From the red-clocked Maasai warriors to the semi-nomadic Barabaig near Mt Hanang, Tanzania is a country of warm hospitable people. You can find yourself chatting with local traders at the markets in the Usambara mountains, watching wildebeests in the world-famous Serengeti, or watching lions hunt in the expansive Selous. A fishing trip in Lake Victoria wouldn’t hurt either. Here is how you can tour Tanzania.
The tour will start off at Dar Es Salaam. This is the entry point to this vast country, both figuratively and physically. Julius Nyerere International Airport, named after the country’s founding father and an African statesman, is located about 12 Kilometers southwest of the C.B.D. Here you can stay at various hotels ranging from budget to luxury. A special recommendation is Hyatt Regency, as it offers amazing views of the city.
From Dar, you can choose to head to the resort island of Zanzibar with its legendary sandy white beaches. Popularly known as the ‘stone town’, Zanzibar is a historical treasure, and you can wander through the streets reveling in this.
In the other direction, away from the ocean and Dar Es Salaam, lies the main land. Additionally, the Selous National Reserve is in the direction of the southwest. It is Africa’s largest wildlife reserve, as well as Tanzania’s most extensive protected area. It is also home to large herds of elephants, buffaloes, crocodiles, hippos, wild dogs, and numerous birds species. Here you will also find some of Tanzania’s last remaining black rhinos. In addition, the Rufiji River is found here; it is famous for exhilarating boat safaris.
To the south lies Kilwa On The Island, a quiet fishing village. Ages ago it wasn’t quiet though; in fact, it was the epicenter of a vast trading network that linked the old Shona kingdoms and gold fields of Zimbabwe with Persia, India, and China. The ruins that now remain, plus those of nearby Songo Mnara, are among the most significant groups of Swahili buildings on the East African coast, as well as a Unesco world heritage site.
To the north of Dar, near the Kenyan border, sits Mt Kilimanjaro- Africa’s highest mountain. Standing at 5896m, this is one of Africa’s most magnificent sights. Getting away from Kilimanjaro and towards the country’s capital city of Dodoma, lies the vibrant city known as Arusha. This city offers excellent places to stay and eat. It is also lush, green, and enjoys a temperate climate throughout the year, due to its close altitude (about 1300m) and location near the foot of Mt Meru. Arusha is also known as the safari capital of Northern Tanzania.
Following your visit to Arusha, you can head to the world-famous expanse that is the Serengeti. It is truly a treasure you can’t forget. A pride of male lions stalking across the open plains is a sight to behold, as is the sheer stretch of grasslands which seem to have no end. Maybe what gets you is the epic migration of millions of animals following the ever ancient rhythm of Africa’s wilderness seasons. Whatever the case may be, the Serengeti is surely the greatest wildlife watching destination in the universe.
Venturing from the Serengeti, one can be inclined to head west to Mwanza. It is a city in the shores of Lake Victoria, which is the largest lake in Africa and the chief reservoir of the Nile. Mwanza is also Tanzania’s second largest city, and a great starting or finishing point for safaris through Ngorongoro and the Serengeti.
Southwest of Mwanza is where the idyllic Kigoma can be found. It rests in the shores of Lake Tanganyika, the second oldest freshwater lake in the world. Although being second largest by volume and the second deepest freshwater lake, it is certainly the deepest in Africa. It is also the world’s longest freshwater lake. Kigoma shows both the ending position for the central line train and the starting point for Mv Liemba. The lake even visits to Gombe National Park.
After all the previous stops, you can wind up at Mahale Mountains Park. South of Kigoma, the Mahale Mountains Park is well known for being a chimpanzee sanctuary. There are approximately 700 of our primate relatives here, along with leopards, blue duikers, red-tailed monkeys, and red colobus to keep them company.
Remember, this certainly isn’t conclusive of all you can experience in Tanzania. There is still so much more that this East African country offers.