10 of the Most Popular Things in Tanzania

You’ve probably heard of Tanzania before; after all, the East African country is one of the most popular places to visit in Africa, and with good reason! It’s the type of place where you can enjoy wildlife safaris, swim in hot springs, and even hike Mount Kilimanjaro — all while never even having to leave the same country! It’s also known for its famous national parks, including Tarangire National Park and Ngorongoro Crater. In fact, here are 10 of the most popular things to do in Tanzania!

1) Safari

Tanzania is known for its safaris. From Katavi to Ruaha, from Tarangire to Lake Manyara, Tanzania’s wildlife-viewing opportunities are near endless. With its high concentration of wildlife, Tanzania is considered one of Africa’s safari meccas and a visit to many parts of the country would be incomplete without viewing its abundant wildlife. The Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater are two top safari destinations that visitors can easily reach from Arusha.

2) Zanzibar

From spice plantations to Arab-style architecture, Zanzibar has a lot to offer visitors. Whether you’re looking for a romantic beach vacation or want to see some famous historical sites, you can find it here. Some popular things to do are: visit spice plantations, go swimming in Stone Town (Zanzibar’s old city), and enjoy a meal at one of many quaint restaurants throughout the islands. There are plenty more options, so take some time to explore and check out what Tanzania is known for!

3) Mount Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro is an inactive stratovolcano in Tanzania. At a height of 5,895 meters (19,341 ft), it is Africa’s highest peak and is considered a major challenge for mountaineers. Mount Kilimanjaro is probably most famous for its near-perfect conical shape and its easy accessibility from nearby cities; however, there are hundreds of other things to do on Tanzania’s highest mountain that make it an incredibly popular tourist destination.

4) Serengeti National Park

If you’re going to Tanzania, then it would be a crime not to see one of Africa’s most celebrated wildlife habitats. The Serengeti National Park is famed for its many grazing animals, and more than three million tourists visit each year. On a safari tour, you’ll often see thousands of zebra and gazelle as well as giraffes and lions. If you want to add to your wildlife-viewing pleasure, consider staying at one of several luxury lodges located inside or near the park borders.

5) Ngorongoro Crater

Considered one of Tanzania’s most popular tourist destinations; Ngorongoro Crater is famous for being home to all five species of large African mammals:

  • elephants
  • rhinos
  • buffalos
  • lions
  • leopards

Indeed, visitors are more likely to see a big cat than any other type of animal at Ngorongoro. The crater itself was formed by volcanic activity approximately two million years ago.

6) Stone Town, Zanzibar Island

You’ve probably heard of Stone Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town is one of Tanzania’s most popular tourist destinations, largely because it has so much history: it was once a trading post and home to many wealthy Arabs. Today, visitors can explore centuries-old buildings, go on tours around town or shop for spices, colorful clothes and fabrics. Aside from Stone Town, there are plenty more things to do in Tanzania—including getting an up-close look at great wildlife. Many people visit Tanzania for safaris to see elephants and rhinos as well as lions, hippos and leopards.

7) Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s largest city

Dar es Salaam is Tanzania’s most populous city, with over 2.5 million residents. Founded as a town in 1866 by Sultan Seyyid Majid of Zanzibar, it was originally named Kisimu, but was changed to Dar es Salaam (the land of peace) after British colonization began in earnest in 1888. The city is an incredibly diverse place—it’s estimated that over 150 languages are spoken there! A handful of these languages are indigenous Bantu languages; but it is clear to see that there has been a large population shift as Zanzibari people moved into town and intermarried with other ethnic groups like Gujarati and Arab traders.

8) Geita Gold Mine

Tanzania’s Geita gold mine is one of Africa’s largest, and it’s no wonder why so many people are attracted to it. Gold prices are high—making Tanzania a perfect location for investment. In 2016, a 100-ton (90 metric ton) gold nugget was discovered at Geita, which set all-time records for both gold weight and purity. In just one year, gold prices went from $1,040 per ounce to more than $1,300; putting mines like Geita’s at an all-time high. The country has already made huge investments into its mining industry; and seems poised to continue producing more resources as demand rises worldwide.

9) Great Migration

Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park is known for a wildlife spectacle called The Great Migration. Every year, a million or so wildebeest and zebras travel about 1,900 miles; from their grazing grounds in Kenya to Tanzania’s Masai Mara National Reserve; an annual journey that takes them six months to complete. Once they arrive at Masai Mara, they feast on rich grasses while preparing for an epic battle with other species: predator vs. prey. Wildebeest vs Zebra is literally on your plate when you eat zebra meat; it’s considered one of Africa’s most flavorful meats because it doesn’t have strong-tasting fat and there are no marbling muscles.

10) Lake Tanganyika

The ninth largest lake in the world and second deepest is an incredible feat of nature that offers Tanzania a wealth of natural resources; including fish, forests, and minerals. Tanzania is one of only two countries on Earth that share borders with just one other country. In fact, nearly three-quarters of Tanzania’s eastern border runs along Lake Tanganyika; so it’s no surprise that fishing plays such a large role in local economies. For example, there are more than 1,000 freshwater fish species living in Lake Tanganyika!

