Tanzania a beautiful travel destination in Africa
East Africa

Tanzania Travel Guide

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see our full disclosure for further information.

Tanzania is one of the most fascinating destinations in Africa, offering an incredible blend of breathtaking nature, lively traditions, and unparalleled encounters with exotic animals.

Its varied terrains, such as the renowned Mount Kilimanjaro, the vast Serengeti National Park, and the unspoiled beaches of Zanzibar, are a constant magnet for visitors around the world.

With its vibrant cultural legacy and welcoming spirit, Tanzania is a must-visit African destination.

In this travel guide, we’ll walk you through all the reasons why you should add Tanzania to your travel bucket list.

Things to do in Tanzania

Trek Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro Tanzania

One of Tanzania’s most famous tourist attractions is Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa.

Climbing this majestic mountain is a dream for many adventure enthusiasts.

The trek to the summit takes you through different ecological zones, from lush rainforests to alpine deserts, culminating in a breathtaking view from Uhuru Peak.

It’s a challenging but incredibly rewarding experience that attracts climbers from all over the world.

Go on a safari in the Serengeti National Park

Serengeti Safari

Tanzania is renowned for its wildlife safaris, offering visitors a chance to witness the famous Big 5 (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhinoceros) in their natural habitats.

Wildebeest migration in Tanzania

The Serengeti National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the best places in the world for wildlife viewing.

It is famous for its annual wildebeest migration, where millions of wildebeest, zebras, and gazelles travel across the plains in search of fresh grazing lands, accompanied by predators in pursuit.

Witness the greatest African spectacle from one of the best luxury safari camps in the Serengeti, and enjoy your adventure with bespoke activities from the comfort of your world-class accommodation.

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is another must-visit destination, featuring the Ngorongoro Crater, a breathtaking volcanic caldera teeming with wildlife.

Sunbathe on the beach in Zanzibar

Zanzibar Tanzania

Tanzania’s coastal regions offer pristine white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters, making it an ideal destination for relaxation and water activities.

The Zanzibar Archipelago, consisting of several islands, is a tropical paradise with a rich history and culture.

Stone Town in Zanzibar

Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the cultural and historical heart of Zanzibar, with its narrow streets, bustling markets, and Arab-influenced architecture.

Visitors can also explore the underwater wonders through snorkeling and diving, discovering vibrant coral reefs and an abundance of marine life.

Visit the Maasai villages

Maasai village in Tanzania

Tanzanian culture is a vibrant fusion of indigenous tribes, Arab traders, and European colonizers.

The country is home to over 120 ethnic groups, each with its own language, traditions, and colorful festivals.

Visitors can immerse themselves in the local culture by visiting traditional Maasai villages, where they can learn about Maasai customs, traditional dances, and handicrafts.

The Tinga Tinga paintings, famous for their bright colors and depictions of wildlife, are a unique art form originating from Tanzania and can be found in local markets and galleries.

Explore the streets of Dar es Salaam

Dar es Saalam

Dar es Salaam, the country’s capital city, meaning “Haven of Peace” in Arabic, is the largest city and economic hub of Tanzania.

Located on the eastern coast of the country, along the shores of the Indian Ocean, Dar es Salaam offers a unique blend of cultural heritage, bustling markets, beautiful beaches, and a gateway to stunning natural wonders.

The city is a vibrant mix of traditional and modern influences. Its diverse population contributes to a rich cultural heritage, evident in its architecture, cuisine, and traditions.

Dar es Salaam’s skyline is dotted with modern high-rises, colonial-era buildings, and mosques, creating a captivating urban landscape.

Exploring the city’s historical and cultural sites is a must.

The National Museum showcases Tanzania’s history, art, and archaeology, including ancient artifacts and ethnographic exhibitions.

The Village Museum provides insights into the traditional lifestyles and architecture of various Tanzanian ethnic groups.

The Askari Monument, located in the city center, commemorates African soldiers who fought in World War I.

Local market in Dar es Saalam

For a taste of local life, head to Kariakoo Market, the largest open-air market in Dar es Salaam.

Here, you can immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere, browse through colorful stalls selling fresh produce, spices, clothing, and crafts, and sample local street food.

The Slipway Market and the Mwenge Carvers Market are also worth visiting for traditional Tanzanian crafts and souvenirs.

Dar es Salaam boasts several beautiful beaches where visitors can relax and soak up the sun.

Coco Beach is a popular spot, offering pristine sands, palm trees, and stunning views of the Indian Ocean.

