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Tanzania is an East African nation best known for it’s vast wilderness. It is a country of national parks, with the most famous being the Serengeti and Kilimanjaro (home to the highest African mountains). Tanzania includes Zanzibar, Pemba, and Mafia - islands with idyllic beaches, clear seas, corals, and perfect conditions for kitesurfing.


Tanzania is an amazing destination for an exotic vacation, even with children! How so? Well, Tanzania offers sights of incredible animals, the sea, towering mountains, exotic cultural traditions, vibrant colors, African music, and unforgettable gastronomic experiences (think delicious and (for Africa) not too spicy dishes).

Tanzania is home to over 120 African tribes, including the Sukuma tribe located south of Lake Victoria and the Maasai tribe in the Serengeti. It is a region of raw natural wonders, but also one where extreme poverty still reigns among the human inhabitants. The way of life is very different – in fact, 90% of the native population live in the most remote parts of the country, where they survive only on what they grow/create themselves. 


Must-sees and do’s in Tanzania


The Serengeti National Park is the first point I must mention – it is absolutely worth the trip. This park is home to the ‘big five’ – Elephants, lions, leopards, buffalo, and rhinos! During my visit, for example, I saw two leopards enjoying their afternoon siesta in the treetops. But be aware – the safaris here aren’t a walk in the park. I highly recommend preparing the proper equipment before embarking on one (no, sunglasses and bermudas aren’t going to do the trick here…). That being said, experiencing an African safari is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, you just can’t miss it. Just be aware of the basic rules: Make sure you have a reliable guide to accompany you, never step outside at night without a flashlight, keep all limbs and belongings (including your trash!) inside the jeep, and never dive into unknown waters (hippos can do unspeakable things when startled…). 

For me personally, the most memorable safari experience was seeing the Ngorongoro Crater. It is the largest inactive, intact and unfilled volcanic caldera in the world (it is about the size of Switzerland!). There is an incredible number of animals living there – rhinos run wild, lionesses and their cubs prowl next to your car, zebras parade around the landscape, flamingos bask nearby, and an elephant can be spotted on the horizon. As we descended the volcano towards the Serengeti, we saw giraffes and passed through Maasai villages, where we witnessed natives traveling with their cattle. We also witnessed the migration of zebras and wildebeests – hundreds of thousands of them traveling in massive groups. It was incredible! 

What else to experience in Tanzania

In addition to the safari, you should check out the most famous (and most visited) island of Zanzibar. It has a lot to offer, including the charming town of Stonetown (the birthplace of Freddie Mercury), which will captivate you with its unique atmosphere (Arabic, British and German influence), it’s extremely thin streets and its night spice markets. The other islands of Pembo and Mafia are more for off the track/laidback travelers, but if you happen to visit I can recommend diving with the whale sharks. It costs a pretty penny, but when else will you get the chance to see a whale shark up close?? 

As a purely non-touristic experience, I recommend catching a train and heading in the direction of Lake Victoria (the largest in Africa and the second largest in the world). For the truly fearless adventurer, you can take it a step further and brave the trek up Mt. Kilimanjaro, which is attempted by thousands of tourists every year. The trek lasts between 5 and 10 days and is really a big feat (it takes sweat, blood, and tears)… But getting to see the sun from the summit before the rest of Africa is well worth it. 

Tanzania is quite well adapted for tourism. It is always easiest to fly from place to place of course, but other land travel options are available too. You can go by train or bus, or go full local on smaller transports (for the adventurer – imagine a large number of sweaty people in one small space)… 

More to recommend 

Many people ask what I recommend buying in Tanzania. Apart from the world-famous coffee, I suggest looking into buying some of the original and magically colored African fabric. If you want to go a step further, you can have your choice of fabric sewn into virtually anything you can think of – the seamstresses are skilled, cheap, and you an find them in practically any alley.


Cool Facts: 

Fun Fact One: The most important and useful phrase for Tanzania is Pole Pole. You will hear it everywhere there, and it basically means something like “slow, calm, cool.” It is useful, for example, when waiting for food, catching the bus, or scrambling to Kilimanjaro – but it is reflective of the cool message of Tanzania. 

Fun Fact Two: Here and there, someone may pop up and insert themselves into your group – trying to show you something or chat. But, before you know it, the interloping ‘guide’ becomes quite difficult to get rid of. Why? Well, he wants some tips for his unsolicited services. I recommend keeping your cool – take advantage of the situation by asking questions, etc., then when the right moment comes, drop a crumb of a tip and move on. 


So, do you hear the call of the wild African landscape and exotic natives? Do you long to see the crystal waters of the sea and lake, and view the towering mountains and sleeping volcanoes? Do you see yourself wandering town alleys, taking in the scents and colors of coffee, spices and street treats? Get in touch with me and we will plan you an unforgettable trip that matches your wildest dreams and expectations! 

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