10 must-visit places on your trip to Tanzania
Tanzania is one of the top prime safari destinations in Africa. Loads of visitors come to this East African country to experience its wilderness, nonchalant islands and beaches, and unique culture. It is an ideal place for nature enthusiasts because of its spontaneous and unprecedented wildlife species and natural physical features that run from one corner of the country to the other.
Due to its immeasurable natural attractions and destinations, it would take a visitor to explore and enjoy Tanzania for almost a year. With time not being the best ally of most people/visitors in this day and age generation, here are the 10 must-visit places on your trip to Tanzania for the short time you might have of your daily routine.
Serengeti National Park
This is one of the most touristic natural biodiversity places in Tanzania. One would say, it is the place to be for visitors who wish to explore and enjoy nature at its best. It is famously known for its natural phenomenon of the great migration of millions of wildebeests from its central plains to the north and as far as Masai Mara in Kenya forth and back.
The Migration of the Wildebeest is regarded as one of the natural wonders of the world. The Migration of these ungulates is the largest movement of animals ever experienced in the world. Serengeti National park is also a popular big five destination. It has one of the highest concentrations of lions in the world and the other big four (leopards, elephants, rhinos, and buffaloes) are in huge numbers.
Other big mammals are also seen on a game viewing session in Serengeti for example the elands, zebras, giraffes etcetera. The savannah park is also a bird paradise with a whopping number of over 500 species recorded within its lashing vegetation.
Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area
This is part of the great Serengeti conservation area located in the west of Arusha. Its centerpiece is the Ngorongoro crater, the largest inactive and intact volcanic caldera in the world.
With so much life around the volcanic area, Ngorongoro records an endless list of wildlife species that are encountered on a game drive for example lions, elands, African buffaloes, zebras, wildebeests, hyenas, and bird species like grey crowned crane and silver checked hornbill. Ngorongoro is one of the most scenic places in the world as it is painted with green rolling hills.
This conservation area is also known to be one of the oldest human settlement areas in the world. The oldest human remains to ever be discovered were found at Olduvai Gorge, a place within Ngorongoro.
Kilimanjaro is the highest natural feature on the African continent located in the north of Tanzania on the borders of Kenya. It is a dormant volcano with three volcanic cones, Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira.
Kibo is the largest of all the three ranges and has the highest peak Uhuru standing at the height of 5,895 m and this makes Kilimanjaro the fourth highest mountain in the world. It has diminishing glacier peaks which makes it a scenic feature to watch from far and near. Kilimanjaro Mountain is a national park its self with lots of biodiversities to protect and treasure.
It has a few large mammals in its perch for example elephants and buffaloes are occasionally seen, other wildlife species within are mongoose, sunbirds, warthogs, dik-diks, bushbucks, and chameleons. Though it has some unique wildlife to encounter, Kilimanjaro is majorly sought after for its hiking expeditions. The travelers visit this elevated site to hike up to the top of its snow-capped ranges. Its peaks are very breathtaking spots to reach, hikers tend to enjoy a panoramic view of Tanzania and other neighboring countries at large.
Lake Manyara National Park
This Picturesque area of nature is located southwest of Arusha. It is dominated by Lake Manyara, the popular natural phenomenon in the area and the rift valley. Lake Manyara is alkaline in a closed basin with no outflows, only fed by underground streams, rivers, and springs whose waters are fetched from Ngorongoro highlands.
It is the seventh-largest lake in the country. Lake Manyara is a salty water body, draws a reasonable number of bird species that are attractive to the tourists of the park. Lake Manyara is regarded as an important bird area with over 2 million birds of different species visiting the area. Some of them include flamingos, black-winged stilt, yellow-billed stork, Pied Avocet, great white pelican, Caspian plover, and many more.
Lake Manyara has a rare fish species Oreochromis amphimelas and also catfish and tilapia exist in the water inflow areas where the salt is less. Within the park plains, there are herbivores seen like gazelle, impala, zebras, wildebeest, giraffes, buffalos, and so forth. These are migratory animals from the nearby habitat Tarangire national park.
Tarangire National Park
A two-hour’s drive south away from the popular city of Arusha there lies Tarangire the sixth largest national wildlife reserve in Tanzania. The most popular centerpiece of this great natural biodiversity is the Tarangire River where the park’s name was derived from.
The tarangire river acts as the main source of water during the dry season to various wild animals in the northern circuit of the country which is purely dominated by different natural habitats. In the months of June- November where Tanzania experiences a great dry spell, there is a huge migration of different animals from other biodiversities to Tarangire national park for greener pastures and water from the river. Animal species like zebra, wildebeest, and cape buffaloes migrate around the river areas for survival.
