This post was most recently updated on November 29th, 2017
Tanzania, is the largest East African country, and it is home to many tourist attractions, including the famous Serengeti, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro, Zanzibar, Tarangire, Ruaha and many more. The Serengeti National Park is famous for the great wildebeest migration. Find details of the key Tanzania tourist attractions here.
Suggested Tours: Tanzania Tours and Activities
Tanzania Tourist Attractions
Serengeti National Park
Known for its great populations of wildebeest and zebras, it is a chance to see powerful creations in their natural habitat, while enjoying the safety and comforts of a controlled environment. Exotic trees and lush greenery will capture your eyes and imagination for a long time and provide an experience that truly delivers… This region is as big as Northern Ireland covering a whopping area of 12950 sq kilometers. It lies between the Lake Victoria, Lake Eyasi, and the Great Rift Valley. Seronera is in the middle of the Park and known to be the most visited area by the tourists, while the Grumeti River in the westerns side is famous for the extraordinary site of the wildebeest migration.
Serengeti National Park activities include the hot air balloon trip over the plains. The crocodiles in the Nile River are a major attraction in the Serengeti Safari tours besides the Great Migration, when millions of herbivores migrate to and from the Masai mara. The Great Migration not only brings massive numbers of zebras, wildebeests and gazelles out for watching but also tempts in a lot of predators for hunting down the newborns of the animals. One can also get to see enormous quantity of African Elephants in the Serengeti national park.
Ngoro Ngoro Crater
Filled with rich landscapes under a mostly blue sky, you can enjoy the warmth of the day while getting to know rhinoceros and other amazing animals. The Olduvai Gorge will also attract your attention if you are a history buff, as it is considered one of the starting points of mankind, housing some of the oldest known specimens of our species. The Ngoro Ngoro Crater has become one of Tanzania’s most beautiful and fertile spots with a rich soil and constant water supply that has brought on a rich ecosystem which nourishes about 25,000 animals.
The steep sides of the Ngoro Ngoro Crater form a natural enclosure to all fauna and flora which include the famous Big 5 animal groups; these are the lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo, and rhino. Many exotic animals can be found here as the Ngoro Ngoro Crater forms the attractive habitat for the wildlife for breeding, survival and hunting. The Ngoro Ngoro volcano is now considered dormant with its extinct crater floor flourishing with fauna and flora. There are spectacular sights to behold at the Ngoro Ngoro Crater due to its unusual landscape. Hence, it is not surprising to have the Ngoro Ngoro Crater to be declared as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. There is a beautiful bay near Ngoro Ngoro where tourists would enjoy the tranquility and fresh air. Exotic flora thrives on the spacious crater to provide nourishment for the wildlife that is found there. Nearby there is the impressive Olduvai Gorge or often called “The Cradle of Mankind”; it is one of the earliest historic sites that is available in the world.
The Spice Island. It is both a modern tourist hub and a free connection to the wilds of the not so Dark Continent. The waters are clear as crystals, the resorts are ripe with amenities and the food is nothing short of delicious. It is a place for the entire family, filled with modern convenience and classic outdoor adventure. Among the top holiday destinations in the world, few can rival the beauty of Zanzibar Islands. Lying in the Indian Ocean 36 km off Tanzania’s coast, Zanzibar consists of the Unguja and Pemba islands. Of these two, Unguja Island is the more developed and is what most people know as Zanzibar. Zanzibar (meaning Land of the Blacks in Arabic) is particularly famed for its alluring white beaches majority of which are placed along the east coast, near the northern tip of the island, where fishing villages dot the landscape.
Most of the Zanzibar beaches are pure, unspoiled, and quiet, with the only noise being that of the ocean. Nungwi beach is arguably the best among the more than 30 pristine beaches of Zanzibar. Situated in the northern part of Zanzibar, Nungwi is accessible by a road that is beautifully lined with coconut palms, mangrove, and banana plants. Being the boat building capital of Zanzibar, Nungwi is a good spot for visitors to see traditional craftsmen at work. Zanzibar has a number of smaller offshore islands with several attractions in addition to the pristine beaches. The most popular of these small islands is Prison Island, which is situated just a short distance from Zanzibar’s capital town of Stone Town.
Mount Kilimanjaro, one of the most beautiful mountains of the world, and the fourth tallest, is located in Kilimanjaro National Park, which is situated in Tanzania The Kilimanjaro National Park is also included in the UNESCO world heritage sites. This makes the mountain even more beautiful. Mt. Kilimanjaro is also the highest mountain in Africa with the peak rising over nineteen thousand feet above sea level. The mountain is also the highest freestanding mountain in the world. There are various Mt. Kilimanjaro facts, which are interesting to note and fascinate people, even those who are not planning to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. The view of the Kilimanjaro National park is also very beautiful and you get a great view while climbing the mountain.
