These Best Places to Visit in Tanzania are Almost Therapeutic

Best places to visit in Tanzania
Tanzania, a country in East Africa, boasts of many beautiful and exotic locations for people to visit. Here are some of the most famous vacation spots in the country, and what you can do there.
Quick Fact
Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania is the place where the oldest hominid fossils in the world have been found. It is located between the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti National Park areas.
Home to the most awe-inspiring collection of wildlife, Tanzania―the largest East African country―comprises some of the most alluring destinations in the world. From mist-covered mountains to moss-covered ruins, and from dense forests to expansive grasslands and serene beaches, the country has it all. It is a land where the wild and exotic come together in a single package.

Despite being a melting pot of unique culture and traditions, the tale of Tanzania has been that of constant fight and struggle, first against slavery and colonialism, and then for economic survival. Nevertheless, it is the optimism of the local Tanzanians regarding their future that has led, amongst other things, to the development of international tourism in the country. We, at Buzzle, have compiled a list of some of the best places to visit in Tanzania, if you decide to spend your vacation there.
Ten Best Tanzanian Destinations
For a first-time visitor, Tanzania can actually turn out to be a package of dozens of unexpected and pleasant surprises. If you think what a poor country like Tanzania can offer you, you really need to do a bit of research. There are so many things to do here that you might run out of time and money, but the options will never cease. Here are some of the most popular and most-visited tourist spots in this country.
Mount Kilimanjaro
Mount Kilimanjaro
◈ Location: Kilimanjaro National Park, Kilimanjaro Region
◈ Best time to visit: From January to March and from June to October
Mount Kilimanjaro, a dormant stratovolcano with its three volcanic cones―the Kibo, the Shira, and the Mawenzi―is unquestionably a trekker's paradise. It boasts of being the highest mountain not only in Tanzania, but also in Africa. Moreover, it is also the largest freestanding mountain in the world. Situated about 5,895 m above sea level, it is relatively easy to climb than most other mountains, owing to which it attracts a large number of mountaineers and trekkers from all across the world.

◈ Things to do: Apart from trekking and climbing, Kilimanjaro offers much more to its visitors. This includes everything from wildlife tours to game drives to nature trails and bird watching. Tourists can even get an opportunity to explore the cultures of the indigenous tribes, residing in the slopes of the mountain.

◈ Staying there: There are a number of designated campsites on Mount Kilimanjaro for the people to stay. They can also set up their own camp for as long as they want, by paying a nominal fee to the Kilimanjaro National Park authorities.
Serengeti National Park
Serengeti national park
◈ Location: Serengeti ecosystem, Mara and Simiyu regions
◈ Best time to visit: All through the year
This is a huge conservation area in the northern part of Tanzania. Some part of the national park is also included in the Kenyan region, where it is known as the Masai Mara. The Serengeti National Park is particularly famous the world over for the annual migration of wildebeests and zebras. One can also spot a large number of Nile crocodiles in the conservation area.

◈ Things to do: Tourists can indulge in wildlife safaris and game drives in the park. Wildlife safaris can be booked in advance. Shopping in the area is limited; nevertheless, one can visit the curio markets in surrounding towns, and purchase traditional handicrafts, such as masks, Tinga Tinga paintings, Maasai spears, and many other souvenirs.

◈ Staying there: Tourists can stay in various safari lodges, which provide all facilities of luxury hotels. People can stay in tented camps within the park and experience its various colors and facets.
Mafia Island
Mafia Island
◈ Location: Pwani Region, Zanzibar Archipelago
◈ Best time to visit: From October to February
One of the gems of the Indian Ocean, the Mafia Island, though getting popular these days, is a little off-the-track location for tourism. However, a visit to the island can be an extremely refreshing change from the hustle and bustle of cities. The main highlights of the island are beautiful, white and sandy beaches, and a relatively few number of tourists. Tourists who are in search of serene and peaceful retreats generally prefer to spend about four to five days in the island.