The park is also home to waterbuck, giraffes, gazelle, baboons, vervet monkeys, dik-dik, impala, elands, and predators like leopards, lions, cheetahs, and wild dogs. It is also a bird haven with over 550 species recorded in its perch. The Tarangire national park is more of a season game habitat as most animals are hugely present in the area during the dry season of June-November. A game drive and bird-watching expeditions in the dry months are always memorable!
Zanzibar is a collection of islands on the Indian ocean slightly off the mainland of Tanzania. Its nonchalant islands are a popular tourism destination for persons interested in honeymoons, weekend getaways, and vacationers seeking a beach life of sun and sand. It has a chain of luxurious resorts for tourists who seek special retreats.
It is home to the stone town, a famous historical and cultural site that depicts most of the ancient Indian Ocean trade which prevailed between the Arabs, Africans, and South Asian people.
The historical sites to visit in Zanzibar are makusurani graveyard, a grand cemetery for most former Arab rulers, the peace memorial museum, Dunga ruins, Hamamni and Kidichi Persian Baths, and House of Wonders.
These are great places to delve into and get to know the past history of foreign invasion around the African continent. Zanzibar also has lots of tropical fruits and plants like coconut, banana, lime jackfruit and breadfruit, and spice plantations. A spice tour always enables visitors to encounter the aforementioned fruits.
This is known as the capital of safaris in the world. Arusha Region is where most of the grand national game parks in Tanzania are situated from Serengeti, Ngorongoro to Kilimanjaro.
This makes Arusha city, the start-up point for most safari trips in Tanzania. The region also has an international airport which avails the smooth landing of the tourists into the country. The city of Arusha also has modern architecture and a sightseeing excursion is recommended while in the area. Arusha, itself has a national park named after it.
Arusha National park is sandwiched between Kilimanjaro national park in the east and Ngorongoro crater and Serengeti in the west, the three most iconic safari destinations in the country.
This compact park is majorly influenced by Mount Meru, the second-highest mountain in the bongo land. Arusha national park does not give the same wilderness experience as the other iconic parks but it’s a natural attraction to reckon with. It is more of a relaxed and nonchalant place with some wildlife species to enjoy on a game drive. Wildlife available in this small park include zebras, buffaloes, warthog, giraffes, bushbuck, elephants, primates like blue monkeys, and black and white colobus. It is also a birding gem, a stroll in its forests, a visitor encounters birds like trogon species and starling species.
Gombe National Park
Far detached from the northern safari circuit, situated in the western region, Kigoma on the eastern hills of Lake Tanganyika margins, Gombe national park is unique biodiversity in all sense.
Its vegetation comprises tropical rainforest, grasslands, and woodland making it an ideal home for African primate species like chimpanzees, red colobus, blue monkeys, vervet monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, and olive baboons.
It also has snake species, a variety of birds, bush pigs, and irregular leopards, and hippos. Chimpanzee trekking is the most popular tourism activity in the park, the chimpanzees are one of the akin relatives of mankind and their theatrical antics in the wild are mindboggling. A date with the chimpanzee in these wonderful habitats is a lifetime experience!
It is one of the most popular areas in Tanzania and with the highest number of people in the country. Mwanza is located in the northwest along the shores of Lake Victoria, the second-largest inland freshwater body in the world. The main economic activity in the area is fishing, the Nile perch and tilapia are the most common fishes caught on the waters.
A boat ride on the serene waters of Lake Victoria is scintillating, the visitors are able to get hold of any fish and the scenic view of the lake is spot on. A fish village tour is also possible for the tourists to learn how the locals go about their fishing business. A taste of the fresh fried Nile perch or tilapia is a shining diamond of the tour. The architecture around the area is also of interest, houses are built on the huge rocks within the city. This is why it is regarded as a rock city by many.
Selous Game Reserve
Less toured than the northern safari circuit destination, Selous game reserve is located in the southern hemisphere of Tanzania. The park was named after a game hunter and an early nature conservationist Freddick Selous.
The park is mainly covered by miombo woodlands, acacia, wetlands, and savannah grassland hence being a comfortable home for the common African game like black rhinos, lions, elephants, Masai giraffes, plains zebras, wild dogs, bush elephants. It is held Rufiji river which verifies the presence of Nile crocodiles, hippos, and a mammoth of aquatic bird species. Selous Game reserve is a popular area for game hunting safaris.