Where wild savannah meets tropical coastline
It could be the statuesque Mount Kilimanjaro (the tallest mountain in Africa), a hominid fossil hunt, or the sight of one and a half million migrating wildebeest in the iconic Serengeti National Park, that defines your tour of Tanzania. Whichever direction you take across one of Africa’s most awe-inspiring lands, be sure of this: Sumptuous beaches, timeless peak-top views, and dramatic wildlife will leave you gasping for air.
With over 130 spoken languages, an abundance of wildlife, and tongue-sizzling cuisine, Tanzania offers visitors a rich cultural experience. If you’re looking for a safari expedition, head to the Serengeti National Park or the Ngorongoro Crater for a taste of the Tanzanian outdoors. Alternatively, visit the emerald green land of southern game reserve, Selous, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that offers unparalleled wildlife diversity in an unspoilt setting.
This world-famous landform attracts adventurers from around the world who seek to conquer the tallest mountain in Africa. Hikers of little experience are welcome on a journey towards an otherworldly peak top. Several trails will rise you above Tanzanian lands that Hemingway once said made him “hungry for more.” The sight of three volcanic cones piercing a clouded skyline will leave you bewitched by this natural wonderland.
Translating to “endless plains” in Swahili, the word Serengeti aptly describes dreamy vistas that provide a home for droves of unique wildlife, including the Big Five—tree climbing lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffalos. There’s also an annual wildebeest migration for you to marvel over, taking place on the short-grass plains once November rains begin. Witness wild births, crocodiles, honey badgers, cheeky cheetahs and plenty more.
Located in northern Tanzania, the centerpiece of the Ngorongoro Conservation Center is the world’s largest caldera, the Ngorongoro Crater. This protected area has a depth of 2,000 feet, covers 115 square miles, and is home to 25,000 animals—including the black rhinoceros and Tanzania’s densest population of lions. For the archaeologist in you, Olduvai Gorge is a site where fossilized bones and stone tool discoveries date back to some of the earliest in humankind’s history.
Sprawling across 130 square miles, this national park boasts pink flamingos feeding from the soda lake’s algae waters in the wet season. Look up in admiration at more than 400 bird species, or listen to the playful sounds of baboon troops. A short drive north is the town of Mto Wa Mbu, where all 120 of Tanzania’s tribes are represented. Take camp for the night and experience tribal culture.
75 miles southwest of Arusha, Tarangire National Park is a wildlife marvel full of thick-trunked Baobab trees that adorn the landscape. Often overlooked in favor of Serengeti—but not to be overshadowed—the Tarangire is worth a visit during the dry season (June through October), and rewards you with views of rolling hills, sun-blistered mounds of termites, and awe-inspiring animal encounters by the banks of the Tarangire River.
A twenty-minute flight from port city of Dar Es Salaam is dreamy Zanzibar—an island of pristine white beaches that front this divine coastline. Scuba dive in the Indian Ocean and discover the tropical ecosystems below the surface. Try swimming with dolphins in the waters of Menai Bay. A visit to Stone Town is a must if you’re hoping to get a sense of Zanzibar’s cosmopolitan trade history. Experience the fresh and delectable cuisine by checking out bustling markets and vibrant food stalls.
Your desired destinations and preferred activities are important factors to consider when planning your trip to Tanzania. The dry season is between June and October, and the wet seasons are between November and December, and March and May. On the coast, heat and humidity are more common. The northwestern highlands are consistently cooler, with the central plateau dry and arid year-round. Prices for safaris will be influenced by the season, and the weather will be influenced by land elevation. At wildlife parks, June through October (dry season) is often best for viewings, with wildebeest migration peaks in August and September. Due to a variety of hikes, Mt. Kilimanjaro has no real off-season. Peak tourist season is July to March in the northern circuit.
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