A trip to Tanzania can include everything from safaris and mountain climbing, to the beach and big city excitement. From Kilimanjaro and the Serengeti in the north to the chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park in western Tanzania and the beaches of Zanzibar in the east.
Dar es Salaam
A journey to Tanzania will, for many, begin at Tanzania's capital, Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam is a fascinating mixture of African, Arabic and Indian culture. The name, from Arabic, can be translated to something like Port of Peace, but is not exactly an accurate description of the town's character. Dar es Salaam is noisy and hectic, but also offers a compelling insight into African city life. Visit the giant Kariakoo market, which is Tanzania's largest and jam-packed with exotic products and remarkable food. Or go to one of Dar es Salaam's hot nightclubs and dance with locals to thumping East African music. Both north and south of the city, you can quickly reach cozy villages where there are good opportunities to go camping on the beach.
Northern Tanzania: Nature, wildlife, and trekking
Northern Tanzania offers a unique opportunity to see the incredibly rich wildlife and experience nature. It is also here you can find Mount Kilimanjaro. The mountain is the continent's highest point and offers amazing opportunities to climb up Kilimanjaro with spectacular scenery with incredible views along the route. You can climb Kilimanjaro no matter what your temperament and fitness levels are - there are many different ways to reach the top. It can be a tough journey, but trust us, it’s worth it.
National parks and safaris in Tanzania
Northern Tanzania also provides ample opportunities to experience the best of Africa's fascinating wildlife on a safari tour. An alternative to the more famous Serengeti National Park is the smaller Arusha National Park. Arusha covers only 137 square kilometres between Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru, and has very mixed flora and fauna, which is quite different from Serengeti National Park due to height differences. In Arusha, some of the highlights include Ngurdoto Crater, Momela Lakes and Mount Meru, which - like the park - is an alternative to the more visited Kilimanjaro.
In Arusha Park, there are good opportunities to go on safari tours, where you can experience the abundant wildlife. Safari means journey in Swahili, and that is exactly what it is - a journey where you have the unique opportunity to see wildlife in its natural environment. There are plenty of zebra, buffaloes, elephants, hyenas, giraffes, antelopes, many kinds of monkeys and thousands of birds. You can also be lucky and encounter a leopard. Another safari option is Lake Manyara National Park. This park is teeming with hippos and is famous for its large population of flamingos and its tree-climbing lions. It is also this park that formed the background for most of Ernest Hemingway's stories of big game hunting in Africa. You can overnight at a lodge or in a tented camp where the evening can be spent reflecting over the day's experiences, while watching the sun set near the baobab trees.
If you are travelling to the western part of Tanzania, then the highlight of your trip will be the opportunity to see chimpanzees in the famous Gombe Stream National Park. The park is not far from the border to neighbouring Burundi, near Tanganyika Lake, and the only way to get there is by boat. Here you are deep in the African continent. In Gombe, there are good options for accommodation in lodges, camping by the lakeside, or at the permanent campsite.
The wild and remote Tanzania: Kalambo and Katavi
Near Lake Tanganyika, next to the border of Zambia, are the impressive Kalambo waterfalls. The falls are 235-metres-tall, making them the second highest waterfalls in Africa. You can visit Kalambo in connection with a visit to Katavi National Park, which is one of the least-visited due to its remoteness, but not lacking in opportunities to see wildlife. Katavi is also a river delta, which makes hippos, elephants and crocodiles the main attractions.