What To See

Tanzania’s attractions vary greatly from wildlife, to geography, culture and history. The wildlife is protected in its many national parks with the most popular being the Serengeti national park, Tarangire national park, L. Manyara National park, Mt. Kirimanjaro National park and Ngorongoro crater rim.

Watch Tree Climbing Lions in L. Manyara national park – which have found shelter in the park’s narrow belt of acacia woodland and cannot be seen elsewhere in Tanzania. The park acts as a refugee center for the animals during dry spells as animals gather for water.
The lush jungle-like groundwater forest that strides from the park’s main entrance, shelter hundred-strong baboon troops while blue monkeys sprawl nonchalantly in the ancient mahogany trees. The dainty bushbuck treads cautiously through the woodlands, and outsized forest hornbills honk dissonantly in the high canopy. The grassy plains are home to the legendary great tuskers, herds of buffalos, wildebeests, giraffes and zebras while the squadrons of banded mongoose dart between the acacias as the diminutive Kirk’s dik-dik forage in their shade. Pairs of klipspringer are often seen resting on the rocks above a field of searing hot springs that steams and bubbles.

The park’s diversity of bird species is awesome with over 400 recorded species where by even a visitor may be able to see over 100 species on a single day’s visit. Common highlights include the migrant pink-hued flamingos, pelicans, cormorants and storks.

Wildlife Viewing – watch high diversity and great animal concentration in Tarangire National Park which will leave you speechless as you gaze at them; only surpassed by the Serengeti eco system in the whole country. Expect to see large herds of up to 300 elephants scratch the dry river bed for underground streams, while migratory wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, gazelle, hartebeest and eland crowd the shrinking lagoons and a multitude of predators sprawl across the land. It is here that you will be graced with the sights of the uncommon dry-country antelopes such as the stately fringe-eared Oryx and peculiar long-necked gerenuk.

Tarangire’s bird variety of about 550 varieties is the most breeding species in one habitat anywhere in the world. Sights of the Kori bustard; the heaviest flying bird and the ostrich; the largest bird in the world will captivate your safari while the smaller species like yellow-collared lovebird, the somewhat drabber rufous-tailed weaver and ashy starling which are all endemic to the dry savannah.

The Serengeti conservation area has been regarded as one of the wonders of the world for its most astounding wildlife occurrence ever known to mankind. The great concentration of wildlife in these endless plains is the highest in the world and the park is the oldest in Africa. The annual migration of 2million wildebeests, 200,000 zebras and 300,000 Thomson gazelles across the crocodile infested Mara river into Kenya’s Masai Mara is the most sparkling safari event for one to watch when visiting Africa.

Great herds of buffalos, smaller groups of elephant and giraffe, and thousands of eland, topi, kongoni, impala and Grant’s gazelle sprawl the plains as they fall prey to the abundant carnivores that range from the smaller insectivores aard wolf to the beautiful serval cat, lions, leopards cheetahs and the 3 species of jackal as well as the spotted hyenas.

Away from the big mammals, the gaudy agama lizards and rock hyraxes that scuffle around the surfaces of the park’s isolated granite kopjes as well as the 500 bird species and hundreds of the dung beetle species are a great spectacle in a safari to the Serengeti.

The Ngorongoro conservation area with its popular crater that harbors a variety of animals including elephants, buffaloes, wildebeests, zebras and black rhinos as well as a plethora of cats including the black – maned lions, is yet another great attraction. The crater is also home to the Oldvai gorge where the remains of the first homosapien were discovered.

The lakes in this depression attract a rich variety of birdlife, including flamingos, and wallowing hippos, while some animals can be found surrounding the crater rim or on the forested slopes, such as giraffes and elephants.

Other key attractions in Tanzania include;

The largest and most biodiverse national park in Tanzania, Udzungwa Mountains National Park is less a magnet for game viewing than for hiking. A hike into these mountains will bring you close to the hidden waterfalls, the cultural and historical sites like the Mwanaruvele and Magombereka Caves.

Several varieties of wildlife ranging from birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians are present in this national park. The park’s highlights include theIringa Red Colobus Monkey, and the Sanje-Crested Mangebay, both endemic to Tanzania and can be spotted in the park.
The colossal Anglican cathedral located in stone town where the Island’s largest slave market used to be is a great historical site one cannot afford to miss. With its altar located exactly in a position of the former whipping post where the slaves used to be brutalized and its architecture that combines both Gothic and Arabic styles and is noted for its Basilica shape and barrel vault roof, which the populace believed would never hold, your memories will be carried back into the inhuman past.

The cathedral’s construction started in 1873 and took 10 years to be completed. While on a visit, look out for the stark memorial outside the cathedral, a sculpture of a slave family bound round the neck by a historic chain.

Still in the stone market, do not forget to try out your bargaining skills and get a chance to interact with locals in the Central market whose vibrant array of colours and spicy scents will lure you. The market is one of the oldest in Africa, having been established in 1904 as Seyyidieh Market with numerous stalls running over with tropical fruits, exotic spices, brightly colouredkhangas (worn by local women) and rare provisions such as pomegranates and red bananas. Remember to pass by East Africa’s best street market held every night by the waterfront at Forodhani Gardens.

The JozaniChwaka bay conservation area which is the largest conservation area in Zanzibar and the only remaining natural mangrove forest on the island, is home to the endemic red colobus monkey whose number is not more than 1500 individuals and an abundancy of bird life.
The underwater rich coral reef system of Mafia Island together with its spectacular opportunities for diving, fishing and swimming with whale sharks in its un crowded waters, make it a fascinating destination on a Tanzanian tour. The island together with Zanzibar and Pemba form the Spice Islands off Tanzanian coast.

The Mangapwani caves which were used as secret Slave collection centers following the abolition of slave trade, are an amazing attraction to see. The caves were used as illegal slave collection centers before they could be secretly transported to cargo ships and delivered to slave markets across Europe and the India following the abolition of slave trade in 1897. The first is a large natural cave with a freshwater pool and the man-made cavern is a dank, dark cell with few air vents protruding above ground. A visit to these caves will unearth to you the real picture of slavery in Africa.

For those interested in digging deep into the history of East Africa and the wars of the Arabs and Portuguese along the coast, the Maruhubi and Mtoni palace ruins are the best destination. Mtoni was built by Sultan Said bin Sultan between 1828 and 1834 as he shifted his capital from Muscat to Zanzibar while Maruhubi was built in 1880s by Sultan Barghash, as a harem for his 99 concubines and wife. The structure was mainly wooden and one of the most beautiful of its time, but was gutted by a fire in 1889 and left in ruins.

For those looking to run away from the hustle of the town, the white and pristine beaches of Zanzibar are a good hideaway for your relaxation and holiday making. Visit the fishing villages of Nungwi and Kendwa popular for their boat building and utilize this chance to go fishing, swimming and diving.

The old fort that was built in the 17th century on the remains of a Portuguese church and crumbling Arab garrison to protect against the Portuguese and Arab raids from Mombasa is a great historical site for one to explore in the stone town.

The Palace museum in the stone town was built around 1890 as Sultan’s palace and was later used as a residence for Al Busid dynasty in 1911. It featuresSayyid Said’s daughter, Princess Salme’s room with samples of her wardrobe, some manuscripts of her book and the grave yard behind where the sultans were buried. It is also a source of information and literature about the Arab rule on the island.