In this article, I’ll share my favourite and most exciting things to do in Tanzania. They include climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, visiting Lake Natron, and experiencing the magical Serengeti.
Welcome to Tanzania, a land of abundant wildlife and vibrant culture. From the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro to the breathtaking Serengeti National Park, this East African gem offers an array of thrilling adventures for intrepid travellers.
So, fasten your seatbelts and prepare for a wild ride as we unveil the top 25 most exciting things to do in Tanzania. Warning: laughter, awe, and the urge to book a ticket may ensue!
Top 25 Most Exciting Things to Do in Tanzania
1. Conquer Mount Kilimanjaro
Scaling the legendary Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, is a bucket-list adventure for many. Prepare for breathtaking vistas, physical challenges, and a sense of accomplishment that will literally have you shouting from the mountaintops!
2. Embark on a Safari
No trip to Tanzania is complete without a safari experience. Whether it’s the iconic Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, or Selous Game Reserve, be prepared for close encounters with the “Big Five” and an up-close look at the circle of life, with a dash of comedy provided by playful monkeys and cheeky warthogs.
3. Explore Zanzibar
Escape to the tropical paradise of Zanzibar, where pristine beaches, azure waters, and spicy flavours await. Swim with dolphins, wander through spice plantations, and soak up the laid-back island vibes. Don’t forget to indulge in some tantalizing local cuisine—it’s a taste bud party!
4. Discover the Ngorongoro Crater
Descend into the Ngorongoro Crater, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and be transported into a wildlife wonderland. Brace yourself for a captivating mix of zebras, lions, elephants, and rhinos in their natural habitat. It’s like stepping into the animal kingdom’s version of “The Real Housewives.”
5. Witness the Great Migration
Experience nature’s grand spectacle, the Great Migration, as millions of wildebeests and zebras traverse the Serengeti in search of greener pastures. This awe-inspiring migration is an incredible display of survival instincts, and you’ll find yourself cheering on these four-legged daredevils.
6. Dive into the Depths of Mafia Island
Dust off your snorkel gear and immerse yourself in the marine wonderland surrounding Mafia Island. Swim alongside gentle whale sharks, playful dolphins, and vibrant coral reefs. It’s like attending an underwater carnival, minus the clowns.
7. Unleash Your Inner Tarzan at Lake Manyara
Channel your inner adventurer and swing through the treetops of Lake Manyara National Park. Zip-line your way to a thrill and watch for the park’s famous tree-climbing lions. Remember to bring a camera; you’ll want to capture your “Jane of the Jungle” moment.
8. Connect with the Maasai Tribe
Engage with the fascinating Maasai tribe and immerse yourself in their vibrant culture. Learn their customs, dance to their traditional rhythms, and maybe even master the art of herding cattle. Warning: spontaneous outbreaks of laughter and rhythmic clapping may occur.
9. Confront Your Fears at Mahale Mountains National Park
Embark on a heart-pounding encounter with our distant relatives at Mahale Mountains National Park. Trek through lush forests, track chimpanzees and let out your best Tarzan call. Just be prepared for some serious monkey business—they may steal your snacks!
10. Trek through the Usambara Mountains
For adventurous souls seeking off-the-beaten-path experiences, hiking the Usambara Mountains is a must. Discover hidden waterfalls, traverse picturesque landscapes, and befriend chatty local guides who will entertain you with colourful stories. Be warned: pun competitions may spontaneously erupt along the way.
11. Explore Stone Town
Step back in time and wander through the labyrinthine alleys of Stone Town, Zanzibar’s historical heart. Marvel at the mix of Arabian, Indian, and African influences in the architecture, and unleash your inner Indiana Jones as you uncover hidden gems in the bustling markets.
12. Embrace the Lakeside Charm of Lake Victoria
Visit Africa’s largest lake, Lake Victoria, and soak up the laid-back atmosphere. Embark on a fishing expedition, try traditional boat-building, or simply relax and enjoy a sunset cruise. Don’t forget your fishing rod—it’s time to show those fish who’s the boss!
13. Discover the Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani
Unearth the secrets of the ancient Swahili civilization at the historical ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani. Explore the remains of mosques, palaces, and the Great Mosque—once the largest mosque in East Africa. Just be careful not to awaken any mummies; it’s a lot more fun when they stay in the movies.
