11 Amazing Things to Do and See in Tanzania for First-Time Visitors

With 16 national parks, Tanzania is one of the best countries in the world to visit if you love incredible wildlife. With mountains, lakes, and savannah, this beautiful nation also has an astounding landscape.
It’s impossible to run out of things to do in Tanzania, even if you spend a lifetime in the country. And once you visit this African jewel, you’ll want to spend a lifetime there.
Tanzania is a place of true adventure. From its chimp population in Gombe, made famous by primatologist Jane Goodall, to its picture-perfect beaches, there’s never a dull moment.
If you’re thinking about taking the vacation of a lifetime, you’ll need to read this list. You’re about to discover some of the most phenomenal places to visit in Tanzania. Keep reading, you’re in for a treat!

1. Go on a Safari

One of the most popular things to do in Tanzania, heading out on a safari is an experience you will never forget. The only problem with going on safari in Tanzania is choosing which national park to visit.
Serengeti National Park is one of the most famous. Here you’ll see giraffes, elephants, zebras, and so much more. Lake Manyara is another fantastic safari destination with hippos, flamingos, elephants, and warthog.
Find out more about taking a safari in Tanzania, you’re guaranteed to see phenomenal sights.

2. Climb Mount Kilimanjaro

The highest mountain in Africa, Kilimanjaro draws thousands of hikers each year. Even more, visit the Kilimanjaro National Park just to see this fantastic mountain. Climbing the mountain isn’t easy but there are plenty of tours available to suit your level of fitness.
The fastest route is the Marangu route and can take just five to six days. There are huts along the route for comfortable nights and it’s widely considered the easiest way to the top. Other routes are longer and you’ll be sleeping in tents. Whichever you choose though, you’ll have achieved something incredible.

3. Visit the Ngorongoro Crater

In the northeast of Tanzania, you’ll find the Ngorongoro Conservation Area which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area is famous for its vast volcanic crater, a thriving wildlife haven.
With a large freshwater supply, millions of animals come here to drink, and watching them congregate is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Walking in this area is magnificent but if you want to go far, you should sign up with a guide.

4. Sunbathe in Zanzibar

The island of Zanzibar is famous for its exquisite Indian Ocean beaches. The pristine white sand is the perfect place to utterly relax and you can go swimming in clear, warm water.
You can fly or take a boat from Dar Es Salaam to reach this tropical paradise. The boat journey takes two hours and is far cheaper than flying. On the island, try the local dishes with their multicultural influences.

5. Take a Boat Trip on Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa and one of the largest in the entire world. The lake is so vast it crosses international borders and is found in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania.
Taking a boat ride on the lake is one of the best ways to experience it and you can join a cruise tour from Entebbe. Go on a sunset cruise for the most magical experience.

6. Go Birdwatching in Tarangire National Park

The birdlife is so varied and wonderful in Tarangire National Park that you don’t even need to be a birdwatcher to enjoy it. Every visitor is blown away by the enormous variety of colorful birds that flock here.
With guinea fowl, parrots, eagles, and hornbills, this is one of the best places to marvel at our feathered friends.

7. Mountain Bike on Pemba Island

Pemba Island is a place of white sand and outstanding scuba diving. But Zanzibar’s neighboring island is also a fantastic place for mountain biking. With rugged peaks and beautiful trails, the island is becoming an increasing population destination for bikers.
Hire a bike and take a guided tour of the best trails.

8. Hike in Arusha National Park

Dominated by Mount Meru, Arusha National Park is an incredible place for hiking. There are many nature trails to follow which will reveal the park’s varied wildlife and birds.
You can combine this with a trip to the Ngorongoro Crater and make the most of your time in the area.

9. Visit Stone Town

Zanzibar might have flawless beaches but that’s not all. Formerly a busy trading post in the Indian Ocean, Stone Town is a historic and cultural marvel. It’s the oldest Swahili city in the world and you can explore its past in its winding streets and by visiting the museums.
The Old Fort and the People’s Palace are well worth taking the time to visit too.

10. See the Chimps in Gombe National Park

When primatologist Jane Goodall spent years studying the chimps in Gombe National Park, she made massive progress in understanding the society and behavior of these wonderful creatures.
Take a guided tour to see the chimps and don’t forget to look up either, the trees are filled with many species of birds. You can take a dip in the valley waterfall while you’re there, the perfect way to cool off.

11. Snorkel at Mafia Island

The Mafia Island Marine Park is a rich underwater world filled with tropical fish and coral. You can snorkel in the clear waters or take a scuba diving class to head even deeper.
With over 400 species of fish in these waters, divers from all over the world come to see the sea life. With postcard beaches and palm trees, after swimming, you can return to shore for a spot of sunbathing.

You’ll Never Run out of Things to Do in Tanzania

It’s impossible to run out of things to do in Tanzania and if you love nature, you’ll never want to leave. Each national park will show you something new and you can watch animals you’ve only read about before while enjoying their natural habitats.
With warm seawater, towering mountains, and the vast Lake Victoria, everything in Tanzania is on a big scale. The country has a thriving tourist industry and there’s a tour for everything you could want to do.
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