What you witness in Tanzania certainly checks a ton of markers on a travel bucket list. Be it the gushing waterfalls and barren deserts, or exotic species and predators of the most lethal order; some get that feeling of danger lurking around the corner, while others bask in the serenity of white sand beaches with crystal clear water. Many of the most interesting countries in the world are often overlooked because they simply don’t know what to look for. This is the case with Tanzania, a country with a huge amount of interesting history, thrilling experiences, and one of a kind opportunities. If you are planning your trip to Tanzania, you are already ahead of the curve. I hope that this guide will help you plan your visit to Tanzania better.
Planning Your Trip to Tanzania
Ideal Time to Visit Tanzania
The little known gem sits on the African coastline, offering temperate and enjoyable days and nights for most parts of the year. There’s perhaps a case to argue that climate patterns in Africa are changing in recent years. Much like the rest of the world, the primary cause for this is arguably climate change. In recent years, there have been instances of torrential desert rains and devastating droughts in the middle of the wet season. Largely though, the climate in Tanzania is pretty predictable. Simply put:
March, April & May = long wet season
June – October = long dry season
November – December = short rain season
January – February = short dry season
Simple as that sounds, it’s trickier to predict the best time for your Tanzania trip, because this would largely depend on what you want to do.
Where to Stay on Your Trip to Tanzania
Kisiwa on the Beach – located on the coastal village of Paje, with rooms available starting from $175-200, this lovely boutique hotel bang on the Zanzibar coast is a wonderful place to stay at.
The One Nature Nyaruswiga Serengeti – at over a $1000/night, this piece of luxury is way beyond my means, but if you have that kind of dough rolling around, this absolute palace of a camp-ground in Serengeti is an experience you wouldn’t want to miss out on. Situated bang in the center of Central Serengeti, the One Nature camp gives you one of the best vantage points to witness the wildebeest migration of these plains!
Kasha Boutique Hotel – located in the middle of nothingness, this wonderful boutique property in Matemwe offers a wonderful getaway from noise, human civilization and takes you to a whole different plane.
Five Unmissable Things to Do on Your Trip to Tanzania
Within the borders of what is now known as Olduvai Gorge, the first known examples of human tools were found by archaeologists. Now the park is home to a museum showcasing many of these tools. The museum offers an amazing overlook that allows visitors to see the original archaeological site. The informative plaques proudly tell of the various different discoveries that have since been made in the area. With several other attractions in the vicinity, Olduvai Gorge is one of the must see attractions on your trip to Tanzania.
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro – the Highest Peak in Africa
The highest peak in all of Africa is also the one with the greatest bio-diversity. Climbing Kilimanjaro in different seasons results in seeing different flora and fauna each and every time, with many of the species represented only living in Tanzania. Kilimanjaro is also known as the easiest of the Seven Summits to climb. This does not mean that it is simple for climbers to conquer; just that you don’t need as much equipment as you would for other summits. It is also far easier to climb down, making it possible to ascend and descend within a single day.
Going on a Reef Safari
Tanzania is one of the only countries to have all of the large African animals all in the same place. National parks open to the public, afford travelers a chance to see lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and even water buffalo, all in their natural habitat. Guided tours, lodges nestled within these parks, and even special education stations ensure that you have the once in a lifetime experience of seeing these amazing animals. Thanks to anti-poaching efforts by the government and local people, Tanzania’s large animal population is currently thriving.
Sampling Local Cuisine at the Night Markets
Tanzania, like most countries in Africa, has a long history of occupation and trade. The biggest influences in the region have been Arab nations and Portugal. Between these two countries and the traditional cuisine of Tanzania itself, a thriving and unique food culture has emerged. One of the most interesting parts of this food culture can be seen at various street markets and merchants in the evening. Spiced kebabs, different flat breads filled with fusion meals, and heavily spiced offerings all entice and please even the pickiest of eaters. A few delicacies that you should just not miss are Nyama Choma, Chipsy Maya, Ugali and Chapatti.
Vibrant cultural interplay is visible throughout Tanzania, with architecture representing German, French and British influence. Intertwining elements of Arabic and other African cultures add to the overall effect. There are more than 120 different ethnic tribes around the country. Having said that, the language that binds the country is that of Swahili. The food also reflects a variety of influences; the North Western inhabitants prefer plantains while those from the South prefer Ugali. Rice based dishes are popular along the coast. The locals often invite people for a meal, the acceptance of which is considered respectful in the country. The hospitality of the local people is touching and the country as a whole makes you feel welcome. It relaxes and rejuvenates the mind and body.
With this myriad range of activities and experiences closely linked with nature, a visit to Tanzania appears inevitable, doesn’t it? It will simultaneously be an education in the history of our race and a raw, wild unscripted adventure.