14. Marvel at the Tanzanite Experience
No trip to Tanzania is complete without a visit to the Tanzanite Experience in Arusha. Marvel at the mesmerizing blue gemstone found only in Tanzania and learn about its rich history. Warning: the allure of these precious stones may lead to spontaneous declarations of love, so keep an eye on your wallet and your heart.
15. Climb Ol Doinyo Lengai
Take your climbing adventures to new heights by conquering Ol Doinyo Lengai, an active volcano in the Great Rift Valley. Braving the rugged terrain and the sulfuric fumes, you’ll be rewarded with jaw-dropping views and the satisfaction of telling everyone, “I climbed a volcano!”
16. Cruise through Lake Tanganyika
Set sail on the serene waters of Lake Tanganyika, the second-deepest lake in the world. Encounter a plethora of colourful fish species, relax on pristine beaches, and indulge in a seafood feast fit for Poseidon himself. Remember to bring your dancing shoes—the fish might ask you for a waltz.
17. Visit the Remote Selous Game Reserve
Escape the crowds and immerse yourself in the untouched wilderness of the Selous Game Reserve. Go on a walking safari, take a boat trip along the Rufiji River, and feel like a true explorer. But don’t be surprised if the animals seem more interested in your fashion choices than your binoculars.
18. Indulge in Swahili Delicacies
Tanzania is a food lover’s paradise, so make sure to savour the flavours of Swahili cuisine. Try mouthwatering dishes like pilau rice, mishkaki (grilled meat skewers), and mandazi (deliciously fried doughnuts). Just be prepared for the inevitable food coma, followed by uncontrollable bursts of laughter.
19. Attend the Sauti za Busara Music Festival
If you’re lucky enough to be in Tanzania in February, don’t miss the Sauti za Busara Music Festival in Zanzibar. Dance to the rhythm of African beats, discover emerging talents and get swept away by the vibrant energy of the crowds. Warning: excessive hip shaking may cause prolonged soreness.
20. Dive into Lake Natron
Venture into the eerie yet mesmerizing waters of Lake Natron, known for its vibrant red hue and high alkalinity. Marvel at the bizarre rock formations and snap Instagram-worthy photos that will leave your friends questioning your sanity. Who needs filters when you have nature’s surreal artistry?
21. Explore Mikumi National Park
Venture off the beaten path and explore the lesser-known gem, Mikumi National Park. Embark on a game drive through its diverse landscapes and witness much wildlife, from lions to giraffes. But be prepared for some unconventional animal behaviour—giraffes doing the limbo, anyone?
22. Trek through the Mahale Mountains
Embark on an unforgettable trek through the Mahale Mountains, home to one of the largest populations of chimpanzees in the world. Follow in Jane Goodall’s footsteps and witness our closest relatives’ captivating behaviours. Warning: you may find yourself longing for a banana-based diet afterwards.
23. Discover the Ruaha National Park
Escape the crowds and explore the vast wilderness of Ruaha National Park. Go on a game drive and witness the impressive concentration of elephants, lions, and hippos. But beware of the resident comedians—the meerkats—who will surely steal the show with their hilarious antics.
24. Wander through the Amani Nature Reserve
A visit to the Amani Nature Reserve is a must for nature enthusiasts. Immerse yourself in lush greenery, listen to the symphony of bird calls, and spot unique species like the Amani Sunbird. Don’t be surprised if the monkeys try to photobomb your perfect nature shot—they’re a bit cheeky.
25. Take a Hot Air Balloon Safari
For an extraordinary safari experience, take to the skies in a hot air balloon and witness the breathtaking landscapes from above. Marvel at the vastness of the Serengeti or the beauty of Tarangire National Park. And don’t worry; the balloon won’t pop if you shout “Surprise!” too loudly.
Bonus: Ride the TAZARA Train to Mbeya
Riding on the TAZARA train is one of the best things to do and see in Tanzania. There are two train services along the TAZARA railway – Kilimanjaro and Mukuba Express. These trains operate between Dar Es Saalam (Tanzania) and Kapiri Mposhi (Zambia). If you are looking for an unforgettable experience in Tanzania, board the train from Dar to the beautiful town of Mbeya.
Tanzania is a land of adventure, laughter, and natural wonders. From scaling mountains to dancing with dolphins, this East African gem offers a diverse range of thrilling experiences that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.
So, pack your sense of humour, unleash your inner explorer, and embark on an unforgettable journey through the top 25 most exciting things to do in Tanzania. As they say in Swahili, “Karibu Tanzania!” (Welcome to Tanzania!)