Tanzania is a popular safari destination. Besides visiting the Serengeti and seeing the Big Five, you can climb Kilimanjaro or relax on beautiful beaches while visiting the country. In this article, you will find several sights that are definitely worth a visit. Remember to apply for a Tanzania visa before your trip.
On safari in Tanzaniaʼs national parks
The most popular areas for safaris in Tanzania are mainly found in the north of the country, about a two-hour drive from Arusha. Although any time of year is suitable for this type of activity, the best time to visit is between August and October. These months fall in the dry season and this is when the zebra and wildebeest migration takes place.
Serengeti National Park
With 1.5 million hectares, Serengeti National Park is the star of Tanzaniaʼs safaris. The park is famous for its impressive wildlife, including the Big Five. The large number of dams explains the parkʼs huge lion population. Serengeti park is also the scene of the "Great Migration", a spectacle in which thousands of wildebeest, zebra and other animals embark on a long journey to the Masai Mara in Kenya and then return.
Tarangire National Park
Another must-see during a trip through Tanzania is Tarangire, Tanzaniaʼs sixth-largest park. It is distinguished by its elephant population and its varied and lush vegetation, of which the baobabs are particularly striking. In addition to elephants bathing in the mud, you can also see turtles during a safari in this park.
Lake Manyara National Park
This area is considered a biosphere reserve and is famous for the baboons that live in the trees. With more than 400 species, it is also a bird paradise. Pink flamingos, pelicans and storks live on the shores of the alkaline lake from which the park takes its name. In Lake Manyara National Park, you can also see buffaloes, giraffes, zebras, antelopes, hippos and rhinos.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
This protected area, covering 8288 km², was declared a World Heritage Site in 1979 and contains nine volcanoes. Ngorongoro is home to two world-famous sites. One is the extraordinary Ngorongoro Volcano. Here, you can not only enjoy a beautiful view at sunrise, but also see the authentic Masai and their herds in the area. Oldupai, one of the most important archaeological sites in Africa, is also located in this area.
Climbing Kilimanjaro, Africaʼs highest mountain
Kilimanjaro (5895 metres high) is located in north-east Tanzania, close to the border with Kenya. Kilimanjaro is part of the so-called "Seven Summits", the highest mountain peaks of each continent. You can reach the top of Kilimanjaro even without much mountaineering experience. There are several routes that vary in length and difficulty. There are also a number of local tour operators that organise tours and provide accommodation and equipment. It is advised planning your time well, so that your body can get used to the altitude, and you do not suffer from altitude sickness.
Dar es Salaam, the former capital of Tanzania
Dar es Salaam was the capital of Tanzania until 1973. Although today Dodoma is the capital, Dar es Salaam is still the most populous city and the most important port in the country. It is home to the National Museum of Tanzania, a must for history buffs. It also has several beautiful beaches that are easily accessible thanks to its ideal location on the Indian Ocean.
The paradisical Zanzibar archipelago
This region is about 90 kilometres off the coast and consists of several islands, including Zanzibar (also called Unguja) and Pemba. These islands in the Indian Ocean have one of the most idyllic beaches in Africa where you can relax. Lovers of snorkelling and diving should definitely visit the island of Mnemba. This protected area consists of a seven-kilometre-long coral reef. Dolphins can be seen here. Since it is private property, you can only visit the island for a substantial fee. However, you can dive or snorkel about 200 metres from the coast. Besides the turquoise beaches, the island of Zanzibar has much more to offer. A walk through the old part of the capital, Stone Town, is a journey through the history of the island. Zanzibar Town, with its palaces with Indian and Arab influences and remains of dungeons, was East Africaʼs largest port for slave trading in the 19th century.
Applying for a Tanzania visa
European travellers travelling to Tanzania for a holiday require a visa. Children also need their own visa. The Tanzania visa can be easily applied for online and is valid for a maximum stay of 30 days. This way, you can combine a safari in the main national parks with a relaxing stay in Dar es Salaam or Zanzibar.
You can only apply for a visa if you have purchased return tickets and booked at least one accommodation. Your passport also has to be valid for at least 6 more months upon arrival, and you can only enter the country at certain locations. Read more about the requirements of the Tanzania visa, so you can travel with peace of mind.