Lake Manyara National Park, is an excellent introduction to a safari in Tanzania. The scenic beauty alone is one of the main reasons why travelers visit and certainly deserves your attention. Lake Manyara is described as ‘the most beautiful lake in all Africa’.
The park is located in the Arusha region in Northern Tanzania. The area of the park covers approximately 50km and sits at the base of the 600m high Rift Valley escarpment and the Manyara Lake. The park is famous for its vast herds of elephants, flocking flamingos which inhabit the land and its highly unusual tree-climbing lions. The national park is also home to baboons, giraffes, hippos, wildebeest and zebras, providing you with an exceptional big four safari. A highlight of any visit to Manyara is without question its diverse population of birds. The park is widely considered to be one of the best places for bird watching in the world and has an impressive 400 different bird species to be discovered. Bird watchers can spot birds such a flamingo’s, herons, water fowls, crowned cranes, crowned eagles, and snipes.
The Selous, Southern Tanzania
The Selous is Africa’s largest game reserve, and is also the second largest conservation area in the world. UNESCO declared Selous as a world heritage in 1982 due to its elaborate and unique beauty and large numbers of safari animals. The main attractions in Selous includes for elephants, rhinos, hippopotamus, sable antelope, eland, greater kudu, waterbuck, hartebeest, zebras, giraffe, reedbuck, warthog, Nyasaland gnu, spotted hyena, lion, leopard, hunting dog and large numbers of buffalos.
Activities include boat safaris, walking safaris, fishing trips, cultural visits, and hot springs. Walking safaris are very popular and you can also go on night drives.
Mahale Mountains, Western Tanzania
Mahale Mountains National Park has some features that are not so common. It has a protected area for chimpanzees and it is also the only place that chimpanzees and lions co-exist. It is also one of the rare parks that one can experience by foot.
It is situated on the shores of Lake Tanganyika which draws the Chimpanzees. There are over 1000 Chimpanzees in Mahale Mountains National Park. There also other primates such as the red colobus and yellow baboons.
Activites include walking trips, cultural visits, sports fishing and mountain climbing. Visits to Mahale can be combined with Katavi.
Tarangire National Park, Northern Tanzania
Tarangire has one of the greatest congregation of diverse wildlife in Tanzania during the dry season (June to October). The Tarangire river provides water for animals during this time. Apart from giving you that genuine safari atmosphere, Tarangire is famous for elephant migration and birding safari. If you love elephants, this is the place to go. Other wildlife found here include lion, zebra, impala, giraffe, buffalo and wildebeest. Resident wildlife also found here include waterbuck, dik dik, eland, Grant’s gazelle, cheetah and monkey. For those who love birding, the park is a sanctuary to more than 550 bird species. Other famous features include termite mounds and lots of baobab trees and dwarf mongoose.
Activities include safaris, walking safaris and birding safaris.
Katavi, though not flowing with visitors, has the qualities of being a superb wildlife destination, due to its combination of its untouched beauty and lots of animals. It is quite remote, and access is only available through a light aircraft, hence the reason for few visitors. Wildlife at Katavi include Sable antelopes, huge herds of buffalo, zebras, impalas, elephants, waterbucks and duikers. The pools of the Katuma rivers are usually brimming with hippos and crocodiles.
Lions, leopards and wild dogs can be found at these rivers looking for their prey, as the vultures watch waiting patiently. Others among these trees include fish eagles, storks and vervet monkeys. During the rainy season, Katavi becomes a paradise of flowers, huge swamps, lakes, rivers and waterfalls with a fantastic diversity of bird life.
Ruaha National Park, Southern Tanzania
Ruaha is remote, huge, and brimming with untamed life – particularly elephants. There are likewise lions, cheetah, panther, heaps of kudu and practically every other African mammal you’d jump at the chance to see. Ruaha is home to the Great Ruaha River and it’s here amid the dry season (May to December) that you get some fantastic diversion seeing.
Ruaha can just be accessed by light aircraft and it’s recommended you book no less than 4 nights to make it an advantageous trek. This likewise gives you enough time to investigate this gigantic zone of untainted African wild. Most of the accommodations in Ruaha are great and provide an enjoyable experience.
Mafia Island, East Coast (Indian Ocean)
With under 1000 guests for each year, Mafia Island is an undiscovered Tanzanian prize. It has a rich history, and a solid Swahili culture untainted by tourism. A great part of the island and its excellent shorelines have been assigned as a marine park. It is one of the best places to go for deep sea fishing, diving and snorkelling in Africa. You can watch whale sharks, turtles and numerous other intriguing types of untamed life.
There are several boutique lodgings and personal resorts to book into. They incorporate the eco-friendly and private Kinasi Lodge; Pole Pole; and Ras Mbisi Lodge.
You can get to Mafia island via plane from Dar es Salaam.