About Tanzania

WHY VISIT?

Tanzania is home to the highest mountain in Africa – Mount Kilimanjaro – making it a natural destination for adventure travelers. What many do not realize is that Tanzania has much more to offer than the chance to stand on the ‘Roof of Africa’. You can go on safari in Ngorongoro Crater, lounge on the shores of the Indian Ocean, dive with hammerheads on Pemba Island, and much more. It’s the perfect place to experience the wonders of East Africa, especially since it has better infrastructure for tourism than many neighboring countries.

BUCKET LIST ADVENTURES

In Tanzania

As one of the Seven Summits, Mount Kilimanjaro (19,340 ft) earns a natural place on most climbers’ bucket list. While the route is non-technical – meaning you can trek to the summit without needing crampons, ropes, or other special equipment – that doesn’t mean it is easy. Roughly a third of climbers who attempt Mount Kilimanjaro do not make it up to Uhuru Peak. Those who do make it to the summit tend to be physically fit and heed the mountain guides’ advice on how to handle the high altitude. While there are several routes up Mount Kilimanjaro, the most popular are Machame, Lemosho, and Marangu. The Machame and Lemosho routes are both known for being extremely scenic, passing through 5 different ecosystems as you make your way towards the summit. The main difference between these two is that Lemosho is longer and more remote, so it is more expensive and less crowded (which can be a big plus on such a popular mountain). Marangu is also popular because it is known as the ‘easiest route’. But perhaps because of this, it has a lower success rate than Machame and Lemosho, since it tends to be chosen by less experienced climbers. It is also considered less scenic than other routes since it ascends and descends the same trail. Whatever your route up the mountain, consider adding on a night in the crater floor. It won’t be a comfortable night, and you’ll surely be ready to head down to a lower altitude by the end of it, but it’s the chance of a lifetime to experience an otherworldly landscape in a manner few people will ever experience.

2. Go on safari in Ngorongoro Crater

It’s impossible to describe the wonder you’ll feel upon seeing Ngorongoro Crater for the first time. As you approach the crater rim, you’ll see dots all over the landscape. Then, as you descend the rugged trails to the crater floor, you’ll realize the dots are actually wildlife. Zebra, elephants, rhinos, and wildebeest roam all around, while you can find flamingos and hippos hanging out at each swimming hole. You can also visit local Maasai communities living near the crater to experience the cultural side of life in this fascinating region.

3. Sail on a dhow in Zanzibar

Zanzibar is a tropical paradise, which is best known for its white sand beaches and unique culture. This culture is nowhere more evident than in Stone Town, where you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to the Arabian Peninsula. That’s because Zanzibar is a former Sultanate of Oman, and Stone Town once served as Oman’s capital city. For the best views of Zanzibar’s turquoise waters and endless shoreline, you can go on a sunset sail on a traditional dhow, the style of boats used by traders for thousands of years along the Swahili Coast.

4. Scuba dive at Pemba Island

Pemba Island is part of the Zanzibar archipelago, in the Indian Ocean. Featuring extraordinary visibility (consistently 100 to 130 ft) and immense stretches of vibrant coral reefs, Pemba Island is home to some of the best dive sites in the world. You can see turtles, dog tooth tuna, eagle rays, barracuda, and even dolphins. If you’re lucky and get your timing right, you can also dive with whale sharks by heading over to nearby Mafia island.

5. Fly over the Great Migration

Each year, millions of animals migrate across the Serengeti in search of better grazing areas, including wildebeest, zebra, and gazelles. As the herd moves in predictable patterns, it’s possible to plan your trip to Tanzania to witness some of the most breathtaking events, like calving season and the crossing of the Mara River. Most tours to see the ‘Great Migration’ are land-based, but you can get a bird’s eye view of the action by taking a hot air balloon ride – a once in a lifetime experience.

UNIQUE EVENTS

You Won't Want to Miss

Sauti Za Busara Music Festival

Sauti za Busara is an East African music festival held each February in Zanzibar. Over 20,000 people typically attend the event, which features artists from all around Africa. Besides the music, the event features a carnival and street parade in Stone Town, where you’ll see clowns, stilt-walkers, fire dancers, and acrobats roaming the ancient city.

The Kilimanjaro Marathon takes on a special significance for those who venture to its summit before or after the race. Climb before and you’ll be looking at the summit mid-race, thinking how you were just up there the week before. Climb after and you’ll be wondering how it’ll feel standing on the roof of Africa, hoping your legs will carry you up after the long run. Either way, you’ll have plenty of views of the mountain on the course if the weather is good. The second half heads straight up towards the mountain for 6.5 miles, before a long descent all the way to the finish. If you’re going all the way to East Africa for the race, might as well stay and explore a bit. Besides a safari in the Ngorongoro Crater and sailing on dhows in Zanzibar, there are also plenty of adventures to be had in neighboring Kenya. Whether you visit the Maasai Mara, go skydiving in Diani Beach, or party in Nairobi, you’re sure to be glad you extended the trip.

When to Go

Climate

Equatorial climate with wet and dry seasons. Certain parts of the wet season are pleasant for travel, as rains are short and the vegetation is lush and green.

By Month

January

Hot with short rains. Good for climbing in the Eastern Rift Mountains. Migratory herds are southeast of the Serengeti for calving season in the Ndutu Plains.

February

Hot with short rains. Good for climbing in the Eastern Rift Mountains. Migratory herds are in the Ndutu Plains.

March

Shoulder season with increasing rains. Good for climbing in the Eastern Rift Mountains. Migratory herds head towards Grumeti.

April

Wet season. Travel in wildlife parks can be difficult.

May

Wet season. Travel in wildlife parks can be difficult.

June

Shoulder season.

July

Dry season with temperate weather. Migratory herds are heading towards Kenya. Peak time for viewing Great Migration river crossings.

August

Dry season with temperate weather. Migratory herds remain in northern Tanzania, near Kenya Peak time for viewing Great Migration river crossings.

September

Dry season with temperate weather. End of the Great Migration in the North.

October

Dry season with increasing heat. Good for wildlife viewing in Southern parks.

November

Hot with short rains.

December

Hot with short rains. Good for climbing in the Eastern Rift Mountains. Migratory herds are returning from Kenya.

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