Tanzania Vaccination Requirements

Your trip to Tanzania is almost here; and you’re excited to start exploring the Serengeti National Park or Ngorongoro Crater; but before you go, it’s important to learn about Tanzania vaccination requirements! Here’s what you need to know before traveling to Tanzania; including when and where to get your vaccinations and the side effects you may experience after your shots. Read on to learn more!

Tanzania Entry Requirements

The Tanzania entry requirements have recently changed and visitors can now obtain a visa on arrival. Most people will enter Tanzania through Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO); in Dar es Salaam, or at one of Tanzania’s land border crossings with Kenya, Uganda or Rwanda. Citizens of most Western countries do not need a visa for travel to Tanzania for visits up to 90 days. Visas can be obtained upon arrival in Dar es Salaam at Terminal 2 arrivals hall if you are arriving from outside Africa; if you are entering from another African country, visas must be purchased online prior to traveling. The cost is $50 USD for all nationalities and is valid for 30 days after issue.

Tanzania Visa On Arrival

If you are arriving by air, you will be required to get a visa prior to entry. To avoid waiting in line at Dar es Salaam Airport and risk missing your flight, we recommend applying for an e-Visa before arrival. This is available for all passport holders except for citizens of Kenya and South Africa. The cost is $50 USD and a $10 deposit is required upon approval. Tanzania Visa on Arrival applications can take up to 72 hours (3 days); and can only be made after you arrive in Tanzania. Note that if your application is denied, there are no refunds given as it will not have cost you anything but time if denied.

Tanzania eVisa Online Application Process

Although yellow fever vaccination is not required for entry into Tanzania, it is strongly recommended. According to World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations; all travelers over one year of age traveling from or through areas with risk of yellow fever transmission; should be vaccinated against yellow fever before arrival in Tanzania. The WHO does not recommend vaccination for travelers whose itineraries are limited to only urban areas; or limited rural areas with no known risk of exposure to disease vectors related to yellow fever transmission. Although yellow fever vaccine can produce serious side effects (see below), these risks are greatly outweighed by the risk of infection with yellow fever in endemic regions.

Tanzania Yellow Fever Requirements

According to Tanzania’s Ministry of Health, all travelers from infected areas must present a certificate of yellow fever vaccination at one of its main ports. In order for your country’s vaccine center to issue a yellow fever certificate; you must have received two doses of a safe and effective yellow fever vaccine at least 10 days apart; one of these doses should be given no more than six days before you leave for Tanzania. The vaccine takes about two weeks after your second dose to produce a full immune response. To prevent an outbreak of yellow fever in Tanzania and other African countries; only people who have been vaccinated against it may enter the country.

Best time to visit Tanzania

Tanzania is one of the top tourist destinations in Africa. It’s home to some of the continent’s most spectacular sites and contains one of the largest safari parks in all of Africa, as well as some of the best beaches on the entire continent. What time of year should you visit Tanzania? Learn more about the best time to visit Tanzania here!

Best Time to Visit Tanzania

There’s never a bad time to visit Tanzania, but some months are best for specific activities. If you’re looking for a beach holiday; it would be hard to find a better option than Zanzibar between July and October. Outside of these months, however, Zanzibar can become too windy. On land in northern Tanzania, March through May are best for wildlife viewing at migration time. The low season in northern Tanzania runs from June through September; while southern safaris are good all year round with June through September being best if you want shorter drives and less likelihood of rain showers.

Best Time to Visit Ngorongoro Crater

Ngorongoro crater, a natural wonder located on Mt. Kilimanjaro in northern Tanzania, is an absolutely breathtaking sight. There are dozens of potential activities to enjoy when visiting Ngorongoro Crater National Park; including balloon safaris and helicopter tours, but no matter what you choose to do, it’s definitely worth your while to consider your best time to visit Ngorongoro Crater and plan accordingly. When you go will depend on your interests and how much time you have available. If, for example, you’re interested in hiking within Ngorongoro Crater National Park , then it’s probably best if you go during one of two peak seasons; October through December or March through May.

Best Time to Drive Serengeti National Park

Driving through Serengeti National Park can be difficult if you don’t know what to expect. We offer a variety of packages, which include everything from hotel accommodations and transportation between destinations to guide fees and activities. But there are some items that you must cover for yourself. You will need:

  • First-aid kit
  • Water bottles/water purification tablets
  • Sturdy shoes or hiking boots
  • Camera/Binoculars
  • Small day pack If you plan on doing a lot of walking while in Serengeti National Park, it may be best to bring walking sticks.Some hiking tours will lend them out, but often they’re not available if you want one just for one day.

Best Time in Zanzibar

Tanzania’s Zanzibar islands are an absolutely magical place. With just a few thousand people living on 3,000 square kilometers of land, it’s not exactly a big travel destination. But when you get there and experience its unrivaled beauty and peace; it becomes clear why it is one of the favorite places to visit in Africa. The best time to visit Tanzania is from October through April because that’s when winds tend to be lightest and sunnier throughout Zanzibar. If your idea of fun includes being able to swim in turquoise waters or watch snow-white tip sharks during your scuba dive; trust me — these conditions will help!

When is the best time of year to climb Kilimanjaro?

Climbing Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, can be a life-changing experience for almost anyone. But in order to do it safely and effectively, you need to plan your adventure appropriately. In general, climbing Kilimanjaro can be done year-round but there are advantages and disadvantages for each of these seasons. Find our more here.