Bongoyo Island, located just off the coast, is a paradise for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts, with its crystal-clear waters and vibrant marine life.

Take a train ride on the Tazara Railway

Tazara Railway in Tanzania

The Tazara Railway, also known as the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority, is a historic railway that connects the port city of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania to the town of Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia.

It was a significant engineering feat and a symbol of cooperation between the two countries during the 1960s and 1970s.

The Tazara Railway stretches over approximately 1,860 kilometers (1,156 miles) and passes through diverse landscapes, including rugged mountains, vast plains, and picturesque valleys.

The railway route offers breathtaking views of the African countryside, providing travelers with a unique and scenic journey.

Today, the Tazara Railway continues to operate, offering passenger and freight services between Tanzania and Zambia.

The train journey provides travelers with an opportunity to experience the beauty of the African landscape and observe the daily life of communities along the route.

The train offers various classes of travel, including economy and first-class cabins, dining cars, and lounge areas.

Where is Tanzania located?

Tanzania, located in East Africa, is bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south.

It also has a coastline along the Indian Ocean to the east. Tanzania is known for its vast size, covering an area of around 947,303 square kilometers (365,756 square miles).

Is it safe to travel to Tanzania?

Tanzania is generally considered a safe country for travelers. It has a stable political climate and a relatively low crime rate compared to some other African nations.

However, as with any travel destination, it’s important to take certain precautions to ensure your safety and well-being.

While Tanzania is generally safe, it’s advisable to exercise caution, especially in urban areas and tourist hotspots where petty theft and pickpocketing can occur.

Keep an eye on your belongings, avoid displaying signs of wealth, and be aware of your surroundings.

In major cities like Dar es Salaam and Arusha, it’s recommended to use reputable taxis or transportation services, especially at night. Stick to well-lit and busy areas, and avoid walking alone in isolated areas after dark.

When traveling to national parks and wildlife reserves, it’s essential to follow the guidelines provided by park authorities and experienced tour operators.

This includes maintaining a safe distance from wild animals, respecting the natural environment, and listening to the instructions of trained guides.

It’s also important to stay informed about any potential health risks before traveling to Tanzania.

Consult a healthcare professional or travel clinic to inquire about necessary vaccinations and preventive measures, such as malaria prophylaxis, if applicable.

In terms of political stability, Tanzania has a history of peaceful transitions of power and a relatively stable political climate.

However, it’s always a good idea to stay updated on the current political situation and check travel advisories from your country’s foreign affairs or state department before your trip.

Lastly, being respectful of local customs, traditions, and cultural sensitivities is crucial.

Tanzanians are known for their warm hospitality, and by showing respect for their customs and traditions, you can enhance your travel experience and foster positive interactions.

When is the best time to visit Tanzania?

When is the best time to visit Tanzania?

Tanzania experiences different climatic conditions and seasonal variations throughout the year, so it’s important to consider these factors when planning your trip.

The dry season, from June to October, is generally considered the best time to visit Tanzania, as the weather is dry and temperatures are mild.

This is an excellent time for wildlife safaris, particularly in the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater.

The wildebeest migration usually occurs during this period, with July and August being prime months to witness this natural spectacle.

From November to March, Tanzania experiences its “short rains” or “green season.” While there may be occasional rainfall, this period offers lush green landscapes and fewer crowds.

It’s a great time for birdwatching, as migratory bird species are present, and many animals give birth during this time.

April and May constitute the “long rains” season in Tanzania, characterized by heavier rainfall.

During this time, some lodges and camps may be closed, and certain areas may become inaccessible due to muddy roads.

However, this period can offer discounted rates and fewer tourists, making it a suitable choice for budget travelers or those seeking a more intimate experience.

For those planning to visit the coastal areas, including Zanzibar and the surrounding islands, the dry season from June to October is ideal, with pleasant temperatures and lower humidity.

The coastal regions experience their own monsoon seasons, with the “long rains” occurring from April to May and the “short rains” from November to December.

It’s important to note that weather patterns can vary from year to year, and regional differences within Tanzania can also affect the climate.

It’s advisable to research specific regions and consult with local tour operators or travel experts to determine the best time for your intended activities and destinations.

Overall, Tanzania offers an incredible travel experience with its diverse landscapes, rich wildlife, and vibrant culture.

Whether you’re conquering Mount Kilimanjaro, embarking on a thrilling safari, relaxing on the beaches of Zanzibar, or immersing yourself in local traditions, Tanzania is a destination that will leave you with unforgettable memories and a deep appreciation for the natural beauty of Africa.