◈ Things to do: Apart from relaxing on bright and sunny beaches, the island is also famous as an underwater diving destination. Humpback whales and whale sharks are found in the waters that surround the island. However, if you are looking for a tourist hub with a lot of shops, restaurants, and nightclubs, Mafia island is surely not your place.

◈ Staying there: Owing to its offbeat location and relatively lesser tourism as of now, Mafia Island has very few lodging options. There are only six tourist lodges on the island and a few hotels in the main town, where tourists can stay and explore the place.
Arusha National Park
Arusha national park
◈ Location: Arusha Region, Northeast Tanzania
◈ Best time to visit: Between October and February if you wish to climb Mount Meru; otherwise, the park can be visited all through the year
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Just a few kilometers away from the Tanzanian city of Arusha lies the Arusha National Park which, though small in comparison to most other Tanzanian national parks, is very popular among tourists. For one, it is home to some of the most spectacular scenes. But more importantly, it includes the second tallest mountain in Tanzania, viz. Mount Meru. It is an active volcano, which can be climbed in about two to four days, depending on the climber's physical condition.

◈ Things to do: Alongside climbing Mount Meru and indulging in wildlife safaris, one may also contact the Tanzania Tourism Board for arranging cultural visits to the nearby villages. The city of Arusha itself has a number of curio markets, restaurants, and an extremely happening nightlife.

◈ Staying there: A large number of tourist lodges are available in the Arusha city, right from international grade hotels to dormitories and hostels. So, tourists have a lot of choice when it comes to their stay in the city.
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara national park
◈ Location: Arusha and Manyara Regions, Northeast Tanzania
◈ Best time to visit: From May to February
Lake Manyara National Park covers the area that lies between the Gregory Rift wall to the west and Lake Manyara to the east. Approximately two-third of the area of the park is covered with water, and the remaining one-third is land. The park gets its name from Lake Manyara, an alkaline lake, famous for a large number of flamingos, which make it appear pink in color. Added to this, the park is also famous for its tree climbing lions, blue monkeys, impalas, elephants, and more than 400 species of birds, making it a perfect destination for bird watchers.

◈ Things to do: Tourists can engage in numerous other activities in the park as well, which include canoeing along the western shore of Lake Manyara and mountain biking. There are also guided walks and several cultural tours.

◈ Staying there: Tourists can choose whether they want to stay inside the park or on its outskirts. Within the park, there are a few tourist campsites. Tented, luxury lodging facilities are also available outside the park, from where one can enjoy beautiful views of the lake.
Ruaha National Park
Ruaha national park
◈ Location: Central Tanzania
◈ Best time to visit: From mid-May to December and from January to April
The largest national park here, Ruaha is a considerably large ecosystem consisting of, amongst others, the Usangu Game Reserve, and the Rungwa Game Reserve. Along the park's southeastern edge flows the Great Ruaha River, from which it gets its name. Known for its huge population of elephants, this national park also boasts of having various different species of resident birds, such as kingfishers, hornbills, and sunbirds, thus, making it a haven for birdwatchers. It is also famous for its populations of sable antelopes and African wild dogs.

◈ Things to do: Owing to its considerably remote location, the park does not make it on the main tourist circuit of Tanzania. So, it is a good destination for people wanting to stay away from big flocks of tourists. It is also recommended to hire a designated tourist guide not only to increase game spotting, but also for proper orientation within the area.

◈ Staying there: A few lodges and tented camps are available in and around the park. The facilities offered in some of them may seem basic, but they are clean and serve good meals.
Zanzibar
Zanzibar
◈ Location: Indian Ocean, Off the coast of the Tanzanian mainland
◈ Best time to visit: From June to October
This is, by far, one of the most satisfying vacation spots not only in East Africa, but also in the world. The Zanzibar archipelago is a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania, most famous for its beaches and its historic Stone Town. It is also famous for its numerous spice plantations, and not to forget, the famous slave market. The numerous forests, ports, markets, historical buildings, beaches, etc., are the highlights of Zanzibar, which resultant boasts of its ever-flourishing tourism industry.

