True Travel Times
With few places in the world offering the unparalleled experience of balancing a safari and beach break, Tanzania is unrivalled when it comes to this winning combination. Characterised by its rich and magnificent abundance of wildlife and landscapes, Tanzania is both a world class safari destination and idyllic tropical paradise. Home to the natural wonder of the Serengeti Great Migration alongside exclusive beach hideaways in the cluster of islands off the coast of the Tanzanian mainland, most famously the Zanzibar Archipelago, Tanzania offers an authentic barefoot luxury that is hard to find. Discover the 10 best places to visit in Tanzania to experience its natural opulence in full.
1. Serengeti National Park
Boasting the renowned Great Wildebeest Migration, the movement of two million wildebeests, hundreds of thousands of gazelles and zebras closely shadowed by their predators, the Serengeti National Park brilliantly captures the dynamic spirit of Africa. This, alongside being home to a diversity of globally threatened species, makes it one of the greatest safari experiences in the world. The exclusive Serengeti Safari Camp, which moves four to five times a year with the migration, offers a breathtakingly raw and intimate experience in which you become one with the African bush itself. Both bustling and energetic, serene and peaceful – experience the magic of an African safari in a one-of-a-kind way.
2. Mount Kilimanjaro
Known as the roof of Africa, the grandeur of Mount Kilimanjaro rises above Tanzania’s vast stretch of golden savannah. The highest mountain in Africa and one of the world’s largest dormant volcanoes, it provides a dramatic backdrop to the buzzing of wildlife on the popular Kilimanjaro National Park below. Either enjoy this unique view from the ground or, for adventure seekers, ascend Mount Kilimanjaro from the eastern side of the National Park. Along with expert guides, witness the transition from lavish rainforests to arid wasteland as you reach the top for complete panoramic views. Tackle the more populated Kili Route or, alternatively, try the lesser known Rongai Route which offers views over the Kibo crater.
3. Selous National Park
The Selous National Park is one of the largest safari parks in Africa which is reflected in its impressive collection of wildlife across bush, grasslands, woodland and hills. The Rufiji River attracts a wealth of hippopotamuses and crocodiles and opportunities to spot leopards and packs of wild dogs. The beautifully curated, elegant and refined Sand Rivers Selous lodge sits amongst the banks of the Rufuji River, nestled within the heart of the action itself. Try tiger fishing, take a dip in the hot springs, or enjoy sundowners and a candlelit dinner overlooking the water to the symphony of the Tanzanian plain.
4. Ruaha National Park
Being the largest national park in Tanzania, yet one of the least well known, the Ruaha National Park offers a unique and private safari experience away from the crowds. Home to lush, untouched flora and fauna as well as an abundance of elephants, leopards, lions and wild dogs explore this rich ecosystem on foot or by game drive with a vast amount of ground to explore. The Jongomero Camp situated by the banks of a river in the Ruaha National Park is a luxury and secluded tented camp option offering exceptional views. For a raw and bespoke experience enjoy fly-camping in the thick of the bush under star-strewn skies.
5. Ngorongoro Conservation Area
A UNESCO World heritage Site and situated within the Serengeti ecosystem, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a natural wonder that is home to vast, diverse landscapes and profuse and flourishing wildlife. For an incredible cultural experience, meet the semi-nomadic Maasai tribes that cohabit the area. Wonder at the jaw dropping Ngorongoro Crater, the largest volcanic caldera in the world. It is a brimming sanctuary full of grandiose elephants, lions and crowds of pink flamingo in the lakes, as well as acting as an important site of conservation sheltering many globally endangered species such as the black rhino.
6. Western Tanzania
If you are looking for a more remote and novel experience in Tanzania, Western Tanzania is a hidden gem that often escapes mainstream tourism. For avid safari lovers, Katavi National Park and the Mahale Mountains National Park offer something new, away from the more well-known reserves. Greystoke Mahale is situated in the dense forests at the base of the Mahale Mountains. Built to integrate seamlessly into its surrounding, it offers refined luxury in an immersive setting with views over the spectacular Lake Tanganyika. What really sets the it apart, however, is the opportunity to witness the thriving resident chimpanzee community. Cruise down Lake Tanganyika, the longest lake in the world, and even take a dip in its refreshing waters before enjoying sunset sundowners on a traditional wooden dhow boat.
7. Uguja Island
Moving to the Zanzibar Archipelago, Uguja is the largest and most populated of the maze of tropical islands that fringe the Tanzanian mainland. Thriving coral reefs, the white powdery sand beaches of Paje and Bwejuu, a curated collection of luxury hotels, vibrant local culture and easily accessible, Uguja is the perfect follow up destination from your safari on the Tanzanian mainland. For something beyond just pristine beaches, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Stone Town is a melting pot of Swahili, Arab, Indian and Persian cultures and showcases ornate and oriental style architectural wonders such as the Sultan’s Palace.
8. Pemba Island
For a more remote island getaway in the Zanzibar Archipelago, Pemba Island is a water mosaic of emerald greens and turquoise blues, with milky white sands and lush green vegetation, coconuts and mangoes. Truly a tropical paradise, it is also one of the best locations for diving and snorkelling with vibrant coral reefs. Visit one of the untouched sand bars that surround the island and swim in the shallow lagoon waters. Submerge yourself into the ocean wilderness below by spending a night at The Manta Resort’s underwater room whilst Fundu Lagoon is a sheltered hotel cushioned between beach and mangrove forest offering natural luxury, peace and tranquillity.
9. Mafia Island
Like Pemba Island, Mafia Island is a tropical hideaway for those ‘in the know.’ Located south of Zanzibar it is famed as one of the best diving spots in the Indian Ocean with one of the most flourishing coral reefs in Tanzania. Between October and March around the island at Pole Pole or Butiama Beach, swim or snorkel with the majestic whale sharks.
10. Mnemba Island & Fanjove Private Islands
Upgrade your experience by visiting the private islands of Mnemba or Fanjove. Deserted yet exclusive, these islands are luxurious tropical hideaways. Just off the coast of mainland Tanzania, Fanjove is a previously uninhabited island which is part of the SongoSongo Archipelago. Mnemba Island Lodge has twelve beautifully rustic beach bandas, whilst Fanjove Private Island hosts just six simple yet deluxe huts along the shimmering waters of its picturesque beach. Here, that exclusive private island retreat becomes a reality.
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