Tanzania in East Africa is known for its wilderness areas and has earned a reputation as a safari destination, with the Serengeti as its star attraction.
Holidays to Tanzania can be a great combination of relaxing on beaches, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and having superb wildlife experiences. Here are just some ways you can get the most out of a trip to Tanzania.
- Tarangire National Park
It may not be the most famous or largest national park in Tanzania, but it is an ideal place to see wildlife. It has the largest elephant population in Tanzania and in the dry season, you can see herds of elephants digging in the riverbed of the Tarangire River looking for underground streams.
A longer stay in Tarangire means you can explore the southern areas away from the crowds and have a quieter safari experience than in the parks in northern Tanzania.
You will see large populations of herbivores like wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, eland, impala, buffalo and warthog moving in search of water. Leopard and lion are also plentiful and the park is famous for its ancient baobab trees and its prolific birdlife.
- Climb Mount Kilimanjaro
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the most challenging adventures you can experience and if you choose a reputable operator, you have a high chance of reaching the summit.
The Lemosho route provides an ideal balance of incredible scenery, low crowds, and a high summit success rate. Climbing Kilimanjaro offers seven and eight-day tours on the Lemosho route, where you will experience the amazing variety of six different ecological zones during the course of your journey.
- Visit a Maasai Village
You can’t visit east Africa without encountering the Maasai tribe. Wearing their traditional red robes with elaborate bells and beadwork, they will welcome you into their village.
The Maasai are known for their rhythmic singing and their “jumping dance.” The warriors form a circle with a person in the center. This dancer jumps higher and higher and the higher he jumps, the higher the singers raise the pitch of their voices.
The Maasai have had tourists coming to their villages for years and you probably won’t be able to leave without buying a souvenir. They will quote you high prices but you can barter with them.
- Go on a balloon safari
If you’re adventurous at heart, taking a hot air balloon safari over the Serengeti Plains gives you the opportunity to see wildlife from above. Every year more than a million wildebeest migrate over the plains as well as other herbivores like zebra and gazelle.
Don’t limit yourself to migration season, though. You can see plenty of animals all year round in the Central Serengeti, where they gather in the Seronera River Valley.
The plains are well suited to balloon flights and from above, you may see amazing sights such as hippos in rivers, families of elephants trekking towards the horizon and the startled heads of giraffe as you fly over the branches where they’re stretching to feed.
- Take a boat to Mahale Mountains National Park
This is an off-the-beaten-track destination you can only reach by boat. The Mahale Mountains National Park protects the mountains tumbling down to the shores of Lake Tanganyika.
The signature activity in the park is guided chimpanzee trekking. However, annual visitor numbers are low, so if you’re looking for tranquil solitude, this could be the place for you. Relax on the shore of the lake, fish, watch birds, or trek into the forest to see the wild chimpanzees. Mahale is best for chimp trekking from July to October.