◈ Things to do: There are a lot of things for tourists to do in Zanzibar. They are generally seen taking a vacation of four to five days on the archipelago. Alongside picturesque beaches, it is also a haven for shopaholics. In fact, the market in Stone Town is one of the largest open-air markets in the world.

◈ Staying there: Zanzibar is one of the main tourist centers of Tanzania and does not offer very cheap lodgings. There are a number of hotels throughout the archipelago, most of which offer world-class facilities and beautiful views of the sea.
Tarangire National Park
Tarangire national park
◈ Location: Manyara Region
◈ Best time to visit: Between June and September
This is the sixth largest national park in Tanzania, which gets its name from the Tarangire River, flowing through it. During the dry season, this river acts as the only source of water for wild animals, owing to which thousands of them migrate here from the Manyara National Park. The park boasts of being a home to more than 550 different animal and bird species. The most common bird sightings are those of the yellow-collared lovebirds, which attract, apart from hundreds of birdwatchers, a large number of photography enthusiasts. The park is also known for its numerous termite mounds, many of which are occupied by dwarf mongooses.

◈ Things to do: Tourists to the park are also often seen engaging in game drives. Walking safaris are also organized in some areas of the park, but only under the guidance of an armed ranger. Maasai and Barabaig villages are in the vicinity of the park, where visitors can take day trips. Moreover, they can also visit Kolo, the site of ancient rock paintings.

◈ Staying there: There are two lodges located within the park, which offer luxury facilities. Many more exclusive lodging facilities are also available immediately on its outskirts.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Ngorongoro conservation area
◈ Location: Crater Highlands, Northwest Tanzania
◈ Best time to visit: Between May and February
This UNESCO World Heritage Site has also been termed as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa. It is the site of a collapsed volcano that has formed a huge crater, the steep sides of which serve as a natural enclosure for a variety of wildlife. Numerous prehistoric hominid fossils have been found in the region, owing to which it is also often referred to as the "cradle of civilization." The highest density of lions in the world are found in the Ngorongoro crater. Moreover, it is also one of the best places in East Africa to spot the black rhinoceros.

◈ Things to do: Tourists can undertake numerous walks and hikes, but outside the crater area. It is not allowed to enter the precincts of the crater, as it is a conservation area, and not a national park. However, guided tours of the crater are available, but need to be booked in advance. Visitors may also take cultural tours to nearby tribal villages.

◈ Staying there: Within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, the campsites which are available are meant for exclusive use, and cater only for self-sufficient safari operations. However, there are a number of luxury lodges outside the conservation area.
Selous Game Reserve
Selous game reserve
◈ Location: Pwani, Morogoro, Lindi, Mtwara, and Ruvuma Regions
◈ Best time to visit: Between June and February
This is, by far, one of the most alluring safari destinations in East Africa. The Selous Game Reserve has been named after Sir Frederick Selous, an English hunter and conservationist, who died in its vicinity. Despite being one of the biggest animal reserves in the world, its remote location and limited roads make it almost inaccessible during the wet months. While most part of the reserve has been designated for game hunting, a small section along the Rufiji River is the photographic zone, where more and more tourists tend to flock.

◈ Things to do: People are seen indulging in walking safaris and boat trips across the river. Guided tours of the reserve are also arranged for tourists. Some adventure seekers also indulge in fly camping.

◈ Staying there: Some of the finest camps in Tanzania are located in the Selous Game Reserve. These offer several world-class facilities to tourists, alongside some of the best guiding teams.

Tanzania, despite being amidst a struggle for survival, is still proving to be a haven for tourists all across the world. So, pack your backpacks and get going to one of the world's most exotic and awe-inspiring locations.
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