Africa conjures up images of Mount Kilimanjaro looming in the background, lions lounging in the grasslands, elephants splashing in the waters, giraffes scavenging the tree tops and wildebeests stampeding across the dense, arid floor as they look for new grazing spots – this is Tanzania. Untamed, unspoilt and teeming with life. It is the Africa of our dreams. With magnificent natural landscapes, world-renowned attractions, fascinating cultures and a warm welcome at every turn, Tanzanian adventures are truly rich and fulfilling experiences.
Every year, more than 2.5 million animals embark on a three-month journey through the Serengeti in search of water and fresh grazing. Wildebeests, zebras, antelopes and other species make their way north from the short-grassed plains of Tanzania to the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, all while trying to avoid predators. Watching this grand event unfold is quite mesmerising. Many of Tanzania’s national parks and reserves are home to the big five (lions, leopards, rhinoceros, buffalos and elephants). Waking to a lion roaring in the idle of the night is not uncommon here and is an unforgettable experience. The Serengeti provides the best chance for spotting cheetahs. These incredibly fast animals are often out in the open plains looking for prey. Here, along the riverbanks, visitors can also observe crocodiles and other wild animals. Gombe National Park and Mahale Mountains National provide the best opportunities to track and observe chimpanzees.
Grandiose, elegant and mystifying, Mt. Kilimanjaro is a sight to behold. As the clouded skies clear, making way for the snow-capped peak to shine, it’s understandable why Africa’s largest and tallest mountain is such an alluring fixture. While climbing the entire mountain requires little but ambition and will-power, it can be difficult. Many visitors often try to hike its summit, but even trekking the mountain at lower elevations is a remarkable experience. Unlike Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Olduvai Gorge does not entail strenuous hiking. Often referred to as the “cradle of humankind,” the gorge offers stunning views from another perspective and plenty of rewarding treasures. The 48 km gorge has provided scientists with in-depth insights into the history of humanity with fossils and clues that date back 2.5 million years. Just 90 minutes away, sits the Ogorongoro Crater that was developed when a large volcano collapsed into itself. However, the resulting transformation gave way to an immensely diverse wildlife and the Serengeti that we have known to love. Meanwhile, the coral archipelago of Zanzibar, with its palm trees and white sand beaches, provides a welcome escape from the hot, arid inland. The warm, turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean have some of the best dive sites in the world, including the uninhabited island of Chumbe Island Coral Park.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is working to protect the revered lifestyle of the Maasai. There are numerous villages in the area where men stand watch over their cattle, and women, cloaked in red and adorned in their beaded manacles, go about their daily chores. Watch as Makonde people create intricate wood carvings and sculptures. The elegant palaces and spice-filled markets are all a reminder of the island’s rich history. Located on the main island of Unguja, is the Stone Town. The UNESCO World Heritage site is a Swahili coastal trading town that has remained intact since its heyday.
With its dramatic landscapes, majestic wildlife and vibrant cultures, Tanzania offers visitors the journey of a lifetime. Whether embarking on a safari in the Serengeti, tackling the imposing Mt. Kilimanjaro or lounging on the sunny, sprawling beaches of the coast, there is no shortage of beauty and adventure in this southeast African country.
Tanzania is home to some of the world’s largest and most notable natural landmarks. Mt. Kilimanjaro is Africa’s tallest peak and the world’s largest stand-alone mountain. The Ngorongoro Crater, also known as the cradle of life, is a large volcanic caldera contains one of the world’s most untamed and unspoilt wildlife sanctuaries. Just off the Tanzanian coast, you can find the vibrant islands of Zanzibar, where rest and relaxation is prized, but action-packed adventures await.
Things to do in Tanzania and Zanzibar
Ready for a walk on the wild side in Africa? For more information about Travelbag’s holidays to Tanzania and Zanzibar, please contact us at 0871 703 4713 Costs 13p/min + network extras and speak with one of our friendly and knowledgeable experts.
Although the time of year obviously impacts the climate, it is mostly hot and dry in both destinations. Be sure to pack plenty of lightweight clothing, light colours and layers. Zanzibar is a relatively conservative Muslim region. All travellers should try to be more reserved in their dress and behaviour, especially when visiting religious and historical sites and bazaars. For safaris, be sure to bring a jacket for when the temperatures drops and comfortable walking/hiking shoes.
To prevent heat exhaustion and sunburn, bring plenty of sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and lip balm. Salt tablets, electrolyte packets and rehydrating solutions are great to keep on-hand to ward off heat exhaustion and altitude sickness. When traveling at higher altitudes, make sure to drink plenty of water. Travellers are advised to take anti-malarial medication, as the disease is prevalent in both Tanzania and Zanzibar. In addition to medications, be sure to have plenty of long-sleeve shirts and pants, mosquito nets and insect repellent. Travellers to Zanzibar must present proof of yellow fever vaccination upon arrival. Other medical items to keep nearby include a first aid kit, anti-diarrhoea medication, pain relief medication, antibacterial cream and water-purification tablets.
Binoculars and a camera are essential for safaris and other outdoor excursions. Keep them nearby, as you never know what you may see. Also be sure to pack a torch, pocket knife and a sleeping bag and camp gear if it is not provided by the tour guide.
The climate varies greatly throughout Tanzania and Zanzibar. As a result, predicting the weather, especially the temperature, can be difficult. In general, the rainy season runs from March to May. Temperatures hover around low to mid 30°C with high humidity and daily tropical downpours in the afternoon. The dry season is from June to October and rainfall is almost non-existent, even on the islands. A typical day is sunny with clear skies and about 30°C. The months of November and December are considered to be part of the long and dry season, however, there is usually a small amount of rainfall. In Zanzibar, the hot, dry weather occurs between December and February. From June to October, the weather is also dry, but temperatures can be slightly cooler. April usually sees the most rainfall.
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