Tanzania is a country blessed with abundant natural attractions, including striking scenery, natural parks containing unparalleled wildlife, historical and archaeological sites, exotic islands and numerous rich cultures. Approximately 38 percent of its land is reserved and protected for conservation purposes. These include 16 national parks, 28 game reserves, 40 controlled conservation areas, as well as marine parks. Due to renown attractions such as Mount Kilimanjaro and Serengeti National Park, Tanzania’s tourism industry receives 27.7 percent of its gross domestic product from its travel and tourism industry. Additionally, the industry accounts for 11 percent of the country’s labor force (1,189,300 jobs – 2013). Tanzania’s borders saw the amount of tourists more than double between 2015 and 2012, and the numbers continue to rise.
Above the gentle rolling hills and plateau of northern Tanzania stands the world’s tallest free-standing mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro, with its slopes and glaciers still glistening above the rising clouds. The highest peak in Africa, the mountain is a dormant stratovolcano that reaches approximately 4,877 m (16, 001 ft) from its base to 5,895 m (19,341 ft) above sea level. Its name itself a mystery even to Tanzanians (rumored to mean Mountain of Light, Mountain of Greatness or Mountain of Caravans), is a testament to the wondrous attraction. Reaching the “rooftop of Africa” is the ultimate adventure for most explorers and has drawn climbers from all over the world for more than 120 years. Listed as one of the world’s great 7 summits, the mountain is famous for its remarkable biodiversity, including lush rainforests, alpine deserts and the famous arctic summit.
- Reaching Mount Kilimanjaro: By road it is 128 km (80 mi) from Arusha and approximately one hour’s drive from Kilimanjaro Airport.
- Peak time: December – February (warmest) and July – September (dry and cooler).
- Accommodation: Huts and campsites are present on the mountain, as well as several hotels and campsites outside the park in the village of Marangu and town of Moshi.
For more information on Mount Kilimanjaro including climbing the mountain, please visit: www.kilimanjaroexperience.com
Serengeti National Park
The oldest and most renowned of Tanzania’s parks, the Serengeti National Park is a spectacle of predator versus prey, territorial conquests and mating, crocodile infested waters, and much more. The Serengeti offers arguably the most entertaining game-viewing in Africa, including its famed annual migration, when over 6 million hooves belonging to zebras, gazelles and wildebeest; pound the open plains. Also a world heritage site and recently proclaimed a 7th world wonder, the park offers not only thousands upon thousands of various mammals, but an additional variation of over 100 dung beetles, 500-plus bird species (from ostrich to black eagles), woodland, rivers, and endless greenery speckled with wildflower after the rains. A hot air balloon ride over the Serengeti offers a unique and unforgettable experience.
- Reaching the Serengeti National Park: Schedule and charter flights from Arusha, Lake Manyara and Mwanza, or drive from Arusha, Lake Manyara, Tarangire or the Ngorongoro Crater.
- Peak time: December – July (following the wildebeest migration) or June – October (to see the predators).
- Accommodation: Four lodges, six luxury tented camps and campsites are spread out through the park and one luxury camp, a lodge and two tented camps are present just outside the park.
For more information about the Serengeti National Park, please visit: www.tanzania.go.tz
For more information about Tanzania Safaris: www.makasatanzania.com
Udzungwa Mountains, National Park
Located west of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania’s largest city), the Udzungwa Mountains, are a range of mountains rising steeply from the western edge of the Selous Game Reserve. Udzungwa’s wonderful web of forest trails includes a popular half-day roam to the Sanje Waterfall, which plunges 170 m (550 ft) through a misty spray into a forested valley below. Within their positively enchanted forestry, the mountains are hosts to vervet monkeys, small forest antelope (which can be seen at select times of the day), and a large number of endangered bird species. Its botanical diversity and unique geological and environmental conditions have produced a large number of endemic species, making the mountains a delight for nature enthusiasts. Although not a conventional game viewing destination, Udzungwa is a magnet for hikers who will have the whole area to themselves as there are no roads piercing the dreamlike park.
- Reaching the Udzungwa Mountains: Drive from Dar es Salaam or Mikumi National Park.
- Peak time: Possible year round, although slippery during the rain periods. Dry season is June – October before the short rains, although always be prepared rain at any moment.
- Accommodation: Camping is possible inside the park. Bring all food and supplies. Two modest but comfortable lodges with en-suite rooms are available within 1 km of the park entrance.
For more information about the Udzungwa Mountains, please visit: www.tanzaniaparks.com
Zanzibar Island & Stone Town
One of the Indian Ocean islands situated on the Swahili Coast, Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania. The island consists of several small islands and two main large ones: Unguja (the main island, commonly recognized as Zanzibar) and Pemba. Zanzibar’s coastline offers some of the most beautiful beaches worldwide, and is one of Tanzania’s greatest tourist attractions. In addition to tourism, the island’s main industries include spices and raffia. Its capital city is Zanzibar City, located on the island of Unguja. While Swahili and English are spoken on the island, Arabic is also quite widespread, due to the island’s history under Arab control, trade and migration to Zanzibar.
The port city of Stone Town is the oldest part of Zanzibar City located on the western coast of Unguja. It is a former capital of the Zanzibar Sultanate (territories over which the Sultan of Zanzibar was sovereign), and a flourishing center of the both spice and slave trades in the 19th century. It is a city of prominent historical and artistic importance in East Africa, which can be seen throughout its architecture; popular Zanzibar doors and buildings, dating back to the 19th century, with a unique combination of Arab, Persian, Indian and European elements.
For more information about Zanzibar, please visit: