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A Quick Travel Guide to Tanzania

Ngorongoro Crater

Ngorongoro Crater (photo: wwarby)

[T]anzania is one of the most visually breath-taking countries on the planet.

Etched with extinct volcanoes, wildlife-packed plains, white sand beaches and the continent’s highest peak – the magnificent Kilimanjaro – this is a holiday destination with kick.

Top 5 Places to Visit

You might not want to dedicate too much time to the capital of Dar-Es-Salam, but you’d be missing out if you didn’t visit Kariakoo Market.

This mad, sprawling assortment of stalls is the biggest in the country and a good place to see what urban Tanzania is really like.

The extinct volcano of Ngorongoro Crater is packed with unique wildlife and offers phenomenal views. It’s a strange feeling to descend down over the high walls of the crater into a national park where lava once bubbled.

You’ll be likely to spot herds of elephants, rhinos and lions and in fact, is the only place in Tanzania where you’re virtually guaranteed to see all of The Big Five.

Take a trip to Karatu, a sweet highland town where much of life goes on as it did before tourism arrived. It’s often used just as a base for visiting the Ngorongoro Crater, but deserves more of your time than this.

The cooler climate offers a break from the lowland heat; you could spend days exploring the rural delights of the coffee plantations, walking through local villages, and watching Maasai herders caring for their cattle.

The gorgeous islands of Zanzibar are the perfect start or end to a holiday in Tanzania. Here, you’ll laze on sparkling white beaches and let the Indian Ocean lap at your toes.

The main island of Unguja has amazing diving on the coral reefs, Pemba is a forest-covered nature paradise, and Mafia offers up rustic fishing village charm.

The Serengeti National Park is a prime wildlife-watching spot, drawing visitors to marvel over the biggest animal migration in the world as wildebeest, antelope and zebra swarm over its great plains.

Book a hot air balloon rise at sunset to see it at its best, from a bird’s eye view.

When to Go

If you’re keen to catch the wildebeest migration, you’ll need to time your visit to fall in August or September.

For wildlife viewing in general, it’s best to visit during the dry season, from June to October, as animals gather at water holes.

Zanzibar is warm and sunny all the year round, although from February to April it’s hotter, more humid and gets a few more showers than the rest of the year.

What to Pack

It can get cooler than you might think in the evenings and early mornings, so take a light sweater or fleece and maybe even some gloves. A bandana or scarf is good for keeping dust off the face.

A few simple first aid items can come in handy, such as anti-diarrhea and anti-nausea pills, electrolyte powder for upset stomachs.

Take some wet wipes, hand sanitizer and toilet rolls too in case you need to use a public restroom!

You’ll also need to make sure you get the necessary jabs and get suitable malaria medication before you leave home.


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