some of them tries to reach the top of this iconic Mountain.

If you’re an adventurous, hiking Kilimanjaro should be among your priorities in things to do in Tanzania.

10. Experience wildebeest’s migration in Serengeti

Ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters and our winner is…..

That is the voice heard from the SafariBookings Empire as this vast land defeated all other safari parks of Africa and came top after voters (both, industry experts and visitors) said through their votes that Tanzania’s Serengeti is the best safari park of Africa.

Well, travellers from all over the world, industry experts at least crowned Serengeti this accolade, I am no one to tell you not to include Serengeti in your 10 best things to in Tanzania bucket list.

This UNESCO world heritage site has consistently welcomed at least 350,000 visitors per year. It is also among the oldest parks of Africa.

Serengeti which has its name in the 7 natural wonders of Africa is one of the few places in the world with the largest concentration of wild animals.

Lion, Cheetah, Elephant, Buffalo, Rhino, Leopard, Wildebeest, Giraffe, Zebra, Hyena, Hippos, Dik-dik, Nile Crocodiles, Monkeys, Gazelle, Impala, Hartebeest, Topi, Waterbuck, Hyrax, and Pythons, for example, are among the common animals in this endless plain.

Conclusion

Our list of 10 best things to do in Tanzania could go on but the above destinations, activities, archaeological sites & cultural spots, and other attractions have to be some of your favourite things to do and see in Tanzania.

There are so many reasons to love my country, Tanzania, and one of them is that it’s probably the best place in Africa to get a mixture of wildlife, culture and beach tourism.

I promise you, if you haven’t visited yet, you should definitely give Tanzania a top priority in your holiday destinations bucket list.

After seeing my top 10 things to do in Tanzania, which one is going to be on your bucket list?